A hat-trick from Shack (16) took Boston to a five game unbeaten streak and are tied for top spot in the NHL. Esposito assisted on all three goals and now has sixty-one points on the year with twenty-five goals and thirty-six helpers. The Minnesota North Stars had tied the game at 1-1, Cullen (26) scoring on the powerplay in the second frame, but it's just wins in nine for them.
Another team that is finding it hard to win is Montreal who have a pair of victories in their last six games as they drop a result in New York. Hadfield (16) and Geoffrion (2) gave the Rangers a 2-0 lead before Backstrom (15) brought the Canadiens back within one, but with only eleven shots throughout that was the best the visitors would do. Gilbert (24) added a third marker in the third to give his side a second win in three.
After Boyer (10) had given Oakland the early lead R Hull (29) then countered with a natural hat-trick to put Chicago in command. The Seals came back not once bu twice. The first through Ehman (15) and Caron (7), who join Boyer on multi-point games, and then Swarbrick (11) evened it at four goals each after Nesterenko (6) had given the Blackhawks another lead. Both sides are in the dumps with Oakland going four without a win, and Chicago have not tasted victory in five straight leaving them seven points behind Detroit in the final playoff spot.
AFter Selby (16) and Kennedy (9) had scored the Flyers looked good with a 2-0 lead going into the second period in the Battle of Pennsylvania, but just twenty-five seconds after the restart Andrea (5) had made it a one goal game for Pittsburgh with a fine unassisted effort. The tables continued to turn with Bathgate (20) starting off his hat-trick and Boivin (5) interrupting for his game winning powerplay goal. The Penguins are one point back of the Kings with their second win in four while Philadelphia have two wins in eight.
St Louis got off to a good start in Toronto when J Roberts (16) scored on the powerplay with just 1:41 played but four unanswered goals had the Leafs well in control before the first intermission. Pulford (10) tied it up at 3:21, then Pappin (10), Ellis (18) and Keon (12), who already had two assists, made it 4-1 to the home side. The Blues, who have just one win in five, made it 4-2 through Sabourin (20) but it was his two five minute major penalties that put them under a lot of pressure. Ellis's game winner and Keon's goal both came on the first five minute powerplay, and Toronto added another two on the next through Oliver (14) and Carleton (5). Bower became the first netminder this year to win twenty games and the Maple Leafs are two points back of the leaders in the East with games in hand after their fifth win in eight.
BOS Johnston (12-7-3 .892) 28/29, Powerplay 1/4
MIN Maniago (16-17-7 .902) 25/28, Powerplay 1/8
MON Worsley (16-12-5 .912) 24/27, Powerplay 0/0
NYR Simmons (5-0-3 .915) 10/11, Powerplay 1/4
CHI DeJordy (19-12-7 .896) 23/27, Powerplay 0/0
OAK Hodge (12-24-9 .895) 24/28, Powerplay 1/4
PHI Favell (9-9-2 .901) 36/41, Powerplay 0/0
PIT Binkley (12-167 .907) 25/27, Powerplay 1/1
StL Hall (17-14-7 .894) 37/43, Powerplay 1/2
TOR Bower (20-11-2 .913) 21/23, Powerplay 4/7
|Toronto Maple Leafs||56||31||20||5||67|
|Detroit Red Wings||57||28||22||7||63|
|New York Rangers||57||22||26||9||53|
|St Louis Blues||56||25||21||10||60|
|Minnesota North Stars||57||21||24||12||54|
|Los Angeles Kings||57||21||28||8||50|