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Brodeur puts stop to Sabres

Stingy netminder Martin Brodeur, who stopped 31 Buffalo shots, corrals a bouncing puck with some fancy stick work. (DON HEUPEL/ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Martin Brodeur made 31 saves to help give the New Jersey Devils a 3-2 win over the Sabres last night in Buffalo in a matchup of the top two teams in the Eastern Conference.

With the win, the Devils moved within a point of the Sabres for the top spot in the conference.

Dainius Zubrus and Daniel Briere scored for the Sabres, who have lost three straight, matching a season high.

Travis Zajac, Michael Rupp, and Brian Rafalski scored for the Devils.

Brodeur won his league-leading 41st game.

Rafalski scored the winner with a shorthanded strike at 19:32 of the second. With Sergei Brylin in the penalty box, Rafalski wristed a shot that beat Miller between the legs.

Penguins 3, Rangers 2 -- Colby Armstrong scored 1:19 into overtime and host Pittsburgh came back from a two-goal third-period deficit to beat New York.

Maxime Talbot made a good play to keep the puck in the zone and got the puck to Armstrong, who took a wrist shot from the right boards that deflected off Marek Malik's stick and squeezed between goalie Henrik Lundqvist and the near post.

Armstrong's 10th goal of the season came after Sidney Crosby tied the game at 2 with 13:04 to play in regulation, his 100th point of the season.

Islanders 5, Capitals 2 -- Marc-Andre Bergeron and Andy Hilbert each had a goal and an assist as host New York routed Washington.

The Islanders, playing their first game without suspended forward Chris Simon, sent the Capitals to their fifth regulation loss in seven games (0-5-2).

Maple Leafs 4, Senators 3 -- Darcy Tucker's second goal of the game 3:11 into overtime lifted host Toronto over Ottawa.

Tucker one-timed a shot over goalie Ray Emery's left shoulder, as the Maple Leafs erased a pair of two-goal deficits. The Maple Leafs moved into a tie for the eighth and final playoff spot with Carolina at 75 points.

Nik Antropov and Boyd Devereaux had third-period goals for the Maple Leafs.

Canadiens 4, Blues 3 -- Alexei Kovalev scored with 1:25 left, just 43 seconds after host St. Louis tied it at 3, to help Montreal snap a four-game losing streak.

Montreal jumped out to a 3-0 lead and chased Blues goalie Curtis Sanford early in the second period. But St. Louis came back and tied it with 2:08 left on Glen Metropolit's power-play goal off a rebound.

Panthers 3, Thrashers 2 -- Jay Bouwmeester scored the winning goal at 3:52 of the third period, lifting host Florida past Atlanta.

Olli Jokinen and Nathan Horton also scored for Florida.

Lightning 3, Flames 2 -- Dan Boyle scored with a two-man advantage in overtime to lead Tampa Bay at Calgary.

Predators 2, Blue Jackets 1 -- Paul Kariya and David Legwand each had a goal and an assist as Nashville edged visiting Columbus.

Blackhawks 7, Coyotes 5 -- Jeff Hamilton had his second career hat trick and added two assists to lead Chicago at Glendale, Ariz.