NEW YORK, N.Y. - Sidney Crosby's return after three months of inactivity didn't hurt the chemistry of the Pittsburgh Penguins one bit as they surged closer to the Eastern Conference-leading New York Rangers.
Crosby played for the first time since another bout with concussion symptoms forced him to the sidelines Dec. 5. He got on the score sheet Thursday night with an assist as the Penguins stretched their winning streak to 10 by beating the Rangers 5-2.
The Penguins trail the Rangers by four points in the Atlantic Division.
After missing 40 games during his latest stint on the shelf, Crosby played on a third line with Matt Cooke and Tyler Kennedy. Cooke scored twice, Kennedy had two assists and NHL points leader Evgeni Malkin added a goal for the Penguins, who haven't lost since Feb. 19 at Buffalo.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 29 saves to earn his ninth win during the Penguins' streak.
PANTHERS 6, BRUINS 2
Florida has won three straight games and increased its lead in the Southeast Division to three points ahead of idle Washington.
FLYERS 3, ISLANDERS 2
UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) — Ilya Bryzgalov made 29 saves, coming within 6:30 of a fourth straight shutout, and Philadelphia beat New York for its seventh win in eight games.
Bryzgalov set a new Flyers shutout streak record of 249:43, breaking the previous team record of 227:40 set by John Vanbiesbrouck from Oct. 17-27, 1999.
MAPLE LEAFS 3, LIGHTNING 1
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — James Reimer made 34 saves, taking a shutout into the final minute, and Toronto beat Tampa Bay to snap a five-game skid.
Reimer stopped a number of good scoring chances, including shots by Brett Connolly, Martin St. Louis and Nate Thompson during the first. The goalie also turned aside two in-close shots by league goals leader Steven Stamkos in the second.
St. Louis spoiled Reimer's shutout bid with 26 seconds left.
SHARKS 2, PREDATORS 1, SO
Joe Thornton also scored for the Sharks, who ended a three-game home losing streak and drew within one point of Colorado for the final Western Conference playoff spot.
Patric Hornqvist scored as the Predators snapped a three-game winning streak but gained a point on Detroit for the fourth playoff spot in the West.
Pekka Rinne made 34 saves for the Predators, while Niemi stopped 32 shots for the Sharks.
Fourteen of the past 18 meetings between these two teams have been decided by one goal.
FLAMES 4, COYOTES 1
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Jarome Iginla scored the winner in the second period, giving him a goal in six straight games as Calgary beat Phoenix.
Iginla has eight goals and six assists during an eight-game points streak.
Sven Baertschi, Matt Stajan and Alex Tanguay also scored for the Flames (34-25-12), who have win five straight to pull within one point of the seventh-place Coyotes (35-26-11) and eighth-place Colorado (38-30-5) in the Western Conference.
Miikka Kiprusoff made 27 saves for his 33rd win of the season.
DEVILS 1, AVALANCHE 0, SO
New Jersey picked up its league-leading 11th shootout win, ending Colorado's three-game winning streak. The Avalanche are 9-2 in shootouts.
Brodeur made 28 stops through overtime for New Jersey, which won its fifth in six games, while Jean-Sebastien Giguere had 33 saves for Colorado.
HURRICANES 2, BLUES 0
It was the 20th career shutout for Ward, who won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2006 when Carolina won the Stanley Cup. He made 40 saves in his fourth shutout of the season.
Brian Elliott stopped 28 shots for St. Louis, which is 13-2-2 against the Eastern Conference.