The Pittsburgh Penguins finally solved the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday night.
Sidney Crosby scored on a breakaway seven seconds after leaving the penalty box, Max Talbot added a shorthanded goal and the Pens beat the Canucks in regulation for the first time in 10 years, winning 3-1 at the Consol Energy Center.
The Canucks were 7-0-1 against the Penguins since losing 4-2 on Nov. 3, 2000, and had won their last four in Pittsburgh.
Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 29 shots during his fourth consecutive strong game since ending a slump in which he lost six of seven. The Penguins won for only the fourth time in their first 10 games in the new home.
Fleury was especially strong during the Canucks' five power plays, two resulting from Crosby penalties.
"It's not one day that you wake up and you're all good," Fleury said. "It takes good practices and you work in practice, you get a win and you just get better."
With Crosby scoring his seventh goal in seven games and generating numerous scoring chances, sometimes while playing on a line with Evgeni Malkin, the Penguins bounced back from a 3-2 overtime loss to the Rangers on Monday in which they blew a late 2-1 lead.
Crosby jumped out of the penalty box late in the first period after Pittsburgh killed off his hooking penalty, collected Talbot's pass off the boards in stride and beat Roberto Luongo with a quick wrist shot for his 13th goal and second in five career games against Vancouver.
"I thought I might be able to sneak out behind them and it was perfect timing," Crosby said. "As soon as I came out, the puck was there. It was a good bounce."
Crosby and Luongo were Olympic teammates in Vancouver, where Crosby's alert play in overtime allowed him to score the gold medal-winning goal against the United States.
Vancouver came into the game with the NHL's No. 2 power play, but went 0-for-5 with the man advantage and allowed Talbot's shorthanded goal at 5:44 of the second.
"Our execution wasn't there," Henrik Sedin said. "We made a lot of mistakes, we didn't get pucks in (deep). We had 3-on-2s, 2-on-1s where passes weren't on our sticks. It wasn't what we need."
Fleury's best save came on a Henrik Sedin wrist shot from close range during a power play with Pittsburgh up 1-0 early in the second period. An undefended Daniel Sedin shot wide off the rebound, and Talbot scored on a 2-on-1 break with Matt Cooke 24 seconds later.
Luongo stopped Talbot's initial shot, but Talbot got the puck back and stuffed it inside the far post on a wraparound for his fourth goal and the first short-handed goal allowed by Vancouver this season.
"It's unfortunate, I don't think Pittsburgh did anything special," Luongo said. "They capitalized on some of the mistakes we made."
The Penguins stretched it to 3-0 -- a rare big lead at home this season -- when Arron Asham was the last to get his stick on the puck during a flurry in front of the net in which both Luongo and Christian Erhoff were sprawled in the crease.
Defenseman Dan Hamhuis, who turned down a Penguins offer to sign with Vancouver last summer, made it 3-1 by scoring 34 seconds later. Daniel Sedin passed up an open shot and slid the puck across the crease to Hamhuis for his second goal of the season, at 9:38 of the second, but the Canucks couldn't beat Fleury again.
"This is a team I think we should beat," Daniel Sedin said. "They gave up a lot of shots and we didn't capitalize."
Hurricanes 7, Senators 1 | HIGHLIGHTS
Eric Staal reached a career milestone on what was a big night for the 'Canes. Staal had 3 goals, including the 200th of his career, and 2 assists as the Carolina cruised past a heavy-hearted Ottawa squad at the RBC Center.
Chad LaRose added 2 goals and 2 assists, Tim Gleason had a goal and an assist and Tuomo Ruutu also scored for the Hurricanes, who put up four goals in the first period against Brian Elliott.
Cam Ward made 23 saves for Carolina. Reeling after consecutive lopsided losses to Philadelphia and at Montreal by a combined score of 15-3, the Hurricanes shook up the roster a few hours before the puck dropped by trading two regulars to Calgary.
"We weren't happy with our last two games, we came out ready to play and they looked like a team with a lot on their mind," Staal said.
The one-sided outcome provided a difficult conclusion to an emotionally draining day for the Senators. The team delayed its trip to attend a memorial service in Ottawa earlier in the day for the 14-year-old daughter of assistant coach Luke Richardson, who died on Friday. The Senators didn't arrive in Raleigh until Wednesday afternoon.
"We went through a lot today," defenseman Chris Phillips said, "and couldn't get the job done."
Daniel Alfredsson scored late for the Senators, who lost their second straight. Elliott stopped just 12 shots in fewer than 17 minutes before he was pulled for Pascal Leclaire, who made nine saves but allowed three goals.
"It was pretty much the worst-case scenario," Phillips said. "We wanted to win this game for so many reasons. A couple early mistakes and lost battles, and before we knew it, we were down 4-0."
Gleason struck first for Carolina 4 1/2 minutes in, taking a feed from LaRose while skating into the left circle and snapping the puck past Elliott.
Then Staal took over.
The team leader with 9 goals and 22 points scored twice on the power play in the first period, then added his third goal in the third. Career goal No. 200 came with 9:19 left in the first when he took a pass from Jussi Jokinen on the back line and stuffed it past Elliott.
He scored again with just under 4 minutes left before the first break, slipping in the rebound of Jokinen's slap shot to stretch it to 3-0. Staal finished off his 11th career hat trick on a rush with 6:16 to play.
"Hoping to have a lot more than 200," Staal said. "Obviously, (it was) a great honor for me, and I'm fortunate to be on the right end of some very good plays tonight, some very good passes."
LaRose's first goal of the game came with 3:14 left in the first when he chipped in a rebound to make it 4-0. That chased Elliott, and by that point, the Hurricanes had as many goals as the Senators had shots on goal. LaRose added his second goal 86 seconds into the third to make it 5-0.
Wild 2, Ducks 1 | HIGHLIGHTS
Antti Miettinen scored at 3:36 of overtime and Niklas Backstrom made 27 saves as Minnesota edged Anaheim at the Xcel Energy Center.
Martin Havlat also added a goal for the Wild, who have won five of their last seven games.
"We're staying in games, but we can't be too fooled by ourselves either," Minnesota coach Todd Richards said. "We're finding ways to win, you've got to give the guys credit for that. But we have to be better. We have to be more consistent in our play."
Teemu Selanne scored for the Ducks, who also lost 2-1 on Tuesday night at Dallas and have dropped all three games on their road trip. Backup goaltender Curtis McElhinney stopped 25 shots for Anaheim.
Miettinen scored off a rebound. Wild rookie Marco Scandella carried the puck up the ice and made the save shot. McElhinney made an initial save on Miettinen as well, but the rebound bounced off of Miettinen's chest and into the net. The play was reviewed, but the goal stood.
"I was pretty sure they were going to allow it right away because I was just skating pretty fast that way," said Miettinen, who recently missed five games with a concussion. "So that was the motion that put the puck in, not anything else."
Added McElhinney: "It was a tough (initial) rebound to steer away and come up with the second save. But the guy who got it did a good job driving to the net. It was a nice play on their part."
After a scoreless first period, Selanne's power-play goal at 4:56 of the second gave Anaheim a 1-0 lead. Corey Perry made a quick pass across the slot that Selanne was able to knock in before Backstrom could slide to the other side of the net.
Havlat tied the game less than two minutes later. While below the goal line, Havlat backhanded the puck at the net. The puck sneaked between the post and McElhinney's skate for Havlat's second goal of the season and his eighth point in the past seven games.
Anaheim controlled much of the final period, outshooting the Wild 16-2 in the third.
"We relied a lot on Nik, he made some great saves," Richards said. "You've got to give Anaheim some credit. They were pushing hard in the third period."
Coyotes 3, Flames 1 | HIGHLIGHTS
Ilya Bryzgalov made 39 saves and Martin Hanzal had a goal and an assist as Phoenix won its fourth straight with a victory at Calgary.
The Flames outshot Phoenix 16-9 in the first period, but could not solve Bryzgalov, who made several big saves.
"Bryzy was outstanding in the first period," Hanzal said. "He's our best player so if he plays well, we have a better chance of winning, it's pretty simple."
The 30-year-old Russian goalie slid across the crease to deny Rene Bourque after a setup by Jarome Iginla. Later, he stopped Tim Jackman as he cut to the net, then sprawled to thwart Brendan Morrison on the rebound.
"Unfortunately, you look back on this year, we haven't been as resilient as we should be," Iginla said. "You take a game like tonight, we were really going good early and you're not always going to get that first goal. We didn't get it tonight and we sagged a bit.
"In three minutes, you can get two or three goals, we have to just stay with it and keep that focus and that intensity and work ethic up, regardless of what happens."
With the game still scoreless in the second, Bryzgalov again showed off his acrobatic style robbing defenseman Jay Bouwmeester, who had raced in and one-timed a pass from behind the net by Matt Stajan.
"We've started feeling better not because we've won four games in a row, but because we're playing better hockey and that's most important," Bryzgalov said. "Sometimes you can win four games in a row but be unsatisfied with the type of hockey you're playing but when you play good hockey overall, you'll be fine."
Phoenix scored twice in the second period to take the lead. Wojtek Wolski scored at 7:13 with a shot over the shoulder of Miikka Kiprusoff from a near-impossible angle in the lower left circle. It was the second goal of the season for Wolski, who scored a career-high 23 in 2009-10.
"He came in one-on-one and tried to shoot a few times and I tried to follow him," said Kiprusoff. "But yeah, I was late there, I was moving sideways and wasn't quick enough to close the post. As a goalie, you have to stop those."
Phoenix doubled its lead at 12:33, scoring eight seconds into its fourth power play of the night.
Hanzal redirected Radim Vrbata's shot, and the puck slid past Kiprusoff off the leg of sprawled Flames forward Alex Tanguay.
Calgary got to within one on Bourque's goal at 16:08 of the third, setting up a dramatic finish, but the Flames could not pull even despite pouring on the late pressure.
"We certainly had the mindset going into the third that we need to make a big push," Flames coach Brent Sutter said. "But, we never generated as much offense as we needed to until the final five or six minutes."
Blue Jackets 5, Kings 3 | HIGHLIGHTS
Rick Nash scored twice and Andrew Murray added a goal and an assist as Columbus began its West Coast swing with a win at Los Angeles, which started the season with eight straight home victories.
Steve Mason stopped 33 shots for just his second win in November as the Jackets improved to 5-1-0 on the road, the best start away from Columbus in club history.
"We can't rely on one line or two lines … we're about 20 guys," Blue Jackets coach Scott Arniel said. "All the games where we've had success, it's been our bottom-six forwards chipping in, our top guys being good, all of our defensemen doing what they have to do to have success in the back end defending."
After Los Angeles' Justin Williams and Columbus' Jared Boll traded goals early in the third period, Nash received a pass from Derick Brassard and adroitly stickhandled past Davis Drewiske before firing a shot past Jonathan Quick, whose personal seven-game winning streak also ended despite 21 saves.
"That's their first loss at home, and it's something we talked about before the game because we wanted to break that big goose egg that they had," Nash said. "We stuck with it through 60 minutes."
Michal Handzus and Ryan Smyth also scored for the Kings, who have lost two straight after a six-game winning streak to fall out of the Western Conference lead. Los Angeles, which lost 6-3 at San Jose on Monday, has allowed 11 goals in two games after yielding just four in the previous five games.
The Kings learned they've lost another regular to a long-term injury. Left wing Scott Parse will be out until at least late February after undergoing surgery next week on his injured hip.
After Rostislav Klesla scored on a long shot off the post in the second period, Smyth evened it with 1:22 left, circling the net with Williams' rebound and backhanding the puck past Mason. The assist extended Williams' points streak to a career-best 11 games.
Just 85 seconds into the third period, Jarret Stoll collected a rebound and made a slick pass through traffic to Williams for his team-leading ninth goal. Moments later, Boll surprisingly scored on a backhand -- the second goal in three games for a physical forward who hadn't scored in the previous 18 games.
"They're a strong defensive, checking team," Kings captain Dustin Brown said of the Blue Jackets. "We had our chances offensively, and I guess the one thing that was out of the ordinary for us was that we had a lead in the third period and we let it go. That hasn't happened in a long time here. We kind of let this one slip away."
Lightning 4, Islanders 2 | HIGHLIGHTS
Martin St. Louis had a goal and two assists as Tampa Bay spoiled Jack Capuano's debut as coach of the Isles, who have now lost 11 in a row.
To read NHL.com's full recap, click here.
Panthers 2, Thrashers 1 | HIGHLIGHTS
Radek Dvorak broke a 1-1 tie late in the second period and Tomas Vokoun made 38 saves as Florida edged Atlanta at Philips Arena.
To read NHL.com's full recap, click here.
Avalanche 4, Sharks 3 (OT) | HIGHLIGHTS
Kevin Porter's goal 2:07 into overtime capped Colorado's rally from a 3-1 deficit and gave the Avs a victory over visiting San Jose.
To read NHL.com's full recap, click here.
Material from wire services and team media was used in this report.