Michael Ryder scored a power-play goal in the first minute of the second period as the Montreal Canadiens hung on for a 2-1 win over Boston on Saturday to open a three-point lead over the Bruins atop the NHL Northeast Division.
Alex Galchenyuk also scored and Carey Price made 26 saves for the Canadiens, who have won three of four against the Bruins this season.
In other key games, Chicago took the overall league lead with a win over Nashville, defending champs Los Angeles kept moving forward in the Western Conference playoff picture with a defeat of Edmonton, Toronto inflicted a sixth-straight defeat on New Jersey, and Vancouver put five past Calgary.
Montreal clung on for victory despite being a defenseman down from the midway point of the first period when Alexei Emelin appeared to sustain a left-knee injury in a thunderous collision while taking a run at big Bruins forward Milan Lucic.
Daniel Paille scored for Boston, who had a three-game winning streak snapped.
Chicago’s Bryan Bickell scored the sole goal in the first period as the Blackhawks beat the Nashville Predators 1-0, with goalie Ray Emery making 20 saves.
Chicago beat Nashville for the third time this season — including twice in six days. The teams were due to meet again yesterday in Chicago.
Los Angeles’ Jeff Carter had a goal and an assist, while Jonathan Quick made 23 saves as the Kings defeated the Edmonton Oilers 4-1.
Mike Richards and Slava Voynov also scored for the defending Stanley Cup champions, who have climbed back into fourth place in the West.
Carter scored his 22nd goal and Voynov got his first goal in 17 games, with both scores coming on Los Angeles’ long-struggling power play. Drew Doughty added an empty-netter, just his second goal of the season.
Magnus Paajarvi scored for the Oilers.
Toronto rookie Leo Komarov and Tyler Bozak scored as the Maple Leafs edged the New Jersey Devils 2-1.
The Maple Leafs are fifth in the East, seven points ahead of the 10th-placed Devils, who are three points behind the eighth-placed New York Islanders and the postseason cutoff.
David Clarkson deprived Reimer of his second shutout in three games with a goal with 8:23 left, but the Devils fell to 0-3-3 in their past six games.
Vancouver’s top line combined for eight points as the Canucks recorded a 5-2 win over the Calgary Flames.
Henrik Sedin scored an empty-net goal and earned career NHL assists No. 600 and 601, Daniel Sedin added three assists, and Alex Burrows scored and had an assist for Vancouver, while goalie Cory Schneider made 36 saves.
Dan Hamhuis, Dale Weise and Alex Edler also had goals for the Canucks.
Dennis Wideman and Alex Tanguay scored for Calgary (13-20-4), who have lost five straight overall and 13 consecutive on the road.
Winnipeg scored four second-period goals in less than seven minutes, and Ondrej Pavelec made 30 saves as the Jets beat the Philadelphia Flyers 4-1 to snap a five-game losing skid.
New York’s Henrik Lundqvist made a season-high 48 saves as the New York Rangers won 4-1 over Carolina to give the Hurricanes a club-record-tying seventh-straight home loss.
The New York Islanders downed the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2, with Matt Martin scoring the go-ahead goal with less than seven minutes left.
Washington’s Alex Ovechkin recorded his 12th career hat-trick and added an assist as the surging Capitals survived a late rally to beat the Florida Panthers 4-3.