|RICK DiPIETRO 28 saves in loss|
Mike Knuble had his best offensive game when his first priority was defense.
Playing on the checking line against Anaheim's top line, the former Bruin got his first hat trick in 707 career games to help the Atlantic Division-leading Flyers beat visiting Anaheim, 3-0, last night.
Behind Martin Biron (27 saves), the Flyers improved to 13-3-1 since they were in last place on Christmas; the defending Stanley Cup champion Ducks have lost six straight since going 8-0-1, including a 1-0 shootout loss at St. Louis Friday night.
A two-time 30-goal scorer, Knuble gave fans a reason to toss their hats onto the ice when he scored his 19th goal on a slap shot from above the right circle to give the Flyers a 3-0 lead in the third period.
He was outstanding on the opposite end of the ice, helping shut down Todd Bertuzzi, Ryan Getzlaf, and Corey Perry. "They're three great players and we kept them off the board," Knuble said. "It was our night. Next time might be theirs."
Canadiens 4, Islanders 1 - Alex Kovalev had a goal and an assist, and host Montreal scored three times in the second period to defeat visiting New York.
Mark Streit scored a power-play goal 7:32 into the middle period to give Montreal a 2-1 lead. Kovalev, who assisted on Tomas Plekanec's shorthanded goal 37 seconds into the second, gave the Canadiens their third goal of the period with his team-leading 23d on a screened shot past Rick DiPietro at 12:35.
Cristobal Huet stopped 29 shots in his 11th straight start for Montreal.
DiPietro made 28 saves after missing Thursday's 3-1 loss to Los Angeles because of the flu.
"We know how good he is when he sees a shot," Kovalev said. "It's harder for the goalie when there's traffic in front of the net."
Penguins 4, Hurricanes 1 - Evgeni Malkin scored a goal and set up two others in the third period as Pittsburgh beat visiting Carolina.
Petr Sykora had a goal and an assist as Pittsburgh scored on four of its first nine shots in the third.
Sharks 3, Blackhawks 2 - Jeremy Roenick scored the winner in the fifth round of the shootout, and Evgeni Nabokov stopped four of Chicago's five attempts to seal host San Jose's 10th consecutive win over the Blackhawks.
Thrashers 2, Capitals 0 - Kari Lehtonen had 36 saves as visiting Atlanta beat Washington despite playing without leading scorer Ilya Kovalchuk (injured right knee) and mustering only 13 shots.
Predators 3, Coyotes 2 - Alexander Radulov scored when a shot bounced off his left shoulder and trickled across the goal line at 4:10 of overtime to give host Nashville a win over Phoenix.
Panthers 3, Lightning 2 - Richard Zednik scored the go-ahead goal with 1:05 left in the third and Tomas Vokoun made 44 saves to lead Florida in Tampa.
Wild 4, Blue Jackets 1 - Marian Gaborik scored twice and Brian Rolston ran his goals streak to five games to lead visiting Minnesota past Columbus.
Maple Leafs 4, Senators 2 - Carlo Colaiacovo and Jason Blake scored third-period goals and host Toronto didn't commit any penalties in beating Ottawa.
Devils 6, Kings 3 - Light-scoring defenseman Colin White had a goal and an assist to help New Jersey beat visiting Los Angeles.
Avalanche 6, Blues 4 - Rookie T.J. Hensick and Ben Guite scored two goals each, leading Colorado in St. Louis.
Stars 2, Flames 1 - Niklas Hagman scored early in the third period to lead Dallas in Calgary.