COLUMBUS, Ohio – Jonathan Toews scored the game-winner early in the third period and Corey Crawford had 24 saves to help Chicago match the best start in franchise history with a 3-2 victory Saturday night over the Columbus Blue Jackets, running the Blackhawks’ record to 5-0-0.
The only other time the Blackhawks began a season 5-0-0 was 1971-72.
Patrick Kane had two assists for the Blackhawks, who have a 40-23-7 record all-time against the Blue Jackets. Crawford, who won for the fourth time this season, was solid all night but particularly when the Blackhawks were a man down.
Steve Mason held his own with 21 saves for the Blue Jackets, who lost their third in a row.
A goal by Derick Brassard was waved off in the second period when the officials ruled Nick Foligno interfered with Crawford.
Mark Letestu gave Columbus a 1-0 lead and Artem Anisimov scored late to make it interesting for the Blue Jackets, who have been outscored 12-3 in their losing skid.
SHARKS 4, AVALANCHE 0
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Patrick Marleau became the second player in NHL history to open a season with four straight multigoal games, striking twice on the power play in the first period for San Jose.
Marleau has scored exactly two goals in each game this season, joining Ottawa’s Cy Denneny in 1917-18 as the only players to open a campaign with four multigoal games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Joe Thornton added a power-play goal in the second period, giving San Jose 10 power-play goals in four games and a franchise record 19 overall.
Thomas Greiss made 24 saves for his first career shutout and Matt Irwin got his first career goal as the Sharks are off to their best start since also winning the first four games in 2008-09.
The Avalanche lost their seventh straight game in San Jose since winning Game 1 of their first-round playoff series in 2010.
KINGS 4, COYOTES 2
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Anze Kopitar scored two goals to spark Los Angeles’ top line and the defending Stanley Cup champs earned their first victory of the season.
Scoreless through the season’s first three games, the Kings’ top line of Kopitar, Dustin Brown and Justin Williams had an extra jump against the Coyotes, combining for four points.
Jake Muzzin had a goal and an assist and Jeff Carter also scored for Los Angeles, which matched its season total for goals to avoid its first four-game winless start since 1997-98. Eight players had at least a point for the Kings.
Mikkel Boedker and Shane Doan scored for the Coyotes, who had another night of defensive letdowns for their fourth loss in five games.
RANGERS 6, MAPLE LEAFS 2
NEW YORK (AP) — Defenceman Marc Staal scored the tying goal early in the third period and then set up Marian Gaborik’s game-winner late to rally New York.
The Rangers came in having dropped three of their first four in the lockout-shortened season, and trailed 2-1 in the third. But Staal got New York even at 2 at 7:36 and then fired the drive that Gaborik deflected in with 7:03 left.
The Rangers held a commanding shots advantage throughout and finished with a 42-17 edge, but they trailed 2-0 in the first period.
Brad Richards, who also assisted on Gaborik’s winner, got the Rangers within 2-1 in the second. Gaborik added two assists and an empty-net goal with 1:15 to go. Brian Boyle also scored for New York.
Mikhail Grabovski and James van Riemsdyk scored first-period goals for the Maple Leafs.
FLYERS 7, PANTHERS 1
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Matt Read notched his first career hat trick and Philadelphia won its second straight after losing the first three games of the season.
Wayne Simmonds, Tye McGinn, Luke Schenn, and Ruslan Fedotenko also scored for the Flyers, and Ilya Bryzgalov had 30 saves.
Peter Mueller scored for the Panthers and Scott Clemmensen stopped 13 shots in relief of Jose Theodore, who was pulled after allowing three goals on nine shots in the first period. The Panthers have lost four straight after winning their season opener. They have been outscored 18-2 in that stretch.
The Flyers won their fourth straight game at Florida.
BLUES 4, STARS 3
DALLAS (AP) — David Perron scored two goals and had an assist, and Wade Redden notched his first NHL goal in almost three years to lead St. Louis past Dallas.
Both of Perron’s goals, as well as Chris Stewart’s third of the season, were part of a three-goal second period that turned a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 lead for St. Louis.
Ryan Garbutt’s first goal of the season pulled Dallas to within one 2:24 into the third, but the Stars’ late charge fell just short. Dallas also had a power play for the final 14.3 seconds, but time ran out.
Michael Ryder and Tomas Vincour also scored for Dallas, which fell to 2-2-1.
FLAMES 4, OILERS 3
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Lee Stempniak scored a power-play goal and added two assists to lead the Calgary Flames to their first win of the season.
Jay Bouwmeester, Mikael Backlund and Curtis Glencross also scored for Calgary.
Sam Gagner, Justin Schultz and Jordan Eberle scored for Edmonton, which was outshot 35-20.
DUCKS 3, PREDATORS 2, SO
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Viktor Fasth made 19 saves and stopped all three Nashville shootout attempts to win his NHL debut, and Corey Perry scored the only shootout goal in the Anaheim Ducks’ victory.
Fasth, the Ducks’ new 30-year-old backup goalie from Sweden, capped his solid debut performance by deftly gloving his deflection of David Legwand’s final shootout attempt out of mid-air. Daniel Winnik and Bobby Ryan scored for the Ducks, who never led until the shootout in their third victory in four games to start the season.
Pekka Rinne made 20 saves for Nashville, but the Vezina Trophy finalist dropped to 0-1-3 this season when former 50-goal scorer Perry beat him to the glove side on Anaheim’s second shootout attempt.