Sat, Dec 31, 2011 - Page 19 News List

NHL: Jagr lifts Flyers in Pittsburgh return

SHOWDOWN:The victory moved Philadelphia into a tie with the NY Rangers for first place in the Atlantic Division heading into Monday’s Winter Classic clash

Reuters and AP, PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA

The Philadelphia Flyers’ Jaromir Jagr takes a backhand shot during their game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Thursday.

Photo: AFP

Jaromir Jagr scored on his return to Pittsburgh on Thursday, sparking the Philadelphia Flyers to a 4-2 victory and snapping the Penguins’ four-game win streak.

Jagr, who spent the first 11 years of his career with the Penguins, broke a 1-1 tie with his 12th goal of the season to give the Flyers the momentum in the second period.

The 39-year-old joined Philadelphia in the off-season after spending three years in Russia and admitted that he should have scored a hatful in familiar surroundings.

“I felt pretty good, I had so many chances,” Jagr told reporters. “I could have scored five goals, but I just couldn’t score. Fifteen years ago I would score five, but not anymore.”

Pittsburgh’s Jordan Staal had opened the scoring, before Kimmo Timonen tied it at 1-1 midway through the first period.

After Jagr put the Flyers ahead six minutes into the second, Matt Read made it 3-1 10 minutes later.

Pittsburgh’s Tyler Kennedy cut the deficit to 3-2 with a slap shot at 13 minutes, 31 seconds in the third period, but Maxime Talbot clinched the win with an empty-net goal with 25 seconds remaining.

The victory moved Philadelphia (22-10-4) into a tie with the New York Rangers for first place in the Atlantic Division, while the Penguins (21-12-4) stayed two points behind.

Sergei Bobrovsky made 24 saves to help secure the win for the Flyers, while Claude Giroux chipped in two assists to run his assist total to 29 on the season.

The Flyers had lost four of five coming into the night, but found inspiration in Pittsburgh.

JETS 1, KINGS 0, OT

In Winnipeg, Canada, Evander Kane scored the only goal of the game 69 seconds into overtime as Winnipeg edged Los Angeles.

Kane scooped the puck out of goalie Jonathan Bernier’s pads and fired it into the net.

Bernier and Jets goalie Chris Mason were the stars throughout until Kane’s winner. Mason made 31 saves and earned his first shutout of the season, while Bernier was the tough-luck loser despite making 26 saves.

The Kings have not lost in regulation since Darryl Sutter took over as coach, going 3-0-2. However, Los Angeles failed on five power plays and have scored only four man-advantage in the past 17 games.

WILD 4, OILERS 3

In St Paul, Minnesota, Dany Heatley scored his third goal in four games to help Minnesota snap an eight-game losing streak with a victory over Edmonton.

Mikko Koivu, Jarod Palmer and Pierre-Marc Bouchard also scored for the Wild.

Taylor Hall, Ladislav Smid and Shawn Horcoff scored for the Oilers, who have lost six of seven. Their only win in that stretch was against the Wild last week.

AVALANCHE 3, COYOTES 2

In Denver, Colorado, Semyon Varlamov made 25 saves as Colorado denied Phoenix.

Gabriel Landeskog had a goal and an assist, while Kevin Porter and Stefan Elliott also scored for Colorado, who went 8-1 at home this month.

Mikkel Boedker scored both goals for the Coyotes.

Avalanche center Matt Duchene left the game early in the first period with an injury and did not return.

CANUCKS 5, DUCKS 2

In Anaheim, Daniel Sedin scored twice and twin brother Henrik once as Vancouver defeated Anaheim.

Cody Hodgson and Mason Raymond also scored for the Canucks, who tied Chicago for first place in the overall NHL standings.

Bobby Ryan and Nick Bonino scored third-period goals for Anaheim.

HURRICANES 4, MAPLE LEAFS 3, OT

In Raleigh, North Carolina, Eric Staal scored a power-play goal 3 minutes, 9 seconds in overtime to lift Carolina to a comeback win over Toronto.

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