The way things have been going for Patrik Elias and Petr Sykora, it wasn't surprising veterans Ray Bourque and Don Sweeney collided to set up the New Jersey Devils' two-on-none game-winning breakaway in overtime.
It also wasn't surprising from a Boston Bruins standpoint, either.
Elias cashed in on the mishap for his second goal of the game at 19 seconds of overtime to give the host Devils a 5-4 win over the struggling Bruins last night.
"I don't know if I've seen a play like that in 10 years on my team," center Bobby Holik said after the Devils won their fifth straight game at home and extended the Bruins' winless streak to five games (0-4-1). "The defenseman are still trying to untie their skates."
Joe Murphy tied the game by scoring on a scramble in front with 2 minutes 11 seconds to play. It was the third time the Bruins had rallied to knot the contest.
However, the Devils didn't take long to win playing four-on-four. Elias took a breakout pass from Scott Stevens and skated into the Bruins' zone and criss-crossed with Sykora, dropping a pass in the right circle. Sweeney and Bourque collided and fell. That left Elias and Sykora alone against goaltender Byron Dafoe, who had no chance when Sykora slid the puck back to Elias for his eighth goal in nine games.
FLYERS 3, CANUCKS 2: Adam Burt scored with 2:26 left in overtime and rookie Simon Gagne had a goal and two assists as Philadelphia improved its unbeaten streak at Vancouver to 11 games (7-0-4), dating from Jan. 17, 1989.
SENATORS 3, CANADIENS 2: Igor Kravchuk, Mike Fisher and Shaun Van Allen scored in the second period to lift Ottawa in Montreal.
AVALANCHE 4, KINGS 2: In Denver, Brian Rolston and Alexei Gusarov scored, sending Los Angeles to its sixth consecutive loss. Patrick Roy stopped 28 shots to end a personal three-game losing streak.
STARS 4, RANGERS 3: Jamie Langenbrunner's goal with 1:43 left in overtime lifted Dallas at home. It was the Rangers' third straight overtime game. New York has been forced to play overtime in five of seven games and seven of 11.
MAPLE LEAFS 2, ISLANDERS 1: Sergei Berezin scored early and goalie Curtis Joseph stopped 20 shots as visiting Toronto grabbed its sixth straight win. Berezin scored 1:38 into the game and Jonas Hoglund added an empty-netter with 1:04 left.
FLAMES 3, MIGHTY DUCKS 1: Jarome Iginla ended a 10-game scoreless drought with a goal and an assist in Calgary.