Panthers keep up momentum, Penguins win thriller


The NHL returned from the All-Stars break with a bang on Tuesday as 24 teams shared 75 goals across 12 matches.

The Florida Panthers picked up where they left off before the break as they scored their fourth-straight win at the expense of the Washington Capitals, who lost just their 13th game of the season.

The Panthers scored four unanswered goals courtesy of Jonathan Huberdeau (2), Aleksander Barkov and Vincent Trocheck as they held a 4-0 lead going into the final period.

Two quick-fire goals from the Capitals' Nicklas Backstrom and Andre Burakovsky gave their side a glimmer of hope, but that was extinguished by Quinton Howden late in the third period.

The Pittsburgh Penguins played out the highest-scoring affair of the day in a 6-5 triumph over the Ottawa Senators.

Sidney Crosby scored his first hat-trick in over two years to help the Penguins to victory, extending his home goalscoring streak to a career-high eight.

His first goal came to level the scores a 4-4 six minutes into the second period, after a roller-coaster opening period saw the Penguins take a 3-2 lead into the break.

Crosby's third put the Penguins 6-4 up, before the Senators pulled one back at with under five minutes left of the third period to set up a nervy finish.

The Chicago Blackhawks secured their 34th win of the season with a 2-1 triumph over the Colorado Avalanche, courtesy of first-period goals from Richard Panik and Artemi Panarin.

The Edmonton Oilers smashed the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-1, while the Los Angeles Kings were also dominant against the Arizona Coyotes in a 6-2 win. 

Tyler Seguin scored a double to help the Dallas Stars to a 5-3 win over the Winnipeg Jets, as the St. Louis Blues completed the only shutout of the day courtesy of Brian Elliott's 16 saves in a 1-0 win over the Nashville Predators.

The New York Islanders beat the Minnesota Wild 5-3, the New Jersey Devils accounted for the New York Rangers 3-2, the Toronto Maple Leafs prevailed against the Boston Bruins 4-3 after overtime, the Montreal Canadiens went down to the Philadelphia Fyers 4-2, and the Anaheim Ducks defeated the San Jose Sharks 3-2.