PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Penguins’ run at a record-breaking streak is over. Playing without injured star Sidney Crosby, the Penguins fell to the Buffalo Sabres 4-1 to end their 15-game winning streak Tuesday night.
Pittsburgh was attempting to draw within one of the NHL record of 17 consecutive wins set by the 1992-93 Penguins, but looked out of sync and lost for the first time since falling to Carolina 4-1 on Feb. 28.
Kevin Porter scored his first two goals of the season for the Sabres, who won for the first time in five games. Steve Ott and Cody Hodgson also scored as Buffalo sent Pittsburgh to its first loss in more than a month. Ryan Miller made 19 saves on the night he surpassed Dominik Hasek for the most games played by a Sabres goaltender.
Jarome Iginla scored his first goal with the Penguins after coming over in a trade with Calgary last week but it wasn’t nearly enough. Buffalo took a three-goal lead less than 25 minutes into the game to chase Tomas Vokoun, who stopped nine of the 13 shots he faced before being removed early in the second period
Instead of heading to Madison Square Garden on Wednesday to face the Rangers with a shot at 17 straight, Pittsburgh will be brushing itself off after the Sabres spent three periods dominating play on both ends of the ice.
The Penguins played without Crosby for the first time this season. The NHL’s leading scorer is out indefinitely due to a broken jaw. He was released from the hospital on Tuesday afternoon but the team is offering no timetable on Crosby’s return.
Pittsburgh vowed to press on without its captain, but hardly looked like the juggernaut that outscored opponents 52-26 while ripping through a perfect March. The Penguins tied the second-longest winning streak in league history by playing responsible hockey at both ends of the ice.
Led by Vokoun, Pittsburgh came in riding a club record three consecutive shutouts.
It didn’t take Buffalo long to ensure there wouldn’t be a fourth, beating Vokoun twice in the first period to put Pittsburgh on its heels.
The Penguins had a chance to take the lead early after Mike Weber was hit with a 4-minute penalty for boarding and unsportsmanlike conduct.
Instead Porter scored the first goal allowed by the Penguins in 218:48 of game time following a bizarre sequence in which Iginla broke his stick trying a slap shot from the point, leading to a breakout by the Sabres. Iginla, scrambling back without his stick, managed to take the puck away from a Buffalo player using only his skate and direct it to teammate Matt Niskanen.
Rather than move the puck to the boards and out of danger, Niskanen attempted a backhand clearing pass up the middle only to send it directly to Porter, who had little trouble flipping a wrist shot by Vokoun for Porter’s first goal since March 12, 2012 when he played for Phoenix.
Iginla provided a spark later in the power play when he streaked down the slot and took a feed from Evgeni Malkin to beat Miller for a power play goal that tied it at 1. It was the 526th goal of Iginla’s career but the first while playing for a team other than Calgary.
It briefly brought the crowd to life, but Buffalo kept right on attacking. Ott took a drop pass from Jason Pominville and fired a slap shot by Vokoun with less than 2 minutes to go in the first to put Buffalo back in front.
Islanders 5, Jets 2
UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Frans Nielsen scored the go-ahead goal and Kevin Poulin made 23 saves for his first win of the season and the New York Islanders defeated the Winnipeg Jets.
With the victory, the Islanders moved past the idle New York Rangers into the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot.
The Islanders (18-16-3) have 11 games remaining while the Rangers have 13.
Both the Islanders and New Jersey Devils have 39 points. The Rangers have 37.
Nielsen’s power-play goal at 19:32 of the second period came when a rebound of a Mark Streit slap shot ricocheted to him in the right circle. Nielsen fired the puck past Ondrej Pavelec for this fourth of the season.
Matt Moulson added his 12th of the season at the 18:00 mark of the third. And John Tavares scored his team-leading 23rd of the season into an empty net with 36 seconds left.
Capitals 5, Hurricanes 3
RALEIGH, N.C. — Alex Ovechkin had two goals and an assist, and the Washington Capitals beat the Carolina Hurricanes despite allowing three goals to Jiri Tlusty.
Mike Green scored two goals, Joel Ward added a goal, Nicklas Backstrom matched a career high with four assists and Braden Holtby made 31 saves.
Washington trailed 2-0 early before scoring five goals on its first 11 shots, won its seventh in 11 games and won for the first time since 2007 when allowing a hat trick to an opposing player, according to STATS LLC.
It also was the Hurricanes’ first loss when a player scored three goals since the move from Hartford in 1997.
Eric Staal and Alexander Semin each had two assists for the Hurricanes, who lost defenseman Joni Pitkanen to an apparent leg injury late in the second period.
Carolina’s Dan Ellis stopped four of the seven shots he faced.
Bruins 3, Senators 2
BOSTON — Nathan Horton broke a tie midway through the third period with his fourth goal in four games and the Boston Bruins beat the Ottawa Senators with an aggressive attack that produced a season-high 50 shots.
While awaiting the arrival of newly acquired five-time NHL scoring leader Jaromir Jagr from the Dallas Stars, the Bruins shook off their recent offensive woes with their second straight win after losing five of their previous seven games.
Horton got his 12th goal of the season at 10:21 of the third period after goalie Robin Lehner stopped Milan Lucic’s shot with his pad. But Horton scored on the rebound.
Colin Greening had given Ottawa a 1-0 lead 2:48 into the game before goals by David Krejci and Tyler Seguin 1:01 apart put Boston ahead 2-1 at 4:29 of the first period.
Andre Benoit tied the score at 1:55 of the third.
Panthers 3, Lightning 2
TAMPA, Fla. — Peter Mueller scored the only goal in the shootout and Jacob Markstrom had 39 saves to lead the Florida Panthers past the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Tomas Kopecky and Greg Rallo both scored goals on deflections of shots by T.J. Brennan to give the Panthers a 2-0 lead after two periods.
The Lightning rallied in the third period to tie the score with goals from Tom Pyatt and Alex Killorn.
After a scoreless overtime, Mueller went first for the Panthers and scored on a backhand shot that slipped past Lightning goalie Mathieu Garon. Markstrom denied Teddy Purcell, Victor Hedman and Steven Stamkos to give the Panthers the win.