The Colorado Avalanche are still trying to figure out what's going wrong.
"There is no such thing as cruising in this league," Colorado forward Keith Jones said after the Avalanche lost 3-1 to the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night. "This is an urgent time of the year and if we don't get our game going, we won't be playing at the end of May."It was the fifth straight loss for the Pacific Division leaders, their longest streak since the franchise was in Quebec in the 1993-94 season. And it cost them a chance to clinch their fourth straight division title.
The Central-leading Dallas Stars, meanwhile, finally managed a victory after three straight losses by beating Toronto 4-2. The Stars had been 1-5-1 in their previous seven games.
"It's been a rough stretch," Stars coach Ken Hitchcock said. "It was eating away at us and we were pressing. We're not out of it yet, but this helps."
KINGS 3, AVALANCHE 1: Stephane Fiset stopped 31 shots to end a personal four-game losing streak and gain a career-high 25th win.
Craig Johnson scored a third-period goal, and Jozef Stumpel matched a career high with his 21st for the Kings.
Joe Sakic, who recently returned from an extended injury, scored his second goal in as many games and his first at home since Feb. 5 for the Avalanche. Patrick Roy had 35 saves in losing his fourth straight.
"The main thing was my teammates kept things clear in front of me and didn't let them get to many rebounds," said Fiset (25-22-8). "When I get an effort like that in front me, it is hard to beat this team."
STARS 4, MAPLE LEAFS 2: Joe Nieuwendyk scored twice as Dallas won for only the second time in eight games.
The victory gave Dallas 99 points, two better than idle Detroit in the race for the best record and top playoff seed in the Western Conference.
HURRICANES 3, BRUINS 0: At Boston, Trevor Kidd gained his third consecutive shutout and Carolina bolstered its late-season surge for the Eastern Conference's final playoff spot.
Carolina moved two points behind Ottawa for eighth place, with both teams having seven games left. Boston fell three points behind Washington for the final Eastern Conference playoff slot with home ice in the opening round.
CANADIENS 2, CAPITALS 2: Montreal salvaged the tie when Sebastien Bordeleau scored his second goal with 9:01 to play.
ISLANDERS 3, LIGHTNING 0: Wade Flaherty stopped 26 shots and Zigmund Palffy extended his point streak to six games as the Islanders recorded a team-record third consecutive shutout.
OILERS 3, CANUCKS 2: Scott Fraser snapped a tie in the second period as Edmonton beat Vancouver to move into a tie for sixth place in the tight Western Conference playoff race.