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The Official Web Site of the Pittsburgh Penguins
Pittsburgh
Penguins
45-28-9
Florida
Panthers
41-30-11

43 SOG
26 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
PIT
FLA
game recap

Panthers 4, Penguins 2

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:46 AM

Associated Press

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Panthers 4, Penguins 2
Pittsburgh Penguins 2, Florida Panthers 4

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) -Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins had a rough night in South Florida. In the first period, Florida defenseman Keith Ballard upended Penguins star Evgeni Malkin with a low hit, prompting Crosby to drop the gloves and fight Ballard.

The desperate Panthers also denied the Penguins a win that would have clinched a playoff spot, while improving their own postseason chances.

Bryan McCabe and Rostislav Olesz each had a goal and an assist in the Panthers' 4-2 victory Sunday. Ville Peltonen and David Booth also scored, and Jay Bouwmeester had two assists to help the Panthers move into a tie with the New York Rangers for eighth in the Eastern Conference, though the Rangers have the tiebreaker with one more victory.

"After something like that, you've got to expect someone's coming," Ballard said about tangling with Crosby after what he thought was a clean hit.

Crosby received a minor penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct and a major for fighting. He also fought Florida's Brett McLean during a Jan. 3 game.

"He's got a physical style to his game," Crosby said about Ballard. "But (Malkin is) 6-3, he didn't need to hit him at the knees. I understand if it's a guy my size and he hits me at the hips; it's a hip check. But he got pretty low on him."

Florida, vying for its first playoff berth since 2000, has 89 points with three games remaining. The Rangers lost 1-0 to Boston on Saturday.

"Last year, we were out by this time. You don't want to be in that situation," Florida goalie Tomas Vokoun said. "This is what we play for - the chance to get in the playoffs, then it's a brand-new season."

In his return to Florida's starting lineup, Vokoun stopped 41 shots. Backup Craig Anderson helped lead the Panthers to three wins in their past four games, but coach Pete DeBoer decided to make the switch after a 3-1 loss to Atlanta on Friday night.

Pascal Dupuis and Mark Eaton scored for the Penguins, coming off a 3-2 overtime loss in Carolina on Saturday night. They are sixth in the conference.

"That was our goal, to finally secure a spot there," Pittsburgh goalie Marc-Andre Fleury said. "Next game."

At Columbus, Ohio, Kris Versteeg beat fellow rookie star Steve Mason on a breakaway at 3:10 of overtime to give Chicago the victory.

Versteeg ended it with his 22nd goal of the season moments after Chicago's Nikolai Khabibulin stopped Kris Russell on a breakaway. Khabibulin made 20 saves for his second shutout of the season. Mason stopped 24 shots.

A day after clinching a playoff spot, the Blackhawks ran their winning streak to three and snapped a season-high five-game road losing streak. Chicago also moved three points ahead of Vancouver for the fourth seed and home ice in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs. Columbus is sixth, two points ahead of Anaheim.

At Anaheim, Calif., Joe Pavelski and Jonathan Cheechoo scored the tying and go-ahead goals on power plays, and San Jose set a franchise record with its 52nd victory.

Jeremy Roenick had his first goal in four months, and backup goalie Brian Boucher stopped 19 shots for the Sharks, three points ahead of Boston for the overall NHL lead.

Petteri Nokelainen scored a short-handed goal for Anaheim, and Corey Perry connected on a power play. Anaheim beat the Sharks 5-2 on Saturday night in San Jose.

At Washington, Tomas Fleischmann had a goal and an assist for his first multipoint game in nearly two months, and the Capitals moved into sole possession of second place in the East.

Alexander Semin, Keith Aucoin, Michael Nylander, Eric Fehr and Brooks Laich also scored for the Capitals, two points ahead of New Jersey. Ilya Kovalchuk scored his 42nd goal for Atlanta, and Colby Armstrong, Jim Slater and Slava Kozlov also scored.

At Detroit, Marian Hossa scored with 55 seconds left, and Chris Osgood made 20 saves to help the Red Wings snap a three-game losing streak.

Pavel Datsyuk added a goal and an assist, and Jiri Hudler also scored.

Cal Clutterbuck had a goal and an assist, and Marian Gaborik added a goal for Minnesota - 10th in the race for the eight Western playoff spots.

At Vancouver, British Columbia, T.J Galiardi scored twice, Peter Budaj made 20 saves, and Colorado snapped an eight-game losing streak.

Milan Hejduk had a goal and two assists, and Ben Guite also scored. Pavol Demitra ended Budaj's shutout bid with 4:38 left.

scoring summary
1st Period
01:55
FLA
Rostislav Olesz (4) ASST: Jassen Cullimore (8), Bryan McCabe (23)
1 - 0 FLA
06:08
PIT
Pascal Dupuis (11) ASST: Tyler Kennedy (18), Jordan Staal (23)
1 - 1 Tie
19:40
FLA
Bryan McCabe (14) ASST: Stephen Weiss (43), Jay Bouwmeester (25)
2 - 1 FLA
2nd Period
19:48
FLA
PPG - David Booth (28) ASST: Jay Bouwmeester (26), Cory Stillman (32)
3 - 1 FLA
3rd Period
14:06
PIT
PPG - Mark Eaton (4) ASST: Kris Letang (22), Chris Kunitz (28)
3 - 2 FLA
15:56
FLA
Ville Peltonen (12) ASST: Rostislav Olesz (5), Karlis Skrastins (12)
4 - 2 FLA
penalty summary
1st Period
16:44
FLA
Ville Peltonen  Hooking against  Kris Letang
18:11
PIT
Sidney Crosby  Fighting (maj) against  Keith Ballard
18:11
FLA
Keith Ballard  Fighting (maj) against  Sidney Crosby
18:11
PIT
Sidney Crosby  Unsportsmanlike conduct
18:40
FLA
Nick Boynton  Interference against  Brooks Orpik
2nd Period
16:03
PIT
Brooks Orpik  Hooking against  Gregory Campbell
19:13
PIT
Jordan Staal  Holding against  Brett McLean
19:48
PIT
Rob Scuderi  Hi-sticking against  Cory Stillman
3rd Period
11:33
FLA
Radek Dvorak  Hi stick - double minor against  Kris Letang
goalie stats
Marc-Andre Fleury
SA: 26TOI: 58:06
Saves: 22EV: 17 - 20
PIM: 0PP: 3 - 4
SV%: .846SH: 2 - 2
Tomas Vokoun
SA: 43TOI: 59:42
Saves: 41EV: 39 - 40
PIM: 0PP: 2 - 3
SV%: .953SH: 0 - 0