|Flyers slide into first with banged-up Penguins in hot pursuit|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 30 January 2008 02:38|
A sliding Scott Hartnell kicked in a goal with 28.5 seconds left in overtime to give the Flyers a 3-2 home victory over the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 on Tuesday night.
In New Jersey, the Penguins got two goals from Ryan Malone and defeated the Devils 4-2 without injured All-Star Sidney Crosby.
Pittsburgh has 60 points, one behind the Flyers.
In other NHL games it was: Phoenix 4, Columbus 2; Boston 3, Nashville 1; Carolina 3, N.Y. Rangers 1; Ottawa 5, N.Y. Islanders 2; Buffalo 4, Tampa Bay 2; St. Louis 3, Toronto 2; Montreal 4, Washington 0; Dallas 4, Vancouver 3; and San Jose 3, Edmonton 0.
The Flyers have been the best turnaround story of the season after finishing at the bottom of the NHL last season. They've won nine of 11.
However, the Flyers have struggled to win in the extra period. Their only other overtime victory in seven tries this season was back on Oct. 20 against Carolina. That final also was 3-2.
``It's nice to finally win one in overtime,'' said Braydon Coburn, who had a goal.
Simon Gagne also scored and Martin Biron had 29 saves for Philadelphia.
Biron kept the Flyers in it with a pad save on a point-blank shot by Jack Johnson in overtime.
With the clock winding down, Mike Richards dumped the puck toward a streaking Hartnell, who slid toward the net and scored his 17th goal off his skate.
The play was reviewed, but it was determined Hartnell didn't intentionally kick the puck.
``The guy knocked me down, it hit my skate and went in,'' Hartnell said. ``It doesn't matter how pretty they are.''
As for the Penguins, Crosby won't be around for another month or so and Pittsburgh's top goalie Marc-Andre Fleury isn't ready to return yet from a similar high ankle sprain.
Throw in the absences of Colby Armstrong (flu) and Tyler Kennedy (mononucleosis) and a pair of one-goal deficits, and it didn't seem likely the Penguins would have much of a chance to rally against the New Jersey Devils.
Erik Christensen had a goal and assist during Pittsburgh's three-goal second period, and former Devils forward Petr Sykora had two assists.
``It shows we don't give up,'' defenseman Ryan Whitney said. ``I think we've got everyone doubting us in the whole hockey world right now. It's an honor and a privilege for us to play well. It's something we've got to go out and prove that we can do.''
Jordan Staal got Pittsburgh even at 1 early in the second and Christensen and Malone struck less than 2 minutes apart to put the Penguins in front. Ty Conklin made 23 saves to improve to 11-2-2 since joining the team following Fleury's ankle injury in December.
Malone added a power-play goal 5:21 into the third to make it 4-2 for the Penguins, 2-1-1 since Crosby's injury. Pittsburgh passed the Devils into second place in the Atlantic Division.
``It's big. It's a battle for the first spot even though there are a lot of games left,'' Malone said.
Sharks 3, Oilers 0
At Edmonton, Alberta, Evgeni Nabokov earned his sixth shutout with only 13 saves and the San Jose Sharks won their third game in a row.
Joe Pavelski, Mike Grier and Patrick Rissmiller scored for San Jose, which had lost four straight before putting together their recent run and remain in first place in the Pacific Division.
Mathieu Garon made 36 saves for Edmonton.
Stars 4, Canucks 3
At Vancouver, British Columbia, Mike Modano and Stephane Robidas scored three minutes apart early in the second period, and Marty Turco made 29 saves for Dallas.
Trevor Daley and Steve Ott also scored for the Stars, who ended a two-game losing streak to stay tied with San Jose atop the Pacific Division.
Ott's short-handed goal 7:30 into the third period became the game winner when Ryan Kesler scored with 7:30 left for Vancouver and Markus Naslund added another with 1:20 left.
Coyotes 4, Blue Jackets 2
At Columbus, Ohio, Peter Mueller scored twice and Phoenix scored three third-period goals to beat Columbus.
Mathias Tjarnqvist had an acrobatic, one-handed goal and Radim Vrbata added an empty netter for the Coyotes.
Fredrik Modin and Jason Chimera scored for the Blue Jackets, whose franchise-record six-game home winning streak ended.
Senators 5, Islanders 2
At Uniondale, N.Y., Mike Fisher had a goal and assist for Ottawa, which won for just the third time in eight games.
Andrej Meszaros, Chris Phillips, Dean McAmmond and Jason Spezza also scored for the Senators. Martin Gerber turned aside 23 shots.
Sean Bergenheim and Bryan Berard scored for the Islanders. All-Star goalie Rick DiPietro made 21 saves.
Bruins 3, Predators 1
At Boston, Glen Metropolit scored a pair of third-period goals and Tim Thomas stopped 37 shots to lift Boston.
Marco Sturm scored his team-leading 17th goal for the Bruins, who posted their fifth win in seven games.
Alexander Radulov scored for the Predators. Chris Mason made 25 saves for Nashville.
Hurricanes 3, Rangers 1
At Raleigh, N.C., Rod Brind'Amour and Sergei Samsonov scored in the second period, and Trevor Letowski added an insurance goal in the third.
Cam Ward made 34 saves for the Southeast Division-leading Hurricanes, who have won three of four.
Brendan Shanahan scored for the Rangers. Goalie Henrik Lundqvist stopped 24 shots.
Sabres 4, Lightning 2
At Tampa, Fla., Jason Pominville scored a goal and had two assists to help struggling Buffalo win for just the fourth time in 16 games.
Clarke MacArthur, Drew Stafford and Derek Roy also scored for Buffalo and Ryan Miller earned his 20th win with 23 saves.
Vaclav Prospal and Brad Richards scored for Tampa Bay.
Blues 3, Maple Leafs 2
At Toronto, Keith Tkachuk scored on his team's first two shots and St. Louis ended a seven-game winless streak.
David Backes had a goal and an assist for the Blues. Toronto native Manny Legace stopped 23 shots for the Blues,
Matt Stajan and Jason Blake had the goals for the Maple Leafs and linemate Darcy Tucker had two assists.
Canadiens 4, Capitals 0
At Montreal, Cristobal Huet stopped 35 shots in his second shutout of the season and Mark Streit had a goal and an assist to lead Montreal.
Sergei Kostitsyn, Saku Koivu and Alex Kovalev also scored for Montreal, which has won three straight and seven of nine.
Brent Johnson made 36 saves for Washington.