The Mercury News Weekend
Penguins win, keep pace in playoff race
Tristan Jarry stopped 27 shots and the Pittsburgh Penguins kept pace in the race for one of the two wild-card spots in the Eastern Conference with a 4-1 win over the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night.
The Penguins bounced back from a miserable performance in a loss to New Jersey on Tuesday by putting together three complete periods at home, a rarity for most of the last three months.
Kris Letang beat Fleury, a good friend who won three Stanley Cups in Pittsburgh before leaving in the 2017 expansion draft, over the glove in the first period for his 11th goal of the season. Rickard Rakell, Jason Zucker and Jeff Carter also scored for the Penguins, who are trying to extend their playoff streak to 17 straight years.
PANTHERS 7, SENATORS 2 >> Alex Lyon set a franchise record for saves in a regulation game and Aleksander Barkov scored twice as Florida beat Ottawa for its fifth consecutive victory.
Florida remains tied with the New York Islanders for the top wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference but holds the tiebreaker with more wins.
ISLANDERS 4, LIGHTNING 1 >> Adam Pelech, Brock Nelson, Kyle Palmieri and Ryan Pulock all scored second-period goals, Ilya Sorokin made 29 saves and New York kept pace in the Eastern Conference wildcard race with a win over visiting Tampa Bay.
Simon Holmstrom and Bo Horvat also scored for the Islanders, who had lost their previous two games and three of their last five before emerging with two key points in a battle with Florida and Pittsburgh for the two wild-card spots.
PREDATORS 3, HURRICANES 0 >> Mark Jankowski had an assist in the first period and the young Predators beat visiting Carolina to keep their improbable playoff hopes alive with four games left.
BRUINS 2, MAPLE LEAFS 1 >> David Pastrnak scored his 57th goal of the season at 2:30 of overtime to give the history-chasing Bruins a victory over visiting Toronto.
Pastrnak blasted a shot from inside the left circle as Boston notched its 61st victory — one off the NHL season record set by Detroit in 1995-96 and matched by Tampa Bay in 2018-19.
Jeremy Swayman made 31 saves for Boston, winners of four straight, and Charlie Coyle also scored.
DEVILS 8, BLUE JACKETS 1 >> Jack Hughes scored two goals and set up two by Timo Meier as New Jersey had its biggest offensive output in more than four years with an easy victory over visiting Columbus.
Tomas Tatar, Erik Haula, Damon Severson and Ryan Graves also scored as the Devils earned their 50th win of the season, one off tying the franchise record set in 2008-09. Vitek Vanecek made 16 saves in his 32nd win and the Devils' third in three meetings with Columbus this season.
The Devils' franchise record is nine goals in a game.
CANADIENS 6, CAPITALS 2 >>
Joel Armia had his second career hat trick and Montreal beat visiting Washington to snap a four-game skid.
Nick Suzuki, Brendan Gallagher and Mike Hoffman also scored for Montreal, Mike Matheson had two assists and Sam Montembeault made 24 saves.
Dylan Strome and Nicklas Backstom scored for Washington and Darcy Kuemper made 25 saves. Washington has lost three straight.
SABRES 7, RED WINGS 6
Tage Thompson scored his 45th goal of the season, Dylan Cozens had two goals and Buffalo outlasted Detroit in a shootout.
Henri Jokiharju, Zemgus Girgensons and Jordan Greenway also scored for the Sabres, and Devon Levi made 26 saves. Alex Tuch and Jack Quinn scored in the shootout.