Alfredsson helps Senators deal Penguins regulation loss
Daniel Alfredsson had two goals and two assists and the Senators dealt Pittsburgh its first regulation loss in 15 games, beating the Penguins, 8-4, Saturday night in Ottawa.
Sidney Crosby scored his first goal in six games since making his second comeback of the season, but it wasn’t enough as Pittsburgh fell to 13-1-1 since a 6-2 loss in Buffalo on Feb. 19.
Crosby, who made a spectacular pass to set up one of Matt Cooke’s two goals, beat Craig Anderson with a shot into the top right corner 11:43 into the third to draw Pittsburgh within 5-4.
Pittsburgh dropped 3 points behind the Eastern Conference-leading New York Rangers. The Penguins have eight games left, compared with seven for New York.
Jason Spezza increased Ottawa’s lead to 6-4 with his 31st goal on a breakaway at 13:16. Alfredsson, who scored a shorthanded goal late in the second, added his second of the game at 17:05.
Milan Michalek had a goal and two assists, and Kyle Turris and Sergei Gonchar each had a goal and an assist for Ottawa, which also got goals from Chris Phillips and Colin Greening.
Craig Anderson stopped 18 shots in relief for his first win since Feb. 22. Ottawa starter Ben Bishop made 17 saves before leaving the game 9:23 into the second after sustaining an undisclosed lower-body injury during a goal-mouth scramble.
The Senators are seventh in the East with 86 points.
Tyler Kennedy also scored for the Penguins. Brad Thiessen made 20 saves in his first loss in four games with Pittsburgh.
Rangers 4, Maple Leafs 3 - Ryan Callahan’s shootout goal gave visiting New York the victory over Toronto, lifting it into a tie with the Blues atop the NHL standings.
The Rangers captain moved in on goalie Jonas Gustavsson and wired a shot top corner in the third round to clinch it. Brad Richards also scored for New York in the shootout. Tim Connolly had Toronto’s lone goal in the tiebreaker.
New York’s Marian Gaborik, with two goals, and Brandon Dubinsky scored in regulation.
Henrik Lundqvist made 22 stops for the Rangers.
Flyers 4, Canadiens 1 - Danny Briere scored a pair of goals, Ilya Bryzgalov made 23 saves, and host Philadelphia beat Montreal to clinch a playoff berth.
Briere’s second goal put the Flyers up, 3-1, with 2:20 left in the second period. Jaromir Jagr took a long outlet pass from Bryzgalov at the Flyers’ blue line and flicked it on to Briere, who went one-on-one with Canadiens goalie Peter Budaj and roofed a forehand shot from in close.
Canucks 3, Avalanche 2 - Chris Higgins had two goals, including the winner at 1:40 of overtime, and Vancouver rallied to beat visiting Colorado to wrap up its fourth straight Northwest Division crown.
Mason Raymond also scored and Roberto Luongo stopped 38 shots.
Stars 4, Flames 1 - Jamie Benn scored twice, Kari Lehtonen made 35 saves, and host Dallas won the matchup of Western Conference playoff contenders.
Michael Ryder also scored for the Stars, who improved to 87 points and are in the middle of a six-team scramble along with the Flames (83 points) for one of the final two playoff spots.
Predators 3, Jets 1 - Pekka Rinne made 24 saves to lead the host Nashville over Winnipeg.
Matt Halischuk, Gabriel Bourque, and Shea Weber scored for Nashville, which snapped a two-game losing streak.
Sabres 3, Wild 1 - Rookie Marcus Foligno scored a power-play goal 1:45 into the third period, and Buffalo continued its late-season surge into playoff contention with a victory over visiting Minnesota.
Cody Hodgson had a goal and assist, while Thomas Vanek scored his first goal in eight games for Buffalo, which vaulted 2 points ahead of Washington and alone into eighth place in the Eastern Conference standings.
Red Wings 5, Hurricanes 4 - Drew Miller scored with 8:25 left and host Detroit rallied from three goals down to beat Carolina, snapping a six-game losing streak.
Carolina led, 4-1, until Henrik Zetterberg cut the Red Wings’ deficit to two goals with 3:02 left in the second period.
Lightning 4, Islanders 3 - Steven Stamkos scored twice to tie the Lightning record with 52 goals this season, and host Tampa Bay beat New York.
Stamkos gave the Lightning a 2-0 lead with his second of the night and tied Vincent Lecavalier’s club record 1:46 into the second.
Sharks 4, Coyotes 3 - Michal Handzus and Ryane Clowe scored in the shootout, and Antti Niemi stopped both Phoenix attempts to lead host San Jose.
Patrick Marleau, Brent Burns, and Daniel Winnik scored in regulation for the Sharks.