PITTSBURGH — Sidney Crosby scored twice and added two assists in his season debut and the Pittsburgh Penguins crushed the New York Islanders 5-0 on Monday night.
Playing his first game in more than 10 months while recovering from concussion-like symptoms, Crosby appeared to be in midseason form.
He scored on his third shift in spectacular fashion, weaving through the New York defense before beating Anders Nilsson with a backhand for his first goal since last December.
Crosby added assists on goals by Evgeni Malkin and Brooks Orpik and capped his comeback with a second tally, a backhand that fluttered by Nilsson early in the third period to provide the final margin.
Steve Sullivan also scored for the Penguins while Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 29 shots.
Nilsson, making just his second start of the season, made 31 saves for New York.
CAPITALS 4, COYOTES 3
In Washington, Nicklas Backstrom scored early in the third period, then set up Brooks Laich’s power-play goal, helping the Capitals rally from a two-goal deficit and Phoenix ended Washington’s four-game losing streak.
The victory was the 200th of Bruce Boudreau’s NHL coaching career.
HURRICANES 4, FLYERS 2
In Philadelphia, Alexei Ponikarovsky had two goals and an assist and Chad LaRose had a goal and two assists as Carolina earned a win.
Jeff Skinner also scored and Cam Ward made 30 saves for Carolina, which got its first victory in Philadelphia since Nov. 28, 2008.
BLUE JACKETS 4, FLAMES 1
In Columbus, Ohio, Jeff Carter had two goals, Curtis Sanford made 27 saves and the Blue Jackets have their first winning streak in 42 games.
Antoine Vermette and Rick Nash also scored, and Vinny Prospal added three assists for Columbus.
BRUINS 1, CANADIENS 0
In Montreal, Tim Thomas made 33 saves for his second consecutive shutout and Boston extended its winning streak to nine games.
Andrew Ference scored his second goal 15:41 in for Boston, which has not lost since dropping two in a row to Montreal from Oct. 27-29.
Thomas got his third shutout of the season, including a 23-save effort in a 6-0 road win over the New York Islanders on Saturday. It was his 29th regular-season shutout.
PANTHERS 4, DEVILS 3
In Sunrise, Fla., Tomas Fleischmann scored at 17:57 in the third period and Florida beat New Jersey.
Kris Versteeg scored two goals for Florida, and Stephen Weiss had a goal and an assist. Jose Theodore stopped 24 shots.