Anthony Cirelli scored the game-winner with 53 seconds left, Steven Stamkos tallied twice in a four-point game, and the host Tampa Bay Lightning rallied past the Boston Bruins 5-4 on Monday night.
Cirelli scored his 18th goal just as a late power play ended, completing Tampa Bay’s third-period comeback from a 4-2 deficit in a battle between the Eastern Conference’s top two teams.
Victor Hedman had a goal and an assist, and Nikita Kucherov also scored for the Lightning, who have won 10 of 12 and improved to 20-4-0 against Atlantic Division foes.
The win was the 59th of the season for Tampa Bay, marking the fourth time a team has reached that plateau in a single season. The Lightning need three wins in their final five games to equal the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings for the most in a single season in NHL history.
Maple Leafs 7, Panthers 5
John Tavares had his first career four-goal game to reach a career-best 45 for the season as Toronto held on to defeat visiting Florida.
Zach Hyman added a goal and two assists while Patrick Marleau and Jake Muzzin also scored for the Maple Leafs. Mitch Marner added three assists, and William Nylander had two. Frederik Andersen made 31 saves for the Maple Leafs.
Jayce Hawryluk and Jonathan Huberdeau each scored twice for the Panthers, and Michael Matheson added a goal.
Stars 5, Jets 2
Dallas erupted for three goals in a five-minute span of the second period, powering a win at Winnipeg to snap a two-game losing streak.
The victory allowed the Stars to increase their lead for the first wild-card in the Western Conference to three points over the Colorado Avalanche and five points over the Minnesota Wild and Arizona Coyotes. Dallas has six games to play in the regular season.
Radek Faksa and Tyler Seguin each produced two-goal games for the Stars, who also got a tally from Esa Lindell. Kyle Connor and Patrik Laine responded for the Jets.
Predators 1, Wild 0
Ryan Johansen’s short-handed goal early in the first period was all the offense Nashville could garner, but also all that it needed in a victory at Saint Paul, Minn.
Predators goalie Juuse Saros made 29 saves for his third shutout of the season. Nashville snapped a modest two-game losing skid and clinched its fifth straight playoff berth.
The Predators are within two points of division leading Winnipeg and two points ahead of third-place St. Louis, though both teams have a game at hand on Nashville.
Blues 3, Golden Knights 1
Zach Sanford had a goal and an assist, and Jordan Binnington made 24 saves to lead St. Louis past visiting Vegas for its fourth straight victory.
Ryan O’Reilly and Ivan Barbashev also scored goals for the Blues, who improved to 26-9-4 since Jan. 1, the best record in the Western Conference during that span.
It was the fifth straight victory for Binnington, who improved to 21-4-1 in his rookie season. The Blues also completed a three-game sweep of the Golden Knights in their regular-season series. William Karlsson scored a power-play goal for Vegas.
Penguins 5, Rangers 2
Matt Cullen scored the tiebreaking goal in the second period, and rookie Teddy Blueger scored twice as Pittsburgh scored five unanswered goals to win at New York.
The Penguins won their third consecutive game and moved into a tie for second place in the Metropolitan Division with the New York Islanders. Justin Schultz also had two goals for Pittsburgh, and Nick Bjugstad scored.
Matt Murray made 33 saves and improved to 6-0-0 lifetime against the Rangers in the regular season. He also improved to 8-2-2 in his past 12 starts. New York got goals from Brendan Lemieux and Vinni Lettieri.
Kings 3, Flames 0
Derek Forbort’s first-minute goal held up as the winner, as visiting Los Angeles rode a 42-save shutout by Jack Campbell to a victory over Calgary.
The Kings, who sit last in the Western Conference and have long since been eliminated from playoff contention, have won three consecutive games. Jonny Brodzinski and Tyler Toffoli scored for Los Angeles in the third period.
Calgary saw its three-game winning streak end in inglorious fashion. The Flames lost an opportunity to ensure having home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs, but they remain atop the conference.
Red Wings 3, Sharks 2
Dylan Larkin scored in the opening minute, Jonathan Bernier made 39 saves, and visiting Detroit defeated slumping San Jose.
Andreas Athanasiou and Christoffer Ehn also scored for Detroit, which has won four of its past five games.
The Sharks have lost six straight for the first time since March 2017. Evander Kane and Tomas Hertl scored the goals for San Jose, which won six consecutive games prior to the slide. Martin Jones made 20 saves.
Devils 3, Sabres 1
Pavel Zacha scored the go-ahead goal on the power play in the third period, and Cory Schneider made a season-high 45 saves as New Jersey skated to a victory over Buffalo in Newark, N.J.
Blake Coleman also scored with the man advantage, and Miles Wood added an empty-net goal for the Devils, who have won two in a row after losing 10 of their previous 12 (2-9-1).
Schneider has turned aside 79 of 81 shots to defeat Buffalo in both encounters this season. The 33-year-old’s lone blemish came in unconventional fashion, as Sam Reinhart scored from center ice in the first period.
—Field Level Media