NHL roundup

Maurice's return spoiled

Associated Press / December 5, 2008
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Petr Sykora scored two goals, Sidney Crosby had four assists, and the Pittsburgh Penguins routed Carolina, 5-2, last night to spoil the start of Paul Maurice's second stint coaching the slumping Hurricanes in Raleigh, N.C.

Pascal Dupuis scored an early goal and NHL scoring leader Evgeni Malkin added two assists, even as his lead over Crosby dwindled to 2 points.

One night after blowing a 2-0 lead in a shootout loss to the New York Rangers, Pittsburgh led, 3-0, less than two minutes into the second period and never let Carolina get closer than two goals after that. The Penguins scored five goals on their first 13 shots, including first-period goals by Sykora and Dupuis roughly 1 1/2 minutes apart.

Crosby assisted on both, giving him 39 points this season.

Tuomo Ruutu and Matt Cullen scored for the Hurricanes, who shook up their coaching staff yet wound up with more of the same results.

"We made some - I guess 'glaring' would be the word - mistakes, where you look at it and you may not see that mistake made again," Maurice said.

The Hurricanes fired coach Peter Laviolette a day earlier and replaced him with Maurice, who coached them to a franchise-best 268 wins from 1995 until he was fired in December 2003. They brought Hall of Fame player Ron Francis out of the front office and made him associate coach. But they couldn't provide any quick fixes for a team that lost its fifth in six games.

Sharks 3, Blue Jackets 2 - Joe Thornton scored the go-ahead goal with 12:19 to play, and the NHL-leading Sharks shook off a terrible start to earn their ninth straight victory. The Sharks are 14-0-1 at home.

Canadiens 6, Rangers 2 - Steve Begin and Maxim Lapierre each had a goal and an assist and host Montreal scored three times in the first period to celebrate its 99th birthday with a victory.

Devils 3, Flyers 2 - Patrik Elias scored the tying goal late in the third period, then pulled into a tie with Mats Sundin and Jaromir Jagr for the NHL record with his 15th overtime goal as New Jersey won in Philadelphia.

Red Wings 6, Canucks 5 - Jiri Hudler and Dan Cleary each scored twice for host Detroit.

Coyotes 6, Maple Leafs 3 - Martin Hanzal had his first three-goal game in the NHL, and Steven Reinprecht added a pair of third-period goals in host Phoenix's victory over Toronto.

Panthers 2, Sabres 1 - Craig Anderson made 45 saves, and Gregory Campbell and Keith Ballard scored 35 seconds apart in the second period as host Florida beat reeling Buffalo.

Capitals 5, Islanders 2 - Enforcer Donald Brashear scored his first goal of the season with 13:10 left to snap a tie as host Washington beat New York.

Predators 3, Avalanche 2 - Vernon Fiddler, Shea Weber, and David Legwand scored early goals and Pekka Rinne made 19 saves for host Nashville.

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