With Wayne Gretzky on top of his game, John Muckler came out on top in his coaching debut with the New York Rangers.
"Wayne Gretzky was just amazing," Muckler said following a 5-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night. "He was the difference. He has always played well in Toronto. He loves to play in Toronto."Gretzky, the NHL's career leading scorer, had three assists for the 140th time in his career.
It was like old times for Gretzky and Muckler, who was on the coaching staff in Edmonton for all four of Gretzky's Stanley Cup victories. Muckler was hired to replace the fired Colin Campbell during the Olympic break.
DEVILS 4, LIGHTNING 1: Dave Andreychuk and Bobby Holik scored power-play goals to help New Jersey beat Tampa Bay for its fifth straight victory.
Holik's goal, his 24th on a shot from the left circle, broke a 1-1 tie at 16:56 of the second period. He added an empty-netter with 36.5 seconds left as New Jersey stretched its unbeaten streak to six (5-0-1).
BRUINS 1, SABERS 1: With Dominik Hasek taking a post-Olympics break, Boston's Byron Dafoe and Buffalo's Steve Shields put on a goaltending clinic at the FleetCenter.
Dafoe stopped 20 Sabres shots, losing his shutout bid when Alexei Zhitnik's shot was deflected through his legs with 46 seconds left in regulation.
AVALANCHE 3, COYOTES 0: At Denver, Patrick Roy stopped 27 shots for his 40th career shutout as Colorado completed a back-to-back sweep of Phoenix. Roy, 17-1-2 with three shutouts lifetime against the Coyotes, was aided by Colorado's penalty-killing unity. Phoenix was 0-for-9 on its power play.
KINGS 7, BLACKHAWKS 4: Glen Murray scored twice in a four-goal first period to lead Los Angeles over Chicago. Josef Stumpel also scored twice for the Kings, while Sandy Moger, Yanic Perreault and Sean O'Donnell had one goal apiece.
SHARKS 3, BLUES 1: Mike Vernon stopped 26 shots as San Jose defeated St. Louis, which lost goalie Grant Fuhr in the second period with a knee injury.