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Penguins 2, Rangers 1 (SO)
Pittsburgh grabbed Jussi Jokinen from Carolina at the trade deadline, hopeful that the smooth skating forward could fill in while superstar Sidney Crosby recovers from a broken jaw.
Jokinen certainly borrowed a page from Crosby's flair for the dramatic in his Penguins debut, scoring in regulation and then adding the only tally in the shootout as Pittsburgh edged New York on Friday night.
"When you come here you always want to make a good first impression," Jokinen said. "I made a huge one."
Jokinen beat Henrik Lundqvist with a wrist shot 32 seconds into the third period, and then one of the NHL's top shootout specialists slipped a wrister over the New York goalie in the first round of the tiebreaker as the Penguins snapped out of a two-game funk that came on the heels of a 15-game winning streak.
"We needed two goals to win, one in regular time and one in the shootout, and he got both of those," Pittsburgh forward Pascal Dupuis said. "It's great for our team, great for his confidence. He probably feels at home right now."
Having Marc-Andre Fleury in top form certainly helped. The Pittsburgh goalie stopped 34 shots and then stoned Rick Nash, Mats Zuccarello and Ryan Callahan in the shootout as the Eastern Conference's top team bounced back from a 6-1 loss to New York on Wednesday.
Fleury allowed every one of the New York goals in Pittsburgh's worst loss of the season. If it bothered him, it didn't show. He was spectacular at times to prevent the Rangers from sweeping the home-and-home series.
"I thought we played really well, really well," Rangers coach John Tortorella said. "Fleury was the difference."
Nash's 14th goal tied it with 4:49 remaining and New York grabbed a crucial point as it vies for a playoff spot. The Rangers moved into seventh place in the tight Eastern Conference playoff race and pushed the Atlantic Division-leading Penguins to the limit in a game that had a postseason feel.
The chippiness bubbled over in the third period. New York defenseman Michael Del Zotto elbowed Pittsburgh forward James Neal in the face, sending Neal sprawling to the ice. He slowly got to his feet but left the game and didn't return.
Pittsburgh enforcer Matt Cooke buzzed the New York bench, exchanging words with several Rangers and then whacking Lundqvist on the shoulder.
"I don't know what he is doing, seriously," Lundqvist said. "It's just ridiculous. It's not the first time, right? It's him being him."
Lundqvist finished with 26 saves in his 500th NHL game but might have tweaked his hamstring in the shootout. He expects to be available today when the Rangers play at Carolina.
Sharks 2, Flames 1
Joe Pavelski scored on a rebound with 2:06 remaining to lead San Jose over Calgary and give the Sharks their seventh straight victory.
Dan Boyle scored the tying goal early in the third period and Antti Niemi made 23 saves for the Sharks, who matched their season-opening, seven-game winning streak. San Jose remained perfect through six games of a seven-game homestand and has moved from ninth place to fourth in the Western Conference during this streak.
Mikael Backlund scored and Miikka Kiprusoff made 39 saves for Calgary, which has lost 12 straight road games.
Sabres 4, Senators 2
Brian Flynn and Jochen Hecht scored third-period goals 12 seconds apart, and Buffalo rallied to beat Ottawa.
Steve Ott and Luke Adam also scored for Buffalo, and Ryan Miller stopped 35 shots. Defensemen Adam Pardy and Mike Weber each had two assists for the rebuilding Sabres.
Buffalo (15-17-6), now 12th in the Eastern Conference, was coming off a 4-1 victory at Pittsburgh on Tuesday that snapped the Penguins' 15-game winning streak.
Marc Methot and Eric Gryba scored for the Senators, who have lost three straight in regulation for the first time this season. Mika Zibanejad had two assists for Ottawa (19-12-6).
Blues 3, Blue Jackets 1
Jake Allen made 26 saves, and David Backes scored for the second straight game to lead suddenly surging St. Louis over Columbus.
The Blues have won three in a row after a three-game skid.
St. Louis has won all three meetings with Columbus this season and 10 of 11 overall. The Blue Jackets failed to earn a point for only the third time in 19 games.
Backes, who broke a 15-game goal-scoring drought in Chicago on Thursday, has nearly doubled his goal total in two days. He has five goals this season.
Chris Stewart scored his team-leading 16th goal for St. Louis, and Patrik Berglund added an empty-netter with less than a second remaining. The Blues are 15-2-1 when Stewart has at least a point.
Allen (9-3-1) gave up just a late second-period goal to Artem Anisimov. Marian Gaborik had an assist, giving him three points in his first two games with Columbus after being acquired from the New York Rangers on Wednesday.
Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 16 shots for the Blue Jackets.
Red Wings 3, Avalanche 2 (OT)
Pavel Datsyuk knocked in a rebound at 4:45 of overtime, and Detroit beat Colorado to hold onto seventh place in the Western Conference.
Datsyuk, who had two goals, ended the game after Henrik Zetterberg put a shot on net that goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere didn't cover. Datsyuk reached out to poke in the puck as defenseman Matt Hunwick was draped all over him.
Jimmy Howard had 32 saves, and Gustav Nyquist had a goal for the Red Wings, who are locked in a tight fight for a playoff spot. Detroit had lost three of four.
P.A. Parenteau and Mark Olver scored for Colorado, which gave Detroit all it could handle before losing for the 11th time in 13 games.
Stars 3, Ducks 1
Alex Chiasson scored his first NHL goal, Lane MacDermid netted his second in two games since being promoted from the minors, and Eric Nystrom had a short-handed goal for Dallas in a victory over Anaheim.
Kari Lehtonen made 27 saves to help end Dallas' three-game skid. The Stars, whose four-year playoff drought is the longest in franchise history, are five points behind eighth-place St. Louis in the Western Conference.
Andrew Cogliano scored for Anaheim, and Viktor Fasth stopped 22 shots in his third straight start. It was the third consecutive game between the teams in five days, following 4-0 and 5-2 wins by the Pacific Division-leading Ducks (25-8-5).
Nystrom and Chiasson scored less than 5 1-2 minutes apart to give Dallas a 3-1 lead with 48 seconds left in the first period.