The Boston Bruins, Stanley Cup runner-ups of a year ago, moved a win away from advancing to the Adams Divison finals Thursday night after a fluke goal by All-Star defenseman Ray Bourque opened the floodgates.

Trailing 1-0 early in the third period and with his team on the power play, Bourque skated up the middle, stopped at center ice and unloaded a slap shot that changed direction when it hit Whalers winger Paul Cyr near the Hartford blueline. Goalie Peter Sidorkiewicz, skating off to his left, was caught off-balance and the puck sailed into the net.Dave Christian followed with another goal 16 seconds later, and the Bruins were on their way to a 6-1 victory over the Whalers and 3-2 lead in their first-round series.

Devils 4, Penguins 2

At Pittsburgh, Claude Lemieux snapped a third-period deadlock with a power-play tally and Doug Brown scored into an empty net with 22 seconds left, giving the Devils a 3-2 lead in their Patrick Division semifinal. New Jersey goaltender Chris Terreri was outstanding as the Penguins outshot the Devils 41-24. The Devils also killed off seven power plays.

Capitals 5, Rangers 4

At New York, Dino Ciccarelli scored 6:44 into overtime, giving the Capitals a 3-2 lead in their Patrick Division semifinal. With Rangers defenseman David Shaw draped over his back, Ciccarelli circled behind the goal and, while falling to the ice, shoveled a low shot through goalie Mike Richter's skates for his second goal of the series. Washington outshot the Rangers 55-35, including 9-3 in overtime.

Canadiens 4, Sabres 3

At Montreal, Russ Courtnall scored 5:56 into overtime to move the Canadiens within one victory of advancing to the Adams Division finals. Courtnall was sent into the clear for a breakaway after taking a pass from Guy Carbonneau, faked Buffalo goalie Clint Malarchuk to one side before drilling a shot into the far corner that moved Montreal ahead 3-2 in the best-of-seven series. The Sabres tied the score 3-3 late in the third period on Dave Andreychuk's power-play goal. Game 6 is scheduled for Saturday in Buffalo.