Rookie Jeremy Morin scored and set up Patrick Sharp’s go-ahead goal in the second period as the injury-depleted Chicago Blackhawks held on to beat the St Louis Blues 4-2 on Sunday for their third straight win.
The Blackhawks ground out the victory, despite skating without injured star forwards Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane for the third game, as well as without forward Brandon Saada after he was scratched at the last minute.
Marcus Kruger and Ben Smith added goals for Chicago, who are two points behind Colorado for second place in the Central Division and home ice in the first round of the NHL playoffs.
Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Sobotka had goals for St Louis, who lost their second straight and remained two points behind idle Boston for the league’s overall points lead.
In Philadelphia, the Flyers broke a four-game losing streak with a 5-2 win over the lowly Buffalo Sabres.
Brayden Schenn scored two goals for the home side, who held on to third place in the Metropolitan Division — two points ahead of the Columbus Blue Jackets — with only their second win in eight games. With four games remaining, the Flyers trail the second-placed New York Rangers by two points, but have a game in hand.
On Sunday, Columbus matched a season high with three power-play goals as they blanked the New York Islanders 4-0.
Boone Jenner and Mark Letestu each had a goal and an assist, while Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 31 shots for the Blue Jackets, who hold the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.
Also fighting for a playoff spot are the Dallas Stars, who fell to the Florida Panthers 3-2 in their Sunday clash.
Sean Bergenheim scored with 4 minutes, 31 seconds left to break a third-period tie as Florida broke a five-game losing streak and beat Dallas for the first time in five starts.
Despite the loss, the Stars still hold a one-point lead over the Phoenix Coyotes for the second Western Conference wild-card spot.
In other NHL action on Sunday, the Pittsburgh Penguins — locked into the No. 2 seed in the East — sat several of their regulars, including Sidney Crosby, but still managed to beat the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 in a shootout.
Jussi Jokinen got the game-winner for the Penguins in the shootout and Marc-Andre Fleury made a pad save on Gabriel Landeskog’s shot to end Colorado’s six-game winning streak.
In the day’s other game, the Anaheim Ducks fell to the Edmonton Oilers 4-2 in a second straight loss that kept the Pacific-leading Ducks just one point ahead of idle San Jose in the division.