NHL-Highlights of Friday's NHL games

February 8, 2014

Feb 7 (The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Friday's National Hockey League games.

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Rangers 4, Penguins 3 (shootout)

Center Brad Richards scored the decisive goal in a shootout to lift the New York Rangers to a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday.

Richards got the puck past Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury to give the Rangers (32-24-3) their fifth win in their last six games.

The Eastern Conference-leading Penguins (40-15-3) lost for just the second time in their last 19 games at Consol Energy Center.

Penguins left winger James Neal sent the game into overtime by scoring with 2:56 left in regulation.

The Penguins were playing just hours after getting the sobering news that defenseman Kris Letang had been diagnosed with a stroke.

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Hurricanes 5, Panthers 1

The Carolina Hurricanes benefited from a rare early scoring burst to defeat the Florida Panthers 5-1.

Center Riley Nash, right winger Alexander Semin and defenseman Brett Bellemore scored in the first period, left winger Jiri Tlusty added a second period goal and defenseman Andrej Sekera converted on a third period power-play.

Center Nick Bjugstad scored for Florida, which heads to an Olympic break with two consecutive losses and five of its last six games.

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Devils 2, Oilers 1 (overtime)

Defenseman Jon Merrill scored with 2:26 remaining in overtime to give the New Jersey Devils a 2-1 victory against the Edmonton Oilers.

Merrill found himself alone near the left faceoff circle and blasted a shot past goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov to end the contest.

Left winger Andrei Loktionov also scored for the Devils while right winger Taylor Hall netted for the Oilers.

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Coyotes 2, Blackhawks 0

Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle and forward Radim Vrbata scored power-play goals and goaltender Mike Smith handed the Chicago Blackhawks their first shutout of the season in the 2-0 victory.

Yandle scored 69 seconds into the game and Vrbata scored on a 5-on-3 advantage with two and a half minutes remaining in the second period.

Smith made 29 saves, including one at point-blank range by forward Patrick The Coyotes (27-20-10) moved a point ahead of Vancouver into eighth place in the Western Conference while Chicago fell to 35-11-14.

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Sharks 3, Blue Jackets 2

The San Jose Sharks found just enough energy and offense to beat a team that played the night before in a 3-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Sharks right winger Tommy Wingels scored his career-high 12th goal of the season at 5:11 to cap a long San Jose cycle that featured a full line change without the puck exiting the zone to claim the win.

The Sharks scored two goals in the opening 8:13 thanks to a fast start.

- - - (Editing by Benjamin Everill)