Two from Helm boost Detroit
Just when Nashville was starting to create some separation in the Western Conference playoff picture with a three-game winning streak, Darren Helm happened.
Helm's two goals, one shorthanded, doubled Detroit's lead to 4-0 and the Red Wings went on to defeat Nashville, 5-2. Detroit is three points back of seventh-place Nashville.
Pavel Datsyuk scored a nifty goal and helped set up Tomas Holmstrom's power play marker in the first period. J.P. Dumont and Joel Ward scored for the Predators before Henrik Zetterberg capped the night off with an empty net goal.
Jimmy Howard made 20 saves for the win.
Chicago routs Vancouver
When Vancouver successfully killed off a two-minute 5-on-3 Chicago advantage, Blackhawks fans might've wondered when their team would score. Little did they know Chicago simply lured the Canucks into a false sense of security.
A five-goal first period led to an early night for Bob Luongo, and the Blackhawks walloped Vancouver, 6-3, behind six different goal scorers. Thirteen players had points for Chicago, which moved into first place in the West.
Andrew Ladd, Duncan Keith and Troy Brouwer staked Chicago to a 3-0 lead before Ryan Kesler scored for Vancouver. Any Canucks momentum was quickly wiped out by Kris Versteeg's goal less than a minute later, and Jordan Hendry scored in the period's final minute.
Alex Burrows and Marian Hossa traded goals before Mikael Samuelsson tallied late in the game. Jonathan Toews had two assists and Hossa and Hendry each had an assist. Cristobal Huet made 20 saves. Luongo allowed five goals and was removed after the first period.
--Tim Connolly scored in overtime, and also had an assist, and Buffalo defeated Philadelphia, 3-2, to reclaim first place in the Northeast Division.
--Miikka Kiprusoff made 22 saves and a three-goal second period propelled Calgary past New Jersey, 5-3. Zach Parise scored twice for the Devils. No Flame had more than one point.
--Mike Comrie's regulation goal and shootout winner, plus Jeff Deslauriers' 28 saves, allowed Edmonton to down Minnesota, 2-1.
Pat Quinn-ism of the night
"It's about time that something good happened for these young men."
Stat of the night
2-9-1 - New Jersey's road record over its last 12 games. The Devils won their first nine road games to start the season.
Quote of the night
"Unfortunately, I felt good. That's the sad part. I felt ready. I felt sharp. And the goals kept going in. I didn't want to be in there for a dozen, so you might as well take me out after the first."
Saturday, March 6 (10 games)
-Carolina (26-30-7) at Florida (25-28-10), 7 p.m. ET. You damn right I picked the Hurricanes and Panthers. Carolina has won seven straight games and a victory puts it further into the playoff discussion.
-Atlanta (28-24-10) at Tampa Bay (26-26-11), 7::30 p.m. You throw out the records when these two bitter rivals meet. Actually I don't know if they're rivals or even bitter. But they're both trying to earn a playoff spot.