Jason Spezza scored three goals and had a career-high 6 points, and the Senators' top line combined for 15 points in a 6-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens last night in Ottawa.
Daniel Alfredsson, who returned after missing four games because of a nagging hip injury, had two goals and three assists, and Dany Heatley had a goal and three assists as Ottawa's high-scoring trio was reunited for the first time in 13 games.
Spezza gave the Senators' a 2-0 lead 1:42 in with a pair of goals. The playmaking center assisted on goals by Alfredsson and Heatley before completing his first NHL hat trick on a power play 13:36 into the second to increase the lead to 5-0.
With 72 points, Ottawa opened up a 5-point advantage for the Eastern Conference and Northeast Division leads over Montreal, which had closed to within 1 point earlier this week. Atlantic leader Pittsburgh is also 5 points behind Ottawa.
Alfredsson's 5 points increased his season total to 73 in 49 games. Spezza has 71 points in 50 games, and Heatley, who has 7 points in two games since returning from a separated shoulder, has 63 in 45.
Rangers 2, Flyers 0 - Steve Valiquette made 31 saves to record his second straight shutout over the Flyers, backstopping New York's win in Philadelphia.
Valiquette's only other NHL shutout came in Philadelphia Jan. 31, when he made 20 saves in a 4-0 win.
Nigel Dawes and Scott Gomez scored power-play goals for the Rangers, who have dominated the Flyers in Philadelphia. New York has won 11 of its last 12 games at the
The Flyers have lost two straight to drop out of first place in the Atlantic Division.
Devils 6, Hurricanes 1 - Paul Martin scored two goals in an NHL game for the first time as host New Jersey routed Carolina.
The offensive outburst was triggered by Devils defensemen Colin White and Johnny Oduya, who joined Martin in scoring. Dainius Zubrus and Jay Pandolfo also connected, and Martin Brodeur made 22 saves as the Devils won for only the fourth time in 10 home games.
Maple Leafs 3, Red Wings 2 - Nik Antropov, returning from a three-game suspension for tossing his stick in the direction of the referees after an overtime loss at Carolina last week, deflected in Anton Stralman's slap shot 62 seconds into overtime to give host Toronto a victory over Detroit.
Penguins 4, Kings 2 - Evgeni Malkin scored two goals, Nos. 29 and 30 of the season, and set up another as host Pittsburgh won successive games for the first time since Sidney Crosby's ankle injury.
Sharks 4, Predators 3 - Jonathan Cheechoo scored three goals, including the winner with 4:55 left, and Joe Thornton added three assists - giving him 499 - helping San Jose beat Nashville for its sixth win in eight games.
Stars 6, Blues 2 - Brenden Morrow, Mike Ribeiro, and Jere Lehtinen scored power-play goals and host Dallas sent St. Louis goalie Hannu Toivonen to the showers in the second period by beating him on four of 15 shots to extend its winning streak to six.
Avalanche 6, Canucks 2 - Marek Svatos had two goals and an assist, and linemate Tyler Arnason added a goal and two assists, leading visiting Colorado past struggling Vancouver, which lost for the fifth time in six games and dropped to ninth in the Western Conference.
Thrashers 2, Lightning 1 - Alexei Zhitnik scored 1:26 into overtime and Atlanta rallied past Tampa Bay, ending the Lightning's six-game road winning streak.
Wild 4, Islanders 3 - Brian Rolston scored twice and Brent Burns scored 2:34 into overtime, helping host Minnesota hand New York its seventh straight defeat.
Flames 4, Oilers 1 - Owen Nolan scored two goals and Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 14 of 15 shots to lead host Calgary over Edmonton.