The New Jersey Devils are playing like an expansion team, and the Columbus Blue Jackets look like champs.
The Stanley Cup-winning Devils fell to San Jose 3-2 Tuesday night, their sixth straight loss and fifth at home. New Jersey, which hadn't lost six in a row since Jan. 1-14, 1991, had its winless streak stretched to seven.
"We're just shooting ourselves in the foot by making stupid mistakes," coach Larry Robinson said after the Devils squandered a 2-0 lead. "Then we lose our composure when we get a goal scored against us. As soon as that second goal went in, it became the old 'Here we go again' scenario."
The first-year Blue Jackets, behind two power-play goals by Steve Heinze, won their third straight by edging the Western Conference champion Dallas Stars 3-2.
Columbus moved past Chicago and out of the last place in the Central Division as the Blue Jackets extended their first winning streak. All three victories have come at home.
"This is raising the bar for ourselves," Heinze said. "Now we have no excuses."
In other NHL games, it was Phoenix 2, Washington 2; Tampa Bay 1, Montreal 0; Edmonton 3, St. Louis 0; and Vancouver 4, Chicago 2.
New Jersey, with 15 points at 6-8-3, is tied with the New York Islanders at the bottom of the Atlantic Division.
"Confidence is a huge factor," said goalie Martin Brodeur, who stopped 14 Sharks shots. "These last six games have been tough for everyone's confidence."
Mike Ricci scored the game-winning goal at 9:00 of the third period as San Jose won its seventh road game. The Sharks have only one loss in 11 games.
"It's all about the work ethic, the discipline and the character," said Evgeni Nabokov, who made 20 saves. "That's what our team is showing right now."
Confidence and determination are things the young Blue Jackets don't have any trouble with. Columbus has won five of its last six at Nationwide Arena. After a 1-7-0-1 start, the Blue Jackets are 5-3-1-0.
"Columbus is a really honest, hard-working team," said Dallas coach Ken Hitchcock, who led the Stars to the Stanley Cup two seasons ago. "I think when you don't put a good team game into the picture, you're going to get beat."
Ron Tugnutt stopped 26 Dallas shots to improve to 4-1-1 in his last six starts. He allowed two goals to Brett Hull in the third period.
"I just think I'm doing my part," Tugnutt said. "I've got to do my part and the guys have got to do their part. When we do it together, we win."
Even Frantisek Kucera got onto the scoresheet for the Blue Jackets. Kucera, the last Columbus player without a point this season, gave his team a 1-0 lead just 7:39 in.
Capitals 2, Coyotes 2
Ulf Dahlen scored his second goal of the game with 21.4 seconds left in regulation, lifting host Washington into a tie with Phoenix.
Dahlen's fifth goal negated Keith Tkachuk's power-play goal with 6:09 remaining that gave the Coyotes a 2-1 lead.
Jeremy Roenick also scored for the Coyotes.
Dahlen ruined Sean Burke's bid for his third shutout of the season -- and second consecutive -- tying the game midway through the third period.
Lightning 1, Canadiens 0
Vincent Lecavalier scored the lone goal and Kevin Weekes made 34 saves as visiting Tampa Bay gave Montreal its second consecutive shutout loss.
Oilers 3, Blues 0
Ryan Smyth scored three goals and Tommy Salo made 29 saves for his 18th career shutout as Edmonton ended St. Louis' 10-game undefeated streak (8-0-2).
Canucks 4, Blackhawks 2
Markus Naslund scored the game-winning goal and added an assist as Vancouver beat Chicago.
Daniel Sedin, Trent Klatt and Andrew Cassels also scored for the host Canucks, who held a 47-19 shots advantage.
Steve Sullivan and Alexei Zhamnov had the Chicago goals. Sullivan extended his point streak to eight games.
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