The Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers each climbed the Metropolitan Division standings with wins Tuesday.
Sidney Crosby had a goal and three assists to help the Penguins (37-15-6) take over first place with a 5-2 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs at PPG Paints Arena. The victory put Pittsburgh one point ahead of the Washington Capitals (37-17-5) with one game in hand.
Crosby has 23 points (seven goals, 16 assists) in 13 games (1.77 points per game) since the center returned from core muscle surgery Jan. 14. He's third in the NHL during that span behind Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl (25 points) and Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov (24 points).
The Penguins are 6-0-1 in their past seven games at PPG Paints Arena and won their 22nd game on home ice (22-5-4), passing the Boston Bruins (21-2-9) for most in the NHL.
The Flyers (33-20-7) were sparked by Travis Konecny's goal and two assists in a 5-1 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Wells Fargo Center to move past the Blue Jackets (30-19-12) and the New York Islanders (33-19-6) for third place. Konecny, a 22-year-old forward, is the first Flyers skater to score 20 goals this season and has 175 points (79 goals, 96 assists) in 290 NHL games, seventh in Flyers history by a player age 22 or younger. Eric Lindros is first with 327 points (153 goals, 174 assists) in 225 games before turning 23.
Hurricanes, Jets maintain push for wild-card berths
Sebastian Aho scored to give him 16 points (10 goals, six assists) during a 10-game point streak and the Carolina Hurricanes (34-21-4) defeated the Nashville Predators 4-1 at Bridgestone Arena to pass Columbus for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.
The center is on the second double-digit point streak of his NHL career after he had 17 points (four goals, 13 assists) in 12 straight games from Oct. 4-30, 2018. Aho is the fifth player in Hurricanes/Hartford Whalers history with multiple streaks of at least 10 games, joining Blaine Stoughton (five times), Ron Francis (four), Eric Staal (four) and Mike Rogers (two).
The Winnipeg Jets (31-25-5) are one point behind the Calgary Flames (31-24-6) and the Arizona Coyotes (30-24-8) for the first wild card from the Western Conference after a 6-3 win against the Los Angeles Kings at Bell MTS Place. Blake Wheeler scored twice and had an assist in his 700th regular-season game with the Jets/Atlanta Thrashers to reach 20 goals for the seventh straight season. The center has 25 multigoal games with the Jets/Thrashers, third highest in their history behind Ilya Kovalchuk (46) and Bryan Little (27).
Senators honor Phillips, score season-high seven goals
The Ottawa Senators scored a season-high seven goals, four in 3:29 of the first period, after trailing 2-0 to defeat the Buffalo Sabres 7-4 at Canadian Tire Centre on the night they retired Chris Phillips' No. 4.
Phillips played his entire 17-season NHL career with the Senators and is their leader in regular-season games played with 1,179, one more than Daniel Alfredsson (1,178). His number is the third retired by Ottawa, along with Alfredsson's No. 11 and No. 8 for Frank Finnigan.