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Sports

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NHL

Rookie helps propel Pittsburgh

– When Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma shuffled the lines in search of a spark for his slumping offense, putting Evgeni Malkin and rookie Brian Gibbons on the ice together wasn’t what he had in mind.

Still, he’ll take it.

Gibbons converted a slick backhand pass from Malkin for his first NHL goal at 3:56 of the third period, starting a late burst as the Penguins beat the weary Anaheim Ducks 3-1 on Monday night.

Called up from the minors 12 hours before the opening faceoff, the 25-year-old Gibbons was thrown immediately onto Pittsburgh’s third line. He ended up on the ice with Malkin after the Penguins were caught in the middle of a shift change.

While watching Malkin do a full lap through the Anaheim zone, Gibbons sprinted to the slot, took the pass and sent a shot over Viktor Fasth’s right shoulder to break a scoreless tie.

“I was just trying to get to the net and bang home a rebound or something,” Gibbons said. “Somehow it ended up right on my stick.”

BRUINS 4, HURRICANES 1: In Raleigh, N.C., Reilly Smith and Carl Soderberg had a goal and an assist each in the first period to lead Boston.

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FLAMES 5, JETS 4, SO: In Winnipeg, Manitoba, Sean Monahan scored the winning goal in the eighth round of a shootout and as Calgary snapped a six-game losing streak.

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