BOSTON - Brad Marchand had his first career hat trick and a career-high five points to help Boston beat the Florida Panthers 8-0 on Friday night, giving the Bruins their sixth consecutive victory and their most lopsided of the season.
It was a matchup of division leaders and teams fighting for the lead in the Eastern Conference. And it was never close.
Marchand scored a short-handed goal to start things off, then added two more and a pair of assists to lead the defending Stanley Cup champions to their 20th win in 23 games. After his third goal, midway through the third period to make it 8-0, fans showered the ice with all kinds of headwear, including a fair number of Santa hats.
DEVILS 4, CAPITALS 3, SO
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Ilya Kovalchuk and Patrik Elias scored in the shootout and Martin Brodeur made an outstanding glove save on Alex Ovechkin as New Jersey, after blowing a three-goal lead in the third period, regrouped to beat Washington.
RANGERS 4, FLYERS 2
NEW YORK (AP) — Henrik Lundqvist made 28 saves in his second win over Philadelphia this season and rookie defenceman Stu Bickel had two more assists as New York beat the Flyers to move into first place in the Atlantic Division.
Bickel, in his third NHL game, helped set up goals by Derek Stepan and Ruslan Fedotenko in the second period. He has four assists since being recalled from the AHL, hitting the score sheet in every game.
Marian Gaborik added his NHL-leading 21st goal early in the third period and Ryan Callahan also scored for the Rangers (21-8-4), who jumped over the Flyers (21-9-4) with their fourth straight win — including three in four days over division foes.
HURRICANES 2, SENATORS 1, OT
MAPLE LEAFS 5, ISLANDERS 3
STARS 6, PREDATORS 3
PENGUINS 4, JETS 1
WINNIPEG (AP) — James Neal got the go-ahead goal 22 seconds into the third period and Pittsburgh scored twice more in the next five minutes to beat Winnipeg.
Neal's team-leading 20th of the season was followed by goals from Jordan Staal and Pascal Dupuis. Joe Vitale also scored, Chris Kunitz had two assists and Marc-Andre Fleury made 18 saves for the Penguins, who won their third straight.