Three goals from their defense – including a pair from a player celebrating a career milestone – helped the Ottawa Senators
blow the defending Stanley Cup champions out of the water Thursday night.
Chris Phillips tripled his goal output for the season by scoring twice in his 800th NHL game, and the Senators beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-2 at Scotiabank Place for their second win in a row.
Matt Carkner, who scored midway through the first period to start an explosion of six straight Ottawa goals, was especially pleased for his fellow blueliner.
"Philly had to wait until his 800th to get two in a row, but that was pretty sweet," Carkner said. "He played really well tonight for us, a solid game, and just that he got those two goals was huge for us. We're very proud of him."
Phillips, who had 52 goals in his previous 799 games and only one this season, scored consecutive goals 2:03 apart in the third for a 5-1 lead. Milan Michalek had his 100th NHL goal, while Chris Kelly and Jonathan Cheechoo also scored for the Senators.
"I'm not expected to (score), for sure," Phillips said. "It feels good to do it and it felt like one of those high-energy games, for us anyways, and it's nice."
Jordan Staal needed just 69 seconds to open the scoring and Evgeni Malkin added a late power-play goal for Pittsburgh after the outcome was decided, but between those two it was a rough night for the Penguins and goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. He was pulled in favor of Brent Johnson after allowing three goals on the first eight shots in the third period, when Ottawa turned a one-goal game into a rout.
On the plus side for the Penguins, defenseman Sergei Gonchar returned after missing nine games due to a broken wrist and forward Maxime Talbot, the scoring hero in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final last spring, made his season debut following offseason shoulder surgery.
"It definitely feels good to be back," said Talbot, who played a total of 13:17 and was called for tripping on his first shift. "Obviously you want to come back in a winning situation but personally I think I was lucky enough to have a couple of good shifts and I had ice time so it's good to be back out there."
Staal and Carkner traded goals in the opening 20 minutes before Michalek's power-play goal 2:31 into the middle period put the Senators in front to stay.
It all fell apart for the Penguins early in the third, as Kelly made it 3-1 by coming out of the penalty box and scoring his first of the season on a breakaway at 1:29. Phillips then added goals at 5:09 and 7:12, leading to Fleury's exit.
"Right after the power play's over, within a 30-second span we're down 3-1 and they had the momentum at that point," Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma said.
Blues 3, Coyotes 2 (OT) | HIGHLIGHTS
Chris Mason made sure the game got to overtime, and once it did Erik Johnson saw that it ended quickly and positively for St. Louis.
Johnson lit the lamp just 17 seconds into the extra period after Mason put on a goaltending clinic in the third, stopping all 13 shots by Phoenix and making a number of highlight-reel stops.
"You start to do the right things and people start playing with confidence," Mason said. "Finally, we're starting to come out on the right end."
It was the first time in five overtimes for each team this season that the Blues had won and the Coyotes had lost.
Phoenix took a pair of one-goal leads courtesy of Radim Vrbata and Vernon Fiddler, but St. Louis answered both times on goals by Keith Tkachuk and T.J. Oshie. Not long after the first drop of the puck in OT, Johnson finished off an end-to-end rush by beating Ilya Bryzgalov with a wrist shot from the high slot.
"It felt great. Any time you score a goal it feels good," said Johnson, the No. 1 pick in the 2006 Entry Draft who missed all of last season due to injury. "But to win a game against a good team like Phoenix, it feels even better."
Bryzgalov also had a solid game, making 27 saves, but failed to get a good read on Johnson's overtime bullet.
"I didn't see it when he released the puck," Bryzgalov said. "I only found the puck when it was close to my pad and it was too late."
Vrbata and Tkachuk scored 2:59 apart in the first, then Fiddler beat Mason 1:58 into the second by executing a perfect give-and-go with Taylor Pyatt. The Coyotes carried that 2-1 lead into the third, but it disappeared at 2:35 when Oshie slipped a backhander past Bryzgalov.
"I give our guys a lot of credit," Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said. "They competed hard. Probably deserved a better fate tonight."
Instead, the Blues rebounded from consecutive losses at the Scottrade Center and evened their record at 2-2 on a six-game homestand.
"The guys, they need to enjoy this a little bit," St. Louis coach Andy Murray said. "We've had a tough time."
Blue Jackets 4, Stars 1 | HIGHLIGHTS
Marty Turco's stellar record against Columbus turned out to be no match for the Blue Jackets' special teams.
Kristian Huselius scored shorthanded with :00.3 left in the first period and later added one of three power-play goals in the game for the Jackets as they picked up two points in a physical game at American Airlines Center.
Rick Nash and Raffi Torres also beat Turco with the man advantage, as he failed to beat Columbus for only the fourth time in 18 career decisions. Turco finished with 24 saves.
"I really liked our competitiveness all game," said Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock, who led the Stars to the franchise's only Stanley Cup in 1999. "We haven't had a lot of success here."
Steve Mason stopped 25 shots in his return to the Jackets' net, allowing just a second-period score by Mike Modano after being staked to a four-goal lead.
"It's unfortunate, playing such a good game in Detroit, to come back and have that effort," Modano said, referring to a 3-1 win by the Stars at Joe Louis Arena on Wednesday.
Nash capitalized on a loose puck in front to get Columbus on the board at 8:30 of the first. After that, there were three sets of fighting majors assessed in a span of less than three minutes, followed by a lesser scrum that involved both goalies picking up unsportsmanlike conduct penalties and Nash taking an extra penalty that left the Jackets a man short.
"They tried to intimidate us and our guys came right back," Mason said. "It set the tone for the night. When a game starts like that you know it's going to be a tough game."
Instead of the Stars drawing even, Huselius took possession on a turnover, skated into the Dallas zone on an odd-man rush and beat Turco -- and the first-period buzzer -- with a shot from the high slot.
Huselius and Torres doubled the Jackets' lead with power-play goals 20 seconds apart in the middle period, making the Stars pay for a five-minute major to James Neal for boarding. Neal, who knocked Derek Dorsett from the game with his hit, was also given a game misconduct on the play.
"That five minutes hurt," Modano said. "That sealed the deal."
"I was just going fast," Neal said of plowing into Dorsett along the boards. "I didn't have any intent to injure him or hit him in a vulnerable position. I hope he's OK over there."
Ducks 4, Lightning 3 (OT) | HIGHLIGHTS
Fresh off a disastrous road trip and with a three-goal lead having evaporated in regulation, Anaheim desperately needed to come away with more than just a point once its game against Tampa Bay went into overtime.
The Ducks had the right guy on the ice to ensure they did. Scott Niedermayer scored his 13th career overtime goal, most in NHL history for a defenseman, and they escaped the Honda Center with a win to begin a seven-game homestand.
Niedermayer's goal at 52 seconds of the extra period came after a cross-checking penalty 11 seconds in to Ryan Malone. With Corey Perry cruising in front of Lightning goalie Mike Smith and setting a screen, Niedermayer go let a perfectly placed wrist shot from between the circles that found its way into the net.
"Unfortunately we had let them back in the game after a good start, but that's the way it goes," Niedermayer said. "A couple great plays there – Ryan (Getzlaf) made a great play by just moving with the puck. He brought a guy with him, left me pretty much alone in the slot, and (Perry) made a great screen. So I just had to get it where the goalie wasn't and I was able to do it."
Getzlaf and Teemu Selanne each had a goal and two assists for the Ducks, and Bobby Ryan also scored in helping them build a 3-0 lead before seven minutes were gone in the second period.
But the lead was down to 3-2 less than a minute later, as Jeff Halpern and Steven Stamkos scored just 18 seconds apart. Martin St. Louis then struck on a power play 1:38 into the third and Tampa had come all the way back.
"Down 3-0 on the road and you get a point; that's pretty good," St. Louis said.
The rally was more adversity to face for an Anaheim team that just finished an 0-3-1 road trip and has the fewest points in the Western Conference.
"It was a terrible road trip," said defenseman Nick Boynton, whose assist on Ryan's goal gave him a career-high four-game point streak. "We've got a few games at home now and our team's a lot better than we've showed. It's time to put up, and this homestand's big for us. It was a good way to start."
Selanne started the scoring at 6:25 of the first and Getzlaf turned a Lukas Krajicek interference penalty into a power-play goal with 1:48 left in the period.
In the second, Ryan drew a double high-sticking minor on David Hale, and after being tended to at the bench for a cut near his left eye, he returned and inflicted some damage of his own with a power-play goal at 6:52.
"There's a lot of improvement to do, but we have all the tools. That's how I feel," Selanne said. "We just have to do the job better – avoid those mistakes, play 60 minutes and go from there."
Material from wire services and team broadcast media was used in this report