The Boston Bruins scored five successive goals, including three in the third period, to beat the Carolina Hurricanes 5-1 and halt a four-game losing streak on Tuesday.
Blake Wheeler, Shane Hnidy, David Krejci, Chuck Kobasew and Patrice Bergeron all found the net for the Eastern Conference leaders after Matt Cullen scored for Carolina in the first period.
Three of the goals came in the final 3:48 as Boston (40-10-8) became the first NHL team to win 40 games this year.
The Bruins twice scored on powerplays, by Wheeler and Kobasew, and twice with shorthanded goals, by Krejci and Bergeron. Bergeron’s goal was also an empty-netter.
Wheeler leveled the score with 2:35 remaining in the first and Hnidy delivered the game winner with the only goal of the second period.
Both Krejci and Bergeron had assists to go with their goals.
The win completed a four-game season sweep of Carolina by Boston and left the Hurricanes in ninth place in the Eastern Conference, five points out of playoff contention.
“You can’t play like this at home and expect to make the playoffs,” Carolina forward Ray Whitney told reporters.
Boston’s Tim Thomas turned away 31 Carolina shots and Cam Ward had 29 saves.
SABRES 4, MAPLE LEAFS 1
At Toronto, Drew Stafford scored twice as Buffalo beat Toronto to move into a tie for fifth in the Eastern Conference.
Daniel Paille and Matt Ellis also scored for the Sabres as Ryan Miller made 27 saves.
SHARKS 4, OILERS 2
Patrick Marleau scored two goals and Evgeni Nabokov made 24 saves as San Jose snapped their three-game winless streak with a victory over Edmonton.
Joe Thornton also scored and Joe Pavelski extended his goal-scoring streak to four games as the Sharks finally figured out how to beat longtime nemesis Dwayne Roloson, the Edmonton goalie who has been responsible for several of San Jose’s most significant home losses over the past four seasons.
In other games it was:
• Panthers 4, Devils 0
• Blackhawks 5, Lightning 3
• Avalanche 3, Senators 2, OT
• Canucks 4, Flames 3, SO