Devils upend Penguins
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) – Patrik Elias scored a breakaway goal and set up another for the New Jersey Devils, who beat the sloppy Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2 on Wednesday night and completed a six-game season sweep of their Atlantic Division rivals.
That vaulted New Jersey into a first-place tie with the Penguins. Both teams have 87 points, but the Devils have played one fewer game. Fans chanted “You can’t beat us!” as the final seconds ticked down.
Elias assisted on Dainius Zubrus’ brilliant goal in the first period that got New Jersey even, and scored in the middle frame on New Jersey’s second breakaway during the same Penguins power play. That gave the Devils a 3-1 lead.
Defenseman Paul Martin returned to the lineup after missing 59 games because of a broken forearm and added a goal for the Devils in the first. Zach Parise’s 33rd made it 4-1 and chased goalie Marc-Andre Fleury to the bench.
Martin Brodeur earned his 596th NHL victory, one year after breaking the league record for wins.
Pittsburgh, which played without star forward Evgeni Malkin (sore foot) is 5-2-1 since the Olympic break. The three losses have come in the past four games.
Chris Kunitz scored for the Penguins.
Flames 3, Avalanche 2
DENVER (AP) – Rene Bourque scored two goals, Vesa Toskala made 32 saves and Calgary kept in the Western Conference playoff race.
Eric Nystrom also scored for the Flames, who are in ninth place with 79 points, one point behind idle Detroit for the final postseason spot with 12 games left.
Chris Durno and Milan Hejduk scored and Craig Anderson had 31 saves for Colorado, which had won three straight. The Avalanche missed an opportunity to pull within a point of idle Vancouver in the Northwest Division and are fifth in the conference with 12 games remaining.
Colorado had won six in a row against Calgary dating back to last season.
Ducks 4, Blackhawks 2
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) – Saku Koivu scored the go-ahead goal with 5:36 left in the third period, Todd Marchant had a short-handed goal and Bobby Ryan notched his 30th and 31st goals to lead Anaheim.
The Central Division-leading Blackhawks began a three-game road trip without three-time All-Star defenseman Brian Campbell, who is out with a fractured collar bone and broken rib after he was checked into the boards from behind by NHL scoring leader and two-time MVP Alex Ovechkin.
Brent Seabrook and Marian Hossa scored for Chicago, and Corey Crawford made 32 saves after getting called up from Rockford of the AHL.