PITTSBURGH (AP) — Brandon Dubinsky had a goal and an assist, Henrik Lundqvist made 37 saves and the surging New York Rangers beat slumping Pittsburgh 3-1 on Friday night.
Brad Richards scored his 15th goal of the season for New York and Derek Stepan took advantage a gaffe by Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury to notch his ninth goal as the Rangers won their fourth straight.
New York improved its position atop the Eastern Conference by riding Lundqvist, who has won six straight starts. He held the Penguins in check with a series of flashy glove saves and dug in when Pittsburgh turned the pressure up late.
Ben Lovejoy scored his first goal of the season for Pittsburgh and Fleury stopped 18 shots but badly misplayed a clearing attempt in the third period, leading to Stepan’s goal.
The victory capped an eventful week for New York, which has surged to the top of the Eastern Conference standings over the past month despite the presence of camera crews that documented the build-up to the annual Winter Classic in Philadelphia on Monday.
DEVILS 5, PANTHERS 2
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Ilya Kovalchuk had two third-period goals to lead New Jersey over Florida.
Kovalchuk broke a 2-2 tie at 11:40, when he made a nice rush up the ice and took a return pass from Patrik Elias, who was playing in his 1,000th game.
Kovalchuk added an empty-net goal in the closing minute, his 14th goal of the season.
The Devils got a first-period goal from rookie Adam Henrique and a second-period goal from Elias.
It was Henrique’s 11th goal of the season and the 14th for Elias. Zach Parise added an empty-net goal.
The Panthers got a first-period goal from Mikael Samuelsson and a second-period goal from Krystofer Barch.
Jacob Markstrom made 25 saves for Florida.
Johan Hedberg had 22 saves for the Devils.
HURRICANES 4, SABRES 2
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Eric Staal had a goal and two assists to lead Carolina past Buffalo.
Chad LaRose scored the go-ahead goal with 11:50 left, Justin Faulk also scored and Brandon Sutter added an empty-net goal for the Hurricanes.
They never trailed in winning for the fourth time in seven games. They have earned points in three of four in their attempt to escape the Eastern Conference cellar.
Jason Pominville was credited with a bizarre goal and added an assist, and Thomas Vanek also scored for Buffalo. The Sabres have lost nine of 12.
Cam Ward made 31 saves for Carolina while Ryan Miller stopped 31 shots for the Sabres.
AVALANCHE 4, BLACKHAWKS 0
CHICAGO (AP) — Semyon Varlamov made 27 saves to earn his second shutout and T.J. Galiardi had a goal and an assist to lead Colorado past Chicago for its fourth straight win.
David Jones, David Van Der Gulik and Chuck Kobasew also scored for the Avalanche, who have won nine of 10. Varlamov made a few sharp saves from in close but wasn’t consistently tested by the Blackhawks in his sixth career shutout.
Chicago lost its third straight to match a season high and has dropped four of five following a 9-1-1 run.
DUCKS 4, ISLANDERS 2
ANAHEIM (AP) — Ryan Getzlaf scored the go-ahead goal late in the third period, Bobby Ryan had two goals and Anaheim beat New York to end a three-game skid.
Jonas Hiller stopped 19 shots to earn his 99th NHL career victory for the Ducks, who avoided their second four-game losing streak of the season.
The Islanders led 2-1 early in the third on a goal by Kyle Okposo only to have the Ducks score the game’s final three goals and end New York’s three-game winning streak in a matchup of two teams next-to-last in their respective divisions.
Evgeni Nabokov made 16 saves for the Islanders, leaving him two wins away from 300