The Boston Bruins put their patchy recent form aside to thrash the Florida Panthers 6-1 in Tuesday’s NHL action.
Despite leading the Eastern Conference, the Bruins had won just one of their previous seven games entering this contest, including a defeat by the Panthers.
On that occasion, Florida goalie Tomas Vokoun shut out Boston, but he was absent because of illness on Tuesday and his replacement Craig Anderson let in a the first shot he saw after less than a minute.
That put Boston on track for an easy win that included two goals from rookie fourth-line winger Byron Bitz, only the second and third of his NHL career.
FLYERS 4, CAPITALS 2
In Washington, Philadelphia scored three goals in three-and-a-half minutes of the third period to come from behind and beat Washington.
Philadelphia was the only Eastern Conference side that Capitals star Alex Ovechkin had not got a point against this season, but he set up the first goal and scored the second to end that record and put Washington up 2-0.
But the Flyers cut their deficit to 2-1 during a 5-on-3 midway through the second period, and then exploded in the third, with Scott Hartnell getting the equalizer and Jeff Carter the go-ahead goal.
FLAMES 4, BLUE JACKETS 1
In Calgary, Alberta, Calgary won its third straight and moved 10 points clear atop the Northwest Division with a win over Columbus.
Jarome Iginla scored twice and added two assists, and Mike Cammelleri had a goal and two assists as the Flames’ top two scorers combined for their biggest night together since a 10-point outburst on New Year’s Eve.
Iginla has overcome a mediocre stretch to score four goals in his past four games.
Calgary has earned points in each of its past eight games.
CANADIENS 3, CANUCKS 0
In Montreal, Jaroslav Halak made 34 saves for his first shutout of the season as Montreal ended Vancouver’s four-game winning streak.
Halak posted his fourth career shutout, his first in over 11 months. Tomas Plekanec scored his 16th goal late in the first period and set up a power-play goal in the second.
PREDATORS 5, BLACKHAWKS 3
In Nashville, Tennessee, Nashville came from 3-1 down at the start of the final period to beat Chicago.
DUCKS 3, SABRES 2
In Buffalo, New York, Anaheim won at Buffalo for the first time in six attempts.
Ducks goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere stopped 34 shots to hold off the injury-depleted Sabres.
Buffalo was playing its first game without starting goaltender Ryan Miller, out indefinitely with an ankle sprain, and leading scorer Thomas Vanek, out with a broken jaw.
KINGS 2, WILD 1, OT
In St Paul, Minnesota, Drew Doughty scored the deciding shootout goal to give Los Angeles victory over Minnesota.
The shootout was tied 1-1 after three rounds and Doughty scored the winner on the Kings’ fourth shot.
In Tuesday’s other games it was:
• Senators 4, Hurricanes 2
• Blues 2, Coyotes 1
• Oilers 5, Lightning 3
• Thrashers 4, Avalanche 3