Sidney Crosby returned from a three-game injury layoff to set up Colby Armstrong's first two goals of the season, and the Penguins held on to beat the New York Islanders, 3-2, last night at Pittsburgh.
Chris Thorburn, normally a checking-line forward, scored the winner 36 seconds into the third period with a seemingly harmless shot from behind the net that banked off goalie Rick DiPietro's left skate for his second goal.
Marc-Andre Fleury made the lead stand up by turning aside 33 of 35 shots, 13 in the final period.
Crosby hadn't played since Nov. 20 because of a sore groin after previously missing only one game in his two-season NHL career. He didn't take long to make a difference in a Penguins offense that was limited to five goals in three straight losses, making a strong pass in traffic to create Armstrong's first goal 1 1/2 minutes into the game.
Ducks 3, Oilers 2 -- Ryan Getzlaf scored 2:19 into overtime after Chris Kunitz tied the score with 17 seconds left in the third period, as Anaheim won in Chris Pronger's return to Edmonton.
Pronger, who led the Oilers to the Stanley Cup finals last season, was booed every time he touched the puck. He assisted on Teemu Selanne's power-play goal in the second period.
Thrashers 5, Rangers 4 -- Bobby Holik scored his second goal of the game 2:55 into overtime, and Atlanta survived a Rangers rally in the final few minutes to win at New York.
Holik, who spent two largely disappointing seasons with the Rangers, gave the Thrashers their first lead at 9:12 of the third period. He then won it after New York got even on Michael Nylander's power-play goal with 2:30 left in regulation.
Senators 4, Hurricanes 1 -- Martin Gerber stopped 29 shots in his return to Raleigh, N.C., to lead Ottawa past Carolina.
Gerber, in his only season with Carolina, set the franchise record with 38 victories in 2005-06 before he was supplanted in the playoffs by Cam Ward, who won the Conn Smythe Trophy and led Carolina to its first Stanley Cup. Gerber signed with Ottawa in the offseason.
Canadiens 1, Panthers 0 -- Cristobal Huet stopped two of three shots in the shootout, and Alex Kovalev and Saku Koivu converted their opportunities against Florida's Alex Auld, leading host Montreal.
Both goalies kept it scoreless through regulation as Auld recorded his second career shutout, and first in more than three years, despite losing.
Capitals 5, Lightning 2 -- Olaf Kolzig made 48 saves and Alexander Semin had a goal and an assist in his return from a shoulder injury to help Washington at Tampa.
Sharks 2, Blues 0 -- Vesa Toskala stopped 29 shots and Joe Pavelski scored his second goal in three games since being recalled from Worcester of the AHL, as San Jose won at St. Louis.
Flames 5, Avalanche 2 -- Dion Phaneuf had a goal and an assist and host Calgary scored three power-play goals.
Canucks 1, Blue Jackets 0 -- Markus Naslund scored midway through the second and Roberto Luongo made 24 saves, lifting host Vancouver.