Johnny Boychuk and David Krejci scored within three minutes of each other in the third period Thursday, lifting Boston to a 3-1 win over Buffalo and giving the Bruins their first back-to-back victories in almost two months. Boychuk scored 12:56 into the period on a shot from the far right side to snap a 1-1 tie and Krejci's goal in transition at 15:54 gave Boston its 3-1 lead. The Bruins scored three unanswered goals after falling behind late in the first period. Coming off a win at Toronto on Tuesday, they earned consecutive victories for the first time since beating Winnipeg and Montreal on Jan. 10 and 12. Tim Thomas had 19 saves for the Northeast Division leaders, including 14 over the last two periods. Gregory Campbell had the other Boston goal. Jason Pominville scored for the Sabres, who fell 13 points behind Boston in the division and remain on the outside looking in for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Jhonas Enroth gave up three goals on 28 shots.
Final Score: Columbus 3, Los Angeles 1
Mark Letestu scored a pair of goals, leading the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday at Nationwide Arena. Jack Johnson also scored and Vinny Prospal had a pair of assists for the Blue Jackets, who extended their season-high winning streak to four games. Steve Mason made 16 saves in the win before leaving the game in the second period with a hand injury. Curtis Sanford came in and stopped all 13 shots he faced. Anze Kopitar scored the lone goal for the Kings, who had a three-game winning streak snapped. Jonathan Bernier was tagged for all three goals on 36 shots in defeat.
Final Score: New Jersey 5, NY Islanders 1
Ilya Kovalchuk netted his second hat trick of the season to help the New Jersey Devils take a 5-1 win over the New York Islanders. Patrik Elias posted a goal and an assist while Martin Brodeur stopped 29 shots for the Devils, who have won three of four. New Jersey sits in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, two points back of Philadelphia. Andrew MacDonald scored the lone goal for the Islanders, who had won their previous two. Evgeni Nabokov was tagged for all five goals on 20 shots in the loss.
Final Score: Washington 3, Tampa Bay 2 (OT)
Alex Ovechkin netted the game-winner with 51 seconds left in overtime to lift the Washington Capitals over the Tampa Bay Lightning, 3-2, at Verizon Center. Keith Aucoin and Marcus Johansson scored in regulation for Washington, which snapped a three-game slide to end a five-game homestand with a 2-2-1 record. Tomas Vokoun made 24 saves in the win. Ryan Malone and Teddy Purcell tallied goals for the Lightning, who lost their second consecutive contest on the heels of a four-game win streak. Dustin Tokarski made his first career start for Tampa Bay and stopped 29-of-32 shots in defeat.
Final Score: Philadelphia 5, Florida 0
Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 28 shots for his fourth shutout of the season as Philadelphia took down Florida, 5-0. Bryzgalov improved to 7-2-1 with three blankings over his last 11 starts, and recorded his 27th career shutout. Thursday's victory marked Philadelphia's first home shutout of Florida since a 2-0 win on October 24, 1999 and proved to be the club's first regular-season regulation shutout at home since a 2-0 decision over the Rangers on January 21, 2010. Brayden Schenn, Matt Read, Scott Hartnell, Jaromir Jagr and Eric Wellwood all lit the lamp for the Flyers, who have won four in a row and six of eight. Jose Theodore allowed five goals on 35 shots for the Panthers, who have lost three of four.
Final Score: Nashville 4, Colorado 2
Sergei Kostitsyn's goal near the end of the second period was the eventual game-winner as the Nashville Predators skated past the Colorado Avalanche, 4-2, on Thursday at Bridgestone Arena. Mike Fisher and Brandon Yip also scored for the Predators, who bounced back from a 5-4 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday. Pekka Rinne made 15 saves in the victory. The Predators remain entrenched in the fifth spot in the Western Conference with 85 points, four behind Detroit for fourth place. Paul Stastny had a goal and an assist, while Jamie McGinn also lit the lamp for the Avalanche, who had their brief two game winning streak snapped. The Avs are a point out of the last playoff spot.
Final Score: St. Louis 3, Anaheim 1
Patrik Berglund and David Backes scored goals within 2:01 of each other early in the third period Thursday, leading the St. Louis Blues to a 3-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks. The Blues moved to 7-1 in their last eight games for an NHL-best 93 points -- two more than the Eastern Conference-leading New York Rangers. They took a four-point lead over idle Detroit for first place in the Central Division. Backes also scored the first goal for the Blues, who rattled off three unanswered after falling behind early in the second period. Jaroslav Halak made 24 saves in the win. Corey Perry scored for Anaheim and Jonas Hiller gave up three goals on 27 shots. The Ducks have lost four of their last six.
Final Score: Dallas 4, San Jose 3 (SO)
Tomas Vincour tied the game late in the third and scored the only goal of the shootout to lift the Dallas Stars to a 4-3 win over the San Jose Sharks. In the fifth round, Vincour lifted a backhand past Antti Niemi and Kari Lehtonen preserved the win when he stopped Logan Couture. Jamie Benn posted a goal and an assist and Michael Ryder also scored for the Stars, who have won four straight and sit atop the Pacific Division with 79 points. Lehtonen made 45 stops and turned aside all five skaters in the shootout. Joe Pavelski, Patrick Marleau and Torrey Mitchell all scored while Joe Thornton added three assists for the Sharks, who have dropped their past four. Niemi made 32 saves. San Jose sits in the eighth spot in the Western Conference, one point ahead of Los Angeles and Colorado.