Niemi, Sharks blank Coyotes

Published: Tuesday, Apr. 16, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 5C
Last Modified: Tuesday, Apr. 16, 2013 - 6:57 am

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Antti Niemi stopped 35 shots for his fourth shutout of the season, Tommy Wingels had a goal and an assist, and the Sharks earned a key road victory by racing past the Phoenix Coyotes 4-0 on Monday night.

Needing a win after a rough week, the Sharks overwhelmed Phoenix in the second period to move within a point of Los Angeles for fourth place in the Western Conference.

San Jose outshot Phoenix 24-7 in the period, going up 3-0 on goals by Wingels, Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski. Niemi made some tough saves early and was steady after the Sharks took the lead to earn his 23rd career NHL shutout.

Penguins – Sidney Crosby, wearing a protective mask, skated before Pittsburgh's practice.

Coach Dan Bylsma said there is no timetable for Crosby's return but called it a positive step for the NHL's leading scorer.

Crosby, whose 56 points are four ahead of Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis, has not played since being hit in the face by a puck on March 30.

Center Evgeni Malkin (upper body injury) could play Wednesday against Montreal.

Oilers – Steve Tambellini is out as general manager, and he'll be replaced by former Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish.

Edmonton is the verge of missing the NHL playoffs for a seventh consecutive season. The Oilers stand 12th in the Western Conference with a 16-18-7 record, eight points behind eighth-place Detroit.

Bruins – The NHL postponed Monday night's game at TD Garden because of the Boston Marathon bombings. No makeup date has been scheduled.

Blackhawks 5, Stars 2 in Chicago – Chicago's Andrew Shaw, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Marian Hossa scored in the third period after Dallas rallied to tie it, and the Blackhawks went on to beat the Stars for their sixth straight win.

Flyers 7, Canadiens 3 in Montreal – Scott Hartnell scored three goals, and Philadelphia snapped a four-game losing streak with a victory over Montreal.

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