John Vanbiesbrouck made 41 saves and Mike Gartner scored twice as the New York Rangers beat Montreal, 3-0, last night in New York, shutting out the Canadiens for the first time in 20 years. The Rangers, breaking a six-game losing streak against Montreal, last shut out the Canadiens on Oct. 18, 1970, with Ed Giacomin in goal.
Vanbiesbrouck made key third-period stops on Mathiew Schneider and Denis Savard in his eighth career shutout.
New York scored at 13:30 of the first period on a goal by defenseman Brian Leetch. Leetch took a pass from Brian Mullen, outmaneuvered two Canadiens and shifted to his backhand, then flipped a shot to the long side over Patrick Roy's right pad.
Roy made a pair of first-period point-blank glove stops on Bernie Nicholls and Gartner. Vanbiesbrouck's lunging kick saves turned back Stephane Richer and Russ Courtnall in the second period.
Gartner added a power-play goal to extend New York's lead at 9:53 of the third. Gartner took a drop pass from Leetch, who carried the puck along the right sideboards to draw the defense to him, and fired a wristshot from 20 feet past Roy's stick hand. Gartner added an empty-net goal in the final minute.
Nordiques 4, Sabres 2: Owen Nolan, No. 1 draft pick in June's entry draft, scored his first NHL goal and assisted on another to lead Quebec to victory. It was the second straight road victory for the Nordiques and their first over Buffalo since March 21, 1989.
The loss, their third straight, left the Sabres at 0-3-1.
Tony McKegney, Brian Fogarty and Michel Petit were the other Quebec scorers.
Buffalo outshot Quebec, 40-22, but goalie Ron Tugnutt came up with a brillant 38-save performance, with only Christian Ruuttu and Darrin Shannon scoring.
Red Wings 4, Whalers 2: Steve Yzerman scored twice and set up Shawn Burr's tiebreaking goal early in the third period as host Detroit won its second straight come-from-behind victory.
Burr, who had the tying goal in Detroit's 6-5 overtime victory Wednesday over Calgary, got behind the Hartford defense during a line change, took a pass from Yzerman in front of the net and put a backhander between the legs of goalie Kay Whitmore, breaking a 2-2 tie.
The Red Wings (2-2-1) spotted Hartford a 2-0 lead on first-period goals by Randy Cunneyworth and Kevin Dineen but bounced back with goals by Yzerman and Bob Probert in the second period.
Yzerman scored his second of the game on a shorthanded breakaway with 3:58 left.