A couple of weeks ago, it seemed as if the Pittsburgh Penguins might not make the playoffs.
At the time, their scoring leader, Mario Lemieux, and No. 1 goaltender, Tom Barrasso, were ailing.
Tuesday night, Lemieux contributed two assists and Barrasso was shaky in the nets, but the Penguins outlasted Edmonton, 6-5, at Pittsburgh.
Kevin Stevens had two goals and two assists in the victory that put the Penguins eight points ahead of the New York Islanders with nine games to go in the struggle for the final playoff spot in the Patrick Division.
Barrasso, playing his second game in a row after sitting out four games because of a knee problem, played well except for five minutes in the second period when the Oilers scored three times.
The Oilers led, 4-3, well into the final period. But Stevens tied it at 13:13 and Ron Francis scored the winner 49 seconds later.
The highlight for the Oilers was late in the second period when goaltender Bill Ranford stopped Lemieux's penalty shot. Until the miss Lemieux was five for five on penalty shots.
Toronto 4, Quebec 3--Glenn Anderson completed his hat trick at 2:08 of overtime for the Maple Leafs' victory at Toronto.
Anderson also scored on Toronto's first shot of the game, again late in the first period and set up Doug Gilmour's goal early in the final period.
The Maple Leafs moved to six points behind Minnesota in the battle for fourth place in the Norris Division.
Washington 6, St. Louis 4--Dino Ciccarelli scored his second goal of the game at Landover, Md., to break a 4-4 tie with three minutes left in regulation.
The Blues were without Brett Hull, the top goal scorer in the NHL, and their No. 1 goalie, Curtis Joseph. Hull has back spasms and Joseph has a sore ankle.
Don Beaupre stopped 34 shots and the Capitals improved to 4-1-1 in the last six games.
Minnesota 3, Buffalo 1--A new line and the return to form of goaltender Jon Casey has the North Stars moving toward a playoff spot.
Brian Bellows and Mike Modano continued their hot scoring pace at Bloomington, Minn., and Casey won his second in a row after losing six straight.
Bellows had a goal and two assists and Modano had a goal and an assist. Since forming a line with Todd Elik seven games ago, Bellows and Modano have 11 goals and 11 assists.
In addition to leading Toronto by six points, the North Stars have a game in hand.
Paul Ysebaert broke a 2-2 tie with 6:35 left in the second period and Detroit extended the lead to 5-2 in the third period.
The Sharks then turned up the pressure, with 14 of their 26 shots on goal coming in the final period, but it wasn't enough. San Jose's last goal came with 52 seconds left.