Mikko Koivu has been keeping his linemates busy, and the Minnesota Wild are reaping the rewards of his pinpoint playmaking.
Koivu had three more assists Monday night, helping the host Wild to a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. With the win, and Buffalo's 5-2 loss to Ottawa, Minnesota (6-0-1) is the only NHL team that hasn't lost in regulation this season.
The center set up Andrew Brunette, Antti Miettinen and Brent Burns for goals, and the combination of Koivu, Brunette and Miettinen have 29 points this season.
"The goals come from Mikko's line, and it's a lot of goals," Wild coach Jaques Lemaire said. "If you look at their shifts, their shifts are all in the offensive zone. They control the puck so well, move the puck so well."
Koivu has stepped up in the absence of Minnesota star Marian Gaborik, who has missed five straight games because of an unspecified lower-body injury, leading the team with 13 points. He is among the league leaders with 12 assists.
"It's better not to think about it," said Koivu, who has notched at least three points in a game seven times in his career. "Individually and as a line, you've just got to focus and find a way every night."
In other NHL games, it was: Anaheim 3, Columbus 2; the New York Rangers 4, the New York Islanders 2; Boston 1, Edmonton 0 in overtime; and Detroit 4, Los Angeles 3 in a shootout.
Also on a streak is Minnesota goalie Niklas Backstrom, who is 11-0-1 in his past 12 decisions dating back to last season. He stopped 34 shots Monday.
"He doesn't give up bad goals," Lemaire said. "They have to work for the goals they get."
Chicago, which had its seven-game point streak snapped, grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first period on a goal by Patrick Sharp, but allowed the next three goals and had its third-period rally fall short.
The turning point came when the Wild killed a 5-on-3 power play in the second.
"I always feel if you don't score on a 5-on-3 that you don't deserve to win the game, and that's generally the result," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said.
Minnesota has struggled in its last three third periods. On Oct. 23, it gave up a two-goal lead and lost to Buffalo. On Saturday, Columbus nearly tied the Wild in the third, but had a last-minute goal overturned.
If not for the strong play of Backstrom late, Minnesota may have coughed this one up, too.
Nonetheless, Lemaire felt better during this tense third period than the last two.
"The guys started to understand how to play in the defensive zone," he said. "It gave me more confidence than the last two games."
At Uniondale, N.Y., Rangers captain Chris Drury scored his first two goals and Henrik Lundqvist made 28 saves in the opening New York-New York matchup of the season.
Drury, who has bounced around between various linemates in coach Tom Renney's quest to find a trio that clicks, scored from in front 56 seconds in against backup goalie Joey MacDonald.
He added a power-play tally during a long two-man advantage with 7:26 remaining to make it 4-1. Ryan Callahan and Scott Gomez both netted their third goals of the season for the Rangers (9-2-1), who have won three straight.
Kyle Okposo tied it at 1 in the final seconds of the first period, and Mark Streit added a short-handed goal with 1:56 left in the game for the Islanders.
At Columbus, Ohio, Teemu Selanne scored a power-play goal with 3:55 left to lift the Ducks before 10,494 fans, the smallest NHL crowd ever at Nationwide Arena.
Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf each had a goal and an assist for the Ducks, who for only the second time in franchise history swept a road trip of four games or longer.
Jiri Novotny and Derrick Brassard gave the Blue Jackets a 2-1 lead through two periods.
At Buffalo, N.Y., Jason Spezza had two goals and an assist, and Alex Auld made 25 saves in snapping the Senators' four-game losing streak. Dany Heatley had a goal and an assist, and Christoph Schubert and Shean Donovan also scored for Ottawa.
Clarke MacArthur and Derek Roy scored, and Patrick Lalime had 23 saves for the Sabres.
At Edmonton, Alberta, Dennis Wideman scored 3:18 into overtime and Tim Thomas made 27 saves, leading the Bruins over the Oilers.
Wideman scored on the power play after Shawn Horcoff went off for hooking midway through the extra period. He beat Oilers goaltender Dwayne Roloson high to the glove side. Roloson made 35 saves.
It was Thomas' eighth shutout for the Bruins (4-2-3), who won two straight for the first time this season.
Edmonton (4-3-1) has lost four in a row after opening the season with four straight wins.
At Los Angeles, Valtteri Filppula took advantage of a sloppy turnover to score the tying goal with 1:54 left in the third period, and the Red Wings got goals from Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg in the shootout.
Denis Gauthier was attempting a clearing pass deep in the Kings' zone and put it right onto the stick of the forechecking Filppula, who took one stride and beat Jason LaBarbera to the stick side with a 15-foot wrist shot.