Chris Kunitz netted two goals as the Pittsburgh Penguins maintained their play-off drive with a 3-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Kunitz, who was acquired from the Anaheim Ducks for defenceman Ryan Whitney last Thursday, opened the scoring after seven minutes of the first period, banging in a rebound off Tyler Kennedy's shot, and restored the Penguins' lead with a wrist shot with three remaining in the opening session. Matt Cooke also tallied and Marc-Andre Fleury made 32 saves for the Penguins, who have won four straight games all without the injured All-Star captain Sidney Crosby and improved to 6-1-1 under the interim coach Dan Bylsma.
Pittsburgh moved into a tie for seventh place in the Eastern Conference with the New York Rangers on 72 points, one ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes, who scored four times in the second period en route to a 5-2 victory over the South-east Division-leading Washington Capitals. Patrick Eaves scored short-handed and on the power play, Eric Staal converted a penalty shot and Matt Cullen also tallied short-handed for the Hurricanes, who won for the fifth time in seven games to remain in the play-off hunt. The Florida Panthers are sixth in the East, two points ahead of the Rangers and Penguins after rookie Michael Frolik netted a pair of goals in a 4-3 victory against the Atlanta Thrashers. Defenceman John Oduya scored with 11.4 seconds left in overtime to propel the New Jersey Devils to their fourth straight win, a 3-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs. James Neal scored twice and Mike Modano added a goal and a pair of assists as the Dallas Stars snapped a five-game losing run with a 4-1 victory over the Western Conference-leading San Jose Sharks. The Detroit Red Wings closed to within a point of the Sharks after Chris Osgood made 22 saves to record his first shut-out of the season in a 5-0 demolition of the St Louis Blues. Jason Arnott scored a power-play goal in overtime to lift the Nashville Predators to a 6-5 win over the Edmonton Oilers which put both teams and the Anaheim Ducks, who lost 3-2 in overtime to the Chicago Blackhawks, in a three-way tie for seventh in the Western Conference on 68 points. David Moss recorded his first career hat-trick as the Calgary Flames defeated the Ottawa Senators 6-3. Manny Malhotra had two goals and an assist to lead the way for the Columbus Blue Jackets in their 5-4 win over the LosAngeles Kings, while Alexandre Burrows celebrated signing a new contract with the Vancouver Canucks by scoring twice in a 4-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild. *With agencies