The Vancouver Canucks, to the surprise of almost everyone, have the best record in the NHL.
After beating the expansion San Jose Sharks, 1-0, Saturday night at Vancouver, the Canucks improved to 14-4-3. Their 31 points lead the league.
It is an abrupt turnaround for a team that had to win the last game of the regular season to qualify for the playoffs last spring.
The Canucks handed the Sharks their 12th consecutive road defeat.
The only score was a short-handed goal 13 seconds into the final period by Igor Larinov. It was the only one of 16 shots in the third period that got past San Jose goalie Jeff Hackett.
Except for the first period, when he faced 14 shots, Vancouver goalie Kirk MacLean had an easy night. He was called on to stop only six shots in the last 40 minutes.
Philadelphia 3, Montreal 1--When they were on their nine-game winning streak, the Canadiens appeared to be the class of the league.
Suddenly, they have fallen on hard times. This loss in Montreal gave them a 1-3-1 record since their ninth victory in a row.
Former Canadiens Mark Pederson and Keith Acton scored the goals that gave the Flyers the victory. The Canadiens have beaten Philadelphia once in the last nine games.
Boston 5, Hartford 4--The Bruins took a 4-1 lead in 26 1/2 minutes at Hartford, then won in overtime.
Defenseman Ray Bourque scored on a power play at 1:39 of the extra period, firing a shot over the shoulder of goaltender Peter Sidorkiewicz after taking a pass from Craig Janney.
N.Y. Islanders 4, N.Y. Rangers 2--The Islanders, who used to sell out every game at Uniondale, N.Y., had their first capacity crowd of the season and gave it something to cheer about.
Benoit Hogue scored two goals and Steve Weeks turned in a powerful game in the nets to give the Islanders two victories in a row for the first time this season.
St. Louis 5, Minnesota 3--The Blues' power play carried them to victory at St. Louis.
Dave Christian, Michel Mongeau and Nelson Emerson scored while the Blues had a man advantage.
Winnipeg 1, New Jersey 0--The Devils have become one of the top teams in the Wales Conference. But they still can't beat the Jets.
At East Rutherford, N.J., the goal was by Ed Olczyk at 7:13 of the final period.
In the last five seasons the Jets have a 10-1-5 record against the Devils.
In the last two periods, the Devils peppered goalie Bob Essensa for 34 shots, and the visitors had only eight against Chris Terreri.
Edmonton 6, Quebec 2--Kelly Buchberger scored twice and assisted on another at Quebec to help the Oilers end a four-game road winless streak. It was the fifth loss in a row for the Nordiques.
Buffalo 5, Calgary 4--The Sabres took a 4-1 lead before the middle of the second period at Calgary, blew it and won in the last minute.
Rookie Don Audette scored his 11th goal with 59 seconds left to break the 4-4 tie.
Toronto 2, Chicago 2--Glenn Anderson capped the celebration of the 60th birthday of the Maple Leaf Gardens by getting the Maple Leafs a tie.
Anderson scored with 4:07 left in regulation to get Toronto even.