5 things we learned in the NHL: Crosby helps end Penguins slump


Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby (87) collects a rebound off Dallas Stars goaltender Anton Khudobin (35) and scores during the first period of an NHL hockey game. (Gene J. Puskar/AP)

The Pittsburgh Penguins ended their four-game losing streak in dominant fashion and Pekka Rinne set a new NHL mark for wins by a Finnish-born goalie with his 320th career victory.

Here are five things we learned in the NHL on Wednesday.

Penguins continue dominance against the Western Conference

It appears all the Pittsburgh Penguins needed to end their slump was to play against the Western Conference.

With their 5-1 win against the Dallas Stars, the Penguins improve to 6-0-1 against teams from the West. Over those seven games, Pittsburgh has outscored western teams 35-12.

Sidney Crosby seems to enjoy playing against the West as he now has seven goals, seven assists and 14 points in seven games against the conference. Crosby made his presence felt in his return with a goal and two assists on Wednesday night.

It was the second time he has registered three points in a game this season and the eighth multi-point game.

Tavares continues to produce on the road

With his goal in the first period against the Carolina Hurricanes, John Tavares set a new Toronto Maple Leafs milestone.

In 11 games on the road, Tavares has 11 goals, eight assists for 19 points including four goals and three assists in five of the Leafs’ games away from Scotiabank Arena in November.

His 14 goals have moved him into the top five in NHL goals scored and is second on the Leafs scoring list, trailing Mitch Marner with 26 points.

Sabres continue to roll

The Buffalo Sabres made easy work of the Philadelphia Flyers scoring four goals in the first period winning their seventh straight game of the season.

It is their longest winning streak since the 2006-07 season and the best streak in the NHL so far this season.


Buffalo now sits third in the Eastern Conference with 30 points behind the Maple Leafs and the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Flames offence firing on all cylinders

Despite giving up the game’s opening goal 15 seconds in, the Calgary Flames went on to score five unanswered goals to close out the first period.

They became the first team to score five goals or more in the first period of consecutive games since the St. Louis Blues in 1989 and the fourth team to reach the milestone.

This is the sixth time the Flames has scored five or more goals this season and the third straight game with four or more. They have won every single game when they score five-plus goals and outscored their opponent 35-22 in that stretch.

Rangers rookies shine under bright lights

The New York Rangers have five rookies on their roster this season and they continue to see progress during their rebuild. Over their past 10 games, New York is 8-1-1 and now sit second in the Metropolitan Division after losing four of their first five games to start the season.

Filip Chytil scored another goal in the Rangers 5-0 win over the New York Islanders, becoming the seventh different teenager to score a goal in at least five consecutive games joining an impressive group of players to reach that milestone.

He wasn’t the only Rangers’ rookie to make an impact as Alexandar Georgiev made 29 saves to notch his first career shutout against the Rangers’ crosstown rivals. The 22-year-old is tied with Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark for wins among rookie goaltenders this season with four.


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