WILD ERUPT FOR SEVEN GOALS, GET CLOSER TO FIRST PLACE IN WEST
Fourteen different skaters found the scoresheet, led by three-point nights from Eric Staal (1-2-3) and Matt Dumba (0-3-3), and the Minnesota Wild (26-9-5, 57 points) improved to 15-1-2 in their past 18 games. The Wild moved within two points of the Western Conference-leading Chicago Blackhawks (27-12-5, 59 points) and have four games in hand.
* The Wild, who matched a season-high for goals in a game, scored at least seven goals on home ice for the fourth time in franchise history. Minnesota has outscored opponents 41-17 in winning nine of its past 10 games at Xcel Energy Center.
* Staal leads the Wild in goals (14), assists (24) and points (38) through 40 games, surpassing his goal total from 2015-16 and moving within one of his point total (13-26-39 in 83 GP with the Carolina Hurricanes and New York Rangers). He also shares second place in the NHL with six game-winning goals.
* Devan Dubnyk (20 saves), who came within 8.5 seconds of registering his sixth shutout of the season, earned his 22nd win to move into sole possession of second in the League. His 1.77 goals-against average and .940 save percentage lead the NHL.
Video: Niederreiter, balanced offense lead Wild to 7-1 win
Home Team in Caps
PHILADELPHIA 5, Vancouver 4 (SO)
OTTAWA 4, Pittsburgh 1
TAMPA BAY 4, Buffalo 2
NASHVILLE 2, Boston 1
MINNESOTA 7, Montreal 1
DALLAS 5, Detroit 2
EDMONTON 3, New Jersey 2 (OT)
Anaheim 4, COLORADO 1
LOS ANGELES 5, St. Louis 1
DUCKS, OILERS AND KINGS KEEP PACE IN CROWDED PACIFIC DIVISION
The Anaheim Ducks (23-13-8, 54 points), Edmonton Oilers (22-15-7, 51 points) and Los Angeles Kings (21-17-4, 46 points) all won to keep pace in the crowded Pacific Division, where the top six teams are separated by 10 points:
* Rickard Rakell (1-1-2) and Ryan Kesler each scored their team-leading 17th goals to propel the Ducks into sole possession of first place in the Pacific Division. Rakell also shares the team lead with four game-winning goals, while Kesler paces the Ducks with 17-19-36.
* Leon Draisaitl (1-2-3) assisted on both Oilers goals in regulation before scoring his second career overtime goal, off a feed from Connor McDavid (0-2-2), as Edmonton rallied from a pair of one-goal deficits. McDavid, who celebrates his 20th birthday Friday, became the first player to reach the 50-point mark this season (14-36-50 in 44 GP) and moved within two of 100 NHL points (30-68-98 in 89 GP).
* Jake Muzzin and Tanner Pearson each scored twice to help the Kings maintain their hold on the final wild card berth in the Western Conference. Pearson ranks second on the Kings with 13 goals (40 GP), two shy of his career high set last season (15 in 79 GP).
Video: Gibson, Ducks defeat Avalanche, 4-1
GIROUX CELEBRATES BIRTHDAY WITH DECISIVE TALLY IN COMEBACK WIN
Captain Claude Giroux celebrated his 29th birthday by assisting on the Flyers' tying goal in the third period before scoring the lone goal in the shootout. The Elias Sports Bureau notes that the Flyers overcame three separate deficits to win at home for the first time since March 6, 2007 vs. New Jersey (5-4 OT W).
Ben Bishop made 24 saves in his return from a nine-game absence and Ondrej Palat had 2-1-3 to help the Tampa Bay Lightning snap a four-game slide. … Nashville Predators forward Filip Forsberg and Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg each scored the game-winning goal to help their respective clubs keep pace in the Western Conference wild card race. … Erik Karlsson and Derick Brassard each had 0-2-2 in the Ottawa Senators' win. … The Oilers honored Devils forward Taylor Hall (0-1-1) in his return to Edmonton. … Colorado Avalanche forward Blake Comeau (600), Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo (500) and Predators forward Craig Smith (400) each played in milestone games. … ICYMI: Hurricanes defenseman Justin Faulk pranked teammateRyan Murphy by filling his SUV with packing peanuts. … The NHL Centennial Fan Arena began its three-day stay at Victory Plaza outside American Airlines Center in Dallas.
SNEAK PEEK AT FRIDAY'S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Toronto @ NY Rangers, 7 p.m., MSG, TSN4
Chicago @ Washington, 7 p.m., NHLN, CSN-DC, CSN-CH
NY Islanders @ Florida, 7:30 p.m., FS-F, MSG+
Buffalo @ Carolina, 7:30 p.m., FS-CR, MSG-B
Columbus @ Tampa Bay, 8 p.m., TVA Sports, SN, SUN, FS-O
New Jersey @ Calgary, 9 p.m., SNW, MSG+ 2
Winnipeg @ Arizona, 9 p.m., FS-A, TSN3
ST. LOUIS TO BECOME FIRST LIGHTNING PLAYER TO HAVE JERSEY RETIRED
The Tampa Bay Lightning will retire Martin St. Louis' No. 26 prior to tonight's game against the League-leading Blue Jackets at Amalie Arena. St. Louis, who signed as a free agent prior to the 2000-01 season, played 972 regular-season games with Tampa Bay and was a key member of the Lightning's Stanley Cup-winning team in 2004. He remains the franchise leader in assists (588), points (953), game-winning goals (64) and shorthanded goals (28), and he holds club playoff records for goals (33), assists (35), points (68) and game-winning goals (8).