Flyers

Devan Dubnyk saves the day for Wild

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Devan Dubnyk saves the day for Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Devan Dubnyk made 32 saves, and Minnesota's early three-goal lead held up in 3-2 win over the New York Rangers on Tuesday night.

Eric Staal, Zach Parise and Marcus Foligno all scored in the first 6:17 for Minnesota, which ran its home point streak to a franchise-record 13 games (10-0-3).

John Gilmour scored his first NHL goal in his third game for New York, and Kevin Hayes added his 13th goal of the season. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 26 shots for the Rangers.

The Wild haven't lost at home since Dec. 16 against Edmonton and own the league's longest home point streak of the season. They've outscored opponents 46-23 during the run.

Minnesota went ahead 3-0 for the third straight game. The Wild lost in overtime to Arizona and followed with a shutout of Chicago (see full recap).

Guentzel, Aston-Reese spark Penguins’ win
PITTSBURGH -- Jake Guentzel scored twice, Zach Aston-Reese scored his first two NHL goals and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Ottawa Senators 6-3 on Tuesday night.

Evgeni Malkin scored his 31st and Kris Letang his fourth for the Penguins, who have won seven of nine and 12 of their last 16. Sidney Crosby, who scored his 400th career goal on Sunday, finished with three assists.

Pittsburgh is riding a nine-game home winning streak, the longest since a franchise-record 13-game run during the 2013-14 season. The Penguins haven't lost in Pittsburgh since a 4-0 defeat by Carolina on Jan. 4.

Matt Murray stopped 30 shots for Pittsburgh.

Derick Brassard, Colin White and Mike Hoffman all scored for the Senators, who lost for the third time in five games. The Senators dropped to 7-16-4 on the road. They were 22-17-2 away from home last season.

Guentzel scored his 17th on the power play and his 18th in the second period. Aston-Reese scored the first of his career in the second period and added an empty-net goal with 1:05 to play.

Mike Condon made five saves on nine shots before he was pulled after Aston-Reese's goal. Craig Anderson stopped 17 of 18 shots (see full recap).

Hurricanes’ Faulk notches 1st hat trick
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Justin Faulk had his first career hat trick, Jeff Skinner scored twice, and the Carolina Hurricanes routed the short-handed Los Angeles Kings 7-3 on Tuesday night.

Faulk's three goals came in a span of 12:21 as Carolina raced out to a 5-0 lead and he became the 10th defenseman in NHL history to score a natural hat trick.

Jacob Slavin and Sebastian Aho also scored for the Hurricanes, who won their third straight and finished their eight-game homestand 5-2-1. Cam Ward made 27 saves.

Slavin opened the scoring 6:40 into the game and Faulk scored just over two minutes later. He scored again on a slap shot in the waning minutes of the first period, and completed his hat trick with another slap shot 1:17 into the second period.

Anze Kopitar, Tyler Toffoli, and Torrey Mitchell scored for Los Angeles, which was without key forwards Dustin Brown (suspension) and Trevor Lewis (injury). Jonathan Quick saved 16 of 20 shots before being pulled following Faulk's third goal (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).