The Chicago Blackhawks, well out of the playoff picture, considered beating the host Detroit Red Wings as a learning experience.
Patrick Sharp scored 1:29 into overtime, lifting Chicago to a 3-2 victory over Detroit last night.
"This was a big game for us," said captain Martin Lapointe, a former Red Wing. "We have such a young team. To beat the Red Wings is something we can build on."
Detroit's Steve Yzerman scored his 691st goal, breaking a tie with Mario Lemieux for sole possession of eighth place on the NHL's all-time list.
The fact that Sharpe beat goalie Nicklas Lidstrom, a three-time Norris Trophy winner, wasn't lost on Chicago coach Trent Yawney.
"Even the best in the business gets beat once in a while," he said.
Hurricanes 3, Panthers 2 -- Host Carolina clinched the Southeast Division title with a victory over Florida. With 102 points through 73 games, the Hurricanes moved within three points of Ottawa for the best record in the Eastern Conference.
Flames 6, Avalanche 3 -- Miikka Kiprusoff made 23 saves for his 37th win of the season as host Calgary (41-24-8) moved two points ahead of Colorado (40-25-8) for first place in the Northwest Division.
Wild 2, Canucks 1 -- Mikko Koivu scored the only shootout goal, leading Minnesota to victory over host Vancouver, which is one point ahead of eighth-place Edmonton and five up on San Jose.
Penguins 4, Islanders 0 -- Sebastien Caron stopped 29 shots to lead Pittsburgh over host New York and end a two-game losing streak. The Islanders have lost three straight.
Blue Jackets 4, Blues 2 -- Rick Nash scored twice, helping Columbus beat slumping host St. Louis. The Blues lost their ninth in a row.
Ducks 5, Stars 4 -- Rob Niedermayer and Jonathan Hedstrom both scored in a shootout to lead host Anaheim over Dallas.
Off the ice -- St. Louis Blues captain Dallas Drake will miss the remainder of the season after breaking two ribs and tearing some cartilage during Wednesday's 3-2 overtime loss at Chicago. He was the third player the team has lost for the season in a nine-game span, joining goalie Curtis Sanford and defenseman Barret Jackman.