PITTSBURGH — Pascal Dupuis scored twice and Evgeni Malkin had a goal in his return to the lineup, leading the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 4-0 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night for their 14th consecutive win.
Chris Kunitz had a goal and an assist and Sidney Crosby had two assists to push his league-best points total to 56 as the Penguins capped a giddy 24 hours and within three victories of its own NHL record for consecutive wins. Malkin, back from an upper body injury, got his first goal in three weeks.
Tomas Vokoun stopped 20 shots and even recorded his first assist while getting his 50th career shutout.
Al Montoya made 39 saves for Winnipeg but the Jets were no match for the NHL’s hottest team.
The league record for consecutive wins was set by the Mario Lemieux-led Penguins in 1992-93, and appears to be in serious jeopardy.
Pittsburgh plays host to the New York Islanders on Saturday and Buffalo next Tuesday. If the Penguins can handle a pair of Eastern Conference also-rans they could head to New York to face the Rangers April 3 with a chance to tie the record.
MAPLE LEAFS 6, HURRICANES 3
In Toronto, Joffrey Lupul scored the go-ahead goal with 3:10 remaining, helping the Maple Leafs hold off a Carolina comeback.
Jay McClement sealed it with his sixth goal of the season on an empty-netter with 45 seconds to go before Nikolai Kulemin added his sixth with 3 seconds left – also into an empty net.
Tyler Bozak, Cody Franson and Dion Phaenuf also scored for Toronto.
Eric Staal, Jordan Staal and Alexander Semin scored for the Hurricanes.
ISLANDERS 4, FLYERS 3 (SO)
In Philadelphia, Colin McDonald scored two goals, Josh Bailey tallied the clinching score in the shootout and New York won again on the road.
John Tavares also scored for New York, which won its fourth in a row on the road while improving to 10-4-1 away from home.
Scott Hartnell scored twice and Mike Knuble also tallied for the Flyers.
PANTHERS 5, SABRES 4 (SO)
In Sunrise, Fla., Mike Santorelli scored the winning goal in the shootout to lift Florida.
Jonathan Huberdeau also scored in the shootout for the Panthers and Jason Pominville scored for Buffalo.
Shawn Matthias had two goals in regulation and Jonathan Huberdeau and Tomas Fleischmann also scored for the Panthers, who snapped a three-game losing streak.
SENATORS 3, RANGERS 0
In Ottawa, Ben Bishop turned aside 24 shots to earn his second career NHL shutout as the Senators beat New York.
Andre Benoit, Guillaume Latendresse and Colin Greening scored for the Senators.
COYOTES 7, PREDATORS 4
In Nashville, Tenn., Radim Vrbata had two goals and an assist and Rostislav Klesla added four assists and Phoenix scored six times in the opening period to cruise past the Predators.
Martin Hanzal, David Moss, Matthew Lombardi, Keith Yandle and Antoine Vermette also scored for the Coyotes.
KINGS 4, BLUES 2
In St. Louis, Mike Richards scored the go-ahead goal with 2:43 to play, Jonathan Quick made 20 saves and Los Angeles continued their dominance of the Blues.
Dustin Brown had a goal and an assist, and Trevor Lewis and Justin Williams also scored goals for the Kings.