PITTSBURGH — Jussi Jokinen scored twice and the Pittsburgh Penguins dominated the Montreal Canadiens 5-1 on Wednesday night.
Evgeni Malkin added a goal and an assist, Sidney Crosby picked up his 26th of the season and Taylor Pyatt added a rare score for the Penguins. Marc-Andre Fleury made 22 saves as Pittsburgh bounced back from a dismal loss to Florida on Monday by trouncing hapless Montreal.
Jokinen picked up his third multi-goal game of the season
Rene Bourque had his seventh goal for the Canadiens but Montreal spent most of the night chasing the Penguins. Carey Price stopped just 16 of 21 shots before being pulled late in the second period. Montreal has lost four of six.
Pittsburgh had its club-record 13-game home winning streak snapped by the lowly Panthers in a 5-1 loss that marked the team’s worst home defeat in more than two years. Coach Dan Bylsma called it the byproduct of a steady decline in play by the Eastern Conference leaders over the last three weeks.
Whatever the problems were, they disappeared 48 hours later.
The Penguins were crisp in the neutral zone, responsible on defense and efficient on offense. They didn’t pepper Price so much as take advantage of their opportunities. All five goals were either the byproduct of deft passing or nifty stickwork.
Jokinen, who tends to score in bunches, gave the Penguins the early lead after being on the receiving end of a bit of brilliance by Malkin. The Russian star took a pass from Matt Niskanen then darted around a flat-footed Montreal defender before feeding Jokinen with a centering pass that Jokinen easily slid by a diving Price 8:48 into the game.
Malkin ended Price’s night by swooping in from the right circle and putting in his own rebound. Price skated to the bench after being chased for the second time this season in favor of Peter Budaj, who stopped all 10 shots he faced. Budaj still found a way to make an impact, skating out to center ice at one point during a stoppage in play late in the third period and challenging Fleury to a fight.
The typically reticent Fleury obliged, taking his helmet and gloves off before referee Kyle Rehman steered him toward the Pittsburgh bench.
Hurricanes 3, Flyers 2
PHILADELPHIA — Jiri Tlusty scored the tiebreaking goal in the third period to lift Carolina in a game moved to Wednesday night by Tuesday’s snow.
Nathan Gerbe had a highlight-worthy goal and Alexander Semin also scored for Carolina, which improved to 3-0 against Philadelphia this season.
Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell scored for the Flyers, who lost for just the second time at home in their last 14 games.
Tlusty beat Flyers goalie Steve Mason from close range high to the glove side with 6:10 remaining.
Semin opened the scoring for Carolina with just over 8 minutes left in the first period when he fired a wrist shot over Mason’s glove hand into the top shelf.
Neither team generated much offense in the opening period, as the Hurricanes outshot Philadelphia 8-3.
Each team scored once in the second period, with Gerbe putting the Hurricanes up 2-0 with a breakaway goal with 6:22 left in the period. Gerbe benefited from a mistake by Flyers defenseman Luke Schenn, who misplayed a pass back to the point and couldn’t recover when the speedy Gerbe got behind him.
He put the puck through his legs and wristed it past Mason with his hands in an awkward position on a goal that surely will be played countless times on the nightly highlight shows.
Philadelphia got on the board with 35 seconds left in the second when Giroux scored from a tough angle when his backhander ricocheted off the chest of Carolina goaltender Anton Khudobin and into the goal.
And the Flyers tied it just 3 minutes into the third period on Hartnell’s power-play goal. Giroux took the initial shot from the top of the left circle and Wayne Simmonds failed on the rebound attempt. But the puck caromed off Khudobin and to Hartnell, who scored from point-blank range.
NOTES: Tuesday’s postponement marked the first time in Flyers history that a home game was postponed due to weather. … Philadelphia RW Jakub Voracek started after being questionable due to a left hand injury suffered in Monday’s game against the Islanders. …