Flyers

Crosby scores twice to reach 400 goals

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Crosby scores twice to reach 400 goals

ST. LOUIS — Sidney Crosby got another milestone goal on Sunday. The puck went right to his dad.

Crosby scored twice, including his 400th career goal, and the Pittsburgh Penguins pulled away from the St. Louis Blues for a 4-1 victory.

Bryan Rust snapped a tie with a third-period tally and Riley Sheahan also scored for the Penguins, who have won 12 of their past 17. Matt Murray made 33 saves.

Crosby had not scored in his previous 10 games dating to Jan. 14. The captain stopped the drought in the second period in front of his father Troy, who was on the two-game fathers' trip that began Friday in Dallas.

"It's tough when you're waiting that long to get it, but it's definitely worth the wait to have my dad here," Crosby said. "So many early mornings and sacrifices so I could play hockey. It's special to have him here." (see full recap.)

Red Wings let 3-goal lead slip but beat Capitals in OT
WASHINGTON — For a few moments, it looked as if the Detroit Red Wings were headed for another embarrassing loss. Then Tomas Tatar stepped up again.

Tatar scored his second goal of the game 2:47 into overtime, and the Red Wings escaped with a 5-4 victory over the Washington Capitals on Sunday.

Detroit had dropped three in a row. It blew a 5-2 third-period lead against the New York Islanders on Friday and lost 7-6 in overtime.

"A lot of people expected us to fold after a tough game," coach Jeff Blashill said. "I thought we got back up real well."

Tatar beat Braden Holtby for his 14th goal of the season. He also scored with 11 seconds to play in the second period to give Detroit a 4-1 lead (see full recap).

Flames rally late to beat Islanders 
NEW YORK —  Matthew Tkachuk leaped into the air and hugged Travis Hamonic after scoring the tiebreaking goal late in the third period.

Tkachuk's second in less than 9 1/2 minutes came with 1:05 left and lifted the Calgary Flames to a 3-2 victory over the New York Islanders on Sunday night.

"It's always fun to put the puck in the net, especially tonight," said Tkachuk, who scored his 19th and 20th goals of the season in the win. "I was obviously so pumped to get the third goal there. I was just really happy because you think (after that) basically you play good defense and you get the win. That's why you're really excited."

Mark Jankowski also scored as the Flames pulled into a tie with Minnesota for the second wild card in the Western Conference. Mike Smith made 23 saves before leaving due to an injury with 2 seconds remaining, and David Rittich came on to close the game.

Canucks snap losing streak in style
DALLAS — Jacob Markstrom and the Vancouver Canucks were good enough on Sunday.

Two days after saying, "I'm not good enough," Markstrom made 30 saves for his second career shutout and the Canucks beat the Dallas Stars 6-0.

Markstrom also had said some teammates weren't playing well enough to be in the NHL after Vancouver's fourth straight loss.

"We talked, the whole team, (Saturday)," Markstrom said, "We weren't happy with the result and how we were playing hockey. It's frustrating when we know how good we can play. This was a perfect example."

Reid Boucher scored his first two goals of the season to help Vancouver equal its highest goal total (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).