The combination of being shut out the last two games and an opponent that looked like imposters rather than the NHL's top team for part of the game allowed the Edmonton Oilers to roll to a 6-5 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday at United Center.
Edmonton came into Sunday's game having been shut out and outscored 9-0 in its last two games, suffering a 3-0 defeat at Detroit and 6-0 at Nashville. But led by a pair of goals by Sam Gagner, the Oilers looked like world-beaters on Chicago's home ice.
The Oilers improved to 9-11-5 with the win, while the Blackhawks suffered only their second loss in regulation time this season, dropping to a 21-2-3.
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Canadiens 5, Panthers 2
The Canadiens closed out their season-long five-game roadtrip with a 5-2 victory over the Panthers to remain atop the Eastern Conference standings.
Montreal (17-5-4) struck quickly on center David Desharnais' eighth goal of the season just 1:46 into the game.
Defenseman Alexei Emelin handled the puck behind the Montreal net and found Desharnais, who skated into the Florida (7-13-6) zone. His slap shot beat Jacob Markstrom's glove side. Right winger Brendan Gallagher also earned an assist.
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Penguins 6, Islanders 1
The Penguins played without star center Evgeni Malkin, but Chris Kunitz and Sidney Crobsy picked up the slack, each enjoying a five-point night as Pittsburgh manhandled the New York Islanders 6-1.
Kunitz finished with three goals and two assists, and Crosby added five assists.
Crosby has recorded at least one assist in eight consecutive games, one shy of his career high.
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Devils 3, Jets 2 (SO)
Patrik Elias scored his second deciding shootout goal in the past three games, and Johan Hedberg made three big saves in the shootout as the New Jersey Devils defeated the Winnipeg Jets 3-2 at the Prudential Center.
There were only two penalties called in the entire game, one against each team.
The Devils (12-9-5) remained in seventh place in the Eastern Conference standings. The Jets (12-11-2) are still in ninth place.
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Rangers 4, Capitals 1
If there is one thing you can say about John Tortorella's New York Rangers, it's that they know how to shut the door on opponents.
The Rangers grabbed a two-goal lead in the second period and erected a wall in front of backup goaltender Martin Biron the rest of the game, carving out a 4-1 win over the Washington Capitals at the Verizon Center.
The win was the Rangers' fifth in six games and moved them past the New Jersey Devils and into seventh place in the Eastern Conference standings with a 13-9-2 record and 28 points at the midway point of their season.
The Capitals lost for the second time in less than 24 hours and fell to 10-13-1, six points out of a playoff spot.
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Blue Jackets 3, Red Wings 2 (SO)
Ryan Johansen and Matt Calvert scored in the shootout to give the Columbus Blue Jackets a 3-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena.
Derick Brassard and R.J. Umberger scored in regulation for Columbus (10-12-4), which won its fifth straight.
Jakub Kindl and Johan Franzen got the goals for Detroit (12-10-4) in the first 60 minutes. Pavel Datsyuk scored in the shootout.
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Flyers 3, Sabres 2
Simon Gagne, Max Talbot and Claude Giroux scored goals to help the Philadelphia Flyers beat the Buffalo Sabres 3-2 at the Wells Fargo Center.
Philadelphia goalie Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 18 shots, but teammate Brayden Schenn made the biggest save of the night to prevent a tying goal in the third period.
Brian Flynn and Jochen Hecht had Buffalo's goals. The Sabres (9-14-3) are winless in the past four games. The Flyers (12-14-1) snapped a three-game losing streak.
(Editing by Julian Linden)