Home Team in Caps
Minnesota 3, PHILADELPHIA 2
TORONTO 5, Tampa Bay 2
MONTREAL 4, St. Louis 1
OTTAWA 3, Nashville 2
Detroit 4, WINNIPEG 3
DALLAS 3, Arizona 1
Washington 3, COLORADO 2
Chicago 4, CALGARY 3
Anaheim 4, VANCOUVER 3 (SO)
LOS ANGELES 3, Carolina 2
Florida 3, SAN JOSE 2 (SO)
CLOSE GAMES HIGHLIGHT THURSDAY'S ACTION
Of the 11 games contested Thursday:
* Nine were tied or within one goal entering the third period.
* Eight featured one-goal margins, including two that went past regulation (ANA-VAN and FLA-SJS).
* Five saw the game-winning goal scored in the third period (MIN-PHI, DET-WPG, ARI-DAL, WSH-COL, CHI-CGY), including Jason Zucker's deciding goal in the final minute of MIN-PHI.
* Three players scored their first NHL goal: Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Adam Clendening (NHL debut), Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg (6 GP) and Vancouver Canucks forward Bo Horvat (7 GP).
PACIORETTY CELEBRATES BIRTHDAY WITH TWO GOALS IN HABS' WIN
Max Pacioretty celebrated his 26th birthday with two goals, including the game-winner, in the Montreal Canadiens' 4-1 win against the St. Louis Blues. The Canadiens trailed 1-0 after 20 minutes but scored four unanswered goals over the final two periods to pick up their first win over the Blues in Montreal since Jan. 13, 2004 (0-1-3 in between).
* The Canadiens are the first team to reach 15 wins this season (15-5-1) and remain atop the League standings with 31 points.
* Pacioretty now has 5-4—9 in his past seven games and leads the club with 10 goals and 18 points; he set a career high last season with 39 goals.
* Carey Price stopped 31 shots to improve to 12-4-1 with a 2.49 goals-against average, a .917 save percentage and one shutout. His 12 wins tie him with Pekka Rinne and Ryan Miller for the League lead.
* Dale Weise got the Canadiens on the board with his fourth goal in his past five games; he now has 4-5—9 this season.
PERRY LIFTS DUCKS INTO TOP SPOT IN WEST
Ahead 2-0 after 20 minutes, the Anaheim Ducks yielded three goals in the second period before Matt Beleskey forced overtime and Corey Perry scored the game-deciding goal in the shootout to lift the Ducks to a 4-3 win over the Canucks. Anaheim improved to 12-4-5 and moved into sole possession of first in the Western Conference -- and second in the League (behind Montreal) -- with 29 points.
* Perry, who also had an assist in regulation, converted for his 26th career shootout goal and 11th game-deciding tally (26-for-72, 36.1 percent); he leads active Ducks skaters in both categories.
* Jakob Silfverberg clinched the win with his League-leading fourth shootout goal of the season (on six attempts). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Silfverberg’s career conversion rate of 56.3 percent (9-for-16) is the second-highest among active skaters with a minimum of 15 attempts, behind only Toronto Maple Leafs forward Tyler Bozak (57.9 percent, 11-for-19).
* Ryan Getzlaf (1-1—2) posted his seventh multipoint game of the season and now paces the Ducks with 6-13—19 in 20 GP this season.
* The Ducks have won five straight games in Vancouver and are 8-1-1 in their past 10 games overall.
* The Ducks have gone past regulation in eight of their past nine outings, including five shootout decisions, and hold a 4-4 record in those games.
* Ryan Kesler played 19:36 in his first game in Vancouver since being traded to the Ducks in the offseason. Kesler, the No. 23 pick by the Canucks in the 2003 NHL Draft, tallied 182-211—393 in 655 games over his first 10 NHL seasons in Vancouver.
* Per the Elias Sports Bureau, Vancouver's Bo Horvat (19 years, 200 days) became the first teenager to score his first NHL goal with the club since Nov. 29, 2003 when Kesler (19 years, 90 days) potted his first career goal.
ZUCKER'S LAST-MINUTE GOAL EXTENDS WILD WINNING STREAK
Darcy Kuemper stopped 37 shots and Jason Zucker scored the game-winning with 45.4 seconds left in the third period to lift the Minnesota Wild against the Philadelphia Flyers for their fourth consecutive win. The Wild registered their first regulation win in Philadelphia since Feb. 10, 2003 and improved to 2-7-1 in all-time road games against the Flyers.
* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last time the Wild scored the game-winning goal in the final minute of regulation in a regular-season game was Dec. 15, 2009. In that game, Marek Zidlicky broke a 1-1 tie at 19:21 of the third period to lift the Wild against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
* Kuemper won his third straight game to improve to 9-5-0 with a 2.03 GAA, a .918 save percentage and three shutouts this season. His 37 saves were his highest total since Jan. 17 at Los Angeles when he stopped a career-high 39 shots.
* Nino Niederreiter (1-1—2) opened the scoring with a power-play goal midway through the second period; the goal was Minnesota's first with the man advantage on the road this season (1-for-35).
KANE LEADS BLACKHAWKS FOR SECOND STRAIGHT GAME . . .
The Blackhawks surrendered leads of 2-0 and 3-2 but Patrick Kane's goal at 9:02 of the third period proved to be the game-winner as Chicago skated to a 4-3 win against the Calgary Flames. Kane has scored the game-winning goal in each of the past two games (also Sunday vs. DAL) and now has three decisive goals this season. He led the Blackhawks and matched a career-high with six game-winning goals in 2013-14 (also six in 2009-10).
* Kane (1-1—2) has scored in three straight games for the first time since an equal stretch from Dec. 17-23. He has 3-3—6 during his current three-game point streak.
* Adam Clendening (selected 36th overall in 2011) scored on his first shot in his NHL debut. Per Elias, Clendening is the first Blackhawks defenseman to score a goal in his NHL debut since Dustin Byfuglien on March 1, 2006 vs. NSH.
* Corey Crawford stopped 24 shots to improve to 8-4-1 this season. He ranks second in the League in GAA (1.88) and sixth in save percentage (.929).
. . . TATAR DOES SAME FOR RED WINGS
Tomas Tatar scored twice, including the game-winning goal with 4:50 left in regulation, as the Detroit Red Wings rallied from a 3-2 third-period deficit for a 4-3 win at the Winnipeg Jets. Tatar notched his second game-winning goal in as many games (also Tuesday at CBJ) after recording three such goals through his first 117 games.
* Making his season debut, Petr Mrazek stopped 28 of 31 shots for his first win since a 23-save shutout at STL on Apr. 13.
* Detroit improved to 11-5-1 all-time against the Jets/Thrashers but earned its first road win against the franchise since Mar. 20, 2009 in Atlanta.
* Justin Abdelkader scored and added an assist to eclipse 100 career points.
PANIK TRIGGERS MAPLE LEAFS AGAINST FORMER CLUB
Richard Panik broke a 1-1 tie in the second period as the Toronto Maple Leafs scored three times in the period en route to a 5-2 win against his former team, the Tampa Bay Lightning. Panik was selected by the Lightning in the 2009 NHL Draft (No. 52) and played the first 75 games of his career with them before being claimed on waivers by the Maple Leafs on Oct. 9.
* Cody Franson (2-9—11) stretched his point streak to nine games, the longest by a Maple Leafs defenseman since Bryan McCabe from Nov. 6-25, 2006 (4-9—13, nine games). Franson's streak is the longest active streak in the NHL.
* Jonathan Bernier stopped 26 of 28 shots for his sixth win of the season. He holds a 3-0-0 record with a 1.67 GAA and a .952 save percentage in three games against the Lightning.
* Panik now has 4-1--5 in 19 games this season and is one goal from his career high set in 2012-13 with Tampa Bay (25 GP).
* Tyler Bozak (0-2—2) picked up his fifth multipoint game of the season to reach 200 NHL points.
STARS STAGE THIRD-PERIOD RALLY
Down 1-0 entering the third period, the Dallas Stars scored twice in the opening minute, including John Klingberg's first NHL goal, en route to a 3-1 win against the Arizona Coyotes. Dallas has won each of the past five games between the clubs at American Airlines Center dating to March 20, 2012. Overall, the win was the Stars first on home ice since Oct. 21, snapping a 0-5-2 skid.
* Kari Lehtonen made 26 saves to improve to 11-3-4 with a 2.05 GAA and .931 save percentage in 19 games against the Coyotes.
* Cody Eakin's second goal in as many games counted as his fourth career game-winning goal (regular season) and first since Mar. 29 at STL.
* Klingberg now has 1-3—4 in his NHL career (6 GP), with all four points coming during his current three-game point streak. The Gothenburg, Sweden native received the Stars' player of the game cowboy hat for his efforts.
BJUGSTAD POWERS PANTHERS IN SAN JOSE
Nick Bjugstad scored twice in regulation and netted the game-deciding goal in the shootout to lift the Florida Panthers to a 3-2 win against the San Jose Sharks. Florida holds a 7-1-0 record in the past eight games between the clubs dating to Oct. 24, 2008.
* Bjugstad now has 4-3—7 on his three-game point streak and improved to 3-for-6 in career attempts, including two game-deciding goals.
* Jonathan Huberdeau also stretched his point streak to three games (1-4—5) with an assist on each goal.
* Jussi Jokinen converted in the shootout to improve to 34-for-79 (43.0 percent) in career shootout attempts.
OTHER THURSDAY NOTABLES
* Alex Ovechkin broke a 2-2 tie with a highlight-reel goal at 14:04 of the third period to lift the Washington Capitals to their first road win against the Colorado Avalanche since Dec. 15, 2009 (0-2-0 since). Ovechkin is tied for second in the League with three game-winning goals; he scored 10 such goals in 2013-14 to finish behind only Max Pacioretty (11). Braden Holtby stopped 27 shots to improve to 4-1-0 with a 1.60 GAA and a .946 save percentage in his past five outings.
* Tanner Pearson restored the Kings' one-goal lead just 38 seconds after the Carolina Hurricanes had tied the game in the middle period, as Los Angeles skated to a 3-2 win to improve to 10-2-1 at Staples Center this season. Pearson scored for the first time in 12 games and now has a career high two game-winning goals this season (also Oct. 19 vs. MIN). Jonathan Quick stopped 25 shots to improve to 10-3-4 this season, including a 5-0-2 mark in his past seven games. He ranks second in the League with a.938 save percentage and ninth with a 2.06 GAA.
* The Ottawa Senators scored three goals in the second period to erase a 1-0 deficit en route to a 3-2 win against the Nashville Predators. Jared Cowan scored the game-winner for his first goal since March 30 when he notched the decisive goal in a 6-3 win vs. CGY. Robin Lehner stopped 33 shots, including 15 in the third period, to improve to 4-2-1 this season with a 2.82 GAA and .917 save percentage.
Due to the continuing weather-related difficulties in the Greater Buffalo area and out of respect for the fans of the Buffalo Sabres, the game Friday between the Sabres and New York Rangers at First Niagara Center has been postponed. A makeup date will be announced as soon as it can be confirmed . . . Eric Staal scored for the second straight game to reach 700 career NHL points . . . Chicago's Brad Richards (600) and Arizona's Sam Gagner (200) notched milestone assists . . . Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook (700), Canadiens forward Tomas Plekanec (700), Maple Leafs defenseman Dion Phaneuf (700) and Senators forwards Clarke MacArthur (500) and Zack Smith (300) played in milestone games . . . Steven Stamkos scored his 13th goal of the season to move within one of Tyler Seguin for the League lead. He now has 14-13—27 in 22 games against Toronto . . . Jakub Voracek notched an assist to regain the League scoring lead (7-20—27). He has a point in 16 of the Flyers' 18 games this season . . . Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie scored his second goal of the season to stretch his point streak to three games (1-3—4); he leads the club in assists (12) and points (14) . . . Joe Thornton stretched his point streak to eight games (4-5—9) . . . Vladimir Tarasenko potted the Blues' lone goal with assists to Jori Lehtera and Jaden Schwartz. One of the three members of the "STL Line" has scored 11 of the club's 15 goals on the road this season . . . The Ducks acquired forward Rene Bourque from the Canadiens in exchange for defenseman Bryan Allen . . . The Canucks acquired forward Will Acton from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for Kellan Lain . . . Eric Lindros and John Leclair were inducted into the Flyers Hall of Fame during a pre-game ceremony . . . The Senators signed 14-year-old Jonathan Pitre to a one-day ceremonial contract as a professional scout.