NHL playoffs: Penguins, Preds, Lightning stretch series leads to 3-1
Sidney Crosby scored his fifth goal of the series and became the Pittsburgh Penguins’ career postseason points leader in a 5-0 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday night.
The Penguins lead the first-round playoff series 3-1 as its shifts to Pittsburgh for Game 5.
Matt Murray stopped 26 shots for his second shutout of the series and the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins are a win away from playing in the second round for the 11th time in the last 12 seasons.
Crosby scored in the second period for a 4-0 lead and passed Pittsburgh owner and Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux for most playoff points with 173. Crosby and the Penguins followed a 7-0 Game 1 win and a 5-1 Game 3 victory with another dominant outing.
Lightning, at Devils 1: A feisty Nikita Kucherov scored two goals, set up another and knocked New Jersey’s top defenseman out of the game with a big hit, and the Tampa Bay Lightning moved within a game of making the Devils’ first trip to the playoffs in six years a short one with a 3-1 victory on Wednesday night.
J.T. Miller also scored and had two assists, and Vezina Trophy finalist Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped three breakaways in making 27 saves as the Lightning bounced back from a loss in Game 3 to tale a 3-1 lead in the first-round series.
Tampa Bay can wrap up the best-of-seven series in Game 5 at home on Saturday.
Predators 3, at Avalanche 2: Filip Forsberg scored another creative goal, Pekka Rinne rebounded from a rocky performance with 31 saves, and the Nashville Predators withstood a furious rally by the Colorado Avalanche for a 3-2 win in Game 4 on Wednesday night to take a 3-1 lead in the first-round series.
Colton Sissons and Craig Smith also added goals for the Predators, who can close out the series Friday when it shifts back to Nashville for Game 5.
Rinne was solid early after being pulled from the last game. Cruising along and up 3-0, the Vezina Trophy finalist allowed Gabriel Landeskog’s 5-on-3 power-play goal in the third and another on Alexander Kerfoot’s tap-in off a rebound.
Colin Wilson nearly tied with about 2 minutes left when his shot appeared to hit the post. The Avalanche pulled backup goalie Andrew Hammond late, but couldn’t get the tying goal.
Go beyond the scoreboard
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