NHL roundup: Chris Kunitz scores twice as Penguins cruise

Chris Kunitz moved with the puck in the second period of Thursday’s game.
Charles LeClaire/USA Today Sports
Chris Kunitz moved with the puck in the second period of Thursday’s game.

Chris Kunitz scored twice during a four-goal second period and the Penguins beat the San Jose Sharks, 5-1, Thursday night in Pittsburgh for their fifth straight victory.

Pascal Dupuis, Jayson Megna, and Kris Letang also scored for Pittsburgh, which snapped San Jose’s six-game winning streak. Sidney Crosby added three assists in his 500th career game to push his point total to an NHL-leading 42.

Marc-Andre Fleury made 44 saves for the Penguins against the league’s highest-scoring team. Pittsburgh played without star Evgeni Malkin, scratched after sustaining a lower-body injury during the morning skate.


Tomas Hertl got his 14th goal for San Jose. Antti Niemi made 23 saves but was pulled after two periods, and the Sharks lost in regulation for only the fourth time this season.

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Rangers 3, Sabres 1 — Henrik Lundqvist was hardly troubled through 40 minutes, making 27 saves to lead New York at Buffalo.

Rick Nash, Brad Richards, and Mats Zuccarello scored for the Rangers, who bounced back from a 5-2 loss to Winnipeg Monday.

Tyler Ennis scored and Ryan Miller made 28 saves for the Sabres, who are 3-12-1 at the First Niagara Center.

Oilers 8, Avalanche 2 — Taylor Hall had a hat trick and an assist to help host Edmonton rebound from a lopsided defeat with a rout of Colorado.


Ales Hemsky, David Perron, Mark Arcobello, Jordan Eberle and Sam Gagner also scored for the Oilers, who replaced a quarter of their lineup after a 6-2 loss to Phoenix on Tuesday.

The Oilers improved to just 4-9-0 at home, but they've won six of nine overall.

Maple Leafs 3, Stars 2 — Trevor Smith scored at 4:18 of overtime to help host Toronto end a five-game skid.

The Maple Leafs won for the first time since Nov. 23 despite being outshot for the 10th consecutive game, this time 50-24.

Nazem Kadri scored twice for the Leafs in his return from a one-game absence to attend his grandfather’s funeral.


Blues 5, Islanders 1— Derek Roy and David Backes scored power-play goals 2:31 apart in the second period to lead host St. Louis over struggling New York.

St. Louis won for the sixth time in eight games. The Islanders have lost eight straight overall (0-6-2) and eight in a row on the road.

Jay Bouwmeester, Magnus Paajarvi and Brenden Morrow also scored for the Blues.

Panthers 5, Jets 2 — Dylan Olsen scored his first NHL goal to help Florida beat Winnipeg in Sunrise, Fla.

Jimmy Hayes, Nick Bjugstad, Tomas Fleischmann and Erik Gudbranson also scored for the Panthers. Tim Thomas stopped 29 shots and Scottie Upshall had two assists.

Wild 4, Blackhawks 3 — Marco Scandella’s slap shot with 1:48 left, the defenseman’s first goal this season, lifted Minnesota over Chicago in St. Paul.

Jonas Brodin scored on a power play with 5:39 remaining to tie the game for the Wild, who raised their home record to 12-3-2 and handed the Blackhawks their first loss in their past seven road games.

Lightning 3, Senators 1 — Martin St. Louis scored two goals as host Tampa Bay bounced back from consecutive shutout losses.

Valtteri Filppula also scored for the Lightning and Ondrej Palat had two assists. Ottawa got a goal from Patrick Wiercioch.

Hurricanes 5, Predators 2 — Jeff Skinner had a hat trick to lead visiting Carolina over Nashville.

Skinner has five goals in his past two games.