Blues now 4-0-1 under Hitchcock• ST. LOUIS 4, FLORIDA 1: David Backes scored twice, Jaroslav Halak stopped 20 shots, and the Blues beat the Panthers on Thursday night to improve to 4-0-1 under new coach Ken Hitchcock, right. After a five-game homestand, Hitchcock is off to the best start in club history. Leo Boivin (1976) and Jacques Demers (1984) both started 4-1. The Blues play the Wild in St. Paul on Saturday night. "We played really well and with a sense of discipline," Hitchcock said. "Now we've got to take it on the road. It's whether we can take this same type of intensity and effort onto the road. That's the next challenge facing us." St. Louis won despite losing Scott Nichol and Carlo Colaiacovo and having a goal waved off. Nichol was ejected for spearing, and Colaiacovo went out with a hamstring injury in the first period.

• BOSTON 2, COLUMBUS 1 (SO): Tuukka Rask made 30 saves through overtime and then stopped Columbus' Antoine Vermette in the shootout as the host Bruins beat the Blue Jackets for their seventh straight win. Rich Peverley and David Krejci scored to put Boston ahead 2-1 in the shootout, and Rask ended it by stoning Vermette. Adam McQuaid scored his first goal of the season for the defending Stanley Cup champions, who nearly lost to the team with the NHL's worst record.

PHILADELPHIA 2, PHOENIX 1: Matt Read knocked in a rebound with 18.6 seconds left for the host Flyers. Read's sixth goal of the season made a winner out of goalie Ilya Bryzgalov in his first game against the Coyotes. Bryzgalov spent four years with Phoenix and blossomed into one of the NHL's top goalies. Phoenix sent Bryzgalov's negotiating rights to the Flyers and he signed a nine-year, $51 million deal. Mike Smith stopped 40 shots for Phoenix.

SAN JOSE 5, DETROIT 2: Marc-Edouard Vlasic had a goal and three assists for the host Sharks.

LOS ANGELES 5, ANAHEIM 3: Mike Richards opened the scoring for the visiting Kings and then closed it out with an open-netter.

OTTAWA 5, EDMONTON 2: Milan Michalek had a goal and an assist and the Senators won their third consecutive game on a long road trip. The Oilers have lost four in a row and five of six following a six-game winning streak.

TAMPA BAY 4, PITTSBURGH 1: Dwayne Roloson made 33 saves and Vincent Lecavalier had two goals for the host Lightning. Brett Connolly and Steve Downie also scored for the Lightning, who have won six straight home games.

NASHVILLE 4, TORONTO 1: Martin Erat scored two goals and Pekka Rinne made 38 saves to lead the host Predators. Nashville, which has won five of seven, sent the Maple Leafs to their fifth loss in six games.

WINNIPEG 4, WASHINGTON 1: Evander Kane scored two goals and Blake Wheeler added his first of the season for the host Jets, who recorded back-to-back wins in regulation for the first time this season.

N.Y. ISLANDERS 4, MONTREAL 3: Rick DiPietro made 24 saves for the host Islanders in relief of injured starter Evgeni Nabokov. DiPietro entered 7:55 into the first period after Nabokov injured a groin while making a pad save. Nabokov will be re-evaluated on Friday.


Jagr leaves game with injury• Philadelphia forward Jaromir Jagr left Thursday night's game with an undisclosed lower body injury. Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said Jagr won't travel with the team for Saturday's game at Winnipeg.

• Quebec's prosecutor said Bruins captain Zdeno Chara won't face criminal charges for his hit on Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty last spring.