NHL: Pittsburgh wins and moves within five points of Detroit

The Pittsburgh Penguins won 6-3 over the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night. Mike Sullivan’s team thus wins an important game against a direct rival in the race for the playoffs.

The victory allows Pittsburgh to move within five points of Detroit and the last place that gives access to the playoffs. The Pens now surpass the New Jersey Devils, by virtue of their loss to the Vegas Golden Knights.

One less game against the Buffalo Sabers also allows Pittsburgh to move behind the New York Islanders in the standings.

Reilly Smith opened the scoring in the first period when the Pens forward deflected Marcus Pettersson’s shot in front of Alex Lyon’s net.

Swede Lucas Raymond, however, created the equalizer a few minutes later. His laser from the left circle managed to beat Alex Nedeljkovic at the top.

Pittsburgh, however, responded with two quick goals, always before the end of the first half. Sidney Crosby first with his 33rd of the season, then Valtteri Puustinen in the final minute allowed the Penguins to take a 3-1 lead.

Crosby’s goal was also his 583rd with the Penguins. He joined Wayne Gretzky for seventh all-time for most goals with a single franchise.

Newcomer Michael Bunting scored his second goal for his new team early in the intermission period. Bunting pounced on a loose puck in the goal for his 15th of the season.

The Wings’ Christian Fischer and the Pens’ Lars Eller scored just over two minutes apart at the end of the period.

Raymond then scored his second goal of the game during the third period, but to no avail.

Drew O’Connor scored his tenth of the season in the final minute of play.

Pittsburgh has only a second victory in seven games, while Nedeljkovic has a tenth this season.

In the loss, Lyon stopped 35 of the 40 pucks aimed at them.

Two goals by Toffoli against the Blue Jackets

Tyler Toffoli scored two goals and an assist to lead the Winnipeg Jets to an easy 6-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Nikolaj Ehlers scored a goal and had an assist for the Jets, who joined the Dallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche atop the Central Division.

Kyle Connor, Logan Stanley and Vladislav Namestnikov also turned on the red light for the Manitoba team. Sean Monahan had a hand in two goals, while Connor Hellebuyck stopped 30 pucks.

Brendan Gaunce scored for the Blue Jackets, who have lost four of their last five games, including three of their last four at home.

Elvis Merzlikins stopped 21 shots for the Blue Jackets, who are last in the Metropolitan Division standings.

Chicago wins a duel between the two worst teams

The Chicago Blackhawks emerged victorious in the bottom-of-the-table duel against the San Jose Sharks by a score of 5-2.

Three Chicago players scored two points: Connor Bedard, Philipp Kurashev and Tyler Johnson.

Trailing in the third period, the Hawks flashed the red light three times in one minute and 43 seconds to take the game.

Although this is a matchup between the two worst teams in the NHL, a reverse outcome would have put San Jose ahead of Chicago in the standings, while both teams would likely finish the season with the two best draft opportunities, Macklin Celebrini.

The Sharks lost for the 13th time in their last 14 games, while Chicago won for the third time in its last four games.

Bedard’s 53 points this season give him the lead among rookies this season. Brock Faber is second with 38 points in 14 more games.

Goaltender Devin Cooley, 26, played his first game in the NHL.

Fourth consecutive victory for St-Louis

The St. Louis Blues won the final game of the night 4-2 against the Anaheim Ducks.

Pavel Buchnevich stood out for the Blues with three assists.

Tied after 40 minutes of play thanks to goals from Troy Terry and Kevin Hayes, St-Louis stepped on the accelerator with three unanswered goals in less than 10 minutes of play. All three goals were scored on the power play.

Robert Thomas, twice, as well as Jake Neighbors hit the mark.

Troy Terry scored his second of the game with eight seconds left.

The Blues won a fourth consecutive game, thanks to a great performance by Joel Hofer with 26 saves.

In the loss, Lukas Dostal stopped 23 pucks.

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