Rick Vaive scored with 4:02 left in the third period as the Buffalo Sabres held off a rally by the Flyers to record a 4-3 victory in Philadelphia last night.
Vaive put in his own rebound for the winning goal. He first redirected Doug Bodger's point drive. Goaltender Ken Wregget, playing for the first time since injuring his hip Nov. 4, made the initial save, but Vaive pushed the puck around the sprawled Wregget.
Philadelphia trailed by 3-0 in the second period when Mike Ricci won a faceoff, tipped the puck back to the point and rushed to the net to tip in Gord Murphy's point drive at 12:15.
Scott Mellanby tipped in a Ron Sutter rebound with 5:23 gone in the third period and Derrick Smith, just 37 seconds later, skated from behind the net and delivered a backhander just inside the post to tie the game.
The Flyers then wasted a chance to score when Buffalo goaltender Clint Malarchuk was assessed a five-minute spearing penalty and a game misconduct.
The Sabres scored their first three goals in the first 5:37 of the second period. Dave Andreychuk took a pass from Bodger and scored a power-play goal at 3:59.
Mike Foligno's shot trickled through Pete Peeters's pads at 6:25, and Dave Snuggerud boosted the lead to 3-0 on a shorthanded goal at 9:26.
Maple Leafs 2, North Stars 1: Rob Ramage's goal with 2:03 left in overtime lifted visiting Toronto.
Doug Shedden tied the game for Toronto with 1:23 left in the third period as the Maple Leafs gained a split in the home-and-home series that began with Minnesota's 3-2 victory in Toronto Wednesday.
Ramage's game-winner came when he flipped the puck from the blueline over a crowd of players to the left of North Stars goalie Jon Casey and into the upper left corner of the net.
Blackhawks 5, Islanders 2: Steve Larmer had two goals and three assists and goaltender Ed Belfour earned his NHL-leading 17th victory as host Chicago extended New York's winless streak to seven games.
Michel Goulet had a pair of goals and Jeremy Roenick had four assists, equaling a career high. Larmer's goals were his 18th and 19th of the season. His five points, matching a career best, gave him a total of 42.
Larmer knocked in a power-play goal just to the left of Jeff Hackett at 1:55 of the opening period. Less than three minutes later, Goulet took a pass from Larmer and flipped a short shot into an unguarded net.
Canadiens 6, Bruins 4: Stephan Lebeau and Brian Skrudland scored power-play goals as visiting Montreal moved within one point of Adams Division-leading Boston.
The Montreal power play, traditionally among the league's best, is now the worst in the NHL with 17 goals in 137 chances.
Lyndon Byers put the Bruins in front, 1-0, with a goal at 1:34 of the first period, but Lebeau came back with his power-play score at 11:16.
Rookie winger Benoit Brunet gave the Canadiens a 2-1 lead with his first NHL goal at 14:29, but Dave Christian tied it with a tip-in from the slot at 19:24.
Skrudland fired his power-play goal at 9:09 of the second period and defenseman Eric Desjardins put Montreal up by two with a goal off Boston defenseman Glen Wesley's skate 1:39 later.
The Bruins' Craig Janney closed the gap to 4-3 as he teed up on a power-play goal at 19:17.
Stephane Richer scored his 13th of the season at 1:31 of the third period to make it 5-3, Montreal, before Randy Burridge scored Boston's fourth goal at 15:10.
Guy Carbonneau scored into an empty net for the Canadiens at 19:59.