The NHL set an attendance record for the second year in a row, and the regular season doesn’t end until Sunday night.
Going into Thursday night’s games, the league reported its overall attendance for the season was 17,164,012, for an average of 16,524 per game.
Last year, the overall regular-season figure exceeded 17 million for the first time, by 41,614.
The league said teams were playing to 97 percent of arena capacity this month, compared with 89.7 percent in October.
On the ice
Miroslav Satan scored two goals and Dominik Hasek recorded his 37th win of the season as the Buffalo Sabres beat the Boston Bruins 5-1 in Boston to capture the NHL’s Northeast Division.
It was the first division championship for the Sabres since they won the Adams Division in the 1980-81 season.
Tampa Bay scored a 4-3 victory over the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins to keep itself in the playoff race.
The Lightning moved within one point of Hartford and Ottawa for the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff berth.
The Washington Capitals kept their slim playoff hopes alive, beating the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 in Landover, Md.
The Capitals trail Hartford and Ottawa by two points in the battle for eighth in the Eastern Conference.
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