Joe Thornton scored the go-ahead goal with 12:19 to play as the NHL-leading San Jose Sharks shook off a terrible start to earn their ninth straight victory, 3-2 over the Columbus Blue Jackets, on Thursday.
Captain Patrick Marleau scored and Jeremy Roenick added his second goal in 26 games for the Sharks, 14-0-1 at home. San Jose survived an early deficit and an unusually sluggish performance with a stellar effort from Evgeni Nabokov, who stopped 29 shots while bailing out his teammates several times.
Fredrik Modin and Rick Nash scored for the Blue Jackets, who opened a three-game California road trip by losing at the Shark Tank for the 15th time in the franchise’s 16 trips. Steve Mason, the NHL’s top rookie last month, made 19 saves.
Marc-Edouard Vlasic had three assists for the Sharks, who improved the NHL’s best record to 22-3-1 during one of the most impressive starts in NHL history.
PENGUINS 5, HURRICANES 2
At Raleigh, North Carolina, Petr Sykora scored two goals and Sidney Crosby had four assists as Pittsburgh spoiled Paul Maurice’s first game in his second Carolina coaching stint.
Pascal Dupuis scored an early goal and NHL scoring leader Evgeni Malkin added two assists, even as his NHL lead over Crosby dwindled to two. Miroslav Satan and Ruslan Fedotenko also scored, and Dany Sabourin made 34 saves.
CANADIENS 6, RANGERS 2
At Montreal, Steve Begin and Maxim Lapierre each had a goal and an assist as Montreal celebrated their 99th birthday with a victory over Texas.
Andrei Kositsyn, Alex Tanguay, Robert Lang and Matt D’Agostini also scored to help the Canadiens improve to 3-0 on their franchise-record seven-game homestand.
The Canadiens, founded on Dec. 9, 1909, unveiled bronze statues of Howie Morenz, Maurice “Rocket” Richard, Jean Beliveau and Guy Lafleur outside the Bell Centre earlier in the day.
In Thursday’s other games it was:
• Red Wings 6, Canucks 5
• Capitals 5, Islanders 2
• Devils 3, Panthers 2, OT
• Bruins 3, Lightning 1
• Panthers 2, Sabres 1
• Predators 3, Avalanche 2
• Coyotes 6, Maple Leafs 3