DALLAS, Texas — Dallas goes into the NHL’s Christmas break with the overall best record after beating reigning Stanley Cup champion Chicago 4-0 on Tuesday, with Patrick Sharp contributing a goal and an assist in his first regular-season game against his former team.
The Stars remained eight points clear atop the Central Division ahead of St. Louis, which won at Boston.
Montreal’s flagging form continued with a loss at Minnesota, and the Canadiens are now only a point above both Boston and Florida, which beat Ottawa to extend its streak to five games.
Dallas’ Sharp scored 11 seconds into the third period to give the Stars a 2-0 lead in what had been a game with few chances between the highest-scoring teams in the Western Conference.
Jason Spezza and Colton Sceviour also scored for Dallas.
St. Louis’ Jake Allen stopped 32 shots for his fifth shutout of the season, helping the Blues beat Boston 2-0.
Vladimir Tarasenko and Robby Fabbri scored third-period goals for the Blues.
It was only the second loss in regulation time for the Bruins in their past 16 games.
Minnesota handed Montreal its fifth successive defeat as Jason Pominville and Charlie Coyle scored in a 2-1 win.
Daniel Carr scored late for the Canadiens, who have lost nine of their past ten games, scoring only 15 goals in the process.
Florida moved within a point of the faltering Canadiens by downing Ottawa 2-1 in a shootout, with Alexander Barkov slotting the winner.
Brandon Pirri also scored a shootout goal for Florida. Roberto Luongo stopped both Ottawa attempts to give the Panthers their fifth straight win. Corban Knight scored in regulation for the Panthers.
Mark Stone scored for the Senators, who have lost their past five road games.
New Jersey won 4-3 at Detroit, led by a goal and an assist from Kyle Palmieri.
Cory Schneider made 25 saves while Jordin Tootoo, David Schlemko and Sergey Kalinin also scored for the Devils. They had goals on three straight shots midway through the first period, prematurely ending Jimmy Howard’s night.
Dylan Larkin, Mike Green and Riley Sheahan scored for Detroit.
San Jose trimmed their deficit to Pacific Division-leading Los Angeles to eight points by winning 5-3 at the Kings, with Joe Pavelski scoring the tying and go-ahead goals 92 seconds apart in the third period.
New York ended three successive losses by beating Anaheim 3-2 in overtime, with Mats Zuccarello netting a power-play goal at 2:37 of the added period.
Vancouver’s Daniel Sedin scored the go-ahead goal in the third period to give the Canucks a 2-1 win at Tampa Bay in the final game of their six-match road trip.
Calgary tied a franchise record with a 10th straight home win, beating Winnipeg 4-1 thanks chiefly to Johnny Gaudreau, who had his second hat trick of the season.
Arizona made it 10 wins from 12 against Toronto by beating the Maple Leafs 3-2, set up by two Shane Doan goals within 14 seconds of the first period.