BUFFALO, N.Y. – The New York Rangers scored five times in a span of less than 3 minutes and Brad Richards notched his first NHL hat trick in an 8-4 rout of the Buffalo Sabres on Friday night.
The five-goal spurt at the end of the opening period and the beginning of the second was part of a 6-0 outburst to start the game. Richards scored two of the first five goals, and then completed the hat trick in the third period as the win kept the Rangers in eighth place in the Eastern Conference.
Carl Hagelin, Ryane Clowe, Anton Stralman, Rick Nash and Ryan Callahan also scored for New York.
Cody Hodgson, Nathan Gerbe, Drew Stafford and Mark Pysyk scored for Buffalo, which was eliminated from the post-season picture and had its three-game winning streak stopped.
The five goals in a span of 2:58 set a Rangers franchise record. The previous mark for fastest five goals was 3:22 in an 8-7 win over Edmonton on Feb. 15, 1985.
BLACKHAWKS 5, PREDATORS 4
CHICAGO (AP)—Marian Hossa scored a power-play goal just 52 seconds into overtime and the streaking Chicago Blackhawks swept the season series against the Nashville Predators for the first time.
With Rich Clune in the penalty box serving a four-minute minor for high sticking, Patrick Kane sent a pass across the ice to Hossa, who one-timed it past Pekka Rinne for his 17th goal of the season.
Kane, Michal Handzus, Duncan Keith and Brandon Saad also scored for the NHL-best Blackhawks, who have won seven in a row.
Slumping Nashville has dropped eight in a row and 11 of 12 overall. Matt Halischuk had two goals and Kevin Henderson scored in his first NHL game, but the Predators still lost to the Blackhawks for the fourth time this month and the sixth consecutive occasion dating to last season.
BLUES 2, STARS 1
ST. LOUIS (AP)—Brian Elliott made 21 saves to help the St. Louis Blues win for the ninth time in their last 11 games with a victory over the Dallas Stars.
Ryan Reaves and Chris Stewart scored for the Blues, who are in sixth in the Western Conference with 54 points—one behind Vancouver, Los Angeles and San Jose, who are tied for third.
Antoine Roussel scored for Dallas, which came in with six victories in its last seven games. The Stars are tied with Detroit for ninth place in the Western Conference with 47 points, two behind Columbus, which holds the final playoff spot.
OILERS 4, AVALANCHE 1
DENVER (AP)—Jordan Eberle scored and had two assists, Devan Dubnyk stopped 33 shots and the Edmonton Oilers snapped a six-game skid.
Taylor Hall, Justin Schultz and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins also had goals for the Oilers, who kept their faint post-season hopes afloat. They trail current No. 8 seed Columbus by eight points with five games to play.
This also was Edmonton’s first win since firing general manager Steve Tambellini on Monday and replacing him with former Oilers coach Craig MacTavish.
P.A. Parenteau had the lone goal for a struggling Colorado Avalanche squad that’s 2-5-3 in its last 10 games.
FLAMES 3, DUCKS 1
CALGARY, Alberta (AP)—Miikka Kiprusoff, amid speculation that he may retire at season’s end, made 32 saves in Calgary’s regular-season home finale to lead the Flames over the playoff-bound Anaheim Ducks.
Roman Horak and Brian McGrattan each scored and Roman Cervenka added an empty-net goal for the Flames, who close with a four-game road trip beginning Sunday in Minnesota.
Corey Perry scored for the Ducks, ending Kiprusoff’s bid for his 45th career shutout with 3:41 remaining when he buried a shot inside the far goal post from 20 feet out on a setup from Kyle Palmieri. Although Kiprusoff has one year remaining on his contract, it drops to $1.5 million next year and there has been rampant speculation that the 36-year-old will call it a career.