MONTREAL – Max Pacioretty scored his ninth goal in the last nine games and the surging Montreal Canadiens stretched their unbeaten run to nine with a 2-1 victory over the Boston Bruins on Thursday night.
Tomas Plekanec also scored for Montreal (18-9-3), which jumped a point ahead of Boston (18-8-2) into first place in the Atlantic Division — although the Bruins have two games in hand. The Canadiens are 8-0-1 in their last nine.
The first meeting of the season between these bitter rivals had the Bell Centre at top volume to start, but the building got quiet when Boston defenseman Johnny Boychuk was wheeled off the ice on a stretcher 4:28 into the game.
Penguins 5, Sharks 1
In Pittsburgh, Chris Kunitz scored twice during a four-goal second period.
Rangers 3, Sabres 1
In Buffalo, Henrik Lundqvist made 27 saves to lead New York over the Sabres.
Wild 4, Blackhawks 3
In St. Paul, Minnesota, Marco Scandella’s slap shot with 1:48 left, the defenseman’s first goal this season, lifted Minnesota over Chicago.
Hurricanes 5, Predators 2
In Nashville, Jeff Skinner had a hat trick to lead Carolina to a victory.
Maple Leafs 3, Stars 2 (OT)
In Toronto, Trevor Smith scored at 4:18 of overtime to help the hosts end a five-game skid.
Lightning 3, Senators 1
In Tampa, Florida, Martin St. Louis scored two goals and Ben Bishop won his 15th game this season.
Blues 5, Islanders 1
In St. Louis, Derek Roy and David Backes scored power-play goals 2:31 apart in the second period to lead the Blues over struggling New York.
Panthers 5, Jets 2
In Sunrise, Florida, Dylan Olsen scored his first NHL goal to help Florida beat Winnipeg.
Oilers 8, Avalanche 2
In Edmonton, Taylor Hall had a hat trick and an assist to help the Oilers rout Colorado.