Detroit Red Wings

Blue Jackets creeping up on Flyers

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Blue Jackets creeping up on Flyers

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Seth Jones scored twice in the second period and Sergei Bobrovsky returned from an illness to make 22 saves as the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 on Friday night.

Matt Calvert also scored for the surging Blue Jackets, who have won four in a row and remain firmly in the Eastern Conference playoff picture with 13 games to go. Columbus swept a back-to-back, surpassed New Jersey to grab the first wild-card spot and moved to within two points of Philadelphia for third place in the Metropolitan Division.

Darren Helm and Andreas Athanasiou scored, and Jared Coreau, in just his second start of the season, had 33 stops for the reeling Red Wings, losers of six straight (see full recap).

Flames keep momentum going against Senators
OTTAWA, Ontario -- Sam Bennett and Matt Stajan scored and David Rittich made 29 saves to lead the Calgary Flames to a 2-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Friday night.

The win was the second straight for the Flames, who ended a four-game losing streak with a victory in Buffalo on Wednesday night.

Jean-Gabriel Pageau spoiled Rittich's bid for his first career shutout by scoring on a penalty shot with 7:05 left in the game.

Mike Condon made 35 saves for the Senators, including a breakaway stop on Johnny Gaudreau with the score still 1-0 in Calgary's favor early in the third period (see full recap).

Stars power way to victory over Ducks
DALLAS -- Devin Shore and Jamie Benn scored power-play goals in the third period and the Dallas Stars beat the Anaheim Ducks 2-1 on Friday night.

With the game tied at 1, Benn tipped John Klingberg's shot from the top of the slot past Anaheim's Ryan Miller for the go-ahead goal with 5:37 remaining.

Ryan Getzlaf scored Anaheim's goal in the first period.

Both teams entered with 80 points, but Dallas increased its lead for the first wild card from the Western Conference to three points over Los Angeles. Anaheim remained one point ahead of the Kings for third place in the Pacific Division.

Miller made 35 saves 16 days after shutting out the Stars with 41 saves in Anaheim. Kari Lehtonen stopped 26 shots for Dallas (see full recap).

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).

Goaltending help is on the way for the Flyers

Goaltending help is on the way for the Flyers

With injuries to Brian Elliott and Michal Neuvirth, the Flyers wasted no time in finding a competent goaltender.

General manager Ron Hextall acquired Petr Mrazek from the Detroit Red Wings late Monday night in exchange for a conditional fourth-round pick in 2018 and a conditional third-round pick in 2019. According to sources, the Flyers were also in discussions with Toronto regarding Calvin Pickard but ultimately settled for Mrazek.

“We’re excited to have obtained Petr Mrazek. Petr is a proven NHL goaltender and given the situation we’re in, we needed a proven goaltender and we got one,” said Hextall. 

Hextall confirmed if the Flyers make the playoffs and Mrazek wins five regular season games, the 2018 fourth-round pick becomes a third rounder. If the Flyers advance to the Eastern Conference Finals and Mrazek wins six playoff games, the third-round pick then becomes a second rounder.

If the Flyers re-sign Mrazek for next season, then the Red Wings would also get the Flyers' third-round selection in 2019.

“Quite frankly when I look at this deal, I think it’s a fair and reasonable deal for both sides,” Hextall said. “If Petr performs, we pay more and Detroit gets more. I like the makeup of this deal. I think it’s a fair deal and I think both teams got what they wanted.”

Hextall had reportedly turned down Mrazek for a third-round pick last week, according to Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press, but that was prior to Neuvirth’s injury Sunday against the Rangers. Hextall also announced that Neuvirth is out “long-term” meaning weeks and not days, and quite possibly the remainder of the regular season.

As a backup to Jimmy Howard, Mrazek has appeared in 18 games this season with an 8-7-3 record, a 2.89 GAA and a .910 save percentage. In January, Mrazek posted back-to-back shutouts against the Blackhawks and the Devils before the Flyers snapped Mrazek’s shutout streak at 145 minutes and five seconds in a 3-2 overtime loss. 

The Red Wings will retain half of Mrazek’s $4 million salary in the deal, leaving the Flyers with a reasonable $2 million cap hit. He’s a restricted free agent at the end of this season.

Since Dec. 4, the Flyers are 21-8-3 and have climbed up the Metropolitan Division standings where they’re currently tied with the New Jersey Devils for third place with 70 points.

“This is a sign that our players have done a really good job,” Hextall said. “They’ve worked extremely hard. We’re in a tough situation. You lose your two goalies when you’re fighting for a playoff spot and our players have worked hard for a long time now. I didn’t feel like it was fair to not have a proven NHL goaltender for this team.” 

Mrazek is expected to join the Flyers for Tuesday's morning skate.