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Penguins cruise past Canadiens to widen lead

January 23, 2014

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh cruised to a 5-1 win over Montreal on Wednesday to widen its NHL Eastern Conference lead, with Jussi Jokinen scoring twice for the Penguins.

Pittsburgh moved seven points clear of Boston atop the East standings, while in the West, Chicago missed a chance to close in on the lead as they lost in a shootout at Detroit.

Pittsburgh’s Jokinen picked up his third multi-goal game of the season, while Evgeni Malkin added a goal and an assist, Sidney Crosby picked up his 26th goal of the season and Taylor Pyatt added a rare score.

Rene Bourque had his seventh goal for the Canadiens but Montreal spent most of the night chasing the Penguins.

Detroit’s Darren Helm scored on the Blackhawks’ sixth attempt in the shootout, and Jonas Gustavsson then blocked Andrew Shaw’s shot, giving the hosts a 5-4 win over Chicago.

The defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks faced Detroit for the first time since beating them in overtime in Game 7 of their second-round playoff series last year.

Chicago captain Jonathan Toews scored on his team’s first attempt in the shootout and Patrick Sharp scored on the second before Patrick Kane was stopped with a chance to win the game.

Carolina’s Jiri Tlusty scored the tiebreaking goal in the third period to lift the Hurricanes to a 3-2 victory over Philadelphia.

Calgary’s Sean Monahan scored his team-leading 14th goal of the season to give the Flames a 3-2 win over Phoenix.

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