Dec 5 (The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Thursday's National Hockey League games.
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Penguins 5, Sharks 1
The Pittsburgh Penguins notched four goals in a span of just over seven minutes in the second period en route to a 5-1 win over the San Jose Sharks.
Penguins left winger Chris Kunitz scored two goals and center Sidney Crosby added three assists in his 500th game to lead Pittsburgh to their fifth consecutive win.
Despite missing All-Star center Evgeni Malkin because of a lower-body injury, Pittsburgh improved to 20-9-1 while the Sharks dropped to 19-4-5.
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Rangers 3, Sabres 1
Goalie Henrik Lundqvist made 27 saves a day after signing a seven-year, $59.5 million contract extension to lead the New York Rangers to a 3-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres.
Left winger Rick Nash, center Brad Richards and left winger Mats Zuccarello scored for New York, which moved above .500 with a record of 15-14.
Center Tyler Ennis scored the lone goal for Buffalo (6-21-2).
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Panthers 5, Jets 2
Rookie defenseman Dylan Olsen scored the first goal of his NHL career to snap a tie and lead the Florida Panthers to a 5-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets.
Olsen's defensive partner, Erik Gudbranson, had one goal and two assists.
Panthers goalie Tim Thomas, making his 13th straight start, improved to 7-10-1. In the first period, he surpassed 11,000 career saves.
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Maple Leafs 3, Stars 2 (overtime)
Center Trevor Smith scored with 41.4 seconds left in overtime to give the Toronto Maple Leafs a 3-2 victory over the Dallas Stars to snap a five-game losing streak.
Center Nazem Kadri scored two goals for the Maple Leafs while left winger Erik Cole and center Shawn Horcoff scored for the Stars.
The Maple Leafs improved to 15-11-3 while the Stars are now 13-10-4.
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Lightning 3, Senators 1
Shut out in their two previous games, the Tampa Bay Lightning found scoring from Martin St. Louis and bounced back with a 3-1 win over the Ottawa Senators.
St. Louis scored twice, both from left winger Ondrej Palat assists.
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Canadiens 2, Bruins 1
Montreal center Tomas Plekanec and left winger Max Pacioretty scored second-period goals and the Canadiens moved ahead of Boston for the Atlantic Division lead with a 2-1 win over the Bruins.
Goaltender Carey Price made 32 saves for Montreal, which extended its winning streak to four in the first of four meetings this season between the longtime divisional rivals.
The Canadiens, who have played two more games than Boston, improved to 18-9-3 to move one point ahead of the Bruins (18-8-2) with 39 points.
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Blues 5, Islanders 1
Goals by center Derek Roy, center David Backes and left winger Magnus Paajarvi during a 7:57 span midway through the second period powered the St. Louis Blues to a 5-1 victory over the New York Islanders.
The loss extended the Islanders' winless streak to eight games (0-6-2) and was their eighth consecutive defeat on the road.
It was the 10th straight game in which the Islanders allowed three or more goals.
The Blues were able to bounce back from consecutive losses as they improved their home record to 12-1-2.
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Wild 4, Blackhawks 3
Defenseman Marco Scandella scored his first goal of the season with less than two minutes remaining in regulation, lifting the Minnesota Wild to a 4-3 come-from-behind win over the Chicago Blackhawks.
The Wild (17-8-5) also got goals from left winger Matt Cooke, left winger Zach Parise and defenseman Jonas Brodin to beat Chicago at home for the first time this season.
Chicago (20-5-4) trailed 2-0 late in the second, but rallied for a 3-2 lead on goals by left wingers Jeremy Morin and Brandon Saad, and a power-play goal by right winger Marian Hossa.
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Hurricanes 5, Predators 2
Carolina's two-goal lead after two periods held up as the Canes defeated the Nashville Predators 5-2 to win their second straight game on the road.
Hurricanes (12-12-5) center Jeff Skinner scored the first hat trick of his young career.
Nashville (13-13-3) suffered its fourth straight loss.
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Oilers 8, Avalanche 2
The Edmonton Oilers surged to an 8-2 upset of the visiting Colorado Avalanche.
Edmonton rolled out to a 3-0 first period lead and then kept the Avalanche on the ropes for the rest of the evening to win at home for just the fourth time this season and improve their overall record to 10-18-2.
Colorado, after winning of its previous five, dropped to 19-7-0.
Taylor Hall claimed a hat-trick with his third goal in the dying seconds. (Writing by Ben Everill; Editing by John O'Brien)
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