x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Stastny hits a double as Avalanche blow away Hurricanes

Paul Stastny scored the winning goal for the Western Conference-leading Colorado Avalanche in a 5-4 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes 5-4 on Friday.

Paul Stastny scored the winning goal for the Western Conference-leading Colorado Avalanche in a 5-4 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes 5-4 on Friday. Stastny, who scored twice, converted a wrist shot at 6:21 in the third period to give the Avalanche a 5-3 cushion before Carolina's Ray Whitney reduced the deficit two minutes later. Playing at home for the first time after a seven-game road trip, the Avalanche won their fifth contest in six while the Hurricanes suffered a fifth consecutive defeat.

In what was an offensive showcase, Colorado goaltender Craig Anderson made 32 saves while Cam Ward stopped 31 shots for the Hurricanes. The win came despite the Avalanche losing Darcy Tucker, who was knocked unconscious after he was hit face first into a side board by Carolina's Tuomo Ruutu and Colorado captain Adam Foote paid tribute to coach his Joe Sacco for helping keep the team's focus on the game.

"You can go two ways there," Foote said. "Joe grabbed the guys and told them to regain their composure and not go running around trying to get guys back. You can lose your whole team on a hit like that, end up in the box and lose the two points." Sidney Crosby played a starring role as the Pittsburgh Penguins overturned a two-goal deficit to edge the Florida Panthers 3-2 in their clash.

Steven Reinprecht scored a pair of goals in the first period to seemingly put the Panthers in control, but the defending Stanley Cup champions refused to accept defeat. Crosby levelled the match in the third with a power play goal and a short handed score and then notched the only goal in the shoot-out to celebrate his 300th career game in style. Also on Friday night, the St Louis Blues beat the Minnesota Wild 3-1 to condemn the visitors to a seventh consecutive loss.

David Perron had an assist and a goal for his first two points of the season for the victors, with Jay McClement and Brad Boyes also on target. Chuck Kobasew scored for the Wild * Reuters