St. Louis Blues

Blues finally put a halt to losing skid

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Blues finally put a halt to losing skid

ST. LOUIS -- Carter Hutton made 35 saves, Scottie Upshall and Alex Pietrangelo scored and the St. Louis Blues snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 2-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday night.

The Blues won for the first time since beating Winnipeg 5-2 on Feb. 9. Hutton improved to 6-2-1 in his last nine starts and 16-7-2 overall, allowing only Andreas Athanasiou's goal with 1:45 left.

Upshall scored for the first time since Dec. 30, beating Jimmy Howard off Colton Parayko's rebound at 1:12 of the second period.

Pietrangelo scored on a blast from the faceoff circle with 5:23 left in the third period. Minutes earlier, Hutton robbed Henrik Zetterberg from close range.

The Blues were outscored 29-10 during the seven-game skid, their longest since they dropped seven in a row from Dec. 26, 2009, to Jan. 7, 2010 (see full recap).

Sabres upset NHL-best Lightning in overtime
TAMPA, Fla. -- Jason Pominville scored on a power play at 1:26 of overtime to give the Buffalo Sabres a 2-1 victory over the NHL-leading Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday night.

Pominville beat Andrei Vasilevskiy with a one-timer from the left circle to give the Sabres their second straight victory over the Lightning.

Evan Rodrigues tied it for Buffalo in the third, and Chad Johnson stopped 21 shots.

Cory Conacher scored for Tampa Bay, and Vasilevskiy made 32 saves. With a point in the standings for the overtime loss, the Lightning became the first team to reach 90 points this season.

J.T. Miller, acquired from the New York Rangers on Monday, played 17:40 in his Lightning debut.

With NHL scoring leader Nikita Kucherov out with an undisclosed upper-body injury, the Lightning struggled to generate offensive chances and finished with 17 shots on goal while at even strength (see full recap).

Canadiens win to extend points streak
MONTREAL -- Jonathan Drouin and Nikita Scherbak scored in the second period and the Montreal Canadiens beat the New York Islanders 3-1 on Wednesday night to extend their points streak to five games.

Paul Byron also scored and Antti Niemi made 27 saves to help the Canadiens improve to 2-0-3 in their last five.

Mathew Barzal scored his 18th of the season for the Islanders. They are winless in last four games and 4-8-2 in their last 14.

It was wide open in the first period, with the teams trading chances and each coming up with a goal. The highlight was the Islanders getting three breakaways while killing a penalty, although they failed to score on them.

Barzal took a pass at the Montreal blue line, blew past rookie defenseman Noah Juulsen and beat Niemi with a deke to the backhand at 3:50. Bryan tied it with 8:58 left in the period, beating Jaroslav Halak to the top corner off an assist from Drouin.

Drouin gave the Canadiens the lead on a power play at 8:29 of the second. He moved into the left circle to take a feed from Jeff Petry and put a shot inside the far post. Scherbak scored with 6:23 to go in the period (see full recap).

Brayden Schenn nets 20th goal as Blues cruise

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Brayden Schenn nets 20th goal as Blues cruise

ST. LOUIS -- Carter Hutton made 25 saves for his 10th career shutout and the St. Louis Blues got goals from Vladimir Sobotka and Vladimir Tarasenko in a 3-0 victory over the struggling Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night.

Brayden Schenn, who also had an assist, added an empty-net goal at 17:34 of the third period. It was his 20th goal of the season.

The game was a bounce-back effort for Hutton, pulled after giving up three goals on 12 shots in Saturday's 5-2 loss to Arizona.

Hutton, normally the Blues' backup, started for the fourth consecutive game and eighth in the last 10. He earned his second shutout this season (see full recap).

Lightning top Preds before visiting Flyers
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Down a goal late in the third period in the second game of a back-to-back, the Tampa Bay Lightning looked to captain Steven Stamkos and he got the tying score. Yanni Gourde then came through in overtime.

Gourde scored 1:45 into the extra period to give Tampa Bay a 4-3 victory over the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night.

Chris Kunitz had a goal and two assists, and Vladislav Namestnikov also scored as the Lightning won their second straight. Louis Domingue stopped 30 shots.

"It was all about our compete," Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. "It was about nothing else but our compete. They are a hell of a team over there. They just keep coming at you,” (see full recap).

Dea scores 1st NHL goal, Pens beat Hurricanes
PITTSBURGH -- Not much more than a month ago, Dominik Simon, Jean-Sebastien Dea and Casey DeSmith were playing minor league hockey in Wilkes-Barre for the AHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Fast forward to Tuesday night, when that unlikely trio carried Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions to an important win.

Simon and Dea scored 76 seconds apart in the second period, and DeSmith made 34 saves for the Penguins in a 3-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes.

"They've been huge," Jake Geunztel said of his rookie teammates. "They're playing really well, and they have that excitement to be here. We have all been there -- and to see that, it's cool to be around, for sure,” (see full recap).

Eichel's 4 points lead Sabres to win over Oilers
EDMONTON, Alberta -- Jack Eichel had a goal and three assists, Ryan O'Reilly scored twice and the Buffalo Sabres earned an easy 5-0 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night.

Sam Reinhart had a goal and two assists and Zemgus Girgensons also scored for the last-place Sabres (13-26-9), who won their second game in a row for just the second time this season. The other time was in late October.

Robin Lehner made 33 saves for his second shutout of the season.

Cam Talbot started in net and stopped 18 of 22 shots in 31:32 of work before Al Montoya turned aside 11 of 12 in relief for the Oilers (21-24-3), who had a three-game winning streak snapped (see full recap).

Goulbourne 'shot in the arm' Flyers needed

Goulbourne 'shot in the arm' Flyers needed


An NHL tough guy is born … or should we say bourne?

Flyers rookie winger Tyrell Goulbourne took his opening NHL shift and made it a rather memorable one, leveling one of the league’s top defensemen, Alex Pietrangelo, which set up Scott Laughton and the team's first goal Saturday afternoon.

Surprisingly, it was Goulbourne who had a sense of fear coming in.

“It was amazing,” Goulbourne said. “I can’t really explain how it felt. I was scared before the game. My legs were shaking. It felt really good after that first shift. I just wanted to get a hit in there. Laughts kind of teed him up nice. I just wanted to finish my check. I’ve always been an energy type player.”

“Everybody’s excited for a player to go out and have success on his first shift,” head coach Dave Hakstol said. “It empowers him and for sure it’s a shot in the arm for the entire bench. Obviously, he had a big impact on that first shift to go out and play the way he plays.”

While the Flyers certainly don’t need to resort to overpowering teams physically, Goulbourne’s intensity and toughness are an element embraced when coaches and GMs are looking for a lift at some point throughout an 82-game schedule.

“You see him coming and you kind of want to get out of the way,” goalie Brian Elliott said. “I didn’t know what happened on his first shift, but the boys were saying that it was definitely a good one.”

Before Pietrangelo and the Blues knew what hit them, they were trailing 4-0 just 31 minutes and 45 seconds into the game, as the Flyers cruised to a 6-3 victory (see observations).

A game that also proved to be a not-so-memorable return for Blues center Brayden Schenn, who played for the first time in Philadelphia since the offseason trade.

Schenn was held pointless, finished as a minus-1  and won just five of 17 draws. Not only did the Flyers own Schenn in the faceoff circle, but Claude Giroux welcomed him back with a surprising check that knocked him down at center ice.

“He kind of gave me a shot and I gave him a shot right back," said Giroux, who scored his 14th goal, matching his scoring output from last season. "I think he just fell, but it was pretty funny."

Officially the midway point of the season, Giroux is once again top five in scoring and on pace for a 100-point season.

“You want to be the best player you can be at all times,” Giroux said. “Being able to have that chemistry with Coots makes my job a lot easier. I think when you get older you kind of learn from your mistakes.”

The Flyers scored six goals in back-to-back games for the first time since February 2013 after defeating the Islanders, 6-4, Thursday. Finally, consistency is beginning to set in within the team’s secondary scoring lines.

“I think we got everyone going early in the game and guys are ready,” said center Sean Couturier, who scored his 20th and 21st goals of the season. “Guys come out strong and we established our game, and I think it obviously helps a lot when you get a good start and go from there.”

Slow starts have been a Flyers trademark over the first half of the season. Their 2-0 lead after the opening 20 minutes was the first Flyers first-period lead since Dec. 7 at Vancouver.

Now just cut and paste that first shift from Goulbourne moving forward.