McDavid stars as Oilers overcome last-minute collapse

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McDavid stars as Oilers overcome last-minute collapse

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ryan Strome scored twice and the Edmonton Oilers recovered to beat the Anaheim Ducks 6-5 in a shootout Sunday after giving up two goals in the final 21 seconds of regulation.

Leon Draisaitl scored in his third straight game for the Oilers, who have won three in a row and four of five. Al Montoya made 41 saves, and Anton Slepyshev and Iiro Pakarinen also scored. Connor McDavid had three assists.

Rickard Rakell had a hat trick and Ryan Getzlaf added a goal and two assists for the Ducks, who have earned at least one point in six consecutive home games. Adam Henrique also scored, and Ryan Miller stopped 37 shots.

Rakell scored with 20.9 seconds remaining in the third period to make it 5-4 and then tied it with 6.3 seconds to play. He beat Montoya with a wrist shot from the slot after Derek Grant won the faceoff against Draisaitl.

Draisaitl and McDavid scored in the shootout. Montoya stopped shots by Getzlaf and Ondrej Kase after Rakell made his shot (see full recap). 

Spurgeon scores with 12 seconds left in OT to give Wild win 
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Jared Spurgeon scored with 12 seconds left in overtime to give the Minnesota Wild a 3-2 victory against the San Jose Sharks on Sunday night.

Spurgeon added an assist, and Jason Zucker had two assists, setting up Spurgeon in the extra session as Minnesota tied a season-high with its fourth straight victory.

Matt Cullen and Eric Staal also scored for the Wild, who have earned points in 23 of their past 25 home games. Devan Dubnyk made 26 saves for Minnesota.

Joakim Ryan and Chris Tierney scored for San Jose, which built a two-goal lead and was 23-0-1 when leading after two periods. Martin Jones stopped 38 shots for the Sharks, who lost the final three games of a four-game trip.

Spurgeon managed to collect the puck in the offensive zone after Brent Burns couldn't corral it. Spurgeon sent a cross-ice pass to a uncovered Zucker. Instead of shooting on Jones, who slid across the crease, Zucker passed back to Spurgeon for a wide-open goal (see full recap).

Daley's OT goal lifts Rangers over Red Wings
NEW YORK — Trevor Daley scored on a tip-in with 5.6 seconds showing on the clock in overtime to lift the Detroit Red Wings to a 3-2 victory over the rebuilding New York Rangers on Sunday night.

Andreas Athanasiou and Darren Helm also scored for the Red Wings, and Jimmy Howard stopped 36 shots. Detroit improved to 5-3-2 in its last 10 games and pulled into a tie with Florida five points behind Columbus for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

J.T. Miller and Jesper Fast scored for the Rangers, and Henrik Lundqvist made 31 saves. New York lost its seventh straight, hours after trading star forward Rick Nash to Boston for three players and two draft picks. It also was the Rangers' first game since trading speedy forward Michael Grabner to New Jersey on Friday night.

Ryan Spooner, one of the players acquired from the Bruins, had two assists in his debut for the Rangers, who are 0-6-1 in their last seven and have just three wins in the last 17 games (3-13-1) (see full recap).

Rinne shuts out Blues in milestone victory
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Pekka Rinne showed no signs of a letdown following his milestone 300th victory.

Rinne made 27 saves for his sixth shutout of the season and the Nashville Predators earned a 4-0 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Sunday.

The Predators starting goalie moved into 33rd place on the NHL's career win list, passing former Nashville goalie Tomas Vokoun.

The Predators won their fourth straight game and moved into sole possession of first place in the Central Division.

The Blues lost their sixth straight.

"We scored four goals, but I thought that we had plenty more chances and good looks," Rinne said (see full recap).

Blues put an end to Blue Jackets' 10-game winning streak

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Blues put an end to Blue Jackets' 10-game winning streak

COLUMBUS, Ohio —The St. Louis Blues got things going early and put an end to the Columbus Blue Jackets' 10-game winning streak with a big victory over their own.

Jake Allen made 33 saves, Alexander Steen scored on St. Louis' first shot of the game, and the Blues beat the Blue Jackets 2-1 on Saturday night.

"It was a huge win for us, especially when Colorado wins this afternoon," Allen said. "Points are crucial right now. Let's just take it one step at a time. And we will figure out the standings at the end."

St. Louis has 89 points - one behind Colorado, which beat Vegas 2-1 in a shootout, and Minnesota, which played Saturday night.

"Approaching every game like the season is on the line," Blues coach Mike Yeo said. "The challenge for us now is to make sure that doesn't change. I am very pleased and very proud of the group. There is an awful lot of character inside our locker room, and I love that it's on full display right now." (See full recap.)

Capitals tighten grip on 1st in Metro
MONTREAL —  Evgeny Kuznetsov and Tom Wilson each scored twice and Nicklas Backstrom had four assists as the Washington Capitals defeated the Montreal Canadiens 6-4 on Saturday night.

Jay Beagle and T.J. Oshie also scored for Washington (44-24-7), which strengthened its grip on first place in the Metropolitan Division. Backstrom posted his 20th career game with at least four points and second this season.

Charles Hudon scored twice for Montreal (27-37-12), which was coming off a 3-0 win at Buffalo on Friday night. Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher each had a goal for the Canadiens, who are 2-8-2 in their last 12 games (see full recap).

Kinkaid saves 35 shots as Devils pick up key win over Lightning 
NEWARK, N.J. — While Taylor Hall and Nico Hischier have been getting much of the credit for New Jersey's surprising playoff push, goaltender Keith Kinkaid has been the one carrying the Devils back to the postseason the past two weeks.

Kinkaid made 35 saves and the Devils took another major step toward making the playoffs for the first time since 2012 with a 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night.

Hischier and Kyle Palmieri scored for New Jersey, which has elevated its playoff chances with wins in five of seven games - including outstanding efforts in beating the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins and the Eastern Conference-leading Lightning on consecutive nights.

"Keith has been a difference maker," Devils coach John Hynes said of Kinkaid, who had 75 saves the past two nights. "He has really come in and played well. He has made key saves at key times. He obviously won quite a few games and been a real important factor for us in remaining competitive in the playoff race. We would like to see him continue that at that level, as well." (See full recap.)

Why have Penguins dominated Flyers recently?

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Why have Penguins dominated Flyers recently?

VOORHEES, N.J. — The keys to the Keystone State Rivalry are now in the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins, who have been in the driver’s seat recently in their feud with the Flyers.

The Penguins are on the verge of a season sweep for the first time since taking all eight meetings during the Flyers' disastrous 2006-07 season.

It’s a complete turnaround from the Flyers' eight-game winning streak from November 2013 to April 2015. PPG Paints Arena, formerly known as Consol Energy Center, could also be commonly referred to as Wells Fargo Center West.

However, in the Dave Hakstol era, which has also coincided with the Mike Sullivan era in Pittsburgh, the ice has been tilted toward Lake Erie. The Flyers are just 3-7-1 against the Penguins over the past three years.

Over time, that vitriolic and acrimonious attitude seems to be missing from a once-bitter feud and the Flyers seemed to thrive off that animosity.

“There’s not as many fights as we used to and not as many hits,” captain Claude Giroux said. “If you don’t take care of the puck and you don’t play smart out there, it’s going to cost your team.”

Since the third period of their first game in November, there have been costly mistakes and very little pushback from the Flyers. They’ve been outscored 14-4 in their last seven periods and a brief overtime against the Penguins.

“It’s a matter of us going out and being ourselves for a full 60 minutes,” Hakstol said. “We haven’t done that against Pittsburgh and you’ve got to credit them for that. They can push teams off balance.”

And clearly, the Penguins have presented a matchup problem for the Flyers, regardless of which team has owned last change. Sidney Crosby has thrived this season with a plus-6 rating against the Flyers.

With Sean Couturier serving as Evgeni Malkin’s shadow dating back to his rookie season in 2011-12, Giroux had been tasked with matching up with Crosby’s line. Now with Couturier and Giroux paired together, the task of containing Crosby has shifted elsewhere, whether it’s been Valtteri Filppula, Scott Laughton or Nolan Patrick.

The Flyers' 19-year-old rookie center has quickly discovered what works and what doesn’t against arguably the NHL’s best all-around player.

“You have to be a little more defensive-minded when (Crosby) is out there, and even Malkin too,” Patrick said. “Crosby’s not really a guy you can go after and knock the puck off. You just got to try and contain them and have a good stick on him.”

“I don’t think we’ve given them our best effort so far this year,” defenseman Andrew MacDonald said. “We were a little timid last time. We were trying to feel out the game and see what kind of game it was going to be, rather than dictate the play.”

The Flyers haven’t exhibited their best effort against any team recently, and no need to prove a point against the Penguins this late in the season.

The Flyers simply need points and the Penguins just happen to be the next team on the schedule.