Chris Conner scored on Pittsburgh’s first successful penalty shot in nearly four years, Jordan Staal added his third goal in three games, and the Sidney Crosby-less Penguins beat the injury-thinned Detroit Red Wings, 4-1, last night in Pittsburgh.
Two of the NHL’s best teams met for only the third time since they faced each other in the Stanley Cup finals in 2008 and 2009 — they split a pair of games last season — but a number of top names were missing.
Crosby, the NHL’s leading scorer, sat out a sixth consecutive game with a concussion. The Red Wings were without goalies Jimmy Howard and Chris Osgood, forwards Tomas Holmstrom, Pavel Datsyuk, and Danny Cleary and defenseman Brad Stuart.
The Red Wings took 18 of a possible 26 points in their first 13 games after Datsyuk broke his right hand, but Detroit’s lack of depth showed up as Pittsburgh won its third in a row.
Sabres 2, Canadiens 1 — Jason Pominville scored a power-play goal 1:09 into overtime, lifting host Buffalo over injury-depleted Montreal.
The Canadiens played much of the game minus two forwards. Max Pacioretty was taken to the hospital after being struck in the right side by a teammate’s shot in the first period, although he traveled home with the team. Montreal also lost Michael Cammalleri to an upper-body injury after he was cross-checked from behind by Buffalo’s Mike Weber.
Lightning 3, Blue Jackets 2 — Ryan Malone scored the only goal of a shootout in the fourth round, and Steven Stamkos had two goals for Tampa Bay.
R.J. Umberger and Derick Brassard scored for the Blue Jackets, who were coming off a win and an overtime loss against Detroit following a five-game losing skid.
Wild 4, Oilers 1 — Anton Khudobin stopped 31 shots and Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Brent Burns each had a goal and an assist for visiting Minnesota, which has won six of nine.
Predators 5, Coyotes 2 — J.P. Dumont got his first hat trick in 9 1/2 years and Nashville handed Phoenix its second home loss in as many nights.
Flyers 3, Capitals 2 — Andrej Meszaros scored 1:07 into overtime to bail out the Flyers after they blew a third-period lead against visiting Washington.
Avalanche 4, Canucks 3 — David Jones scored two goals, including the winner with 2:52 remaining in overtime, and host Colorado snapped a four-game skid against Vancouver.
Blues 2, Kings 1 — Erik Johnson scored the go-ahead goal on a third-period shot that slowly trickled between goalie Jonathan Quick’s pads for host St. Louis.
Ducks 2, Senators 1 — Bobby Ryan scored in the shootout to give Anaheim the victory in Ottawa.