The Chicago Blackhawks matched a franchise-best eight-game winning streak with a 5-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers.
Chicago clip the Flyers
The Chicago Blackhawks matched a franchise-best eight-game winning streak with a 5-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. The Blackhawks, whose goals were scored by five different players, last won eight successive games in 1981. "We came out with lots of energy," the Chicago left-wing Andrew Ladd said.
"We needed to play the way we had been - skating and pressuring the puck all over the ice. We did a really good job of that. When guys had chances, they finished." Ladd and Patrick Sharp scored for Chicago in the first period, and while Mike Richards reduced the deficit for Philadelphia they were chasing shadows for the remainder of the game. Brian Campbell, Kris Versteeg and Dave Bolland added further goals for Chicago to complete their emphatic success.
The Flyers experienced travel problems on the way to Chicago and missed their morning skate as a result. "I'm not sure if that played a factor or not," Sharp said. "We were a little rusty as well and you're always a little hesitant after a couple of days off. "But we played physical right away and we were able to get a couple of goals." Meanwhile, Vernon Fiddler scored with just over one minute remaining in the second period as the Nashville Predators recorded a 3-2 triumph over the Detroit Red Wings in a battle of Central Division rivals.
Defenceman Greg Zanon and Kevin Klein also found the back of the net for Nashville, while Daniel Cleary and Mikael Samuelsson scored for Detroit. Marc-Andre Fleury made 37 saves and Ruslan Fedotenko scored what proved to be the winner midway through the second period as the Pittsburgh Penguins blanked the New Jersey Devils on their way to a 1-0 win, while Alex Ovechkin continued his excellent form with his 23rd goal of the season as the Washington Capitals skated to a 3-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres.
Eric Staal claimed the sixth hat-trick of his career as the Carolina Hurricanes recorded a 5-4 triumph over the Atlanta Thrashers in a battle of Southeast Division rivals. Shawn Horcoff and Sheldon Souray both got on the scoresheet as the Edmonton Oilers held on for a deserved 3-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks, while the captain Shane Doan scored a goal and set-up another to play a key role in the Phoenix Coyotes' 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings.
Veteran Bill Guerin scored twice to record the 400th goal of his career as the New York Islanders defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1, while Steve Eminger recorded a goal and also had two assists and Ryan Malone converted the shoot-out winner to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 4-3 win over the Florida Panthers. * Reuters