NHL Wrap

Greiss catches Islanders' goalie wave

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Greiss catches Islanders' goalie wave

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Thomas Greiss stopped 44 shots for his first shutout of the season, and the New York Islanders beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-0 on Friday night.

Johnny Boychuk, Anthony Beauvillier and John Tavares scored for the Islanders, who moved past the Hurricanes into the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. Greiss got his eighth career shutout one night after Jaroslav Halak had 50 saves in a 3-0 home win against the crosstown-rival Rangers.

Cam Ward finished with 20 saves for the Hurricanes, who lost their second straight and fell into a tie with Columbus one point behind the Islanders for the conference's last playoff spot.

Jeff Skinner had his game-tying goal in the third period waved off after a replay review ruled he was offside when he entered the zone. Carolina failed to get a better scoring chance the rest of the night despite getting nearly twice as many shots as the Islanders (see full recap).

Wheeler, Scheifele help Jets rout Avalanche
WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- Blake Wheeler had two goals and assists and Mark Scheifele assisted on three goals as the Winnipeg Jets defeated the Colorado Avalanche 6-1 on Friday night.

Wheeler ended a 15-game goal drought and Scheifele now has seven points in his last three games.

Kyle Connor, Andrew Copp, Patrik Laine and Nikolaj Ehlers also scored for Winnipeg, which is 5-2-1 during its 10-game homestand. Dustin Byfuglien and Tyler Myers each had two assists and Laine added one.

Connor Hellebuyck made 30 saves to pick up his 30th win of the season. It was the most wins by a Jets goalie since the franchise moved to Winnipeg from Atlanta prior to the 2011-12 season. Ondrej Pavelec had 29 wins the first season.

Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen nixed Hellebuyck's shutout bid when he scored unassisted on a wraparound with 5:56 left in the third period.

Colorado goalie Jonathan Bernier was pulled following the second period after Winnipeg went up 4-0 on 20 shots. Semyon Varlamov stopped six of the eight shots he faced in relief for the Avalanche (see full recap).

Bishop, Stars hold off Blues to make division move
DALLAS -- Ben Bishop stopped 27 shots and the Dallas Stars held on to beat St. Louis 2-1 on Friday night, moving past the Blues into third place in the Central Division.

Mattias Janmark and Stephen Johns scored for Dallas, which had a season-low 16 shots on goal while winning for the sixth time in seven games. The Stars, who had not been this high in the standings since Nov. 5, are tied with the Blues with 72 points, but have two games in hand.

Brayden Schenn spoiled Bishop's shutout bid with a power-play goal with 1:14 remaining, and Jake Allen finished with 14 saves for St. Louis. The Blues have lost three straight (0-2-1).

Neither team scored in the first period, when the Blues outshot Dallas 8-3. St. Louis failed to score on two power plays, and the Stars were unsuccessful on their only man-advantage of the period.

Janmark scored on the power play at 2:42 of the second, getting his 16th of the season to top his total from his rookie season two years ago. It was also his fourth on power-play goal of the season.

Bishop preserved the Stars' lead early in the third as he turned away Schenn's backhand attempt in front of the net (see full recap).

Halak does the heavy lifting with 50 saves

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Halak does the heavy lifting with 50 saves

NEW YORK -- Jaroslav Halak stopped 50 shots for his first shutout of the season as the New York Islanders kept up their recent mastery of the crosstown-rival Rangers with a 3-0 victory Thursday night.

Josh Bailey, Jordan Eberle and Thomas Hickey each scored for the Islanders, who have won all three meetings this season and 10 of the last 11. Rookie sensation Mathew Barzal had three assists to help the Islanders move into a tie with Columbus one point behind Carolina for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference.

Halak, who faced 51 shots in a loss to Columbus on Tuesday night, had 15 saves in the first period, 14 in the second and another 21 in the third for his 42nd career shutout.

Henrik Lundqvist finished with 32 saves for the Rangers, who have lost six of eight overall and dropped to 0-4-1 in five visits to Bazrclays Center since the Islanders moved to the Brooklyn arena in 2015. The Rangers remained four points behind the Hurricanes, who lost at New Jersey (see full recap).

Hischier, Noesen push Devils past Hurricanes
NEWARK, N.J. -- Nico Hischier had a goal and two assists, and Stefan Noesen scored twice to lead the New Jersey Devils to a 5-2 victory over the Carolina Hurrricanes on Thursday night in a game between the two teams currently in wild-card playoff positions in the Eastern Conference.

Kyle Palmieri and Damon Severson also scored for the Devils, who have won two straight after losing four in a row. Keith Kinkaid made 27 saves.

Hischier had the primary assist on Palmieri's go-ahead goal late in the second period and helped blow the game open in the third, combining with Noesen to score goals in a 32-second span.

Jeff Skinner and defenseman Brett Pesce scored for Carolina, which was on the road after going 5-2-1 in a season-high eight-game homestand. Scott Darling had 17 saves for the Hurricanes, who will play New Jersey at home on Sunday (see full recap).

Aston-Reese helps Pens notch 10th straight home win
PITTSBURGH -- Zach Aston-Reese broke a third-period tie with a power-play goal and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Los Angeles Kings 3-1 on Thursday night for their 10th straight home victory.

Two nights after scoring his first two NHL goals, Aston-Reese gave the Penguins the lead at 5:24 of the period. Kris Letang's point shot through traffic clipped Aston-Reese's skate and went between goalie Jonathan Quick's pads.

The Penguins' home streak is the longest since a franchise-record 13-game run during the 2013-14 season. The Penguins haven't lost in Pittsburgh since Jan. 4, a 4-0 setback to Carolina. Pittsburgh has won eight of 10 overall and 13 of 17.

Ryan Reaves scored in the second period, and Evgeni Malkin added an empty-netter. Matt Murray, playing his 100th NHL game, stopped 34 shots. Murray is in sole possession of first place for the most wins in his first 100 games among goalies to debut since 2005-06. He is unbeaten in regulation in his last eight decisions and won his last six at home.

Dion Phaneuf scored a power-play goal in his Kings debut. Phaneuf and forward Nate Thompson were traded from Ottawa to the Kings for Marian Gaborik and Nick Shore during the Senators' 6-3 loss to Pittsburgh on Tuesday night (see full recap).

A pair of sensational efforts for surging Maple Leafs

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A pair of sensational efforts for surging Maple Leafs

TORONTO -- Nazem Kadri had three goals and two assists, Frederik Andersen made a career-high 54 saves and the surging Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-3 on Wednesday night.

Patrick Marleau added a goal and two assists and Mitch Marner had a goal and an assist as Toronto closed out a perfect five-game hometand. It was Kadri's fourth career hat trick, and the five points set a career high.

The Blue Jackets recorded 50 or more shots for the third straight game, making them the first team to accomplish the feat in the post-expansion era (since 1967-68). Nick Foligno had a goal and two assists, and Joonas Korpisalo made 22 saves.

Toronto played much of the game without defenseman Jake Gardiner, who departed with a lower-body injury after one period. It was unclear when the injury occurred, but he took a hard slash to the legs from Matt Calvert.

The Maple Leafs had a 4-2 lead before Jack Johnson beat Andersen with a slap shot from the left circle that went off the post and into the net at 14:35 of the second. It was Johnson's third goal of the season.

Toronto then put it away with two in the third. Kadri got his 21st of the season at 11:21, and Marleau added an empty-netter with 1:47 left (see full recap).

Varlamov stops 43 shots to secure shutout
DENVER -- Semyon Varlamov made 43 saves for his first victory in more than a month and the Colorado Avalanche matched the franchise record of 10 straight home wins, beating he Montreal Canadiens 2-0 on Wednesday night.

Carl Soderberg and Alexander Kerfoot scored to help Colorado match the longest home winning streak in franchise history, set in 1994-95 when the team was the Quebec Nordiques.

Antti Niemi stopped 23 shots for Montreal. The Canadiens are 8-17-1 on the road.

Varlamov's last win came against Toronto on Dec. 29, and he left his next start against Winnipeg with a groin injury. He missed 10 games before returning against the Jets on Feb. 3.

Wednesday was his fourth since coming back and one of his best of the season. He denied the Canadiens on several chances in the third for his second shutout of the season.

With Montreal pressing for the equalizer late in the third, Kerfoot scored at 16:58 to give the Avalanche a two-goal cushion.

Colorado had more than two consecutive minutes of play in Montreal's end early in the second period but didn't score until Soderberg beat Niemi with a wraparound to make it 1-0 at 15:55 (see full recap).