John Anderson, Kevin Dineen and Ray Ferraro each scored two goals last night in Hartford to lead a relentless attack that gave the Whalers a 9-4 victory over the Quebec Nordiques and a sweep of their opening-round NHL playoff series.

Anderson added four assists and Dineen three for the Whalers, hockey's hottest team with just one loss in their last 14 games. Hartford also got a goal each from Dave Tippett, Ron Francis and Ulf Samuelsson in eliminating the flat Nordiques, the Adams Division champions.

It was the first time Hartford has won an NHL playoff series. The Whalers will play Montreal -- which swept Boston -- in the Adams Division final.

Hartford scored four times in the first period to knock Nordiques goalie Clint Malarchuk out of the game and came back with three more in the second and two in the third.

*Canadiens 4, Bruins 3: Bob Gainey scored a short-handed goal midway through the third period -- eight minutes after he had tied the game -- to give visiting Montreal a three-game sweep of Boston in their NHL Stanley Cup playoff series.

It was the 17th consecutive series in which the Canadiens have beaten Boston since the Bruins' last postseason triumph over Montreal in 1943. It also was the third straight year in which Montreal has eliminated Boston in the first round of the Adams Division playoffs.

Gainey's winning goal at 8:58 of the third period was a solo effort that came while Rick Green was in the penalty box for hooking.

*Maple Leafs 7, Blackhawks 2: Russ Courtnall had two goals and an assist in Toronto to lead the Maple Leafs over Chicago, finishing a stunning three-game sweep of their opening-round playoff series with the Norris Division champion Blackhawks.

The triumph capped Toronto's surprising mastery of Chicago this season. The Maple Leafs, who finished 29 points behind the Blackhawks in the regular season, won nine of 11 games between the two teams.

It was Toronto's first triumph in a playoff series since 1979 and advanced the Maple Leafs to the Norris Division final against the winner of the Minnesota-St. Louis series.

*Blues 4, North Stars 3: Bernie Federko scored twice in the third period as St. Louis beat visiting Minnesota in a Norris Division semifinal game, taking a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series.

Game 4 is tonight in St. Louis.

Federko tipped in Lee Norwood's shot from the point 7:57 into the third period for the deciding goal.

*Oilers 5, Canucks 1: Wayne Gretzky set a Stanley Cup playoff record for career assists as Edmonton won its ninth straight NHL playoff series by completing a 3-0 sweep of the Smythe Division semifinal series in Vancouver.

The Oilers will face Calgary in the division final.

Gretzky scored a power-play goal in the third period and his two assists gave the NHL scoring champion a record 103 in the playoffs, one more than defenseman Denis Potvin of the New York Islanders.

*Flames 4, Jets 3: Lanny McDonald scored 8:25 into overtime in Winnipeg to give Calgary a three-game sweep of their Smythe Division semifinal series.

McDonald's third goal of the playoffs came on a two-on-one break with John Tonelli and moved the Flames into the division final against Edmonton.

Calgary's Al MacInnis forced the overtime with a power-play goal at 18:17 of the third period.