Sidney Crosby scored twice and the Pittsburgh Penguins opened up a four-goal lead on the New York Islanders midway through the second period, chasing goalie Thomas Greiss from the crease in the process.
Greiss was pulled after allowing four goals on 26 shots, as the Penguins completely took over Saturday’s game with a pair of goals in the second period.
Crosby and Matt Cullen scored 32 seconds apart in the middle period, signalling the end of the night for Greiss.
More bad news for the Islanders:
With five straight wins, the L.A. Kings continue to tighten their grip on the Pacific Division.
It might be a weaker division, but for a team that did not make the playoffs last season — just a year removed from a Stanley Cup title — the Kings aren’t interested in taking their chances by being mired with the rest of the Pacific pack as the second half of the season approaches.
Fresh off a four-game divisional road trip that yielded four wins in mostly dominant fashion, the Kings held on to defeat the Philadelphia Flyers by a score of 2-1 on Saturday. Jonathan Quick made 29 saves for L.A.
That gives the Kings a 12-point lead on the Arizona Coyotes — the second place team in the Pacific.
“It’s important – I’ve said it. It’s been asked. It got asked again on the road trip,” said Kings head coach Darryl Sutter, as per LA Kings Insider.
“Usually Anaheim’s running away with by now. I said it on the road. It does not change. We’re trying to be a playoff team. You don’t want to be fighting for the third spot. We tried it last year, and it doesn’t work.”
John Scott has opened up about fans voting him into the 2016 NHL All-Star Game, and it appears he’s warmed up to the idea of going.
Known more for his pugilism on the ice, the Arizona Coyotes forward, who has played in 11 games with one assist and 25 penalty minutes this season, confirmed to reporters that he will attend this year’s All-Star Game, which features a new three-on-three format.
“It’s one of those things where I don’t want to be made a joke of. I don’t want to be an embarrassment. I don’t want to embarrass the game in that way,” he told reporters, as per video from Fox Sports Arizona.
“But I talked to some people. I talked to a lot of former players and everyone said just go with it, have fun with it and it’ll be a good experience.”
Last month, as the campaign surged through the vein of social media, the enforcer admitted he didn’t want to get voted into the event, saying he didn’t “deserve it.”
Jaromir Jagr, Patrick Kane and Alex Ovechkin were also voted in as division captains.
Kane voiced his support for Scott.
“I like to hear that,” said Scott. “I think it will be good for the game. I know some people are a little nervous about me going — kind of not being able to handle the three-on-three or this and that.
“But I’ll be fine. I’ll go out there and do my best and I’m glad (Kane) said that. I hope he goes, too, and I look forward to playing against him.”
Montreal Canadiens forward Dale Weise is expected to miss five to 10 games due to injury suffered during Friday’s Winter Classic, according to a report from Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports.
Weise was cross checked to the ice by Boston Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller during the Winter Classic. It appeared that as Weise fell, he was hit on the hand with the puck from a shot. He could be seen shaking his right hand while still trying to get to his skates.
He left the game with what the Habs called an upper-body injury and did not return.
In 40 games this season, the 27-year-old Weise has 11 goals — a single-season career best for him — and 20 points.
Team USA is on to the semifinal round of the world junior hockey championship, courtesy a 7-0 win over the Czech Republic that was highlighted by an Auston Matthews hat trick on Saturday.
The likely No. 1 overall pick in this year’s NHL Draft, Matthews now leads the tournament in goals with seven. He’s also tied for third in overall scoring, alongside Finland’s Patrik Laine, with 11 points in five games.
As per USA Hockey, Matthews needs one more goal to tie the U.S. single-tournament record of eight goals currently held by Jeremy Roenick from 1989.
Saturday’s victory means the U.S. is guaranteed to play for a medal.
If they are to play for gold, the U.S. will have to beat Russia, which has won every game on its schedule to this point, in the semifinal on Monday.
Rival hockey nations Sweden and Finland will meet in the other semifinal.
Finland advanced by defeating Team Canada, the defending gold medal champs, in the quarter-final round on Saturday.