The Pittsburgh Penguins are not simply biding their time until the middle of next month when Mario Lemieux is expected to rejoin them.
With the return to form of goaltender Tom Barrasso, they are climbing the Patrick Division standings.
Until injuries slowed him a couple of years ago, Barrasso was the best goaltender in the NHL. He seems to be approaching that form.
He stopped 27 shots Friday night at Pittsburgh in a 5-0 victory over the Detroit Red Wings for his first shutout in almost two years. It was also his sixth consecutive victory and gave the Penguins eight victories in the last nine games.
Buffalo 5, Chicago 0--Daren Puppa stopped 33 shots at Buffalo to gain his fourth career shutout.
Rick Vaive scored the only goal Puppa needed only 85 seconds after the opening faceoff.
New York Rangers 5, Washington 3--Mike Richter gave up a goal on the Capitals' first shot at Landover, Md., then went on to beat them for the fourth time this season.
Winnipeg 6, Boston 0--It was a night for shutouts. Bob Essensa stopped 31 shots at Winnipeg as the Jets routed the Bruins.
Edmonton 5, Vancouver 2--At Vancouver, Esa Tikkanen scored twice in the Oilers' four-goal first period as they won their fourth consecutive game.