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Sidney Crosby leads Penguins to win over Leafs

Michael Finewax

There were a few trades once again in the NHL Tuesday as defensemen seem to be the big need by playoff teams.

The Blues acquired Marco Scandella from the Montreal Canadiens, receiving a second-round pick in 2020 and a conditional fourth-round pick in 2021. The Habs did well in this deal as they dealt a fourth-rounder in 2020 to Buffalo but the Canadiens are keeping 50 percent of the remainder of his salary and that is why they did so well. The Blues were in need of another defenseman as Jay Bouwmeester’s status is unknown after last week’s cardiac episode on the bench in Anaheim.

The San Jose Sharks traded Brenden Dillon to the Washington Capitals for a second-rounder in 2020 (Colorado’s selection) and a conditional third in 2021. The Sharks also are retaining 50 percent of Dillon’s salary.

The third move of the day saw Dylan DeMelo leave Ottawa and go to Winnipeg for a third-round pick in 2020.

There is less than a week to go before the Monday trade deadline and there won’t be a lot to deal if trades keep happening like they have in the last couple of days.

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PITTSBURGH 5 TORONTO  2

It was a big game for ‘Sid the Kid’ as he had a goal and three assists to lead the Penguins to a 5-2 win over the tumbling Toronto Maple Leafs.

Crosby had three points on the power play as the Penguins were perfect in three man-advantage situations.

Linemate Bryan Rust snapped a six-game pointless streak in style as he had a goal and two assists.

Evgeni Malkin was a late scratch with an illness for the Penguins but it did not matter as his replacement, Anthony Angello scored his first career NHL goal. Angello was going to be a healthy scratch before Malkin left the pre-game warmup and he celebrated with a first period goal.

Jason Zucker on the power play, and Teddy Blueger also scored as the Penguins led 5-0 before allowing a couple of Toronto goals.

Auston Matthews took over the NHL scoring lead with his 43rd of the season while Kyle Clifford scored his seventh of the season and first as a Maple Leaf to make it 5-2 after two before a scoreless third period.

Tristan Jarry was sharp, making 34 saves for his 20th win of the season. He is sharing the net with Matt Murray and deservedly so as he has been great this season.

Frederik Andersen struggled once again as he stopped only 19-of-24 shots and gave up five goals for the second game in a row.

Tyson Barrie had six shots on net.

Brandon Tanev had seven hits.

PHILADELPHIA 5 COLUMBUS 1

Travis Konecny scored once and added two assists as Philadelphia defeated the slumping Columbus Blue Jackets 5-1.

Carter Hart was sharp in the Flyers net, like he always is at home as he stopped 28-of-29 shots. Hart is 18-12-3 this season including a 15-2-2 record at home.

Kevin Hayes, Sean Couturier, Jakub Voracek and Philippe Myers tallied for the Flyers in addition to Konecny’s goal.

Oliver Bjorkstrand scored the lone goal for Columbus as he potted his 20th with a power play effort.

Elvis Merzlikins picked up the start for Columbus but after giving up four goals in 12 shots, John Tortorella pulled him early in the third and (ahem!) Elvis left the building.  Matiss Kivlenieks finished up and gave up one goal on three shots. Columbus is 0-4-2 in their last six games.

Claude Giroux and Joel Farabee each had two assists.

Zach Werenski had seven shots on goal.

DETROIT 4 MONTREAL 3

The bottom-dwelling Detroit Red Wings trailed 3-1 heading into the third period but roared back with three goals including two by Andreas Athanasiou, to beat the Montreal Canadiens 4-3. It was the fourth win of the season for Detroit over Montreal as they have only 11 wins against every other team in the NHL.

It was another costly loss for Montreal who were on the verge of the playoffs just over a week ago but are 0-4-1 in their last five games.

The Canadiens led 2-0 after one on goals by Nate Thompson and Jeff Petry and after Robby Fabbri cut the lead in half, Nick Suzuki restored the two-goal lead to give Montreal the 3-1 lead after two.

But the Red Wings came on strong as Mike Green’s goal, sandwiched by Athanasiou’s two goals, gave the Red Wings their 15th win of the season.

The shots on goal were only 25-22 in favor of Detroit.

Jonathan Bernier is now 13-17-2 as he stopped 19 shots while Carey Price could only make 21 saves as his record dropped to 24-22-5.

Anthony Mantha and Dylan Larkin each had two assists for Detroit.

Victor Mete suffered a lower-body injury when blocking an Alex Biega shot in the second period and did not return.

OTTAWA 7 BUFFALO 4

Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored twice and added two assists to lead the Ottawa Senators to a 7-4 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. It could be the final days in Ottawa for Pageau as he can become a UFA on July 1 and the Senators likely have him on the block. Any team in the NHL could use the all-around forward as he is good defensively and has 24 goals and 40 points in 58 games.

Artem Anisimov scored twice while Anthony Duclair and Drake Batherson each had a goal and an assist.

Vladislav Namestnikov also scored for Ottawa.

Defenseman Brandon Montour scored twice for Buffalo with Victor Olofsson scoring once and adding an assist. Kyle Okposo also scored for Buffalo.

Craig Anderson stopped 23 shots for the win as he is 9-13-2.

Carter Hutton gave up six goals on 39 shots to take the loss and go to 11-10-2.

ST. LOUIS 3 NEW JERSEY 0

Jordan Binnington needed to stop only 17 shots for his second shutout of the season as St. Louis defeated New Jersey 3-0.

Binnington, who had five shutouts last season in half a season, picked up his 25th win of the season and it was a badly needed one as the Blues were 0-3-2 in their last five heading into Tuesday’s action.

Ivan Barbashev scored the winner in the second period and added the insurance goal in the third. Jaden Schwartz with his 19th of the season, completed the scoring.

Louis Domingue played well in the New Jersey cage as he stopped 36-of-39 shots in taking the loss. He is 3-8-2 this season with the Devils.

Robert Thomas had six penalty minutes.

CAROLINA 4 NASHVILLE 1

Petr Mrazek stopped 28 shots as the Carolina Hurricanes defeated Nashville 4-1 and moved past Columbus into eighth place in the Eastern Conference and have a hold on the final playoff spot.

Sebastian Aho, Nino Niederreiter, Andrei Svechnikov and Jordan Staal scored for Carolina. Aho extended his scoring streak to 10 games with his 34th of the season as he has 10 goals and six assists during the points streak.

Ryan Johansen with his 12th of the season, 48 seconds into the second period, was the only Predator to beat Mrazek on the night.

Justin Williams had a pair of assists for Carolina.

Juuse Saros made 26 saves for Nashville as his record dropped to 11-10-4.

WINNIPEG 6 LOS ANGELES 3

The Winnipeg Jets spotted Los Angeles an early 1-0 lead when Dustin Brown scored just 35 seconds into the first period, but scored three times in the second and the third to pick up a 6-3 victory.

Blake Wheeler scored twice and added an assist for Winnipeg, while Nikolaj Ehlers scored once and added a pair of assists. Wheeler has five goals and six assists in nine February games thus far.

Patrik Laine had a goal and an assist with Mason Appleton and Jansen Harkins also scoring.

Brown also scored in the third to make it a 4-3 game while the recently recalled Martin Frk potted his fourth of the season.

Connor Hellebuyck made 33 saves and is 26-18-5 as the Jets are 31-25-5 this season and are fourth in the Central and just one point out of the wild card.

There will be no playoff race for the Kings who started Cal Petersen in goal. Petersen turned aside 29-of-34 shots as the LA goalie of the future is 1-2-0.

Matt Roy and Anze Kopitar each had two assists for Los Angeles while Jack Roslovic and Mark Scheifele had two helpers apiece for Winnipeg.

Ehlers and Kyle Connor each had six shots on goal.

NIGHTLY LEADERS

Goals

Andreas Athanasiou - 2

Blake Wheeler – 2

Jean-Gabriel Pageau – 2

Artem Anisimov – 2

Brandon Montour – 2

Ivan Barbashev - 2

Assists

Sidney Crosby – 3

Bryan Rust – 2

Joel Farabee – 2

Claude Giroux – 2

Dylan Larkin – 2

Anthony Mantha -2

Matt Roy – 2

Anze Kopitar -2

Nikolaj Ehlers – 2

Mark Scheifele - 2

Jean-Gabriel Pageau -2

Mike Reilly – 2

Brady Tkachuk – 2

Tyler Ennis - 2

Justin Williams - 2

Shots on Goal

Zach Werenski – 7

Tyson Barrie – 6

Mike Reilly – 6

Victor Olofsson - 6

Kyle Connor – 6

Nikolaj Ehlers – 6

Mattias Ekholm - 6

Hits

Brandon Tanev - 7

Austin Watson – 6

Penalty Minutes

Robert Thomas – 6