Marian Hossa and the Ottawa Senators played for the love of hockey -- not that they had much choice.
Hossa had a career-high and team-record four goals -- including three straight in the first period -- to lead the financially troubled Senators to an 8-1 victory Thursday night over the Atlanta Thrashers at Ottawa, Canada.
Ottawa, which leads the Eastern Conference with 53 points, played its first game since failing to meet its player payroll after a complex refinancing deal fell through two days earlier.
“You can’t really control what’s going around, we just can control our job and that’s what we did tonight,” Hossa said. “It kind of reminded me of old times, when we didn’t get paid in junior, so it was fun.”
Todd White, Jody Hull, Shaun Van Allen and Radek Bonk also scored for the Senators. They have lost only three of their last 26 games (19-3-4-0).
Dallas 3, San Jose 1 -- Mike Modano had a goal and an assist, and Marty Turco made 23 saves at San Jose.
Darryl Sydor had two assists for the Stars, who lead the Pacific Division by 11 points.
Chicago 4, St. Louis 1 -- Jocelyn Thibault just missed a second straight shutout, and Kyle Calder had a goal and an assist at St. Louis as the Blackhawks ran their unbeaten streak to seven games.
Nathan Dempsey added three assists for the Blackhawks, 5-0-2 in that stretch.
Florida 4, Colorado 1 -- Viktor Kozlov scored two goals, Jani Hurme stopped 27 shots and the Panthers showed their muscle on the road again to win at Denver. The Panthers earned at least a point for a 14th straight road game.
Minnesota 2, Edmonton 1 -- Jim Dowd got a lucky bounce and credit for the winning goal with 44 seconds left in overtime at Edmonton, Canada.
The puck deflected off the stick of Edmonton defenseman Janne Niinimaa and got by Tommy Salo for Dowd’s fourth goal to complete a Minnesota rally.
Vancouver 3, Montreal 2 -- Markus Naslund scored twice at Vancouver, Canada, to continue a torrid offensive streak. Naslund has six goals and five assists in his last six games.
Calgary 4, Tampa Bay 1 -- Jarome Iginla scored twice, and the Flames scored three power-play goals in the first period at Calgary, Canada.
Darryl Sutter improved to 2-0-1 since taking over as Flames’ coach last Saturday.
Colorado put forward Vaclav Nedorost on injured reserve because of a broken left hand and recalled defenseman D.J. Smith from Hershey.... Columbus defenseman Jean-Luc Grand-Pierre was put on injured reserve because of a fracture around his eye. The Blue Jackets also activated defenseman Jamie Allison from injured reserve.... Florida recalled defenseman Jamie Rivers from San Antonio.