With his three-goal night in a 7-4 win over Tampa Bay, Stafford now has five career hat-tricks. Three of them have come in his past 19 games. Stafford completed his latest trick scoring twice as part of a five-goal third period for Buffalo. Thomas Vanek(notes) and Jordan Leopold(notes) each added three points and Ryan Miller(notes) stopped 30 shots for his fourth win in five starts.
After a dreadful start to the season, the Devils have closed the gap between themselves and a playoff spot to 15 points (huge considering where they were). Tedenby's goal 2:42 into overtime gave them a 3-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes to improve to 10-1-2 in their last 13 games:
Another game, another shutout for Niemi. Goals by Logan Couture(notes) and Dan Boyle(notes) in the third period snapped a scoreless tie as the Sharks downed the Washington Capitals 2-0. The shutout was the second straight for Niemi, who also blanked Boston 2-0 on Monday. San Jose extended their winning streak to four games and the win was their 13th in their last 14 meetings against the Capitals.
Honorable mention: The Maple Leafs ended a five-game road losing streak with a 5-3 win against the New York Islanders thanks to three points from Colby Armstrong(notes) and Darryl Boyce(notes) and 31 saves from goaltender James Reimer(notes) ... Matt D'Agostini's(notes) goal with four minutes in regulation broke a 1-1 tie as St. Louis edged Florida 2-1. Jaroslav Halak(notes) made 30 saves to improve to 6-1-0 all-time against the Panthers as the Blues halted a four-game road losing skid ... Rick Nash(notes) and Jakub Voracek(notes) each had a goal and an assist and Steve Mason(notes) made 32 saves as Columbus upended the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1. The pair hooked up on Voracek's goal with Nash setting things up with an alley-oop pass:
Did you know? San Jose's shutout was the eighth time Washington failed to score in a game this season.
Dishonorable mention: The Islanders lost goaltender Kevin Poulin(notes) to injury during warmups and rookie Mikko Koskinen(notes) was summoned for his first NHL start ... Matt Cooke's hit on Fedor Tyutin will keep his name in many arguments for at least a few more days ... Anton Volchenkov's(notes) elbow on Zach Boychuk(notes) will likely land him a phone call, right after Matt Cooke(notes), with Colin Campbell: