The Pittsburgh Penguins were desperate and ready to overtake the Calgary Flames. However, goalie Mike Smith was not about to let his team surrender a three-goal lead against Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin & Co.
Smith made 34 saves as the Flames held on for a 5-4 road victory over their hosts to earn his first victory since January 13. The Flames have 77 points and moved into the lead in the Pacific Division by two points, although the San Jose Sharks defeated the Vancouver Canucks later in the day to tie for the lead.
While the Flames ended a four-game losing streak with their win, the red-hot St. Louis Bues continued their amazing turnaround with a 3-0 road win over the Colorado Avalanche.
The Blues have won nine games in a row, and that's their longest winning streak since the 2002-03 season. Vladimir Tarasenko broke the tie when he scored on a wrist shot at the 4:01 mark of the third period. The Blues followed up when Zach Sanford scored less than a minute later.
Tarasenko added an assist on Jaden Schwartz's empty-net goal in the final two minutes. Jake Allen had 32 saves for St. Louis and recorded his second shutout of the season for the league's hottest team.
Saturday NHL Scores
Calgary 5, Pittsburgh 4
St. Louis 3, Colorado 0
Philadelphia 6, Detroit 5 (OT)
Ottawa 4, Winnipeg 3 (OT)
New York Islanders 5, Edmonton 2
Arizona 2, Toronto 0
Tampa Bay 3, Montreal 0
Carolina 3, Dallas 0
Columbus 5, Chicago 2
San Jose 3, Vancouver 2
Vegas 5, Nashville 1
Boston 4, Los Angeles 2
4-Goal Second Period Helps Flames Down Pens
Tarasenko Breaks Scoreless Tie as Blues Win Again
Flyers Blow Lead, Win in OT on Konecny Goal
Islanders Continue to Rack Up Wins as Lehner Stops 34 Shots
Desert Dogs Hound Maple Leafs in 2-0 Victory
Lightning Roll Yet Again Behind Kucherov, Vasilevskiy
Blue Jackets Skate by Blackhawks as Panarin Scores Pair
Rask Save, Late Goals Lead Bruins Get by Kings
Flames Hold On for Narrow Victory in Pittsburgh
It looked like the Calgary Flames were on their way to an easy win in Pittsburgh.
Travis Hamonic and Sam Bennett scored a pair of goals for the Flames late in the second period, and that allowed Calgary to take a 5-2 lead into the locker room ahead of the final stanza.
But instead of putting away the Penguins in the third, the Flames had to fight for their lives to emerge victorious. Calgary withstood two third-period goals from Malkin to hang on for a 5-4 victory.
The Penguins dominated in the third period, and as they closed in on the Flames, Calgary goalie Smith was forced into action. His best stop may have been an outstretched kick save in the final minutes of the third period on Phil Kessel's wicked wrist shot.
Pittsburgh held the puck in the Calgary zone for the majority of the final two minutes but could not slip the tying goal past Smith.
"Obviously, there's stuff you still want to clean up, but everything's moving back to where it was when we were buzzing," Smith said, per Stats/AP (h/t CBSSports.com). "That's a good team there. ... We wanted to finish this road trip off on a right note here and get two points tonight."
White-Hot Blues Use 3rd-Period Rally to Win 9th Straight
As recently as December, the St. Louis Blues were struggling to play 60 good minutes per night and found themselves at the bottom of the NHL's Central Division.
While times were tough in the first half of the season, the Blues slowly but surely built momentum and failed to accept the notion that they were nothing but an ordinary team.
The latest evidence of that came in their 3-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche, the team's ninth victory in a row. The Blues have risen to third place in the Central, putting them inside the playoff structure.
The key to their winning streak has been timely scoring and excellent goaltending, and they got just that in Saturday's victory over the Avs.
"We're confident, but the team really understands the work that has to be put in game to game," St. Louis interim coach Craig Berube said, per Stats/AP (h/t CBSSports.com).
Allen made 32 saves, and Schwartz clinched the victory with an empty-net goal late in the third period.
Sunday NHL Schedule
New York Rangers at Pittsburgh, 12:30 p.m. ET
St. Louis at Minnesota, 3 p.m. ET
Buffalo at New Jersey, 6 p.m. ET
Philadelphia at Detroit, 6 p.m. ET
Montreal at Florida, 7 p.m. ET
Washington at Anaheim, 9 p.m. ET