The Ducks (23-13-8, 54 points) and Kings (21-17-4, 46 points) earned wins to keep pace in the crowded Pacific Division, where only 10 points separate the top six teams:
KINGS CRUSH BLUES, 5-1
Jake Muzzin and Tanner Pearson each scored twice to help the Kings maintain their hold on the final Wild Card spot in the Western Conference.
Pearson ranks second on the club with 13 goals this season (40 GP), two shy of his career high set last season (15 in 79 GP).
DUCKS PREVAIL OVER COLORADO, 4-1
Rickard Rakell (1-1—2) and Ryan Kesler each scored their team-leading 17th goals to propel the Ducks to a 6-1-3 record in their past 10 games and into sole possession of first place in the Pacific Division.
Rakell also shares the team lead with four game-winning goals, while Kesler paces the club with 17-19—36.
WILD ERUPT FOR 7 GOALS, INCH CLOSER TO FIRST PLACE IN WEST
Fourteen different skaters found the scoresheet – led by three-point nights from Eric Staal (1-2—3) and Matt Dumba (0-3—3) – as the Wild (26-9-5, 57 points) improved to 15-1-2 in their past 18 contests and moved within two points of the Western Conference-leading Blackhawks (27-12-5, 59 points). Minnesota holds four games in hand on Chicago.
The Wild, who matched a season high for goals in a game, scored at least seven goals on home ice for the fourth time in franchise history. Minnesota has outscored opponents 41-17 in winning nine of their past 10 home contests.
Staal leads the Wild in goals (14), assists (24) and points (38) through 40 games, surpassing his goal total from 2015-16 and moving within one of his point total (13-26—39 in 83 GP w/ CAR & NYR). He also shares second in the NHL with six game-winning goals.
Devan Dubnyk (20 saves), who came within 8.5 seconds of registering his sixth shutout of the season, picked up his 22nd win of the campaign to move into sole possession of second in the League. His 1.77 goals-against average and .940 save percentage are both tops in the NHL.
GIROUX CELEBRATES BIRTHDAY WITH COMEBACK WIN
Captain Claude Giroux notched an assist on the Flyers’ tying goal in the third period before scoring the lone shootout marker to celebrate his 29th birthday with a Flyers victory.
The Flyers overcame three separate deficits to win at home for the first time since March 6, 2007 vs. NJD (5-4 OT W).
THURSDAY’S RESULTS (Home Team in Caps)
PHILADELPHIA 5, Vancouver 4 (SO)
OTTAWA 4, Pittsburgh 1
TAMPA BAY 4, Buffalo 2
NASHVILLE 2, Boston 1
MINNESOTA 7, Montreal 1
DALLAS 5, Detroit 2
EDMONTON 3, New Jersey 2 (OT)
Anaheim 4, COLORADO 1
LOS ANGELES 5, St. Louis 1
FRIDAY’S ACTION (All Times Eastern)
Toronto @ NY Rangers, 7 p.m., MSG, TSN4
Chicago @ Washington, 7 p.m., NHLN, CSN-DC, CSN-CH
NY Islanders @ Florida, 7:30 p.m., FS-F, MSG+
Buffalo @ Carolina, 7:30 p.m., FS-CR, MSG-B
Columbus @ Tampa Bay, 8 p.m., TVAS, SN, SUN, FS-O
New Jersey @ Calgary, 9 p.m., SNW, MSG+ 2
Winnipeg @ Arizona, 9 p.m., FS-A, TSN3
ST. LOUIS TO BECOME FIRST LIGHTNING PLAYER TO HAVE JERSEY RETIRED
The Lightning will retire Martin St. Louis’ No. 26 prior to tonight’s game against the League-leading Blue Jackets at Amalie Arena. St. Louis, who signed as a free agent prior to the 2000-01 season, played 972 regular-season games with Tampa Bay and was a key member of the club’s Stanley Cup-winning team in 2004. He remains the franchise leader in assists (588), points (953), game-winning goals (64) and shorthanded goals (28), while also holding club playoff records for goals (33), assists (35), points (68) and game-winning goals (8).
By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services