The Boston Bruins would like to forget last season; the Chicago Blackhawks would like to forget the first few weeks of this one.

Both teams are making their pasts ancient history with strong performances of late, including the Bruins' 2-0 win over Washington and the Blackhawks' 2-1 triumph over St. Louis Thursday night.The Bruins, who finished last in the NHL last season, climbed into a tie with Ottawa for first place in the Northeast Division with a 10-5-1 record. The Bruins' victory total leads the Eastern Conference.

"We're playing well without the puck," defenseman Ray Bourque said. "We're playing very smart and disciplined."

Obviously, so are the Blackhawks, who are on a four-game winning streak and are 6-3 in their last nine games, following a franchise-worst 0-7 start.

"After this one, it puts that in the archives," said Chicago's Tony Amonte, referring to the 0-7 start.

Bruins 2, Capitals 0

Boston goalie Byron Dafoe made 21 saves for his second shutout in six games.

The Bruins played brilliant defense at FleetCenter, allowing only three shots in the third period and killing off all four Washington power plays to run their streak to 16 without a goal.

Washington goalie Bill Ranford, a former Bruin, also played well but allowed Ted Donato's eighth goal of the season at 14:52 of the second period and Dmitri Khristich's fifth, on a power play, at 6:42 of the third. Dafoe and Khristich came to the Bruins from the Los Angeles Kings in a trade Aug. 29.

"We're keeping it simple and not getting fancy, and by doing that, we're not making mistakes," said Bourque, who credited new coach Pat Burns with much of the team's success. "Some people have been stubborn, but they're starting to realize that this system works."

Blackhawks 2, Blues 1

James Black beat Grant Fuhr with a 30-foot slap shot with 1:31 remaining as the Blackhawks beat the Blues for their first four-game win streak in more than a year.

Eric Daze also scored and Chris Terreri made 15 saves for the 'Hawks, who swept a four-game homestand after losing five of their first six at the United Center. Chicago last had a four-game win streak in October 1996.

Panthers 4, Sabres 2

At Buffalo, Florida goalie Mark Fitzpatrick earned his first win since December as the Panthers broke a three-game losing streak.

Fitzpatrick, the backup to John Vanbiesbrouck, was 0-10-8 since Dec. 23, when he beat the New York Islanders. His most recent loss was to Buffalo in overtime Saturday.

Dave Nemirovsky's goal with 6:58 left in the second period turned out to be the game-winner.

Senators 4, Coyotes 1

Phil Crowe scored the game-winner three minutes after his penalty for high-sticking cost his Senators a goal.

Alexandre Daigle, Shawn McEachern and Shaun Van Allen also scored for Ottawa, 9-4-3 overall, 5-2-1 at home.

Flyers 6, Oilers 2

John LeClair scored his NHL-leading 14th and 15th goals and added three assists, and his Philadelphia teammates held Edmonton to a season-low 20 shots.

Petr Svoboda, Rod Brind'Amour, Dainius Zubrus and Chris Gratton also scored for the Flyers, who won their second straight game to snap a three-game home winless streak (0-2-1).

Kings 5, Lightning 2

Glen Murray scored twice in the second period for his second consecutive two-goal game, and Ian Laperriere had a shorthanded goal as Los Angeles beat Tampa Bay.

Mikael Renberg and Brian Bradley scored for the Lightning - losers of five in a row and winless in a club-record 11 straight games (0-10-1). They are 0-4 under interim coach Rick Paterson and own the NHL's worst record at 2-11-2.