With each point, the pressure grows. The wins are piling up, increasing the expectations. And the Chicago Blackhawks just keep going and going.
Looking down on the rest of the NHL, Marian Hossa and Co. show no signs of slowing down.
The Blackhawks set a franchise record with their 10th consecutive victory and extended their points streak to 29 games with a 5-3 win against the visiting Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night.
"It's a great time right now," said Hossa, who scored after he was honored in a pregame ceremony for playing in his 1,000th NHL game Sunday at Detroit. "Everybody is hungry. We have a strong lineup and the guys are playing well."
Bryan Bickell scored twice in the first period and Patrick Kane added a big goal in the third as Chicago (20-0-3) remained the only team in the league without a regulation loss. It also snapped a tie with the 1977-78 Montreal Canadiens for the second-longest points streak in league history.
"It doesn't feel like we're on a streak," Bickell said. "We're just business, come to the rink and we're going to do what we need to do."
Red Wings 2, Avalanche 1: Niklas Kronwall scored in the second period thanks to a fluky bounce, and host Detroit held on to beat Colorado. Detroit opened the scoring with 13:00 to go in the second on a breakaway goal by Johan Franzen, and Kronwall added to the lead when his shot from the point went wide, bounced back off the boards and
Capitals 4, Bruins 3: Eric Fehr scored 37 seconds into overtime, and host Washington rallied from a three-goal, first-period deficit to beat Boston in a thriller reminiscent of the teams' seven-game playoff series a year ago. Pinched by two defenders, Fehr was falling forward as he got off the shot that hit the upper right post and went in, giving the Capitals their seventh win in 10 games.
Rangers 4, Flyers 2: Rick Nash snapped a third-period tie and then added an insurance goal as the host Rangers held on to beat Philadelphia for their third win in a row. Nash fired a shot that sneaked under the right arm of goalie Ilya Bryzgalov 2:50 into the third to give New York its second lead of the game.
Islanders 6, Canadiens 3: Radek Martinek scored the tiebreaking goal eight minutes into the third period and the host Islanders handed Montreal its first regulation loss in nearly a month. Martinek's shot from the left point on a pass from Kyle Okposo eluded goaltender Carey Price at 7:56.
Hurricanes 4, Sabres 3: Alexander Semin had a goal and two assists, linemate Eric Staal added three assists and host Carolina beat Buffalo. Jiri Tlusty, Joe Corvo and Jussi Jokinen also scored for Carolina, which was playing for the first time since goalie Cam Ward went on injured reserve following a torn MCL that will require a recovery of six to eight weeks.
Panthers: Stephen Weiss may have played his final game with the Panthers, with the team revealing that the veteran forward is expected to have season-ending wrist surgery.