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Richards posts 5 assists in Stars' debut; Hossa injured in first night with Penguins @NHLdotcom

Brad Richards' Dallas debut couldn't have gone any better. Marian Hossa's opening night with the Pittsburgh Penguins turned out to be a worst-case scenario.

Richards wasn't quite a shooting Star yet, but he tied a franchise record with five assists in Dallas' 7-4 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night.

In his first game for the Stars since being acquired Tuesday from the Tampa Bay Lightning in one of the blockbuster deals before the NHL trade deadline, Richards helped set up each of Niklas Hagman's three goals and assisted on scores by Trevor Daley and Jere Lehtinen, too.

"I'm so happy to be a part of this," said Richards, who left the Lightning, the last-place team in the East. "They've got a good thing going here. I went from looking like I'd be done the first of April to making a good run at (the Stanley Cup)."

The Penguins gladly would have settled for a pointless night from Hossa, their key pickup before the deadline.

Not only didn't Hossa get onto the score sheet in Pittsburgh's 5-1 loss at Boston, the five-time All-Star couldn't even finish the game. He was knocked out in the second period by a sprained knee and will be out for at least a week.

"It was an accidental hit, knee-on-knee," said Hossa, who collided with Bruins forward Glen Murray. "This is disappointing. I was trying to get comfortable with my linemates. But injuries happen, and this is the tough luck of the business we're in."

In other NHL games, it was the New York Rangers 4, Carolina 2; Philadelphia 3, Ottawa 1; the New York Islanders 5, Atlanta 4 in overtime; Phoenix 2, St. Louis 1; and Edmonton 5, Los Angeles 4.

The Penguins are still awaiting the return of captain Sidney Crosby, out since January with a high ankle sprain. Once these two high-scoring forwards regain their health, they will be paired on a high-octane line.

The loss prevented the Penguins from moving into first place in the Eastern Conference. The Bruins, who have won five straight and seven of eight, are just six points out of the top spot.

Richards had an assist on just his second shift, then added two more helpers in the second period and another two in the third. The five assists were a first since the club moved to Dallas. The five points were a career high and the most by a Stars player in five years.

"It was a good solid first outing," coach Dave Tippett said with a smile.

Tim Thomas stopped 27 shots and Marco Sturm scored twice to reach 200 NHL goals in the Bruins' win.

Two nights after shutting out the Ottawa Senators, Thomas held the Penguins scoreless until Pascal Dupuis beat him with 6:57 left. Zdeno Chara, P.J. Axelsson and David Krejci also scored for Boston, which has back-to-back victories over two of the top three teams in the Eastern Conference.

Penguins starter Ty Conklin, who had a career-high 50 saves on Tuesday to beat the Islanders, was pulled after giving up three goals in 13 shots in 22:21. In came Marc-Andre Fleury, who hadn't played for Pittsburgh since Dec. 6; he stopped 16 of 18 shots as the Penguins lost for the first time in seven games.

At Philadelphia, Mike Knuble scored twice to spoil Bryan Murray's return behind the Ottawa bench and lift the host Flyers.

Murray, also the Senators general manager, coached the team for the first time since the Anaheim Ducks eliminated Ottawa in last year's Stanley Cup finals.

Ottawa lost for the seventh time in nine games and 15th in 22. They've lost three straight, though Jason Spezza's 25th goal prevented the Senators from getting shut out for the third consecutive time.

At Atlanta, Trent Hunter scored in overtime and the New York Islanders recovered after blowing a three-goal lead to beat the slumping Thrashers.

Atlanta's Bobby Holik scored with 1:22 left in regulation to force overtime.

Mike Comrie's second goal of the game gave New York a 4-3 lead early in the third period. Josef Vasicek and Andy Hilbert also scored for the Islanders.

Eric Perrin scored on a short-handed penalty shot, and Ken Klee and Alexei Zhitnik also scored for the Thrashers.

At Raleigh, N.C., Brandon Dubinsky and Sean Avery scored first-period goals to lift the New York Rangers to their third straight victory and sixth in eight games (6-0-2).

Chris Drury pushed the Rangers' lead to 3-0 in the second period, and Brendan Shanahan closed the scoring in the third after the Hurricanes got within a goal.

Erik Cole scored twice for Carolina, including once on the power play.

At St. Louis, Ilya Bryzgalov and Phoenix beat the Blues for the fourth time this season and second in less than a week.

Bryzgalov made 41 saves and Phoenix won at St. Louis for the sixth straight time. The Blues dropped their fifth consecutive game.

St. Louis, which scored just three goals in four games, got its only offense when Ryan Johnson scored 15:13 into the first period.

Phoenix tied it when Ed Jovanovski scored a power-play goal at 17:21. Just 44 seconds later, and still with a man-advantage, Niko Kapanen gave the Coyotes the lead.

At Edmonton, Alberta, Ales Hemsky scored two goals and added an assist for Edmonton, which earned its third straight win in a matchup of the bottom two teams in the Western Conference.

Andrew Cogliano, Robert Nilsson and Fernando Pisani also scored for the Oilers, who have won six straight at home.

Dustin Brown had a pair of goals and Anze Kopitar and Patrick O'Sullivan also scored for the Kings, who have lost four of five.

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