The Philadelphia Flyers blew a two-goal lead before James van Riemsdyk fired his second of the game with less than a minute left to beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-4 in a cliff-hanger on Thursday.
Chicago opened the scoring in the first period on a tip-in by Jimmy Hayes, but Jakub Voracek tied the game with less than a minute to play in the period at the Wells Fargo Center.
Philadelphia were forced to hit back again after Andrew Shaw’s first NHL goal that gave the Blackhawks a 2-1 lead in the second period.
Just 17 seconds later Scott Hartnell restored parity and Philadelphia built a 4-2 lead four minutes later with quickfire rebound goals by Harry Zolnierczyk and van Riemsdyk.
Near the end of a four-minute man advantage in the third period Hartnell nearly extended the Flyers lead as he deflected a shot past Chicago goalie Ray Emery, but the puck clanged against the post.
On the ensuing rush Brent Seabrook drew Chicago to within one with a wrist shot to the top corner and Patrick Kane tied the game 25 seconds later with a similar shot.
However, with Kane in the penalty box for high sticking, van Riemsdyk charged to the front of the net to accept a pass from Hartnell and blasted a shot past Ray Emery for a dramatic winner.
BRUINS 9, FLAMES 0
In Boston, the Bruins routed the Calgary Flames to maintain a relentless run of form that has taken them to the top of the Northeast Division and within a point of the Eastern Conference lead.
The defending Stanley Cup champions, who endured a nightmare start to the season and slid to last place in the conference in November, have won nine of their past 10 games and surged to the top of their division.
The Flames are moving in the opposite direction and wrapped up a seven-games road trip with five consecutive losses.
Twelve Bruins players registered a point in Thursday’s rout, with the top line of Tyler Seguin, Patrice Bergeron and Benoit Pouliot, playing in place of the ill Brad Marchand, led the attack combining for three goals and six assists.
Nathan Horton scored twice, while Milan Lucic, Daniel Paille, Chris Kelly and David Krejci also found the net.
Boston netminder Tuukka Rask made 25 saves for his third shutout and ninth win of the season.
Calgary rookie Leland Irving, making just his fourth career start, allowed six goals on 21 shots, before being replaced by Miikka Kiprusoff early in the second period.
In other games, it was:
‧ Rangers 3, Panthers 2, OT
‧ Maple Leafs 4, Jets 0
‧ Senators 4, Lightning 1
‧ Blues 4, Oilers 3
‧ Stars 4, Predators 1
‧ Sharks 2, Blue Jackets 1
‧ Kings 1, Coyotes 0, OT