NHL-Highlights of Tuesday's National Hockey League games

Reuters

March 4 (The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Tuesday's National Hockey League games.

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Penguins 3, Predators 1

Pittsburgh defenseman Matt Niskanen scored two goals as the Penguins spoiled the return of Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne.

The game-winner came at 7:29 of the third period, when Nikansen fired a 34-foot slap shot past Rinne, who was making his first appearance since October.

Rinne, who sat out 51 games due to a hip infection, finished with 16 saves.

Pittsburgh struck the game's first goal 27 seconds into the second period where Sidney Crosby, skating behind the Predators net, found Niskanen open for a slap shot that got behind Rinne.

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Avalanche 4, Blackhawks 2

Defenseman Tyson Barrie's ninth goal of the season, on a power play at 12:50 of the third period, broke a 2-2 tie and was followed by center Paul Stastny's insurance marker in the final minute that gave Colorado the win over the Chicago Blackhawks.

The victory was also the 40th of the season for Colorado (40-17-5) in 62 games, the fastest the Avs have ever reached 40.

Avs goaltender Semyon Varlamov finished with 36 saves.

Chicago fell to 36-13-14 despite outshooting Colorado 38 to 21.

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Blues 4, Lightning 2

St. Louis left winger Alexander Steen broke a third-period tie, and goalie Ryan Miller recorded his second win in as many starts for his new team, as the Blues rallied to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Steen tallied his team-high 29th goal with 16:13 remaining to give St. Louis (41-14-6) a 3-2 lead.

Tampa Bay (34-23-5) lost for the seventh time in 10 games, and concluded a four-game road trip with a 1-3 mark.

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Bruins 4, Panthers 1

David Krejci's hat-trick guided Boston over Florida on a busy day for the Panthers.

Earlier in the day, the Panthers, who lost five of their last six games, pulled off a shocker when they re-acquired goaltender Roberto Luongo in one of two trades.

However, that did not help them against Boston (39-17-5), who won their seventh straight over the Panthers (23-32-7).

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Devils 4, Red Wings 3

If Martin Brodeur has played his final game with the Devils he is going out on a high note after Stephen Gionta scored with 36.6 seconds left in the third as New Jersey defeated the Detroit Red Wings.

The NHL's trade deadline is Wednesday and Brodeur said he is willing to accept a trade. The future Hall of Fame goaltender lost the starting job to Cory Schneider and could be on his way out of town if general manager Lou Lamoriello can find the right deal.

Brodeur stopped 20 of 23 shots as the Devils (27-23-13) won for the third time in four games.

Detroit (28-21-12) entered the night having won four of their last five games.

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Coyotes 1, Canucks 0

Center Antoine Vermette scored his sixth goal in five games this season against Vancouver late in the first period, and it stood as the game-winner as the Coyotes squeaked by the Canucks.

Goaltender Mike Smith made 23 saves for his 27th career shutout and third of the season. Goalie Eddie Lack, taking over in the Vancouver net after Roberto Luongo was traded to Florida earlier in the day, made 31 saves for the Canucks (28-26-10).

The Coyotes (28-23-11) snapped a four-game losing streak and moved into ninth place in the Western Conference, one game behind the Dallas Stars for the final playoff spot.

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Blue Jackets 4, Stars 2

Center Artem Anisimov scored the winning goal for the third straight game, saving the Columbus Blue Jackets from collapse against the Dallas Stars.

Anisimov scored the second of his two goals with 4:07 remaining in regulation, giving the Blue Jackets a 4-2 lead after they nearly blown an early 3-0 advantage.

The Blue Jackets (32-25-5) have won three straight games to move into playoff position in the Eastern Conference while Dallas fell to 29-23-10.

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Islanders 3, Jets 2 (Overtime)

Michael Grabner scored on a breakaway, his 12th goal of the year, at 3:53 of overtime to lead the New York Islanders past Winnipeg.

Anders Nilsson made 36 saves to preserve the win for the Islanders (24-32-8).

Left winger and captain Andrew Ladd scored twice in regulation, his 16th and 17th goals of the season, including the tying goal with just over five minutes left in the third period for Winnipeg (30-26-7).

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Hurricanes 3, Sharks 2 (OT)

Carolina defenseman Jay Harrison scored on a broken play with 41.2 seconds left in overtime, giving the Hurricanes a win over the San Jose Sharks

Defenseman Andrej Sekera's shot from the left point bounced off Sharks defenseman Scott Hannan in front to Carolina winger Elias Lindholm, who found Harrison wide open in the right circle.

Anton Khudobin stopped 35 shots in the victory for the Hurricanes while San Jose goaltender Alex Stalock finished with 32 saves.

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Oilers 3, Senators 2

Ales Hemsky scored two goals, amidst rumors that he will be traded, to pace Edmonton in a win over Ottawa.

Hemsky notched his first goals since Jan. 12 in what could be his last game with the Oilers (21-34-8), who snapped a three-game losing streak.

The Senators (27-24-11) might have just gone from trade deadline buyers to sellers in a span of 60 minutes.

They are four points and four teams out of the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference and were desperate to take two points off the worst team in the West.

(Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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