Ondrej Pavelec made 25 saves and Rich Peverley scored twice to lead the in-form Atlanta Thrashers to a 3-0 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Friday.
Peverley opened the scoring with 29 seconds left in the first period and added another on a power-play in the second as Atlanta (11-9-3) recorded their four straight win.
“I think just our mindset going into games,” Peverley said, when asked what is behind the winning run. “We’ve started slow in the past here, but I think we’ve been playing well right from the get-go.”
Tobias Enstrom scored Atlanta’s second goal when he floated a wrist-shot from the blue line that fooled Montreal goalie Alex Auld, who made 44 saves in his second start of the season.
“I didn’t see it,” Auld said. “It came over the top of everyone and I just sort of saw the reflection off the top of the puck. You just kind of see a light and I guessed, and then I saw it go by me at the last second.”
The Thrashers took command of the game in the second period, dictating the play and outshooting the Canadiens 23-4.
“The second period was the difference in the hockey game,” Canadiens coach Jacques Martin said. “They were on the puck, they were more determined and they won the special teams part of the game.”
The Canadiens (14-8-1) have dropped three of their last five games, but still hold a three-point lead in the Northeast Division.
ISLANDERS 2, DEVILS 0
In Uniondale, New York, Rick DiPietro stopped all 29 shots he faced as the New York Islanders ended a 14-game winless streak with a victory over the New Jersey Devils.
Jesse Joensuu and Rob Schremp scored for the Islanders, 1-11-3 in their last 15 games since Oct. 21.
The loss ended New Jersey’s two-game winning streak.
The win was the first for new Islanders coach Jack Capuano since he took over for the fired Scott Gordon last week. Capuano had been coaching the Islanders’ American Hockey League affiliate in Bridgeport and went 0-2-2 in his first four games after taking over the NHL franchise.
The Islanders also avoided the dubious distinction of matching the club record of 15 games without a win, set in 1999.
CAPITALS 6, LIGHTNING 0
In Washington, Alexander Semin scored three times in the second period for his NHL-high third hat-trick of the season, while Semyon Varlamov made 17 saves for NHL-leading Washington.
Semin has 17 goals in 24 games this season.
In two games against the Lightning this season, Semin has twice scored three goals in a period.
John Carlson, John Erskine and Tom Poti also scored to help the Capitals extend their Southeast Division lead over the Lightning to six points.
RED WINGS 2, BLUE JACKETS 1
In Columbus, Ohio, Jimmy Howard stopped a Jared Boll penalty and finished with 34 saves to help Detroit beat Columbus in a fight for the Western Conference lead.
Johan Franzen and Valtteri Filppula scored for Detroit, coming off a 5-1 loss at Atlanta last weekend.
The Red Wings killed all five Columbus power-plays en route to their ninth victory in their last 12 games.
Antoine Vermette scored midway through the third period to spoil Howard’s shutout bid.
PENGUINS 2, SENATORS 1
In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Marc-Andre Fleury made 43 saves as Alex Goligoski scored the winner for Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh and Fleury are 7-0-1 with a 1.60 goals-against average in their past eight games.
Evgeni Malkin also scored, while Sidney Crosby assisted on the play to extend his points streak to 11 games. Jesse Winchester scored for Ottawa.
BLACKHAWKS 4, DUCKS 1
In Anaheim, California, Patrick Sharp scored for the fourth time in five games as Chicago edged out Anaheim.
Duncan Keith had a short-handed goal and Nicklas Hjalmarsson ended a 44-game goal drought for the Blackhawks.
Troy Brouwer capped a three-goal third period and Corey Crawford made 26 saves for defending Stanley Cup champions the Blackhawks.
Dan Sexton scored on a power-play for the Ducks, who have just 10 goals during a six-game losing streak that began on Nov. 14 against Chicago.
SABRES 3, MAPLE LEAFS 1
In Buffalo, New York, Ryan Miller made 35 saves, while Jordan Leopold, Thomas Vanek and Patrick Kaleta scored to help Buffalo beat Toronto for the 16th time in their last 19 meetings.
Miller returned from a two-game absence because of a minor groin injury and improved to 23-8-0 lifetime against Toronto. Phil Kessel had a short-handed goal to spoil Miller’s shutout bid with 3 minutes, 27 seconds left.
Jonas Gustavsson made 25 saves for Toronto, winless in their last seven road games.
RANGERS 3, PANTHERS 0
In Sunrise, Florida, Henrik Lund-qvist made 40 saves for his third shutout of the season, while rookie Derek Stepan scored his sixth goal as New York defeated Florida.
Ryan Callahan and Brandon Prust also scored, while Marc Staal had two assists.
The Panthers have lost three in a row for the first time this season.
HURRICANES 3, BRUINS 0
In Boston, Tuomo Ruutu scored a power-play goal and set up another, while Cam Ward stopped 37 shots for his first shutout of the season for Carolina.
Jeff Skinner and Jussi Jokinen also scored power-play goals.
FLAMES 3, FLYERS 2, SO
In Philadelphia, Niklas Hagman and Rene Bourque scored shootout goals for Calgary.
Curtis Glencross had a short-handed goal, while Steve Staios also scored for the Flames.
James van Riemsdyk and Nikolay Zherdev scored for Philadelphia.
Wild 5, Predators 2
In St Paul, Minnesota, Martin Havlat scored twice, Marek Zidlicky, Andrew Brunette and Nick Schultz added goals, while Jose Theodore made 32 saves for Minnesota.
Steve Sullivan and Martin Erat scored for Nashville.
Friday’s other results:
‧ Stars 3, Blues 2
‧ Canucks 6, Sharks 1
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