Penguins widen East lead with win over Kings
Jan. 31, 2014
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Pittsburgh increased its lead atop the NHL Eastern Conference standings with a 4-1 at Los Angeles on Thursday as the Kings failed to arrest their recent slide despite returning home after a long absence.
As Los Angeles continued to struggle, Pacific Division rival Anaheim continued its superb form with a win over Philadelphia, Colorado notched an important win over Minnesota, and Montreal ended Boston's recent scoring binge.
Pittsburgh was set on its way by Evgeni Malkin's first-minute goal, and Jussi Jokinen had a goal and assist in the first period.
Chris Kunitz and Tanner Glass both scored in their second straight game for the Penguins, who recorded the franchise's first regulation victory at Staples Center.
Anze Kopitar scored his third goal in five games for the Kings, but those are the only goals scored in the last nine days by the Kings, who have lost seven of eight.
The Kings had played their previous eight games away from Staples Center, including last weekend's nominal home game at Dodger Stadium. They have a four-game homestand heading into the Olympic break, but still have not solved their scoring woes.
Anaheim's Ryan Getzlaf scored the go-ahead goal in the final minute of the first period and the Ducks went on to beat Philadelphia 5-3.
Corey Perry, Patrick Maroon and Daniel Winnik also scored for Anaheim and Saku Koivu added an empty-net goal for the Ducks, who have won 22 of their past 26 games.
Vincent Lecavalier, Matt Read and Michael Raffl scored for the Flyers.
Colorado's Semyon Varlamov celebrated a five-year contract extension by making 35 saves to help the Avalanche edge Minnesota 5-4.
John Mitchell had a goal and an assist, while Ryan O'Reilly, Paul Stastny, Nathan MacKinnon and Maxime Talbot also scored for Colorado, which moved nine points ahead of Minnesota in the Central Division, tightening its grasp on third place and the final automatic playoff seed in the division.
Zach Parise had two goals and two assists and Mikael Granlund and Jason Pominville also scored for the Wild.
Montreal goalie Peter Budaj stopped 34 shots to stop goal-happy Boston and lead the Canadiens to a 4-1 win.
The Bruins had scored six goals in each of their previous three games.
Alexei Emelin and Max Pacioretty scored before Dougie Hamilton's goal cut Montreal's lead to 2-1 after one period. Brian Gionta made it 3-1, prompting a change of goaltender, but Chad Johnson allowed the first shot he faced, by Daniel Briere.
Ottawa's Marc Methot, Erik Karlsson, Zack Smith, Kyle Turris and Bobby Ryan scored as the Senators raced to a four-goal lead and held on to beat Tampa Bay 5-3.
Alex Killorn, Tyler Johnson and Victor Hedman scored for the Lightning.
Calgary notched its fourth-straight win with a 4-1 victory over San Jose, with Mark Giordano scoring the go-ahead goal.
New Jersey's Patrik Elias scored a power-play goal 40 seconds into overtime to give the Devils a 3-2 win against Dallas.
Columbus' Ryan Johansen scored twice to help the Blue Jackets end a three-game slide and beat Washington 5-2.
Toronto brought up its fifth-straight home win with a 6-3 defeat of Florida, with Nazem Kadri having three assists, including his 100th career point.
A road-weary Buffalo summoned a 3-2 win over Phoenix, with Zemgus Girgensons scoring a short-handed goal in the third period.