Jarkko Ruutu scored two goals last night to lead the surging Pittsburgh Penguins over the Devils, 5-4, at East Rutherford, N.J.
Rob Scuderi, Jordan Staal, and Sidney Crosby also scored for Pittsburgh, which pulled within 5 points of the Atlantic Division-leading Devils with a game in hand. The Penguins have won five in a row and have picked up at least a point in 15 straight games, winning 13.
Brian Rafalski, Patrik Elias, Zach Parise, and Travis Zajac scored for the Devils, who had won 10 of their previous 14.
The Penguins drained the drama from the showdown by jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the first period on goals by Ruutu, Scuderi, and Staal.
Ruutu got it started when he deflected Josef Melichar's point shot past Martin Brodeur at 3:02.
Blues 1, Predators 0 -- Bill Guerin scored late in the second period, Manny Legace stopped 19 shots, and host St. Louis ended a 14-game losing streak against Nashville.
Guerin notched his team-leading 27th goal with 53 seconds left in the second period and both teams skating four players. He collected a pass from Doug Weight as they entered the Nashville zone and worked around a defender before flicking the puck past goalie Chris Mason and just inside the top corner.
It was Legace's fifth shutout this season and 18th overall.
Blue Jackets 3, Sharks 0 -- Gilbert Brule, Fredrik Modin, and Sergei Fedorov each had a goal and an assist and Fredrik Norrena stopped 29 shots to propel host Columbus past San Jose.
The Blue Jackets had lost two in a row and five of the last six.
It was Norrena's third shutout of the season.
Canucks 2, Blackhawks 1 -- Trevor Linden and Brendan Morrison scored in the shootout, and Roberto Luongo made 34 saves to lead Vancouver in Chicago.
Vancouver's Matt Cooke scored midway through the third to tie it and set up overtime.
The win moved the Canucks into first place in the Northwest Division.