Cam Tucker

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Quick-strike offense: Habs rally with three goals in 62 seconds to beat Rangers

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MONTREAL (AP) Alexei Emelin, Max Pacioretty and Paul Byron scored in a 62-second span of the third period to lift the Montreal Canadiens over the New York Rangers 5-4 on Saturday night.

Alex Galchenyuk scored in his return after injuring his knee Dec. 4, and Brian Flynn also had a goal for Montreal.

Brandon Pirri, Rick Nash, J.T. Miler and Derek Stepan scored for the Rangers, who were coming off a 4-2 loss at home to Toronto on Friday night. It was the first time in eight occasions New York failed to win the second of back-to-back games this season. It also ended a four-game winning run in road games.

The Rangers’ Antti Raanta played for the first time since Dec. 29 but left in the first period with a lower-body injury after stopping 10 of 10 shots. Henrik Lundqvist replaced him and allowed five goals on 22 shots a night after losing to the Maple Leafs.

Emelin’s wrist shot from the left point went in off defenseman Adam Clendening‘s back 10:53 into the third frame. Pacioretty then got his 20th of the season on a breakaway only 36 seconds later and, only 26 seconds after that, Byron backhanded the puck in front, and it went in off Clendening’s stick.

New York got one back at 14:53 when Mats Zuccarello tipped the puck out and Stepan batted it in out of the air at the side of the net.

Montreal had Galchenyuk and Andrew Shaw back from injuries, but Shaw’s game lasted only 16:56 before he was tossed. Shaw’s interference penalty nullified a Montreal goal at 4:00, and then he knocked Jesper Fast over with an open ice-hit and fought Miller, drawing an interference major, a fighting major and a game misconduct. Fast was shaken up but stayed in the game.

The Rangers needed only four seconds into a power play to get the opening goal when Pirri wired a shot off a goalpost and in at 12:24 of the first period.

Galchenyuk scored 3:08 into the second with a deflection of Mark Barberio‘s point shot, but Nash got it back on a disputed goal at 6:20.

Carey Price made a brilliant save on Kevin Hayes‘ breakaway, but then Hayes got a skate caught in Price’s pads. Hayes appeared to pull Price out of the crease, allowing Nash to score into an empty net. After video review, it was ruled a good goal, and the sellout Bell Centre crowd booed long and loud.

Montreal got it back at 7:58 when Flynn scored from a scramble in front of Lundqvist, but Miller put New York back ahead when he finished a short-handed 2-on-1 with Hayes after Galchenyuk lost the puck on the right point. It marked the seventh time in eight games that Price has allowed three or more goals.

Storming into the playoff race: Hurricanes win fourth straight

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Here come the Hurricanes.

On Saturday, Carolina won its fourth consecutive game, defeating the New York Islanders 7-4. The Hurricanes had seven different goal scorers, capping off a four-game sweep on this home stand.

The Sabres and Islanders represent two clubs the surging Hurricanes need to exploit at this point in the season. They managed 12 goals in two games in a back-to-back situation, and this recent run of wins has Carolina knocking on the door of a playoff position in the Eastern Conference.

The Hurricanes sit a single point behind the Philadelphia Flyers for the second Wild Card spot.

The Hurricanes had a slow start to their season. Playing a bulk of their early games on the road didn’t help. But, one of the top puck possession teams in the league at even strength, they’re making a move in the standings.

Jeff Skinner is having a great season for Carolina. They got contributions from many others Saturday. Brock McGinn had a four-point night and three other players — Jordan Staal, Elias Lindholm and Lee Stempniak — had three-point performances.

This point was made earlier this week at PHT, but the Hurricanes have been dominant on home ice, and that continued versus the Islanders.

“I think at home … it seems we’re playing a pretty complete game. We don’t give much up. Tonight, early on, we did and I thought we tightened things up,” said Stempniak. “Our strength lies in our skating and it seems like at home we find our legs and skate offensively.”

Letang injured versus Red Wings, as Penguins suffer third straight loss

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Difficult few days here for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The defending champs suffered their third consecutive loss — the third loss in the last four days — as they fell 6-3 to the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday. Worse yet, for the Penguins, was that their best defenseman Kris Letang left the game in the first period with an apparent injury.

Letang, who opened the scoring just 27 seconds in, was hurt less than four minutes into the game after he got tangled up with Thomas Vanek in the defensive zone.

The Penguins blue liner left the game and then briefly returned before leaving for good later in the first period. He played just 2:06. There was no update on Letang after the game.

The Penguins eventually gave up four straight goals to Detroit in the final 21 minutes. The highlight of this game: Andreas Athanasiou going on an end-to-end rush and then going top shelf on Marc-Andre Fleury to give Detroit its first lead.

That goal counts as the winner.

The Penguins thought they had tied it up in the third period, but the goal was overturned due to goalie interference.

From the NHL:

After reviewing all available replays and consulting with NHL Hockey Operations staff, the Referee determined that Malkin’s actions caused Detroit’s Justin Abdelkader to contact Coreau before the puck crossed the goal line, preventing him from doing his job in the crease. The decision was made in accordance with Rule 78.7 which states in part: “The standard for overturning the call in the event of a ‘GOAL’ call on the ice is that the Referee … determines that the goal should have been disallowed due to ‘Interference on the Goalkeeper,’ as described in Rules 69.1, 69.3 and 69.4.”

Therefore the original call is overturned – no goal Pittsburgh Penguins.

Up next for the Penguins: A home game Monday against the Washington Capitals, now winners of eight in a row.

Video: This end-to-end rush from Andreas Athanasiou is pretty spectacular

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It seems you don’t see many goals like this anymore.

Detroit Red Wings forward Andreas Athanasiou went coast-to-coast against the Pittsburgh Penguins early in the third period of Saturday’s game, scoring his ninth goal of the season and giving his team the lead.

Athanasiou picked up the puck behind his own net, bursting up the middle of the ice with speed before finishing the play by going top shelf on Marc-Andre Fleury.

Video: Andrew Shaw ejected for late, blindside hit on Rangers’ Fast

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Andrew Shaw‘s return to the Montreal Canadiens lineup was brief.

Back on the ice in game action after a concussion sidelined him in December, Shaw played 5:06 in the first period against the New York Rangers on Saturday. He recorded 22 penalty minutes.

Shaw was tossed from the game after an interference major for a late, blindside hit on Jesper Fast. As seen in the clip above, the puck was nowhere near Fast when Shaw turned and delivered the late hit.

Now, will the league administer supplemental discipline for this latest incident?

Shaw has numerous run-ins with the league’s Department of Player Safety, including early this season when he was suspended during the pre-season. He also avoided suspension for a slew-foot on Buffalo’s Johan Larsson right after his first ban this season.