Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Carl Gunnarsson, left, battles for the puck against New York Rangers forward Rick Nash, right, during first period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Monday, April 8, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
TORONTO - Phil Kessel scored twice to lead the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 4-3 win over the New York Rangers on Monday night to open an important home-and-home series between the Eastern Conference rivals.
Toronto (22-13-4) remained fifth in the Eastern Conference standings, moving four points ahead of idle Ottawa with its fifth win in six games.
Derek Stepan pulled New York into a 3-3 tie at 9:00 of the third period, but Kessel put Toronto back ahead 39 seconds later.
The Rangers (19-16-4) remain tied with the idle New York Islanders for seventh in the Eastern Conference with 42 points.
James van Riemsdyk and Ryan O'Byrne also scored for Toronto.
Rick Nash had the other two goals for New York.
BRUINS 6, HURRICANES 2
BOSTON (AP)—Brad Marchand scored two goals, Tuukka Rask stopped 40 shots, and Boston scored a season-high in goals while winning for the fourth time in five games.
Rich Peverley, Andrew Ference, Jordan Caron and Nathan Horton each added a goal, and defenceman Dennis Seidenberg established a career-high with three assists for Boston, which moved a point behind Montreal in the Northeast Division.
Patrick Dwyer and Drayson Bowman scored for the Hurricanes, who lost for the 12th time in 13 games, 11 of them coming in regulation.
Carolina has allowed four or more goals in 10 of its last 14.
DUCKS 2, OILERS 1
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)—Radek Dvorak scored two goals, Jonas Hiller made 27 saves after missing four games because of an illness, and Anaheim moved closer to the second Pacific Division title in franchise history and first since its 2006-07 Stanley Cup championship season.
The Ducks lead Pittsburgh by one point for the NHL's second-best overall record and trail Chicago by three with eight games remaining. Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim's captain and leading scorer, missed his third straight game because of a leg injury.
Defenceman Nick Schultz ended a 58-game goal drought and Devan Dubnyk stopped 36 shots for the Oilers, who have lost three straight after a season-best five-game winning streak.
CANUCKS 2, COYOTES 0
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP)—Ryan Kesler scored in his return to the lineup after a 20-game absence, Cory Schneider made 19 saves, and Vancouver moved four points up on idle Minnesota in the Northwest Division standings.
Kesler returned from a foot fracture he sustained in his first game back after shoulder and wrist surgeries last summer.
Schneider picked up his fifth shutout of the season, tying Phoenix's Mike Smith and Nashville's Pekka Rinne for first in the NHL.
Schneider and the Canucks had to kill off a penalty with just over a minute left in regulation when Kesler took a tripping penalty in the offensive zone. But Keith Yandle missed a pass from Antoine Vermette and the puck went the distance for a short-handed empty-net goal credited to defenceman Dan Hamhuis.
FLAMES 3, AVALANCHE 1
DENVER (AP)—Mike Cammalleri broke a second-period tie and Joey MacDonald stopped 39 shots, helping Calgary snap a 13-game road winless streak.
Roman Cervenka also scored and Alex Tanguay added a short-handed goal to wrap up the win for the Flames in a game that featured the bottom two teams in the NHL. Before Monday, Calgary's last victory away from home was Feb. 17 at Dallas.
Brad Malone scored his first NHL goal for the last-place Avalanche, who have dropped five straight games.