Chris Kunitz’s hat trick powered Pittsburgh to a 6-3 win over the Washington Capitals Sunday afternoon. Kris Letang and Matt Cooke also had a goal and an assist each in the win. Evgeni Malkin added a pair of assists.
Washington’s Alex Ovechkin had an assist for just his third point in eight games. John Carlson picked up a total fluke goal when his dump-in went off the glass and handcuffed Pittsburgh goaltender Tomas Vokoun. Vokoun went behind the net, assuming the pack was going there, but the puck hit the glass just right and deflected into an empty net.
The Capitals continue to #OccupyLastPlace in the Eastern Conference at 2-6-1. Only Calgary (1-3-2) has fewer points but also has three games in hand. Pittsburgh is 5-1-0 on the road in the early going.
Montreal edged Ottawa 2-1 with David Desharnais’ first-period goal being the difference. Carey Price stopped 32 of 33 shots and outdueled Craig Anderson (30 saves, 32 shots against) in a goaltender battle. Max Pacioretty played for the first time since undergoing an emergency appendectomy just eight days ago. The Canadiens were stopped on all five of their power play chances, marking the first game this season they failed to score with the man advantage.
The New Jersey Devils picked up three goals in the last four minutes of regulation to break a scoreless tie and register a 3-0 win over the Islanders. Steve Bernier scored the first two of them in a 70-second span and David Clarkson netted the final goal with 22 seconds left. Andy Greene picked up two assists for the Devils. Johan Hedberg turned aside all 22 Islander shots to pick up the shutout.
Brian Campbell’s third period power play goal proved to be the winner as Florida knocked off Buffalo 4-3. Thomas Vanek and Cody Hodgson each had a goal and two assists but it wasn’t enough. Goaltender Ryan Miller gave up four goals for the fourth game in a row and continues to be weak between the pipes for Buffalo. The Sabres are slumping as they have posted a 1-5-1 record after their 2-0 start.
Multiple Goal Scorers
Kunitz-PIT HAT TRICK; Bernier-NJ
Stat of the Night
This is one of the lightest weeks in the NHL schedule. Yesterday had four games and today has five on the docket. Wednesday has just three games on the schedule and Friday has only one. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday each have at least 10 games so three days will likely determine your fate this week.
Three Stars of the Night
1. Kunitz Hat Trick for the Pens
2. Bernier Two-goal burst to give New Jersey the win.
3. Vanek Goal (8) and a pair of assists
Monday’s Schedule (all times ET)
Carolina at Toronto 7pm Carolina makes its second stop on a six-game road trip. Hurricane special teams are among the worst in the league on both the power play and penalty kill.
Dallas at Colorado 9pm Paul Stasny has 11 goals and 20 assists in his last 18 games against Dallas.
Minnesota at Phoenix 9pm Phoenix has points in its last four games and has shutout two of its last three opponents at home.
Vancouver at Edmonton 930pm The Sedin twins are slumping. They’ve combined for one point in the last four games.
San Jose at Anaheim 10pm The Sharks have killed 21 straight penalties.