Bryan Bickell scored in the first period and Ray Emery made 20 saves as the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Predators, 1-0, Saturday in Nashville for their third win in four games.
The Blackhawks, who improved to 12-0-1 against the Central Division, won their third against Nashville this season and second in six days.
The game was the first of a back-to-back with the second game Sunday night in Chicago.
‘‘That’s a team that you’ve really got to play some boring hockey against,’’ Emery said of Nashville. ‘‘You just try to be in good defensive position and take advantage when you get the opportunity. And I thought we played that strategy to a T tonight.’’
The Predators had their chances in the third with a double minor when Daniel Carcillo high-sticked Nashville captain Shea Weber, nicking the defenseman’s nose and drawing blood at 7:58 of the third.
But the Blackhawks improved to 16 of their past 16 penalty kills. Patric Hornqvist poked away a would-be empty-netter by Chicago right wing Michael Frolik with 1:30 left.
Nashville took its timeout only to see Emery stop several chances, including a wraparound pass from Taylor Beck to Hornqvist. Brandon Yip was just wide of the net before the final horn.
Capitals 4, Panthers 3 — Alex Ovechkin recorded his 12th career hat trick and added an assist, and surging Washington survived a late rally by host Florida.
Ovechkin scored twice from in close on the power play, and weaved through traffic for his other goal, as the Capitals (19-17-2) improved to 8-2-1 in their last 11 games in completing a four-game season sweep of the Panthers.
The Panthers rallied in third period behind two goals from Tomas Kopecky and another by Peter Mueller.
Islanders 4, Lightning 2 — Matt Martin scored the go-ahead goal with less than seven minutes left in the third period and Evgeni Nabokov made 19 saves to lift playoff-hopeful New York over visiting Tampa Bay.
The Islanders started the night eighth in the Eastern Conference and kept pace in their drive for their first postseason appearance since 2007.
Flyers 4, Jets 1 — Winnipeg scored four second-period goals in less than seven minutes and Ondrej Pavelec made 30 saves as the Jets beat visiting Philadelphia to get back in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
Evander Kane, Grant Clitsome, Kyle Wellwood, and Bryan Little scored for the Jets, who snapped a five-game losing streak that had seen them slip from the top spot in the Southeast Division to 10th in the conference.
Canucks 5, Flames 2 — The Canucks’ top line combined for eight points, and Cory Schneider made 36 saves as host Vancouver beat reeling Calgary.
Henrik Sedin scored an empty-net goal and earned career NHL assists No. 600 and 601, Daniel Sedin added three assists, and Alex Burrows scored and had an assist to pace Vancouver (21-11-6), which has won eight of 10.
Dan Hamhuis, Dale Weise and Alex Edler also had goals for the Canucks.
Kings 4, Oilers 1 — Jeff Carter had a goal and an assist and Jonathan Quick made 23 saves as host Los Angeles beat Edmonton.
Mike Richards and Slava Voynov also scored for the defending Stanley Cup champions, who have won five of seven to climb back into fourth place in the West.
Rangers 4, Hurricanes 1 — Henrik Lundqvist made a season-high 48 saves, and New York gave Carolina its club-record-tying seventh straight home loss.
Derek Stepan and Ryan Callahan scored 31 seconds apart, and Rick Nash added a goal and an assist during the Rangers’ three-goal second period. Brian Boyle added an empty-netter just before the buzzer.
Coyotes 4, Avalanche 0 — Mike Smith stopped 24 shots in his return to the lineup and earned his fifth shutout of the season as Phoenix beat visiting Colorado.
Martin Hanzal and Shane Doan each had a goal and an assist, Mikkel Boedker and Boyd Gordon also scored, and Oliver Ekman-Larsson had two assists for the Coyotes.
Maple Leafs 2, Devils 1 — Rookie Leo Komarov and Tyler Bozak scored and visiting Toronto extended reeling New Jersey’s losing streak to six games.
James Reimer made 27 saves as the Maple Leafs strengthened their position in the tight Eastern Conference playoff race. The Maple Leafs are fifth in the East, seven points ahead of the Devils.