|Thrashers goalie Chris Mason failed to get any leather on this second-period shot by the Canucks’ Alex Bolduc. (John Bazemore/Associated Press)|
Penguins salvage an extra point
Neal’s shootout strike beats Brodeur, Devils
Fleury made 21 saves for his third shutout of the season and 19th of his career. He also stopped Brian Rolston, Ilya Kovalchuk, and Patrik Elias in the shootout.
Brodeur extended his NHL shutout record to 116 with his sixth of the season. He made 26 saves and stopped Alexei Kovalev in the shootout. Kris Letang missed the net leading off the tiebreaker.
The Penguins, on the verge of clinching a playoff spot, moved within 2 points of idle Philadelphia in the race for both the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference leads.
The game was lacking offense from the opening faceoff.
Rolston took the first shot 10:06 in, and the teams combined for four shots in the first period.
That established a Penguins record for the fewest combined shots in a single period. It also was the first NHL period with fewer than five shots since Jan. 13, 2007 (San Jose at Phoenix).
Brodeur came in 8-1-0 with an 0.88 goals-against average in his previous nine starts against Pittsburgh. But this shutout wasn’t enough for a desperate Devils team to earn two points. New Jersey is 1-3-1 in its past five after completing a miraculous 23-3-2 run from Jan. 9-March 15.
Sabres 4, Panthers 2 — Jordan Leopold and Drew Stafford scored 13 seconds apart in the third period to help host Buffalo move closer to securing a playoff spot.
Stafford had two goals and an assist, and Pominville had a goal and assist for Buffalo, which won back-to-back games for the first time in three weeks. Ryan Miller was sharp in making 22 saves as the eighth-place Sabres (37-28-9) moved within 2 points of the idle Rangers.
Sergei Samsonov and Evgeny Dadonov scored for the Panthers, who were eliminated from playoff contention.
Canucks 3, Thrashers 1 — Roberto Luongo stopped 30 shots and visiting Vancouver set franchise records for road wins and points in a season.
Mason Raymond and Alexandre Bolduc scored second-period goals for the Canucks, who have won 9 of 10 to improve the NHL’s best record. Alexandre Burrows added an empty-net goal with 13 seconds remaining.
The Canucks earned their franchise-record 24th road win and set another team high with 107 points. They have won seven straight road games.
Bryan Little ended Luongo’s shutout bid with an unassisted goal with 5:30 remaining in the third period.
Senators 2, Capitals 0 — Craig Anderson made 31 saves for his second shutout, and Colin Greening and Erik Condra scored to power host Ottawa.
Anderson has won both of his starts since signing a four-year, $12.75 million contract extension Monday. He stopped 29 shots in a 2-1 shootout win over the Rangers in New York on Thursday night.
Greening opened the scoring 13:25 into the second. Condra made it a two-goal lead with his fifth early in the third.
Semyon Varlamov stopped 21 shots for Washington, which played its second straight game without injured captain Alexander Ovechkin.
Hurricanes 4, Lightning 3 — Erik Cole scored two goals to help lift Carolina past host Tampa Bay and remain 3 points behind Buffalo for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.
Cole put the Hurricanes up, 2-1, with a power-play goal at 8:23 of the second period and added an unassisted backhander 6:50 into the third.
Eric Staal scored for the first time in eight games to give Carolina a 4-1 lead.