PHILADELPHIA – Claude Giroux scored twice and Carter Hart stopped 26 shots to lead the Philadelphia Flyers to their fifth straight win, 5-2 over the New York Rangers on Friday night.
The Flyers have been sensational of late as they surge up the Eastern Conference standings. They are an impressive 23-5-4 at home and Hart improved to 18-2-2 at Wells Fargo Center — 14-1 over his last 15 starts.
Sean Couturier, James van Riemsdyk and Kevin Hayes also scored to help the Flyers beat the Rangers for the eighth time in the last nine games of the series.
Jesper Fast and Brett Howden scored for the Rangers, and Alexandar Georgiev — starting for the second straight night — finished with 35 saves. The Rangers came into the game with a franchise-record nine straight road wins, and nine wins in their last 10 overall. They trail Columbus — which lost 5-0 to Minnesota — by two points for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference.
The Rangers’ playoff push suffered a blow when forward Chris Kreider suffered a fractured foot in the first period. He appeared to get hurt when he blocked a shot by Phillipe Myers and could miss significant time. The 28-year-old Kreider just signed a seven-year contract extension reportedly worth $45 million on Monday. Kreider has 24 goals and 21 assists for 45 points in 63 games this season. Kreider was a 2009 first-round draft pick and has played his entire career with New York.
WILD 5, BLUE JACKETS 0
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Alex Stalock stopped 24 shots for his fourth shutout of the season and Minnesota beat Columbus for the second time this week.
Zach Parise and Kevin Fiala each had a goal and an assist to help the Wild win their third straight and improve to 12-5-1 in their past 18. They moved within a point of a wild card in the crowded Western Division.
A day after a 7-1 rout of Detroit in the first leg of the back-to-back, the Wild also got goals from Joel Eriksson Ek, Jared Spurgeon and Ryan Hartman. Stalock had his ninth career shutout.
Joonas Korpisalo, starting for the first time since a knee injury Dec. 29, gave up four goals on 15 shots before being pulled with 7:30 left in the second period. Matiss Kivlenieks replaced him and had 10 saves. The injury-plagued Blue Jackets lost for the 10th time in 11 games (1-5-5), but still hold the second wild card in the Eastern Conference.
AVALANCHE 3, HURRICANES 2
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Samuel Girard scored the tiebreaking goal with 2:37 left in the third period and Colorado won its fifth straight.
Tyson Jost scored twice for the Avalanche, and Pavel Francouz stopped 45 shots to win his fifth consecutive start. Colorado won its seventh consecutive road game, matching the longest road winning streak in franchise history.
Girard took a cross-ice pass from Gabriel Landeskog and lifted a shot high into the net to break a 2-2 tie. The Avalanche won after allowing Carolina to rally from a 2-0 deficit.
Carolina got two goals from Teuvo Teravainen in the third period to tie the score, but fell for the second straight game to a top team from the Western Conference. Anton Forsberg, recalled from Charlotte of the AHL after Petr Mrazek and James Reimer were injured Saturday in Toronto, made 29 saves for the Hurricanes.
GOLDEN KNIGHTS 4, SABRES 2
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Reilly Smith scored twice, Robin Lehner stopped 32 shots in his Vegas debut and the Golden Knights got their franchise-record eighth straight win.
William Karlsson and Nicolas Roy also scored to help Vegas open a six-point lead ahead of Vancouver and Edmonton in the Pacific Division — the largest lead in the division by any team this season. The Golden Knights improved to 12-3-2 under coach Pete DeBoer, and 21-10-4 at home.
Carter Hutton finished with 24 saves while Dominik Kahun and Jeff Skinner scored for the Sabres, who are in danger of missing the playoffs for the ninth consecutive season, which would extend the NHL’s longest active playoff drought.
DUCKS 3, PENGUINS 2
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — John Gibson made 28 saves, Brendan Guhle scored the winning goal in the second period and Anaheim won its second straight.
Danton Heinen and Ryan Getzlaf also scored for the Ducks, who were missing their top three defencemen.
Jason Zucker scored both of Pittsburgh’s goals. The left wing has 19 goals, with five coming in nine games with Pittsburgh since he was acquired from Minnesota.
The Penguins have five straight regulation losses for the first time since the 2011-12 season. They have gone from leading the Metropolitan Division to third place during the skid. Matt Murray stopped 18 shots.
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