Matt Duchene scored his first overtime winner to give the Colorado Avalanche a 6-5 victory over the Ottawa Senators that moved them to the top of the Northwest Division.
“It’s amazing. It’s my first ever,” Duchene told reporters of his winning goal. “It’s a pretty great feeling. It’s one of those things where you score and you kind of think: ‘Did I just score?’ You kind of black out. It’s pretty cool. It’s definitely a pretty good feeling and a huge win for us.”
The Senators looked set for victory when goals by Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson put them ahead for the fourth time with 8 minutes, 45 seconds remaining in the third period, but the Avalanche’s Ryan O’Reilly forced overtime when he scored a goal with 3 minutes, 13 seconds left in the third period to tie the scores at 5-5, before Duchene’s wrister won it.
“The tying goal was just an incredibly huge goal for us,” Colorado coach Joe Sacco said. “It was a great play off the rush. We’ve won some games by being resilient, there’s no question about it.”
T.J. Galiardi, Cody McLeod and Kevin Porter also scored for Colorado (18-10-4), who won for the fifth straight game to open a two-point advantage over Vancouver in the division standings.
Erik Karlsson, Milan Michalek and Matt Carkner scored for Ottawa (14-16-4).
“We played hard and we did a lot of good things,” Senators coach Cory Clouston said. “We just didn’t defend very well enough or get a save when we needed one. They’re a good team and they pressure you. They make you pay for your mistakes.”
BLACKHAWKS 4, RED WINGS 1
In Chicago, Tomas Kopecky scored two goals as the injury-depleted Chicago Blackhawks beat the Detroit Red Wings.
Patrick Sharp and Bryan Bickell also scored for the defending Stanley Cup champions, who improved to 9-9-0 at home.
Chicago rookie Corey Crawford made 29 saves in his eighth start in the last 10 games. He needed to make several timely stops, but the Blackhawks — who again played without star forwards Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa — provided solid defensive support for most of the game.
Patrick Eaves scored for the Red Wings, who lead the Western Conference with 43 points.
PREDATORS 3, DEVILS 1
In Newark, New Jersey, Martin Erat scored a pair of power-play goals as the Nashville Predators won their fifth straight NHL game, 3-1 over the New Jersey Devils.
Steve Sullivan added a goal as Nashville matched a club record by earning a point in 10 straight games (8-0-2).
The Devils’ goal came from Mattias Tedenby in the third period.
PANTHERS 6, SABRES 2
In Sunrise, Florida, Marty Reasoner scored twice in the first period as Florida took a 4-0 lead inside 20 minutes and comfortably beat Buffalo.
Tomas Vokoun made 41 saves, while Michael Frolik and Stephen Weiss each had a goal and an assist for the Panthers. Bryan McCabe and David Booth scored the other Florida goals.
Derek Roy and Tim Connolly scored for Buffalo.