Jeff Carter and Mike Richards scored their first goals of the series early for a fast start and Claude Giroux and Simon Gagne put the Philadelphia Flyers ahead for good in a 6-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday.
Pittsburgh leads the series 2-1. Game 4 is tonight in Philadelphia.
Carter, the NHL’s leading goal scorer, scored his first of the postseason 3 minutes into the game and Richards made it two goals on two shots 2:15 later.
Giroux gave the Flyers a 3-2 lead at 4:32 of the second and Gagne increased the lead to two with a short-handed goal at 8:58.
Jared Ross scored his first NHL goal in the third to make it 5-2 and Gagne added an empty-netter with 1:36 left.
Evegni Malkin scored twice and Rob Scuderi added a goal for Pittsburgh.
DUCKS 3, SHARKS 2
At San Jose, California, Andrew Ebbett broke a tie with his first career playoff goal from an awkward angle with 10:16 left in the game as the Anaheim Ducks stunned the top-seeded San Jose Sharks with another defensive gem.
Jonas Hiller made 42 saves and Bobby Ryan and Drew Miller also scored their first playoff goals as the eighth-seeded Ducks took the opening two games in the Shark Tank from San Jose, which lost just five home games in regulation during the regular season.
Ryane Clowe’s goal early in the second period ended more than 174 minutes of scoreless playoff hockey for the Sharks dating to last season, but San Jose couldn’t rally despite another monstrous edge in shots (44-26).
Ryan opened the scoring on a power play in the first period for Anaheim and Clowe tied it in the second. Ebbert and Miller made it 3-1 in the third and Jonathan Cheechoo pulled the Sharks within one with 6:06 remaining.
Game 3 of the Western Conference first-round series is tonight in Anaheim, California.
DEVILS 3, HURRICANES 2
At Raleigh, North Carolina, Travis Zajac scored at 4:58 of overtime as the New Jersey Devils beat the Carolina Hurricanes and took a 2-1 lead in the Eastern Conference playoff series.
Zach Parise scored for the third straight game and assisted on Zajac’s winner, helping the Devils bounce back from an overtime loss two nights earlier on home ice.
Game 4 is tonight in Raleigh.
Parise started the decisive sequence by attempting to throw the puck toward Brian Rolston, but it clicked off Anton Babchuk’s skate and to Zajac in the slot. Cam Ward stopped his wrist shot with his pads, but Zajac followed it by flipping it high past the Carolina goalie for his second career playoff goal.
Brian Gionta added a goal, Zajac assisted on Parise’s goal and Martin Brodeur stopped 28 shots for New Jersey.
CANUCKS 3, BLUES 2
At St Louis, Steve Bernier broke a tie in the opening minute of the third period with Vancouver’s third power-play goal of the game.
Mattias Ohlund and Daniel Sedin also scored power-play goals, while Roberto Luongo made 24 saves. Game 4 is tonight in St Louis.