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NHL Rink Wrap: Crosby reaches 1,400 milestone to lead Penguins; Hat trick for Staal

NHL Scores

RALEIGH, NC - APRIL 10: Jordan Staal #11 of the Carolina Hurricanes scores a hat trick on an empty net and skates back to the bench during an NHL game against the Anaheim Ducks on April 10, 2022 at PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images)

NHLI via Getty Images

Top player in the NHL on Sunday

Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins

The Pittsburgh Penguins have been struggling lately and entered Sunday’s game against the Nashville Predators on a four-game losing streak. Sidney Crosby helped them snap the losing streak with a 3-2 overtime that saw him record three points, including a pair of goals. His second goal was the overtime winner and helped him reach the 1,400 point mark for his career. He has not really slowed down at all this season and is still one of the league’s best all-around players and most dominant offensive forces. He opened the scoring on Sunday early in the first period, assisted on Jason Zucker’s game-tying goal midway through the third period, and then won the game in overtime on a redirection from a tough angle along the goal line.

Highlights from around the NHL on Sunday

Jason Robertson is becoming a superstar for the Dallas Stars and he gets creative here on Sunday for one of his two goals in the Stars’ 6-4 win.

Jordan Staal records the third hat trick of his career in the Carolina Hurricanes’ 5-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks. It is the third hat trick of his career and his first since 2012 when he was still a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Corey Perry and Ondrej Palat score two goals just 17 seconds apart as part of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 5-0 win over the Buffalo Sabres.

Three takeaways from the NHL on Sunday

Big win for Stars

The Dallas Stars entered Sunday’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks having lost three of their previous four games, including two in a row. They snapped that little skid with a 6-4 win that was highlighted by a pair of goals from Robertson and Tyler Seguin’s 22nd goal of the season. That gives Dallas a two-point lead over the Vegas Golden Knights for the second Wild Card spot in the Western Conference while still having a game in hand.

Impressive run for Capitals

Just when it looked like the Washington Capitals were starting to fade a little bit, they have started to piece together some wins and are now in the middle of a three-game winning streak against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Boston Bruins. Their 4-2 win on Sunday after the Bruins completed a great weekend that saw them earn four out of a possible four points on their back-to-back. Alex Ovechkin added two more goals during those two games to give him the 12th 45-goal season of his career, bringing him two goals closer to another 50-goal season, and give him 775 goals for his career to help him keep gaining ground on Gordie Howe and Wayne Gretzky.

Wild storm back against Kings

After allowing three goals in the first 10 minutes against the Los Angeles Kings, the Minnesota Wild were able to storm back with six consecutive goals to get a 6-3 win. The Kings have now lost three games in a row and five of their past seven games and are now clinging to a playoff spot in the Pacific Division. Their playoff spot seemed secure just a couple of weeks ago and they are now just two points ahead of the Golden Knights. The Wild, meanwhile, snapped a two-game losing streak with their win on Sunday to keep pace in the Central Division where they are competing with the St. Louis Blues for home-ice advantage in the First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Monday’s big story

There is only one game on Monday’s NHL schedule and it features the Winnipeg Jets trying to cling to their playoff hopes against the Montreal Canadiens. The other big story to watch is if Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin will face any supplemental discipline for his slash and cross-check against Nashville Predators defenseman Mark Borowiecki on Sunday. The incident happened at the end of the second period and resulted in the Nashville defender leaving the game with a bloody mouth and not returning. He was given a two-minute minor for slashing while Malkin was assessed a double-minor for high-sticking.

Sunday’s NHL Scores

Washington Capitals 4, Boston Bruins 2
Pittsburgh Penguins 3, Nashville Predators 2 (OT)
Minnesota Wild 6, Los Angeles Kings 3
Tampa Bay Lightning 5, Buffalo Sabres 0
Carolina Hurricanes 5, Anaheim Ducks 2
Dallas Stars 6, Chicago Blackhawks 4
Winnipeg Jets 4, Ottawa Senators 3