Flyers

The see-saw Metro tilts to Penguins with Capitals idle

usa-penguins-stars.jpg
USA Today Images

The see-saw Metro tilts to Penguins with Capitals idle

PITTSBURGH -- Jamie Oleksiak scored a goal against his former team to help the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Dallas Stars 3-1 on Sunday night.

Oleksiak scored his fifth of the season, while Evgeni Malkin got his 39th and added an assist. Patric Hornqvist scored a power-play goal, his 20th, to help the Penguins win for the fourth in five games.

Malkin, now with 919 points, moved past Pavel Datsyuk for fifth on the NHL's all-time points list among Russian-born players. He also equaled a season-high six-game points streak.

Pittsburgh, which rebounded from a 5-2 loss at Toronto one night earlier, jumped past Washington for first place in a tight Metropolitan Division. The Penguins, who lost six of their previous seven against Dallas, have won 14 of their last 15 overall at home (see full recap).

Gibson makes 50 saves, Islanders beat Flames to end skid
CALGARY, Alberta -- Rookie goalie Christopher Gibson made 50 saves as the New York Islanders beat the Calgary Flames 5-2 on Sunday to snap an eight-game losing streak.

Anders Lee scored twice, while Johnny Boychuk had a goal and two assists for New York, which was 0-4-4 since winning at Carolina on Feb. 16. Nick Leddy and Jordan Eberle also scored for the Islanders, and Casey Cizikas and John Tavares had two assists each.

Gibson improved his record this season to 1-0-2 and got his second NHL win. He was 1-1-1 for the Islanders in the 2015-16 season.

Johnny Gaudreau had a goal and an assist for the Flames, who kicked off a three-game homestand after going 2-0-1 on the road last week. Mark Giordano also scored, while goalie Mike Smith made 22 saves in his return after missing 13 games with a lower-body injury (see full recap).

Kane's late PP goal lifts Blackhawks past Bruins
CHICAGO -- Patrick Kane scored a tie-breaking power-play goal with 3:16 left in the third period and had an assist, and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Boston Bruins 3-1 on Sunday afternoon.

Kane scored on a screened shot from just inside the left point to put Chicago ahead 2-1 with Boston's Zdeno Chara off for high-sticking Brandon Saad, getting a double-minor for drawing blood. Brent Seabrook added a goal from the right circle on a screened shot with 1:05 remaining as the Blackhawks ended Boston's six-game winning streak and their own two-game slide.

Chicago's Artem Anisimov scored his 20th goal, reaching that mark for the third straight season since the Blackhawks acquired him from Columbus. Anton Forsberg made 31 saves, and Jonathan Toews had three assists.

Chara scored his seventh goal, tying the game 1-1 midway through the third period. Boston back-up Anton Khudobin stopped 36 shots (see full recap).

2020 NHL All-Star Game: Flyers' Travis Konecny shows off his career-high stuff for Metropolitan Division

2020 NHL All-Star Game: Flyers' Travis Konecny shows off his career-high stuff for Metropolitan Division

BOX SCORE

Travis Konecny stormed into the NHL All-Star break already with a new career high in assists. The Flyers' winger has 26 helpers and is projected to finish with 44, a sign of significant growth in a breakout 2019-20 season for the 22-year-old.

On Saturday night in the 2020 All-Star Game at Enterprise Center in St. Louis, Konecny put his facilitating on display during the 3-on-3 action featuring the world's best players. He finished with three assists in the Metropolitan Division's 9-5 semifinal loss to the Atlantic Division.

"I had a lot of fun," Konecny said Saturday, via Flyers senior director of public relations and communications Zack Hill. "It was pretty funny, I was watching my parents in the stands and my mom didn't understand why we weren't playing like a real game.

"It's my first game and it's her first time seeing it. I don't know if she was expecting me to be blocking shots and forechecking, stuff like that. I had a lot of fun with it.

"It was a really cool experience, getting to play with some players, too, that I usually won't get the chance to play with was fun."

Konecny playing in his first All-Star Game at 22 years old should be exciting for the Flyers. Claude Giroux was 23 years old for his first All-Star Game back in 2011. The future looks bright for Konecny, who signed a new six-year, $33 million contract back in mid-September.

With 17 goals and 43 points through 47 games, Konecny is eight goals and seven points away from setting career highs across the board.

A breakout, indeed.

Here are more sights and scenes from Konecny's first All-Star Game:

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Flyers

Why Flyers fans should be hopeful about post-NHL All-Star break playoff chances

Why Flyers fans should be hopeful about post-NHL All-Star break playoff chances

Today, we break down why Flyers fans should be hopeful for the post-All-Star break stretch. On Sunday, we’ll look at the reasons for concern.

Through 50 games, the Flyers have done two important things. They’ve played well within the division and have dominated at home. 

Those two trends bode well for after the All-Star break because divisional games become much bigger and confidence at home is paramount as the pressure builds.

The Flyers are 17-4-4 at home and 9-2-3 against Metropolitan foes. The marks are notable given the Flyers fell sorely short in those areas last season, when they finished 19-18-4 at home and 10-16-2 in divisional play.

Another positive is the Flyers are getting healthier after the break. Shayne Gostisbehere (knee) could be back Friday in the Flyers’ first game out of the bye week, while Carter Hart (abdominal strain) is expected to return not long after.

But what might be the Flyers’ most convincing piece of evidence for optimism is how they’ve performed against the NHL’s best teams. The Flyers have shown they can play with any club, which is huge for their own belief moving forward.

The Flyers are 11th in the NHL standings at 27-17-6. They've gone 9-5-3 against the top-10 teams and 5-1-1 vs. the top four.

Head coach Alain Vigneault has a history of taking teams to the playoffs, and doing so in Year 1 on the job. At his previous three stops (Canadiens, Canucks, Rangers), each of his first seasons produced playoff bids and at least one series victory.

Vigneault’s track record will be tested over the Flyers’ final 32 games.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Flyers