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Avalanche douse Flames 3-0 in matchup of Western’s best

March 14, 2022 GMT
Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon, second from left, redirects the puck as, from left to right, Calgary Flames defenseman Michael Stone, center Sean Monahan, Avalanche right wing Valeri Nichushkin and Flames goaltender Dan Vladar jostle for position in the third period of an NHL hockey game Sunday, March 13, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon, second from left, redirects the puck as, from left to right, Calgary Flames defenseman Michael Stone, center Sean Monahan, Avalanche right wing Valeri Nichushkin and Flames goaltender Dan Vladar jostle for position in the third period of an NHL hockey game Sunday, March 13, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon, second from left, redirects the puck as, from left to right, Calgary Flames defenseman Michael Stone, center Sean Monahan, Avalanche right wing Valeri Nichushkin and Flames goaltender Dan Vladar jostle for position in the third period of an NHL hockey game Sunday, March 13, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
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Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon, second from left, redirects the puck as, from left to right, Calgary Flames defenseman Michael Stone, center Sean Monahan, Avalanche right wing Valeri Nichushkin and Flames goaltender Dan Vladar jostle for position in the third period of an NHL hockey game Sunday, March 13, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
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Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon, second from left, redirects the puck as, from left to right, Calgary Flames defenseman Michael Stone, center Sean Monahan, Avalanche right wing Valeri Nichushkin and Flames goaltender Dan Vladar jostle for position in the third period of an NHL hockey game Sunday, March 13, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

DENVER (AP) — Nathan MacKinnon scored twice, Darcy Kuemper stopped a career-best 46 shots in his fourth shutout of the season and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Calgary Flames 3-0 on Sunday night.

It was a measure of atonement for Kuemper, who was pulled early in the second period last weekend when the top two teams in the Western Conference faced each other in Calgary’s 4-3 overtime win. It was Kuemper’s career-best 28th win of the season.

MacKinnon scored on a power play in the first period and added another goal in the third. Mikko Rantanen sealed it on an empty-net tally with 1:38 remaining to help the Avalanche post their best record through 60 games in franchise history (42-13-5, 89 points).

Dan Vladar made 29 saves against the speedy Avalanche.

PENGUINS 4, HURRICANES 2

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Brian Boyle, Danton Heinen and Zach Aston-Reese scored to take some of the pressure off Sidney Crosby, Tristan Jarry stopped 41 shots and Pittsburgh edged Carolina.

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Crosby scored an empty-netter to reach the 20-goal plateau for the 14th time as the Penguins beat the Metropolitan Division-leading Hurricanes for the first time in three tries, thanks in part to the secondary scoring that’s been lacking in recent weeks.

Pittsburgh general manager Ron Hextall urged his role players to get to the front of the net in an effort to shake out of the doldrums. Boyle and Heinen responded by scoring from a combined 6 feet from the net while Aston-Reese’s tap-in empty-netter with 12 seconds left sealed it.

Brett Pesce scored his fifth of the season and Sebastian Aho added his 27th, but Carolina lost in regulation for just the second time in 12 games (9-2-1). Antti Raanta finished with 19 saves, but had no real chance at stopping either of the two he let in.

SABRES 5, MAPLE LEAFS 2

HAMILTON, Ontario (AP) — Vinnie Hinostroza had two goals and an assist, Peyton Krebs also scored twice and Buffalo defeated Toronto in the Heritage Classic outdoor game.

Tage Thompson added an empty-net goal and Craig Anderson made 36 saves in the Sabres’ victory at a windy Tim Horton Field, home of the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats. It was the first NHL regular-season game in Hamilton since March 1994.

Toronto’s Auston Matthews scored his NHL-leading 45th goal, Ondrej Kase also scored and Petr Mrazek made 31 saves.

Hinostroza snapped a 2-2 tie at 5:16 of the third period when he fired a shot from a sharp angle in the corner for his 10th of the season.

Crews had to clear snow off the ice a couple of times before warmups, but flurries subsided when the game began in front of a sellout crowd of 26,119. Temperatures felt like 19 degrees during the game.

The Leafs sported dark blue jerseys that pay homage to the Toronto Arenas — one of the franchise’s previous iterations that played from 1917 to 1919 — while the Sabres wore cream-colored threads.

BLUE JACKETS 6, GOLDEN KNIGHTS 4

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Eighteen-year-old rookie Cole Sillinger recorded the first hat trick of his NHL career, Elvis Merzlikins made 23 saves and Columbus beat Vegas.

Sillinger, the league’s youngest player who has eight goals in his first 56 games, scored once in the first period and twice in the second — with Oliver Bjorkstrand assisting both times.

Bjorkstrand had a goal of his own, and Patrik Laine tied the team lead with his 23rd of the season for the Blue Jackets, who have won two straight. Eric Robinson completed the scoring with an empty-netter with 11 seconds left.

Vegas’ Logan Thompson made 32 stops in just his third game this season. Jonathan Marchessault, William Carrier, Evgenii Dadonov and Jack Eichel scored for the Golden Knights, who dropped their fourth straight.

ISLANDERS 4, DUCKS 3

NEW YORK (AP) — Kyle Palmieri scored twice, Ilya Sorokin made 39 saves and New York capped a six-game homestand by beating Anaheim for its third straight win.

Palmieri and Anders Lee scored 25 seconds apart late in the first period to send the Islanders into the intermission with a 3-1 lead before Palmieri scored his second of the contest and ninth of the season at 17:25 of the second. Zach Parise had the other goal for the Islanders.

Josh Manson, Isac Lundestrom and Adam Henrique scored for the Ducks, who lost their fourth straight overall and second in a row in the New York area. They also fell to New Jersey 2-1 in a shootout Saturday and will complete their five-game road trip against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday. Anaheim also lost the first two games of their trip at Chicago and Nashville.

PREDATORS 6, WILD 2

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Roman Josi scored twice to establish a career high with 17 goals this season, leading Nashville past Minnesota to spoil the start of a franchise-record nine-game homestand for the Wild.

Filip Forsberg had two goals and an assist, Philip Tomasino added a goal and an assist and Nick Cousins had a goal and two assists for Nashville (34-21-4), which tied Minnesota (34-20-4) for third place in the Central Division. St. Louis is in second, four points up. The Wild have played one fewer game than the Blues and the Predators.

Matt Boldy and Jordan Greenway scored for the Wild, who are 4-9-1 in their last 14 games. They were frequently stonewalled by Predators goalie David Rittich, who stopped 26 shots with help from Josi, the All-Star and captain, and the rest of the defensemen.

CANADIENS 4, FLYERS 3, OT

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Cole Caufield scored 2:10 into overtime to give Montreal a comeback victory over Philadelphia in a matchup of last-place clubs.

Rem Pitlick tied it for Montreal with 42.1 seconds left in regulation with a short-handed goal. Montreal snapped a two-game losing streak to improve to 8-6 under interim coach Martin St. Louis.

Caulfield won it by streaking into the offensive zone and firing a slap shot that beat Carter Hart. Pitlick assisted on the goal. Nick Suzuki scored twice for the Canadiens, with Chris Wideman assisting on both goals.

Claude Giroux scored for Philadelphia to reach 900 career points, and passed Hall of Famer Eric Lindros for eighth place on the club’s goals list with his 291st. Cam Atkinson and Kevin Hayes also had goals. The Flyers have lost three in a row and 24 of 29.

JETS 4, BLUES 3, OT

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Pierre Luc-Dubois scored in overtime and Connor Hellebuyck made 28 saves for Winnipeg.

The Jets broke a two-game losing streak and have won 10 of their last 12 games in St. Louis. The Blues have lost five of seven.

Kyle Connor and Mark Scheifele scored 1:03 seconds apart in the third period to give the Jets a 3-2 lead. Nikolaj Ehlers also scored for Winnipeg, which improved to 4-17-2 when trailing after two periods.

David Perron, Brayden Schenn and Vladimir Tarasenko scored for St. Louis.

LIGHTNING 2, CANUCKS 1

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) —Ross Colton and Victor Hedman scored in the game’s first six minutes, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made the early goals stand as Tampa Bay snapped a three-game skid.

Vasilevskiy stopped 35 shots for Tampa Bay, which was coming off a 4-1 loss to Edmonton on Saturday night. The Lightning improved to 7-0-1 in the second game of back-to-backs this season.

J.T. Miller extended his points streak to 12 games by scoring the lone goal for Vancouver. Miller has 24 goals this season, with eight of them coming during this stretch, along with six assists.

Thatcher Demko made 29 saves for the Canucks.

KINGS 3, PANTHERS 2, SO

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jonathan Quick, playing in his 700th game, stopped Anthony Duclair’s shot during the fifth round of the shootout to give Los Angeles the victory over Florida.

Trevor Moore went top shelf for the deciding goal in the shootout to help the Kings snap the Panthers’ five-game winning streak. It was the first time in 31 games the Panthers haven’t won when leading after two periods.

Florida’s Aleksander Barkov and Los Angeles’ Adrian Kempe also made their shots in the shootout.

Rasmus Kupari and Martin Frk scored in regulation for Los Angeles. Quick made 28 saves.

Eetu Luostarinen and Brandon Montour accounted for the Panthers’ goals. Spencer Knight stopped 34 shots.

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