Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby (87) celebrates his goal with teammates James Neal (18), Chris Kunitz (14), Olli Maatta (3), and Matt Niskanen (2) during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes, Friday, Dec. 27, 2013, in Raleigh, N.C. Pittsburgh won 4-3 in overtime. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)

Fleury wins in 500th game, Neal nets OT goal


The Pittsburgh Penguins are still winning, despite missing key players like Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang, and Pascal Dupuis.

Pittsburgh went into the third period of tonight’s contest against the Carolina Hurricanes with a one-goal deficit. However, they got help from some unlikely sources when Chris Conner and Deryk Engelland each found the back of the net for the Penguins.

Carolina’s Drayson Bowman fired back with just 2:29 minutes remaining in the third period to tie the game, but James Neal handed them a 4-3 overtime victory:

That brought a milestone night for Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury to a pleasant conclusion. He became the first netminder to play in 500 games with the Penguins tonight and earned his 271 win in the process. At the age of 29, he became just the 63rd netminder to ever reach the 500-contest mark.

Pittsburgh has now won 13 of its last 15 matches to give them a staggering 13-point lead in the Metropolitan Division.


GM Shero: Dupuis injury would hurt more after trade deadline

Video: Flyers, Bolts confirm 3-on-3 OT is pretty much the greatest thing ever


Well, the NHL’s two new initiatives for ’15-16 seem to be going swimmingly.

Not long after Ottawa successfully made the second-ever coach’s challenge, fans got their first look at 3-on-3 overtime.

And what a look it was.

In the span of 137 seconds, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers combined for eight shots on goal, a few breakaways, some tremendous saves — including one on a penalty shot — and, finally, Jason Garrison‘s game-winning goal on a breakaway from center, giving the Bolts a 3-2 win.

It was, in a word, fun.

Lots of fun.

A quick sampling of reviews:

Of course, not everybody was a fan:

Now, to temper things a bit — this was the first time we’ve seen 3-on-3 with something on the line, so there was a novelty factor at play. There’s also no guaranteeing future OT sessions will be as exciting as this.

But none of that takes away from the fact 3-on-3 made for appointment viewing, and immense entertainment value. The prospect of future games like this? That’s pretty exciting.

In Jets return, Burmistrov delivers headshot to Bergeron (Updated)


Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.

Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:

Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).

The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.

Update: Bergeron stayed in the game, but B’s head coach Claude Julien was none too pleased with the hit. Following the game, he called for the NHL’s Department of Player Safety to look at it…