Flyers

Best of NHL: Brayden Schenn stays hot in Blues' shutout

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Best of NHL: Brayden Schenn stays hot in Blues' shutout

ST. LOUIS -- Jake Allen made 29 saves, Brayden Schenn continued his red-hot play and the St. Louis Blues beat the Dallas Stars 3-0 on Thursday night.

Schenn got his team-leading 14th goal two days after netting a hat trick against Montreal. Colton Parayko and Vladimir Tarasenko also scored.

Allen got his first shutout of the season and the 16th of his career. He was briefly backed up by local vending machine worker Tyler Stewart after regular backup Carter Hutton was injured at the morning skate.

Dallas has lost two in a row since a season-high five game winning streak. Kari Lehtonen stopped 24 shots.

The Blues scored twice on the power play after connecting on just 2 of 17 chances in their previous four games. Schenn, acquired in an offseason trade with Philadelphia, pounced on a rebound from close range midway through the first period for a 1-0 lead.

Parayko blasted a shot from the just inside the blue line that eluded Lehtonen in the second period.

Tarasenko scored into an empty net with 47.6 seconds left, ending a six-game scoreless streak (see full recap).

Hunwick gives Penguins OT win over Islanders
PITTSBURGH -- Matt Hunwick scored 1:29 into overtime, lifting the Pittsburgh Penguins over the New York Islanders 4-3 on Thursday night.

Pittsburgh led 3-1 in the third period, but the Islanders tied it with goals in the final 4:53. Hunwick ended the game with his third of the season by pushing one in during a scramble in front of the net.

Phil Kessel got his team-leading 14th goal on a power play, and Jake Guentzel and Riley Sheahan also scored for Pittsburgh. Rookie Tristan Jarry made 23 saves. Pittsburgh has won five of six since a three-game losing streak.

Jordan Eberle got his 12th goal for New York, and Mathew Barzal and Brock Nelson each got their eighth in the third period. Nelson tied it with 1:10 left. Jaroslav Halak stopped 28 shots.

New York has lost three of four since a four-game winning streak (see full recap).

Backes, Bruins stomp lowly Coyotes
BOSTON -- David Backes scored his first two goals of the season, helping the Boston Bruins beat the Arizona Coyotes 6-1 on Thursday night.

It was Backes' fourth game back after he missed 12 straight following surgery to remove part of his colon. The veteran forward scored his first goal with Boston on a tip-in 13:54 into the second period and then added another goal with 54 seconds left in the period.

Brad Marchand scored 15 seconds into the game for the Bruins, who won for the seventh time in nine games. David Krejci, Danton Heinen and Anders Bjork also scored, and Tuukka Rask made 20 saves.

Christian Dvorak had an unassisted goal for Arizona, and Scott Wedgewood made 25 saves.

Backes, the former St. Louis captain who signed with Boston as an unrestricted free agent in July, was expected to miss up to eight weeks following his surgery on Nov. 2 to relieve inflammation caused by diverticulitis. He returned to the Bruins on Nov. 29 and got his 500th career point Monday with an assist during a loss at Nashville (see full recap).

Flyers complete weekend sweep of Metro's top-2 teams

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Flyers complete weekend sweep of Metro's top-2 teams

BOX SCORE

For the first time since Nov. 11, the Philadelphia Flyers are back in a playoff spot.

The Flyers earned their third straight win and their seventh in their last eight games after knocking off the Metropolitan Division-leading Capitals 2-1 at Capital One Arena.

Travis Konency connected on the opening shift in overtime as he took the puck away in the neutral zone, cut to the middle of the ice and scored on a shot that deflected off Caps forward T.J. Oshie.

Konecny now has four goals in his last 8 games.

Goaltender Brian Elliott made 27 saves to earn the victory in net.

Michael Raffl opened the scoring with his ninth goal of the season and his third in his last eight games, and Alex Ovechkin tied with a power play goal in the second period.

The Flyers have beaten the Capitals in the first two games of their season series and the two teams will renew their rivalry Jan. 31 in Washington.

•The Flyers kept the Capitals' offense on the perimeter until Ovechkin picked the puck right off of Ivan Provorov’s stick, which ignited a 2-on-1 the other way. Ovechkin took the shot with the rebound kicking right out to Evgeny Kuznetsov, who fired the puck right into Elliott’s pad. The puck was bouncing and rolling on its side, otherwise, I think Kuznetsov would have been able to finish that play.  

•With the Flyers clogging the middle of the ice by placing a forward between the circles, the Capitals were looking to challenge Elliott with some sharp angle shots in the first period. The shot chart from naturalstattrick.com highlights where in the Flyers' zone the Caps were firing from with the bright orange circles indicating a higher frequency of shots.

For the most part, Elliott had some rather routine saves until the final five minutes of the opening period when the Capitals were able to find the soft areas in the slot. Dave Hakstol was able to utilize the Valtteri Filppula line against Ovechkin for most of the first period keeping his chances at a minimum, except for this chance late in the period.

•The Flyers were trying to get Capitals pest Tom Wilson off his game in the opening period. Provorov laid out Wilson with a perfectly-timed shoulder-to-shoulder hit leveling him to the ice and Konecny doing some major chirping with Wilson in an attempt to get under his skin until Wilson had enough and gave Konecny a nudge. Sure enough, Wilson showed his true colors with a tripping penalty in the first 10 seconds of the second period.

•I liked how the Flyers came out and dictated the pace in the second period, outshooting the Capitals 6-2 in the first six minutes. The Filppula-Raffl-Voracek line was the Flyers' best line throughout the first half and finally exposed the Caps' top line with a strong forecheck that resulted in Michael Raffl’s 1-0 goal from the left circle. Raffl’s shot placement was perfect as he elevated it just enough to graze the top of Braden Holtby’s pad and ricocheted into the net.

•Tyrell Goulbourne took his first penalty late in the second period when Jay Beagle was hooked in the act of shooting. I didn’t think it was a bad penalty on Goulbourne’s part considering the close range of Beagle’s shot, but the play evolved as defenseman Brandon Manning was stripped cleanly behind his net by Caps fourth-line forward Jake Vrana.

•If you thought the save on Ovechkin was solid, Elliott may have topped it as he turned aside Nicklas Backstrom from the low slot with a full extension kick out of the pads. However, Claude Giroux was guilty of slashing Backstrom that put the Capitals back on the power play, which led to vintage Ovechkin, who ripped home his 9th power play goal of the season and No. 587 of his career, tying the game at 1-1.

•Shayne Gostisbehere put together another solid game following his performance against the Devils. Ghost blocked an Ovechkin shot with his stick early in the third period where Ovechkin had a clear break coming down the left wing.

•On Ghost’s next shift, he made a superb defensive play filling the middle of the ice, spinning around and using his stick again to spoil a potential high danger chance with Ovechkin looking to drop a pass to Kuznetsov. 

•Dmitri Orlov, Kuznetsov and Oshie applied some real hard pressure to the Flyers' defense including a give-and-go from Orlov to Backstrom. Kuznetsov was wheeling around the offensive zone in the third period and was a tough to contain for the Flyers' defense.

•Not a good penalty for Raffl to trip up Matt Niskanen on a puck battle along the boards behind the Capitals' net. It put the Caps back on the power play with just over five minutes remaining in regulation of a 1-1 game.

Stars score 7 goals in win over Sabres

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Stars score 7 goals in win over Sabres

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn caught one of his teammates reaching for an extra chicken wing in the locker room after Saturday's game.

"Easy," Benn said. "We're only on game 48."

The Stars continued their midseason push into playoff positioning by closing out a four-game road trip with a 7-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres.

Mattias Janmark had two goals and an assist, Esa Lindell added a goal and two assists, Jamie Benn and Radek Faksa each had a goal and an assist, and Remi Elle also scored for the Stars, who return home after going 3-0-1 on the road.

"It's a battle every game and every day in this league," said Benn, who extended his point streak to seven games. "It seems we've been playing pretty good hockey as of late and I think we are still only seventh in the conference."

The Stars regrouped from a 2-1 shootout loss in Columbus on Thursday night to match their season-high scoring total (see full recap).

Jets snap Flames' 7-game winning streak with shootout win
CALGARY, Alberta — Bryan Little and Blake Wheeler scored in the shootout and the Winnipeg Jets beat Calgary 2-1 Saturday, snapping the Flames' seven-game winning streak.

Little opened the shootout with a wrist shot inside the post and past Mike Smith. After Mark Jankowski and Sean Monahan were stopped by Connor Hellebuyck and Smith stopped Patrik Laine, Wheeler clinched it on a deke to his forehand.

Mathieu Perreault scored in regulation for Winnipeg, which improved to 7-2-1 in its last 10. TJ Brodie scored for Calgary.

Hellebuyck had 30 saves for the Jets and Smith stopped 33 shots in defeat (see full recap).

Pastrnak scores twices as Bruins continue dominance over Habs
MONTREAL  — David Pastrnak scored twice and set up another goal to help the Boston Bruins beat Montreal 4-1 on Saturday night, their third win in eight days against the Canadiens.

Torey Krug had a goal and two assists and Riley Nash added an empty-netter for Boston, which is 12-0-4 in its past 16 games.

Max Pacioretty scored for Montreal, which ended a stretch of five games in eight days since their midseason break at 1-2-2. The Canadiens were coming off a 3-1 win Friday night in Washington.

Pacioretty got his seventh goal in seven games 11:29 into the second period. Paul Byron lost the puck, stripped it back from Charlie McAvoy from behind and then slipped a backhand pass to Pacioretty on a 2-on-1 (see full recap).

Avalance beat Rangers for 9th straight win
DENVER — The Colorado Avalanche have gone from pushover to powerhouse in less than a season, and their recent streak is evoking memories of past glory.

Nathan MacKinnon, Erik Johnson and Mikko Rantanen had a goal and an assist each, Jonathan Bernier made 27 saves and the streaking Avalanche beat the New York Rangers 3-1 on Saturday for their ninth straight win.

The Avalanche have won eight straight at home and haven't lost since Arizona beat them on Dec. 27. Colorado has outscored opponents 37-15 in the last nine games and has not trailed during the winning streak, which has moved the team into playoff position in the Western Conference.

"We can't get comfortable," MacKinnon said. "That is why we are fighting every night because we need these points. It's so tight, the division is so tight." (see full recap).