If only the Winnipeg Jets could play the rest of the NHL as tough as they do the defending Stanley Cup champion Calgary Flames.
The Jets entered Sunday's Smythe Division game at Winnipeg having beaten Calgary four times in five games.
And behind rookie Stephane Beauregard's 32 saves, the Jets did it again--defeating the Flames, 5-1.
"Nobody dominates anybody in the league anymore," said Winnipeg Coach Bob Murdoch, whose team is in third place in the division and has not lost at home in six games. "The fact we've won five against the Flames doesn't mean we're a better team."
But they were on Sunday, costing the Flames a chance to move into a tie with Boston for the overall NHL lead.
"We're in good shape but we're not very happy," Calgary Coach Terry Crisp said. "We've lost five to the Winnipeg Jets and that doesn't sit well in our craws. We've got to be a hell of lot hungrier and a hell of lot meaner."
The Jets killed off all nine Calgary power plays against the league's top unit.
Gary Suter's screened wrist shot from the point ended Beauregard's shutout bid at 8:55 of the third period.
Chicago 6, Pittsburgh 4--Steve Larmer scored twice and added an assist at Chicago as the Blackhawks took sole possession of first place in the Norris Division.
The victory moved the Blackhawks two points ahead of the St. Louis Blues. The two teams meet in St. Louis on Tuesday night.
The Penguins, playing without injured Mario Lemieux, had their five-game unbeaten streak snapped and remained in third place in the Patrick Division. Lemieux, whose 46-game scoring streak ended on Wednesday, is undergoing physical therapy for back problems.
Larmer, playing in his 619th consecutive game--the longest streak among active players--tied the game, 1-1, at 14:24 of the first period and scored the game-winning goal at 6:33 of the third.
Philadelphia 3, N.Y. Islanders 2--Kjell Samuelsson's goal with 4:45 left sparked the Flyers at Philadelphia in goaltender Ron Hextall's return after a three-month layoff.
Hextall, who was out because of groin and hamstring injuries, stopped 33 shots for his 100th career victory. It was his first appearance since Nov. 14, when he also beat the Islanders.
The victory, Philadelphia's first in 21 games in which it trailed after two periods, moved the Flyers into a fifth-place tie with Washington in the Patrick Division.
The Islanders, still first in the division, dropped their third consecutive game.
Edmonton 3, Minnesota 2--Jari Kurri's power-play goal at 4:59 of the third period gave the Oilers the victory at Edmonton.
Mark Messier and Esa Tikkanen also scored for the Oilers, who moved to within one point of the Smythe Division-leading Calgary Flames.
It was only the Oilers' fourth win in the past 11 games but kept them six points ahead of the third-place Winnipeg Jets.
The North Stars have only five wins in 31 road games and lead Detroit by four points in the race for the final playoff spot in the Norris Division.
Hartford 6, Buffalo 4--Dave Babych and Randy Cunneyworth each had a goal and an assist to lead the Whalers in a penalty-filled game at Buffalo.
The game was interrupted by about a dozen fights and and 207 minutes in penalties, including five game misconducts.
Boston 7, Vancouver 2--Defenseman Ray Bourque scored once and set up five other goals at Vancouver as the Bruins scored five times on six power plays to end a three-game losing streak.
Craig Janney and Andy Brickley each scored twice as the Bruins increased their lead in the Adams Division to three points over Buffalo.