Ducks extend league lead with 2-1 win over Kings
ANAHEIM, California (AP) — Anaheim widened its lead atop the NHL standings with a 2-1 win over Los Angeles on Thursday, extending the Kings run of losses as the city rivals prepare for a landmark outdoor game this weekend.
The Ducks opened a five-point lead atop the Western Conference standings as nearest rival Chicago lost at Minnesota, while elsewhere, high-flying St. Louis edged the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh beat the New York Islanders in a ten-goal game.
Anaheim’s Patrick Maroon scored the tiebreaking goal on a wraparound late in the second period, and Dustin Penner also scored for the Ducks, who have won 20 of their past 23 games.
Anze Kopitar scored early in the first period for the Kings, who have lost four straight and will be eager to arrest that slide when they play Anaheim in the mild outdoor conditions of Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Saturday.
While Anaheim won 2-1, Chicago lost by the same scoreline at Minnesota, making it three out of four to the Wild in their contests this season.
Jason Pominville and Matt Cooke scored first-period goals which stood up for Minnesota, who are getting some vengeance for losing to the Blackhawks in last year’s playoffs.
Patrick Kane scored for Chicago with 31.2 seconds and had a final flurry in the last ten seconds but could not find an equalizer.
St. Louis defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk scored the tiebreaking power-play goal early in the third period to give the Blues a 2-1 victory over the Rangers.
Alexander Steen also had a goal for the Blues before leaving late in the second period with a lower-body injury.
New York’s Rick Nash scored his sixth goal in four games but Shattenkirk took advantage of Nash’s slashing penalty, scoring 9 seconds into the power play at 3:09.
Pittsburgh’s rookie defenseman Olli Maatta scored the go-ahead goal early in the second period and Evgeni Malkin added an insurance score in the third to give the Penguins a 6-4 win over the Islanders.
The Islanders had a 5-on-3 power play for 50 seconds late in the third, but could not score.
Brandon Sutter scored an empty-net goal for the Penguins, who trailed 2-0 early and also got goals from Chris Kunitz, Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang.
Michael Grabner, Brock Nelson, Josh Bailey and Kyle Okposo had goals for the Islanders.
San Jose’s Joe Pavelski scored his 19th goal in the past 21 games and that was enough for the Sharks to beat Winnipeg 1-0.
Goaltender Alex Stalock made 20 saves in his second straight shutout, helping the Sharks to a fifth-straight win.
It was the first time the Jets had lost under replacement coach Paul Maurice, having won their previous four.
Tampa Bay finally won a close home game, beating Ottawa 4-3 after a shootout, having lost their previous five home games by one goal.
Nashville’s Nick Spaling scored the go-ahead goal on the power play in the third period, lifting the Predators to a 2-1 win against Vancouver.
Dallas emphatically ended Toronto’s six-game winning streak by beating the Maple Leafs 7-1, with Valeri Nichushkin scoring twice.
Columbus set a franchise record with its eighth-straight win — fittingly in its 1,000th game — downing Philadelphia 5-2.
Carolina came from behind three times and eventually overwhelmed Buffalo, defeating the Sabres 5-3.