Maple Leafs charge to top in the Eastern Conference

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Maple Leafs 5, Oilers 2

Maple Leafs 5, Oilers 2

In Toronto, Mats Sundin scored twice as the Toronto Maple Leafs moved into first place in the Eastern Conference.

Steve Thomas ended a 13-game goal drought with his second of the season and added two assists, while Jonas Hoglund also had a goal and two assists for Toronto.

Sundin got his 400th point as a member of the Maple Leafs and Sergei Berezin got his 10th goal of the season as Toronto moved ahead of the idle Philadelphia Flyers into the top spot in the East with 31 points.

Canadiens 2, Canucks 1

In Montreal, Sergei Zholtok scored with less than eight minutes remaining, giving the Montreal Canadiens their fourth straight victory.

Zholtok, who also assisted on Karl Dykhuis's first-period goal, took a pass from Dainius Zubrus and put a backhander past goalie Garth Snow at 12:20 to break a 1-1 tie with his sixth goal.

Andrew Cassels scored his sixth goal at 6:34 of the third to tie the game for Vancouver, ending goaltender Jose Theodore's shutout streak at 91 minutes, 52 seconds. Theodore finished with 20 saves.

Capitals 4, Islanders 3

In Uniondale, New York, Peter Bondra scored twice in the third period to give the Washington Capitals a come-from-behind victory over the New York Islanders.

Bondra's eventual game-winner came at 13:59 on a wrist shot off a blind turnaround feed from the right point by Sergei Gonchar.

Steve Konowalchuk and James Black also scored for the Capitals, who won for the sixth straight time at Nassau Coliseum since a 2-0 loss on 7 December 1996.

Craig Billington stopped 34 shots for his third straight win.

Hurricanes 5, Penguins 3

In Raleigh, North Carolina, Sami Kapanen scored two goals six minutes apart in the second period as the Carolina Hurricanes rallied from a pair of deficits to defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Carolina scored a season-high five goals to improve to 4-1-3 in its last eight games. It was the Penguins' fifth straight loss on the road. Pittsburgh's last win away from the Civic Arena was on 14 October.

Kapanen's second two-goal game of the season gave him his team-leading 11th and 12th goals to erase a 3-2 Pittsburgh lead.

Panthers 3, Thrashers 0

In Sunrise, Florida, Trevor Kidd made 24 saves and Florida scored twice in the first five minutes to beat the Atlanta Thrashers.

It was Kidd's first shutout since 31 January, 1999, against Boston and the 16th of his career.

Cam Stewart scored Florida's first goal 1:16 into the game, and Rob Niedermayer scored at 5:02 to give the Panthers a 2-0 lead. Pavel Bure also scored for the Panthers.

Atlanta's Nelson Emerson left the game with a concussion after colliding with Florida's Jaroslav Spacek in the second period. Play was stopped for 10 minutes as Emerson was taken off the ice on a stretcher.

Mighty Ducks 4, Predators 3

In Nashville, Tennessee, Paul Kariya and Steve Rucchin each scored two goals, and Oleg Tverdovsky had three assists for Anaheim.

Kariya's second goal of the game and 11th of the season put the Ducks up 3-1 late in the second period. Cliff Ronning's power-play goal cut it to 3-2 at 8:52 of the third period for the second-year Nashville Predators, who matched their record for futility set earlier this season by losing their fifth straight.

Rucchin put the rebound of Tverdovsky's blast past Mike Dunham at 12:17 to restore the two-goal lead. Ronning scored with 32.1 seconds left to make it 4-3.

St Louis 8, Chicago 3

St Louis, Scott Young scored two goals and added an assist to lead the St Louis Blues.

With the win, St Louis moved into a tie with Detroit for first place in the Central Division. The Blues, whose eight goals were a season high, also extended their home unbeaten streak to five.

Al MacInnis and Craig Conroy each had a goal and two assists, while Michal Handzus and Tyson Nash scored short-handed goals for the Blues. Rookie Ladislav Nagy got his first NHL goal and Lubos Bartecko also scored.

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