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Roundup: Blues top Kings 5-4 in shootout

Sunday, 12.06.2009 / 1:14 AM / Roundup

By NHL.com Staff

"A great player shot the puck and (David) Backes created a good screen in front of Quick.  I don't think Quick saw that puck at all."
-- Blues' coach Andy Murray on Paul Kariya

Paul Kariya didn't let an early-game mistake keep him from making a big contribution to a St. Louis Blues victory.

Kariya fell during a first-period power play, leading to a shorthanded goal that gave the Los Angeles Kings an early lead. But he scored twice in the third period, and Andy McDonald and Brad Boyes had shootout goals to give the Blues a 5-4 victory on Saturday afternoon.

Kariya's tumble led to Brad Richardson's shorthanded goal at 14:36 of the opening period.

But he tied the game 3-3 with a goal at 8:58 of the third period, then gave St. Louis the lead when he beat Jonathan Quick with a power-play slap shot from above the left circle through David Backes' screen with 2:20 remaining in regulation.

"A great player shot the puck and (David) Backes created a good screen in front of Quick," said Blues coach Andy Murray. "I don't think Quick saw that puck at all."

But the Kings forced overtime when Alexander Frolov swatted home a shot from the slot with 34 seconds remaining,

In the shootout, the Kings' Anze Kopitar started by breaking in on Mason, only to lose the puck. McDonald then put the Blues ahead. After Mason stopped Jack Johnson, Boyes ended the game when his shot rolled up Quick's leg pad and trickled into the net.

"Kopitar ends up with the puck on his stick in the overtime on a breakaway and he loses it, that's not like him," Kings coach Terry Murray said.

The game featured two pairs of quick scores.

At 8:31 of the third period, Jarrett Stoll gave the Kings a 3-2 lead, taking a Scott Parse pass from the half-wall and beating Mason between the legs. But before the Staples Center crowd could enjoy the lead, it was gone: Kariya tied it by firing Erik Johnson's pass into a wide-open net.

"Whenever you have the lead in the third period, you'd like to keep it," Terry Murray said. "But, it's a pretty good team we played today. There's a lot of desperation on (the Blues') side. The effort we gave on 5-on-5 was sporadic."

After Keith Tkachuk tied the game at 1-1 3:32 into the second period, Boyes and Parse traded tallies exactly one minute apart. Boyes converted a pass from B.J. Crombeen, who was behind the Kings' net, driving a shot from the slot past Quick at 11:54 to give the Blues a 2-1 lead. But Parse tied the game 60 seconds later, bouncing a rebound off Mason's left pad, over his shoulder and into the net.

Hurricanes 5, Canucks 3 | HIGHLIGHTS | PHOTOS

Erik Cole made sure Carolina didn't let a rare two points slip away. Cole's empty-net goal with 14 seconds remaining completed a hat trick and finished off Vancouver, which entered the third period trailing 4-1 but had trimmed that deficit to a single goal.

"We're still a little bit under fire," Cole said of the 'Canes, who are last in the overall standings with 17 points. "They weren't just coming at us with three and four guys. They had four and five guys on every rush and pressed us back on our heels. When you've had things go wrong like we've had in the past, maybe it's a little bit easier for something like that to creep back in."

Ray Whitney and Sergei Samsonov had the other goals for the Hurricanes, who snapped a five-game losing streak behind 33 saves by Manny Legace.

"It's huge, especially weathering the storm in the third period," Legace said. "The last couple of games we've kind of shut her down in the third and teams have taken advantage of us."

Jannik Hansen, Steve Bernier and Alexandre Burrows scored for the Canucks, who were attempting to win their third road game in four days, after leaving New Jersey and Philadelphia with victories earlier in the week. It didn't happen, thanks in large part to a three-goal second period by the Hurricanes.

"Their top players certainly played a really strong game, but for whatever reason again we had a second period that's tough to explain," Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said.

Hansen and Whitney traded goals 20 seconds apart in the first before Carolina opened up a commanding lead in the middle period. Cole converted a Whitney feed at 3:55 for the go-ahead goal and Samsonov beat Andrew Raycroft over the left shoulder at the 6:06 mark. Cole capped the outburst on a power play with 1:01 left when Raycroft lost the puck out of his glove and it slipped across the goal line.

"It could have been four or five (goals) tonight," Carolina coach Paul Maurice said of Cole. "I think he has been skating much better. When he skates like that he's a handful, and it opens up the ice for everybody."

Bernier tallied midway through the third and Burrows drew the Canucks to within a goal with 5:15 remaining, but thanks to Cole the Hurricanes held them off.

Oilers 3, Stars 2 (SO) | HIGHLIGHTS | PHOTOS

Shawn Horcoff's shootout goal capped a nice comeback for Edmonton, which trailed by a pair of goals at the end of the first period.

Ladislav Smid scored for the first time in 152 games with 3:07 left in regulation, forcing overtime. Once the game went to a penalty-shot tiebreaker, Patrick O'Sullivan and Loui Eriksson traded goals before Horcoff beat Marty Turco in the fifth round, improving to 6-for-10 in his career.

"I have the same routine at the blue line where I make a decision on where I'm going to go," Horcoff said. "I thought about going high, but then I thought he was going to poke-check, so I went five-hole. He has his stick in an area where he can make a poke-check."

Lubomir Visnovsky also scored for Edmonton and goalie Jeff Deslauriers stopped 33 shots in addition to four of five shootout attempts.

Turco made 34 saves, but that wasn't enough to make early goals by Jamie Benn and James Neal stand up. Dallas fell to 1-6 in shootouts this season.

"The shootout foiled us again," Stars coach Marc Crawford said. "This was a game that probably falls more in the category of we shouldn't have ever let it get to a shootout."

It happened because Smid scored the fourth goal of his career with a shot from the right circle that got between Turco's pads Turco.

"It was a great feeling, especially because it helped the team come back," Smid said. "I didn't know it was 151 games (without a goal). If I counted, I would be frustrated."

Benn started the scoring by knocking a Mike Ribeiro rebound past Deslauriers with 4:09 left in the first and Neal doubled the lead with 31 seconds left, scoring from the slot off a Brad Richards set-up.

Visnovsky got Edmonton on the board 2:15 into the second, beating a screened Turco with a blast from the right point.

"It was 2-0 and then 2-1 with 3 minutes left," Ribeiro said. "I think we should have been able to close it out. When you don't have the lead and you come back and tie the game and lose in the shootout, you're like, 'OK, we got the point.' But when you have the lead and then lose in the shootout, it's a little bit harder."

Bruins 7, Maple Leafs 2 | HIGHLIGHTS | PHOTOS

Phil Kessel may have left Boston, but Marc Savard is still around and will be for some time. On a night when Kessel actually was back at TD Garden, wearing the sweater of Original Six rival Toronto, it was Savard and the Bruins who put on a show.

Savard had a hat trick and Tuukka Rask carried a shutout into the latter stages of the third period as Boston won in a rout. Johnny Boychuk picked up his first NHL goal and Marco Sturm, Zdeno Chara and Mark Recchi also scored for the Bruins.

"It's a big win," said Savard, who had his eighth goal of the season and third hat trick of his career. "We got embarrassed the other night, so we kind of took it back here."

Boston lost 5-1 in Montreal on Friday after the Canadiens had an emotional pregame ceremony honoring the 100th anniversary of their founding. The Bruins took out their frustrations from that pounding by turning around and giving one to the Leafs.

"It would have been totally unacceptable for us to come out tonight and not be ready to play," Boston coach Claude Julien said. "One thing we had to do was to redeem ourselves."

Kessel, traded just before the start of the season for three high draft picks, was held without a point -- and predictably was booed whenever he touched the puck.

"You hear it, but it didn't get to me," he said. "I've got to be better. You figure when you are dealt that's going to happen. It's part of the game."

Joey MacDonald, coming off his first win for the Leafs, was pulled after giving up four goals in two periods. Niklas Hagman and Mikhail Grabovski scored in the final five minutes for Toronto, which failed once again in a bid for its first three-game win streak of the season.

"He didn't, obviously, have his best game, but we weren't very good around him," Toronto coach Ron Wilson said of MacDonald. "This game was over halfway through the second period. Unfortunately, we didn't do anything right."

Sturm and Savard scored goals just 31 seconds apart in the first to stake the Bruins to an early lead, and they doubled it in the second. Chara took advantage of a Kessel turnover to score at 2:09 and Savard struck on the power play off a Michael Ryder feed with 5:15 left.

Recchi added another power-play goal in the third, Boychuk scored his first after being called up earlier in the day and Savard completed the Bruins' first hat trick since Kessel had one last April against the Islanders.

"You want to be one of the leaders here and that's what leaders do," Savard said. "They try and go out there and contribute."

Rangers 2, Sabres 1 | HIGHLIGHTS | PHOTOS

Henrik Lundqvist won a goaltending duel against Ryan Miller to give New York a much-needed victory. Christopher Higgins and Ryan Callahan had goals for the visiting Rangers, who snapped a three-game losing streak and got back over the .500 mark for the season.

Lundqvist was working on a shutout until Jason Pominville scored for Buffalo with 58.1 seconds left and Miller on the bench for a sixth attacker. He made 18 of his 36 saves in the third period, including key stops on Drew Stafford and Mike Grier.

"I know I have to play better than I've been playing the last couple of weeks," Lundqvist said. "I've been playing OK, but it's not enough a lot of times."

Despite their high shot total, Pominville felt the Sabres didn't do nearly enough to make life difficult for the opposing goaltender.

"Give him credit, he played well," Pominville said. "But we made it easy on him. He saw every shot, and stood up on most of them. We handed them their opportunities, while we had to work for ours."

The Rangers have struggled all season to get goals from anyone other than Marian Gaborik, whose 21 lead the League. Higgins notched just his third with 2:29 left in the first period, beating Miller with a wrist shot after taking a pass from Gaborik. The play originated off a turnover by Sabres rookie defenseman Tyler Myers.

It stayed 1-0 into the third and Callahan added the crucial insurance goal with 6:16 remaining. Sean Avery was stopped by Miller off a 2-on-1, but Callahan cleaned up on the rebound.

"We had a couple of days to practice to work on some things and refocus on some things we were getting away from," Higgins said. "Coming out with a win makes for a nice flight home."

Miller stopped 30 shots, but the Sabres saw their four-game winning streak come to an end.

"The Rangers weren't going to let us play inside," Miller said. "They closed off (the middle). We adjusted in the third, but sometimes it's a little late."

Thrashers 2, Panthers 1 | HIGHLIGHTS | PHOTOS

Different venue, more late heroics for Atlanta in frustrating Florida.

Ilya Kovalchuk scored with 1:04 left in regulation and Rich Peverley had the decisive goal in the shootout as the Thrashers edged the Panthers for the second time in six days, this time at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Fla.

"To get that final goal in the last minute was huge," Peverley said. "Coming out of here with two points is really big."

Tomas Vokoun, injured in bizarre fashion during Florida's loss in Atlanta on Monday, returned to stymie the Thrashers for nearly 59 minutes, making a power-play goal by Stephen Weiss early in the third hold up. But he couldn't stop Kovalchuk's slap shot that forced overtime.

Scott Clemmensen had started the Panthers' last two games after relieving Vokoun, who was inadvertently struck by teammate Keith Ballard's stick after a Thrashers goal. Atlanta won that game 4-3 on a goal with 5.5 seconds left in regulation.

They won this one when Peverley beat Vokoun in the fourth round of the penalty-shot tiebreaker. Kovalchuk and Steven Reinprecht had traded goals earlier in the shootout.

"I thought Vokoun played a great game, considering the circumstances," Florida coach Pete DeBoer said. "He really battled hard for us."

Johan Hedberg made 30 saves for the Thrashers, beaten only by a Weiss tip 2:36 into the third. Weiss scored his 13th of the season and sixth in four games by getting his stick on a Dmitry Kulikov shot from the blue line. Hedberg was flawless otherwise.

"They played so solid defensively, they really kept us on the outside and Vokoun was solid in net," Hedberg said. "We had to work hard to get that goal at the end."

The Panthers lost for the seventh time in eight games, though DeBoer tried to make the most of the point they did manage to pick up.

"It just wasn't meant to be tonight," DeBoer said. "We live to fight another day. I told the guys after the game that we play like that, we're going to win a lot more than we lose."

Avalanche 3, Blue Jackets 2 | HIGHLIGHTS | PHOTOS

Colorado survived the frantic final minute in Columbus -- just barely.

The Blue Jackets fought back from 2-0 and 3-1 deficits and thought they had scored the tying goal when Jason Chimera jammed the puck at the left post during a goalmouth scramble with 13.7 seconds left. But a video review determined it never crossed between the posts as the net was coming up from – but not completely off – its moorings.

"I wasn't celebrating too much because I knew it was close," Chimera said. "But I kind of batted it and it looked like it kind of went under the post."

Even Avalanche coach Joe Sacco initially thought his team would be headed to overtime.

"I didn't know the net was off when it originally happened," he said. "Then we got from our video guy that it looked like the puck went underneath when the net came off. I was pretty relieved when I heard that."

Wojtek Wolski, Milan Hejduk and Chris Stewart all scored for Colorado, which got 29 saves and an assist from fill-in starter Peter Budaj and improved to 2-1-1 on a five-game road trip.

"We're happy that we won and Peter played so great," Wolski said. "I know it's very hard for him to step in the way he did. He's been practicing hard and playing hard. It's paying off now."

Chimera and Jakub Voracek had goals for Columbus, which has lost eight of nine thanks in large part to shaky defense and goaltending.

"We have to develop our own hunger," coach Ken Hitchcock said. "That's the game of hockey. It goes to the team that is most hungry. We have not shown that consistency game to game, period to period."

Wolski and Hejduk put pucks past Steve Mason in the second as the Avalanche took a 2-0 lead. Chimera cut the deficit in half 4:19 into the third, but the Jackets gave it right back as Stewart scored 39 seconds later. Voracek then beat Budaj with 4:28 left to set up the exciting finish.

"We certainly needed this tonight," Sacco said. "We got solid goaltending tonight when we needed it. I really like the game we played tonight."

Lightning 4, Islanders 0 | HIGHLIGHTS | PHOTOS

Victor Hedman scored his first NHL goal, Mike Smith recorded the shutout and Tampa Bay survived a lengthy 5-on-3 advantage by New York in the first period that seemed to turn the tide.

Ryan Malone gave the Lightning a 1-0 lead 1:35 into the game, but the Islanders had a golden opportunity to at least draw even when they drew penalties 39 seconds apart to set up a 1:21 two-man advantage. They ended up with just one shot on goal and nothing that got past Smith.

"That was huge," Smith said. "I think there were two or three blocks in that penalty kill, and that's what you have to have in order to win hockey games."

It was part of a penalty-killing effort by Tampa that saw New York finish 0-for-6 with the extra man.

"The 5-on-3, we couldn't have asked for a better chance," Islanders coach Scott Gordon said. "It swung the momentum."

The Lightning would go on to add power-play goals by Steve Downie and Jeff Halpern before Hedman capped the scoring 10:31 into the third.

Hedman, taken with the second pick of the 2009 Entry Draft after the Islanders selected John Tavares at No. 1, beat Dwayne Roloson from the low slot off a feed from captain Vincent Lecavalier.

"It was pretty awesome," Hedman said. "It felt great to finally get one."

Tavares, like the rest of his teammates, was held off the scoresheet and held to one shot on goal.

"We had our power plays and we didn't get it done," Tavares said. "When we did get our chances, we couldn't bury them. It was a little frustrating. You're getting all those power plays, and we're not producing the way we should."

Wild 5, Predators 3 | HIGHLIGHTS | PHOTOS

A balanced effort helped suddenly surging Minnesota cool off Nashville, as five different players scored and 10 recorded points. Andrew Brunette had a goal and an assist as the Wild won their season-high fifth straight and moved above the .500 mark after a 3-9-0 start.

"Five-on-five, we have really improved over the last 10 or 12 games," Brunette said. "I think it is contagious. When you get enough guys doing the right things everybody falls in line.

Andrew Ebbett and James Sheppard scored 1:32 apart late in the first period to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead, and Minnesota went on to add goals by Brunette and Antti Miettinen in the second to chase Nashville goalie Dan Ellis. Eric Belanger added the fifth goal against Pekka Rinne in the third.

"We are preaching shooting from all angles," Wild coach Todd Richards said. "We are preaching getting players in front of the net. We are starting to score goals. It was another five-goal performance. Hopefully, the guys are starting to see the result of their hard work."

The Predators, who began the night only three points behind the Central Division-leading Blackhawks, got off to a promising start when Martin Erat beat Josh Harding on a power play 9:27 into the game. But they gave up the next five goals before adding late markers by Jason Arnott and Marcel Goc to make the final score appear closer than it was.

 "We weren't very firm in our own end," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "Everything comes down to one-on-one battles. If we've got two of our guys on only one of their guys, we should get the puck. But we weren't getting the puck. When you lose the one-on-one battles, everything breaks down."

Coyotes 3, Senators 2 | HIGHLIGHTS | PHOTOS

The Coyotes were happy to welcome back their best defenseman, Ed Jovanovski, who scored an unassisted goal as Phoenix held off the Senators at Jobing.com Arena for their fourth win in a row.

"It was nice to come back and contribute," said Jovanovski, who missed eight games due to a lower-body injury, played one full game and a period in the next one, then missed two more. "When you come back you're working to get stronger, and that's what I'm trying to do right now."

Coach Dave Tippett could see the difference in Jovanovski this time.

"The first time he was second-guessing himself," Tippett said. "This time he seemed more confident."

Taylor Pyatt and Petr Prucha scored for the Coyotes, who've had 10 players scored their 13 goals during the winning streak.

"I think we're just improving as a team," forward Daniel Winnik said. "I think we had a rough month in November and it looks like we're bouncing back here in early December."

Ilya Bryzgalov made 26 saves in Phoenix's first victory over Ottawa since March 9, 2002.

"We'll take the two points, but the reality is we're better than we were tonight," Tippett said.

The Coyotes led 3-0 before goals by Chris Kelly and Jesse Winchester made it close. Ottawa has dropped five of its last six and is 0-3-1 in the first four games of a five-game trip that ends Sunday at Anaheim.

"We knew this was going to be a tough road trip, but we would have liked to start it better," captain Daniel Alfredsson said.

Jovanovski corralled a clearing attempt just inside the blue line and used a screen by Prucha to beat Brian Elliott with a wrist shot from the high slot at 3:38 of the first period. Pyatt made it 2-0 at 8:49, racing in alone after a neutral-zone turnover and beating Elliott with a backhander.

Prucha extended Phoenix's lead to 3-0 at 10:25 of the second with his second goal in two games after an 18-game goal drought.

Kelly ended Bryzgalov's shutout bid with 3:19 remaining, popping the puck into the air off Bryzgalov and into the net. Winchester banged in a rebound with 45.8 seconds left to make it close.

But it was too little, too late.

"We have to play with that kind of desperation from the drop of the puck, not just the end," Senators coach Cory Clouston said. "We've been giving up early goals and that's really costing us."


Material from wire services was used in this report











Quote of the Day

I feel that responsibility, I've felt it for the last two years. We core guys get a lot of minutes, we get a lot of opportunity out there. Our teammates, the organization and fans look to us to be the guys to put the puck in the net and to create momentum out there.

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