Goals were tough to come by, even for the teams that won on a night made for netminders. Well, for everyone except for the Philadelphia Flyers.
Antero Niittymaki posted one of the three NHL shutouts Tuesday night, and was backed up by a boatload of offense in the Flyers' 7-0 road victory over the Atlanta Thrashers. Nothing new there as Philadelphia has beaten the Thrashers 11 straight times.
Mike Knuble, Simon Gagne and Joffrey Lupul each scored two goals for the Flyers, who have won three straight after an 0-3-3 start.
"They are a better team than they showed tonight," Knuble said.
Miikka Kiprusoff also was perfect Tuesday night in the Calgary Flames' 3-0 home victory over the Colorado Avalanche, and Boston's Tim Thomas posted his second 1-0 win in two nights, shutting down the Canucks in Vancouver.
Evgeni Nabokov nearly wrapped up his 41st NHL shutout, but had to settle for a 2-1 San Jose Sharks' win over the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins.
In other NHL games, it was Washington 4, Nashville 3 in a shootout; Montreal 3, Carolina 2 in a shootout; and Tampa Bay 3, Toronto 2.
Niittymaki stopped 24 shots in his fourth NHL shutout. He is 10-0 against the Thrashers. The Flyers are beginning to match the intensity they showed last season in advancing to the Eastern Conference finals.
"We were uptempo," Philadelphia coach John Stevens said. "We were a little worried because their's is a different style of play. After two emotional games against the Devils, it would've taken away from those games if we hadn't won this one."
Knuble, who made it 2-0 at 3:13 of the second period, has four goals in three games and seven points in the last five.
Philadelphia took a 3-0 lead with 14.5 seconds left in the second period on Gagne's second short-handed goal. Mike Richards set up Gagne by stepping in front of Ron Hainsey to intercept Ilya Kovalchuk's pass near the Thrashers' blue line.
Knuble's second goal of the game came on the power play and gave the Flyers a 4-0 lead 1:02 into the third. Philadelphia had an extra man because Kovalchuk was penalized for throwing his stick following his giveaway.
"We weren't ready, and from the start we didn't have the effort we wanted," Atlanta forward Colby Armstrong said. "There was a couple of good bounces for them, but at the same time the game was there for us. After they got up a few, we just kind of folded the tent."
At Vancouver, British Columbia, Thomas made 30 saves to beat Boston.
Michael Ryder scored his second goal of the season midway through the first period for the Bruins, who have won three in a row. Thomas and the Bruins topped the Oilers in Edmonton 1-0 in overtime on Monday.
After splitting the first eight games with Manny Fernandez, Thomas earned a second straight start with a 27-save shutout on Monday.
Roberto Luongo made 29 saves for the Canucks, who have lost four of five.
At Calgary, Alberta, Kiprusoff made 22 saves, and Curtis Glencross snapped a scoreless tie 8:22 into the third period to lift Calgary to its fourth win in a row.
Kiprusoff earned his first shutout of the season - 27th overall - and his 150th NHL win.
Colorado (5-4) had its five-game winning streak end. The Avalanche hadn't lost since dropping a 5-4 decision to the Flames in Calgary on Oct. 14.
Rene Bourque and Mike Cammalleri also scored and had two points each.
At San Jose, Calif., Joe Pavelski scored an early short-handed goal, Nabokov made 10 saves and the Sharks stayed perfect at home.
Mike Grier added a backhand goal from the slot with 7:08 left for the Sharks (8-2).
Ruslan Fedotenko ended Nabokov's bid for his 41st career shutout, scoring with 5:33 to play on a setup from Sidney Crosby.
At Toronto, Vincent Lecavalier scored a pair of highlight-reel goals and Mike Smith made 37 saves to lead Tampa Bay.
Jussi Jokinen also scored, and No. 1 overall draft pick Steven Stamkos earned his first NHL point for the visiting Lightning.
Matt Stajan and Mike Van Ryn scored for the Maple Leafs (3-3-3), who had their two-game winning streak end.
At Montreal, Saku Koivu scored a shootout goal and Carey Price stopped all three shots in the tiebreaker to lift the host Canadiens past Carolina.
Alex Tanguay scored on a penalty shot in the final seconds of the first period and Price stopped 31 shots for Montreal, which closed out a 4-1 homestand despite falling to Anaheim on Saturday in the team's first regulation loss of the season.
Alex Kovalev also scored for Montreal.
Matt Cullen and Anton Babchuk had goals for the Hurricanes, who fell to 2-2-1 on their longest road trip of the season, a six-game stretch that ends Thursday in St. Louis.
At Washington, Michael Nylander scored the pivotal goal in a shootout, and Washington generated enough firepower to overcome the absence of Alex Ovechkin.
Alexander Semin scored before Ville Koistinen tied it on Nashville's third try at Jose Theodore. Nylander then beat Dan Ellis, and Theodore denied Martin Erat.
Ovechkin, the NHL leading scorer and most valuable player last season, left for Russia on Monday to be with his ailing grandfather. It was the second game he has missed in his career.
Jason Arnott scored two goals and Koistinen had one for the Predators, who never led.