NEWARK, N.J. – The Vancouver Canucks are back on top of the NHL.
Cory Schneider had 30 saves and Aaron Rome and Mason Raymond scored for Vancouver in a 2-1 win over the New Jersey Devils on Friday to take the overall lead.
The win came a night after the Canucks ended the Detroit Red Wings’ NHL-record 23-game home winning streak.
The Canucks didn’t arrive in New Jersey until 3:30 a.m. because of snow-related delays in Detroit. They weren’t at their best, but still won for the ninth time (9-1-1) in 11 games.
Schneider and a couple of unexpected goal scorers were the difference in handing New Jersey only its third loss since the all-star break. The Devils are 9-2-1 since the break.
David Clarkson scored for the Devils on a play in which the puck deflected into the net off his skate. After a review, officials upheld the score.
Schneider was outstanding in winning for the 14th time in 19 decisions as Roberto Luongo’s backup.
Avalanche 5 Blue Jackets 0
COLUMBUS (AP)—David Jones scored twice and had an assist and Semyon Valamov turned away 28 shots Friday night to lead the Colorado Avalanche over the Blue Jackets.
Gabriel Landeskog and Steve Downie each had a goal and an assist and Matt Hunwick also scored for the Avalanche, who were up to their usual tricks against the Blue Jackets. They are 32-8-1-1 against Columbus, including 15-5-1-1 on the Blue Jackets’ home ice.
The Avalanche won a second game in a row for the first time since Dec. 31. They started the night two points out of the eighth playoff spot in the West.
The game was the first for the Blue Jackets since they made two major trades this week.
On Wednesday the Blue Jackets traded centre Antoine Vermette to Phoenix for a 2012 second-round pick, a conditional fifth-rounder in 2013 and injured goalie Curtis McElhinney. Then on Thursday night they sent second-leading goal scorer Jeff Carter to Los Angeles for defenceman Jack Johnson and a conditional first-round pick.
Johnson arrived at Nationwide Arena during the second period for his physical and received a loud ovation when he was introduced to the crowd in the third period.
Capitals 4, Canadiens 1
WASHINGTON (AP)—Alex Ovechkin returned from an injury to combine with Jason Chimera on a pair of goals 16 seconds apart, and the Capitals ended a three-game losing streak.
Ovechkin missed Washington’s previous game, at Ottawa on Wednesday, with a lower-body injury. As it is, the two-time MVP is having what might wind up as his worst NHL season, with only 25 goals and 21 assists so far. He went into Friday with all of four goals in the preceding month.
But Ovechkin’s slapshot from the left circle off Dmitry Orlov’s pass got past goalie Carey Price at 8:58 of the second period, while the official scoring for Chimera’s breakaway goal still was being announced over the loudspeakers.
Ovechkin dropped a knee to the ice and punched a glove to celebrate.
Mathieu Perreault scored for the hosts in the first period, and Joel Ward added an empty-netter with 35.1 seconds left. Michal Neuvirth made 30 saves, although he did allow the first goal Montreal has scored against Washington since March 15, 2011.
Islanders 4, Rangers 3, SO
UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP)—P.A. Parenteau scored two goals in regulation and linemate Matt Moulson scored the winner in a shootout.
Parenteau scored in the first and second periods after Moulson opened the scoring as the Islanders grabbed a 3-1 lead. But the Rangers overcame sloppiness in front of backup goalie Martin Biron and got even on goals by Marc Staal, Marian Gaborik and Derek Stepan.
It wasn’t enough as Evgeni Nabokov returned after a bout with the flu and made 33 traditional saves and three more in the shootout. Frans Nielsen also scored in the tiebreaker for the Islanders, who had lost three of four.
Gaborik had the lone shootout goal for the Rangers, 1-2-1 in their past four. They have lost consecutive games for the first time since mid-December.
Sabres 2, Bruins 1, SO
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP)—Derek Roy scored the decisive shootout goal in lifting the Sabres.
Ryan Miller made 35 saves through regulation and stopped three of four shootout attempts in helping the Sabres improve to 3-0-1 in their past four games. Andrej Sekera scored for the Sabres, who are 8-3-2 in their past 13 games.
Zdeno Chara scored the tying goal 3:36 into the third period as the Bruins salvaged a point. Coming off a 4-2 win at St. Louis on Wednesday, Boston dropped to 8-9-2 in its past 19 games, a stretch in which it has failed to win consecutive games.
The Bruins were not called for a penalty for the first time since 2004.
Stars 4, Wild 1
DALLAS (AP)—Tom Wandell scored twice, Kari Lehtonen stopped 28 shots, and the Stars stretched their winning streak to three games. Loui Eriksson and Eric Nystrom added goals for the Stars, who improved to 68 points.
Wandell scored the game’s first goal, and added an empty-netter at 19:07 of the third.
Dallas is eighth in the Western Conference, three points behind Phoenix.
The Stars earned their 1,500th victory in Minnesota-Dallas franchise history, 742 coming since the team moved to Texas in 1993. Dallas has won 16 in a row at home against the Wild, with Minnesota’s last road victory over the Stars coming on March 21, 2003.
The Wild has fallen out of the top eight in the West with a 2-6-2 slide.