NHL-Highlights of Thursday's National Hockey League games.

December 20, 2013

Dec 19 (The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Thursday's National Hockey League games.

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Sabres 4, Bruins 2

Right winger Drew Stafford scored his first goal since early November to lead the Buffalo Sabres to a 4-2 victory over the Boston Bruins.

Stafford scored the game-winning goal on a wraparound with 5:41 remaining.

Defenseman Tyler Myers, center Brian Flynn and left winger Marcus Foligno also scored for the Sabres (9-23-3).

Left winger Brad Marchand scored both of Boston's (23-10-2) goals.

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Red Wings 3, Flames 2 (overtime)

Right winger Daniel Afredssson's second goal of the game, with 3:57 left in overtime and on the power play, gave the Detroit Red Wings a 3-2 win over the Calgary Flames.

The win snapped Detroit's six-game winless streak (0-4-2) and five-game home losing streak.

Alfredsson also had an assist and center Joakim Andersson also scored for Detroit.

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Flyers 5, Blue Jackets 4

Claude Giroux scored his second goal with 1:38 left to snap a tie and the Philadelphia Flyers rallied from a 3-0 deficit to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-4 for their eighth straight win at home.

The Flyers (16-15-4) scored three goals in the final 4:39 to raise their record above .500 for the first time this season.

Right winger Jakub Voracek, defensemen Braydon Coburn and Erik Gustafsson also scored for Philadelphia.

Right wingers Cam Atkinson and Jack Skille and left wingers Nick Foligno and Blake Comeau scored for Columbus (14-17-4).

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Penguins 5, Wild 2

Rookie defenseman Olli Maatta scored on a penalty shot and had two assists, and four other Pittsburgh Penguins scored in a 5-2 win over the Minnesota Wild.

Pittsburgh (26-10-1) posted its season-high sixth consecutive victory and 10th in a row at the Consol Energy Center.

They are 16-3-0 at home this season, and they have 31 wins in their past 36 home games, dating to last season, while the Wild dropped to 20-12-5.

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Maple Leafs 2, Coyotes 1 (shootout)

Left winger Joffrey Lupul scored the decisive goal in a shootout and the Toronto Maple Leafs edged the Phoenix Coyotes 2-1.

The Coyotes tied the game late in the third period on a goal by center Martin Hanzal as the Maple Leafs tried to make a first-period goal by right winger Troy Bodie stand up.

The Maple Leafs (18-16-3) snapped a two-game losing streak in winning for the second time in seven games. The Coyotes (18-10-6) have lost three in a row.

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Lightning 4, Predators 2

With a backup goalie in net, the Tampa Bay Lightning came through with four goals, helping Anders Lindback to a victory against his former team as the Lightning beat the Nashville Predators 4-2 at Tampa Bay Times Forum.

Lindback (3-6-1) had the lead from the opening three minutes and posted 19 saves in the first two periods against the team that traded him to Tampa before last season.

The Lightning (21-11-3) continued their strong play on home ice, having gone 8-1-1 in the last 10 games in Tampa. The Predators (16-16-3) dropped back to .500.

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Panthers 4, Senators 2

Defenseman Tom Gilbert and winger Tomas Kopecky scored goals 51 seconds apart late in the third period to give the Florida Panthers a 4-2 win over the Ottawa Senators.

The victory improved the Panthers' winning streak to five games, while the loss was the second in two nights for the Senators.

Florida improved to 14-17-5 while Ottawa fell to 14-17-6.

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Blues 5, Canadiens 1

Alexander Steen scored two goals in the first 7:55 of the game about 10 hours after signing a three-year contract extension to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 5-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens.

The two goals increased Steen's season total to 24 in just 34 games, equaling his career high set in the 2009-2010 season, and moved him into second place in the NHL this season behind Washington's Alex Ovechkin, who has scored 28 goals.

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Stars 4, Canucks 1

In a great bounce-back performance after struggling in his previous eight starts, Dallas goaltender Kari Lehtonen looked like his old self, stopping 27 of 28 shots as the Stars handed the Vancouver Canucks a 4-1 defeat.

Dallas (17-12-5, 39 points) got a three-point night from left winger Erik Cole and two assists each from centers Rich Peverley and Tyler Seguin.

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Avalanche 4, Oilers 2

Center Maxime Talbot scored a short-handed goal late in second period and the Colorado Avalanche held on to beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-2.

Center Matt Duchene scored an empty-net goal and added two assists and goaltender Semyon Varlamov stopped 27 shots in the win.

Center Ryan O'Reilly and defenseman Tyson Barrie also scored for the Avalanche.

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Kings 4, Sharks 1

Goaltender Martin Jones earned his seventh consecutive victory with a 31 save performance, and wingers Tyler Toffoli, Dwight King and Jeff Carter each bagged a goal and an assist as the Los Angeles Kings defeated the San Jose Sharks 4-1.

Los Angeles (24-8-4) beat San Jose for the 12th time in the last 13 games at the Staples Center and climbed to within a point of Pacific Division leading Anaheim Ducks.

San Jose fell to 22-7-5 and is struggling in the month of December, going 3-5-1 while falling to third in the Pacific Division.

(Editing by Ian Ransom)