Cam Tucker

Buffalo Sabres' Evander Kane (9) celebrates with teammate Ryan O'Reilly (90) after O'Reilly scored the winning goal during the overtime session of an NHL hockey game against the Los Angeles Kings, Saturday Dec. 12, 2015 in Buffalo, N.Y. Buffalo won 2-1. (AP Photo/Gary Wiepert)

O’Reilly and the Sabres stun Penguins to end losing streak


BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Cal O’Reilly scored the lone goal in a shootout, and the Buffalo Sabres snapped a six-game losing streak with a 2-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night.

William Carrier scored his first NHL goal and Sabres goalie Anders Nilsson stopped 46 shots through overtime plus all three shootout attempts he faced.

Buffalo snapped an 0-4-2 skid and ended a nine-game slide against the Penguins. The Sabres had gone 0-8-1 versus Pittsburgh since a 4-2 road win on April 23, 2013.

Sidney Crosby scored for Pittsburgh, which has alternated losses and wins over its past five games since a 9-2-2 start.

O’Reilly’s shootout goal came after he was called up from Buffalo’s AHL affiliate in Rochester earlier in the day.

After Buffalo’s Kyle Okposo and Sam Reinhart were stopped on their shootout attempts, O’Reilly drove in on the right wing, cut to the front of the net and beat Marc-Andre Fleury with a snap shot to the glove side.

Nilsson then sealed the win by stopping the Penguins’ final try, when Kris Letang attempted to beat the goalie through the legs.

Nilsson’s best save came with 2:55 left in overtime, when he kicked out his left pad at the last moment to foil Letang on a breakaway.

Though outshot 18-6 in the first period, the Sabres led 1-0 after capitalizing on one of their few chances.

Penguins forward Matt Cullen misplayed Bryan Rust‘s pass along the left boards in his own zone. The puck went directly to Sabres defenseman Taylor Fedun at the point and he immediately snapped it toward the net, where Carrier deflected it in for his first career goal.

The Penguins took 31 shots before finally beating Nilsson on Crosby’s power-play goal with 14:14 left.

On the faceoff after defenseman Cody Franson was called for interference, Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin started the play by getting a hard shot off from the left circle. Nilsson stopped it, but couldn’t control the rebound, which dribbled into the slot. Chris Kunitz immediately swept the puck to an open Crosby, who snapped a shot inside the right post.

Crosby has essentially owned the Sabres during his career. It was his 15th goal and 50th point in 32 career games against Buffalo.

The goal was also Crosby’s 12th of the season and 350th of his career.

Fleury was particularly sharp 2 minutes into the third period, when he got his glove up to stop Evander Kane‘s shot from the left circle. Fleury then got across to his left to bat down Brian Gionta‘s off-balance shot from the slot.

It was a bounce-back performance for Fleury, who finished with 32 saves through overtime. He had allowed 15 goals in going 1-1-1 in his previous four appearances.

The Sabres improved to 2-4-2 in eight home games, a stretch in which Buffalo has been outscored 18-9.

Home or away, the Sabres haven’t scored more than two goals in regulation in 10 games, since a 3-1 win at Winnipeg on Oct. 30. That also marked the last time Buffalo has held a two-goal lead.

Overtime was a back-and-forth display of scoring opportunities.

Fleury got his right arm up to stop Okposo’s shot from the slot with 1:37 remaining. A half-minute later, Fleury got across to his right in time to stop Reinhart, who was set up alone in front.

Video: Tempers flare after Emelin’s dangerous cross check on van Riemsdyk


Emotions boiled over between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens at the end of Saturday’s game.

The Habs held on for a 2-1 win over their long-time rivals, but a large scrum developed at the buzzer after Montreal defenseman Alexei Emelin hit Maple Leafs forward James van Riemsdyk dangerously from behind into the boards.

Emelin was given a major penalty for cross checking, but it remains to be seen if the incident will warrant further discipline from the league.

This was a physical game at times, and the Emelin cross check wasn’t the only dangerous hit of the night.

Matt Martin was given a boarding minor earlier in the third period, after running Nathan Beaulieu from behind into the boards (as seen above). Beaulieu took exception to the hit and a brief scrap occurred between the two players.

McDavid’s first NHL hat trick helps Oilers snap losing streak


What scoring drought? What losing streak?

Connor McDavid took care of his recent individual slump, which had reached 10 games, by scoring his first career NHL hat trick to help the Edmonton Oilers to a 5-2 win over the Dallas Stars on Saturday.

For the Oilers, who made some significant changes to the lineup, with the NHL debut of Drake Caggiula, this snaps a five-game losing streak that followed an otherwise great start to their season.

It also puts the Oilers back into a tie with the Anaheim Ducks in points (21) for top spot in the Pacific Division.

McDavid busted out of his slump in the first period, as his cross-ice pass for Milan Lucic deflected in off the stick of Stars defenseman John Klingberg.

“Three pretty lucky goals… It’s puck-luck I guess. You go to the net and good things happen,” said McDavid, per the Oilers.

With this win, the Oilers were able to salvage two points from this three-game road trip through California and Texas.

They host the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday, so consider that another difficult test for an Oilers team looking to prove it can contend for the playoffs.

Tucson Roadrunners captain Craig Cunningham collapsed before start of AHL game (Updated)

Sam Salzwedel/Twitter

Scary news out of Tuscon, Ariz., tonight.

From the Arizona Daily Star:

Saturday’s game between the Roadrunners and Manitoba Moose has been postponed after Tucson captain Craig Cunningham collapsed on the ice minutes before the scheduled 7 p.m. start.

No make-up date has been announced.

Medics worked on Cunningham, who was lying on his back, and cut away his jersey. They performed chest compressions before moving him off the ice. Both teams returned to their locker rooms.

The Roadrunners named Cunningham the team’s captain earlier this month. Cunningham has played 63 NHL games.

The Coyotes and general manager John Chayka have released a statement: “Arizona Coyotes center Craig Cunningham suffered a medical emergency on the ice prior to the start of tonight’s game between the Tucson Roadrunners and the Manitoba Moose at the Tucson Convention Center. Cunningham was taken to a local hospital where he is receiving medical treatment. Our thoughts and prayers are with Craig and his family. We will provide a medical update once we receive more information.”

Video: Haley, White drop the gloves (again) in spirited scrap


Micheal Haley and Ryan White decided to go another round.

After dropping the gloves against each other earlier this month, Haley and White fought again as the San Jose Sharks and Arizona Coyotes met Saturday.

This latest scrap between the two occurred right off a faceoff less than two minutes into the first period, as both landed some serious shots before going to the ice.