Chicago’s Marian Hossa scored a power-play goal just 52 seconds into overtime to give the streaking Blackhawks a 5-4 win over Nashville on Friday, sweeping the season series against the Predators for the first time.
With Nashville a man down after a high-sticking penalty, Patrick Kane sent a pass across the ice to Hossa, who one-timed it past the goaltender for his 17th goal of the season.
Elsewhere, St Louis moved within a point of third place in the Western Conference with a win over Dallas, while Calgary won their final home game of the regular season by downing Anaheim.
Chicago’s Kane, Michal Handzus, Duncan Keith and Brandon Saad all scored for the NHL-best Blackhawks, who have won seven in a row.
Slumping Nashville have dropped 11 of 12 overall and lost to the Blackhawks for the fourth time this month.
St Louis goalie Brian Elliott made 21 saves to help the Blues to a 2-1 win over the Dallas Stars.
Ryan Reaves and Chris Stewart scored for the Blues, who are in sixth in the Western Conference with 54 points — one behind Vancouver, Los Angeles and San Jose, who are tied for third.
Dallas are tied with Detroit for ninth place in the Western Conference with 47 points, and lost a chance to draw level with Columbus, who hold the final playoff spot.
Calgary’s Finnish goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff, amid speculation that he may retire at the end of the season, made 32 saves to help the Flames defeat the playoff-bound Anaheim Ducks 3-1.
Although Kiprusoff has one year remaining on his contract, it drops to US$1.5 million next year and there has been rampant speculation that the 36-year-old from Turku will hang up his skates.
Czech Roman Horak and Brian McGrattan each scored before another Czech, Roman Cervenka, added an empty-net goal for the Flames, who close with a four-game road trip beginning today in Minnesota.
The New York Rangers scored five times in less than three minutes and Brad Richards notched his first-ever NHL hat-trick in an 8-4 rout of the Buffalo Sabres.
Edmonton’s Jordan Eberle scored and had two assists while Devan Dubnyk stopped 33 shots as the Oilers snapped a six-game skid with a 4-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche.
The Boston Bruins postponed their game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Boston Garden arena due to the manhunt which concluded with the capture late on Friday of the remaining suspect in the deadly Boston Marathon bombings.
The Bruins matchup with Pittsburgh was rescheduled for yesterday afternoon in Boston.
Pittsburgh had been set to host the Buffalo Sabres late yesterday, but that game has now been moved to Tuesday.
Additional reporting by staff writer