NHL; Blackhawks one game for mark

MATT CARLSON Associated Press Published:

CHICAGO (AP) -- Fifteen games into the season, and the Chicago Blackhawks are on the verge of NHL history.

Brent Seabrook, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp each had a goal to help the Blackhawks beat the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 on Sunday, extending their season-opening points streak to 15 games. The Blackhawks (12-0-3) matched the 1984-85 Edmonton Oilers for the league's second-longest streak, and are one away from the tying the mark set by Anaheim in 2006-07.

Chicago, which hasn't lost in regulation, will try to match it Tuesday when it hosts Vancouver -- even if the Blackhawks aren't out for history.

"What's important to us is getting home-ice advantage, making the playoffs," Toews said. "Those are our goals. Once you get there, the real season starts. When you get to that point, no one really cares or remembers those streaks at the start of the season."

It has still been an impressive opening to the season, one that has the Blackhawks on track to achieve their ultimate goals. Anaheim won the Stanley Cup in 2007 after its record-setting points start, while the 1984-85 Oilers and Montreal, which opened with 14 straight in 1943-44, also won the Cup in those seasons.

"We're 15 games into the season," said Toews, Chicago's captain.

Mike Richards scored two power-play goals in the third period to pull the Kings within one after Chicago outplayed the Stanley Cup champions in the opening 40 minutes and built a 3-0 lead.

But the Blackhawks and goalie Ray Emery hung on.

"The guys wanted to get a good start, a good jump on L.A.," Seabrook said. "Ray made the big saves when he needed to."

Emery, Chicago's backup, made 25 saves. He lost a bid for his first shutout in more than three years when Richards connected 56 seconds into the third period. Emery made back-to-back starts for the first time this season with Corey Crawford missing his second game because of an undisclosed upper-body injury.

And things got a little frantic for Chicago at the end after Richards notched his second goal -- just his fourth this season -- with 7:10 left. The Blackhawks spent the final 1:04 short-handed after Johnny Oduya was sent off for slashing, and Jonathan Quick was pulled for an extra attacker during that span.

"I thought we had a great first 40 minutes and they got some momentum off their power-play goal early in the third," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. "They had a great third period. We had 40, they had a great 20, and the clock ran out, which was nice."

Not so for Los Angeles (5-6-2), which has struggled on offense and with injuries. The only bright spot for the Kings was their power play, which came in ranked 27th in the NHL before connecting twice in a game for only the second time this season.

PENGUINS 4, SABRES 3

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Defenseman Paul Martin scored with 2:04 left and Pascal Dupuis had two goals and an assist to lift Pittsburgh to a victory over Buffalo.

Sidney Crosby also scored and had two assists, including a pass that set up Martin's goal. Pittsburgh (11-5-0) won its third straight and improved to 8-2 in its past 10 games to move ahead of idle New Jersey atop the Eastern Conference standings.

Thomas Vanek had a goal and an assist, and Steve Ott and Cody Hodgson also scored for Buffalo.

BLUES 4, CANUCKS 3, SO

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- T.J. Oshie and Andy McDonald each scored in regulation and in the shootout to lead St. Louis over Vancouver.

Patrik Berglund also scored for the Blues, who closed a 3-0 road swing after a five-game skid.

Blues rookie goaltender Jake Allen made 28 saves and stopped the Canucks' Ryan Kesler and Alex Burrows in the shootout.

RANGERS 2, CAPITALS 1

NEW YORK -- Derek Stepan's power-play goal early in the third period snapped a tie and completed New York's rally past Washington.

Washington, which lost to New York in the second round of last year's playoffs, had been 11-5-2 in its last 18 regular-season games against the Rangers. New York is 5-1-1 in its past seven games.

WILD 3, RED WINGS 2

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Dany Heatley, Jason Zucker and Torrey Mitchell all scored in the second period to rally Minnesota over Detroit.

It was Minnesota's first regulation win since Jan. 29 and just the second time it scored at least three goals in regulation over the last nine games.

Damien Brunner and Pavel Datsyuk scored for Detroit, which has lost three straight for the first time since March 10-21 of last season.

After Heatley snapped a nine-game scoring drought to make it 2-1, Zucker went coast-to-coast and scored his first NHL goal to tie it. Mitchell scored off a faceoff 30 seconds later.

BRUINS 3, JETS 2

WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- Brad Marchand scored 36 seconds into the third period to lift Boston to a win over Winnipeg.

Tyler Seguin and Daniel Paille also scored, and Patrice Bergeron had two assists for the Bruins (9-2-2). Tuukka Rask stopped 22 for Boston to earn his seventh win of the season.

FLAMES 4, STARS 3

DALLAS -- Steve Begin, Matt Stajan and Roman Horak each scored their first goals of the season in the third period and Calgary overcame a two-goal deficit to beat Dallas.

Begin snapped a 3-3 tie with 9:30 remaining. After Chris Butler's slap shot from the left point was blocked in front, Begin outbattled two Stars defenders to get to the loose puck and fire a wrister that beat goaltender Richard Bachman.

Michael Cammalleri also scored for Calgary and Joey MacDonald made 27 saves.

Antoine Roussel, Reilly Smith and Ryan Garbutt scored second-period goals for Dallas.

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