Flyers beat in-state rival Penguins in OT
PITTSBURGH — Sean Couturier beat Matt Murray with 3 seconds remaining in overtime and the Philadelphia Flyers put together an improbable rally to edge the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 on Sunday night.
James van Riemsdyk tied the score with 18 seconds left in regulation when Murray’s glove couldn’t quite reach van Riemsdyk’s wrist shot from the slot. The team traded a flurry of quality chances in the extra period before Couturier danced around Pittsburgh star Sidney Crosby on the rush then sent a shot over Murray’s stick to give Philadelphia’s fading playoff hopes a needed jolt.
Carter Hart finished with 41 saves for his first victory since Feb. 17 as the Flyers put together a comeback that echoed their stunning rally in their stadium series meeting with the Penguins last month. Philadelphia scored twice in the final 3:04 of regulation before winning it in overtime.
Teddy Blueger, starting on the second line in place of injured Evgeni Malkin, scored Pittsburgh’s lone goal as the Penguins managed just one point out of a pair of home games during the weekend.
Murray, who was pulled after allowing four goals on 13 shots in a loss to St. Louis in Saturday, bounced back by stopping 36 shots but couldn’t get a handle on Couturier’s winner.
The Flyers appeared to take the lead 1:06 into the second period when Claude Giroux’s wrist shot from the right circle beat Murray. The on-ice officials, however, immediately waved it off, ruling Jakub Voracek interfered with Murray as he skated by the crease as the shot closed in. The Flyers challenged the call, and it was overturned by league officials in Toronto. Pittsburgh then challenged that ruling, claiming Philadelphia was offsides when it entered the zone. The call was then overturned a second time, leaving the game scoreless.
Goal or no goal, it was one of the few times the Flyers truly tested Murray. The Penguins tilted the ice heavily at times, swarming Hart with extended pressure. Finishing, however, was another matter. If Pittsburgh wasn’t shooting wide — as Nick Bjugstad did on a breakaway in the second period — then the 20-year-old Hart was making an indelible first impression in one of the NHL’s most testy rivalries. He made a gorgeous stop on Patric Hornqvist in the second, extending his left pad to stop a point-blank shot from Hornqvist in the slot.
Hart had no chance, though, on Blueger’s fourth career goal. Marcus Pettersson threw a shot in from the point and Phil Kessel pounced on the rebound. Hart made the save but the puck bounced right to Blueger’s stick. The rookie pounded it into the net to give the Penguins the lead 2:07 into the third.
Yet just as they did in their previous meeting, the Flyers rallied. As the clock ticked down, van Riemsdyk collected a feed from Travis Konecy in the slot and ripped one that gave the Flyers new life.
Avalanche 3, Devils 0
DENVER (AP) — Philipp Grubauer made 22 saves for his third shutout in his last five starts, and the Colorado Avalanche beat the New Jersey Devils 3-0 on Sunday.
Tyson Barrie scored twice as Colorado (31-29-12) stayed in the mix for a second straight playoff appearance. Nathan MacKinnon scored his 37th goal and also had an assist to reach the 90-point mark for the second straight season.
The Avalanche trail Arizona by four points for the second wild card in the Western Conference with 10 games to go. Colorado plays Minnesota and Dallas, two teams ahead in the wild-card standings, on the road in the next three days, and then hosts the Coyotes on March 29.
There are five teams within six points of the two wild-card slots out West.
Grubauer has recorded each of his three shutouts this season since Feb. 23. He has nine in his career.
Sabres 4, Blues 3, SO
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Sam Reinhart scored the deciding goal in the shootout to lead the Buffalo Sabres to a 4-3 win over the St. Louis Blues on Sunday night.
After Jack Eichel and Tyler Bozak traded goals to open the shootout session, Reinhart scored on Buffalo’s final attempt when he got just enough on his wrist shot to get it past Jake Allen, who got a piece of it with his glove.
Ryan O’Reilly then had a chance to extend the shootout against his former team, but his backhand chance hit the crossbar.
Johan Larsson, Evan Rodrigues and Conor Sheary scored in regulation for the Sabres. Carter Hutton made 30 saves.
Pat Maroon, David Perron and Brayden Schenn scored for the Blues, who got 31 saves from Jake Allen.
The game was mostly even and back and forth from beginning to end.
Islanders 3, Wild 2, OT
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Brock Nelson scored 1:04 into overtime and the New York Islanders beat Minnesota 3-2 Sunday to move into a tie atop the Metropolitan Division.
Anders Lee scored for the fourth straight game and Jordan Eberle added a goal for New York, which has won five of seven. Thomas Greiss made 32 saves. The Islanders are tied with Washington with 91 points with 10 games remaining, but currently hold the tiebreaker with a greater scoring differential.
In the extra session, Nelson converted a feed from Mathew Barzal below the goal line to beat Alex Stalock with a wrister from the slot. Nelson, who added an assist, established a new career high of 47 points.
Zach Parise scored for the first time in 11 games for Minnesota, which pulled one point behind Arizona for the second wild card in the Western Conference. Jared Spurgeon also scored and Ryan Donato had two assists for 13 points in 13 games since being acquired from Boston on Feb. 20. Stalock finished with 17 saves.
Canucks 3, Stars 2, SO
DALLAS (AP) — Josh Leivo scored in the fourth round of the shootout to lift the Vancouver Canucks to a 3-2 winover the Dallas Stars on Sunday night.
Leivo’s shot went over Stars goalie Anton Khudobin after Canucks goalie Jacob Markstrom had stopped four Dallas skaters.
Vancouver’s Tim Schaller scored twice in the first 11 minutes for his first goals in nearly a year. It was his first career multi-goal game. Markstrom finished with 44 saves.
Jamie Benn and Taylor Fedun had the goals for Dallas. Khudobin had 25 saves and stopped a penalty shot for the second straight game. The Stars, who hold the first wild card in the Western Conference, remained two points behind third-place St. Louis in the Central Division.
Fedun tied the score with 3:50 left in regulation as he sent a rising slap shot from above the left faceoff in to Markstrom’s left side, and the puck trickled past the goal line.
Both of Schaller’s goals followed battles for the puck in the left corner of the Canucks’ offensive zone. On the first, 52 seconds into the game, Jay Beagle dug out the puck and sent it to Schaller. He skated behind the net toward the right corner, from where he fitted a wrist shot into a gap between Khudobin’s glove and the right goalpost.