Atkinson inspires Blue Jackets to rare win, Rangers beat Sabres in thriller


The Columbus Blue Jackets might have the lowest points tally in the NHL but they were inspired to a 5-2 home win over the Montreal Canadiens by hat-trick hero Cam Atkinson.

The hat-trick was the third of Atkinson's career and inspired the home side to just an 18th win from 50 games this season.

His first came to level the scores at 14 minutes, 40 seconds of the first period after Brendan Gallagher had put Montreal a goal to the good.

Atkinson made it 2-1 less than three minutes into the second period before P.K. Subban levelled the scores.

It was all Blue Jackets from there, as Brandon Saad scored twice before Atkinson sealed his hat-trick to secure the 5-2 win.

The New York Rangers won the most entertaining contest of the night as they smashed six past the Buffalo Sabres in a 6-3 win.

Derick Brassard notched five points as he scored two goals and helped with three assists in a commanding performance - particularly in the third period where he scored or set up all four of the Rangers goals.

The Rangers led 2-1 heading into the final period and quickly took a 3-1 lead through Brassard, before a Zemgus Girgensons double tied the scores for the Sabres, only for Brassard to set up J.T. Miller and then Mats Zuaccarello before finishing the game himself with a late goal.

The Detroit Red Wings put in a strong performance to seal a 4-2 win as goaltender Petr Mrazek made 27 saves to help the visiting side leave New York with the win over the Islanders.

A late Brett Connolly goal ensured the Boston Bruins recorded a 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers after Wayne Simmonds had tied for the Flyers with less than eight minutes remaining.

The Dallas Stars secured a 2-1 home win over the Calgary Flames to return to the winners list as Jamie Benn scored his 28th goal of the season, while the Arizona Coyotes picked up a dramatic shootout victory over the Minnesota Wild, winning 2-1 after Arizona's Antoine Vermette had sent the game into overtime.