Penguins slip by Capitals
Hunter still winless with struggling Washington
Chris Kunitz scored the tiebreaking goal at 2:36 of the third period, and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat Washington, 2-1, last night to keep the host Capitals winless under new coach Dale Hunter.
Craig Adams also scored for the Penguins, who improved to 4-1-1 since captain Sidney Crosby returned to the lineup following an 11-month absence with a concussion.
Jason Chimera got his team-leading 10th goal for the Capitals, who had been 11-0-2 against their bitter rivals in the regular season since March 8, 2009.
Tomas Vokoun stopped 33 shots, but the Capitals couldn’t back his effort with any firepower on the other end. The Capitals took only 17 shots against Marc-Andre Fleury in their second straight 2-1 loss since Hunter, a former Capitals star, replaced the fired Bruce Boudreau Monday.
Crosby was held without a point for only the second time in six games since his return. He received his concussion by taking two blows to the head last January, the first of which came against the Capitals on New Year’s Day in the Winter Classic. Since coming back, the standout center has two goals and nine assists.
Crosby’s lengthy absence, along with the ineffectiveness this season of Washington’s Alex Ovechkin, has dimmed one of the NHL’s most notable individual duels. Ovechkin was also held without a point, and he has only one goal in his last 10 games.
Kunitz got the winner by skating around a check by John Erskine and firing a wrist shot that bounced off Vokoun and bounded into the net.
Rangers 5, Hurricanes 3 - Ryan McDonagh, Marian Gaborik, and Sean Avery scored in a 4:53 span of the second period and visiting New York rallied to beat Carolina for its fourth straight win.
Ryan Callahan and Michael Sauer had the other goals for the Rangers, who got points from 14 players and earned their 11th win in 13 games. Martin Biron made 28 saves as he made a spot start for No. 1 goalie Henrik Lundqvist.
Predators 6, Canucks 5 - Mike Fisher scored his second goal of the game with 1:16 left, and Nashville won in Vancouver, British Columbia.
David Legwand, Shea Weber, Jordin Tootoo and Colin Wilson also scored for the Predators.
Cory Schneider, who gets sporadic starts behind No 1. goalie Roberto Luongo, was pulled following the first period after giving up three goals on five shots.
Sharks 4, Canadiens 3 - Joe Pavelski scored in the sixth round of the shootout and Antti Niemi sealed the win with a sliding pad save against P.K. Subban as host San Jose beat Montreal.
Ryane Clowe tied the game with 1:26 left in regulation, and after a fast-paced overtime, the Sharks maintained their home dominance over the Canadiens in the shootout. San Jose has won six straight at home against Montreal, last losing 3-2 in overtime on Nov. 23, 1999.
Kings 2, Panthers 1 - Jonathan Quick made 40 saves, and Los Angeles got goals from Dustin Brown and defenseman Jack Johnson to beat visiting Florida.
Sean Bergenheim scored for Florida, and Jose Theodore stopped 23 shots. The Panthers are 0-7 against the Kings since Nov. 27, 2002.
Blue Jackets 4, Flames 3 - Rick Nash scored the tying goal with 58 seconds left in regulation, then netted the only goal in the shootout to give Columbus the victory in Calgary, Alberta.
Calgary led, 3-1, with less than five minutes left in the third period, and appeared to be in control, but Nikita Nikitin and Nash scored to tie it.
Stars 3, Senators 2 - Eric Nystrom scored the tiebreaking goal with 2:20 left and host Dallas rallied over Ottawa.
Jets 1, Coyotes 0 - Ondrej Pavelec made 33 saves in his second shutout of the season and Bryan Little’s first-period goal held up as Winnipeg won in Phoenix’s first game back in Winnipeg since leaving for the desert in 1996.