PITTSBURGH: Jakub Voracek completed a hat trick with less than two minutes remaining to give the Philadelphia Flyers a 6-5 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday.
Voracek scored his first goal late in the second period and then put the Flyers 4-2 up early in the third as Philadelphia (8-9-1) took control of the Atlantic division battle.
However, the Penguins fought back, tying the game at 5-5 in a see-sawing third period before Voracek sealed the win for the Flyers with his sixth goal of the season.
Pittsburgh, who were eliminated from last season’s playoffs by the Flyers, opened strongly and took a 2-0 lead early in the first through Matt Niskanen and Evgeni Malkin.
Goals from Nicklas Grossmann and Wayne Simmonds tied the score in the opening frame before two from Voracek put the Flyers 4-2 up.
Tyler Kennedy, James Neal and Brandon Sutter scored to get Pittsburgh back into the game, while Philadelphia’s Simmonds also netted in the third.
With the score tied at 5-5, Voracek put the finishing touches to his stellar night with a game-winning wrist shot at 18:29.
The outcome gave the Flyers a second straight victory while the Penguins (11-6-0) had their three-game winning streak snapped.
“Never know what’s going to happen, it’s always up and down when we play Pittsburgh,” Flyers wing Wayne Simmonds told reporters. “It seems like it’s last team that scores, wins.” Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma lamented his team’s inability to maintain focus throughout the encounter.
“We got too emotional in the game, too involved with the extracurricular and it took away from our game,” he said.
The Penguins had a chance to take over the Eastern Conference lead with a win. Instead, they remain tied at the top of the Atlantic Division with New Jersey on 22 points.
Voracek stayed hot for the Flyers after he also tallied four assists Monday against the New York Islanders.
On the downside, Philadelphia lost goals leader Matt Read to an upper-body injury. He did not return after the first intermission and the team said Read would be evaluated on Thursday.
In Calgary, Alberta, Trevor Lewis scored the go-ahead goal and the Los Angeles Kings swept back-to-back games in Alberta with a 3-1 victory over the Calgary Flames on Wednesday.
Lewis had gone 13 games without a point before picking up two assists Tuesday night in the Kings’ 3-1 win over Edmonton.
His game-winning goal on Wednesday came at 15:20 of the first period on a play in which the 26-year-old showed great poise.
Lewis collected a rebound at the side of the net, paused briefly, then zipped a shot into the top corner over Flames goaltender Joey MacDonald’s shoulder for his first goal in 31 games going back to last season.
That would be all the offense Jonathan Bernier needed. With Jonathan Quick getting the night off after beating the Oilers, the Kings backup goalie made 26 saves.
Dustin Brown and Jeff Carter also scored for Los Angeles. The defending Stanley Cup champions wrap up a grueling stretch in which they played eight of nine games on the road.
T.J. Brodie scored for Calgary.
In Denver, David Jones scored at 4:43 of overtime and Semyon Varlamov stopped 33 shots, leading the Colorado Avalanche to a 1-0 win over the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday night in front of a smattering of boisterous fans that braved a winter storm.
Matt Hunwick set up the winning goal by bringing the puck into the zone and passing it over to Jones, who sent a wrist shot over the left shoulder of Jaroslav Halak. The Avs have won seven straight over the Blues at Pepsi Center.
This was Jones’ first goal since Jan. 22.