BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) This wasn't the first time Devante Smith-Pelly has had racial taunts directed at him during a hockey game.
And the Washington Capitals forward knew immediately what the intent of the message was when a few fans began chanting "basketball, basketball, basketball," while Smith-Pelly sat in the penalty box during a 7-1 loss at Chicago on Saturday night. Smith-Pelly, a black player in a sport dominated by white athletes, heard a similar taunt years before while playing in a tournament in British Columbia.
"It's pretty obvious what that means. It's not really a secret," Smith-Pelly said after the Capitals practiced in Buffalo on Sunday. "Whether it's that word or any other word, I got the idea. And I'm sure they got the idea, too. Just one word, and that's really all it takes."
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) The Pittsburgh Penguins won without goals from Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin or the other three top scorers. Instead, they created opportunities for some guys who are usually in the background.
Third-line center Riley Sheahan scored twice in the first period and Pittsburgh went on to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-2 on Sunday night. Their fifth straight victory moved the Penguins past Washington into first place in the Metropolitan Division.
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) Mikkel Boedker might be playing his best hockey with the Sharks.
"Yeah, I think that's pretty fair to say," Boedker said after scoring twice in San Jose's 5-2 victory over the Dallas Stars on Sunday. "I think it's going well, capitalizing on the chances and paying real well. Our line has been very good and we're fortunate to get a lot of chances, so we got to keep going."
NEW YORK (AP) Pressed into action after Flyers starter Michal Neuvirth left with a lower-body injury, rookie goaltender Alex Lyon was confident at Madison Square Garden having played there before for Yale.
In his fourth NHL game, Lyon calmly went out over the next 40 minutes and made 25 saves for his first NHL win as the surging Flyers rolled past the slumping Rangers 7-4 on Sunday for their sixth win in seven games.