Canadiens see red - in OT
Bloodied Letang boosts Penguins
After losing Sidney Crosby for nearly a year, the Pittsburgh Penguins were happy to see another one of their stars recover quickly, and return very successfully, from a hit to the head.
Kris Letang came back with a bloodied and broken nose from a hit late in regulation to score 2:09 into overtime, giving Pittsburgh a 4-3 win over the Canadiens last night at Montreal.
Letang scored his third goal after James Neal poked the puck free from Carey Price and the Penguins improved to 3-0-1 since Crosby returned to the lineup.
“It shows a lot of guts and we’re all happy that, first of all, he’s OK, and for him to respond like that it’s pretty amazing,’’ Crosby said.
Letang passed a concussion protocol after he had his nose broken on a hit by Max Pacioretty with 3:14 to go in the third.
Price threw away his stick and defenseman Hal Gill, one of the Canadiens’ alternate captains, argued with referee Dan O’Rourke - to no avail - that his goalie had covered up the puck on Letang’s goal.
“It’s really disappointing it ended that way,’’ Montreal coach Jacques Martin said.
Crosby got his eighth point in four games back from concussion-like symptoms that sidelined him for the better part of 11 months with an assist on Evgeni Malkin’s goal 21 seconds in.
Letang was bleeding from the nose and had blood on his visor after he was run over by Pacioretty while following through on a slap shot inside the Montreal blue line.
“He came to apologize,’’ Letang said. “It was a great gesture by him.’’
Guided by Matt Cooke and Pascal Dupuis as he skated off the ice to the dressing room, Letang returned for overtime.
“I feel terrible that he got hurt but I’m thankful that he came back,’’ Pacioretty said.
No penalty was called on the play.
Islanders 3, Devils 2 - Michael Grabner snapped a tie with a shorthanded goal and the Islanders broke through for their first road win of the season.
New York earned its third victory this month and improved to 1-5-2 on the road.
Red Wings 4, Predators 1 - Valtteri Filppula scored twice to lead Detroit to its fifth straight win and its league-best ninth game at home.
Avalanche 5, Oilers 2 - Stefan Elliott scored his first NHL goal and Semyon Varlamov had 31 saves as host Colorado snapped a two-game hone skid.
Sabres 5, Capitals 1 - Luke Adam scored twice, Jhonas Enroth made 26 saves, and Zack Kassian scored his first NHL goal as host Buffalo snapped a three-game winless streak despite missing nine regulars.
Rangers 2, Flyers 0 - Henrik Lundqvist stopped 29 shots, Carl Hagelin scored his first NHL goal, and the Rangers improved on their best home start in nearly 20 years.
Canucks 3, Sharks 2 - Henrik Sedin and Andrew Alberts scored goals less than a minute apart in the second period as visiting Vancouver won its season-best fourth straight.
Blackhawks, 2 Kings 1 - Jonathan Toews scored the go-ahead goal in the second period, Andrew Brunette also found the net, and Duncan Keith had two assists to lead Chicago to its seventh straight victory over host Los Angeles.
Lightning 5, Panthers 1 - Steven Stamkos had two goals and an assist, Mathieu Garon made 24 saves, and host Tampa Bay beat Florida.
Coyotes 3, Stars 0 - Mike Smith stopped 26 shots for his second shutout of the season, leading Phoenix over Dallas in Glendale, Ariz.