NHL Roundup: Blues keep rolling, Pens stay hot, Kraken take down Panthers, and more

The NHL schedule had five games on tap for Sunday.

Things kicked off with the red-hot Pittsburgh Penguins pulling off another victory. Sidney Crosby’s shootout winner gave the Pens their 16th win in their last 18 games to propel them to just one point behind the Rangers for the Metro Division lead. Pittsburgh’s hot play has them also climbing the power rankings.

Let’s dive into the recaps.

Penguins 3, Jets 2 (SO)

Sidney Crosby notched the only goal in a shootout Sunday as the Pittsburgh Penguins erased a two-goal deficit to win their fifth straight game, 3-2 over the visiting Winnipeg Jets.

After Pittsburgh got goals from Kasperi Kapanen and Jeff Carter nine seconds apart in the third period for a 2-2 tie, Crosby, the Penguins’ second shooter, flipped the puck past the glove of Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck in the shootout.

Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry stopped one of the Jets’ shots in the shootout and other two were misses. He made 27 saves through overtime. Pittsburgh has won 16 of its past 18 games.

Blake Wheeler had a goal and an assist, Kyle Connor also scored, and Mark Scheifele had an assist for Winnipeg, which lost its fourth in a row (0-2-2).

“I think our team has played a lot of consistent hockey,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “I think most recently might be our most volatile team game that we’ve put on the ice. So I think that’s our challenge moving forward, is to put a consistent game on the ice that we think is going to give us a chance to win.”

Senators 2, Blue Jackets 1

Tim Stutzle scored the tie-breaking goal late in the second period and Anton Forsberg stopped 35 shots as Ottawa halted a three-game losing streak by handing host Columbus its second straight loss.

After giving up a 1-0 edge late in the first period, Ottawa regained the lead for good with 3:58 left in the second period. Stutzle broke into the host’s zone, split the Blue Jackets’ defense and showed off some nifty stick-handling to beat Columbus netminder Elvis Merzlikins (31 saves). Defenseman Artem Zub also scored for the Senators.

Sean Kuraly scored for the Blue Jackets with 34 seconds remaining. It was his first goal since Dec. 7, snapping a 14-game scoring drought.

Kraken 5, Panthers 3

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Jan 23, 2022; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Kraken goaltender Philipp Grubauer (31) saves a goal during the third period against the Florida Panthers at Climate Pledge Arena. Seattle defeated Florida 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Mason Appleton had a goal and an assist as Seattle defeated visiting Florida.

“I thought we did a good job of managing the puck tonight,” Appleton said. “That’s a big reason why you end up on the right side of the scoreboard. Especially when you play an explosive team like Florida, you play run-and-gun with them, that’s when you lose a game.”

Marcus Johansson, Yanni Gourde, Colin Blackwell and Calle Jarnkrok also scored for Seattle, and goalie Philipp Grubauer made 28 saves. It was the Kraken’s third victory in their past four games and their second over Florida this season, the first a 4-1 decision on Nov. 27 in Sunrise, Fla.

Anthony Duclair and Aleksander Barkov also scored for Florida, which lost for just the second time in regulation in its past 13 games (10-2-1). Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 24 of 28 shots.

Kings 3, Devils 2

Alex Iafallo, Viktor Arvidsson and Carl Grundstrom scored to lift visiting Los Angeles to a win over New Jersey in Newark, N.J.

Cal Petersen made 23 saves for the Kings, who ended a three-game losing streak in the opener of a six-game East Coast road trip. Jesper Bratt scored two goals, and Jon Gillies made 34 saves for the Devils.

In his return from the health and safety protocol, Carl Grundstrom scored the tiebreaking goal midway through the third period as the Kings overcame a pair of one-goal deficits. Alex Iafallo and Viktor Arvidsson also scored as Los Angeles produced 37 shots on goal, marking the eighth time in nine games it produced at least 35 shots on goal.

“We came in with a little adversity and played exceptionally well,” Los Angeles coach Todd McLellan said after his team produced 31 of its shots on goal in the final two periods. “We got stung early, on something we expected to happen, so we had to fight through it tonight, it gave us a really good game. I thought, as the night went on, we got better and found a way to win a tight one.”

Blues 3, Canucks 1

Ville Husso made 38 saves to lead visiting St. Louis past depleted Vancouver.

Justin Faulk, Brayden Schenn and Jordan Kyrou scored and Vladimir Tarasenko had two assists for the Blues, who have gone 8-2 since returning from the NHL’s extended holiday break.

“I think Husso was amazing tonight,” Blues forward¬†Vladimir Tarasenko¬†said. “When somebody plays well, it always gives teammates positive emotions, but especially when a goalie is making these performances like almost every night.”

Tanner Pearson put the Canucks up 1-0 by scoring just after Vancouver’s 5-on-3 power-play expired. He jammed the puck inside the right post during a goal-mouth scramble before the penalized Blues players could get back into the play.

But after Husso stopped Jason Dickinson on a clean break-in, Faulk tied the game by driving to the net and deflecting Oskar Sundqvist’s shot from the left wall with 1:27 left in the period.

Schenn put the Blues up 2-1 with a power-play goal 3:26 into the second period. He drove to the left post and redirected a pass from Tarasenko from the right circle.

Kyrou pushed the lead to 3-1 with 3:17 left period by scoring from the high slot off a give-and-go play with Tarasenko, who has six goals and nine assists in his last nine games.

The Canucks are 2-4-1 in their last seven games.

–Field Level Media