The Detroit Red Wings pounded the Dallas Stars 6-1 on Thursday to record their fifth straight win and maintain a perfect start to the year.
Detroit’s streak began with a win over the Chicago Blackhawks in their final game of last year and the Stanley Cup champions have carried that momentum into the new year with four consecutive victories, starting with the outdoor Winter Classic on New Year’s Day.
Detroit scored twice in each period to move within two points of the idle San Jose Sharks, who sit at the top of the Western conference standings with 63 points.
“We played a good solid game for 60 minutes for once,” Detroit’s Dan Cleary said. “But we still have to catch the team in front of us so we have to get points every night.”
The Wings got goals from six different scorers — Marian Hossa, Cleary, Kirk Maltby, Tomas Holmstrom, Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg.
Detroit have also tightened up defensively, surrendering just seven goals during their five-game win streak.
Loui Eriksson spoiled Chris Osgood’s shutout bid, notching the struggling Stars’ only goal early in the third.
“The guys played hard and we were able to get a win against a team that has been playing real well,” Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. “Everyone loves to score ... but you’re always a work in progress, you’re always trying to get better.”
“Our goaltending has been better. [Ty] Conklin played real well and now Ozzy has come back and been real fresh for us,” he said. “You need good goaltending to have success.”
Hossa opened the scoring when his fluttering wrist shot fooled Marty Turco for his 19th goal of the season and Cleary added another before the end of the first period to put Detroit up 2-0.
Maltby and Holmstrom found the net in the second before Eriksson tipped in Trevor Daley’s blast from the top of the left faceoff circle 38 seconds into the third period.
But the Wings quickly extinguished any thoughts of a comeback, Datsyuk and Zetterberg answering with their 18th and 16th goals of the season.
“We played a great 60 minutes, we deserved the win tonight,” Hossa said. “It’s always easier with a team like we have to play with a 2-0 lead.”
BRUINS 6, SENATORS 4
At Boston, the home team claimed the league’s highest points total with a win over Ottawa.
The Bruins moved to 64 points for the season, one above the San Jose Sharks, who have two games in hand.
David Krejci and Marc Savard scored in the third period to secure the win. Savard also had two assists.
The Senators have lost seven of their past eight.
COYOTES 3, LIGHTNING 2
At Glendale, Arizona, Phoenix beat Tampa Bay for the first time in nearly eight years.
Kyle Turris broke a tie with 11:51 remaining for the Coyotes.
CANADIENS 6, MAPLE LEAFS 2
At Montreal, the hosts notched a third straight win by beating Canadian rival Toronto.
Andrei Kostitsyn had a goal and two assists, and Jaroslav Halak made 30 saves for the Canadiens, who have lost only once in regulation in the past 10 games.
FLYERS 3, WILD 1
At Philadelphia, the home side took sole possession of the Atlantic Division lead by defeating Minnesota.
BLACKHAWKS 2, AVALANCHE 1
At Denver, Wojtek Wolski’s goal with seven minutes remaining saw Chicago edge Colorado.
Andrew Raycroft stopped 43 shots for Colorado.
In other games, it was:
• Panthers 4, Hurricanes 2
• Kings 4, Ducks 3
• Predators 5, Penguins 3