NHL roundup: Penguins win 10 straight, Kucherov leads Bolts, Knights rip Rangers, and more

The NHL docket was loaded with 10 games of high-paced action.

In Philadelphia, the Penguins brought their winning streak to 10 games. Meanwhile the Vegas Golden Knights spoiled the returns of their former coach Gerard Gallant and teammate Ryan Reaves. Also, after months of not playing hockey, Nikita Kucherov helped the Bolts win with two helpers.

Let’s recap.

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Penguins 6, Flyers 2

Sidney Crosby had two assists and his line mates Bryan Rust had two goals and one assist with Jake Guentzel scoring twice. The red-hot Pittsburgh defeated host Philadelphia and extended their winning streak.

“When they play the game the right way they have such good offensive instincts and they have good chemistry,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said of that line. “They’ve played together a fair amount, they know one another’s tendencies and they’re competitive guys… The rest of the group follows their lead.”

Evan Rodrigues added one goal and one assist and Brian Boyle also scored for the Penguins, who have won 10 in a row. Rust has scored eight goals in his last four games.

Cam Atkinson and Oskar Lindblom scored for the Flyers, who dropped their fourth straight. Flyers goaltender Carter Hart stopped 26 shots.

Stars 6, Panthers 5 (SO)

Joe Pavelski and Jason Robertson scored in the shootout as the host Dallas Stars defeated the Florida Panthers 6-5 on Thursday night.

Braden Holtby made 37 saves through overtime and stopped one shot in the shootout to earn the win. Dallas’ goals in regulation were scored by Michael Raffl, Denis Gurianov, Robertson, Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn as the Stars erased three Panthers leads. Gurianov added two assists.

Florida’s Jonathan Huberdeau scored with 29 seconds left in regulation to send the game to overtime. Aleksander Barkov had two goals and one assist and Aaron Ekblad two assists for the Panthers, who had their four-game win streak snapped. They also got goals from Patric Hornqvist and MacKenzie Weegar.

Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky made 31 saves through overtime but none in the shootout.

Predators 4, Kings 2

Filip Forsberg notched a goal and an assist and Juuse Saros made a season-high 46 saves as surging Nashville won its third, defeating host Los Angeles.

Matt Duchene, ex-King Matt Luff and Yakov Trenin also scored while Roman Josi recorded two assists for the Central-leading Predators, who are 10-1-1 in their last 12 games. Forsberg has scored four times over the last three games.

Dustin Brown and Martin Frk had goals and Jonathan Quick made 16 saves for the Kings, who were back in action for the first time since New Year’s Day. Los Angeles entered this contest on a 6-2-1 overall stretch and had won four of five at home.

Avalanche 7, Jets 1

Gabriel Landeskog got his first hat trick in three seasons and added an assist, Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and four assists and Colorado beat Winnipeg in Denver.

Mikko Rantanen had a goal and two assists, Nazem Kadri and Bowen Byram also scored, and Darcy Kuemper stopped 34 shots for the Avalanche, who have won three straight overall and 10 in a row at home.

Mark Scheifele had a goal and Connor Hellebuyck had 35 saves for the Jets, who had their three-game winning streak snapped and fell to 3-2 under interim coach Dave Lowry.

Golden Knights 5, Rangers 1

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Jan 6, 2022; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Vegas Golden Knights right wing Mark Stone (61) celebrates after scoring a second period goal against the New York Rangers at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Mark Stone and Mattias Janmark scored in a span of 4:55 in the second period as Vegas cruised past New York in Las Vegas and spoiled the return of former coach Gerard Gallant, who led the Golden Knights to the 2018 Stanley Cup Final.

Jonathan Marchessault scored twice, and former Ranger Brett Howden also tallied as Vegas beat the Rangers for the sixth time in eight all-time meetings. Robin Lehner made 18 saves after missing five games with a lower-body injury and won his sixth straight decision.

“‘Turk’ has been great for my career, starting with my time in Florida. It was obviously really nice to see him,” Marchessault said. “He’s always a treat to be around and I was lucky enough to be coached by that guy for a couple of years. It’s unbelievable to have a quality guy coach you like that.” 

Chris Kreider scored his 21st goal in the opening minute of the second for the Rangers, who were unable to win a fourth straight game. Goalie Igor Shesterkin was placed in COVID-19 protocol before the game. Alexandar Georgiev replaced Shesterkin and allowed five goals on 35 shots.

Coyotes 6, Blackhawks 4

Johan Larsson recorded a hat trick and Travis Boyd netted one goal and two assists to lead Arizona past Chicago in Glendale, Ariz.

Clayton Keller and Dysin Mayo also scored, while Shayne Gostisbehere and Phil Kessel recorded two assists for the Coyotes. Goaltender Karel Vejmelka made 32 saves.

Jonathan Toews replied for Chicago with one goal and one assist, while Kirby Dach, MacKenzie Entwistle and Alex DeBrincat also scored. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 20 shots.

Wild 3, Bruins 2

Matt Boldy highlighted his NHL debut in his hometown arena with his first career goal to help Minnesota snap a five-game losing streak by edging host Boston.

Boldy, a 20-year-old from nearby Millis, Mass., who starred at Boston College, was recalled from AHL’s Iowa to the team’s taxi squad on Monday. The left wing was drafted with the No. 12 overall pick by the Wild in the 2019 entry draft.

Kirill Kaprizov and Nico Sturm each had a goal, and Kaapo Kahkonen made 36 saves for the Wild. Brad Marchand scored his team-leading 12th goal and Taylor Hall also lit the lamp for the Bruins, and Jeremy Swayman stopped 27 of 30 shots.

Sharks 3, Sabres 2

Adin Hill made 37 saves and visiting San Jose defeated Buffalo.

Tomas Hertl scored his 17th goal of the season and added an assist for the Sharks, who had allowed 14 goals in losing the first two games of a four-game road trip.

Hill was making his first start since Dec. 16 and picked up his first win since Dec. 7. Jeff Skinner and Zemgus Girgensons scored for the Sabres, who have lost five straight (0-3-2). Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 18 saves for Buffalo, which was playing its first game since Jan 1.

Lightning 4, Flames 1

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Jan 6, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov (86) warms up prior to a game against the Calgary Flames at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Nikita Kucherov returned to the Tampa Bay lineup after a 32-game absence and produced two assists in a victory over visiting Calgary.

“It was nice to be back, that’s for sure,” Kucherov said via NHL.com. “It’s never easy [coming back from injury], it’s getting tougher and tougher.”

In the third period with Tampa Bay up 1-0, linemate Brayden Point took a nifty cross-ice pass from Kucherov and easily scored past goalie Dan Vladar at 2:52. Kucherov helped make it 3-0 when his hard work behind Vladar ended with the three-time All-Star spinning and sending a pass to Ondrej Palat, who scored his 13th goal nearly eight minutes later from the low slot.

Dillon Dube scored for the Flames.

Devils 3, Blue Jackets 1

Jesper Bratt scored a power-play goal early in the third period and Mackenzie Blackwood made 31 saves to lift New Jersey to a victory over Columbus in Newark, N.J.

Bratt also had an assist on Tomas Tatar’s second goal in as many games for the Devils, who have won four of their last five outings. The victory allowed New Jersey to avenge a 4-3 shootout loss to Columbus on Oct. 31.

Devils head coach Lindy Ruff returned to the bench after missing three games in COVID-19 protocol. Max Domi scored and Joonas Korpisalo turned aside 25 shots for the Blue Jackets, who have dropped 11 of their last 14 games (3-10-1).

–Field Level Media