Penguins handle Lightning
Wild coach Boudreau has winning return to Anaheim
PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Penguins were rested after a week off since their last game, while the Tampa Bay Lightning were playing for the third time in four days. It showed. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 28 shots in his fifth straight win, leading the Penguins to a 6-2 victory over the Lightning on Sunday.
Fleury, who has not lost in regulation since allowing six goals to the Minnesota on Nov. 25, is 7-0-1 in his last eight decisions.
Connor Sheary had a goal and an assist, and Eric Fehr, Chris Kunitz, Scott Wilson, Phil Kessel and Kris Letang also scored for the Penguins. Sidney Crosby and Matt Cullen each two assists to help Pittsburgh win its fifth straight.
Pittsburgh, which hadn’t played since defeating the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 in overtime on Dec. 31, continues to surge at home, where it improved to 18-2-2. The Penguins haven’t lost in regulation at home since a 5-2 defeat to the New York Rangers on Nov. 21.
“I think our team enjoys playing in front of our fans,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “I know they give us a boost, but it’s not like we draw up a game plan for home and a game plan for away. We’re trying to play the same game.”
Jonathan Drouin and Vladislav Namestnikov scored for the Lightning, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 31 saves in his third start in four days. Tampa Bay lost its fourth straight.
Tampa Bay has allowed 22 goals on its four-game losing streak. The Lightning surrendered six goals Sunday for the third time on the streak, but Drouin felt their effort improved over their 4-2 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.
“I thought we started well,” Drouin said. “We’re moving, skating, taking shots. They did the same thing. That’s a good team. Definitely, the result sucks, but we played pretty well in the first.”
In Anaheim, Calif., Matt Dumba and Jared Spurgeon scored early in the second period, and Minnesota beat the Ducks in coach Bruce Boudreau’s triumphant return to Anaheim.
Boudreau was fired by the Ducks after their first-round playoff exit last spring despite leading Anaheim to the past four consecutive Pacific Division titles and Game 7 of the 2015 Western Conference finals. The veteran coach has turned his new team into an early-season Stanley Cup contender with 14 wins in its last 16 games.
The Wild eagerly hired Boudreau, who has won eight division titles in his nine seasons behind an NHL bench.
BLACKHAWKS 5, PREDATORS 2: In Chicago, Ryan Hartman scored off a goalmouth scramble in the third period and tacked on two empty-netters, helping the Blackhawks beat banged-up Nashville.
SENATORS 5, OILERS 3: In Ottawa, Ontario, Mark Stone had a goal and two assists, Mike Condon stopped 35 shots and the Senators beat Edmonton.
HURRICANES 4, BRUINS 3 (OT): In Raleigh, N.C., Sebastian Aho’s second goal of the game, 1:34 into overtime, lifted Carolina over Boston.
Derek Ryan and Jay McClement also scored for the Hurricanes, and Camm Ward finished with 32 saves. Carolina won two of the three meetings between the teams, with all three going beyond regulation.
Tim Schallar, David Backes and Brad Marchand scored for Boston, and Zane McIntyre stopped 26 shots in his first career appearance against Carolina. BLUE JACKETS 2, FLYERS 1 (OT): In Columbus, Ohio, Nick Foligno scored 2:33 into overtime to lift the Blue Jackets to a victory over Philadelphia.
The Flyers’ Brayden Schenn had tied it with 17 seconds left to send the game into the extra period.
Pittsburgh’s Conor Sheary (43) puts the puck in the net behind Tampa Bay goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) during Sunday’s game. The Penguins won 6-2.