Canadiens in cruise control

Northeast Division leaders the Montreal Canadiens enjoyed a 3-0 win over the New York Rangers for their 12th win of the season.

Carey Price managed 17 saves for his clean slate, while Alex Galchenyuk, Erik Cole and Lars Eller finished with a goal and an assist apiece.

The Washington Capitals upset the form book to hammer the New Jersey Devils 5-1.

The Capitals started the day as the Eastern Conference's Southeast's bottom side but rode a hat-trick from Alex Ovechkin to jump above the Buffalo Sabres.

The Sabres were easily beaten 4-0 by the New York Islanders.

The same scoreline separated the Detroit Red Wings from the Nashville Predators.

Jimmy Howard brought home a first win in six for the Red Wings, stopping 33 shots as his attackers shone at the othe end.

All but one of the night's goals came in a frantic final period as the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Carolina Hurricanes 5-2.

Matt Stajan was the hero for the Calgary Flames as they won 3-1 at the Minnesota Wild, scoring his side's second and third in a clinical third period.

The Los Angeles Kings claimed a 4-1 success at the Colorado Avalanche's expense, the Edmonton Oilers took a 3-2 shootout victory over the Phoenix Coyotes and the Ottawa Senators had Coling Greening's late winner to thank for a 3-2 triumph at the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Dallas Stars banished back to back home reverses to see off the San Jose Sharks 3-1 and David Perron grabbed the winner as the St Louis Blues edged the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1.

The programme was rounded out by the Philadelhia Flyers' 5-3 win over the Winnipeg Jets, with Brandon Schenn netting twice for the Flyers.