Stars topple Blackhawks, Penguins edge thriller


The Dallas Stars stole a march on the Chicago Blackhawks on the road to the play-offs after a 5-2 demolition on Friday.

Both teams were tied on 88 points in the NHL's Central Division, with the Blackhawks sitting first , but that all changed after the Stars' brilliant performance which moved them into top spot.

A huge second period, after the Stars were 1-0 up through Jason Spezza's first-period strike, put the home side four goals to the good.

Antoine Roussel, Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn - the latter two scoring their 33rd goals for the season - had the Stars 4-0 up before  Teuvo Teravainen pulled one back for the visiting Blackhawks.

Ales Hemsky made it 5-1 to seal the win with Tomas Fleischmann scoring a consolation for the Blackhawks.

The Pittsburgh Penguins won a thriller against the Columbus Blue Jackets with Carl Hagelin scoring the winner not even two minutes after Cam Atkinson had levelled the scores in the second period.

Gregory Campbell had put the Blue Jackets 1-0 up just five minutes into the first period before Kris Letang and Chris Kunitz had the Penguins in the lead.

The St. Louis Blues scored their 40th win of the season to sure up second spot in the Central Division, as they beat the in-form Anaheim Ducks 5-2.

Vladimir Tarasenko scored two goals to add to those scored by Paul Stastny, Jori Lehtera and Patrik Berglund.

Elsewhere, the Philadelphia Flyers beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1 while the Arizona Coyotes triumphed over the Calgary Flames 4-1.