(The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Thursday’s National Hockey League games:
Senators 6, Bruins 4
Ottawa winger Bobby Ryan scored his 18th goal of the season to give the Senators a winning lead in their 6-4 victory over the Boston Bruins at Canadian Tire Centre on Thursday.
The win was the fifth in a row for the Senators and moved them within two points of the Bruins in the race for the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
Senators goalie Andrew Hammond made 31 saves to improve his record to 12-0-1, while Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask made 26 saves.
The other Ottawa goals were bagged by Kyle Turris, who added an empty-netter to complete the scoring, David Legwand, Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Milan Michalek.
Canadiens 4, Hurricanes 0
Right winger Dale Weise and left winger Max Pacioretty each had a goal and an assist to lead Montreal past Carolina at the Bell Centre.
Goaltender Carey Price made 31 saves for Montreal (45-20-7) while picking up his eighth shutout of the season and 33rd of his career. Netminder Anton Khudobin stopped 18 shots for the Hurricanes (26-35-9).
Right winger Brendan Gallagher and center David Desharnais also scored for the Canadiens, who swept the season series.
Panthers 3, Red Wings 1
Goalie Roberto Luongo returned from injury and Jaromir Jagr and Brandon Pirri broke a scoreless tie with second-period goals as Florida defeated Detroit at the BB&T Center.
Luongo, who had missed six straight games with a right shoulder injury, made 25 saves and posted his 24th win of the season. The Red Wings rested starting goalie Jimmy Howard and went instead with backup Petr Mrazek, who made 29 saves.
Sharks 4, Maple Leafs 1
Center Joe Thornton joined exclusive company as San Jose defeated Toronto at Air Canada Centre. Thornton had a pair of assists to become just the 19th player in NHL history to record 900 career assists.
Centers Logan Couture and Tommy Wingels along with left winger Tomas Hertl and right winger Melker Karlsson had the Sharks goals. Antti Niemi made 27 saves to improve to 5-1-0 in six career starts against the Leafs.
Capitals 3, Wild 2
Left winger Alex Ovechkin scored twice and center Evgeny Kuznetsov added a goal as Washington beat Minnesota for the franchise’s first win at Xcel Energy Center after seven previous defeats at the venue.
Ovechkin’s 13th multi-goal game of the season extended Washington’s winning streak to three games. Goalie Braden Holtby made 28 saves in the win.
Blue Jackets 6, Canucks 2
Columbus bounced back from a two-goal deficit to beat Vancouver at Rogers Arena.
With right winger Marko Dano leading the way with a pair, Columbus scored five goals on a series of 11 shots in the second and third periods, chasing starting goalie Eddie Lack who was appearing in his 13th straight game.
Jets 2, Blues 1 (SO)
Left winger Andrew Ladd’s shootout goal lifted Winnipeg over St Louis.
Ladd, the Jets captain, fired a rocket of a wrist shot over the glove of Blues goalie Brian Elliott to give the Jets a hard-fought two points.
Stars 2, Penguins 1
Left winger and Dallas captain Jamie Benn had a goal and an assist and goalie Kari Lehtonen stopped 31-of-32 shots to propel their team to a victory against Pittsburgh at American Airlines Center.
Avalanche 5, Coyotes 2
Eleven different players had points to lead Colorado to a win over Arizona at Gila River Arena.
The Avalanche earned their 11th win in 15 games, but Colorado (33-26-11) still trails the Winnipeg Jets by seven points for the final wild-card spot in the West with 12 games left on its schedule.
Flames 4, Flyers 1
Left winger Johnny Gaudreau scored once and added two assists to lead Calgary over Philadelphia at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
Defensemen Dennis Wideman and TJ Brodie and center Sean Monahan also scored for the Flames, who snapped a two-game losing run and moved back into third place in the Pacific Division.
Editing by Cameron French