Montreal – After moving into second place on the career wins list, Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville had good news for the list’s leader, Scotty Bowman.
“Scotty’s safe,” Quenneville quipped.
He’s the only one. Quenneville won his 783rd game, Corey Crawford made 39 saves in his hometown and the Blackhawks beat the Montreal Canadiens 2-1 on Thursday night for their ninth straight victory.
Quenneville broke a tie with Al Arbour but is still a ways off Bowman’s record of 1,244 wins.
“It’s pretty amazing,” said Toews, who has won three Stanley Cups under Quenneville in Chicago. “There’s been a lot of great coaches and the amount of wins he has is so rare.
“To be part of it is something special. I’ve played for him pretty much my entire career and it means a lot to be part of something like that. The success we’ve had in the playoffs goes with it.”
Toews and Ryan Garbutt scored first-period goals and Crawford starred in front of family and friends. The goalie is from nearby Chateauguay, Quebec, and is 4-0-2 in six career meetings with the Canadiens.
“I grew up here, I used to come watch games here and it’s still kind of surreal stepping onto the ice,” Crawford said. “I don’t think that’ll change any time soon.”
Capitals 4, Canucks 1
In Washington, on the night Alex Ovechkin was honored for his 500th goal, fellow Russian forward Evgeny Kuznetsov had two goals and an assist.
Kuznetsov scored his 14th and 15th goals of the season and set up Tom Wilson on a night the Capitals got a rare goal from defenseman Karl Alzner and 29 saves from Braden Holtby.
Islanders 3, Rangers 1
In New York, Brock Nelson and Nick Leddy scored 2:24 apart early in the third period to rally the Islanders to a victory over the Rangers.
Jaroslav Halak stopped 34 shots to beat Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist for the eighth straight time, including five wins with the Islanders. Kyle Okposo added an empty-netter with less than 2 seconds left.
Avalanche 3, Devils 0
In Denver, Calvin Pickard stopped 27 shots for his first NHL shutout, Matt Duchene scored 51 seconds in and Colorado beat New Jersey.
Defenseman Tyson Barrie added a short-handed goal and Carl Soderberg an empty-netter to help the Avalanche improve to 9-0-1 in their last 10 games against the Devils.
Red Wings 3, Coyotes 2 (OT)
In Glendale, Arizona, Danny DeKeyser scored in overtime and Detroit used two third-period power-play goals to rally and beat the Coyotes.
Jets 5, Predators 4 (OT)
In Winnipeg, Blake Wheeler scored 51 seconds into overtime and the Jets overcame a three-goal third-period collapse to beat Nashville.
Hurricanes 4, Blues 1
In St. Louis, Jeff Skinner had a goal and an assist and Carolina beat the Blues to extend its season-high winning streak to four games.
Sharks 2, Oilers 1 (SO)
In San Jose, Joe Pavelski and Joonas Donskoi each scored during the shootout and Martin Jones stopped both Edmonton shooters to give the Sharks a victory over the Oilers.