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Bruins 6, Hurricanes 2
Boston felt it was due for an offensive night like this.
Brad Marchand scored two goals, Tuukka Rask stopped 40 shots and the Bruins posted a season-high in goals with a victory over struggling Carolina on Monday night.
Rich Peverley, Andrew Ference, Jordan Caron and Nathan Horton each added a goal, and defenseman Dennis Seidenberg established a career-high with three assists for Boston, which moved a point behind Montreal in the Northeast Division.
The Bruins rebounded from a frustrating 2-1 loss to the rival Canadiens with a big offensive night.
"As of late we haven't scored a lot of goals in games," Marchand said. "It's nice to come into our (locker) room after a good offensive game."
It was just the second time in 12 games that Boston has posted more than three goals _ and the other came in a 6-5 shootout loss to Montreal at home on March 27.
"Every team goes through phases like that," Rask said. "It's nice. It was their time."
Boston won despite giving up 40 or more shots for the third time in four games.
"The one thing we wanted was more offense and I think we got that tonight," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "Now the matter combining both, I didn't think we were at our best in defensive play."
Patrick Dwyer and Drayson Bowman scored for the Hurricanes, who lost for the 12th time in 13 games, 11 of them coming in regulation.
Carolina has allowed four or more goals in 10 of its last 14.
The Hurricanes dominated play in the early minutes, outshooting Boston 7-0.
"We were under a lot of pressure handling the puck in our own zone," Seidenberg said.
Rask stopped a handful of close shots, including a left pad stop of Zac Dalpe, who was alone at the edge of the crease.
After the poor start, the Bruins jumped ahead 1-0 when Peverley fired a shot from the right wing, collected his own rebound at the edge of the crease, circled the net and tucked a shot past goaltender Justin Peters inside the left post.
Just over 5 minutes later, Boston's new second line of Marchand-Gregory Campbell-Jaromir Jagr made it 2-0. Marchand banged in the rebound of Campbell's shot from the edge of the crease.
"We definitely played well tonight," Marchand said of his new line. "We only had one practice together."
The Hurricanes replaced Peters with Dan Ellis after the second goal. Peters faced only four shots in 7 minutes, 58 seconds.
The Bruins made it 3-0 when Jagr tried a wraparound shot. Ellis made the save, but the puck caromed out to Marchand, who backhanded a shot in from the bottom of the left circle for his team-leading 16th goal.
Boston increased it to 4-0 on Ference's score early in the second. Seidenberg fired a shot from the left point, the puck popped in the air and into the net off Ference's left glove. After a reply review, the call on the ice was upheld.
Caron's score made it 5-0 midway into the second, but the Hurricanes ended Rask's shutout bid when Dwyer scored on a rebound midway into the third.
Bowman's goal cut it to 5-2 before Horton redirected Dougie Hamilton's pass for his 13th of the season.
Maple Leafs 4, Rangers 3
Phil Kessel couldn't have picked a better time to end his nine-game goal-scoring drought.
The veteran forward scored twice, including the winner in the third period, and added an assist to lead the Toronto to a win over New York to open an important home-and-home series between the Eastern Conference rivals.
Toronto remained fifth in the East but moved four points ahead of idle Ottawa with its fifth win in six games. The Leafs also lead ninth-place New Jersey by eight points as they look to cement their first playoff berth since 2003-04.
"It has been a while," Kessel said. "You just learn they (goals) will come eventually.
"It was an important game for us, it moved us up a couple more points up in the standings. (A playoff berth) is still far away, we still have nine games left so we have to focus on these last nine games and play well and hopefully get in."
And they did it in dramatic fashion as New York erased a 3-1 deficit with third-period goals from Rick Nash and Derek Stepan.
Stepan made it 3-3 at 9:00, converting a 2-on-1 break for his 14th of the season just as Toronto's power play expired. Kessel put Toronto back ahead just 39 seconds later with his 12th of the season.
What really impressed Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle was his club's ability to defend the one-goal lead late in the game.
"I thought in tonight's hockey game and specifically in the last five or six minutes that's probably as well as we've defended and played in a tense situation with a one-goal lead," he said. "We did a lot of things right ... there were a few crazy bounces in our zone we'd like to have back but, hey, we won the hockey game.
"We're not going to critique it, I just thought our group played extremely hard, they were determined and we had a contribution from everybody."
Especially Kessel and linemate James van Riemsdyk, who also scored and added an assist.
The Rangers remain tied with the idle New York Islanders for seventh in the East with 42 points.
"I thought the most important part was when we tied it 3-3 we didn't play with it," Rangers coach John Tortorella said. "We can't have a breakdown like that two shifts after we tie the game.
"I think if we play with the tie and keep going about our business as we were, we have a much better chance to win the hockey game. I actually didn't think we were that bad. We had some breakdowns, but I don't think we were that bad tonight."
Ryan O'Byrne also scored for Toronto, now 11-7-2 at home.
Nash finished with two goals for New York.
Flames 3, Avalanche 1
Mike Cammalleri broke a second-period tie and Joey MacDonald stopped 39 shots, helping Calgary snap a 13-game road winless streak.
Roman Cervenka also scored and Alex Tanguay added a short-handed goal to wrap up the win for the Flames in a game that featured the bottom two teams in the NHL. Before Monday, Calgary's last victory away from home was Feb. 17 at Dallas.
Brad Malone scored his first NHL goal for the last-place Avalanche, who have dropped five straight games.
MacDonald came up big late in the third period, stopping a point-blank backhanded shot by Matt Duchene and weathering back-to-back hooking penalties on Cervenka in the final 5 minutes.
Ducks 2, Oilers 1
Radek Dvorak scored two goals, Jonas Hiller made 27 saves after missing four games because of an illness, and Anaheim moved closer to the second Pacific Division title in franchise history and first since its 2006-07 Stanley Cup championship season.
The Ducks lead Pittsburgh by one point for the NHL's second-best overall record and trail Chicago by three with eight games remaining. Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim's captain and leading scorer, missed his third straight game because of a leg injury.
Defenseman Nick Schultz ended a 58-game goal drought and Devan Dubnyk stopped 36 shots for the Oilers, who have lost three straight after a season-best five-game winning streak.
Canucks 2, Coyotes 0
Ryan Kesler scored in his return to the lineup after a 20-game absence, Cory Schneider made 19 saves, and Vancouver moved four points up on idle Minnesota in the Northwest Division standings.
Kesler returned from a foot fracture he sustained in his first game back after shoulder and wrist surgeries last summer.
Schneider picked up his fifth shutout of the season, tying Phoenix's Mike Smith and Nashville's Pekka Rinne for first in the NHL.
Schneider and the Canucks had to kill off a penalty with just over a minute left in regulation when Kesler took a tripping penalty in the offensive zone. But Keith Yandle missed a pass from Antoine Vermette and the puck went the distance for a short-handed empty-net goal credited to defenseman Dan Hamhuis.