The San Jose Sharks are closing in on something special, their first division title.
Mike Ricci had a goal and two assists, and Teemu Selanne scored the go-ahead goal Thursday night as the Sharks beat Phoenix 5-2, giving them a four-point lead in the Pacific Division with five games left.
Mike Rathje had a goal and an assist for the Sharks, who rallied from an early deficit for a critical victory over the Coyotes, who are an NHL-best 12-3-1-2 since the Olympic break.
Although Phoenix and Los Angeles are only four points behind San Jose, there are just five games remaining for each team.
"You've just got to wake up in the morning and look at the standings again," Sharks assistant coach Rich Preston said. "If you're in first place, you feel good, but you don't change anything. You can't take anything for granted for the division race or for the playoffs."
The Sharks also are one point behind Colorado for second overall in the Western Conference. San Jose needs just three points in its final five games to improve its point total for the sixth consecutive season.
The loss slowed the Coyotes, but goalie Sean Burke didn't believe their performance warranted a victory.
Elsewhere, it was Los Angeles 3, Detroit 0; Montreal 3, Philadelphia 1; the New York Islanders 2, Boston 1 in overtime; Calgary 4, Minnesota 3; the New York Rangers 4, Toronto 2; Tampa Bay 4, Pittsburgh 2; and Columbus 2, Nashville 1.
Kings 3, Red Wings 0
Felix Potvin stopped 31 shots against the NHL's highest-scoring team for his 24th career shutout.
The shutout was the fifth this season for Potvin, who was given a vote of confidence by coach Andy Murray in a private meeting Wednesday morning. Potvin had surrendered 15 goals in a four-game span, blowing a two-goal lead in the final 2 1/2 minutes of Tuesday's 4-4 tie with Vancouver.
Aaron Miller and Jason Allison scored less than five minutes apart in the second period. Kelly Buchberger also scored and Cliff Ronning had two assists, helping the Kings end a five-game winless streak and extend their home unbeaten streak to eight.
Canadiens 3, Flyers 1
Montreal moved into the final Eastern Conference playoff position, two points in front of idle Washington.
The Canadiens won their fourth straight as Andrei Markov had a goal and an assist and Jose Theodore stopped 23 shots. Islanders 2, Bruins 1, OT
Oleg Kvasha scored at 3:29 of overtime, further enhancing New York's playoff status. A victory Saturday vs. Washington will give the Islanders their first postseason berth in eight years.
Kvasha put the puck between defenseman Hal Gill's skates near the Boston blue line, then cut past Sean O'Donnell, who knocked him to the ice. But as he was falling, Kvasha shot the puck between goalie Byron Dafoe's legs.
Rangers 4, Maple Leafs 2
Pavel Bure scored twice, including the go-ahead goal midway through the third period. Bure was standing alone at the side of the net as linemate Eric Lindros fed him a loose puck. The Russian sniper easily put in the winner.
Lightning 4, Penguins 2
At Tampa, Dave Andreychuk scored twice to reach 20 goals for the 17th time in his career, tying him for third all-time with Wayne Gretzky, Marcel Dionne, Mike Gartner and Mark Messier.
Blue Jackets 2, Predators 1
Deron Quint scored his first goal in 19 games and Espen Knutsen had two assists. The victory ended the host Blue Jackets' seven-game winless streak (0-5-0-2).
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