Hurricanes blow by Penguins, 4-1
Jiri Tlusty had two goals and an assist, and the Carolina Hurricanes beat Pittsburgh 4-1 on Thursday night in ex-Penguin Jordan Staal's first game against his former team.
Eric Staal had a goal and two assists, Alexander Semin added two assists and Jeff Skinner scored a goal in his first game back from a concussion.
The Southeast Division co-leaders erased an early 1-0 deficit by scoring three goals in a span of 6 minutes, 14 seconds and won for just the second time in six games.
Chris Kunitz scored for the Penguins, who entered leading the Atlantic Division but were held without a power-play goal for the first time since Feb. 2.
Cam Ward made 26 saves for Carolina.
Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 25 shots for the Penguins, who have lost the first two games of a three-game road swing.
All the pregame attention was on Jordan Staal's first meeting with his former teammates since the blockbuster trade on draft night that sent him to his brother's team for Brandon Sutter and others.
But while Jordan Staal didn't show up on the score sheet, big brother Eric sure did: The line he centered for Tlusty and Semin produced three goals.
The Hurricanes started their scoring binge in the final minute of the first period, tying it at 1 with 24.1 seconds left when Eric Staal redirected Semin's spinning shot.
Tlusty then made it 2-1 by stuffing in the rebound of Eric Staal's close-range shot 4:03 into the second.
Skinner pushed the lead to 3-1 just 1:46 later when he scored off a pretty backhand pass from Patrick Dwyer.
Tlusty capped Carolina's three-goal second period and made it a three-goal game with 10.1 seconds left.
That had the Hurricanes on their way to yet another victory over a non-Southeast Division team. They are 0-5 against the other four teams in their division -- and 10-3-1 against everybody else.
This one started just as the stat sheet suggested it would -- with the Penguins scoring first.
Sidney Crosby delivered a pretty cross-ice pass to Kunitz, who fired a one-timer past Ward to make it 1-0 with 6:46 left. The Penguins entered outscoring their opponents 23-9 in the first period, while Carolina had been outscored 21-7 in the opening 20 minutes.
And for more than 19 minutes of the period, it looked as though those stats would hold -- until Staal's redirection started the Hurricanes' flurry against Fleury.
Blackhawks 3, Blues 0: Jonathan Toews scored twice, and Ray Emery and Corey Crawford combined on a shutout as Chicago extended their NHL-record season-opening points streak to 20 games.
Andrew Shaw also scored for Chicago, which was coming off a 6-0-1 homestand and improved to 9-0-2 on the road. The Blackhawks, who have won seven in a row overall, have earned 37 out of a possible 40 points this season with a 17-0-3 start.
Chicago, playing its first road game in 18 days, has won four in a row against St. Louis, which has lost three of four.
Crawford was pulled after making six saves in the first period. He missed four games earlier this month with an upper-body injury and returned to the lineup Sunday, making 28 stops in a 1-0 win over Columbus.
Rangers 4, Lightning 1: Carl Hagelin and Derek Stepan scored in a one-sided first period, and suddenly healthy New York snapped a four-game losing streak.
Sabres 4, Panthers 3: Nathan Gerbe scored two goals, Ryan Miller made 38 saves and Buffalo beat struggling Florida in a shootout.
Maple Leafs 5, Islanders 4: Nazem Kadri notched his first career hat trick and Dion Phaneuf scored at 1:11 of overtime to give Toronto the victory New York Islanders.
Bruins 2, Senators 1: Patrice Bergeron scored the winning goal with 1:21 left in overtime after a replay review, lifting surging Boston over Ottawa.
Jets 3, Devils 1: Andrew Ladd scored 8 seconds into the game, tying a franchise record, and finished with two goals and an assist to lead Winnipeg over New Jersey.
Oilers 5, Stars 1: Ales Hemsky scored a goal and two assists, Jeff Petry added a goal and an assist, and Devan Dubnyk made 33 saves for Edmonton.
Wild 4, Coyotes 3: Dany Heatley scored two goals and Minnesota used a rare offensive outburst to hold off Phoenix.
Caps claim Volpatti: The Washington Capitals have claimed bruiser Aaron Volpatti off waivers from the Vancouver Canucks.
The Capitals on Thursday added the 27-year-old left wing, who had one goal and 28 penalty minutes in 16 games with Vancouver this season.
Volpatti has three goals, one assist and 81 penalty minutes in 54 career NHL games.
The Capitals also assigned goaltender Philipp Grubauer and forward Casey Wellman to Hershey of the AHL.
Grubauer made his made his NHL debut Wednesday night in a loss to the Philadelphia Flyers, playing in relief of Braden Holtby because Michal Neuvirth was ill.
Avs match O'Reilly offer: The Colorado Avalanche have matched Calgary's offer sheet to restricted free agent Ryan O'Reilly.
The Flames announced earlier Thursday that they had signed O'Reilly to a multiyear offer sheet. The Avalanche had seven days to match it but took only a few hours to decide.