Cam Tucker

CALGARY, AB - NOVEMBER 7: Evgeni Malkin #71 of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates against the Calgary Flames during an NHL game at Scotiabank Saddledome on November 7, 2015 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)
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Penguins cap off rally versus Habs with Malkin’s OT winner

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PITTSBURGH (AP) Evgeni Malkin scored a power-play goal 1:54 into overtime and the Pittsburgh Penguins rallied to beat the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 on Saturday night for their fourth straight victory.

Montreal was whistled for too many men on the ice 1:10 into OT, and then Malkin scored his 16th of the season. Conor Sheary tied it with 55 seconds left in the third period by scoring his ninth goal of the season.

Patric Hornqvist and Phil Kessel also scored for the Penguins, who won for the fifth time in six games. Pittsburgh won 12 of 15 games in December, finishing with 12 wins in a calendar month for the fourth time in team history and the second under coach Mike Sullivan.

Defenseman Kris Letang returned for Pittsburgh after missing seven games with a lower-body injury. The Penguins won four of seven games without Letang, who assisted on the tying and winning goals.

Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 37 shots for Pittsburgh. He is 6-0-1 in his last seven games.

Alexander Radulov, Paul Byron and Brian Flynn scored for the Canadiens, who have one win in their last five games. Montreal, on a season-high seven-game road trip, has seven wins in 17 road games this season.

Carey Price made 37 saves for Montreal.

Malkin finished with a goal and an assist to move ahead of Sidney Crosby for the NHL scoring lead with 43 points. Malkin scored seven goals and had 21 points in December.

Crosby, who entered tied with Edmonton’s Connor McDavid for the scoring lead, had his six-game point streak and season-high five-game point streak end. Crosby, with 26 goals in 32 games this season, led all players in the 2016 calendar year with 53 goals and 100 points in 76 games.

Flynn gave Montreal a 3-2 lead 2:04 into the third period. His initial shot hit the post and kicked back out, hitting Penguins’ D Chad Ruhwedel and Fleury before going into the net.

The lead stood until Sheary tied the game in the final minute for Pittsburgh. Fleury was pulled when Justin Schultz‘s shot hit Sheary in front and deflected behind Price. Schultz has seven goals and 19 points in his last 16 games.

Radulov scored the only goal of the first period, but Pittsburgh jumped in front on goals from Hornqvist and Kessel in the first five minutes of the second period. Byron tied the game for the Canadiens on a deflection in the final minute of the second period.

Video: Haley and Clifford drop the gloves as Kings, Sharks clash

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It seems there is always bad blood when the San Jose Sharks and L.A. Kings meet.

It started early during Saturday’s game, too, as Micheal Haley and Kyle Clifford — certainly not strangers to this part of the game — dropped the gloves for a lengthy scrap during the first period.

As soon as these teams got down to hockey, though, it has since been the Kings dominating, with a two-goal lead and a substantial edge in the shots-on-goal department.

 

Hurricanes equipment manager Jorge Alves makes (brief) NHL debut in net — at age 37

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Jorge Alves signed a professional tryout contract with the Carolina Hurricanes earlier on Saturday.

Already an equipment manager with the team, Alves was needed as an emergency back-up to Cam Ward against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Eddie Lack wasn’t feeling well, so he didn’t dress.

With just a few seconds remaining in the third period, and the Hurricanes trailing by two goals, Alves, who has experience as a minor league professional goalie, was brought off the bench and into the game, making his NHL debut — at the age of 37.

He played a total of eight seconds, and didn’t face a shot. But it still seemed like a tremendous experience for him, even if it was brief.

“It’s a surprise. It’s unbelievable. I was actually heading back down into the tunnel when I heard my name. I looked back and I was like, ‘What?’ And coach said, ‘Get your stuff on,'” he told reporters.  “It was … amazing. I couldn’t believe it.

“I just remembered looking down the ice and seeing the puck in the corner and saying, ‘Stay in that corner.’ Yeah, it was amazing. It’s still pretty emotional for me.”

His teammates let him take a lap by himself during the pre-game skate. There were even images and clips of him working the skate sharpener in the hallway and taping sticks — while in his goalie gear.

“Can’t shake the habit,” he joked. “No, I have a duty with the team and I wasn’t going to break that.”

Report: Surgery could be an option for P.K. Subban

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 29: P.K. Subban #76 of the Nashville Predators cools during a time out against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center on November 29, 2016 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
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There is increasing concern about the health and status of Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban.

Subban hasn’t played since Dec. 15, missing the last seven games with a lingering injury, and there have been rumblings that injury is a herniated disc. Now, could surgery perhaps be an option?

According to a report from Elliotte Friedman on Saturday, members of the Predators will meet Sunday to discuss the options out there for the dynamic but injured blue liner.

From Friedman on Hockey Night in Canada:

“The word is he has a herniated disc, which the Predators have not confirmed or denied that that is the actual injury. He skated yesterday; it didn’t go well. He skated again today. Word is it didn’t go well again. So what we understand … is that the Predators, their doctors, and P.K. Subban will meet Sunday, tomorrow, and decide a course of action.

One choice is to just wait it out and see if he can come back to health that way. The other is potentially surgery and that could knock him out for a long time, which nobody wants to see. So there is obvious concern about his future for this season.”

If they do decide on surgery, that would be a difficult loss for the Predators, a team that entered this season with heightened expectations after a second-round playoff appearance in the spring and the acquisition of Subban in the summer.

The Predators are one point out of a Wild Card spot in the West.

‘Flat out hit from behind’ — Devils’ Moore suffers concussion from Wilson hit

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There was good and bad news for John Moore, after the New Jersey Devils defenseman was stretchered off the ice during Saturday’s game against the Washington Capitals.

The good news: Head coach John Hynes told reporters that Moore was being released from hospital.

The bad news, however, is that the Devils announced that Moore has been placed on injured reserve with a concussion — the result of a hit into the boards from Capitals’ forward Tom Wilson.

“He was flat out hit from behind,” Andy Greene told the Fire and Ice Blog. “Hopefully he’s all right. He’s a big part of our team. He’s a big part of our D corps. Hopefully, everything’s OK.”

“I wouldn’t necessarily say it was a dirty play. It looked like a hit from behind. His back was turned on the glass and he was hit pretty hard into the glass. It looked like it was a penalty. The refs felt because he didn’t get launched into the glass it wasn’t a penalty. It’s not my decision to buy or not buy [that]” said Hynes, per the Washington Post.

There was no call on the play.

“I’m going in on the forecheck, his back’s to me so I tried to let up a little bit. I wasn’t trying to finish my check and kind of rubbed him out,” said Wilson.

“Honestly, I wasn’t aware that he really had gone down until I looked back. That plays happens an awful lot in hockey, those over pucks. I don’t know if he couldn’t get his hands up to protect himself or whatever, but obviously [it was] not my intent and wishing him the best.”