Jordan Staal scored his second goal of the game in overtime as the Pittsburgh Penguins rallied for a 5-4 victory over the shot-shy New York Rangers on Thursday night. Staal deflected Evgeni Malkin's slap shot into the net as the defending Stanley Cup champions moved top of the Atlantic Division.
"That's a pretty good example of how we want to play the game," said Dan Bylsma, the Penguins coach. "You'd like to tilt the ice so it's 70-30 and wear teams down. The feeling in our dressing room was [winning] was going to be inevitable." Mike Rupp and Alex Goligoski scored to send the game into overtime after the Penguins trailed 4-2 in a game in which they outshot the Rangers 55-16. Four goals were scored in an eventful first period that ended in a 2-2 but the opening frame was highlighted by a major scrum between players of both teams following the New York defenceman Marc Staal's tussle with Sidney Crosby, the Penguins captain.
Once calm was restored, Michal Rozsival and Brandon Dubinsky scored in the second to open up a two-goal lead for the Rangers, who stayed in the game thanks to a career-high 50 saves from goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. "Hank [Lundqvist] was outstanding for us tonight," said John Tortorella, the Rangers coach. "At the end of the night, we grabbed a point out of here. Although it was an ugly one, it is a point."
Scott Walker scored twice in a three-minute spell on his Washington debut as the Capitals beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-4. Walker scored the winner with seven minutes left, diving to the ice to score, to give the Caps their 12th consecutive home victory. "I was nervous, probably didn't get a good pre-game nap, and I was just trying to play and fit in," said Walker, who was traded from Carolina on Wednesday. "They're playing so good, you just don't want to disrupt them."
It was the fifth straight loss for the Lightning, who have conceded at least five goals in each of those defeats. "I don't know, I really don't know," said Rick Tocchet, the Tampa Bay coach, when asked when his team can turn a corner. "You've got to block a shot or dive to get the puck out of your own end. "Bite the puck to get it out of your own end. We need those types of players. There are five or six guys that are costing us right now."
Wojtek Wolski also scored a debut-wining goal for Phoenix against the Colorado Avalanche - the team who sent him to the Coyotes. "It was tough playing against my old team, but I put that behind," said Wolski, who was traded from Colorado to Phoenix on Wednesday in one of the seven deals the Coyotes pulled off before the deadline. Lee Stempniak, who Phoenix acquired from Toronto on Wednesday, scored in the first period and Radim Vrbata added an empty-net goal with one second left.
"It was nice to be thrown right in the mix," Stempniak said. "Great being part of a winning team." Peter Mueller, who Phoenix traded to Colorado along with Kevin Porter for Wolski, assisted on John-Michael Liles's goal for Colorado. * With agencies