BOSTON – Zdeno Chara scored the winning goal in his first game against his former team, lifting the Boston Bruins to a 2-1 win over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night.

Chara, one of the NHL’s top free agents last summer, scored a power-play goal on a blistering slap shot from the right point with 4:25 left to give the struggling Bruins just their second win in six games.

The Bruins also hired away former Ottawa assistant general manager Peter Chiarelli in May, naming him the team’s GM after firing Mike O’Connell. Chiarelli later fired coach Mike Sullivan and replaced him with Dave Lewis.

Tim Thomas stopped 35 shots and P.J. Axelsson also scored for Boston.

Dany Heatley scored a second-period power-play goal for the Senators, who had a three-game winning streak snapped. Martin Gerber had 30 saves for the Senators.

After a scoreless first period, the Senators took advantage of a two-man advantage to grab the lead on Heatley’s goal at 17:21 in the second. Heatley, positioned at the right side of the crease, banged in a cross-ice pass from Jason Spezza.

The Bruins tied it with 12:55 to play in the third when Axelsson stole the puck from defenseman Tom Preissing, broke in alone and fired a wrist shot into the top left corner.

The Senators had scored a club-record tying 21 goals in their previous three games.

Chara used his 6-foot-9 frame often against his former team in the first period, banging against a number of Senators players and nearly getting into a fight with winger Brian McGrattan. The pair were sent off for roughing after dropping their gloves and tussling in front of the Ottawa net.

Thomas had the best stop of the night early in the second period when he made a diving glove save, coming across the crease to rob Heatley.

Thrashers 5, Sabres 4

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Kari Lehtonen and the upstart Atlanta Thrashers put an end to the Buffalo Sabres’ bid for an NHL record start.

Barely.

Lehtonen denied all three Sabres shootout attempts and stopped 32 shots overall in a 5-4 win Saturday night, ending Buffalo’s season-opening winning streak at 10. Penguins 8, Flyers 2

PHILADELPHIA – Sidney Crosby had his first career hat trick, Maxime Talbot scored two goals and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Philadelphia Flyers 8-2 Saturday night for their fourth straight win.

Evgeni Malkin, Mark Recchi and Dominic Moore also scored goals for Pittsburgh. Marc-Andre Fleury was simply sensational in goal, recording 30 saves to help the Penguins extend their longest winning streak in more than two years. It’s their first four-game winning streak since March 6-11, 2004.

Leafs 5, Canadiens 4

MONTREAL – Kyle Wellwood scored in the shootout to lift the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 5-4 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night, snapping a three-game losing streak.

Tomas Kaberle got his first career hat trick for Toronto, which held three different two-goal leads for most of the game.

Montreal’s David Aebischer stopped five straight shots in the seven-round shootout after Kaberle scored on the opening shot. Aebischer made 47 saves, including eight in overtime, for the Canadiens, who were outshot 8-2 in the extra period and 51-22 overall.

Hurricanes 6, Lightning 4

RALEIGH, N.C. – Eric Staal and Scott Walker each scored two goals and the Carolina Hurricanes set a franchise record with three scores in 43 seconds Saturday night to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-4.

Kevyn Adams and Erik Cole also scored for the Hurricanes, who led almost the entire way in a matchup of the past two Stanley Cup champions. Rod Brind’Amour added three assists, while Cam Ward finished with 19 saves.

Devils 1, Blue Jackets 0

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Martin Brodeur stopped 22 shots for his second straight shutout and Zach Parise provided the winner late in the second period to lead the New Jersey Devils to a 1-0 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night.

The shutout was Brodeur’s third of the season and the 83rd of his career, moving him into sole possession of fourth place on the NHL’s all-time list, one ahead of Hall of Famer Jacques Plante.

Ducks 3, Blackhawks 0

CHICAGO – Ilja Bryzgalov earned his first shutout this season and Dustin Penner scored in the second period to help the Anaheim Ducks beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-0 Saturday night.

Stars 3, Kings 2

DALLAS – Jeff Halpern scored the winning goal with 3:44 left and rookie goalie Mike Smith made 32 saves to lift the Dallas Stars to a 3-2 victory over the slumping Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night.

Islanders 4, Panthers 3

UNIONDALE, N.Y. – Andy Hilbert scored in the 10th round of the shootout to lead the New York Islanders to a 4-3 victory over the Florida Panthers on Saturday night.

Red Wings 3, Blues 2

ST. LOUIS – Detroit avoided losing to another St. Louis team, getting two goals from Tomas Holmstrom off setups from Pavel Datsyuk in the Red Wings’ 3-2 victory over the Blues on Saturday night.


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