After one month of the season, the Toronto Maple Leafs had a 1-11-0 record, and Coach Dan Maloney said they were "in a state of panic."
Suddenly, the Maple Leafs are in a state of euphoria.
Russ Courtnall scored twice, once in a four-goal second period, Thursday night to lead the Maple Leafs to a 6-3 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. It was the Leafs' third consecutive win and their first at the Spectrum since Oct. 12, 1980.
The Leafs, with a 6-3-3 record since their poor start, are only six points out of first place in the Smythe Division, which does not have a team playing even .500 hockey.
The Flyers went into the game with the best goals-against record in the NHL but came out with their third straight loss to a team with a losing record. Their lead in the Patrick Division was cut to five points.
"I'm really happy about the way we have turned things around," Maloney said. "The guys are beginning to believe in themselves. A win like this really helps the confidence."
Boston 8, Montreal 6--In a high-scoring battle at Boston for first place in the Adams Division, the Bruins survived a four-goal third-period rally to stretch their lead to three points.
Defenseman Ray Bourque scored a goal and assisted on two others as the Bruins built a 6-2 lead before the Canadiens put on their futile rally.
The Bruins are staying at the top, although they are still without injured stars Charlie Simmer and Ken Linseman.
Washington 3, St. Louis 2--It is a mistake to allow the Capitals to get into overtime--they just don't lose.
In this game at Landover, Md., defenseman Scott Stevens scored on a 55-foot shot at 1:39 of overtime, making it the 18th consecutive overtime game that the Capitals have not lost.
After Bernie Federko scored at 12:45 of the second period to make it 2-2, the Capitals permitted the Blues only 12 more shots on goal. In the game, the Blues fired only 18 shots at Pete Peeters.