The Carolina Hurricanes beat St Louis 3-1 on Friday to vault up the NHL’s crowded Metropolitan Division and prevent the Blues moving level with Chicago at the top of the Central.
Among the day’s other games, Winnipeg got a late goal to beat slumping Vancouver, while Detroit gave up a last-gasp equalizer, but recovered to beat Washington in a shootout.
Carolina’s Nathan Gerbe scored on an early power play, Jeff Skinner put the Hurricanes up 2-1 in the second period and Alexander Semin added an empty-netter with 1 minute, 4 seconds left as the hosts won their fifth in six games.
The win moved Carolina to third in the Metropolitan Division, ahead of three teams who are all within two points.
David Backes scored on the power play for St Louis, who lost for only the fourth time this season against Eastern Conference opponents.
Winnipeg’s Devin Setoguchi scored twice, including the tiebreaker with 2:56 remaining, to give the Jets a 4-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks.
Zach Bogosian and Michael Frolik also scored for the Jets.
Alexander Edler, Ryan Kesler and Jason Garrison netted for the Canucks, who were playing the last of six games without suspended coach John Tortorella.
Detroit gave up a tying goal to Alex Ovechkin with just seven seconds left, but Patrick Eaves scored in the seventh round of a shootout to give the Red Wings a 4-3 victory over the Washington Capitals.
Gustav Nyquist put the Red Wings ahead midway through the third period, but they could not prevent the NHL’s leading goalscorer from sending the game to overtime. Ovechkin has 39 goals this season, his highest total since 50 in 2009-2010.
Drew Miller and Danny DeKeyser also scored for Detroit, who welcomed back key players Jimmy Howard and Henrik Zetterberg from injury.
Jason Chimera and Casey Wellman had goals for the Capitals.
Nashville’s Shea Weber scored his second goal of the game at 1:29 of overtime to give the Predators a 3-2 win over the New Jersey Devils.
An all-New York clash saw the Rangers beat the Islanders 4-1, with Derick Brassard scoring the go-ahead goal with 7:46 left.