Despite two goals from Jason Zucker, acquired a couple of weeks ago from Minnesota, the Penguins suffered their season-worst fifth consecutive defeat Friday night, 3-2 at Anaheim. Zucker has seven points (five goals, two assists) in nine games with Pittsburgh.
The Penguins will look to put an end to the skid Saturday when they wrap up a four-game trip at San Jose.
"We've got to stay together and find solutions together, and that's what we'll do," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "We've got to pick ourselves up and get back in the fight. We've got another opportunity in front of us (Saturday night)."
Pittsburgh was atop the Metropolitan Division after its last victory Feb. 18, but has dropped to third place since.
"Well, we're not scoring goals. Obviously, it's hard to win when you don't put the puck in the net. Having said that, I don't think it's been from a lack of opportunities," said Sullivan, whose team has been outscored 19-8 during the streak. "The last couple of games we've had a significant amount of scoring chances, the puck hasn't gone in the net. I don't know that there's a common denominator through the five games."
The last time the Penguins lost six in a row was from Dec. 29, 2011 to Jan. 11, 2012.
The Sharks snapped their own five-game losing streak with a 3-2 overtime victory against visiting New Jersey on Thursday.
Sharks captain Logan Couture, playing his first home game and just second overall since missing seven weeks with a broken bone in his left ankle, scored the winner 38 seconds into OT.
"Scoring is nice, but I don't think my game was that great tonight," Couture said. "I'm hard on myself, but I know it's going to take time to get back playing the hockey I want to play."
Couture's goal, off a pass from Evander Kane, was his 15th of the season and first since Jan. 5.
"It's great to have him back; we missed him when he was gone," Sharks interim coach Bob Boughner said. "Those are the guys who will step up in situations. You saw Logan play a lot of minutes for a guy just coming back. ... He leads by example."
Kane had two assists, and goaltender Martin Jones made 22 saves.
"We're here to win games no matter where we are in the standings," Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic told NHL.com. "And it was nice to win."
Marcus Sorensen and rookie defenseman Mario Ferraro also scored as the Sharks overcame a two-goal deficit to force overtime.
"The season is winding down. We have less than 20 games left, but those are opportunities to get better as a group," Ferraro told NHL.com. "And this is the time to battle through adversity and show who you are as a person and a player."
Saturday's contest will be the second of a six-game homestand for the Sharks.
--Field Level Media
Hovering above the playoff line in the standings as either a top-three team in the Pacific Division or one of two wild cards for much of this season, the Coyotes find themselves looking up at several teams as they try to get back into the postseason picture with 16 games left in the regular season.
At least they got some much-needed rest this week, their last game a frustrating 2-1 loss to the Florida Panthers on home ice Tuesday. The Coyotes have lost three of four and have watched other Western Conference teams get hot and leapfrog them into playoff position.
The Coyotes outshot the Panthers 38-26 in star goaltender Darcy Kuemper's return from more than two months out with a lower-body injury, but couldn't get two important points.
"This time of the year is the hardest time of the year to score goals," Arizona's Derek Stepan said. "You have to be on the interior, and sometimes they're not going to be pretty ones, and I just think we weren't on the inside enough."
The positive was Kuemper's return, after the Coyotes stood pat at the NHL trade deadline.
"It was great to be back out there just competing with the guys. It's been a long time watching which is not the easiest, but it felt good to be back out there," he said. "I thought they (teammates) did a good job in front of me making it as easy as possible for my first game back.
"We just unfortunately did not get the win."
A challenging road trip to Canada awaits the Coyotes after they play the Sabres, making it crucial to get two points before heading off to Vancouver, Calgary and Winnipeg. All three of those teams are also jockeying for the playoffs.
The Sabres had won five of six until heading west on their current road trip, and have since dropped a 3-2 game to the Colorado Avalanche and a 4-2 result to the Vegas Golden Knights on Friday night.
New center Dominik Kahun, picked up in a trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins earlier in the week, scored in his first shift on the ice for the Sabres against the Stars.
Buffalo, well out of the playoff race at the moment, also added veteran forward Wayne Simmonds this past week.
"I think we've talked a lot about changing our forward group, adding to our forward group," general manager Jason Botterill said, per the Buffalo News. "Excited about bringing in a veteran player such as Wayne Simmonds. We've talked a lot about this group playing meaningful games.
"For Wayne, playing meaningful games in the months of March and April is something he's very accustomed to. I think you've heard Ralph talk a lot about net-front presence, playing a physical game. I think these are things that come natural for Wayne. We also know we have a young group. He has a strong personality, and I think his leadership is going to help our group out a lot."
-Field Level Media
Looking to avoid a third straight defeat, the visiting Hurricanes aim to continue their recent dominance of the Canadiens on Saturday night.
After managing only Sebastian Aho's 36th goal in Tuesday's 4-1 home loss to Dallas, Carolina didn't score until Teuvo Teravainen tied Friday night's visit from Colorado with two in the third period. However, the Hurricanes allowed the go-ahead goal with 2:37 left in regulation to fall 3-2 against one of the hottest teams in the NHL.
Two points out of the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference, Carolina has dropped three of the last four. Each defeat came at home, but the Hurricanes have won two straight and four of the last five on the road, where they'll begin a six-game trip Saturday.
"We still have a lot of confidence in these guys," Carolina coach Rod Brind'Amour said in the postgame press conference Friday. "We've got to turn the page, because the games come fast and furious.
"We're hitting that kind of bump in the road right now. ... We've got to find a way to get it done."
Carolina has won eight of the last nine meetings with Montreal, totaling 30 goals during that stretch. Seven of those goals came in two home wins over the Canadiens this season. The Hurricanes' lone defeat over that span came on their last trip to Montreal, 6-4 on Dec. 13, 2018.
The Canadiens remain a longshot to reach the postseason, but their most pressing issue at the moment is avoiding a third straight defeat. Since Carey Price made 30 saves during a 3-0 win at Ottawa last Saturday, he's allowed four goals each in losses to Vancouver and the New York Rangers.
In both contests, Montreal failed to hold 2-0 leads. The Canadiens led 2-1 in the third before the sizzling Rangers scored four times to win 5-2. Montreal's 73 goals allowed in the third period rank among the most in the NHL.
"We really have to learn how to play with a lead. It's our biggest problem," forward Phillip Danault told the Canadiens' official website. "We have to find a solution. We can't be afraid to play with a lead.
"We have to learn to be stronger mentality, to play hard and to not play on our heels."
Max Domi, meanwhile, has done his best to help the Canadiens at the offensive end with three goals and three assists in the last four games. Domi had a goal in the Canadiens' 3-1 loss at Carolina on New Year's Eve.
Montreal backup Charlie Lindgren made 33 saves in that contest, but he last started on Feb. 4. Price stopped 40 shots during a 4-3 shootout defeat to the Hurricanes in the Oct. 3 season opener.
With Carolina's injury situation in net well-documented, Anton Forsberg made 29 saves on Friday in his first 2019-20 appearance after being recalled from Charlotte of the AHL last weekend. Alex Nedeljkovic, recalled the same day as Forsberg, saved 12 of the 16 shots he faced versus Dallas in his second career start.
Sebastian Aho has 12 goals with nine assists during a 14-game point streak. He recorded a goal versus Montreal in December. Teravainen, meanwhile, has three goals in three games.
--Field Level Media
Lately, things have started to brighten for the 2017 Western Conference champions.
Six wins in their last eight games have gotten them into the second wild card with 19 games remaining. The Predators will try to continue their late-season surge when they host Central Division rival Colorado on Saturday night.
The Avalanche, firmly in the playoffs barring a collapse in the last weeks of the season, played in Carolina on Friday night, winning 3-2 for their seventh straight victory on the road, tying a franchise record. Colorado has won five in a row overall.
Colorado has done well in back-to-backs, most recently sweeping Anaheim and Los Angeles last weekend in Southern California. Avalanche goaltender Pavel Francouz allowed just one goal in the two wins and has continued that hot play leading up to Saturday.
He beat Buffalo 3-2 on Wednesday after being named the NHL's No. 1 star for his play last week. He made 45 saves in net Friday, so it's possible Michael Hutchinson, acquired from Toronto at the trade deadline, will play Saturday night.
"That's why we play this position, to make a save," Francouz said after the win over Carolina. "It's always fun to be in the game all the time,"
Nashville has surged, and nothing was more satisfying than its overtime win over Calgary on Thursday night. The Predators trailed late but got a goal from Mikael Granlund with 0.1 left in regulation to tie it, and then the winger scored in overtime.
It's the type of victory that can spur on a team, coach John Hynes said after the game.
"I think it can if you're in a situation like this again where we had to come from behind to be able to tie the game in the third period, later in the third period and then have to find a way to be able to tie it again," he told reporters. "Twice we had to come from behind, so I think when you get in those situations again, it can certainly have a positive effect, and those reinforce a lot of the things we're talking about."
Nashville may have goaltender Pekka Rinne back in the crease if he is recovered from an illness that has kept him from playing the last three games.
Rinne, who was in net for the only game against Colorado this season -- a 9-4 Avalanche win on Nov. 7 -- is 1-2-1 with a 2.64 goals-against average in February.
Colorado has been winning despite facing myriad injuries.
The Avalanche are without forwards Mikko Rantanen, Nazem Kadri and Matt Calvert for an extended period of time. The team's second-leading scorer, Andre Burakovsky, who missed two games with what was listed as an upper-body injury/illness, was back in the lineup on Friday night.
Colorado has kept winning because of contributions from call-ups.
Most recently, the play of 20-year-old rookie Martin Kaut, who scored his first NHL goal against Buffalo on Wednesday, has given the team a lift. Kaut has played in five games since being recalled from the AHL on Feb. 19 and has a goal and an assist.
Getting his first NHL goal was special to the young Czech.
"It's a dream. I am so happy for this moment," he said after the win over the Sabres. "It was my dream to score my first NHL goal and I got it, so I am so happy."
--Field Level Media
William Karlsson and Nicolas Roy also scored goals for Vegas, which won its seventh straight home game. The Golden Knights, who increased their Pacific Division lead to six points, matched their record eight-game win streak set from Dec. 14, 2017 to Jan. 2, 2018.
Lehner, obtained at the trade deadline on Monday from Chicago, allowed a goal on the first shot he faced before stopping the next 30 in a row against the team he played for from 2015-18.
Dominik Kahun and Jeff Skinner scored goals, and Carter Hutton finished with 24 saves for the Sabres.
Flyers 5, Rangers 2
Claude Giroux scored two goals to lift host Philadelphia past previously surging New York.
Sean Couturier had one goal and one assist, while James van Riemsdyk and Kevin Hayes also scored for the Flyers, who won their fifth in a row. Jakub Voracek compiled four assists, and Scott Laughton had two assists for Philadelphia, which improved to 23-5-4 at home.
Jesper Fast and Brett Howden scored for the Rangers, who had their five-game winning streak and franchise-best nine-game road win streak snapped.
Avalanche 3, Hurricanes 2
Samuel Girard scored the winning goal late in the third period after teammate Tyson Jost posted two earlier goals, and Colorado defeated host Carolina.
Colorado won its fifth game in a row and extended its points streak to six games. Goalie Pavel Francouz made 45 saves for the Avalanche, who have won seven straight on the road.
Teuvo Teravainen scored twice in the third period to rally Carolina, with Sebastian Aho assisting on both goals.
Ducks 3, Penguins 2
Ryan Getzlaf scored a key goal midway through the second period as Anaheim defeated visiting Pittsburgh.
Danton Heinen and Brendan Guhle also scored for the Ducks, who won consecutive games for the first time since Feb. 1-4. Goaltender John Gibson made 28 saves.
Jason Zucker scored both goals, and Marcus Pettersson assisted on each for the Penguins, who suffered their season-high fifth consecutive defeat, during which they've been outscored 19-8. Matt Murray stopped 18 of 21 shots.
Wild 5, Blue Jackets 0
Kevin Fiala and Zach Parise each had a goal with an assist as surging Minnesota won its third straight, and second in four nights over host Columbus.
Alex Stalock needed just 24 saves for his fourth shutout of the season. Minnesota's netminder won his fourth start in a row as the Wild recorded their fifth straight road victory. Back from a torn meniscus, Columbus' Joonas Korpisalo made his first start since Dec. 29, but was pulled after allowing his fourth goal on 15 shots with 7:30 left
Joel Eriksson Ek and Jared Spurgeon scored 34 seconds apart in the first period, and Ryan Hartman had a goal in his second straight contest for the Wild.
--Field Level Media
Kreider sustained the injury when he blocked a shot by Philippe Myers at 12:20 of the first period, though he managed to take another 10-second shift in the period.
Kreider, 28, was in the final season of a four-year contract and would have become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 before signing a new deal on Monday. Financial terms were not disclosed, but multiple outlets report the deal is worth $45.5 million.
Heading into Friday night's action, he ranked third on the Rangers with 45 points (24 goals, 21 assists) in 62 games this season. He was on his way to breaking his career high of 28 goals that he established twice -- in the 2016-17 and 2018-19 seasons.
A first-round pick by the Rangers in 2009, Kreider has 316 points (157 goals, 159 assists) in 522 career games.
The Rangers were surging in February, winning 11 games during the month and earning nine straight road wins before losing to the Flyers on Friday.
New York lost another key player on Sunday when goaltender Igor Shesterkin was injured in a car accident while driving in Brooklyn. He is expected to miss weeks with fractured ribs.
--Field Level Media
Kassian, who is fifth on the team in scoring with 30 points (14 goals, 16 assists) and also leads with 69 penalty minutes, picked up the suspension for kicking at Tampa Bay defenseman Erik Cernak while trying to untangle himself from a pile during the Lightning's Feb. 13 victory.
It was the second suspension of the season for Kassian, who also picked up a two-gamer for being the aggressor in a fight with Calgary's Matthew Tkachuk on Jan. 11, grabbing the Flames winger by the collar and throwing him to the ice where he then punched him several times.
Edmonton, tied for second in the Pacific Division with Vancouver, went 3-2-2 during Kassian's most recent suspension.
"I feel good," Kassian told reporters after practice Friday. "Obviously, the two weeks seem longer than it really was. It's important for me to have the impact I had at the beginning of the season. The final stretch here are important games and I need to be good for us."
Kassian said he didn't apologize to his teammates for kicking Cernak.
"They know I didn't mean any intent to injure, it was a reactionary play," he said. "I think the best way I can show them how I care and show them I want to be here and help the team is by playing hard when I come back."
Edmonton, trying for just its second playoff appearance since 2006, got good news on the injury front as forwards Andreas Athanasiou, who left the team's 3-0 loss at Vegas on Thursday in the third period with a lower-body injury, Kailer Yamamoto (ankle) and James Neal (foot) all practiced.
However, the team announced defenseman Mike Green, obtained at the trade deadline from Detroit, will be sidelined three-to-four weeks with a sprained MCL.
Winnipeg, tied with Nashville for the second wild card in the Western Conference, comes off a 3-0 home win over Washington on Thursday in the second of a home-and-home with the Capitals. The Jets lost the front end with the Metropolitan Division leaders 4-3 in a shootout on Tuesday in D.C.
Connor Hellebuyck had 34 saves to register his fifth shutout of the season, moving into a tie for the league lead with Marc-Andre Fleury of Vegas and Elvis Merzlikins of Columbus. Kyle Connor and Mark Scheifele each had a goal and an assist in Thursday's victory.
"It was a special night for us last night," said defenseman Nathan Beaulieu, who had seven blocks. "Any time you can get three points out of four against a team like that, you are feeling pretty good about yourselves. Any time you can shut out a team with that much star power ... Washington is obviously pretty special so that's a good confidence (booster) going in."
Edmonton has two of the top four scorers in league-leader Leon Draisaitl (99 points, 37 goals) and Connor McDavid (87 points, 31 goals).
This is the second of three meetings between the two teams. The Jets won the first one 1-0 in a shootout on Oct. 20 in Winnipeg. Hellebuyck made 28 saves and also stopped both shootout attempts while Connor and Patrik Laine converted on their shootout tries.
Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice said Laine, who left Thursday's win in the first period after blocking a shot with his left foot or ankle, didn't suffer any broken bones and will make the trip to Edmonton.
--Field Level Media
They have lost eight of their last nine games, including four straight, and their most recent defeat was embarrassing. They were blown out at home Thursday night by the Minnesota Wild, 7-1, while giving up six goals in the first two periods.
Detroit will try to be more competitive when it travels over the border to face the Ottawa Senators on Saturday.
"Sometimes it's like we can't stop the leak. One turns into two and two turns into three. At the end of the night, it's not pretty again," forward Luke Glendening told NHL.com. "Back to work tomorrow. No one's gonna feel sorry for us, that's for sure. We're paid to play this game. It's a game we love to play but we gotta go out and put out a better performance than that."
What baffled first-line center Dylan Larkin is that the Red Wings looked sharp the previous day. He saw a team ready to end its latest losing streak.
"We had a great practice yesterday," Larkin told NHL.com. "We worked extremely hard. We were competitive, battling each other. We had a good feeling after that practice, and then we just didn't show up (Thursday)."
Not only do the Wings have the worst record in the league by a wide margin, their goal differential is mind-boggling. They're at minus-119. The closest team to them is the Senators, who stood at minus-47 heading into Friday's action.
"That's on guys that have been around," Larkin said. "We've got to make sure our team's ready to go. We can't give them easy chances. We work so hard for our chances. We have to make them work twice as hard for theirs."
The Senators ended a four-game slide by downing the Vancouver Canucks 5-2 on Thursday. It was an uplifting night as forward Bobby Ryan achieved a hat trick.
Ryan was playing his first game in Ottawa since entering the league's assistance program in November. Ryan sought treatment for alcoholism.
He was greeted warmly by the home crowd and the cheers got even louder with each goal.
"It just got harder to kind of keep the emotions down throughout the game," Ryan told NHL.com. "It was incredible. They supported me and, I guess, to contribute, you can't write that, right? The way that went, it was just an incredible evening."
The 32-year-old wing had scored one goal in 17 games prior to his big night. He scored 15 goals in 78 games last season.
Ryan's last hat trick came against the Buffalo Sabres in December 2014.
"It's been a long time since I've done that," Ryan said. "I don't know what I was expecting (Thursday). I was just kind of hoping to take a step forward within my individual game."
The teams are wrapping up their four-game season series. Ottawa won the first two meetings by scores of 5-2 and 4-3.
In the most recent matchup, the Wings won in a shootout, 3-2, on Jan. 10. Larkin scored the only goal during the shootout after converting on a power play during regulation.
--Field Level Media
The Blues have won six consecutive games, including a 5-1 victory at Dallas Feb. 21. The Stars are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games and have been strong overall (18-11-4) on the road.
Dallas sits six points back off the division lead with a game in hand after suffering a hard-fought 4-3 loss in Boston on Thursday night.
That loss against the Eastern Conference-leading Bruins prepared the Stars to face the Blues, who are atop the Western Conference standings.
"We're going to learn from it," Stars captain Jamie Benn said. "We know how St. Louis played last time. They're a good team and we need to go right after them. Two big points on the line."
Stars interim coach Rick Bowness liked how his team stood in against the Bruins in a physical game.
"We battled very hard," Bowness said. "Clearly, we can't give up four goals, and the two tap-ins bothered me a lot. But I thought we did a lot of good things. That's the best team in the league, and we battled with them for 60 minutes."
The Blues are coming off a 3-2 overtime victory over the New York Islanders on Thursday night at Enterprise Center, where they are 22-6-5 this season.
St. Louis outshot the Islanders 32-17 and controlled the puck for much of the game, but the Blues had to rally from a 2-0 deficit to get the two points.
"We don't get too frustrated any more about that kind of stuff," Blues coach Craig Berube said. "We play a lot of games where we have the puck a lot and we get lots of shots and sometimes we just don't score. We stick with it. We're getting better at it. We did a good job tonight and ended up getting a late goal."
One point of emphasis for the Blues on Saturday will be penalty killing. They allowed four power-play goals in their last two games while plunging to 19th in the NHL in penalty-killing efficiency.
"We've got to be better," Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo said. "We've got to find a way to get that penalty kill back up where we want it. Because in the playoffs it'll be crucial."
Berube also wants the Blues to start taking fewer penalties.
"It's things like that that we keep trying to improve and get better at so when we go to the playoffs we're dialed right in and we're firing on all cylinders," Berube said.
The Blues are 3-0-1 against the Stars this season. Goaltenders Jordan Binnington (1-0-1, 2.45 goals-against average, .921 save percentage) and Jake Allen (2-0, 1.00, .961) both have played well in the season series.
The Stars also have used both of their goalies in the series. Ben Bishop (0-3-0, 3.83, .890) has struggled against his former team. Anton Khudobin earned a 3-2 overtime victory against the Blues by stopping 23 of 25 shots.
--Field Level Media
The Canucks have allowed the first goal in each of the first two games of their four-game road trip.
They overcame the early disadvantage Tuesday and rallied to defeat the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 in overtime. But Vancouver could not overcome the early deficit Thursday in a 5-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators.
The Canucks also will be out to avenge a 4-1 home loss to the Maple Leafs on Dec. 10.
Against Ottawa, right winger Tyler Toffoli scored for the third consecutive game (totaling four goals during that span) for the Canucks, who are 4-2-1 in their past seven games.
"We had a really, really good opportunity and not what we wanted to do," Toffoli said.
"It doesn't matter what team we're playing," said Canucks center J.T. Miller, who also scored. "Playing on the road, 20 games to go, need two points. Too many Grade A (chances) to give up. Against an NHL team, they're going to make you pay, no matter what."
"It was kind of a weird game," Canucks coach Travis Green said. "I felt like we came out and we were better to start the game (Thursday), yet we were down 2-0. So now you're chasing the game."
Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko took responsibility for Ottawa's first goal, a shot that went between his arm and body in the first period.
"I need to look at the film to see what I could do differently, but I need to stop that one," Demko said. "I thought I had it and when I looked back, it was behind me."
Ottawa scored again 30 seconds later.
The Maple Leafs are returning from a successful two-game trip. They defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 on Tuesday and overcame a two-goal, first-period deficit to defeat the Florida Panthers 5-3 on Thursday.
The victories were especially important to help erase the humiliation of a 6-3 home loss to the Carolina Hurricanes last Saturday. Both Carolina goaltenders were injured during the game and emergency replacement David Ayres -- a Zamboni driver and part-time practice goalie for the Leafs -- played nearly half the game to get the win.
The Maple Leafs will be without Jake Muzzin for about four weeks after the defenseman suffered a broken hand in the game Tuesday. Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe had seven defensemen in his lineup Thursday.
"In the early going, especially with the seventh defenseman, we were trying to find the right mix and what the mix is going to be and how it's going to flow," Keefe said. "I think when you go with the seven defense like that, you just sort of let it evolve. You can't make too much of a plan, you've just got to kind of see. I think it took a little bit of time for that to settle and that helped our team once we did settle it down. The big thing I'll take away from the game, of course, is just how we didn't fold."
Maple Leafs right winger William Nylander scored what proved to be the winning goal in the third period on Thursday and has points (three goals, three assists) in five consecutive games. He leads the team with seven game-winning goals.
--Field Level Media
Tampa Bay will look to snap a season-high four-game losing skid on Saturday when it hosts the Calgary Flames.
The Lightning played a strong two periods against the visiting Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night and held a two-goal lead through 44 minutes of play. The visitors responded by scoring five straight goals in the final period of a 5-2 decision.
Defenseman Victor Hedman said his team needs to close out a mostly productive February (9-4-0) better than by adding another defeat.
"Obviously, it's a tough one to swallow," the former Norris Trophy winner said of the team's longest regular-season losing streak since January 2017.
"At the end of the day, you can't give up five goals in one period. It's not good enough."
Most troubling was the Lightning's power play, which has been ranked in the NHL's top five for much of the season. But with captain Steven Stamkos absent with a lower-body injury, they failed to find the back of the net on their five man-advantage chances.
"I think we had some better looks today. We had a lot of good shots. They just didn't go in," Hedman said. "Still, 0-for-5 is not good enough. It's not up to our standards."
Tampa Bay has another chance to live up to its standards at home, where the club is 20-9-2. The Lightning's franchise-record 11-game home winning streak was snapped on Tuesday.
Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov each posted a goal and an assist for the Lightning on Thursday, but Chicago rookie Dominik Kubalik notched his first career hat trick to spark the Blackhawks' five-goal outburst.
Calgary dropped a 4-3 overtime decision on Thursday to the Nashville Predators, who are one of the teams it is chasing in the wild-card race.
The Flames are just one point behind the Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers, second- and third-place respectively, in a tight divisional race, and to say the loss in Nashville was a tough one to stomach is putting it mildly.
The Predators' Mikael Granlund popped in the tying goal with one second left in regulation and followed that up with the winner in overtime to earn Nashville two points in the playoff race and deny the Flames of an important extra point.
Mikael Backlund notched the third of his three-point night by slicing through the Predators' defense and setting up Andrew Mangiapane's 16th goal with 43 seconds left in the third to give the Flames a 3-2 lead.
"It was a tough way to lose. There's no doubt about that," Calgary captain Mark Giordano said. "The puck seemed at the end like it was bouncing all around our net, and they whacked it home. Tough point to lose."
Backlund has totaled 10 points (five goals, five assists) in a five-game point streak.
The Flames are 6-3-1 in their last 10 contests entering the fourth stop of a five-game road trip.
--Field Level Media
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to make the official announcement on Saturday, according to the report, adding that all home playoff games this season also will be played at the venue in Uniondale, N.Y.
The Islanders played their home games at the Nassau Coliseum from 1972 to 2015, then moved to Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., for three seasons beginning in 2015-16. In the 2018 playoffs, they resumed playing in Uniondale, where they won four consecutive Stanley Cup championships from 1980-84.
Their final game in Brooklyn will be March 22, Newsday reported.
The Islanders plan to move into a new arena on Long Island, near Belmont Park, beginning with the 2021-22 season. The 19,000-seat venue is under construction.
--Field Level Media
Coach Peter DeBoer said Stone's injury still is being evaluated and that he couldn't say when the team's leading scorer would return.
"There's always fear," DeBoer told reporters about the possibility of a long-term injury. "We don't know, but we'll see."
The 27-year-old Stone has 63 points (21 goals, 42 assists) in 65 games. He has four multipoint games in the past 10 contests.
Vegas (35-22-8) is in first place in the Pacific Division by four points.
--Field Level Media
The Kings, who reside in last place in the Western Conference standings, own a 4-2-1 record in their past seven games following a 2-1 win against the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night.
The Devils, who are last place in the Metropolitan Division, have earned points in four straight games (3-0-1) and 12 of their past 15 (8-3-4).
Kings coach Todd McLellan told reporters after the win against Pittsburgh that his forwards are getting better at understanding their forechecking responsibilities, which is making it tougher for teams to build momentum coming out of their zone.
"Teams are still going to get opportunities, but they're not free ones," he said. "At least we're near our checks, or we have the ability to disrupt a free rush."
McLellan said he eventually would like to see the Kings possess the puck for longer stretches, rather than just dump it in and go on the forecheck.
"Right now, the guys are playing how they need to play to win," he said. "Part of developing the future is gaining some of those characteristics."
The Kings could be playing a little looser now that the veterans realize they'll be finishing the season in Los Angeles.
Trevor Lewis, who was rumored to be on the block in the weeks leading up to Monday's trade deadline, scored against the Penguins.
"The people that are in the locker room right now, the older players, the veterans, we've addressed all of them, and they're aware of what their roles could be and how hard they have to play in practice, so that everybody else can keep their eyes on them," McLellan said. "We've got the leaders and the followers. We've got to do it all together."
The Devils were trying to win a season-high fourth straight game on Thursday night, but they couldn't hold a two-goal lead after the first period and dropped a 3-2 decision in overtime to the San Jose Sharks.
"In this league, you can't afford to play just 40 or 30 minutes," Devils forward Nico Hischier told reporters afterward. "You have to play a full 60 minutes."
New Jersey goalie Cory Schneider started the past two games, but Mackenzie Blackwood likely will be in net against the Kings.
Blackwood had 37 saves in a 3-0 win against visiting Los Angeles on Feb. 8, marking his second straight shutout.
Schneider was 0-4-1 with a 4.59 goals-against average and .852 save percentage in six games when he was placed on waivers on Nov. 18. He was sent down to Binghamton of the American Hockey League after clearing a day later.
Schneider was recalled from Binghamton on Feb. 21, three days before Louis Domingue was traded to the Vancouver Canucks.
The Kings recalled defenseman Mikey Anderson from Ontario of the AHL on Friday. He's expected to make his NHL debut against his brother, Joey, a right wing on the Devils.
Mikey Anderson was paired with Matt Roy at practice on Friday, replacing Joakim Ryan in the lineup.
Ryan is a combined minus-4 in the past three games.
"There are nights you'll come out because of your play, but a lot of nights you'll come out just for rotational purposes," McLellan said.
--Field Level Media
Florida squandered an early two-goal lead and dropped a 5-3 decision to Toronto in a crucial home game on Thursday night. The Panthers trail the Maple Leafs by four points in the battle for the third playoff berth in the Atlantic Division.
"Let's try to recapture some confidence here at home," Florida coach Joel Quenneville said when asked about the game versus the Blackhawks. "Let's find a way to get two points."
Quenneville said his top line of captain Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau and Evgenii Dadonov didn't have enough puck possession. The trio was held without a point and combined for a minus-six rating.
"Everybody needs to play better, and that starts with me," said Barkov, who is second on the Panthers with 62 points. "We couldn't get a lot going (against Toronto)."
Hoffman scored his team-high 26th goal of the season against Toronto. Huberdeau tops the team with 77 points, but he has no goals and just one assist in his past three games.
Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky has alternated a win with a loss for his past four games. The two-time Vezina Trophy recipient is 23-19-5 with a 3.26 goals-against average and an .899 save percentage.
Meanwhile, the Blackhawks -- who are in a rebuilding season and likely to miss the playoffs for the third straight year -- are coming off an impressive 5-2 win over the host Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday.
Veteran goalie Corey Crawford, 35, made 36 saves for just his second win in his past eight starts. He is 12-18-3 this season with a 2.88 GAA and a .914 SP.
Dominik Kubalik scored three goals -- all in the third period -- on Thursday.
Kubalik, a 24-year-old winger from the Czech Republic, leads all NHL rookies with 29 goals. He also leads all Blackhawks players in goals and has scored seven in his past seven games.
"I have no idea what's clicking -- I would like to know as well," said Kubalik, a seventh-round pick of the Los Angeles Kings in 2013.
"I've just been around the net."
Besides Kubalik, Chicago's stars are veterans Patrick Kane (28 goals, 78 points) and captain Jonathan Toews (16 goals, 54 points). Kane scored 44 goals last season, and Toews had 35.
The coaching matchup features Quenneville, who was fired by Chicago on Nov. 6, 2018, and 35-year-old Jeremy Colliton, who replaced him on the Blackhawks bench.
Quenneville, who led the Blackhawks to three Stanley Cup titles as their head coach, directed the Panthers to a 4-3 win in Chicago on Jan. 21 in their previous meeting this season. The Panthers received a hat trick from Frank Vatrano, and Quenneville got an ovation from Chicago's fans.
"That was a memorable event," Quenneville said of his reception and the win. "I'm thankful."
--Field Level Media
Green, who was acquired from the Detroit Red Wings prior to the trade deadline on Monday, was injured two days later in Edmonton's 3-0 loss to the Golden Knights in Las Vegas.
The 34-year-old did not record a point and registered a minus-2 rating in two games with the Oilers.
Green has three goals and eight assists in 50 games this season with the Red Wings and Oilers. A first-round pick by Washington in 2004, he has 501 points (150 goals, 351 assists) in 880 games with the Capitals (2005-15), Red Wings (2015-20) and Oilers.
The Oilers enter play on Friday in third place in the Pacific Division.
--Field Level Media
Looking to avoid a third consecutive loss, the Islanders also will aim to end a nine-game home losing streak against the NHL-leading Bruins on Saturday afternoon in Uniondale, N.Y.
New York is on solid ground in terms of playoff position in the Eastern Conference and has earned at least one point in four straight games, but it is amid a 2-4-2 stretch entering this matinee.
After falling in overtime to the rival New York Rangers on Tuesday, the Islanders failed to hold a late one-goal lead at St. Louis on Thursday and ended up falling 3-2 in overtime.
"We'll take the point, but we have another level," coach Barry Trotz told the Islanders' official website.
"We'll see at the end of the whole process if this is the one that got away or if this is the one that got us in (the playoffs)."
For the most part, New York has shown that other level by scoring 28 goals while going 5-0-2 at home this month. However, the Islanders also have yielded 19 goals in those games.
The Islanders have been outscored 38-15 while going 0-8-1 at home against the Bruins since last beating them there on Nov. 2, 2013. They fell in overtime 3-2 on Jan. 11. New York also is in the midst of a 1-6-2 overall rut against Bruins, but that victory came 3-2 in a shootout at Boston on Dec. 19.
The Bruins avoided a third straight loss by holding on for a 4-3 home win over Dallas on Thursday. David Pastrnak scored his league-leading 46th goal and added an assist while Brad Marchand also posted one of each to help raise Boston's point total to 92.
"We correct the mistakes and we believe in each other, we believe we have a good team," Bruins forward David Krejci told NHL.com. "We work hard."
The hard work put in by former Islander Jaroslav Halak appears to be paying off. He made 31 saves Thursday, and has a 1.83 goals-against average while winning six straight starts. Halak last faced New York in January 2014, before joining the team the next season.
Teammate Tuukka Rask has allowed 10 goals while losing his past two starts, but he has a stellar 1.11 goals-against average during a 6-0-1 stretch versus New York.
Pastrnak has 15 points (eight goals, seven assists) in his past 10 games overall, but just one assist in his past three games against the Islanders.
Marchand, meanwhile, has three goals with nine assists during an eight-game point streak. He has failed to dent the scoresheet in three straight versus New York, however.
New York's Mathew Barzal, who leads the team with 56 points, has eight assists in his past five contests. He's totaled two goals with five assists in eight career games versus Boston.
Teammate Jordan Eberle has recorded five goals with two assists in the past five contests overall and Jean-Gabriel Pageau has two goals in as many games since the Islanders acquired him from Ottawa.
Semyon Varlamov has a 2.39 goals-against average while going 4-0-1 at home this month for New York. He has a 2.37 goals-against average in the two meetings with Boston this season.
Backup Thomas Greiss, who stopped 29 shots Thursday, has allowed at least three goals in five consecutive starts.
--Field Level Media
With No. 1 goalie Joonas Korpisalo possibly ready to make his first start of 2020, the Blue Jackets aim to keep the surging Minnesota Wild from a fifth consecutive road victory on Friday night.
Currently sitting in the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference, Columbus is mired in a 1-4-5 stretch. That lone victory came 4-3 in overtime versus Ottawa on Monday, but the Blue Jackets were unable to build on it while losing 5-4 at Minnesota one night later. Columbus scored three third-period goals to nearly erase the Wild's 4-1 advantage, but left frustrated with the way things unfolded.
"It's a disappointing effort in a lot of guys (Tuesday) that normally are giving us the minutes," captain Nick Foligno, who has four goals with an assist in the last four games.
"I'm not trying to be negative -- I like the way we found ourselves -- but man, we're not in a position with the people we have in this room to be spotting teams leads and expect to win."
While the Blue Jackets have been hit hard by injuries, including to star defenseman Seth Jones, they need to improve defensively after yielding 32 goals over the last eight games. It doesn't help that goalie Elvis Merzlikins (12-9-7, 2.44 goals-against average as a starter) exited Monday following a collision with Ottawa's Anthony Duclair.
However, Korpisalo, the team's No. 1 netminder with 17 wins and a 2.49 goals-against average as a starter, could be set to make his first start since Dec. 29. Korpisalo missed 24 games with a torn meniscus before stopping 14 of 15 shots in relief on Monday. Rookie Matiss Kivlenieks saved 35 shots at Minnesota this week.
The Wild, three points out of the final wild-card spot in the crowded West, kept the offense coming during a 7-1 road rout over lowly Detroit on Thursday. It was the fourth win in five games for Minnesota, which is amid an 8-3-1 stretch.
"This is fun when we're all going like this," Wild defenseman Matt Dumba, who had two goals with an assist Thursday, told KFAN-FM 100.3. "Winning is fun. Guys don't like to lose, especially with this race in the West. We've got to win every game we can.
"We know we've got to be sharp (Friday). (Columbus) is a team that is going to be hungry and looking for a little revenge."
Alex Stalock made 25 saves against the Red Wings to post his third consecutive victory. He stopped 24 shots versus Columbus this week, but Devan Dubnyk could get the start for the Wild in this back-to-back scenario. Dubnyk has yielded at least three goals in three straight starts.
Mikko Koivu has just four goals on the season for Minnesota, but two came against Columbus on Tuesday, and he recorded two assists Thursday. Ryan Donato, meanwhile, has two goals and two assists in the last two games, and Matt Fiala has recorded nine goals and eight assists over his last 12 contests.
Columbus' Pierre-Luc Dubois, two shy of a third straight 20-goal season, has one goal and three assists in his last four contests versus Minnesota.
--Field Level Media
The fourth straight came Tuesday, 4-2, on home ice over the San Jose Sharks.
Kevin Hayes had two goals and one assist to lift the surging Flyers to 22-5-4 at home, the most home wins by Philadelphia at this stage of the season since 1986-87.
The game was tied at 1 against the Sharks before the Flyers regained all the momentum from the second period on. Whenever they have needed a spark, head coach Alain Vigneault has provided it.
"We had a good conversation at the first intermission and came out better," said Travis Konecny, who recorded his 22nd goal and added a pair of assists. "The message was received."
Lost a bit in the win was the solid play of Nate Thompson and Derek Grant, each acquired separately before the trade deadline.
"For the most part, I thought both players showed smarts to their game," Vigneault said. "And I thought they got better and more comfortable as the game went on."
Grant won six of his 10 faceoffs and sure didn't look jet-lagged coming from the Anaheim Ducks on the West Coast.
"You're running on adrenaline and nervous excitement to start," Grant told Inquirer.com. "I started to settle in as the game went on. It's always nice to get the first one over with."
Goaltender Carter Hart is 17-2-2 at home with a 1.65 goals-against average and .941 save percentage.
The red-hot Rangers won their fifth in a row and their franchise-best ninth straight on the road, 5-2, against the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday.
Mika Zibanejad scored his 30th goal of the season and helped the Rangers overcome a 2-0 deficit with five unanswered goals.
The Rangers will now head to Philadelphia with an impressive 18-11-2 road mark.
"We're finding a way right now, and that's what we need going forward," Zibanejad said. "Right now we're just really consistent the way we play and the way we manage games."
The Rangers have climbed their way back into playoff contention by going 12-3-0 since the All-Star break. In addition, the Rangers are 11-3-0 in February and have already set a record for most wins in a month.
In their 5-2 win at Montreal, Ryan Strome scored two goals and had one assist. Phillip Di Giuseppe and Adam Fox each scored one goal, and Alexandar Georgiev stopped 32 shots.
Earlier this season, the Rangers might not have come back to win after trailing by two goals late in the second period. But things have been clicking lately, especially on the road.
New York knows it will take a complete effort to down the hot Flyers.
"If you're going to have success this time of year, you better have length up and down your lineup, and everybody's got to be pulling their weight," Rangers head coach David Quinn said.
--Field Level Media
In overtime, Granlund took a pass from Ryan Ellis between the bottom of the faceoff circles and floated a shot over Rittich's blocker. Colton Sissons and Roman Josi also scored for the Predators, who improved to 6-1-1 in their past eight games. Goaltender Juuse Saros made 36 saves.
Mikael Backlund had a goal and two assists, and Rasmus Andersson and Andrew Mangiapane also scored for the Flames, who had their two-game winning streak snapped. David Rittich stopped 34 of 38 shots.
Mangiapane gave the Flames a 3-2 lead with 43 seconds left in the third period. But in the final seconds of regulation, Nashville's Filip Forsberg got the puck behind the Calgary net and found Granlund at the top of the crease, from where he shoveled the puck under Rittich's right pad just before the buzzer.
Blues 3, Islanders 2 (OT)
Colton Parayko scored a wraparound goal in overtime to lift St. Louis over visiting New York.
The Blues won their sixth consecutive game after rallying from a 2-0 deficit to force the extra time. Brayden Schenn and Vince Dunn also scored for the Blues, and goaltender Jordan Binnington made 15 saves.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Jordan Eberle scored for the Islanders and Thomas Greiss, making his first start in seven games, stopped 29 of 32 shots.
Bruins 4, Stars 3
Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak and Nick Ritchie each had a goal and an assist and Boston held off visiting Dallas as Charlie Coyle also scored, and Jaroslav Halak stopped 31 shots in net.
John Klingberg, Denis Gurianov and Miro Heiskanen scored for the Stars, who lost for just the third time in their last 10 games (7-2-1). Ben Bishop made 24 saves.
The score was tied 1-1 when Boston's David Krejci dropped the gloves with Joe Pavelski at 11:24 of the second period. Krejci, in just the third fight of his 14-year career and first since February 2011, landed several blows to Pavelski's helmet before the two were separated. Pavelski logged his fourth NHL fight, first since November 2017.
Maple Leafs 5, Panthers 3
William Nylander scored the go-ahead goal with 11 minutes left in the third period as Toronto rallied from a two-goal deficit to defeat Florida in Sunrise, Fla.
Toronto also got goals from Zach Hyman, Kasperi Kapanen, Auston Matthews and Justin Holl (empty-netter). For Matthews, who also had an assist, it was his 44th goal of the season. Frederik Andersen made 24 saves for Toronto. He was flawless after allowing three goals in the first 12-plus minutes.
Florida got goals from Mark Pysyk, Mike Hoffman and Noel Acciari. Hoffman has a team-high 26 goals. Sergei Bobrovsky (24 saves) took the loss.
Jets 3, Capitals 0
Connor Hellebuyck made 34 saves for his fifth shutout of the season, and Winnipeg defeated visiting Washington.
Mark Scheifele and Kyle Connor each had a goal and an assist, and Dmitry Kulikov also scored for the Jets, who snapped a three-game losing streak (0-2-1). It was Hellebuyck's 19th career shutout.
Ilya Samsonov made 29 saves for the Capitals, who were shut out for just the second time this season and remain four points in front of Pittsburgh for the Metropolitan Division lead.
Rangers 5, Canadiens 2
Mika Zibanejad scored the tying goal and Adam Fox the game-winner in a span of 75 seconds as New York rallied from a two-goal deficit to defeat host Montreal.
The Rangers extended their team-record road winning streak to nine games, having not lost on the road since Jan. 11. Ryan Strome scored two goals and Phillip Di Giuseppe also tallied for New York, and Alexandar Georgiev made 32 saves.
Max Domi and Tomas Tatar scored for Montreal, which has allowed seven third-period goals in two home meetings against the Rangers this season. The Canadiens' Carey Price stopped 30 of 34 shots.
Senators 5, Canucks 2
Bobby Ryan recorded a hat trick in his first home game since November, and Ottawa snapped a four-game losing streak with a win over Vancouver.
On a night that could not have been scripted better, Ryan, an Ottawa favorite, played his second game since missing a little more than three months after entering the NHL's Player Assistance Program while dealing with alcoholism. It was the first time he skated on home ice since Nov. 15.
Ryan, who had one goal in 17 games entering this contest, scored in the first and then iced the game with two late in the third period. It was his first hat trick since December 2014, helping Ottawa snap an 0-3-1 slide.
Wild 7, Red Wings 1
Matt Dumba scored two goals and added an assist, and Minnesota rolled at Detroit.
Kevin Fiala supplied a goal and two assists for the Wild. Ryan Hartman and Ryan Donato each contributed a goal and an assist. Jordan Greenway and Eric Staal also scored for Minnesota, while Alex Stalock stopped 25 shots.
Anthony Mantha scored for Detroit, which has dropped eight of its last nine games. Jimmy Howard was pulled after allowing five goals on 17 shots.
Blackhawks 5, Lightning 2
Rookie Dominic Kubalik netted his first career hat trick, and Chicago scored five times in the third period to rally past host Tampa Bay.
Brandon Saad and Slater Koekkoek -- a 2012 first-round draft pick by Tampa Bay -- also scored for the Blackhawks, who improved to 8-2-1 against the Atlantic Division this season. Goalie Corey Crawford stopped 36 of 38 shots.
Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov each recorded a goal and an assist for the Lightning, who lost a season-long fourth consecutive game. Kucherov has 29 points in his last 18 games. Curtis McElhinney stopped 22 of 26 shots.
Sharks 3, Devils 2 (OT)
Logan Couture scored the overtime game-winner in his second game back from injury to lift San Jose over visiting New Jersey.
Couture, who returned Tuesday from a broken ankle suffered Jan. 7, helped his team snap a five-game losing streak. The Sharks' losing streak included a 2-1 loss to the Devils on Feb. 20.
Evander Kane, who got the puck to Couture in overtime, had two assists, while rookie Mario Ferraro and Marcus Sorensen each scored once for the Sharks. Travis Zajac and Nikita Gusev had the goals for the Devils, who saw their win streak end at three games.
--Field Level Media
Coach Paul Maurice told reporters afterward that X-rays showed no broken bones, and that Laine would travel with the team to Edmonton prior to Saturday's game against the Oilers. He'll be evaluated further before making a decision about playing.
"Just took a shot, and we'll have to see how he's feeling tomorrow," Maurice said.
Laine blocked a shot from Michal Kempny off the inside of his left foot, then got up and attempted to block another one. He limped off and briefly stayed on the team's bench before heading to the locker room. The team ruled him out for the game.
The 21-year-old has 26 goals and 33 assists in 64 games this season, after topping 30 goals scored in each of his first three NHL seasons.
The Jets have dealt with a number of injuries recently, including to Josh Morrissey, Bryan Little, Mathieu Perreault, Adam Lowry and Luca Sbisa.
--Field Level Media
The Anaheim Ducks, sellers on Monday, had no such expectations.
The teams, who will meet Friday night in Southern California, got surprising results in their first games since the trades.
The Penguins lost 2-1 on Thursday at the Los Angeles Kings, the last-place team in the Western Conference. Pittsburgh newcomers Patrick Marleau, Conor Sheary and Evan Rodrigues were kept off the score sheet.
It was the fourth straight regulation defeat for the Penguins, matching the total they had in 22 previous games since Christmas.
"We know that points are important, and we want to be playing well this time of year," Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said. "You don't want to drop four in a row, but it's the reality we face. I feel like we probably deserved a little better the last few games, but you don't get points for that, so we've got to find ways to win games."
Marleau, 40, who arrived in a deal with San Jose, had one shot on 19 shifts in his debut for the Penguins.
"It's good to shut the brain off as soon as you get on the ice," Marleau said. "I was racing before that. But yeah, felt pretty good on the ice, and the guys are all easy to play with, so it makes it easy."
Sheary, who spent his first three seasons with the Penguins and helped them win Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017, and Rodrigues were acquired in a deal with Buffalo. Sheary played on the top line with Crosby and Jason Zucker, who joined Pittsburgh a couple of weeks ago from Minnesota. Rodrigues centered the fourth line.
Despite the loss, the trio earned praise from their new teammates.
"Those guys were great. I think you can see what makes them successful players in the league," said forward Bryan Rust, who scored the Penguins' lone goal. "Obviously a lot of us are familiar with Conor and even playing against (Marleau) in the playoffs, I think we know how good he's been for so long.
Rodrigues came in, (and) you could see how hard he works and his wheels and just the team game."
The Ducks, with five new players, defeated visiting Edmonton 4-3 in overtime Tuesday to snap a four-game losing streak. Sonny Milano tallied twice and became the 10th player in NHL history to score an overtime goal in their first game with a franchise.
Milano, acquired from Columbus, drew a tripping penalty on the Oilers' Connor McDavid at 1:09 of OT and scored on the power play at 2:05.
"It was definitely a lot of fun," Milano told NHL.com. "Good opportunity to be out there in overtime and capitalizing."
Danton Heinen, who came over in a deal with Boston, as well as left wing Andrew Agozzino and defensemen Christian Djoos and Matt Irwin also made their Ducks' debuts.
"All those guys coming in, I'm sure it was an exciting day for them, but you never know what you're going to get when you plug five guys into a lineup," Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said. "Obviously, Sonny coming in and scoring early certainly bodes well for his confidence, that's for sure."
--Field Level Media
The Pacific Division-leading Golden Knights improved to 11-3-2 since Peter DeBoer replaced Gerard Gallant as head coach on Jan. 15 with a 3-0 shutout of the visiting Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday night. The seventh straight win matched the second-longest streak in team history.
The team-record eight-game winning streak took place in the Golden Knights' memorable inaugural season -- Dec. 14, 2017 to Jan. 2, 2018 -- when they reached the Stanley Cup Final.
Marc-Andre Fleury finished with 29 saves for his fifth shutout of the season, moving into a tie with Columbus' Elvis Merzlikins for the league lead. It was the 61st career shutout for Fleury, who also moved into a tie for 17th place on the all-time shutouts list with Walter "Turk" Broda.
"Tonight, I got a little lucky with two goals that didn't go in," said Fleury, referring to a first-period Connor McDavid shot that went off the crossbar and a third-period shot from the right circle by Leon Draisaitl that clanged off the far-left post. "I think the way our team has been playing has been more consistent. We're not giving up as many scoring chances and I think that makes me look better."
Fleury improved to 5-0-0 with a 1.60 goals-against average and a .941 save percentage in his last five starts.
"As a team we went through ups and downs for the first part of the season," Fleury said. "We hung in there to be in a playoff spot. I feel now we're playing more consistent night after night."
Max Pacioretty scored his 30th goal of the season -- the sixth time he's reach the 30-goal mark -- and Nick Cousins, acquired from Montreal at Monday's trade deadline for a fourth-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft, and Shea Theodore also scored for the Golden Knights.
Cousins played despite not arriving from Montreal on a flight until 11 a.m. on Wednesday morning and missing the team's morning skate. He became the sixth Vegas newcomer to score a goal in their debut this season.
"That was fun," Cousins said. "It's been a crazy couple of days here with all the travel and stuff like that but there's no better way to be thrown into the fire than to play a game at home."
Buffalo, 5-2 over its last seven games, began a four-game western road trip with a hard-fought 3-2 loss at Colorado on Wednesday.
J.T. Compher scored the game-winner for the Avalanche with 8:06 to play. Buffalo nearly tied it in the final minute after pulling goalie Carter Hutton but Victor Olofsson hit the post with one shot and Colorado goalie Paval Francouz robbed him on another attempt.
"It was a really good hockey game," Buffalo coach Ralph Krueger said. "If this was the fifth game of the season you'd be quite happy right now. It's just that all that matters to us are results. It really hurts but there's a lot to take with us here for how we need to play on the road. Right now, all that's at the surface is the pain."
Forward Dominik Kahun, acquired by Buffalo at the trade deadline from the Pittsburgh Penguins, told the Buffalo News he hopes to make his Sabres debut on Friday after taking part in the team's morning skate on Wednesday. Kahun missed his last two games with the Penguins with a lower-body injury.
--Field Level Media
Amid a tight race for a playoff spot, the urgency will be evident as center Vincent Trocheck and defenseman Brady Skjei take spots in the lineup after arriving earlier this week in trades.
Carolina's next game comes against the visiting Colorado Avalanche on Friday night in Raleigh, N.C.
Trocheck and Skjei played in Tuesday night's 4-1 home loss to the Dallas Stars and had a couple of days to regroup before their second game with the Hurricanes.
"Things settled down after the first few shifts," said Skjei, who arrived in a trade from the New York Rangers. "I was trying not to think too much, just trying to play the game."
First impressions were encouraging for Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour. Trocheck came from the Florida Panthers.
"I thought they both were good," Brind'Amour said. "I thought it's tough for those first games, especially when you don't really know our systems that well. But I thought they looked really good."
The newcomers are bound to become more comfortable as they adjust to a new system.
"I try to just play my game and I'll keep learning throughout this week," Skjei said. "Soaking in as much as I can and getting to know the guys. All the guys have been great so far and welcoming me in."
The Hurricanes also used goalie Alex Nedeljkovic in his NHL season debut against Dallas. He was in his third NHL game, this time arriving on a promotion from the Charlotte Checkers after injuries to James Reimer and Petr Mrazek.
"You're not going to win every night," Nedeljkovic said. "You're not going to have your best every night ... The season is not over after one game."
He gave up a goal in the first minute, but that jarring moment didn't stick with him.
"You've got to keep battling and you have to make that next save," Nedeljkovic said.
The Avalanche are coming off Wednesday night's 3-2 home victory against the Buffalo Sabres. Colorado has won four consecutive games as it begins a three-game road trip.
The Avalanche also are working in new players.
"It's a good opportunity and I'm hungry to get there (to the playoffs)," said center Vladislav Namestnikov, who joined the team in a trade from the Ottawa Senators.
Goalie Michael Hutchinson came to the Avalanche in a deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
"It's exciting to be part of a team that's doing something really special right now," Hutchinson said.
Colorado's roster also was adjusted for Wednesday's game when forward Andre Burakovsky was ruled out with what the team described as illness.
Carolina is 0-2-1 in its last three home games.
Hurricanes right winger Sebastian Aho has a 13-game points streak, the longest stretch for a player with the franchise since the Hartford Whalers days (Blaine Stoughton in January-February 1982).
Aho scored in Tuesday night's game, giving him a team-best 36 goals this season.
Teammate Andrei Svechnikov, a right winger, has an 11-game points streak. This is the first time a duo for the franchise has had streaks of 10 or more games during the same time frame since 1980.
--Field Level Media
Hayden was fined $2,016.13 -- the maximum allowable under the collective bargaining agreement -- for the incident, which occurred at 19:16 of the third period after Bertuzzi checked Devils rookie forward Jack Hughes into the boards.
Bertuzzi got 10 minutes for misconduct, while Hayden was assessed a five-minute major penalty and a 10-minute game misconduct for the retaliation. The money will be sent to the NHL Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.
Hayden, 25, is in his first season with New Jersey after being traded from the Chicago Blackhawks over the summer.
A third-round pick by the Blackhawks in 2013, the four-year veteran has three points (two goals, one assist) and 75 penalty minutes in 37 games this season. Overall, he has 10 goals and 15 assists in 150 career NHL games.
--Field Level Media