Coach Mike Keenan was certain that his Philadelphia Flyers would straighten out when goaltender Ron Hextall took charge.
Because of a suspension, Hextall, the Most Valuable Player in last spring's Stanley Cup, missed the first eight games this season.
Hextall participated in his 11th game of the season Saturday at Philadelphia, and it was obvious he hasn't taken charge.
The Toronto Maple Leafs, taking advantage of the Flyers' overaggressive play, scored on four power plays and routed the Flyers, 6-0.
Hextall, who won the Vezina Trophy--the award for the top goalie--as a rookie last season, faced 37 shots, and his record fell to 2-7-2. The Flyers dropped to 5-11-3.
Last season, when the Flyers had the second-best regular-season record and were one victory short of winning the Stanley Cup, they didn't incur their 11th loss until mid-January, in their 44th game.
"I'm really perplexed," Keenan said. "We could use someone who could put the puck in the net.
"It's not all Hextall's fault. He's in a slump. He missed most of training camp and he's relying on the team in front of him. The team in front of him is not playing well and it's unfair to blame that on him."
Toronto goalie Ken Wregget stopped 38 shots for his first NHL shutout. It was the third time this season the Flyers have been shut out. Going into this season the Flyers had been shut out only five times in 240 games.
Ed Olczyk scored two of the power-play goals as the Maple Leafs, ending a three-game losing streak, converted on four of seven opportunities.
Detroit 6, New Jersey 4--There is no longer an NHL team that is unbeaten at home. Surprisingly, the Devils were the last to lose.
Bob Probert scored twice, including the tie-breaker in the third period, and assisted on another as the Red Wings ended the Devils' unbeaten string at East Rutherford, N.J. at nine games.
After winning their first eight, the Devils were tied by Winnipeg Thursday night.
New York Islanders 7, Winnipeg 3--It is becoming obvious that the Islanders are not a fluke.
Brian Trottier set up four goals at Uniondale, N.Y.,, and Mikko Makela scored twice as the Islanders stretched their lead in the tough Patrick Division.
There are those who thought Trottier and the Islanders would be in real trouble when their high-scoring winger Mike Bossy decided to sit out the season because of numerous injuries.
Instead, the Islanders started fast and continued to play winning hockey.
Boston 4, Hartford 1--Reggie Lemelin stopped 24 shots, five of them when the Whalers had a two-man advantage, and the Bruins won their third in a row at Boston.
Hartford, winless in its last five games, scored first when Kevin Dineen stole a pass and scored six minutes after the opening faceoff. But after firing 13 shots in the first period, they were outplayed the rest of the way.
Washington 4, Minnesota 1--Mike Gartner scored twice, and Mike Ridley and Kelly Miller scored goals six seconds apart in the third period as the Capitals ended a four-game losing streak at Landover, Md.
The loss ended a string of eight wins in a row for the North Stars at Landover.
Montreal 3, Chicago 0--Patrick Roy returned from an eight-game suspension to stop 33 shots at Montreal and post his first shutout of the season. Roy was suspended for a stick-slashing incident in a game with Minnesota.
Pittsburgh 3, New York Rangers 0--Moe Mantha scored on a power play at 2:04 of overtime at Pittsburgh to extend the Rangers' winless string to nine games (0-8-1).
The Rangers led, 2-1, until Doug Bodger scored with 78 seconds remaining in regulation.
Edmonton 6, St. Louis 5--Jari Kurri scored at 1:27 of overtime at St. Louis to climax an impressive offensive display by the defending Stanley Cup champions.
The Oilers were held scoreless for 41 minutes, then scored six goals in just over 20 minutes. Wayne Gretzky assisted on four of the goals. He now has 30 assists in 17 games.