Sabres extend winning ways
BUFFALO — Don’t tell Jason Pominville and the Buffalo Sabres they have nothing to play for.
For a team all but mathematically out of playoff contention, the Sabres continued making a dent in in the Eastern Conference playoff race with a 5-3 win against their cross-border and Atlantic Division rival Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday.
“It’s an easy game to get prepared for,” said Pominville, one of four Sabres to score a goal and assist. “You know it’s going to be a great atmosphere in our building with the fans they get.”
The Sabres silenced the large contingent of “Go, Leafs, Go!” — chanting fans by building a 2-0 lead within the first four minutes. And after the Maple Leafs tied the game, Buffalo responded by scoring three times and sealed the victory on Johan Larsson’s goal midway through the third period.
Ryan O’Reilly, Sam Reinhart and Zemgus Girgensons also scored for Buffalo, while Chad Johnson stopped 38 shots in extending the Maple Leafs’ skid to 0-2-2.
Though the Sabres remain at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, they improved to 7-5-2 in their last 14 games. It’s a three-week stretch during which Buffalo has defeated each of the division’s three top teams, including Boston twice.
Penguins 4, Flames 3
PITTSBURGH — Justin Schultz took a pass from Phil Kessel and buried it in the wide-open net 2:36 into overtime to give the Pittsburgh Penguins a 4-3 win over the Calgary Flames on Monday night.
Tristan Jarry made several key stops for the Penguins early in the extra period, and Schultz’s fourth goal of the season helped Pittsburgh improve to 10-1 in overtime at home this season.
Evgeni Malkin scored his 37th goal for the Penguins and added an assist. Kris Letang and Chad Ruhwedel also scored for Pittsburgh. Jarry finished with 35 saves as the Penguins pulled within one point of Washington for first in the crowded Metropolitan Division.
Mark Giordano, Mikael Backlund and Troy Brouwer scored for the Flames, who outplayed the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions for long stretches before dropping their fourth straight. Jon Gillies stopped 28 shots but had no chance when Kessel slid a cross-ice pass to a wide-open Schultz.
Oilers 4, Coyotes 3, OT
EDMONTON, Alberta — Oscar Klefbom’s first goal in 34 games came in overtime, giving Edmonton the victory over Arizona.
Klefbom scored for the first time since Dec. 9.
Jujhar Khaira, Milan Lucic and Jesse Puljujarvi also scored for the Oilers, who snapped a three-game skid.
Jason Demers, Christian Dvorak and Niklas Hjalmarsson replied for the Coyotes, whose two-game winning streak ended.
Senators 3, Stars 2, OT
DALLAS — Erik Karlsson scored on a breakaway with 2:19 left in overtime and Ottawa beat Dallas.
Karlsson picked up a loose puck after a missed Dallas opportunity and beat goalie Kari Lehtonen.
Stars goalie Ben Bishop left because of a lower-body injury after making 12 saves in the first period. Lehtonen replaced Bishop and had 15 saves.
Ottawa’s Craig Anderson made 31 saves.
Dallas’ Tyler Seguin scored twice, on the power play in the first period and from the top of the right faceoff circle with 1:02 left in the third period to tie it.
Goals by Mike Hoffman on the power play in the second period and Matt Duchene in the third gave Ottawa a 2-1 lead.
Canucks 4, Islanders 3, OT
VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Brendan Leipsic scored his second goal of the game 2:47 into overtime to lift Vancouver over New York.
Darren Archibald scored on a penalty shot, and Jake Virtanen also had a goal as Vancouver snapped a three-game skid. Jacob Markstrom stopped 31 shots.
Josh Bailey, John Tavares and Jordan Eberle scored for New York, which lost a season-worst seventh straight game. The Islanders remain five points behind Columbus for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference playoffs.