>>Hurricanes Down Blackhawks
Sebastian Aho snapped a tie with a power-play goal in the third period, and the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 on Thursday night in their first game since Ron Francis was forced out as general manager.
Justin Williams had a goal and an assist as Carolina stayed four points back of Columbus for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference. Scott Darling made 22 saves in his return to Chicago after he was traded to Carolina in April, and Elias Lindholm added two assists.
The Hurricanes (30-27-11) had dropped eight of 10, and new owner Tom Dundon announced a front-office shake-up on Wednesday night. Francis was moved from GM to a new role as the team's president of hockey operations, and Dundon said the team will begin a search for a new GM who will report directly to the owner.
Tomas Jurco and Patrick Sharp scored for last-place Chicago (29-31-8), which had won two of three. Jean-Francois Berube made 37 stops.
With Sharp in the box for interference, Aho tipped Teuvo Teravainen's shot by Berube 4:35 into the final period. It was Aho's team-high 24th goal of the season.
Carolina controlled most of the first two periods, outshooting Chicago 28-14, but the Blackhawks stayed in the game behind a pair of nice plays.
Jurco redirected Brent Seabrook's slap shot by Darling for a 1-0 lead at 6:02 of the first. After Slavin beat Berube with a slap shot through traffic, Sharp made it 2-1 when he backhanded a rebound into an open net at 15:06 before being pushed to the ice by Carolina forward Jordan Staal.
Williams was sent off for hooking with 62 seconds left in the first, but he stepped out of the box early in the second, got a long stretch pass from Elias Lindholm and beat Berube high on the glove side on a breakaway at 1:06. It was Williams' fourth goal in five games and No. 14 on the season.
Carolina then had a chance to go in front, but Berube made a solid glove save on Brett Pesce's breakaway midway through the period.
The Blackhawks visit Boston on Saturday afternoon.
>>Sharks Blank Blues
Mikkel Boedker scored San Jose's first power-play goal in a month, helping lift the Sharks past the St. Louis Blues 2-0 on Thursday night.
Tomas Hertl added an empty-net goal in the closing seconds, and Martin Jones made 16 saves for the Sharks, who have won three of four. San Jose has also won five of six at home.
Jake Allen recorded 34 saves and was the only healthy goalie with NHL experience available to the Blues. Carter Hutton was a late scratch and Ville Husso, who the Blues recalled from the AHL, will join the team in Los Angeles.
The Blues, losers of eight of their past nine, have had trouble getting the puck into the net lately, with 15 goals over their past nine games, including back-to-back shutouts. Carl Gunnarsson, Dmitri Jaskin, Vince Dunn, Tage Thompson and Vladimir Sobotka all have goalless streaks of at least 10 games.
Boedker ended a streak of 39 consecutive even-strength goals with 7:48 left to play. He took a pass in front of the net from Joonas Donskoi and fired at Allen, who blocked the shot but the puck skipped off his pads and knuckled off the right post and into the net.
Blues C Brayden Schenn appeared in his 500th NHL game.
The Blues are at Los Angeles on Saturday.