Flyers

Best of NHL: Isles top Devils to move to 4 points behind Bruins for East's final wild-card spot

Best of NHL: Isles top Devils to move to 4 points behind Bruins for East's final wild-card spot

NEW YORK -- Anders Lee and Anthony Beauvillier scored to help the New York Islanders preserve their slim playoff chances with a 2-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Friday night.

Jaroslav Halak stopped 26 shots as the Islanders pulled four points behind Boston for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference. New York won at home for the first time since beating the Devils here on Feb. 19, going 0-4-1 at Barclays Center in between.

Halak has won both starts since being called up from AHL Bridgeport on March 23.

The Islanders might have suffered a big injury as captain John Tavares left the game late in the third period. Tavares fell awkwardly with 3:14 left while chasing a puck behind the Devils net, and immediately began clutching his left leg. He was helped off the ice and to the dressing room.

Adam Henrique scored and Keith Kincaid had 36 saves for the Devils, who are 2-13-4 in their last 19 games (see full recap).

Crosby leads Penguins past Rangers in shootout
NEW YORK -- Sidney Crosby had a goal and an assist in regulation and then got the clinching goal in the shootout to lift Pittsburgh to a 4-3 win over the New York Rangers on Friday night, snapping the Penguins' four-game skid.

Jake Guentzel and Bryan Rust also scored for Pittsburgh, and Matt Murray stopped 30 shots for his 29th win of the season.

Chris Kreider tied the score with 11.6 seconds left in the third period to force overtime. Nick Holden had a goal and an assist, Rick Nash also scored and J.T. Miller added two assists for the Rangers. Henrik Lundqvist finished with 32 saves as New York fell to 0-5-3 at home since beating Washington on Feb. 19.

Phil Kessel also scored in the tiebreaker for the Penguins, and Murray stopped Mika Zibanejad and Mats Zuccarello (see full recap).

Panarin, Crawford lead Blackhawks past Blue Jackets
CHICAGO -- Artemi Panarin had two goals, Corey Crawford made 32 saves and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-1 on Friday night to reach the cusp of clinching the Central Division.

Panarin scored in the opening minute, then added an empty-netter with 44 seconds left for his 28th goal of the season. Marian Hossa also scored in the first period for Chicago, and Patrick Kane assisted on all three goals as Chicago extended its division lead to nine points over idle Minnesota.

The Wild have five games remaining and the Blackhawks have four.

Nick Foligno scored his 25th goal to end an eight-game drought and Sergei Bobrovksy made 21 saves, but the Blue Jackets lost for the second time in two nights (see full recap).

What Petr Mrazek hopes to add to Flyers

What Petr Mrazek hopes to add to Flyers

VOORHEES, N.J. — Petr Mrazek was the first Flyer on the ice for Wednesday's practice, spending considerable time with goaltending coach Kim Dillabaugh.

"We talked about strategy a little bit, how to square up to the puck, how to help the D and the PK and how to manage things," Mrazek said. "I think we had a good conversation and I'm looking forward to working with him and try and help the team."

Mrazek was also the first guy off the ice, an early indication that he'll make his Flyers debut Thursday at the Wells Fargo Center. Mrazek spent his first day in Philadelphia serving as Alex Lyon's backup and watched his new team from the bench, quickly noticing how the Flyers moved the puck from zone to zone.  

"Everyone was really fast in transition yesterday," Mrazek said. "We were trying to get the puck out of the zone as quick as we can."

Mrazek believes he can help facilitate quick breakouts with the way he plays the puck and working the puck to his defensemen.

"I'm really confident in playing the puck and helping the defense," Mrazek said. "I like to be involved behind the net and put the puck on their sticks and get the puck out of the zone. Especially on the road, it's very important when teams chip the puck behind the net and try to make a play out there."

Playing the puck efficiently will certainly help Mrazek rest easier, as was his first night in Philadelphia. Staying at a nearby hotel, Mrazek was able to get a good night's rest after barely getting any sleep the night he was traded to Philadelphia. 

"I was fine today," he said, "but yesterday when I woke up at four in the morning, I asked myself, 'Is this really happening?'"

Flyers survive a scare with Travis Konecny

Flyers survive a scare with Travis Konecny

VOORHEES, N.J. — T.K. appears to be OK.

The Flyers have apparently survived a scare, even though Travis Konecny sat out Wednesday's workout. The Flyers' winger was given a maintenance day to recover from soreness from Tuesday's win over the Canadiens.

General manager Ron Hextall listed Konecny as probable after he took a slap shot off his left skate in the first period that severely hampered his mobility.

Konecny labored throughout the majority of the game, unable to sustain for prolonged periods with nine shifts under 30 seconds. The 20-year-old winger has been a primary contributor during the Flyers' second-half surge with 24 points (11 goals, 13 assists) in his last 24 games since being moved up to the Flyers' top line.

Tuesday night was just the seventh time during that 24-game span Konecny failed to register a point. The Flyers will make a determination following Thursday's morning skate regarding his availability against the Blue Jackets.

"Either you can play or you can't this time of year," Dave Hakstol said. "Nobody would be surprised to know that around the league there's a lot of guys that play at a little bit less than 100 percent. This time of year, that's how it is. You have to be able to do your job at a high level. That's the line — you're on one side of it or the other, and we'll make that decision."

Taylor Leier, a healthy scratch the past seven games, skated in Konecny's spot on the Flyers' top line with Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier.