The Washington Capitals beat the Hartford Whalers, 4-2, Thursday night at Landover, Md., and moved into a first-place tie with the Philadelphia Flyers in the Patrick Division, with two games remaining.
The Capitals will play the New York Rangers, and the Flyers will visit Pittsburgh Saturday before the two contenders face each other at Philadelphia Sunday. Should the two teams finish in a tie, the team with the most victories would win the division.
Philadelphia is 51-23-4.
Washington (50-22-6) has a 16-3-1 record in its last 20 games.
The Capitals broke a 2-2 tie when Lou Franceschetti scored a goal at 1:12 of the third period. Franceschetti, who has scored five of his 21 points in the last five games, took a pass from Bob Carpenter as he approached the crease from the left wing and put it in the net.
Boston 4, Toronto 2--Charlie Simmer scored two goals, giving him 36 for the season, and Keith Crowder got his 35th goal as the Bruins beat the Maple Leafs at Boston.
The win moved the Bruins into a tie with the idle Montreal Canadiens for second place in the Adams Division, with two games remaining. Montreal has the edge in victories, however.