Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby sits on the bench during the third period Tuesday night against the Chicago Blackhawks in Pittsburgh. Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

PITTSBURGH — Buddy Robinson and Andres Athanasiou scored 26 seconds apart in the third period and the Chicago Blackhawks dealt the Pittsburgh Penguins’ playoff chances a significant blow in a 4-2 win on Tuesday night.

Pittsburgh began the night needing wins in its last two games over Chicago and Columbus to extend the longest active playoff streak in major North American professional sports to 17 years.

Instead, Petr Mrazek made 38 saves, Robinson scored just the fourth goal of his nomadic career to give Chicago a late lead and Pittsburgh finds itself on the outside of the playoffs looking in with just one game to go.

The Florida Panthers clinched one of the two wild-card spots in the Eastern Conference following losses by Buffalo and Pittsburgh. The New York Islanders can eliminate the Penguins with a win or an overtime loss against Montreal on Wednesday.

Evgeni Malkin’s 27th goal of the season 5:28 into the third period tied the game at 1 and seemed to swing momentum heavily toward the Penguins.

Instead the Blackhawks, in the mix to win the NHL draft letter and the chance to select Connor Bedard, responded by surging ahead for just their second victory in their last 13 games.


HURRICANES 4, RED WINGS 1: Stefan Noesen and Jordan Martinook scored early and host Carolina beat Detroit to maintain its hold on first place in the Metropolitan Division with one game remaining in the regular season.

Brent Burns and Jesperi Kotkaniemi also scored and Antti Raanta made 20 saves as the Hurricanes shed a slump that included the team’s only three-game stretch without a point this season.

Carolina has 111 points, one more than the New Jersey Devils. A victory Thursday night at Florida would give the Hurricanes a division title for the third season in a row. With the win, the Hurricanes clinched a home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

FLYERS 4, BLUE JACKETS 3: Owen Tippett scored his second goal of the game with 15.5 seconds left in overtime and host Philadelphia snapped a seven-game losing streak.

James van Riemsdyk scored his 300th career goal and Joel Farabee added a score for the Flyers. Carter Hart made 28 saves.

Trey Fix-Wolansk, Sean Kuraly and Liam Foudy scored for Columbus, which has lost four in a row and 8 of 9.


MAPLE LEAFS 4, LIGHTNING 3: Minor league call-up Joseph Woll made 45 saves, William Nylander had a goal and two assists, and visiting Toronto beat Tampa Bay in a preview of an opening round playoff series next week.

Woll, recalled on an emergency basis from the AHL Toronto Marlies, stopped Nikita Kucherov from the low right circle during a six-on-four with 1:31 to play.

Tampa Bay beat Toronto in the first round of last season’s playoffs en route to its third straight trip to the Stanley Cup Final.

DEVILS 6, SABRES 2: Tomas Tatar had two goals and an assist and host New Jersey clinched home-ice advantage for the first round of the playoffs and ended Buffalo’s postseason hopes.

Jack Hughes scored a late empty-net goal for his 97th point this season, breaking the franchise record of 96 set by Patrik Elias in 2000-2001.

Jesper Boqvist, Jonas Siegenthaler and Miles Wood also scored as the Devils got big games from their role players in tying their franchise record with their 51st win. Vitek Vanecek made 36 saves in handing the Buffalo only its second regulation loss (7-2-1) in 10 games.


Jeff Skinner and Mattias Samuelsson scored for the Sabres, whose late run wasn’t enough to earn the franchise its first playoff berth since 2011. The 12-year run is the NHL’s current longest postseason drought.


BLACKHAWKS: The Chicago Blackhawks agreed to a three-year contract with goaltender Drew Commesso.

The entry-level deal runs through the 2025-26 season and carries a $925,000 salary-cap hit.

The 20-year-old Commesso was selected by Chicago in the second round of the 2020 draft. He appeared in 34 games with Boston University this season, going 24-8-0 with a 2.46 goals-against average and a .913 save percentage.

The Blackhawks said Commesso will report to Rockford of the American Hockey League on a PTO.


The team also announced that longtime athletic trainer Mike Gapski is retiring after this season. Gapski, who turned 65 on Monday, spent 36 seasons with the Blackhawks. He is the longest-tenured trainer for a single team in NHL history.

AUSTRALIA: The NHL is going down under for the first time, with the Los Angeles Kings and Arizona Coyotes set to play in Australia in September.

The Kings and Coyotes will face off in two exhibition games at Rod Laver Arena — center court at the Australian Open tennis tournament — in Melbourne on Sept. 23 and 24.

Australia is set to be the fourth continent to host NHL action.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.