Flyers

Bergeron says anything Couturier can do he can do better

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Bergeron says anything Couturier can do he can do better

BOSTON -- Patrice Bergeron had four goals and an assist, surpassing 700 points for his career while leading the Boston Bruins to a 7-1 rout of the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night.

Brad Marchand assisted on all of Bergeron's goals and David Pastrnak had a goal and two assists for the Bruins, who scored on their first two shots and led 5-1 after the first period. Boston also got goals from Riley Nash and Jake DeBrusk while improving to 8-0-2 in its last 10 games.

Anton Khudobin had 27 saves for the Bruins.

Jordan Staal scored a power-play goal for Carolina in the first period and Scott Darling stopped 23 of 28 shots in relief of Cam Ward, who was pulled after allowing two goals on two shots.

Bergeron tied a club record for goals in a game and became the first Bruin with four goals since Dave Andreychuk on Oct. 28, 1999, against Tampa Bay. He needed three points to reach 700 entering the game. He put Boston up 1-0 with a short-handed goal 3:14 into the game, then set up Pastrnak for a power-play goal that put Boston up 3-1 at 9:04 (see full recap).

Matthews, Bozak rally Leafs over Canucks in shootout
TORONTO -- Auston Matthews and Tyler Bozak scored in the third period and again in the shootout, and the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 on Saturday night.

It's the second straight shootout win for Toronto. Frederik Andersen stopped 2 of 3 shootout attempts after making 34 saves.

Canucks star rookie Brock Boeser appeared to have won it with a blistering shot 45 seconds into overtime, but replays showed the puck went off one post and then another without crossing the line.

The Leafs then had a man-advantage with Boeser off for slashing but failed to convert.

Boeser scored in the second period and Gagner in the third to put Vancouver ahead 2-0 before Matthews and Bozak brought Toronto back.

Toronto finally beat Jacob Markstrom at 8:23 of the third when Matthews tipped in a pass from Zach Hyman for his 19th. Bozak tied it at 12:37, knocking in his own rebound after a long stretch pass from Morgan Rielly sent him in alone (see full recap).

Dzingel scores 2, Senators beat league-best Lightning
OTTAWA, Ontario -- Ryan Dzingel scored twice and Mark Stone had a goal and two assists to help the Ottawa Senators beat the league-leading Tampa Bay Lightning 6-3 on Saturday night.

Matt Duchene, Zack Smith and Jean-Gabriel Pageau also scored for the Senators, who have won consecutive games for the first time since Dec. 13-16. Craig Anderson stopped 45 shots.

Victor Hedman, Slater Koekkoek and Yanni Gourde scored for the Lightning, who allowed six goals for the first time this season. Andrei Vasilevskiy finished with 27 saves.

With the score tied 3-3 after two periods, Stone picked up a rebound of Derick Brassard's shot to beat Vasilevskiy at 10:44 of the third. Pageau and Dzingel scored insurance goals soon after as the teams alternated scoring three goals in a period.

The Senators dominated the first period and took a 3-0 lead, but the second was all about the Lightning as they tied the score (see full recap).

Why Nolan Patrick is such a power-play fit

Why Nolan Patrick is such a power-play fit

Replacing Wayne Simmonds on the power play may be one of the toughest assignments in the NHL.

After all, the guy is second to only Alex Ovechkin with 85 man-advantage goals since the 2011-12 season.

So when the predicament actually faced Dave Hakstol this week, the Flyers' head coach turned to … a 19-year-old rookie.

Why Nolan Patrick?

Three components of the decision stand out:

Intelligence factor
Leading up the NHL draft, the overwhelming strength of Patrick's scouting report was his hockey sense.

Those close to him, as well as draft experts, lauded Patrick for comprehending plays before they even happen and being above the ice in understanding spacing.

Those characteristics are crucial when having an extra man.

Patrick has two goals over two games filling in for the injured Simmonds on the Flyers' top power-play unit. Patrick exhibited his IQ with Thursday's game-winner, where he quickly planted himself right in front of the net, had the presence of mind to find the puck and then bury it past Sergei Bobrovsky.

"We told him, just stand in front, if you see a puck, bring it home," Shayne Gostisbehere said. "We tried to simplify it for him and he's going to take care of it himself, he's a great hockey player. It's paying off for him."

All about the touch
Patrick has excellent hands.

Put him around the net, and he'll know how to deflect pucks and find holes in a goalie. His vision, skill and finesse are why he's regarded as such an all-around playmaker.

In Tuesday's win, Patrick found immediate success with the first power-play group. Making his way to the middle, Patrick took a Claude Giroux pass and showed off that touch, adeptly going top shelf as Carey Price went low.

Studying Simmonds' net-front proficiency hasn't hurt, either.

"I watch him every game, he's unbelievable there and good at tipping pucks and making plays," Patrick said. "You learn from just watching every day."

Building up the kid
With time, Hakstol and the Flyers have allowed for Patrick to become comfortable instead of putting the world on his shoulders from the get-go.

That's part of Patrick's makeup.

"He almost always wants to be comfortable and then he really starts to exert himself," Patrick's uncle, James, said to NBC Sports Philadelphia last June

We're starting to see Patrick let loose.

As the Flyers have gradually upped his opportunity and responsibility, Patrick has eight points (five goals, three assists) in his last 12 games after putting up six (two goals, four assists) over his previous 34.

Placing Patrick among the team's best talent on the man advantage will only help with his confidence moving forward, in all situations.

The Flyers' power play entered Friday with the NHL's sixth-best percentage at 21.6.

It'll need more of Patrick — but the Flyers couldn't have asked for a much better start to life without Simmonds over the next two to three weeks.

Streaking Penguins move atop Metro Division

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Streaking Penguins move atop Metro Division

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Phil Kessel and Evgeni Malkin each had two goals and an assist and the Pittsburgh Penguins routed the Carolina Hurricanes 6-1 on Friday night for their season-best sixth straight victory.

Jake Guentzel had a goal and two assists, Sidney Crosby scored a late goal and Olli Maatta also scored. The Penguins took control with three goals -- two by Kessel -- in a 7:39 span in the second period.

Matt Murray made 27 saves for Pittsburgh, which has won 11 of 13 to overtake idle Washington for first place in the Metropolitan Division. Since the Penguins were shut out by Carolina on Jan. 4, they are 16-3-1.

They were just as busy off the ice, completing a mid-game trade in which they picked up center Derick Brassard from the Ottawa Senators. As part of the complicated three-team deal, they sent defenseman Ian Cole to Ottawa and forward Ryan Reaves to the Vegas Golden Knights.

Teuvo Teravainen scored and Cam Ward stopped 33 shots for the short-handed Hurricanes, who have gone 0-3-1 during a four-game slide that's keeping them outside the Eastern Conference playoff race (see full recap).

Wild dominate skidding Rangers for New York sweep
NEW YORK -- Mikael Granlund and Eric Staal each scored twice and Devan Dubnyk made 22 saves in the Minnesota Wild's 4-1 victory over the free-falling New York Rangers on Friday night.

The Wild completed a three-game sweep of New York-area teams after beating the Monday night and New Jersey on Thursday night.

The Rangers lost for the sixth straight time in regulation. New York is 6-17-0 since beating Buffalo in the Winter Classic on Jan. 1 (see full recap).

Blackhawks’ Berube dominant in 1st Chicago start
CHICAGO -- Jean-Francois Berube made 42 saves in his first start for Chicago to help the Blackhawks beat the San Jose Sharks 3-1 on Friday night.

Defenseman Jan Rutta, activated from injured reserve Friday, and Nick Schmaltz scored, and Artem Anisimov added an empty-netter with 30.5 seconds left.

Anthony Duclair had two assists for the Blackhawks. They won their second straight and third in four games following an eight-game losing streak that dropped them to last place in the Central Division.

Berube lost a bid for this first NHL shutout when Timo Meier scored his 15th goal on a screened shot with 7:51 left in the third period.

Martin Jones stopped 33 shots for the Sharks, coming off a 7-1 loss at Nashville on Thursday night (see full recap).