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Bryzgalov gets 7th shutout as Coyotes blank Ducks

by John Kreiser
Ilya Bryzgalov is interested in wins, not milestones. He got one of both on Saturday night.

Bryzgalov made 32 saves for his seventh shutout of the season and franchise-record 34th win as the Phoenix Coyotes beat the Anaheim Ducks 4-0 at Arena.

"It's nice, but I'm not chasing any records here," said Bryzgalov, who has played some of his best hockey against his former team. "I came to help my teammates win games and my teammates help me win games because we are in the same boat."

Bryzgalov faced just three shots in the first period, but was kept busy by the Ducks over the final 40 minutes while earning his 15th career shutout and second against Anaheim this season.

"It started with Bryz in goal," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. "They're a big heavy team that throws a lot of pucks at the net."

Wojtek Wolski scored his second goal in two games with Phoenix and added an assist, and Petr Prucha, Vernon Fiddler and Keith Yandle also scored to help the Coyotes win their second straight after a three-game losing streak. Phoenix remained in fourth place in the Western Conference.

"We're trying to make the playoffs and every game we win we are closer to finishing this mission," Bryzgalov said.

The Ducks lost for the second time in three games and missed a chance to gain ground in the Western Conference playoff race.

"The failure to execute when we had scoring chances was the disturbing part for us," said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle, whose team was 0 for 7 on the power play. "It seems like right now we're not getting anywhere near the performance level that's required. I think everybody can do more."

Wolski, acquired from Colorado on Wednesday before the trade deadline, carried the puck to the bottom of the right circle after Matthew Lombardi won the faceoff, spun clockwise and swept the shot past Jonas Hiller to give the Coyotes a 2-0 lead 52 seconds into the second period. Prucha scored a power-play goal with 44 seconds left in the first period by crashing the net and banging home a rebound for a power-play goal.

"I thought we'd done a pretty good job on the penalty kill and then we make a mistake and it's in the back of our net," Carlyle said.

Wolski picked up his third point with the Coyotes at 10:39 of the second period, staying on the ice for an extended shift and dancing around the Anaheim defense before finding Fiddler to the left of the net with a backhand pass. Fiddler forced a shot under Hiller's left pad for his first goal since Jan. 16 and a 3-0 lead. Yandle added a goal with 3:47 on a shot that was originally ruled no goal but was credited after a video review.

Panthers 4, Hurricanes 1 | HIGHLIGHTS | PHOTOS

Florida snapped Carolina's seven-game winning streak as Michael Frolik and Kamil Kreps scored in a 1:11 span of the first period and Tomas Vokoun made 31 saves.

Cory Stillman scored late in the third period, and Kreps added an empty-net goal to help Florida win its second straight game after a seven-game losing streak.

Justin Peters made 26 saves while suffering his first career loss following three straight wins. Jussi Jokinen scored his 25th goal for Carolina.

"Giving up two goals early in the game was really a big test for me to mentally stay with it," Peters said. "I was able to stay strong and give the team a chance."

Frolik scored his 16th goal with 6:02 left in the first period. Dmitry Kulikov's pass toward the crease deflected of Carolina's Joni Pitkanen and Frolik quickly put the puck into the net. Kreps made it 2-0 when he took a pass from Nick Tarnasky in the slot and fired the puck between Peters' legs. Tarnasky grabbed the puck after Carolina's Alexandre Picard failed to clear from near the left side boards.

Florida's first-period goals came after Tarnasky and Carolina's Jay Harrison fought 1:15 into the game.

"It was one of our best first periods of the year because we were so physically involved," Panthers coach Peter DeBoer said.

Carolina pulled to 2-1 on Jokinen's goal at 7:58 of the third. But Stillman restored the Panthers' two-goal lead when with 3:30 remaining when he wristed a shot from the slot past Peters for his 12th of the season.

Lightning 6, Thrashers 2 | HIGHLIGHTS | PHOTOS

Steven Stamkos scored twice to reach the 40-goal mark in his second NHL season, extended his franchise-record point streak to 16 games and drew praise from Mario Lemieux while leading the Lightning past Atlanta at the St. Pete Times Forum.

Tampa Bay coach Rick Tocchet said Lemieux, a former teammate, used "Wow" after the game to describe the 20-year-old Stamkos.

"He's a special guy," Tocchet said about Stamkos. "The guy thrives with ice time."

Stamkos scored twice and had an assist, giving him 15 goals and 14 assists during his streak. He helped the Bolts put on a good show before a sellout crowd that included new owner Jeff Vinik, who attended his first game since getting NHL approval to buy the team three days earlier.

Martin St. Louis, Paul Szczechura, newcomer Teddy Purcell -- on a penalty shot -- and Vincent Lecavalier also scored for the Lightning, who stopped a five-game losing streak. Lightning goaltender Antero Niittymaki improved to 17-0-0 overall against Atlanta.

"I thought it was a great team effort," Stamkos said. "It was one of those games where if you lose it, you don't want to say that's the season, but it's pretty devastating to lose to a team like that that's ahead of you."

Niclas Bergfors and Colby Armstrong scored for Atlanta. The Thrashers are 4-1-2 in their last seven games.

"I think they were a little sharper, wanted it a little more," Atlanta coach John Anderson said of Tampa Bay. "If we would have won, it might have hurt their (playoff) chances, but now they're right back in it."

After Bergfors opened the scoring 3:22 into the game, goals by St. Louis, Stamkos and Szczechura gave Tampa Bay a 3-1 lead after one period. The Thrashers have been outscored 71-50 in the first period this season.

St. Louis also had two assists, and has 11 goals and 15 assists in his last 17 games.

Armstrong cut the Thrashers' deficit to 3-2 at 13:37 of the second. Purcell got the goal back on a penalty shot with 3:24 to go in the period, and third-period goals by Lecavalier and Stamkos put the game away.

Sharks 2, Blue Jackets 1 | HIGHLIGHTS | PHOTOS

The Shark Tank continues to be a tough place for the Columbus Blue Jackets. San Jose got third-period goals by Dany Heatley and Joe Pavelski to beat the Jackets at HP Pavilion for the 11th time in a row.

The win, San Jose's second third-period comeback victory in three nights, moved the Sharks back in front of Chicago in the race for first place in the Western Conference. San Jose has 93 points to 91 for the Hawks, who have played one less game.

"I'm happy we got the two points. I'm happy we won,” Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "I'm quite pleased with the win. It's tough to win in this League, no matter who you're playing."

The Blue Jackets, who are 14th in the West and all but out of the playoff race, gave the Sharks all they could handle.

"Some of the teams that are considered out of the playoff race often are tougher to play against because they're playing for jobs," McLellan said. "They are a hungry group, so it's not going to be an easy road by any means."

Steve Mason, who made 40 saves to blank San Jose last month in Columbus, stopped the Sharks' first 37 shots this time, but couldn't get No. 38 when Heatley converted a pass from Joe Thornton at 7:53 for a power-play goal that tied the game.

Mason made a miraculous stop on Thornton a few minutes later – a call that was confirmed by video review – but could only watch helplessly when Pavelski picked up the rebound of Ryane Clowe's shot, skated behind the net and back around before lifting a shot past Mason and into the net.

"The type of pressure they put on in the third period makes you do things you don't want to do," Noel said. "We knew it was coming. They have good players who have experience."

Andrew Murray had the only goal for the Blue Jackets, who began their three-game swing through California with a loss in Claude Noel's first road game as coach. Noel took over from Ken Hitchcock on Feb. 3, just in time for a six-game homestand that included the two-week Olympic break.

Murray scored his goal 60 seconds into the second period when he knocked in a pass from R.J. Umberger to cap an end-to-end rush. It was Murray's second in as many games since the Olympic break after scoring none in his first 29 games.

"We have 17 games left and we are trying to learn and get better every game," Noel said. "The higher the competition, the more you learn. We are really disappointed because we thought this was a game we could have won."

Bruins 3, Islanders 2 | HIGHLIGHTS | PHOTOS

Tim Thomas stopped 37 shots for his second consecutive win as the Bruins held off the Islanders to get their seven-game road trip off to a good start.

For's complete game story, click here.

Avalanche 7, Blues 3 | HIGHLIGHTS | PHOTOS

Chris Stewart had his first NHL hat trick and the first by a Colorado player in more than two years, leading the Avs to an easy win at home and snapping the Blues' five-game winning streak.

For's complete game story, click here.

Material from wire services was used in this report.

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