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Roloson does it again as Bolts blank Flyers

Wednesday, 02.02.2011 / 12:48 AM / Roundup

NHL.com


Dwayne Roloson has quickly become the backbone of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Roloson made 38 saves for his fourth shutout in a month, Teddy Purcell scored two early first- period goals, and the Lightning beat the Philadelphia Flyers 4-0 at the St. Pete Times Forum on Tuesday night in a matchup of the Eastern Conference's top two teams.

Roloson made 38 saves for his fourth shutout in a month, Teddy Purcell scored two early first- period goals, and the Lightning beat the Philadelphia Flyers 4-0 at the St. Pete Times Forum on Tuesday night in a matchup of the Eastern Conference's top two teams.

"I think it's one of those things, you cherish the moment, but at the same time we've got to forget about it," Roloson said. "We've got another big game on Friday against Washington."

All four of Roloson's shutouts have come in 11 games since the Lightning obtained the 41-year old from the New York Islanders in exchange for minor-league defenseman Ty Wishart on New Year's Day.

"I don't think it's a roll," Roloson said. "I just think that the team is playing great. I'm fortunate enough to be making the best of an opportunity."

Tampa Bay went up 2-0 just 1:21 into the game on Purcell's first career two-goal game. Steven Stamkos added his NHL-leading 39th goal of the season, and Steve Downie also scored for the Lightning, who have a six-game winning streak. Tampa Bay, which has won all three games against the Flyers this season, trails the conference leaders by two points.

"You can't beat a team like that if you don't have everybody on the same page," Tampa Bay coach Guy Boucher said.

The Lightning have missed the playoffs in each of the last three seasons and haven't won a postseason series since winning the franchise's only Stanley Cup in 2004.

Flyers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky was pulled after giving up three goals on six shots during the first, and was replaced by Brian Boucher. Philadelphia lost for just the third time in the last 13 games.

"When you're down 2-0 on two shots, I think it surprised everybody," Philadelphia coach Peter Laviolette said.

Purcell scored from the slot at 19 seconds off a give-and-go with Vincent Lecavalier. Just 62 seconds later, Simon Gagne's shot went into the net off Purcell's leg. Purcell has 3 goals and 7 points in his past three games.

"I don't think we were out of sorts in the first," Flyers captain Mike Richards said. "I just thought they were very opportunistic. We gave them, probably, too many scoring chances. It's just one of those games, I guess."

Roloson, coming off a 2-0 shutout of Toronto, stopped all 13 shots he faced in the opening 20 minutes. He also made four saves early in the third, including an in-close chance by James Van Riemsdyk.

"He's been our backbone back there," Purcell said.

Downie made it 3-0 from at 14:24 of the first. Stamkos extended the Tampa Bay advantage to 4-0 with 11:09 left in the third.

The Lightning have started a 12-game homestand with three straight wins, outscoring their opponents 13-1 over the stretch.

Maple Leafs 4, Panthers 3 (SO) | HIGHLIGHTS

Tyler Bozak and Colby Armstrong scored in the shootout as Toronto beat Florida at the Air Canada Centre.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere allowed a goal to David Booth on a nice spin move to open the shootout, but then stopped Mike Santorelli and Chris Higgins. He added 30 saves in regulation.

Phil Kessel took an elbowing penalty with 4:15 remaining, and 34 seconds later Cory Stillman tied the game at 3-3.

Kessel had a breakaway in the final seconds but couldn't beat Scott Clemmensen, extending his goal drought to eight games.

"I thought he was buzzing," Leafs forward Clarke MacArthur said of Kessel. "He had a lot of shots, they just didn't go in for him."

Kris Versteeg, Nikolai Kulemin and Mikhail Grabovski scored in regulation for the Maple Leafs, who won for the second time in eight games.

Stephen Weiss and David Booth also scored in regulation for the Panthers, who have won just once in their last seven games.

"You're never happy with one point," Panthers coach Peter DeBoer said, "but it was probably a fair outcome."

Grabovski put the Leafs up 3-2 at 6:16 of the second when he redirected Kaberle's point shot past Clemmensen on a power play. The goal came just 1:22 after a high-sticking penalty by Jay Rosehill allowed the Panthers to tie it 4:54. Keaton Ellerby made a pretty cross-ice pass from the point to Michael Frolik at the side of the goal, and he centered it in front for Booth to tap in.

The Leafs led 2-1 after the first period.

Versteeg opened the scoring at 7:20 with a clever goal. Standing behind the net, he picked up the rebound of a failed pass out front and banked the puck in off the backside of Clemmensen, who was unsure of where the puck had gone.

The Panthers tied it at 18:06 when Weiss took a Chris Higgins pass on a 3-on-1 rush and beat Giguere low to the stick side.

The Leafs reclaimed the lead just 23 seconds later when Clarke MacArthur dug the puck out of the corner and sent a pass to Kulemin, who wired a shot from the faceoff dot past Clemmensen's blocker.

Leafs forward Mike Brown left the game in the second period and didn't return after taking a heavy hit from Ellerby along the boards.

Blackhawks 7, Blue Jackets 4 | HIGHLIGHTS

Jonathan Toews had a shorthanded goal and a pair of assists and Chicago started a grueling six-game, 12-day road trip by beating Columbus at Nationwide Arena.

Patrick Kane added a goal and an assist, while Nick Leddy, Duncan Keith, Viktor Stalberg, Dave Bolland and Marian Hossa also scored for Chicago, which plays 20 of its last 32 regular-season games on the road.

Fernando Pisani and Brent Seabrook each had two assists as the Blackhawks overcame a 3-2 second-period deficit by scoring four consecutive goals.

"It was a tough start tonight. Everybody on both sides was trying to find their bearings again," said Seabrook, who was flipped upside down by R.J. Umberger by a highlight-reel check in the third period. "We came out hard and had a good second part of the second period and a great third. It was good to see Marty shut the door and really give us the opportunity to win."

Derek Dorsett, Derick Brassard, Samuel Pahlsson and Matt Calvert tallied for the Blue Jackets, who started the night just five points out of the final playoff spot in the West but in a tie for 13th place.

"That was an ugly game for sure," Jackets coach Scott Arniel said. "I'm sure (Blackhawks coach) Joel (Quenneville) would say the same on his side. There were lots of chances and it was pretty sloppy."

Columbus scored twice in 42 seconds -- Brassard on a slick assist from Rick Nash and Pahlsson on a shot from the right wing through traffic -- for a 3-2 lead early in the second period. Following a timeout, the Blackhawks then took control.

An instant after killing Stalberg's roughing penalty, they tied it when Stalberg joined a rush and benefited from Pisani's helper to notch his eighth.

Kane crashed the net just as Toews stole the puck from Columbus' Chris Clark on the back boards, Toews sliding a centering pass that Kane converted for the go-ahead goal.

The backbreaker came with 40 seconds left in the period when Toews won a battle for the puck near the offensive zone blue line with Columbus defenseman Fedor Tyutin and then skated past another defenseman, Grant Clitsome, who had overcommitted, before beating goaltender Steve Mason to make it 5-3.

"You don't expect to score four straight," Toews said. "You don't want to have to. But it always seems that we respond to those timeouts."

Hossa's goal was a shorthanded empty-netter in the final minute.

The first period ended prematurely when the lights in Nationwide dimmed for several minutes.
The officials sent the teams to the dressing rooms with 39.6 seconds left in the first period after the arena lights dimmed slightly -- although not enough to hinder play.

There was plenty of electricity on the ice before that.

The Blue Jackets, who had trailed 2-0 in their last three games, got on the board first when Dorsett collected the puck off the back wall from Keith, then jammed the puck past Turco inside the near post for his third of the year.

Chicago tied it at 9:10 when Leddy, called up on Monday from Rockford of the American Hockey League, took a pass from Jack Skille and scored on a floater that appeared to go in off the crossbar.

The Blackhawks then had 1:46 with a two-man advantage. With 15 seconds left in the 5 on 3, Keith stepped into a rocket at the right dot and blistered the one-timer past Mason.

With full power back on, the players returned from the intermission to play the final seconds of the first period, then switched ends for the second period.

Flames 3, Predators 2 (SO) | HIGHLIGHTS


Rene Bourque scored the only goal in a shootout, and Calgary rallied to beat Nashville at Bridgestone Arena for its fifth straight victory.

The Flames trailed 1-0 heading into the third period, but Matt Stajan and Cory Sarich scored to help Calgary force overtime.

In the shootout, Bourque slipped the puck under Pekka Rinne's leg to start. Alex Tanguay lost the puck, then Rinne stopped Olli Jokinen. But Miikka Kiprusoff stopped Martin Erat and Cody Franson.

"If you win, you might move up a slot," Flames captain Jarome Iginla said. "But there are so many teams that if you lose you're moving down two for sure because someone from that group is winning. Every game gets more important from here on out. It's going to be a heck of a race with so many teams that are within a few points of each other."

David Legwand had a last chance to extend the shootout but couldn't beat Kiprusoff.

Patric Hornqvist had a power-play goal for Nashville. Martin Erat also scored and Sergei Kostitsyn added two assists.

"We've got to hunker down when it's 1-0 and go from there and not let anything else happen after that," Legwand said.

Calgary has gone past regulation six times in the past 11 games and improved to 7-4 in shootouts this season. More important, the Flames continue their rally in the Western Conference, having grabbed at least a point in 10 of their last 11 games.

"We just stayed the course, kept plugging away, kept working hard. We never did anything fancy, but we did a lot of things the right way," Calgary coach Brent Sutter said.

It felt as if the Predators were playing for the shootout with a 6-2 record in them coming into the game. Rinne, the NHL's third star for January, got Nashville to the shootout by stopping four shots in overtime, with his best a stick save on Jokinen with 2:20 left. He also smothered a slap shot by Stajan 15 seconds later.

The Predators now have lost three straight, picking up where they left off going into the All-Star weekend.

They seemed in control most of the game. Erat scored his seventh from the slot, tipping in a nice pass from Kostitsyn from the left circle at 7:43 of the first past Kiprusoff's glove. The Predators wound up taking 10 of the next 12 shots.

Kiprusoff also put Nashville on the power play at the end of the second period, swiping his glove across Predators center Nick Spaling's face. But Nashville couldn't convert.

"At least we got one point tonight, but there comes a point where we've got to figure out how to lock things down," Preds captain Shea Weber said. "There are 31 games left, and if we're not going to find a way to get two points, we're going to be out of the playoffs."

Stajan tied it up at 1-1 at 2:57 in the third with his fourth goal of the season with a slap shot off an assist from Tim Jackman.

Nashville took the lead back with a rare power-play goal. Hornqvist scored his 16th this season with a wrister from the slot off a pass from Shea Weber, beating Kiprusoff glove-side at 4:56 -- just 28 seconds after Jokinen went to the penalty box for tripping.

It didn't last long as Sarich scored from the right circle at 9:04 to tie it up at 2-all.

"They've been consistent efforts," Sarich said of this streak. "That's the biggest thing. Giving ourselves a chance and not beating ourselves. We're staying in games. We've limited our mistakes from the start of the year, and that's been huge for our success."

Wild 1, Kings 0 (SO) | HIGHLIGHTS

Niklas Backstrom somehow made a kick save with his right skate against Jack Johnson, one of three he made in the shootout, and Pierre-Marc Bouchard followed with the game-winner to lift Minnesota past Los Angeles at the Xcel Energy Center.

"He had me beat so I tried just to get something up there and got lucky," Backstrom said. "It hit my skate. You need those every now and then."

The Kings were 5-0 this season in shootouts and Backstrom had lost eight straight shootouts before Tuesday night.

"From the bench, all I saw was open net," Wild coach Todd Richards said.

Bouchard beat Jonathan Bernier with a nifty little backhand through the five-hole and Backstrom also stopped Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown to help the Wild get a much-needed two points in the airtight Western Conference.

Bernier was even better than Backstrom during regulation and overtime, making several point-blank saves for the Kings, who had their three-game winning streak snapped in the opener of a 10-game road trip.

Backstrom was rarely challenged during his third shutout of the season, but was superb in the shootout. He poke checked the puck off the stick of Kopitar to start the shootout and capped it off with a blocker save against Brown.

"I just tried to wait him out," Johnson said of his chance. "I tried to get him down and thought I had him waited out. He stuck his pad up and I hit him in the toe. I've got to tip my hat to him. He made a great save."

Bernier earned his first shutout of the season and stopped Marty Havlat to start the shootout before Bouchard beat him.

"He made a nice move," said Bernier, who had 25 saves. "I don't know if that's what he wanted to do at first. ... Obviously I'd like to get that one back."

Both teams looked rusty in their first game back from the six-day All-Star break.

The lack of offense should come as no surprise for two teams who have struggled on that end of the ice all season. The Wild started the night tied for the second-fewest goals in the West while only four teams had scored fewer goals than Los Angeles.

After a slow start to the season led to questions about Richards' job security, the Wild have moved back into the playoff hunt. They have won five of their last six games, and their latest victory over them 57 points for the season, one ahead of the Kings, and eighth place in the conference.

The Kings were one of the more disappointing teams in the first half of the season, unable to capitalize on the momentum gained from their first trip to the playoffs since 2002. They tied a franchise record with 46 victories last season.

Los Angeles lost 10 of 12 home games during a horrible skid that started at the end of December and dragged well into January before finally showing signs of steadying itself with a three-game winning streak going into the All-Star break.

With the Grammy Awards and the NBA All-Star game scheduled for Staples Center in Los Angeles, the Kings will spend the next three weeks crisscrossing North America in a trip that could define their season.

"The most important thing, obviously, is to win, but you want to play good," coach Terry Murray said. "You want to give yourself every opportunity to win the game. I thought we did that."

Devils 2, Senators 1 | HIGHLIGHTS

Dainius Zubrus scored on an attempted pass that deflected off Ottawa defenseman Chris Phillips with 5:43 to play, and New Jersey returned from the All-Star break with a victory against the struggling Sens at the Prudential Center.

For NHL.com's full recap, click here.

Islanders 4, Thrashers 1 | HIGHLIGHTS

Kyle Okposo scored his first two goals of the season and Kevin Poulin made 25 saves as New York beat Atlanta at Philips Arena.

For NHL.com's full recap, click here.

Avalanche at Blues (ppd.)

A major storm in the Midwest forced the postponement of the Colorado-St. Louis match, which was scheduled to take place at the Scottrade Center. No makeup date has been set.

For more details, click here.

Material from wire services and team media was used in this report.

Quote of the Day

[He's] real confident with the puck now, getting it off his stick quick and no second-guessing. We need that. He's such a good guy in the room. He works so hard. That's the big thing. For not a big man, he just fights for every puck and when he scores, the guys appreciate that even more.

— Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice on Mathieu Perreault, who scored two goals in win against Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday