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Penguins top Blue Jackets for 29th win

Published December 29, 2013 11:13 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Columbus, Ohio • The Pittsburgh Penguins are on a record pace halfway through the season.

Imagine what they might do if they get healthy.

James Neal scored three times and had two assists, and Sidney Crosby added the go-ahead goal and set up two other tallies to lead the Penguins past the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-3 on Sunday night.

"With the injuries we've had, the guys have come in, and the job they've done is a big reason why we've had a decent first half," Crosby said after the Penguins improved to 29-11-1. "We were at a point where we started to lose guys and it could have gone either way. But we've found a way to survive."

Not only survive, but flourish.

Their 29 wins eclipsed the previous franchise record for victories through 41 games, snapping a tie with the 1992-93 team which won a franchise-record 56 games and the Stanley Cup.

The Penguins' 59 points are just one behind that team that was led by Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr. The Penguins are on pace for a 58-22-2 record — again just a point behind the club mark of 119 put up by the '92-93 team.

The Penguins have done it despite losing defensemen Rob Scuderi, Brooks Orpik, Kris Letang and Paul Martin for extended stretches, along with forwards Pascal Dupuis, Chuck Kobasew and superstar Evgeni Malkin, along with backup goalie Tomas Vokoun.

Sabres 2, Capitals 1 (SO) • In Buffalo, N.Y., Ryan Miller made 49 saves to carry Buffalo to a shootout win over Washington. Drew Stafford netted Buffalo's goal in regulation, and Steve Ott scored the lone shootout goal in the sixth round. Miller stopped all six Washington shootout attempts.

Jets 2, Avalanche 1, (OT) • In Denver, Blake Wheeler scored at 4:58 of overtime and Winnipeg Jets beat slumping Colorado. Al Montoya stopped 32 shots and Andrew Ladd also scored for Winnipeg. Wheeler won it for the Jets when he shoved the puck past Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov with time ticking down in the extra period. —

NHL standings

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Atlantic Division

GP W L OT Pts GF GA

Boston 39 26 11 2 54 114 81

Tampa Bay 39 23 12 4 50 110 93

Montreal 40 23 14 3 49 99 89

Detroit 40 18 13 9 45 103 111

Toronto 41 20 16 5 45 115 118

Ottawa 41 16 18 7 39 115 134

Florida 40 15 20 5 35 95 128

Buffalo 39 11 24 4 26 71 110

Metropolitan Division

GP W L OT Pts GF GA

Pittsburgh 41 29 11 1 59 130 94

Washington 39 20 14 5 45 121 116

Philadelphia 38 18 16 4 40 97 107

N.Y. Rangers 40 19 19 2 40 94 108

New Jersey 40 16 16 8 40 95 102

Columbus 39 17 18 4 38 106 112

Carolina 39 14 16 9 37 91 114

N.Y. Islanders 40 12 21 7 31 102 135

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Central Division

GP W L OT Pts GF GA

Chicago 41 27 7 7 61 157 115

St. Louis 38 26 7 5 57 137 92

Colorado 38 23 11 4 50 109 97

Dallas 38 19 12 7 45 112 111

Minnesota 41 20 16 5 45 96 107

Winnipeg 41 18 18 5 41 111 121

Nashville 39 17 18 4 38 89 115

Pacific Division

GP W L OT Pts GF GA

Anaheim 40 28 7 5 61 130 100

San Jose 38 24 8 6 54 125 97

Los Angeles 39 25 10 4 54 108 79

Vancouver 40 23 11 6 52 108 93

Phoenix 38 19 10 9 47 116 117

Calgary 39 14 19 6 34 95 122

Edmonton 41 13 24 4 30 106 139

NOTE: Two points for a win, one point for overtime loss.

Sunday's Games

Buffalo 2, Washington 1, SO

Florida 4, Montreal 1

Pittsburgh 5, Columbus 3

St. Louis 3, Dallas 2, OT

Toronto 5, Carolina 2

N.Y. Rangers 4, Tampa Bay 3

Vancouver 2, Calgary 0

N.Y. Islanders 5, Minnesota 4

Winnipeg 2, Colorado 1, OT

Anaheim at San Jose, late

Monday's Games

Washington at Ottawa, 5:30 p.m.

Los Angeles at Chicago, 6 p.m.

Detroit at Nashville, 6 p.m.

Philadelphia at Vancouver, 8 p.m. Sunday's Games

Buffalo 2, Washington 1, SO

Florida 4, Montreal 1

Pittsburgh 5, Columbus 3

St. Louis 3, Dallas 2, OT

Toronto 5, Carolina 2

N.Y. Rangers 4, Tampa Bay 3

Vancouver 2, Calgary 0

N.Y. Islanders 5, Minnesota 4

Winnipeg 2, Colorado 1, OT

Anaheim at San Jose, late

Monday's Games

Washington at Ottawa, 5:30 p.m.

Los Angeles at Chicago, 6 p.m.

Detroit at Nashville, 6 p.m.

Philadelphia at Vancouver, 8 p.m.