Sheary steps up to help Penguins beat Rangers


With one of their top players out for several weeks, the Pittsburgh Penguins are going to need some help to make the playoffs.

Conor Sheary did his part on Sunday.

Sheary scored twice, Matt Cullen had the go-ahead goal in the third period and the short-handed Penguins beat the New York Rangers 5-3.

“He’s a terrific kid,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “You can see his offensive instincts, you see his vision when he has the puck.”

Pittsburgh entered the game in eighth place and in the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with 78 points.

The Penguins will be out with star Evgeni Malkin, who is out six to eight weeks after suffering an upper-body injury in Friday’s win over Columbus. He is second on the team with 27 goals and 31 assists in 57 games.

“It’s a good opportunity for a lot of guys to get some secondary scoring, to get some more minutes when a top guy like that goes down.” Sheary said. “Obviously, it’s unfortunate for the team as a whole, losing a player like that, but it’s good for younger guys and guys who don’t get that many minutes.”

Patric Hornqvist also scored for the Penguins and Marc-Andre Fleury, who won his 350th career game Friday, made 24 saves. Sidney Crosby added an empty-netter for his 29th of the season.

Lightning 4, Blue Jackets 0

In Columbus, Ben Bishop made 37 saves, Steven Stamkos had two goals and an assist and Tampa Bay beat the Blue Jackets to stop a three-game losing streak.

It was Bishop’s fourth shutout of the season and No. 16 for his career. Ondrej Palat had a goal and an assist, and Vladislav Namestnikov also scored.

Tampa Bay moved into a tie with idle Florida for second in the Atlantic Division with 85 points, but Nikita Kucherov and Valtteri Filppula left with injuries.

Maple Leafs 1, Red Wings 0

In Detroit, Jonathan Bernier made 38 saves for his 12th career shutout to lead Toronto past the Red Wings.

It marked the Maple Leafs’ second shutout of Detroit in the last 30 years. The last time was Curtis Joseph’s 3-0 victory on Dec. 6, 2000, in Detroit.

Michael Grabner scored with 30 seconds left in the second period.

Petr Mrazek made 26 saves for the Red Wings.