Jimmy Howard made 27 saves and the Detroit Red Wings stretched their winning streak to seven with a 4-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Friday night.
Jakub Kindl, Johan Franzen and Valtteri Filppula scored first-period goals for Detroit (16-7-1), who last won seven in a row in March last year. Pavel Datsyuk extended the lead to 4-1 by scoring into an empty net with 1:17 left.
Howard was steady throughout. In the second period, he robbed Jason Pominville, who was left alone in the slot. He then stopped Nathan Gerbe on a breakaway in the third.
Jhonas Enroth, making his ninth straight start in place of No. 1 goalie Ryan Miller, made 32 saves for the Sabres (13-11-1), who have lost three of four.
OILERS 6, BLUE JACKETS 3
In Edmonton, Alberta, Ryan Jones scored his first career hat-trick and Edmonton ended a three-game losing streak with victory over Columbus.
Jordan Eberle, Ales Hemsky and Ladislav Smid also scored for the Oilers, who improved to 8-3-2 at home.
Derek Dorsett had a pair of goals and Mark Letestu also scored as the Blue Jackets lost their third in four games.
The Oilers opened the scoring on their first shot of the game just 21 seconds in. With Columbus captain Rick Nash in the penalty box for hooking, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins made a long pass through traffic to Eberle, who beat Columbus goalie Curtis Sanford for his 10th goal of the season.
Columbus outshot Edmonton 21-7 in the first period.
WILD 4, DEVILS 2
In St Paul, Minnesota, the Wild scored three goals on their first four shots as they cruised to a 4-2 win over New Jersey.
Dany Heatley, Kyle Brodziak and Casey Wellman scored in a 3:03 span of the first period to turn an early deficit into a 3-1 lead and knock New Jersey goalie Martin Brodeur out of the game just 8:17 in.
Brodziak sealed the win with another goal in the third period. Niklas Backstrom made seven saves in the first period and Josh Harding, who played the final two periods, stopped all 22 shots he faced for Minnesota.
Zach Parise had a goal and an assist and Ilya Kovalchuk also scored for the Devils. Johan Hedberg made 11 saves in relief of Brodeur.
BLACKHAWKS 5, ISLANDERS 4 (SO)
In Chicago, Jonathan Toews netted the only goal in the shootout, after posting a short-handed goal and assist in regulation, to help Chicago outlast New York.
Corey Crawford stopped New York’s Frans Nielsen and Nino Niederreiter in the shootout. Matt Moulson, the final Islanders shooter, hit the post to end the game.
Andrew Brunette, rookie Ben Smith and Patrick Sharp also scored for the Blackhawks, who overcame a sluggish start and defensive breakdowns.
Rookie Niederreiter, 19, scored his first goal of the season midway through the third. His low, 11m shot from the slot beat Crawford on the stick side to tie the game at 4.
AVALANCHE 3, BLUES 2 (SO)
In Denver, Colorado, Ryan O’Reilly scored the tying goal and then added another in the shootout to lift Colorado over St Louis.
O’Reilly, who also had an assist, lifted a backhander over the shoulder of Jaroslav Halak for the only goal in the tiebreaker. Milan Hejduk, who netted his ninth goal of the season in regulation, and Matt Duchene had already been stopped in the shootout by St Louis goalie Jaroslav Halak.
Semyon Varlamov, who stopped 35 of 37 shots through overtime, then denied Alexander Steen, T.J. Oshie and Jamie Langenbrunner to give Colorado a 4-0 mark this season in shootouts.