Canadiens on the up

Max Pacioretty continued his fine scoring run as the Montreal Canadiens went top of the Atlantic Division with victory over the Boston Bruins.

Pacioretty scored his ninth goal in his last nine games - a stretch during which the Canadiens are unbeaten - and Tomas Plekanec added his 10th of the season to help Montreal rally from a first-period deficit.

Carey Price made 33 saves for the Canadiens, with only Gregory Campbell's effort in the first beating him.

Taylor Hall snared a hat-trick as the Edmonton Oilers steamrollered the Colorado Avalanche 8-2.

Ales Hemsky, David Perron, Mark Arcobello, Jordan Eberle and Sam Gagner also tallied for the Oilers, while Ryan Smyth added three assists.

Chris Kunitz bagged a brace to help the Pittsburgh Penguins see off the San Jose Sharks 5-1.

Sidney Crosby marked his 500th NHL appearance with three assists, while Pascal Dupuis, Jayson Megna and Kris Letang were also on the scoresheet.

Jeff Skinner netted a hat-trick, giving him five goals in two games, to lead the Carolina Hurricanes to a 5-2 victory over the Nashville Predators.

Nazem Kadri netted twice and Trevor Smith claimed an overtime winner as the Toronto Maple Leafs edged past the Dallas Stars 3-2.

The New York Rangers beat the Buffalo Sabres 3-1, while the Minnesota Wild squeezed past the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3.

There were also wins for the Tampa Bay Lightning, the St Louis Blues and the Florida Panthers.