Roundup: Flyers top Bruins to end skid, Crosby hurt in Pens 15th straight
The Associated Press | March 31,2013
Philadelphia’s Ruslan Fedotenko (26) celebrates his empty-net goal with Luke Schenn (22) in the third period of Saturday’s game against the Boston Bruins in Philadelphia. The Flyers won 3-1.
PHILADELPHIA — Mike Knuble and Matt Read scored, Ilya Bryzgalov made 33 saves and the Philadelphia Flyers snapped a four-game losing streak with a 3-1 victory over the slumping Boston Bruins on Saturday.
Ruslan Fedotenko added an empty-net goal for the Flyers, who began the day 14th in the Eastern Conference but only six points out of the eighth and final playoff spot. Boston, meanwhile, entered with the third-most points in the conference (46).
Nathan Horton scored for the Bruins, who dropped to 2-4-1 in their last seven games. They had won four in a row against the Flyers and were unbeaten in their previous 10 trips to Philadelphia (9-0-1).
The Flyers scored their fifth straight power-play goal, doing it against the NHL’s top penalty-killing unit (91.2 percent), to open the scoring. Knuble one-timed Brayden Schenn’s pass from behind the net and beat Tuukka Rask low and on the glove side to give Philadelphia a 1-0 lead with 4:41 left in the first period.
Philadelphia tacked on another goal in the second when Read scored 3:18 into the period. Jakub Voracek found a streaking Read alone between the circles. Read settled the pass, then ripped a slap shot past Rask’s glove side.
The Flyers continued to get strong goaltending from Bryzgalov in the second period. His best save came with just more than eight minutes remaining in the period when he sprawled to his left to stone Patrice Bergeron’s diving wraparound try.
Read nearly made it 3-0 about 30 seconds after Bryzgalov’s save, but his breakaway attempt caromed off the right post.
Boston cut the deficit to 2-1 on Horton’s 10th goal of the season 5 minutes into the third. Dennis Seidenberg took the initial shot from the point. It deflected off players and then Bryzgalov’s pad before ricocheting to a wide-open Horton, who deposited the puck into the empty net.
Boston went 0 for 2 on the power play and has scored once in its last 16 chances with the man advantage.
NOTES: Before the game, the Flyers acquired defenseman Kent Huskins from Detroit for a conditional 2014 draft pick. Huskins, in his seventh NHL season, was scoreless in 11 games for the Red Wings this season. . Philadelphia defenseman Oliver Lauridsen made his NHL debut. The 6-foot-6, 220-pounder has appeared in 59 games for the Adirondack Phantoms of the AHL this season, with a goal, five assists and 77 penalty minutes. . Before the game, Philadelphia unveiled a statue of Flyers greats Bob Clarke and Bernie Parent hoisting the Stanley Cup to commemorate the club’s back-to-back championships in 1974-75. . Philadelphia’s last five-game losing streak occurred from March 31 to April 8, 2011.
Pittsburgh 2, Islanders 0
PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Penguins overcame a bloody injury to Sidney Crosby on Saturday for their 15th straight victory, beating the New York Islanders 2-0 in Jermone Iginla’s debut behind third-period goals from Matt Cooke and James Neal.
Tomas Vokoun made 35 saves as Pittsburgh moved within two wins of the NHL record of 17 straight victories set by Mario Lemieux and the 1992-93 Penguins.
Crosby skated off the ice with a towel covering his mouth after a slap shot by teammate Brooks Orpik deflected off a stick and hit the NHL scoring leader in the face. Crosby, who immediately fell to the ice and tossed his stick in the air, did not return.
Crosby, with 15 goals and 56 points, holds a 10-point lead over Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos in the NHL scoring race. Another head injury for Crosby has to concern the Penguins. The team captain has missed considerable time the past two years because concussions. He was sidelined the final 41 games in 2011 and the Stanley Cup finals, and skipped most of the 2012 regular season as symptoms lingered.
Pittsburgh went 15-0-0 in March, the first perfect month in league history. The Penguins also won a franchise best 12th straight at home.
Iginla, a six-time All-Star, was acquired by the Penguins from Calgary early Thursday and he arrived in Pittsburgh on Friday night. He was in the lineup a game earlier than originally anticipated.
The move for Iginla, who waived his no-trade clause to come to Pittsburgh, was the Penguins’ third big deal in a week, bolstering them to Stanley Cup favorites. Pittsburgh also obtained former Dallas Stars captain Brenden Morrow and bruising defenseman Doug Murray from San Jose.
The record crowd at Consol Energy Center responded with a thunderous ovation when Iginla was announced as part of the starting lineup. Iginla, who played right wing for most of his career in Calgary, skated the left side on a line with reigning NHL scoring champion Evgeni Malkin and Neal, an All-Star forward.
The excitement quickly turned to concern 1:28 into the game when Crosby left the ice.
Pittsburgh appeared stunned without its captain, and the Islanders took advantage, registering the first eight shots of the game, but came up empty against Vokoun.
Vokoun registered second consecutive shutout. It was the third shutout Vokoun has been part of, relieving injured starter Marc-Andre Fleury during a 1-0 victory Tuesday against Montreal.