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Crosby scores in return, Pens beat Stars

(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

PITTSBURGH (AP) Sidney Crosby's been around long enough to realize the issues currently plaguing the Pittsburgh Penguins can't be solved in one shift, one period or even one game.

That sure didn't stop the Pittsburgh captain from trying. Crosby scored a spectacular goal and set up two others during a 5-1 victory over Dallas on Wednesday night in his return to the lineup after missing three games with an upper-body injury.

"I think our team gets a foot taller when he's in our lineup because of the inspiration that he is for our group," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said.

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Flames again score 5 in 1st in easy win

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) Sam Bennett had the go-ahead goal and the Calgary Flames scored five times in the first period of a 6-3 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday night.

Dillon Dube, Matthew Tkachuk, Mark Jankowski, Johnny Gaudreau and Derek Ryan, with an empty netter, also scored for Calgary (13-8-1), which moved back into first place in the Pacific Division.

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Sabres down Flyers, extend streak to 7

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Tired of coming from behind during their NHL-best winning streak, the Buffalo Sabres went out and did something about it.

Jeff Skinner and the Sabres got off to a fast start Wednesday night as Buffalo scored four first-period goals on its way to a 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers.

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Rinne sets Finn win record vs. Blues

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Pekka Rinne leads the Finns in wins.

Rinne made 28 saves to set an NHL record for victories by a goalie from Finland, and the Nashville Predators beat St. Louis 4-1 on Wednesday night in Craig Berube's first game as Blues coach.

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Capitals top 'Hawks for 3rd straight win

WASHINGTON (AP) Tom Wilson missed Washington's first 16 games due to a suspension for an illegal check. In the five games since his return, Wilson has shown just how valuable he is to the Capitals.

Wilson scored 54 seconds into the contest to set the pace and Washington defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2 Wednesday night for its first three-game winning streak of the season.

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'Canes win 5-2, Leafs' streak ends at 4

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) Coming into the night, the Toronto Maple Leafs were tied for the NHL lead in scoring and ranked second in goal differential on the strength of a top-notch power play.

Still, the Carolina Hurricanes found a way to neutralize the Leafs behind a former Toronto goaltender and solid special-teams play.

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Stamkos leads Tampa rout over Florida

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Tampa Bay scored early and often in another home victory over Florida.

Steven Stamkos had a goal and three assists and the Lightning reclaimed the top spot in the Eastern Conference with a 7-3 victory over the Panthers on Wednesday night.

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Georgiev, Rangers blank Islanders 5-0

NEW YORK (AP) When Alexandar Georgiev was young, his family moved from Bulgaria to Russia so he could have a better opportunity to play sports. He was happy his parents were in attendance Wednesday night to see his first NHL shutout.

Georgiev stopped 29 shots, Filip Chytil scored for the fifth straight game, and the New York Rangers beat the crosstown-rival Islanders 5-0.

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Pacioretty OT goal gets Vegas by Coyotes

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) The Vegas Golden Knights couldn't put away the Arizona Coyotes in regulation time, but they dominated overtime and picked up an important divisional win.

Max Pacioretty stuffed in a rebound at 3:36 of overtime, and the Golden Knights beat the Coyotes 3-2 Wednesday night.

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Ducks edge Canucks to end skid at 3

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) The Anaheim Ducks stumbled through the past five weeks with just three wins. Their lineup has been decimated by injuries, and they've fallen short in close games with a dismaying regularity.

When they held off the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday night by showing all the late-game poise they've lacked, the Ducks found themselves in third place in the Pacific Division in spite of it all.

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