Sergei Federov is a major reason the Detroit Red Wings have become the dominant team in the Norris Division.
The Chicago Blackhawks challenged the Red Wings' supremacy Tuesday night at Detroit, and the former Soviet star broke their hearts.
With the game barely a minute old, Federov stole the puck, went in on a breakaway, scored and the Wings were on their way to a 5-3 victory.
Federov scored again in the third period on a steal and assisted on Detroit's second goal in another standout performance.
Federov, who will be 22 Friday, is in his second season in the NHL. His brilliant play has coincided with the Red Wings' surge to the top.
The victory, which put Detroit seven points ahead of Chicago and St. Louis, gave the Red Wings an astonishing 11-1-3 record in the last 15 games.
Only brilliant goaltending by Ed Belfour prevented the Red Wings from making it a rout early. Although they outshot Chicago, 25-8, in the first two periods, they only led, 3-0.
New York Islanders 7, St. Louis 7--Ray Ferraro of the Islanders had a second period hat trick at Uniondale, N.Y.
Brett Hull scored a goal in each period and leads the NHL with 27 goals.
The Islanders were impressive early, building a 5-2 lead five minutes into the second period.
Hull's third goal tied it, 6-6, with 12 minutes left in regulation. Nine minutes later, Nelson Emerson gave the Blues their first lead of the game.
There were only 17 seconds remaining when Steve Thomas sent it into overtime.
Washington 4, Calgary 1--Don Beaupre stopped 20 shots at Landover, Md., and won his third consecutive game.
The Flames, who have lost five of their last six, avoided a shutout when Joe Nieuwendyk scored in the second minute of the last period.
With the victory the Capitals, who lead the Patrick Division by seven points, improved to 21-9-0, tying Montreal, which has played three more games, for the point leadership with 42.
Quebec 5, Boston 2--The Nordiques haven't yet climbed out of the cellar in the Adams Division, but they are on a roll.
With this victory at Quebec, they stretched their unbeaten string to five games (4-0-1), longest in five years.
Greg Paslawski and Mike Hough each scored twice to lead the improving Nordiques.
Pittsburgh 5, New York Rangers 3--A four-goal outburst in the second period led the Penguins, who have a 5-0-2 record in their last seven games at Pittsburgh.
The outburst caused Ranger Coach Roger Neilson to lift goaltender Mike Richter, who had won five of his last six games.
The Rangers, who had won three of four, were 2-0 over the Penguins this season.
Minnesota 4, New Jersey 3--Bobby Smith scored with 3:14 left in regulation at Bloomington, Minn., to climax the North Stars' rally.
Edmonton 7, Vancouver 4--Esa Tikannen scored his 12th goal to break a 2-2 tie late in the second period at Vancouver and the Oilers went on to whip the Smythe Division leaders.
Winnipeg 3, San Jose 3--Danton Cole and Phil Housley scored late goals to overcome a 3-1 Shark lead at Daly City, Calif.