Pat LaFontaine, who had a goal in 11 consecutive games, failed to score, but the New York Islanders skated to a 4-2 victory, their sixth in a row.
The Capitals, playing without injured defensive stars, Rod Langway and Scott Stevens, actually took a 2-0 lead in the first period.
But Brent Sutter took over the offensive role for the closely-watched LaFontaine in the second period and the Islanders took over. Sutter wound up with two goals and an assist. His first goal, his 18th, gave the Islanders the lead for good, 3-2, in the second period.
The Islanders, who had 21 shots in the second period, have had a hot month. They are 11-1 in their last 12 games and moved from last place to a contending position in the Patrick Division.
New York Rangers 3, Boston 2--Rookie goaltender Mike Richter might be the answer to the Rangers' problems.
Tomas Sandstrom scored with 34 seconds remaining at Boston to give the Rangers the victory, but only the play of Richter kept the Bruins from winning their sixth in a row.
Richter, who stopped 38 shots in a 2-2 tie with Chicago Wednesday night, extended the unbeaten string to two games when he stopped 35 Boston shots.
Before Richter's two brilliant performances, the Rangers had fallen from first to last in the Patrick Division.
Buffalo 5, Vancouver 3--Defenseman Mike Ramsey scored a power-play goal and had two assists at Vancouver to help the Sabres end their first slump of the season.
The Sabres had lost six in a row, but they must feel rather fortunate. The victory put them just one point behind first-place Boston in the Adams Division race.
Minnesota 6, Detroit 4--Mike Modano's first goal in nine games, broke a 3-3 tie at Bloomington, Minn., with 13 minutes to play and the North Stars went on to gain the victory.
Modano, who leads NHL rookies with 18 goals, also had three assists.
But Rob Ramage scored the winning goal on a power play with 3:35 remaining in regulation.
The Flames, who trail Edmonton in the Smythe Division by four points, outshot Toronto, 38-24.
Philadelphia 2, Montreal 2--Mike McPhee scored early in the third period at Montreal to prevent goaltender Pete Peeters from getting his first victory of the season.
Peters, who is 0-5-4, stopped 33 shots. The Flyers scored on two of their first three shots to chase goalie Brian Hayward.