NHL roundup: Panthers come out on top of rival Lightning

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·6 min read
NHL: Florida Panthers at Tampa Bay Lightning
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Frank Vatrano tallied his team-leading sixth game-winning goal as the Florida Panthers beat the host Tampa Bay Lightning and league top goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy 5-3 on Saturday night in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Vatrano raced in and beat Vasilevskiy -- the NHL's leader with 26 wins -- with a backhander in the second period as the Lightning netminder ultimately suffered a loss on home ice for the first time in 15 games this season.

Brandon Montour scored his first goal with his new team after being acquired from Buffalo. Patric Hornqvist, Jonathan Huberdeau and Anthony Duclair also notched goals. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 28 of 31 shots as Florida finished its road trip with a 2-3-1 mark following a six-game winning streak.

Tampa Bay's Brayden Point, Erik Cernak and Mathieu Joseph scored goals. Victor Hedman's two assists pushed him past 400 for his career with the Lightning, who are 16-5-0 at home. Vasilevskiy (26-7-1) made 27 saves on 31 shots.

Coyotes 3, Blues 2

Michael Bunting scored the decisive goal as host Arizona rallied past St. Louis in Glendale, Ariz., in a battle for the final West Division playoff spot.

The Coyotes erased a 2-0 deficit to snap a five-game losing streak and climb past the Blues into fourth place by one point. The Blues, who have lost two games in a row, have played two fewer games than the Coyotes.

Clayton Keller and Alex Goligoski also scored for the Coyotes, who won their season series against the Blues 5-2-1. Coyotes goaltender Darcy Kuemper made 20 saves in his first appearance since March 8. Tyler Bozak and Sammy Blais scored for the Blues and Jordan Binnington made 26 saves.

Stars 5, Blue Jackets 1

Dallas rode a four-goal outburst late in the second period in a home victory over slumping Columbus.

Jamie Benn, Denis Gurianov, Joe Pavelski, John Klingberg and Esa Lindell all collected one goal and one assist in the win. Goaltender Jake Oettinger made 21 saves for the Stars, who are on a 4-0-2 roll.

Vladislav Gavrikov scored the lone goal for the losing side. Starting goalie Joonas Korpisalo stopped 12 of 16 shots before being pulled in favor of Elvis Merzlikins. Merzlikins made 15 saves for the Blue Jackets, who have lost five straight games and are in a 2-10-2 slump.

Wild 5, Sharks 2

Mats Zuccarello had a goal and an assist as Minnesota defeated visiting San Jose in Minneapolis, spoiling the record-equaling night of the Sharks' Patrick Marleau.

Joel Eriksson Ek, Zach Parise, Kirill Kaprisov and Nico Sturm also scored for the Wild, who won their third straight game and improved to 4-1-1 in their past six. Goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen made 26 saves. Brent Burns and Joel Kellman scored for the Sharks and Martin Jones stopped 19 of 24 shots before being pulled after the second period.

Marleau, the 41-year-old center, played in his 1,767th career NHL game, tying the league record held by Gordie Howe. Marleau received an ovation from the hockey-mad Minnesota crowd during a stoppage in play eight minutes into the first period.

Senators 4, Canadiens 0

Drake Batherson had two goals and an assist to lead visiting Ottawa to a shutout win against Montreal.

Matt Murray made 23 saves in the 12th shutout of his NHL career and first since a 3-0 win against the Dallas Stars on Oct. 26, 2019, when he played for the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Senators did not have a shutout this season.

Carey Price returned from a six-game absence because of a lower-body injury and made 11 saves for the Canadiens, who are fourth in the North Division, six points ahead of the fifth-place Calgary Flames.

Rangers 6, Devils 3

Pavel Buchnevich collected a hat trick on his birthday for host New York, which remained red-hot with a win over New Jersey.

The hat trick was the first in the NHL for Buchnevich, who turned 26 Saturday. He is the first Rangers player to score a hat trick on his birthday as well as the 14th to do so in NHL history and the second one this month. Viktor Arvidsson did so on his 28th birthday for the Nashville Predators on April 8.

Ryan Strome, Artemi Panarin and Chris Kreider also scored Saturday for the Rangers, who have won the first three games of a four-game series against the Devils and have gone 7-1-2 in their past 10 games to move within four points of the idle Boston Bruins for the final playoff spot in the East Division.

Capitals 6, Flyers 3

Captain Alex Ovechkin collected two goals and one assist to lift Washington to a victory over host Philadelphia.

Evgeny Kuznetsov added one goal and two assists and Conor Sheary, Anthony Mantha and defenseman Dmitry Orlov also scored for the Capitals, who have won five straight over the Flyers. Defenseman John Carlson set up four goals for his first career four-assist performance.

Defenseman Ivan Provorov, James van Riemsdyk and Wade Allison each scored one goal and captain Claude Giroux notched two assists for the Flyers.

Penguins 3, Sabres 2

Visiting Pittsburgh scored twice in the second period, then held on to beat Buffalo, which was officially eliminated from the playoffs with the loss.

Jared McCann, Evan Rodrigues and Bryan Rust scored for the Penguins, who held a 3-1 lead after two periods.

Tage Thompson and Casey Mittelstadt each scored for the Sabres, who haven't made the playoffs since 2010-11.

Hurricanes 3, Predators 1

Jani Hakanpaa scored a tie-breaking goal in the third period in just his second game with Carolina in a victory against visiting Nashville in Raleigh, N.C.

Hakanpaa came on board in a trade Monday with the Anaheim Ducks. The defenseman hadn't scored in any of his 42 appearances with the Ducks this season. Goalie Alex Nedeljkovic made 27 saves for the Hurricanes, who finished their longest homestand of the season with a 5-2-1 record.

Nashville goalie Juuse Saros stopped 45 shots. The Predators lost consecutive games for the first time since a three-game streak from March 9-13, with two of those setbacks coming at Carolina.

Oilers 3, Jets 0

Tyson Barrie collected one goal and one assist and goaltender Mike Smith recorded the shutout to give visiting Edmonton a shutout victory over Winnipeg.

Jesse Puljujarvi and Alex Chiasson also scored for the Oilers, who had a week between games. Smith was counted on to make just 26 saves to record his third shutout of the season and 42nd of his career. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl added two assists apiece.

Goaltender Connor Hellebuyck stopped 22 shots for the Jets, who looked very much like a tired team after playing three games in four nights and skating in their first home game after a lengthy road trip.

Blackhawks 4, Red Wings 0

Patrick Kane collected a goal and an assist and Malcolm Subban turned aside all 29 shots he faced to lift visiting Chicago to a shutout win over Detroit.

Alex DeBrincat, Pius Suter and defenseman Wyatt Kalynuk also tallied and Vinnie Hinostroza notched three assists for the Blackhawks, who avenged a 4-1 setback to the Red Wings on Thursday. Chicago finished the season series by winning six of the eight meetings against Detroit.

Jonathan Bernier turned aside 23 shots for the Red Wings, who went 0-for-6 on the power play. Detroit saw its season-high three-game winning streak come to an end after being blanked for the sixth time in 2020-21.

--Field Level Media