Joffrey Lupul got his first hat-trick in almost four years in a wild second period as the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the New Jersey Devils 5-3 in the NHL on Wednesday.
Lupul scored three times in a span of 7:22 against Martin Brodeur, who returned to the ice after missing six games with a bruised right shoulder. Joey Crabb and Mihkail Grabovski also had goals for the Maple Leafs.
The last time Lupul scored three goals in a game was on Dec. 12, 2007, against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Lupul now has eight goals this season. He scored just 14 last season in 54 games with the Anaheim Ducks and Maple Leafs combined.
Patrik Elias, Darius Zubrus and David Clarkson scored for the Devils, who have lost five of six.
Phil Kessel increased his NHL scoring lead with two assists for Toronto. He has 10 goals and 10 assists in 12 games.
Flyers 3, Sabres 2
In Buffalo, New York, Ilya Bryzgalov made 29 saves and Philadelphia scored three quick goals in the first period to beat the Sabres.
It was the first meeting between the teams since the Flyers eliminated the Sabres in seven games during their Eastern Conference playoff series last season.
Sean Couturier, James van Riemsdyk and Scott Hartnell scored for the Flyers, who won their second straight after losing four of five.
Luke Adam and Andrej Sekera scored for the Sabres, who have lost four of five.
Buffalo’s All-Star goalie Ryan Miller was pulled after Hartnell made it 3-0 just 6:23 into the game.
Coyotes 4, Avalanche 1
In Denver, Radim Vrbata scored two goals and Mike Smith stopped 39 shots to lift Phoenix over Colorado.
Taylor Pyatt and Lauri Korpikoski also scored to help the Coyotes win their third straight game.
Ryan O’Reilly had the lone goal for the Avalanche.
Vrbata sealed the win when he scored an empty-net goal against his former team with 1:33 remaining.