The Boston Bruins got the goals. Buffalo Sabres coach Rick Dudley was left with the questions - and not many answers.
How could the Bruins, who played the night before in Montreal, have outskated the Sabres, who had the night off, in Boston's 3-2 victory Sunday night?When will the Sabres get more goals from the people on the team who should be scoring them? And why did most of the Buffalo players wait until the team was trailing 3-0 in the third period to finally put some effort into the game?
"I don't know" was Dudley's answer to the last two questions. But he did have an explanation for the first one.
"Because they got beat 7-1" by the Canadiens Saturday, said Dudley. "We should have known what was going to happen. They're not going to want to have another loss after that humiliation in Montreal, and they came out and worked hard."
Hard work has been a hallmark of both Boston and Buffalo when they are playing at their best. But this season, the effort has been spotty for both.
It certainly wasn't there for the Bruins in losing their last two games - both to Adams Division rival Montreal. It certainly was there against Buffalo.
Buffalo goalie Clint Malarchuk kicked aside seven shots in the game's first six minutes before the Sabres finally managed their first shot on Andy Moog, a slapshot from the red line that the Boston goalie handled easily.
"Obviously the first part of the game we played awful," said Dudley. "We gave the game away in the first period and it cost us. Simple."
Flyers 5, Blackhawks 4
In Chicago, the Flyers got a lift as Ron Hextall, playing for the first time since Oct. 27, stopped 29 shots to help Philadelphia hold off the Blackhawks and end a three-game losing streak.
Hextall injured ligaments in his left knee against the New York Islanders six weeks ago. He had lost his first three decisions this season before the injury and the victory was his first since Feb. 22.
Rick Tocchet had a goal and an assist for the Flyers. Dave Manson scored twice for Chicago, which was unable to overcome a 4-1 deficit.
Flames 3, Oilers 2
In Edmonton, Al MacInnis, the NHL's highest-scoring defenseman, scored two goals in the second period to help Calgary move into first place in the Smythe Division.
MacInnis gave the Flames a 2-1 lead early in the second period when he unleashed a slap shot that hit Edmonton goaltender Bill Ranford's pads and trickled into the net. He added an unassisted power-play goal on another slap shot at 13:17.