Daniel Briere and Chris Drury each scored a power-play goal, and Martin Biron made 33 saves to lift the Buffalo Sabres over the New York Rangers 3-1.
"In the third period, he stepped over the line and got a couple of fabulous saves for us," Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said of Biron.
Ales Kotalik added an empty-net goal with 36.6 seconds remaining on Friday night to help the Sabres win for the fourth time in five games and pull within five points of the New York Islanders for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Dale Purinton scored for the fading Rangers, who have lost six of seven. They also learned Friday that star center Eric Lindros will be sidelined indefinitely after sustaining the eighth concussion of his career Wednesday against Washington.
"We've put ourselves in a bit of a hole here," Rangers captain Mark Messier said. "We're looking up again. We have to find a way to win games."
Maple Leafs 4, Thrashers 1
In Atlanta, Trevor Kidd made 25 saves in a rare start as Toronto beat the Thrashers.
Alexei Ponikarovsky and Gary Roberts scored less than three minutes apart late in the second period to put the Maple Leafs ahead 3-1. Matt Stajan finished off the Thrashers with a goal about 7 1/2 minutes into the third.
Robert Reichel also scored for Toronto.
Injury-plagued Atlanta was bolstered by the return of Marc Savard, who scored after missing seven games with a sprained knee.
Also, Dany Heatley played his second game for the Thrashers since recovering from a car wreck that killed teammate Dan Snyder.
Still, the Thrashers have only two wins in 16 games.
Stars 3, Sharks 1
In Dallas, Jere Lehtinen scored the tiebreaking goal with 2:49 remaining to send Dallas over San Jose.
Dallas moved within four points of first-place San Jose in the Pacific Division. The Stars have won the Pacific title in four of the past five seasons.
Lehtinen got his eighth goal when he beat goaltender Vesa Toskala from the right circle, converting Mike Modano's pass to snap a 1-1 tie.
Brenden Morrow also scored for Dallas, Stu Barnes added an empty-net goal and Marty Turco made 14 saves. Modano had two assists.
Blackhawks 5, Flames 3
In Calgary, Alberta, Chicago ended its 19-game road losing streak, rallying past Calgary behind two goals from Tuomo Ruutu.
Chicago's skid away from home was the longest in franchise history and the fourth-longest in NHL history. The Blackhawks hadn't won on the road since beating Nashville 2-1 on Nov. 7.
Tyler Arnason, Steve Sullivan and Mark Bell also scored for the Blackhawks, who snapped a three-game skid and improved to 2-7 in their last nine games.
Steve Passmore made 30 saves to improve to 2-6-0.
Jarome Iginla had two goals and an assist for the Flames, who also got a goal from Toni Lydman.
Mighty Ducks 4, Avalanche 3, OT
In Anaheim, California, Sergei Fedorov scored the tying goal with 46 seconds left in the third period and assisted on the winner by Niclas Havelid in overtime, lifting Anaheim over Colorado.
Paul Kariya had two assists in his long-awaited return to Anaheim. The Ducks' captain during seven of his eight seasons with the team signed with Colorado on July 3 as an unrestricted free agent for US$1.2 million -- just 24 days after Anaheim lost Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals to New Jersey.
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LEAVING IT LATE: Rakuten added late runs last night to add to wins on Wednesday against the Brothers and the Lions on Friday that went down to the last batter The Rakuten Monkeys rallied to post three late runs for another close win, prevailing 5-3 over the Uni-President Lions yesterday as Taiwan’s second-half CPBL season got started with lower scoring output, but exciting finishes. It was Rakuten’s third win in a row. In two games this week, they seized victory in dramatic fashion with their last at-bat and have drawn level with the CTBC Brothers on top of the table after yesterday’s results, 0.5 games in front of the Fubon Guardians and 1.5 games ahead of the Lions. It was tied at 1-1 early, with Rakuten hosting the Lions at the Taoyuan Intenational
STAYING COOL: Hamilton said that his ‘heart nearly stopped’ when he noticed the puncture, but he kept going to beat Alain Prost’s total of six home wins in France Lewis Hamilton said he feared he might not make it home when a last lap puncture almost derailed his charge to a record seventh British Grand Prix victory on Sunday. “I didn’t think I would make it round the last two corners,” the world champion said. The front left tire of his Mercedes had delaminated and deflated on his final lap, leaving the six-time world champion to nurse his vehicle to the finish as second-placed Max Verstappen hunted him down. “I just can’t believe it,” Hamilton said. “It was heart-stopping. I backed off and stayed chilled and was so glad it happened on