Valeri Nichushkin scored in overtime in his first game in nearly two months to lift the Colorado Avalanche to a 2-1 win over the Minnesota Wild on Friday.

Nichushkin tallied on a power play at 2:32 of overtime in his first game since Jan. 10, five days before he entered the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program.

Artturi Lehkonen also scored and Nathan MacKinnon had a pair of assists as Colorado won its third straight and fifth in six games.

Alexander Georgiev stopped 29 shots and denied Mats Zuccarello on a penalty shot with 5:55 remaining in regulation.

MacKinnon extended his home point streak to 32 games, tied with Guy Lafleur (1978-79) for the third-longest home point run in NHL history.

Rookie Brock Faber scored for Minnesota, which is 2-0-1 in its last three games as it tries to make up ground in the playoff race.

Stars start fast in win over Ducks

Roope Hintz scored one goal and set up another during Dallas’ three-goal first period and the Stars defeated the Anaheim Ducks, 6-2, for their fourth straight win.

Jamie Benn and Joe Pavelski each had a goal and an assist for the first-place Stars, who have points in six of seven (5-1-1) to maintain a two-point lead over Winnipeg and Colorado in the Central Division.

Dallas scored three times on the power play and is 6 for 12 with the man advantage in its last three games.

Ryan Strome had a goal and an assist for the Ducks, who had won three of four.

Ingram denies slumping Red Wings

Connor Ingram made 28 saves for his sixth shutout of the season and the Arizona Coyotes snapped a seven-game home losing streak with a 4-0 win over the Detroit Red Wings.

Ingram stopped six shots in the first period, 17 in the second and five more in the third to tie Pittsburgh’s Tristan Jarry for the league lead in shutouts.

Nick Bjugstad had a goal and an assist and Alex Kerfoot, Logan Cooley and Jack McBain also scored for the Coyotes, who have won three of five following a 14-game skid.

The Red Wings have scored five goals during four consecutive losses after winning six straight.


Cale Makar notched his first career hat trick and added an assist as the Colorado Avalanche rolled to a 7-2 rout of the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday.

Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and three assists and Mikko Rantanen tied a career high with four assists as the Avalanche won for the fourth time in five games.

Makar’s first goal of the game at 5:15 of the first period forged a 1-1 tie, and he scored twice late in the second to extend Colorado’s lead to 5-2.

Makar’s hat trick was the fourth by a defenseman in the team’s NHL history and the first since Sandis Ozolinsh against Vancouver on Dec. 6, 1999.

MacKinnon had his second straight four-point game and took over sole possession of the NHL scoring lead with 109 points, four ahead of Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov.

MacKinnon extended his home point streak to 31 games and his overall run to 11 games.

David Perron and Robby Fabbri scored for the Red Wings, who have lost three straight after winning six in a row.


Matthews lifts Leafs over Sabres in OT

Auston Matthews scored his league-leading 54th goal with 40 seconds left in overtime to lift the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 2-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres.

William Nylander scored in the second period and Ilya Samsonov stopped 23 shots for the Maple Leafs, who have won 10 of their last 12 games and avoided a third straight loss this season to the Sabres.

Victor Olofsson had the lone goal for Buffalo, which has points in six of its past eight contests (5-2-1).


Ducks edge Senators

Alex Killorn snapped a tie early in the third period and Lukas Dostal stopped 29 shots in the Anaheim Ducks’ 2-1 win over the Ottawa Senators in a matchup of teams already playing out the string.

Ryan Strome had the other goal as the Ducks won their third in four games despite playing without three of their top four scorers due to injuries and trades.

Mark Kastelic scored for the Senators, who dropped their fifth straight in the opener of a three-game California swing.

Cody Glass recorded his first career hat trick and the Nashville Predators rolled past the Colorado Avalanche 5-1 for their eighth straight victory on Saturday.

Glass opened the scoring with 4:42 left in the opening period and gave Nashville a 2-1 lead with 5:34 to play in the second. He completed his hat trick with an empty-net goal in the final minute.

Tommy Novak had a goal and an assist and Juuse Saros stopped 25 shots for the Predators, who tied the second-longest winning streak in franchise history. They won 10 in a row from mid-February through early March 2018.

Nathan MacKinnon scored the lone goal for Colorado, which dropped to 2-5-1 in its last eight road games.

MacKinnon’s goal extended his point streak to nine games, during which he has five goals and 11 assists.

Bobrovsky lifts red-hot Panthers

Sergei Bobrovsky turned aside 21 shots for his fourth shutout of the season and Sam Reinhart scored his 42nd goal as the Florida Panthers continued their surge with a 4-0 win over the Detroit Red Wings.

Bobrovsky notched his 42nd career shutout to win for the ninth time in his last 10 starts.

Brandon Montour had a goal and two assists and Evan Rodrigues added a goal and an assist to help the Panthers improve to 14-2-0 in their last 16 games.

Florida, which won its league-best 21st road game, moved into sole possession of the Eastern Conference lead, two points ahead of Boston and the Rangers.

Detroit lost its second straight after six consecutive wins.

Maple Leafs beat Rangers in shootout

Max Domi scored the deciding goal in the shootout on his 29th birthday to lift the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 4-3 win over the New York Rangers.

John Tavares, William Nylander and Mitch Marner scored in regulation for the Maple Leafs, who have won nine of their last 10 games to pull within six points of second-place Boston in the Atlantic Division.

Vincent Trocheck had a pair of goals for the Rangers, including the tying goal with 67 seconds to play in regulation.

New York lost for just the second time in 13 games (11-1-1) and is two points behind Florida for the Eastern Conference lead.

Darnell Nurse scored 80 seconds into overtime and the Edmonton Oilers matched a franchise record with their ninth straight victory, 3-2 over the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday.

Connor McDavid and Zach Hyman had the other goals for the Oilers, who also won nine in a row late last season and in 2001. They can break the team mark on Saturday night in Montreal.

McDavid extended his point streak to nine games and notched the 906th of his career, pulling him into a fourth-place tie with Glenn Anderson on the team’s all-time list.

Hyman is also red hot with eight goals and four assists in his last eight games.

Andrew Copp and Olli Maata scored for the Red Wings, who have points in four straight (3-0-1).

Panthers score late in overtime to continue streak

Sam Reinhart scored with less than a second left in overtime as the Florida Panthers rallied to extend their winning streak to nine games, 3-2 over the slumping Los Angeles Kings.

Matthew Tkachuk scored the equaliser with 2:18 remaining in regulation and Sam Bennett also tallied for the Panthers, who have the third-longest winning streak in franchise history.

Florida won 12 straight games in the 2015-16 season, then had their other two longest streaks in 2021-22 – eight consecutive wins to open that season, then 13 in a row toward the end of that season.

Reinhart has goals in five straight games, tallying 13 in his last 11 contests.

Los Angeles is winless in seven in a row (0-3-4).

Kraken win 8th straight

Joey Daccord stopped 25 shots and the Seattle Kraken defeated the Washington Capitals 4-1 for their franchise record-tying eighth consecutive win.

Tye Kartye, Adam Larsson, Justin Schultz and Alex Wennberg scored for the Kraken, who are 10-0-2 in their last 12 games. They haven’t had a regulation loss since Dec. 10.

Daccord improved to 7-0-0 in his last eight games, with an eye-popping .966 save percentage during that span.

Kartye and Larsson became the 15th and 16th players to score for Seattle during this streak.

Max Pacioretty scored his first goal of the season for Washington, which has lost seven of nine (2-5-2).

Kris Letang became the first defenseman in NHL history with five points in a period and finished with six assists as the Pittsburgh Penguins pounded the New York Islanders, 7-0 on Wednesday.

Jake Guentzel and Evgeni Malkin each scored twice and Tristan Jarry stopped 21 shots for his fourth shutout of the season as Pittsburgh stretched its point streak to four games (3-0-1).

Letang assisted on the final five of the Penguins’ six second-period goals to become the first player of any position in franchise history with five points in a period.

He is the seventh defenseman in league history with six assists in a game and the first since Calgary’s Gary Suter on April 4, 1986.

Pittsburgh scored six goals in a single period on the road for the first time since March 21, 2000, also against the Islanders.

Ilya Sorokin stopped 19 of 25 shots over the first two periods before he was replaced by Semyon Varlamov.

New York had a nine-game home point streak (6-0-3) snapped.

MacKinnon extends point streak but Coyotes rally

Nathan MacKinnon extended his point streak to 19 games, but the Arizona Coyotes overcame a 4-goal deficit and beat the Colorado Avalanche 5-4 on Jack McBain’s goal with 20 seconds left in overtime.

MacKinnon’s 19th goal with 6:34 left in the second period pushed Colorado’s lead to 4-0 but Lawson Crouse began Arizona’s comeback just over three minutes later.

Michael Kesselring and Jason Zucker scored in the third period before Sean Durzi netted the equaliser with 2:07 left in regulation.

MacKinnon’s streak is one short of the franchise record set by Paul Stastny in 2006-07. MacKinnon has an NHL-high 27 points in December, a career high for a month.

The Coyotes have won five of six following a four-game skid.

Surging Wild defeat Red Wings

Ryan Hartman and Marcus Foligno scored 52 seconds apart in the third period and the Minnesota Wild tallied four times in the frame in a 6-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings.

Marcus Johansson scored twice and Kirill Kaprizov extended his goal streak to four games for Minnesota, which has won four straight and seven of eight. The Wild improved to 11-3-0 since John Hynes took over behind the bench – including seven consecutive home wins.

Patrick Kane scored for the fourth straight game as Detroit lost for the sixth time in seven games.

Patrick Kane scored twice in Detroit’s five-goal first period and had the clinching shootout tally as the Red Wings squandered a four-goal lead before pulling out a wild 7-6 victory Friday over the Philadelphia Flyers.

Kane scored the game’s first two goals and Daniel Sprong, J.T. Compher and Shayne Gostisbehere also tallied to give the Red Wings a 5-1 lead after one period.

The Flyers, though, scored twice in the second period before Garnet Hathaway, Scott Laughton and Owen Tippett netted third-period goals for a 6-5 lead. Dylan Larkin’s bad-angle goal came just 37 seconds after Tippett’s and made it 6-6.

 Detroit snapped a four-game skid while Philadelphia moved to 7-1-2 in its last 10 games.

Niederreiter, Hellebuyck keep Jets surging

Nino Niederreiter had two goals and an assist and Connor Hellebuyck carried a shutout late into the third period in the Winnipeg Jets’ 5-1 win over the Boston Bruins.

Josh Morrissey, Gabriel Vilardi and Adam Lowry also scored for the Jets, who moved back atop the Central Division with their eighth win in 10 games (8-1-1).

Vilardi has goals in five straight games with six goals and six assists during that span. 

Hellebuyck kept the Bruins scoreless until Brandon Carlo’s goal with 5:38 remaining. He is 6-0-1 with a 1.86 goals-against average in his past seven starts.

Boston is winless in three straight games (0-1-2).

Oilers score 4 in 3rd period to beat Rangers

Zach Hyman triggered a four-goal outburst in the third period and the visiting Edmonton Oilers held on for a 4-3 win over the New York Rangers.

Blake Wheeler’s first-period goal stood up until Hyman scored the equaliser at 3:07 of the third. Evander Kane tallied 70 seconds later, and Warren Foegele and Ryan McLeod added goals to put the Oilers up 4-1.

Mika Zibanejad and Will Cuyle scored late goals for the Rangers, who are 4-4-0 in their last eight games but still lead the Eastern Conference with 45 points.

Gabe Vilardi continued his hot hand with a goal and two assists and the Winnipeg Jets defeated the Detroit Red Wings 5-2 on Wednesday to take over sole possession of the Central Division lead.

Axel Jonnson-Fjallby and Nikolaj Ehlers each had a goal and an assist to help the Jets win for the seventh time in nine games (7-1-1).

Vilardi has goals in four straight games with five goals and five assists during that span.

Patrick Kane and Olli Maata scored for the Red Wings, losers of a season-high four straight and six of seven.


Strome lifts Capitals over Islanders in OT

Dylan Strome scored his team-leading 13th goal on a power play 1:41 into overtime to lift the Washington Capitals to a 3-2 win over the visiting New York Islanders.

Hendrix Lapierre scored and assisted on Joel Edmundson’s first goal of the season to give the Capitals a second straight victory.

Hudson Fasching and captain Anders Lee had goals for New York, which moved to 10-2-6 in its last 18 games.


Daccord stars as Kraken edge Kings

Joey Daccord made 21 of his career-high 43 saves in the first period and the Seattle Kraken held on for a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings.

Daccord was perfect until allowing Blake Lizotte's goal 8 minutes into the third period. He surpassed his previous career-high save total of 42, set on Oct. 26 at Carolina. 

Brandon Tanev and Jordan Eberle scored for Seattle, which has points in five straight (3-0-2) following an eight-game losing streak.

Cam Talbot made 28 saves as the Kings dropped to 5-6-3 at home compared to a league-best 13-1-1 road record.

Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen and Ross Colton all had goals within a span of just over four minutes in the third period to rally the Colorado Avalanche to a 6-5 win over the Calgary Flames on Monday.

Rantanen scored with 6:29 left to play to tie the game, then earned his second assist of the night when MacKinnon recorded the eventual winning goal on a breakaway with 4:30 remaining.

Colton started Colorado's comeback by knocking in a rebound with 8:40 left that cut the Flames' lead to 5-4.

Calgary had gone ahead on late second-period goals from Connor Zary and Yegor Sharangovich, with the latter prompting Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar to replace goaltender Alexandar Georgiev after the second intermission.

Ivan Prosvetov stopped all 11 shots he faced in relief of Georgiev, who allowed five goals on 22 shots.

Former Colorado center Nazem Kadri put Calgary ahead in the first period before the Avalanche's Tomas Tatar tied it later in the frame. Colorado then took a 2-1 lead when Cale Makar scored on a power play 1:43 into the second.

Goals by Andrew Mangiapane and Blake Coleman sent the Flames back in front, but Ben Meyers scored off a feed from Andrew Cogliano with 5:03 left in the second to briefly draw the Avalanche even at 3-3.

Colorado snapped a two-game losing streak, while Calgary has now lost four of five. Dan Vladar finished with 31 saves for the Flames. 

Islanders blow late, recover to defeat Maple Leafs in overtime

Bo Horvat scored 46 seconds into overtime as the New York Islanders recovered from blowing a late lead to come through with a 4-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Toronto rallied from a two-goal deficit to force overtime when Morgan Rielly scored with seven seconds remaining in regulation. Horvat sent a feed from Mathew Barzal past Maple Leafs goaltender Ilya Samsonov early in the extra session, however, to give New York its third consecutive win.

Rielly's goal did enable Toronto to extend its point streak to six games, a stretch in which it's gone 4-0-2. The Islanders are now 5-0-1 over their past six.

The Islanders took a 3-1 lead early in the second period on Kyle Palmieri's goal, but John Tavares scored on a redirection 7:43 into the frame to cut the Leafs' deficit to one.

Tavares, the former Islanders' captain, later recorded his 1,000th career point on Rielly's game-tying goal.

Auston Matthews' 19th goal of the season, a power-play score 5:50 into the contest, gave Toronto an early 1-0 edge before the Islanders forged ahead later in the period on goals from Brock Nelson and Casey Cizikas. 

Noah Dobson finished with three assists for New York, while Ilya Sorokin made 14 of his 37 saves in the third period and had two more in overtime.

Samsonov stopped 25 shots for Toronto.

Benn hits assist milestone as Stars down short-handed Red Wings

Miro Heiskanen had two goals and an assist to lead the way as the Dallas Stars rolled to a 6-3 victory over the depleted Detroit Red Wings. 

The Stars scored twice in all three periods, including four straight goals between the first and second, to get back on track after losing three of their four previous games. Esa Lindell and Jason Robertson each delivered a goal and an assist to support a 27-save effort from Jake Oettinger.

Jamie Benn assisted on Heiskanen's first goal, the 500th of the Dallas captain's career.

Detroit was dealt a third consecutive loss while playing without both captain Dylan Larkin and forward David Perron. Larkin is out with an upper-body injury he sustained from a cross-check by Ottawa's Mathieu Joseph in Saturday's loss to the Senators, while Perron began serving a six-game suspension for cross-checking Ottawa's Artem Zub in retaliation.

The Red Wings did take a 1-0 lead when Daniel Sprong scored 5:20 in, but goals by Heiskanen and Lindell later in the first period put Dallas ahead. Robertson and Matt Duchene then scored 2:14 apart in the second to extend the Stars' advantage to 4-1.

Jonatan Berggren quickly answered Duchene's goal to trim Detroit's deficit, and the Red Wings cut the lead to 4-3 when Joe Veleno scored on a power play with 6:39 remaining.

Joe Pavelski countered with a power-play goal 30 seconds after Veleno's strike, however, before Heiskanen sealed the win with an empty-netter inside the final minute.

James Reimer stopped 29 of 34 shots for Detroit.

Charlie Lindgren had a spectacular 37-save performance and Connor McMichael and Anthony Mantha each had a goal and an assist as the Washington Capitals held off the Los Angeles Kings, 2-1 on Wednesday.

Lindgren allowed Arthur Kaliyev’s goal midway through the first period before stopping all 27 shots over the final two periods.

The Kings had a five-game winning streak snapped and lost in regulation for the second time in the last 15 games (11-2-2).

Cam Talbot faced just 15 shots as he dropped to 7-2-0 in his last nine starts.

Rangers rally past Red Wings

Jimmy Vesey scored the go-ahead goal with 4:15 left in the third period and Igor Shesterkin turned away 26 shots as the New York Rangers rallied for a 3-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings.

Second-period goals by Moritz Seider and Robby Fabbri gave Detroit a 2-1 lead but K’Andre Miller drew the Rangers even midway through the third and Vesey batted a rebound out of mid-air and past Ville Husso for the game-winner.

Artemi Panarin also scored for NHL-leading New York, which rebounded from Monday’s loss to Buffalo to avoid losing consecutive games for the first time this season.

Husso made a season-high 38 saves, but Detroit had a three-game winning streak snapped.

Armia’s late goal lifts Canadiens

Joel Armia snapped a tie with 2:57 remaining in regulation to lift the Montreal Canadiens to a 4-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Alex Newhook and Cole Caufield scored in the second period and Gustav Lindstrom added an empty-net goal as the Canadiens won for the third time in four games following a four-game skid.

Patrik Laine and Yegor Chinakov scored for the Blue Jackets, who had won three of four.

Sam Montembeault made 26 saves to help Montreal close a five-game road trip 3-2. 

John Tavares set up two goals and scored one of his own with 5:33 remaining to complete the Toronto Maple Leafs’ comeback in a 3-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Friday at the NHL’s Global Series in Sweden.

Toronto entered the third period down 2-0 but Tyler Bertuzzi scored at 3:50 and William Nylander netted the equalizer with 6:57 left before Tavares’ seventh goal of the season 1:24 later gave the Maple Leafs their first lead of the game.

Nylander also had a goal and two assists to extend his franchise-record season-opening point streak to 16 games.

Ilya Samsonov made 27 saves as Toronto won its third straight and fourth in five games.

Daniel Sprong scored on a penalty shot and Lucas Raymond had the other goal for Detroit, which dropped to 1-2-2 in its last five.

The game was the second of four over five days at Avicii Arena in Stockholm. Ottawa beat Detroit on Thursday, and Minnesota will play the Senators on Saturday and the Maple Leafs on Sunday in the first four-team series outside North America.

Perfetti scores again as Jets win

Cole Perfetti scored in a fifth straight game and the Winnipeg Jets held off the Buffalo Sabres, 3-2.

Mason Appleton and Nikolaj Ehlers had the other goals and Connor Hellebuyck stopped 25 shots as Winnipeg notched its fifth win in six games.

Alex Tuch and JJ Peterka scored for the Sabres, who have lost three in a row.

Eric Comrie made 15 saves in his first action since suffering a lower-body injury on Oct. 27.

Stolarz the difference in Panthers’ win

Anthony Stolarz stopped 33 shots to make two first-period goals hold up as the Florida Panthers held on for a 2-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks.

Stolarz allowed only Frank Vatrano’s power-play goal in the second period before turning away all 16 Anaheim shots in the third period.

Jakob Silfverberg thought he scored the tying goal midway through the third period, but there was no conclusive evidence to show that the puck crossed the goal line.

Anton Lundell set up goals by Eetu Luostarinen and Oliver Ekman-Larsson in the first period as Florida rebounded from Thursday’s loss to Los Angeles and won for the sixth time in seven games.

Tim Stutzle batted a puck out of mid-air with two seconds left in overtime to lift the Ottawa Senators to a 5-4 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday in the opening game of the NHL’s Global Series in Sweden.

Stutzle also assisted on two goals by Brady Tkachuk and Josh Norris added a goal and an assist to help the Senators recover after squandering a four-goal lead.

The game was the first over four days in Stockholm as part of the Global Series.

Ottawa, Detroit, Minnesota and Toronto are involved in the first such series outside North America. It marks the NHL’s return to Sweden for the first time since before the pandemic.

Shayne Gostisbehere scored a goal and set up two others for the Red Wings, who have lost three of four.


Short-handed Devils cool Penguins

Jesper Bratt, Alexander Holtz and Tyler Toffoli scored third-period goals as the undermanned New Jersey Devils snapped the Pittsburgh Penguins’ five-game winning streak, 5-2.

New Jersey ended a three-game skid and defeated Pittsburgh for the sixth straight time despite missing forwards Timo Meier, Nico Hischier and Jack Hughes.

Curtis Lazer had a short-handed goal and an assist to reach 100 career points for the Devils.

Bryan Rust scored twice for the Penguins and Sidney Crosby had an assist to extend his point streak to 10 games.

Crosby became the 15th player in league history with 11 point streaks of at least 10 games.


Kings snap Panthers’ 5-game streak

Kevin Fiala had a goal and an assist and Cam Talbot turned aside 30 shots in the Los Angeles Kings’ 2-1 win over the Florida Panthers, who had a five-game winning streak halted.

Anze Kopitar scored on the power play as the Kings won at home for just the second time in eight games.

Sam Reinhart scored in his third straight game, but Florida was held to its lowest scoring output since being shut out at Minnesota in its season opener.

Vincent Trocheck scored a pair of goals to help the Metropolitan Division-leading New York Rangers extend their point streak to eight games with a 5-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday.

After having a six-game winning streak end with Saturday's shootout loss to the Minnesota Wild, Trocheck put the Rangers (9-2-1) ahead early, scoring 1:40 into the contest.

Chris Kreider and Artemi Panarin each had a goal and an assist during a four-goal second period for New York, which hasn't lost in regulation since a 4-1 setback to the Nashville Predators on October 19.

The Rangers converted two of three power-play opportunities while holding the Red Wings (7-5-1) without a score on their six chances with the extra skater.

Panarin's goal was his seventh of the season as he extended his season-opening points streak to 12 games. The only longer points streak to begin a season by a Ranger is Rod Gilbert's 14-gamer to open the 1972-73 season.


Lightning score four in first period in win over Canadiens

Nikita Kucherov stayed hot and Matt Tomkins earned his first career win in the Tampa Bay Lightning's 5-3 victory over the Montreal Canadiens.

A night after blowing a three-goal lead in Monday's 6-5 overtime loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Lightning (6-3-4) jumped out to a fast start with Kucherov scoring 22 seconds into the game for his 10th goal of the season. Tampa Bay led 4-0 in less than 14 minutes, with Nicholas Paul, Alex Barre-Boulet and Michael Eyssimont also scoring in the first period.

Paul later scored on the power play in the third period to give him seven goals on the season, with Kucherov and Steven Stamkos being credited with assists.

With 11 points in his last three games, Kucherov now leads the league with 22 points on the season.

Tomkins stopped 22 shots to notch his first NHL win in his third career start. His bid for a shutout ended when Nick Suzuki scored 6:50 into the third period.

Michael Pezzetta and Christian Dvorak also scored for Montreal (5-5-2), which lost its fourth in a row with the last three coming in regulation.


Avalanche score three in third period to pull away from Devils

After being embarrassed the last time they took the ice, the Colorado Avalanche responded with a 6-3 win over the New Jersey Devils.

Tied at 3-3 after two periods, Ryan Johansen scored the go-ahead goal 7:37 into the third period with Nathan MacKinnon scoring his fifth goal of the season just over two minutes later.

Mikko Rantanen later added an empty-netter for Colorado (8-3-0), which was playing for the first time since Saturday's 7-0 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights. That marked the Avs' third defeat in four games, with all three losses being shutouts.

All of Colorado's defeats, however, have been on the road, as the Avs improved to 4-0-0 at home.

The Devils (7-4-1) took advantage of successive boarding and cross-checking penalties on Ross Colton, that resulted in a seven-minute trip to the penalty box, during which Timo Meier and Dougie Hamilton scored power-play goals.

Tyler Toffoli opened the scoring for New Jersey with his team-leading eighth goal of the season 3:43 into the game.


Alex DeBrincat recorded his fifth career hat trick to lead the surging Detroit Red Wings to a 6-2 rout of the Calgary Flames on Sunday for their fifth consecutive win.

DeBrincat scored in all three periods to continue a hot start to his Red Wings tenure. Acquired from the Ottawa Senators in the offseason, the 2020-21 All-Star now has a league-leading eight goals - all of which have come in Detroit's three home games this season.

Dylan Larkin added a goal and an assist for Detroit, which also received goals from Joe Veleno and Jake Walman. Lucas Raymond assisted on all three DeBrincat goals, while Justin Holl also finished with three helpers to support 29 saves from James Reimer.

Andrew Mangiapane and Yegor Sharangovich had goals for Calgary, which finished 1-3-1 on a five-game road trip. Dan Vladar stopped just 24 of 30 shots in defeat.


Poitras' first two NHL goals help Bruins move to 5-0-0

Matthew Poitras scored the first two goals of his NHL career in the third period as the Boston Bruins rallied for a 3-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks to remain undefeated for the young season.

Brad Marchand added an empty-net goal and Linus Ullmark made 30 saves to help the Bruins move to 5-0-0.

After a scoreless first two periods, Mason McTavish got Anaheim on the board first when he knocked in a rebound 5:05 into the third.

Poitras, playing in his fifth NHL game, tied it just 1:24 later before putting Boston in front midway through the period by beating John Gibson after collecting a rebound of teammate Jake DeBrusk's shot.

Gibson finished with 23 saves in the Ducks' third straight loss.


New Jersey Devils head coach Lindy Ruff hailed both Nico Hischier and Tomas Tatar for playing through injuries in their 5-1 road win over the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday.

Dougie Hamilton, Jack Hughes, Nico Hischier and Alexander Holtz each managed a goal and an assist with Miles Wood adding a pair of helpers in the victory which improves their record to 24-11-3.

The Devils had only won two of their past 11 games prior to the Red Wings clash where Hischier and Tatar helped gain a much-needed win.

"We knew some guys were going to try and tough it out for us," Ruff told reporters.

"Couple guys were game-time decisions and were able to play. We didn't get their bodies to 100 per cent but I thought the effort was great. The fact they wanted to play, we got through the game."

Hischier appeared troubled by his hand injury during the game and he did not take any draws in the first half.

The Swiss centre helped set up Hamilton's goal midway through the second period in his first face-off of the game.

"We knew that he wasn't going to be able to take a lot [of face-offs] but we still thought he could step in for the odd one," Ruff said.

"It was a tight game until we scored those couple of power play goals and both of them where at the hands of winning draws."

Hischier, who has totalled 60 points this season with 21 goals and 39 assists, scored for the fourth straight game despite the hand issue.

"I felt good enough to be out there but definitely tried not to take too many face-offs, stuff like that," Hischier said. "Just trying to help the team on the wing as well, I think it was my first game as a winger.

"In my mind, I just wanted to reduce the face-offs. On the power play unit I'm going to grind it out there and take those draws and it came up good.

"Lucky it was good enough to win some draws for the team there. Overall, just happy for the game and the two points tonight."

Like everything else over the past year, the hockey world has been turned upside down by the coronavirus pandemic. The 2019-20 season was completed with teams playing in bubble locations in Toronto and Edmonton and the 2020 campaign will open without fans as part of a condensed 56-game season, among a slew of other changes. 

With the previous season extending several months past the normal ending date, the league had little choice but to delay the start of 2021 and to find a way to make a shortened season work. The new plan is for the regular season to end on May 8, with the Stanley Cup awarded no later than July 9. 

Of course, nothing is set in stone anymore and the NBA and NFL have had to deal with countless COVID-19 issues, so the NHL expects similar problems to arise with the pandemic experiencing another surge. The league knows it may have to adapt and games will very likely need to be rescheduled. 

The NHL has already dealt with this, as the start of the season for the Dallas Stars had to be pushed back to January 19 after six players and two staffers tested positive for coronavirus. While the completion of last season in the bubble locations was virtually flawless, teams are playing in home arenas this season, increasing the chances of players becoming infected. 

To combat this, teams will be allowed to carry taxi squads of four to six extra players who will practice and be prepared to step in when needed. 

While there is less hockey to enjoy, there are some tweaks to the upcoming season that fans will enjoy. 

The four divisions have been realigned and they include an all-Canada division of seven teams, made necessary by border restrictions. The other three divisions are mostly based on geography, but St Louis and Minnesota were shuffled into a division with the three California teams, Vegas, Arizona and Colorado. 

The Chicago-Detroit rivalry gets renewed with the Red Wings moving into the Central Division, and Tampa Bay and Dallas – last season's Stanley Cup Final participants – are now together in the Central.  

There should be no shortage of intensity this season with teams scheduled to play mostly back-to-back sets solely against teams in their own division. So, the Flyers and Penguins will meet eight times, as will the Islanders and Rangers and Kings and Ducks. The teams in the all-Canada division will face each other nine or 10 times.  

The first two playoff rounds will be played within the division, meaning the bad blood that started in the regular season could grow even deeper. The division winners will then advance to the semifinals but seeding will be based on points rather than geography.  

The new setup raises the possibility of a Stanley Cup Final between traditional East teams like the Capitals and Penguins or Canadian rivals Montreal and Toronto.   

To recoup some of the money lost by having no fans or limited fans at the start of the season in some cities, the NHL is allowing teams to include a sponsor name on their helmets and each division will also include the name of a corporate sponsor. 

The condensed season was preceded by an abbreviated training camp without exhibition games and there is concern that the start of the season will be marred by sloppy play. This could be especially true for the seven teams that have not played a game since March after they did not qualify for the expanded playoffs.  

As in any offseason, several big-name players changed teams. It will be jarring to see 43-year-old Zdeno Chara in a Capitals uniform and Joe Thornton playing for the Maple Leafs after 14 seasons in San Jose. Henrik Lundqvist would have looked strange as a member of the Capitals following an 887-game run with the Rangers, but he decided not to play this season due to a heart condition. 

Injuries will also keep some marquee players off the ice for a while. Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov – the 2018-19 scoring leader – will miss the entire regular season due to hip surgery and the Stars could be without top forward Tyler Sequin (hip) and goaltender Ben Bishop (knee) until at least March.  

Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews is out indefinitely with an unknown illness and there is no word on whether the 12-time 20-goal scorer will play this season. 

While this season is full of unknowns and will be like no other before it, the potential is there for it to be one of the most exciting in recent memory.

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