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Penguins spoil Fleurys homecoming with 5-4 win over Vegas

Penguins spoil Fleurys homecoming with 5-4 win over Vegas
penguins-spoil-fleurys-homecoming-with-5-4-win-over-vegas

Third-period goals by Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel ruined former teammate Marc-Andre Fleury's homecoming as the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 5-4 on Tuesday night.

 who stopped 33 shots,Fleury, who won three Stanley Cups with the Penguins — including the last two seasons — returned to Pittsburgh for the first time since Vegas selected him in the expansion draft last summer. Fleury, beat his former teammates in December in Las Vegas.

Malkin gave the Penguins a 4-2 lead with his 30th of the season at 3:09 of the third period. Malkin, who scored in his fifth straight game, became the fifth player in team history to score 30 goals six times.

Kessel extended the lead to 5-2 a little more than three minutes later on a one-touch, backdoor feed from Malkin.

Jake Guentzel, Ryan Reaves and Ian Cole also scored for Pittsburgh, which won for the fifth time in six games.

Matt Murray, Fleury's former understudy in Pittsburgh, made 21 saves to top his mentor.

 got his 23rd. Ryan Carpenter and Jonathan Marchessault scored in the third period for Vegas,William Karlsson scored his 28th of the season for the Golden Knights. James Neal, who spent four seasons in Pittsburgh, which nearly rallied from a three-goal deficit.

Boston is 17-1-4 in its last 22 games and only three points behind NHL-leading Tampa Bay in the Atlantic Division. The Red Wings never mounted much sustained pressure on goalie Tuukka Rask, who improved to 19-0-2 in his last 21 games.

Martin Frk scored a power-play goal in the second for Detroit, but the Bruins quickly wiped out that lead later in the period. Danton Heinen scored with 11:39 remaining in the third to put Boston up by two.

Adam Henrique scored 1:36 into overtime and Anaheim snapped a three-game skid with a win over Buffalo.

The Ducks rebounded in the extra period after allowing the Sabres to tie the game on Ryan O'Reilly's goal with 15 seconds remaining in regulation.

Corey Perry, Rickard Rakell and Ondrej Kase also scored for the Ducks, who ended an 0-2-1 slide. Ryan Miller stopped 30 shots in facing his former team for the fourth time since the Sabres traded him to St. Louis during the 2013-14 season.

Jack Eichel and Zemgus Girgensons scored for the Sabres, who squandered two one-goal leads. They are 0-3-1 in their past four games and 4-9-2 since Jan. 1. Robin Lehner stopped 29 shots.

Nicklas Backstrom scored the winning goal with 43 seconds left, Braden Holtby made 37 saves and Washington beat Columbus.

Brandon Dubinsky tied the score for the Blue Jackets late in the third period and the game appeared headed to overtime before Backstrom jumped on a pass from T.J. Oshie and beat Sergei Bobrovsky for his 200th career goal.

The Pittsburgh Penguins spent the first three months of the regular season looking tired, lethargic, blah.

Then the calendar flipped to January and the urgency the Penguins lacked for long stretches as they slogged through their opening 40 games returned. So did the goals. Now they're coming bunches and so are the wins. And suddenly a legitimate shot at a three-peat doesn't seem quite so far-fetched after all.

Phil Kessel scored twice and picked up an assist, Evgeni Malkin had two goals and two assists, and the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions pulled away late for a 7-4 victory over the Washington Capitals on Friday night.

"Now we feel so much better, we enjoy playing," Malkin said. "We know we can score so many goals."

Bryan Rust, Carl Hagelin and Patric Hornqvist also scored as the Penguins won their fourth straight to draw within four points of first-place Washington in the crowded Metropolitan Division. Sidney Crosby had two assists to push his scoring streak to 11 games,[url=http://www.penguinsofficialhockey.com/adidas-matt-murray-jersey]Authentic Sidney Crosby jersey[/url], the longest active streak in the NHL.

Matt Murray stopped 29 shots for Pittsburgh, [url=http://www.penguinsofficialhockey.com/adidas-matt-murray-jersey]adidas Sidney Crosby jersey[/url],which won its seventh consecutive home game by jumping on the Capitals before using a four-goal outburst in the third period to fend off a Washington comeback thanks in part the NHL's top-ranked power play. The Penguins scored three times with the man advantage, including twice in the third on goals by Rust and Malkin.

"In all my years around this league, I haven't been around a group as dynamic as this,[url=http://www.penguinsofficialhockey.com/adidas-jake-guentzel-jersey]adidas Jake Guentzel jersey[/url]," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said.

Alex Ovechkin scored twice to push his season total to an NHL-best 32 and Dmitry Orlov and Evgeny Kuznetzov also scored for the Capitals, but Washington couldn't keep pace.

Braden Holtby finished with 27 saves but gave up three goals in the opening 8 minutes of the third period before being pulled in favor of Phillpp Grubauer as Pittsburgh broke open a tight game.

"We can play better," Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. "We were a little loose with the puck at times, so it'll be a good lesson for us."

The Penguins improved to 10-3 since New Year's Day,[url=http://www.sharkshockeyshop.com/adidas-brent-burns-jersey]Authentic Brent Burns jersey[/url], a stretch in which they've climbed from 10th in the Eastern Conference to within striking distance of Washington with still two months to go before the postseason.

The prospect of another potential playoff showdown looms, even if the outcome tends to be one-sided when the longtime rivals meet in the spring. Their seemingly annual postseason series usually ends with the Penguins skating on to the next round while Washington wonders how it let it get away once again.

While it's far too early to panic or even project, the Capitals understand they can't give up three power-play goals and go 0 for 3 with the man advantage and expect to keep pace.

 we have a better chance,"When we play 5-on-5,[url=http://www.bluesofficialhockey.com/adidas-vladimir-tarasenko-jersey]adidas Vladimir Tarasenko jersey[/url], for sure. You can't get that many chances and not know how to score," Ovechkin said. "I think our power play has to get better, not know how to play at this stage."

Pittsburgh never trailed and never wavered after the Capitals erased 2-0, 3-2 and 4-3 deficits. Kuznetzov tied it at 3 when he flipped a bouncing puck in the slot by Murray 11:57 into the second to give Washington a shot at picking up its seventh victory this season in a game in which it trailed by at least two goals.

Not this time. Malkin put in his own rebound 1:01 into the third to put the Penguins back in front. Ovechkin evened it just 49 seconds later after a slick cross-ice feed from Kuznetzov, but Pittsburgh simply kept on coming.

Rust picked up his third goal in his last two games to put the Penguins ahead to stay, Kessel followed with his second of the night and 23rd of the season to chase Holtby. Malkin finished the outburst with his team-leading 28th of the season, 14 of which have come since Jan. 1.

”We’re trying to change to get the mindset where we’re going to go out and try to win and not just hope we win,” Ramsay said.

Slovakia, Finland and Germany are undoubtedly underdogs in South Korea but have teams – and goaltending – that should make the traditional powerhouses nervous. In a short tournament with three pool games and single-elimination medal-round playoffs, [url=http://www.sharkshockeyshop.com/adidas-joe-thornton-jersey]Authentic Joe Thornton jersey[/url],there’s a small margin for error and a big chance for goalies to steal games.

No country exemplifies that more than Finland, which has medaled in four of the past five Olympics and has 6-foot-6 Kontinental Hockey League star Mikko Koskinen and longtime NHL goalie Karri Ramo between the pipes.

” Finland coach Lauri Marjamaki said. ”All three goalies are pretty good goalies,”That is our strength in Olympics, (won) KHL championships two times. Karri had a bad injury after the Calgary Flames, and Koskinen played many years in Russia, but now he’s (in) good shape and play pretty high level.”

 which could start Jan Laco, which has 2017 first-round picks Miro Heiskanen and Eeli Tolvanen and more former NHL players, four different goalies earned first star honors for Slovakia,Slovakia doesn’t boast the same name-recognition goalies or skaters as Finland, but Ramsay has gotten great play in net so far. In four pre-Olympic tournament games, Branislav Konrad or Patrik Rybar when it faces the U.S. on Feb. 16.

”You’re a very smart coach when your goalie’s really good, a 66-year-old Canadian who coached the Buffalo Sabres,” said Ramsay, Philadelphia Flyers and Atlanta Thrashers and won the Stanley Cup as a Tampa Bay Lightning assistant. ”Our goalies – Konrad, Rybar – if they can play as well as they played in all our other tournament games, Laco, at least it gives us a chance.”

Ramsay also looks at Germany and believes coach Marco Sturm’s team can win if it gets good goaltending from Timo Pielmeier,[url=http://www.penguinsofficialhockey.com/adidas-sidney-crosby-jersey]adidas Sidney Crosby jersey[/url], Danny aus den Birken or Dennis Endras.

 but they were very aggressive. They didn’t give up the red line,[url=http://www.penguinsofficialhockey.com/adidas-jake-guentzel-jersey]Authentic Jake Guentzel jersey[/url], they’re physical,” Ramsay said. ”Marco’s done a wonderful job with that team. We beat them (at the Deutschland Cup in November),”They can skate,[url=http://www.sharkshockeyshop.com/adidas-joe-thornton-jersey]adidas Joe Thornton jersey[/url], they can play, they didn’t give up their blue line. They were up and they were in our face.”

 a contrast from most international tournaments and the traditional European,Ramsay wants Slovakia to play in-your-face hockey,[url=http://www.sharkshockeyshop.com/adidas-brent-burns-jersey]adidas Brent Burns jersey[/url], including forwards Ladislav Nagy and Tomas Surovy, trapping style. Slovakia has only a few former NHL players, so it can’t afford to sit back against the Russians or Americans.

”There are times that you have to be smart, but we need to be more aggressive,[url=http://www.bluesofficialhockey.com/adidas-vladimir-tarasenko-jersey]Authentic Vladimir Tarasenko jersey[/url],” Ramsay said. ”We need to get everybody up ice. We need to have five guys together up ice and then five guys coming back. I would rather backcheck skating forwards than just stand around at center ice. I never liked that as a coach and I think we need to be more aggressive and go out there and try to win and not just rely on keeping the game close and hope we can score something later in the game.”

Finland might be able to win with a more conservative approach. The Finns are known for overachieving and being better as the sum of their parts in these kinds of tournaments, and Marjamaki is confident that will happen again.

”I know we will be a tough opponent for the other teams,” Marjamaki said. ”I think we play so disciplined and together and our commitment is great.”

 Sweden and the Czech Republic,Marjamaki said he believes Finland is on the same level as Canada,[url=http://www.lightningofficialhockey.com/adidas-steven-stamkos-jersey]Authentic Steven Stamkos jersey[/url], the U.S., but acknowledged: ”OK is not enough. We need top-level (play) to succeed.”

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