March 24, 2013 2:40 AM

DEVILS 2, PANTHERS 1: Travis Zajac set up two goals, and New Jersey rode another solid performance by Martin Brodeur to a win over Florida.

Patrik Elias and David Clarkson scored for New Jersey, and Brodeur finished with 17 saves as the Devils won their second straight since the 40-year-old goalie returned to the lineup after being sidelined a month with a pinched nerve in his neck.

The victory might have been costly for New Jersey as star forward Ilya Kovalchuk missed the final 10 minutes after crashing into the boards. He appeared to have a shoulder injury.

Peter Mueller scored for Florida.

MAPLE LEAFS 3, BRUINS 2: Nazem Kadri scored in the first period, and Frazer McLaren added a timely goal in the third as Toronto ended an eight-game losing streak to Boston.

The Bruins tried to rally from a 3-0 hole in the third period, throwing everything they had at Toronto in the final minutes. Dennis Seidenberg and Andrew Ference, who scored after the goalie was pulled, had goals for the Bruins. Boston held a 33-13 edge in shots.

SABRES 2, CANADIENS 1: Thomas Vanek scored two goals to lead Buffalo over Montreal.

It was the Sabres’ third straight win in a run that began with an overtime victory in Montreal on Tuesday. Ryan Miller stopped 39 shots in this one for Buffalo.

Michael Ryder scored the lone goal for Montreal, and Carey Price made 16 saves.

SENATORS 5, LIGHTNING 3: Jakob Silfverberg, Eric Gryba, Guillaume Latendresse and Daniel Alfredsson scored in a 7:01 span in the first period, and Ottawa held off Tampa Bay.

Alfredsson also had an empty-net goal in the final minute. Robin Lehner made 29 saves.

Tyler Johnson scored twice in the third period for Tampa Bay, and Teddy Purcell made it 4-3 with 1:59 left.

Mathieu Garon was yanked from the Tampa Bay net in the first period after allowing three goals on the first 11 shots. Cedrick Desjardins was strong in relief, making 19 saves.

PREDATORS 5, BLUE JACKETS 2: Taylor Beck had a goal and an assist during Nashville’s four-goal first period and the Predators beat Columbus to win consecutive games for the first time in over a month.

Shea Weber, David Legwand and Matt Halischuk also scored in the opening period for Nashville. Roman Josi added an empty-net goal in the closing seconds, and Martin Erat, Gabriel Bourque and Bobby Butler each had a pair of assists.

Pekka Rinne made 21 saves.

R.J. Umberger and Artem Anisimov had goals for the Blue Jackets.

STARS 5, AVALANCHE 2: Derek Roy, Eric Nystrom and Jaromir Jagr each had a goal and an assist to lead Dallas over Colorado.

Rookie Jordie Benn scored his first NHL goal, and Cody Eakin added a goal for Dallas, which won its second straight game following a 1-4-1 stretch in which it was outscored 23-10. Jamie Benn, Jordie Benn’s younger brother, added three assists.

Kari Lehtonen, in his 11th straight start, stopped 33 shots two nights after making 40 saves in a 2-0 win at Los Angeles.

Paul Stastny had a goal and an assist, and P.A. Parenteau also scored for Colorado.

CANUCKS 1, KINGS 0: Cory Schneider made 20 saves en route to his sixth NHL shutout, Mason Raymond scored in the first period, and Vancouver beat Los Angeles for its third straight victory.

The defending Stanley Cup champion Kings, coming off a 2-0 home loss to Dallas on Thursday in which they had 40 shots, were shut out for the third time this season.

Schneider has played the last three games for the Canucks, facing 88 shots and allowing only three goals.

WILD 2, SHARKS 0: Niklas Backstrom made 33 saves for his first shutout of the season, and Ryan Suter had two more assists, leading Minnesota past San Jose for the Wild’s season-high fifth straight victory.

Zach Parise and Jared Spurgeon scored for the WIld, who are 14-5-1 in their last 20 games.

Backstrom swatted aside Andrew Desjardins’ penalty shot barely 3 minutes into the game. The goalie is 13-3-1 in his last 17 games, giving up two goals or fewer in 13.

Antti Niemi made several tough stops among his 22 saves for the Sharks,

The Sharks won their first seven games, but since then they have been unable to stay in a groove. They fell to 2-5-2 in their last nine.

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