Blackhawks nip the Blue Jackets
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- This was supposed to be the weekend for the NHL All-Star Game at Nationwide Arena.
Instead, the Chicago Blackhawks flaunted their own constellation of stars.
Patrick Kane had yet another multipoint game with two assists, Jonathan Toews scored the game-winner early in the third period and Corey Crawford had 24 saves to help Chicago match the best start in franchise history with a 3-2 victory Saturday night over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The only other time the Blackhawks began a season 5-0-0 was 1971-72.
Badly outplayed at the outset, the Blackhawks played methodical, poised and unhurried hockey all night. Even when down 1-0, it seemed only a matter of time before they collected themselves and took control.
21 saves for the Blue Jackets, who lost their third in a row. A goal by Derick Brassard was waved off in the second period when the officials ruled Nick Foligno interfered with Crawford. That decision caused a sellout crowd of 18,381 to boo throughout the game.
Rangers 5, Maple Leafs 2: Defenseman Marc Staal scored the tying goal early in the third period and then set up Marian Gaborik's game-winner. This one had all the signs of being another tough loss for the Rangers, who had already dropped three of their first four in the lockout-shortened season. But Staal got New York even at 2 at 7:36 of the third and then fired the drive that Gaborik deflected in with 7:03 left.
The Rangers held a commanding shots advantage throughout and finished with a 42-17 edge, but they trailed 2-0 in the first period.
Brad Richards, who also assisted on Gaborik's winner, got the Rangers within 2-1 in the second. Gaborik added two assists and an empty-net goal with 1:15 to go.
On the go-ahead goal, Richards nudged the puck up the wall to Staal, who unleashed a one-timer that Gaborik tipped past screened goalie James Reimer.
Brian Boyle then deflected in Michael Del Zotto's drive to make it 4-2 with 2:52 remaining.
Kings 4, Coyotes 2: Anze Kopitar scored two goals to spark Los Angeles' top line as the defending Stanley Cup Kings earned their first victory of the season. Scoreless through the season's first three games, the Kings' top line of Kopitar, Dustin Brown and Justin Williams had an extra jump against the Coyotes, combining for four points.
Jake Muzzin had a goal and an assist and Jeff Carter also scored for Los Angeles, which matched its season total for goals to avoid its first four-game winless start since 1997-98. Eight players had at least a point for the Kings.
Mikkel Boedker and Shane Doan scored for the Coyotes, who had another night of defensive letdowns for their fourth loss in five games.
The Kings and Coyotes already didn't like each other much and the hatred intensified during a testy Western Conference finals last season.
Blues 4, Stars 3: David Perron scored two goals and had an assist, and Wade Redden notched his first NHL goal in almost three years. Both of Perron's goals, as well as Chris Stewart's third of the season, were part of a three-goal second period that turned a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 lead for St. Louis.
Ryan Garbutt's first goal of the season pulled Dallas to within one 2:24 into the third, but the Stars' late charge fell just short.
Dallas also had a power play for the final 14.3 seconds, but time ran out.
Michael Ryder and Tomas Vincour also scored for Dallas, which fell to 2-2-1 on the year.
Sharks 4, Avalanche 0: Patrick Marleau became the second player in NHL history to open a season with four straight multigoal games, striking twice on the power play in the first period.
Marleau has scored exactly two goals in each game this season, joining Ottawa's Cy Denneny in 1917-18 as the only players to open a campaign with four multigoal games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
The Avalanche lost their seventh straight game in San Jose since winning Game 1 of their first-round playoff series in 2010. After killing off 16 straight penalties coming into this game, Colorado allowed goals on San Jose's first three power plays, including two after the hit on Landeskog.
Oilers claim Hovinen: Edmonton has claimed goalie Niko Hovinen off waivers from the Philadelphia Flyers. The 24-year-old native of Finland played in 16 games this season with the Trenton Titans of the ECHL. He went 4-6-3 with a 3.14 goals-against average and an .889 save percentage.
Hovinen, chosen by the Minnesota Wild in the fifth round of the 2006 draft, signed a two-year, entry-level contract with Philadelphia in 2011.n