Bruins hunt down Panthers
Jaromir Jagr moved into sole possession of the No 2 spot on the NHL career scoring list Thursday night, getting an assist in the Florida Panthers’ 3-1 loss to the Boston Bruins. Jagr got point No 1,888 to break a tie with Mark Messier. The historic point came with 6:40 left. In a brief ceremony, Jagr was given a golden stick. Only Wayne Gretzky, with 2,857 points, has more than Jagr. Aleksander Barkov was credited with the goal that deflected off the 44-year-old Czech star.
In a video, Gretzky offered congratulations. The game was stopped for a celebration, and Jagr came onto the ice to accept the commemorative golden stick from the Panthers. He waved to the crowd, got congratulatory stick-taps from both teams, and the game - his 1,663rd in the NHL - resumed. Frank Vatrano, Patrice Bergeron and David Backes scored for Boston, and Tuukka Rask made 29 saves. Rask improved to 18-3-1 against Florida, and Boston is 16-2-1 in its last 19 games against the Panthers.
BLUE JACKETS 7, PENGUINS 1
Scott Hartnell had his ninth career hat trick and Columbus scored four times in a head-spinning, thirdperiod flurry to blow out Pittsburgh. Cam Atkinson, William Karlsson, Brandon Saad and Boone Jenner also scored to help the Blue Jackets win their 11th straight game and take over first place in the Metropolitan Division. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 25 shots for Columbus (22-5-4) amid a rollicking playoff atmosphere and a sellout crowd at Nationwide Arena. Sidney Crosby scored his NHL-leading 23rd goal for the Penguins in a fast, testy game. Matthew Murray had 21 saves for Pittsburgh (21-8-5), which failed to earn a point for the first time in 11 games. The loss matched the Penguins’ worst of the season.
KINGS 4, PREDATORS 0
Peter Budaj made 28 saves to lead Los Angeles over Nashville. Nick Shore, Nic Dowd, Jeff Carter and Devin Setoguchi scored for the Kings, who improved to 3-2-1 on a nine-game road swing - their longest of the season. Budaj earned his fourth shutout this season and the 15th of his career. Pekka Rinne made 21 saves for Nashville.
LIGHTNING 5, BLUES 2
Alex Killorn scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period, Jonathan Drouin added two late goals and Tampa Bay rallied from a 2-0 deficit to beat St Louis. Tampa Bay also got goals from Brian Boyle and Michael Bournival. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 21 saves and Victor Hedman had two assists. David Perron and Wade Megan scored 32 seconds apart in the first period for the Blues, and Jake Allen stopped 27 shots before getting hurt. St. Louis had won six straight against Tampa Bay.
WILD 4, CANADIENS 2
Eric Staal’s short-handed goal in the third period broke a tie and sent Minnesota past Montreal for a ninth straight win that tied the team record. Jordan Schroeder and Jared Spurgeon also scored for the Wild (20-8-4), who last won nine in a row March 8-24, 2007. They have a chance to break the record Friday night against the Rangers in New York. Jason Zucker added an empty-net goal with 23 seconds left. Max Pacioretty and Artturi Lehkonen scored for Montreal (21-8-4). The game featured a duel between two of the NHL’s top goalies, with Devan Dubnyk having the edge over Carey Price as the Canadiens outshot the Wild 34-27.
SENATORS 2, DUCKS 1, OT
Mike Hoffman scored a power-play goal at 4:03 of overtime to give Ottawa a victory over Anaheim. Hoffman’s one-timer off a pass from Dion Phaneuf beat John Gibson in the Anaheim net. Andrew Cogliano took a high-sticking minor at 3:23 of the extra period, giving the Senators a 4-on-3 advantage. Ryan Dzingel scored in regulation for the Senators (2011-3), who got 24 saves from Mike Condon. Jakob Silfverberg had the goal for Anaheim (17-12-6). Gibson made 16 saves, but didn’t face a single shot in the second half of the third period. — AP
SUNRISE: Goaltender Tuukka Rask #40 of the Boston Bruins makes a diving save on a shot by Reilly Smith #18 of the Florida Panthers during first period action at the BB&T Center. — AFP