Byron Dafoe made 21 saves in his season debut and Dave Andreychuk scored twice to lead the host Boston Bruins to their sixth consecutive victory last night, a 4-2 win over the Atlanta Thrashers.
Darren Van Impe broke a 1-1 tie when he rebounded a Steve Heinze shot on a power play and beat goaltender Damian Rhodes at 18 minutes 13 seconds of the second period.
Andreychuk got his first goal just 1:11 later when he slipped a shot through Rhodes's pads to put the Bruins ahead 3-1.
Dafoe "brings something extra special that the team senses in the locker room," Andreychuk said. "It seems to inspire extra confidence in everyone."
Dafoe, who signed a three-year contract last week after missing the first 12 games because of a contract dispute, received a standing ovation prior to the game.
"This is the first time I've had a louder applause than Ray Bourque," Dafoe said. "Boston fans are very knowledgeable, and it was very special to me to get a reaction like that."
SENATORS 2, CANADIENS 1: Marian Hossa and rookie Mike Fisher scored for host Ottawa, which improved to 7-1-1 at home and has outscored its opponents 30-15 in that span. Martin Rucinsky scored for Montreal, which saw its winless streak reach eight games. The Canadiens have scored 11 goals during the skid.
Ottawa, which took a 1-0 lead into the third, is undefeated in 104 of its past 108 games when leading after the second period (91-4-13).
Montreal has endured injuries to 13 players this year and seven of its past eight losses have been by one goal.
SABRES 2, ISLANDERS 1: Martin Biron won his third straight game in place of Dominik Hasek, and Brian Holzinger and Miroslav Satan scored for the host Sabres, who have won five of their last six games and four straight at home after starting the season 0-5-2. Holzinger's goal was his first in his last 27 regular season games.
Biron, 22, made 24 saves and improved to 5-1. He replaced Hasek in a 3-2 overtime win over Florida on Oct. 29. In that game, Hasek, a five-time Vezina Trophy winner as the league's top goalie, suffered a groin injury that is expected to keep him out for months.
LIGHTNING 7, PENGUINS 4: Sergey Gusev, Vincent Lecavalier and Fredrik Modin scored in the third period for the visiting Lightning, who reeled off six consecutive goals. The Penguins are winless in their last eight games (0-6-2) and are 0-3-2 at home this season. The winless streak ties their worst stretch in Kevin Constantine's three seasons as coach.
After the game, the Penguins held a 25-minute players-only meeting. "It was bad weather for us for quite a few games," Constantine said. "Tonight, I say it went from bad weather to a hurricane."
DEVILS 3, MAPLE LEAFS 3: Scott Gomez scored with 8:41 left in the third period to tie the score for host New Jersey after Mats Sundin's unassisted goal 46 seconds into the third period had given Toronto a 3-2 lead. Claude Lemieux, playing his first home game since being acquired in an Nov. 3 trade with Colorado, gave the Devils a 1-0 lead on a power-play goal at 14:19 of the first period.
SHARKS 2, STARS 1: Jeff Friesen scored his ninth goal of the season midway through the second and San Jose made it stand up at home.
FLYERS 5, KINGS 3: Eric Desjardins and Mark Greig scored in the first five minutes of the second period for the visiting Flyers, who are 8-1-1 since starting the season 0-4-2.
PANTHERS 6, FLAMES 3: Visiting Florida scored on three of its first six shots, chasing Grant Fuhr from the game 13:35 into the first period. Trevor Kidd made 30 saves for the Panthers.