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NHL: 5 stories from Saturday night

The Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Winnipeg Jets, the Montreal Canadiens got back on track, the Ottawa Senators broke a long running win-lose cycle and the Stadium Series saw an all-California battle.

Here are five stories from Saturday night in the NHL:

Leafs end drought

The Toronto Maple Leafs ended a five-game winless streak and beat a team that’s still in playoff contention for the first time since Dec. 31.

The struggling squad needed extra time to claim a 4-3 victory over the Winnipeg Jets, who are in the heat of an intense Western Conference playoff race.

Toronto forward James van Riemsdyk scored his first goal in 11 games at an extremely opportune time, netting the game-winner at just under four minutes into overtime.

Winnipeg Jets forward Mark Scheifele and Leafs forward Nazem Kadri each had a goal and an assist in the close match.

Canadiens back on track

The Montreal Canadiens ended a two-game skid with a 3-1 victory over the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets to reclaim sole possession of the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

Forward Max Pacioretty scored twice for his fourth multi-goal game of the season. The 26-year-old currently has a league leading plus-minus of 33 and now has 29 goals.

It was a bit of a rough night at the Bell Centre. Notably, forward Christian Thomas got into his first career NHL fight when he took on Matt Calvert in a pretty decent tilt.

Senators break cycle

The Ottawa Senators won their second consecutive game for the first time since Jan. 3, decisively defeating the Florida Panthers 4-1.

It was a team effort that saw Kyle Turris and Erik Karlsson each score their 14th of the season, Bobby Ryan net his 15th and rookie Curtis Lazar notch his third.

Turris had a hand in three of Ottawa’s four goals with his first three-point night of the season. The 25-year-old had a goal and two assists to help break his team’s seven week win-lose cycle.

Stadium Series takes hold of California

In the lone Stadium Series match of 2015, the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks met at Levi’s Stadium in front of an crowd of over 70,000 to battle for a playoff position.

Heading into Saturday’s spectacle, the reigning Stanley Cup champions were two points out of a playoff spot while the Sharks held the last wild card spot in the West with 68 points.

The Kings further stressed the playoff battle with a 2-1 victory that tied the Sharks and gave them their seventh win in a row. With three games in hand, Los Angeles jumped the Sharks to move into the 3rd spot in the Pacific division thanks to Marian Gaborik’s game winning slapshot.

Distance grows after Pacific match

Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf scored the lone goal in the final frame to steal a 2-1 victory from the Edmonton Oilers.

The two points gave the Ducks a secure 12-point lead for the top spot in the Pacific division and a 37-point disparity between the bottom dwelling Oilers.

CBC | Sports News

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