It might be time to consider the New Jersey Devils as a legitimate contender again.
Not only are the Devils winning and scoring, they're even beating the team that embarrassed them in the playoffs last season -- the Carolina Hurricanes.
Patrik Elias scored twice, and the streaking Devils matched their season high with three power-play goals in beating the Hurricanes, 5-2, last night in East Rutherford, N.J.
"Getting back-to-back wins against a team that had our number is a great accomplishment for us," goaltender Martin Brodeur said after his second win over the Hurricanes in 24 hours. "We knew we had struggled against them so we really bore down."
Michael Rupp, John Madden and Turner Stevenson also scored as the Devils extended their season-high unbeaten streak to seven games (6-0-1).
"We've been looking to streak a little more," said Brodeur, who faced 20 shots. "We're doing the little things to win games. We're scoring more goals."
During their current run, the Devils have scored 26 goals and allowed only 11. They have also improved on special teams. Besides converting on 3 of 8 power-play chances, the Devils killed off all five Carolina power plays.
* MAPLE LEAFS 3, CANADIENS 2: Nik Antropov scored 56 seconds into overtime as visiting Toronto spoiled new Montreal coach Claude Julien's NHL debut.
Trailing 2-0 after the first, Montreal came back on Yanic Perreault's goal late in the second and Mariusz Czerkawski's score 12:54 into the third to force overtime.
Antropov took the puck the length of the ice before firing a shot from the slot off goalie Jose Theodore's left shoulder and into the net to give Toronto its third straight win.
* FLYERS 3, LIGHTNING 2: Michal Handzus scored the tiebreaking goal with 7:23 left to lift Philadelphia at home.
Handzus skated past Lightning defenseman Nolan Pratt and hammered in a rebound of a shot by Donald Brashear as the Flyers won for the eighth time in their last nine games. Handzus leads Philadelphia with five game-winning goals.
* BRUINS 7, BLUE JACKETS 2: Glen Murray, Jonathan Girard and P.J. Axelsson scored 2:48 apart in the second period to lead struggling Boston at home.
Joe Thornton, Mike Knuble, Bryan Berard and P.J. Stock scored Boston's other goals.
The Bruins won for just the fourth time in 19 games (4-14-1) after opening the season 19-4-3-1.
"It's an important thing for us to more forward," Bruins Coach Robbie Ftorek said. "Having lost as many games as we have, we were fragile. It was nice for us to get that goal and move on."
* PANTHERS 3, PENGUINS 0: Roberto Luongo stopped 35 shots for his second consecutive shutout as Florida beat visiting Pittsburgh.
The Penguins were without Mario Lemieux for the fifth time in six games. Lemieux, the NHL's leading scorer, is out because of a groin injury.
* MIGHTY DUCKS 1, WILD 0: Jean-Sebastian Giguere made 33 saves in his league-leading sixth shutout and Paul Kariya scored the only goal to lead visiting Anaheim past Minnesota.
Giguere, who posted his 14th career shutout, is tied with Chicago's Jocelyn Thibault with six this season.
* PREDATORS 3, OILERS 2: Andy Delmore scored 3:35 into overtime as Nashville rallied to beat host Edmonton.
Delmore beat Jussi Markkanen from the slot for his 15th goal, to lift the Predators to their fourth straight victory over the Oilers. Vladimir Orszagh forced overtime by tying if for Nashville with 1:02 left in regulation.
* BLUES 4, BLACKHAWKS 2: Eric Boguniecki set up two goals in a 44-second span of the third period and St. Louis broke loose for a victory at home.
Martin Rucinsky benefited from Boguniecki's forechecking and beat rookie goalie Michael Leighton with a high backhander at 4:17 of the third to break a 1-1 tie.
Alexander Khavanov scored on a one-timer off Boguniecki's setup from behind the net at 5:01, with Rucinsky also assisting.
* SABRES 1, COYOTES 0: Curtis Brown scored a short-handed goal early in the third period to lead visiting Buffalo.
Martin Biron had 30 saves for his second shutout of the season and 13th of his four-year career.
* STARS 3, SHARKS 1: Jason Arnott had a goal and an assist to lead visiting Dallas.
Scott Young and Brenden Morrow also scored for the Stars, who extended their unbeaten streak to 10 games (8-0-2), their best run in nearly two years.
* FLAMES 2, KINGS 1: Rob Niedermayer's breakaway goal 2:42 into overtime gave Calgary a win at home and snapped a five-game winless streak.