Metropolitan bragging rights go to Isles
The Penguins and the Islanders began a home-and-home weekend series in Pittsburgh with five goals in the first period setting the stage for a shootout, won by the Islanders, 5-4. The two teams are the class of the Metropolitan Division with 27 and 24 points, respectively, heading into the contest.
The Islanders' triumph denied Pittsburgh goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury his 300th NHL victory. Fleury made 31 saves and was solid except for a stretch of 1:35 in the opening period when the Islanders scored three times.
After the Islanders increased their lead to 4-2 in the second period, New York's Matt Martin, who had one of the first period goals, took on Pittsburgh's Robert Bortuzzo.
The game settled down with the teams swapping goals in the second period before Pittsburgh's Nick Spaling tied it at 4-4 with the only goal of the third period goal.
In the shootout, Sidney Crosby and Frans Nielsen matched goals on backhanded shots before Kyle Okposo put his low shot off Fleury's pad into the net for the winner.
Undermanned Bruins slip past Blue Jackets
It was an undermanned Bruins team that travelled to Columbus to take on an equally depleted Blue Jackets roster.
In the end, in a shootout of course, and a long one at that, a Bruins' call-up from Providence, found the right spot against the Blue Jackets' Sergei Bobrovsky who had 38 saves on the night.
Columbus scored twice in the first period, the second by Nick Foligno before the Bruins struck for three in the third period to take the lead. Jack Johnson knotted things at 3-3 and sent the game to overtime and then the shootout.
It took seven rounds in the shootout but Alex Khokhlachev who joined the team from Providence on Thursday, was the only one to score. It was just the second NHL game for Khokhlachev, the first this year.
Niklas Svedberg stopped all seven Columbus shooters for the Bruins.
Boston was missing Adam McQuaid, who's going to miss 6-8 weeks with a broken thumb, a flu-ridden Dougie Hamilton, Brad Marchand and David Krejci. Columbus had six regulars absent.
The victory was Boston's eighth in their last 10 games.
Columbus lost at home for the sixth time in seven starts.
The Blue Jackets' sole consolation for the evening was Dalton Prout's one punch knock-down of Milan Lucic.
Devils pitchfork Oilers turnaround plans
With just two wins in 10 starts, the Edmonton Oilers had hoped to take advantage of a visiting New Jersey Devils team that had lost two in a row. No such luck. Edmonton was blanked 2-0 as they lost their fifth game in succession.
It's the second time that Edmonton's lost five games and they also had a four-game slide that carried from late October into the first week of November. Their six wins in the first 20 games came in bursts of four wins (in October) and two victories, Nov. 7 and 9. The rest of the season has been an exercise in futility.
Cory Schneider made 29 stops for New Jersey for his second shutout of the season and 14th of his career.
Viktor Fasth surrendered a pair of second period goals to Adam Henrique and Tuomo Ruutu while turning aside 24 shots.
Edmonton's last win on home ice was Oct. 27, a 3-0 win over Montreal.