For Chris Osgood, getting win No. 400 is proving to be harder than most of the first 399.
Osgood came up short for a second time in his quest to become the 10th goaltender in NHL history to reach the milestone when the Detroit Red Wings' comeback effort came up short in a 4-3 loss at St. Louis on Thursday night.
Patrik Berglund broke a 10-game drought by scoring twice in St. Louis' three-goal first period and Matt D'Agostini's breakaway goal early in the second made it 4-1. That proved to be just enough for the Blues, as Detroit got second-period goals by Nicklas Lidstrom and Patrick Eaves to get within one, then outshot St. Louis 15-4 in the third period -- only to see Jaroslav Halak stop all 15 shots en route to a 35-save performance.
"I actually thought we started all right, the first 10 minutes of the game was good,'' Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "They scored a power-play goal and kind of took over. We tilted the rink pretty good. I thought we deserved a couple power plays down the stretch, especially after that call on (Niklas) Kronwall for cross-checking (in the third period) when he just pushed the guy.
"That's the way life is, you got to start on time. You got to get the lead in this League or else it makes it hard for you."
Halak had allowed 11 goals on 67 shots in losing twice to Detroit earlier in the season.
"It's always nice to get a win against a division rival," Halak said. "Especially against Detroit, they got a great team. We needed to get some points and I'm pleased with the effort."
After St. Louis' Erik Johnson and Detroit's Johan Franzen scored 30 seconds apart midway through the first period, Berglund fired a wrister that deflected off Kronwall and past Osgood at 14:27 and with a screened slapper from the wide side of the left circle at 18:47.
"I think I've been more and more emotional lately," Berglund said. "Maybe that brings out the aggressive play in me."
When D'Agostini capitalized on a turnover and beat Osgood with a backhander on a breakaway 5:51 into the second, it looked like the Blues might coast. But the Wings, despite playing their first game after losing star center Pavel Datsyuk with a broken right hand, took control after that.
Lidstrom made it 4-2 at 11:33, beating Halak with a slap shot during a 5-on-3 power play at 11:23. Eaves' wrister at 16:51 made it a one-goal game -- but they got no closer.
"There's no question they were hanging on and we were pushing," Babcock said. "The bottom line is the cellophane they had from post to post."
Osgood was less than four minutes away from win No. 400 on Sunday before Dallas tied the game and won in OT. This time, they were unable to come back.
"It's unfortunate for him we haven't been able to get him the win," Babcock said, "but he's in the battle, too. We're all in it together.''
Canucks 7, Blue Jackets 3 | HIGHLIGHTS
Columbus was rested and waiting for Vancouver, which came to Nationwide Arena after a 5-4 overtime loss at Detroit on Wednesday. But it was the Canucks who came out storming, outshooting the Blue Jackets 16-1 while grabbing a 3-0 lead and breezing to an easy win that left Columbus coach Scott Arniel apologizing to his team's fans.
"It didn't look like we really wanted to play tonight in the first period, let alone the rest of the game," Arniel said. "It was an embarrassing game. I want to apologize to the fans. Professional athletes are paid to perform, and when you don't do your job you're going to get criticized."
The Jackets had no answer for the Sedin twins. NHL assists leader Henrik had three to go along with a goal, and Daniel added a goal and a pair of assists. Alexandre Burrows, riding shotgun, also had a goal and 2 assists for the Canucks, who led 6-0 midway through the game.
"We knew that they were sitting here waiting for us, that they would be ready and come out with a good start," Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said. "We got the lead and then they had to open it up a little bit. When they made a few mistakes we were able to capitalize."
The big lead made life easy for backup goaltender Cory Schneider, who stopped 24 shots to improve to 4-0-2 this season.
Vancouver had taken the game's first 12 shots before Burrows buried a close-range shot off a slick passout from Henrik Sedin at 9:08. The Canucks continued to dominate, and every Vancouver skater handled the puck before Henrik Sedin flicked a backhand pass to Christian Ehrhoff at the top of the right circle for a one-timer that beat Mathieu Garon.
Arniel used his timeout after the goal to settle his club, but Raffi Torres made it 3-0 at 13:13 by redirecting Andrew Alberts' slap shot from the point for the first of his two goals.
"It was one of those games if you don't score early it's going to be one of those nights where they're going to come back and score the other way," said Henrik Sedin, the League's leading scorer and MVP a season ago. "We were lucky we got the first one. After that we started to relax more and got our chances."
The Sedins sandwiched goals around one by Ryan Kesler to make it 6-0 before RJ Umberger scored late in the second period.
"There were a ton of things that bothered me very early in that game," Arniel said. "The turnovers, the no compete and lack of professionalism bothered me, and that wasn't just the first period."
Senators 2, Predators 1 | HIGHLIGHTS
Nashville has gone from red-hot to ice cold. The Predators dropped their third in a row as Ottawa got goals by Alex Kovalev and Nick Foligno to back a 25-save performance by Brian Elliott.
Nashville had won five in a row before losing 6-1 at home to Los Angeles last Saturday and 4-1 at Chicago on Wednesday. Coach Barry Trotz said the effort against the Senators was better, but not good enough to win.
"Against Chicago Wednesday night everything on offense was one-and-done," Trotz said. "We had a little more zone time against Ottawa. We had a lot more energy and commitment and a little more detail but we still lost."
Kovalev opened the scoring at 9:35 of the first period, beating goalie Pekka Rinne with a shot from in front of the crease. It was Rinne's first game back after he missed nine games recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.
"I feel fine," said Rinne, who stopped 28 shots. "I think it was a good game to test that knee. It feels strong and it feels healthy."
Foligno got what proved to be the winner at 4:57 of the second period when Milan Michalek's shot bounced off one of Rinne's skates. Foligno wristed home the rebound for a power-play goal.
Nashville's Marcel Goc cut it to 2-1 at 7:16 of the second with a tip-in, but Elliott slammed the door.
"You need to have the goaltender be your backbone," Ottawa coach Cory Clouston said. "He doesn't always have to win you games, but he needs to be solid and give you confidence. When your goaltender does that it allows you to play your game a lot more relaxed and a lot more comfortable.
"Brian showed up big for us. We need him to do that. He has had some criticism thrown at him the last little while. It was nice to see him respond the way he did."
Flames 3, Stars 2 (SO) | HIGHLIGHTS
Calgary's Alex Tanguay played the role of the Grinch at American Airlines Center, tying the game with 1:21 left in regulation and then scoring the only goal of the shootout to give the Flames the win.
Dallas was outshot 33-16 but led 2-1 on a goal by Brenden Morrow 2:41 into the third period. The Flames pulled goalie Miikka Kiprusoff with about 90 seconds left and Tanguay tied it with a wrist shot from the slot past Kari Lehtonen's stick.
After a scoreless OT, Tanguay beat Lehtonen for the only goal in the tiebreaker, hesitating for an instant before scoring on a wrist shot.
"Their goalie moves extremely well from side to side," said Tanguay, who's now 4-for-6 in shootouts this season. "I tried to make my move early to be able to see if I could lift it a little bit. He's big, one of those butterfly-type goalies, so he covers a lot of the net extremely well. I was hoping to beat him high."
Kiprusoff stopped Loui Eriksson and Brad Richards in the first two rounds before Mike Ribeiro failed to get off a clean shot in the third round, ending the game and the Flames' three-game losing streak.
"Obviously, this is something we can build on," Calgary coach Brent Sutter said. "To come into this building and play as well as we did, it's a plus."
Ribeiro and Calgary's Anton Babchuk had power-play goals. Lehtonen stopped 31 shots for the Stars, 10-0-3 in their last 13 at home.
Despite the lost point, Dallas heads into the two-day holiday break with 46 points, tied with Detroit for the top spot in the Western Conference.
"We're disappointed in the way we played," coach Marc Crawford said. "We had too many people who were a little bit off tonight. But give Calgary credit. They came in very determined, played a hard game. On the bright side, we got a point. If you'd have said we'd be tied for first place in the Western Conference going into the break, we'd be pretty happy."
Sharks 4, Coyotes 1 | HIGHLIGHTS
San Jose made it four wins in a row as Patrick Marleau scored twice and Joe Thornton and Dan Boyle added power-play goals to beat the visiting Coyotes. Antti Niemi stopped 24 shots as the Sharks jumped up to fourth in the West.
"I think we are finding more consistency within our lines," coach Todd McLellan said. "I think our D is more active in the offense. A lot of the things we whined and complained about in the beginning of the season are starting to come with real good timing."
Ray Whitney, the only active player remaining from the Sharks' original 1991-92 team, scored the lone goal for the Coyotes, now 1-3-1 on a six-game trip that ends Sunday in Dallas.
Whitney opened the scoring by finishing off a give-and-go with Keith Yandle for a power-play goal 7:50 into the second period. But 75 seconds later, Boyle took a pass from Marleau and beat Jason LaBarbera from the top of the circle for a power-play goal to tie it.
Thornton converted a pass from Dany Heatley at 11:53 for another power-play goal, and Marleau had the game's only even-strength goal at 2:53 of the third period before scoring the Sharks' third man-advantage goal at 12:18.
"Happy to see us score as a team," McLellan said. "I thought in the last five games (Marleau) has found his stride again and was finally rewarded."
In all, the Sharks were 3-for-8 -- despite missing on three early chances after the Coyotes were called for three delay of game penalties in the game's first 21 minutes.
"We took some unfortunate penalties," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. "Some that were bad breaks. We took three that were shot over the glass against a team that is waiting for us to commit those. They played a very strong game there. A heavy game. And when you take those penalties you limit your opportunities."
Kings 3, Oilers 2 (SO) | HIGHLIGHTS
It was only fitting that the Kings used a shootout to snap Edmonton's five-game winning streak at Staples Center -- with all of those wins also in shootouts. Jarret Stoll beat Devan Dubnyk in the sixth round as the Kings improved to 12-2-1 at home, matching the best home start in franchise history.
"They're a team that has got a lot of skill and if you don't respect them, they're going to make you pay," Williams said. "Obviously we didn't have the best game, but at the end we had our big players step up and score some goals and Quickie made some great saves to get two points -- two very important points."
The win was the 100th behind the Kings' bench for coach Terry Murray -- the fastest to the century mark for any coach in franchise history.
"It doesn't feel any different," Murray said. "It was a good win for us. It was a very hard, very difficult game for us. It's the same old thing -- you come back after a long road trip, five games, and that next game is hard. Then you're playing a team that you're supposed to beat, easily. It was a grind. A lot of guys dug in in the third period."
No. 1 draft pick Taylor Hall opened the scoring with a power-play goal 1:39 into the second period, speeding around defenseman Drew Doughty before beating Jonathan Quick to the short side with a wrist shot for his 11th goal. Los Angeles tied it at 8:31 of the second when Jason Williams scored against a penalty-killing unit ranked last in the NHL with a 71.3 percentage.
Jean-Francois Jacques' redirection of Theo Peckham's shot beat Quick 4:25 into the third period, but the lead lasted just 20 seconds before Jack Johnson fired a wrist shot past Dubnyk from well inside the left circle.
Quick finished with 27 saves and stopped five of six tries in the shootout -- winning the game when he foiled Andrew Cogliano after Stoll's goal.
"That was a good 60-minute game or 65-minute game by us," Dubnyk said. "I think if you look at the game there aren't really any complaints about us by the way we played or effort. We worked hard on the power play, penalty kill, and 5-on-5. It hurts to lose. We need to win these games and get that extra point when we go into overtime but I think if we play like that more often then were probably going to get that extra two."
Wild 3, Avalanche 1 | HIGHLIGHTS
Matt Cullen scored twice and set up Minnesota's other goal as the Wild handed the Avs their second loss this week after six consecutive wins.
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Material from team media and wire services was used in this report