- Penguins pick up Hossa, Dupuis
- Isles ink Mike Comrie, trade Ch
- Senators fire coach John Paddoc
- Red Wings' Jiri Fischer returns
- Avs' Ryan Smyth taken off on st
- Crosby dazzling as Pens top Lig
- Devils down Maple Leafs 4-1 to
- Islanders squeak by Rangers in
- Williams helps Blackhawks top W
- Blues snap skid with 3-2 win ov
- Erat's hat trick leads Predator
- Kiprusoff, Flames beat Blue Jac
Welcome back, Sid and Pete. Former MVPs Sidney Crosby and Peter Forsberg successfully returned to the NHL Tuesday night. Crosby, the reigning Hart Trophy winner, came off the injured list and helped the Pittsburgh Penguins beat Tampa Bay 2-0. Forsberg, the 2003 league most valuable player, made his season debut with Colorado in a 2-1 victory over Vancouver.
In a dazzling return after missing 6 1/2 weeks with a high ankle sprain, Crosby set up Maxime Talbot for the game's first goal with only 2:47 remaining. He created numerous scoring opportunities with his speed and stickhandling as the Penguins took over the Eastern Conference lead with about a month remaining in the regular season.
"It's good to get it over with and get that feel and get that timing back, but it's still not there," Crosby said. "I had some great chances that I would have loved to put in. It didn't happen. Sometimes that's the way it goes. I'm a little rusty."
Forsberg showed little rust despite being out for nearly a year mending a foot problem.
"I was just happy I was out there," Forsberg said. "I felt OK, not bad, not good.
"It's been a long time since I played a real game. It's going to be a real struggle here in the beginning, the first couple of games. I hope people understand that."
John-Michael Liles scored his first goal in nearly four months and the Avalanche won their fourth straight.
Elsewhere, it was: Florida 1, Boston 0; Calgary 1, Columbus 0; New Jersey 4, Toronto 1; the New York Islanders 4, the New York Rangers 3 in a shootout; Nashville 5, Edmonton 1; Chicago 4, Minnesota 2; Buffalo 5, Philadelphia 2; and St. Louis 3, Los Angeles 2.
Penguins 2, Lightning 0
At Tampa, Fla., Marc-Andre Fleury made only his second start following his own extended injury layoff with an injured ankle and turned aside 35 shots in his first shutout since Nov. 24 and third of the season.
Evgeni Malkin, edging to within a point of the NHL scoring lead, scored into an empty net with 5 seconds remaining.
But it was Crosby's night. The reigning NHL scoring champion appeared as if he had been off only a few days rather than since Jan. 18 with a high ankle sprain.
"He's the best player in the league," Fleury said. "Having him on our side is always a big help."
Avalanche 2, Canucks 1
Colorado coach Joel Quenneville didn't plan on playing Forsberg for nearly 20 minutes, but he just looked too good on the ice to limit his time.
"I thought he was very effective, very dangerous," Quenneville said. "He's fun to watch."
Not to be overshadowed in the numerous ovations for Forsberg by the fans was the play of Jose Theodore, who won his fourth straight game, his longest streak of the season. He made 26 saves.
Panthers 1, Bruins 0
Craig Anderson followed his record-setting shutout two days ago with a 40-save win, and Nathan Horton scored 22 seconds into overtime.
Anderson stopped 53 shots in a 1-0 victory over the Islanders on Sunday, the most ever in a shutout since shots on goal started being kept in the 1955-56 season.
Since 1989-90, it's the most saves in consecutive shutouts; Dominik Hasek for Buffalo in December 1997 had 75 saves, according to Stats LLC.
"These last two games have just been terrific," Anderson said. "As much as you want to say it's just one guy, it's been everybody. The little things you might not notice, I recognize, the coaches recognize, and the other guys recognize what guys are doing. We're making sure were getting the pucks out, we're making big blocks, we're making sure the puck doesn't get to the net, and a lot of the time I am seeing the shots, which is a credit to the guys in front of me."
Flames 1, Blue Jackets 0
Craig Conroy scored in the third period and Miikka Kiprusoff made 39 saves to get the host Flames into a tie for first place in the Northwest Division with Minnesota.
Conroy got the game's only goal at 5:49 of the third. Eric Nystrom's attempt glanced off the stick of Blue Jackets defenseman Aaron Rome and was scooped up by Conroy. The veteran center cut to the net, and while fending off defenseman Ole-Kristian Tollefsen, fired a backhander over the blocker of Pascal Leclaire.
It was the second shutout of the season and 26th of his career for Kiprusoff, who improved to 33-20-9. The two shutouts this year have come in his last five games.
Devils 4, Maple Leafs 1
At Toronto, Zach Parise scored twice and Martin Brodeur made 40 saves as the Devils snapped a three-game winless streak. David Clarkson and Brian Gionta also scored for the Devils.
The Devils remained fourth in the Eastern Conference, a point behind the conference-leading Penguins in the Atlantic Division.
Nik Antropov scored for the Maple Leafs, who had picked up nine of a possible 10 points in their last five games. Toronto remained six points out of the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.
Vesa Toskala made his 19th consecutive start in goal for Toronto, but gave up four goals on 25 shots.
Islanders 4, Rangers 3, SO
At New York, Jeff Tambellini scored in the sixth round of the shootout, and Wade Dubielewicz, subbing for the second straight game for Rick DiPietro, made 27 saves through overtime. He then turned aside five shooters in the tiebreaker.
DiPietro was away from the team following the death of his grandmother, and was expected to return to practice Wednesday.
Rangers forward Nigel Dawes and Islanders captain Bill Guerin were the only others to score in the shootout.
Predators 5, Oilers 1
Martin Erat scored his first career hat trick as the Predators beat the Oilers for the eighth straight time. J.P. Dumont and Ville Koistinen also scored for the Predators, while Tom Gilbert responded for Edmonton.
The victory moved Nashville into seventh place in the Western Conference.
The loss ended a four-game winning streak for the Oilers and stopped their run of consecutive victories on home ice at seven, one short of the franchise record.
Blackhawks 4, Wild 2
Jason Williams had a goal and an assist as the Blackhawks snapped the Wild's three-game winning streak. Dustin Byfuglien, Duncan Keith and Craig Adams scored for Chicago, which got its eighth win in 11 games and first in Minnesota since March 29, 2002.
Pavol Demitra and Stephane Veilleux had goals for Minnesota, which had won three straight after losing its previous four.
Chicago rookie Jonathan Toews played despite needing 50 stitches under his nose and in his mouth after being hit by Vancouver's Matt Pettinger on Sunday. Toews started the game wearing a metal face cage, but switched to a glass shield after the first period.
Sabres 5, Flyers 2
At Philadelphia, Derek Roy and Jason Pominville scored 18 seconds apart early in the third period. Pominville and Maxim Afinogenov each had two goals for the Sabres, who pulled within one point of the Flyers for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Scottie Upshall and Steve Downie scored for Philadelphia, which lost in regulation for the first time in five games.
Blues 3, Kings 2
At St. Louis, Ryan Johnson scored his fifth goal of the season and the Blues snapped a six-game skid.
St. Louis also got goals from Andy McDonald and Keith Tkachuk. Manny Legace stopped 31 shots for the victory.
The Kings got goals from Alexander Frolov and Dustin Brown.