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Burrows' goal gives Canucks OT win in Detroit

by Brian Hunter / NHL.com
The lively boards at Joe Louis Arena wound up benefiting the visitors Thursday night, and the Vancouver Canucks were all too happy to take advantage.

Alex Burrows scored 27 seconds into overtime, following up on a long shot that went wide of the net but caromed back out quickly off the end boards. He got to the loose puck first and put a shot from the bottom of the left circle past Detroit goalie Chris Osgood for a 4-3 victory.

"I just tried to get a shot on net and I think it hit the d-man and went wide, and then just following up for a rebound," Burrows said. "(I) just tried to get it as quick as I could on net, and I think it might have surprised Osgood."

Roberto Luongo made 32 saves for the Canucks, who also got goals from Jannik Hansen, Ryan Kesler and Mason Raymond in winning for the third time in four games.

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Tomas Holmstrom, Brian Rafalski and Dan Cleary scored for the Red Wings, who were playing without captain Henrik Zetterberg, sidelined with a sore groin. It's safe to say Detroit coach Mike Babcock wasn't using that as an excuse, however — he certainly didn't want to hear that the Canucks got lucky on the winning goal.

"We don't score some goals like that? We play here, we've got to know about that," Babcock said. "We just talked about we have to take away the middle, we let them come right up the middle. I mean, good for them. The Kesler line had three goals, I think, today."

Vancouver held a 2-1 lead after the opening period, but Detroit tied it at 3:42 on a Rafalski power-play goal and took its only lead of the night at 11:07 when Clearly came out of the penalty box, took Pavel Datsyuk's pass and ended up beating Luongo off the rebound of his own breakaway chance.

Raymond knotted the score at 2:23 of the third, forcing overtime and leading to Burrows' winner in a game the Canucks viewed as an important early-season test.

"It was a big win. We know the Red Wings are a really good team in this League. They're not the Stanley Cup champs for no reason," Burrows said. "It was a statement game for us. We just wanted to come in here and play hard, play our game, and we liked the result tonight."

Hansen's first NHL goal got the Canucks off to a fast start 5:08 after the opening faceoff, but Holmstrom drew the Red Wings even on a power play 1:47 later — a goal that was only awarded after a video review showed his tip hit the middle back post of the net and not the crossbar. Kesler put Vancouver back ahead at 10:37 by tipping home Shane O'Brien's point shot.

Detroit lost its second straight at home, following last Thursday's opening night loss to Toronto. Babcock wasn't happy about his team's poor play at Joe Louis Arena.

"Maybe we're trying to be too cute at home, I don't know, but we've turned the puck over so much in two games that it takes your flow away totally," Babcock said. "You're never on top of the other team, they're always on top of you. … It's not even the loss for me, it's the way we played. We didn't have any zip."

Devils 1, Thrashers 0 | VIDEO
With six goals in four games, New Jersey's offense hasn't exactly been lighting up the scoreboard — but the Devils picked up their third victory on the young season thanks to Brian Rolston's power-play goal late in the second period and Martin Brodeur's 27 saves.

Winning came at a cost, however, as the Devils lost Rolston in the third period after he crashed heavily into the boards and had to be helped off the ice by a pair of teammates. Devils coach Brent Sutter said Rolston suffered an ankle sprain.

"He was going with a full head of steam and went into the boards awkward," said Sutter, who didn't speculate on whether Rolston would miss any time. "We'll see how it goes, but it's not as bad as originally thought."

 
 
Rolston explained: "(I was) in on the forecheck, going fast, and I just lost an edge and went in funny, that's all. … We've had it all checked out and we'll just see how it comes around the next couple days."

Brodeur and Atlanta's Kari Lehtonen engaged in a goaltending duel, with Lehtonen making 34 saves, including 20 in the second period alone. But the Devils finally broke through with 1:03 remaining when Rolston notched the first goal of his second tour of duty with New Jersey.

Dainius Zubrus had the puck along the boards, then dumped a pass behind the net to Rolston. He popped out front and got off a shot that Lehtonen knocked away, but Rolston swatted in the rebound.
"It was a good read on his part," Zubrus said. "He got the puck and did the right thing. He took it to the goal."
Brodeur did the rest, making a strong save on Jason Williams in front and blocking the rebound. He also got help from the post, with Ron Haisey's power-play drive clanking off the iron. In the end, the goalie was as happy about the Devils scoring on the man-advantage — something they hadn't done since opening night — as he was about his 97th career shutout.

"We controlled the puck a lot. I think we had good possession, we had a couple chances, and I think that's what you need from your power play," Brodeur said. "We didn't produce as much as we wanted to with some of the chances we had, but we just have to keep working. We have the personnel to make it happen, it's just a question of being patient with it."   

Islanders 4, Lightning 3 (OT) | VIDEO
Trent Hunter and Frans Nielsen teamed up to take advantage of goaltender Olaf Kolzig's gaffe playing the puck and Hunter scored his second of the game 51 seconds into overtime as the Islanders kept the Lightning winless.

Hunter
Kolzig came out to play the puck behind the net but ended up pushing it right to the stick of Nielsen, who quickly fed the wide-open Hunter in front of the goal. He had an empty net and didn't miss.

"I was just able to jump to the slot and Fransie made a great pass," said Hunter, who earlier had given the Islanders a 3-2 lead with 6:09 left in regulation. "He worked hard. He plays hard every night, but it paid off for him tonight."

Mike Comrie opened the scoring in the first period and Doug Weight's power-play marker in the second staked New York to a 2-0 lead after 40 minutes. Tampa had a pair of comebacks in store for the St. Pete Times Forum faithful in the third.

Lightning captain Vincent Lecavalier scored from the low slot at 3:43 and Vaclav Prospal's rebound goal on a power play at 12:02 tied it. Hunter quickly put the Islanders back in front, but Ryan Malone netted his first for the Lightning just 1:06 later, forcing overtime.

"I was more concerned at the 2-2 score because we were up 2-0," Islanders coach Scott Gordon said. "We realized that we made some turnovers in the third period that didn't allow us to establish any momentum, and then also we started taking penalties because they were able to establish some momentum.

"It usually goes hand in hand, when you don't get the puck and make the opposition go 200 feet, next thing you know it's gonna bite you and it did. Our guys, I felt, responded well after it."
   
Tampa Bay lost its fourth straight. The past two have come in overtime at home.

"You hate to lose, that's first and foremost," Kolzig said. "Those things happen. There's times where you get fortunate and the puck doesn't find its way in. It was an unfortunate play on my part. Go back to work tomorrow and don't let it fester."

Wild 6, Panthers 2 | VIDEO
It wasn't much of a secret that Minnesota was looking for bigger things from Mikko Koivu this season. Early on, the fourth-year center has been performing.

Koivu scored a goal and added a franchise-record-tying four assists as the Wild coasted to a road win at BankAtlantic Center. Antti Miettinen connected twice on the power play while Andrew Brunette, Kim Johnsson and Benoit Pouliot also found the back of the net.

Koivu now has eight assists and nine points in the first three games, as the Wild improved to 3-0 for the third straight season. Minnesota's first-round pick in 2001 recorded 20 goals and 54 points in 2006-07 and followed up with 42 points last season despite playing only 57 games because of injury.

"Obviously it feels good, but I'm sure there's going to be games where it's not going to go in," Koivu said. "We're just going to enjoy it when it's happening, though."
"They've jelled really well together, they know where they are on the ice and they make that quick pass. It's fun to see that because it makes it a little easier for me." -- Wild head coach Jacques Lemaire
Miettinen, a five-year veteran signed in the offseason as an unrestricted free agent, already is a third of the way toward matching his career high of 15 goals set last season with Dallas.

"They've jelled really well together, they know where they are on the ice and they make that quick pass," coach Jacques Lemaire said. "It's fun to see that because it makes it a little easier for me."

Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom stopped 24 shots and has not lost in regulation in his past 15 starts dating back to last season, going 10-0-4 with one no-decision.

Defensemen Nick Boynton and Karlis Skrastins had the Panthers goals. Goalie Tomas Vokoun allowed four goals on 22 shots before being replaced by Craig Anderson.

"I would say we gave it away, but I don't think that we made them earn everything they got," Florida center Stephen Weiss said. "I think that a few of the goals that they got probably could have been avoided, but at the same time that's how it goes."

Blues 6, Stars 1 | Video
St. Louis did it with offense, defense and goaltending, highlighted by Keith Tkachuk and Brad Boyes each scoring for the fourth straight game and goalie Manny Legace improving to 3-0 with a 29-save effort.

Boyes
Defensemen Jay McKee, Steve Wagner and Eric Brewer also had goals as the Blues' back line did more than just keep the puck out of its own net. Yan Stastny also tallied in St. Louis' best offensive performance in 45 games, dating back to Jan. 8, when they beat Columbus by the same score.

"We didn't exactly go end-to-end and go top shelf," said McKee, a shot-blocking specialist who scored his first goal of the season. "It was just to the basics, getting pucks to the net and tonight, we were fortunate to have three shots from the point go in. We want to add to the offense as much as we can."

Krys Barch scored in the first period for the only offense Dallas could muster. One night after Fabian Brunnstrom's hat trick in his first NHL game got the Stars into the win column, they fell to 1-2-1 and saw goalie Marty Turco pulled after giving up five goals on 23 shots.

"Our goaltending has been poor," Stars coach Dave Tippett said. "Our top players are not playing with the commitment you need to win hockey games."

Blues coach Andy Murray thought the fact his team hadn't played since Monday afternoon's 5-4 win at Toronto was a factor.

"We were fresh, waiting for them," Murray said. "We played a team that played (Wednesday) night and had a battle (against Nashville). We took advantage."

Avalanche 5, Flyers 2 | Video
There were plenty of smiles in the Colorado dressing room after the game, as everyone was finally able to breathe a sigh of relief. For Philadelphia, it was another story.

Raycroft
In a battle of teams without a win entering play, five different Avalanche players scored and Andrew Raycroft won his debut with the team. Brett Clark and Marek Svatos staked him to a 2-0 lead during a first period in which Colorado enjoyed a 17-3 advantage in shots.

"I've worked hard the last two months," said Raycroft, who won 37 games for Toronto in 2006-07 but just two last season playing behind Vesa Toskala. "I know my game is where it should be at this time of the year. I knew that if I went in and didn't make any mistakes and got bounces that we haven't gotten the past few games, that we would be alright. And fortunately that happened tonight.”

The Avs got a win after losing their first three games, all by one goal and all in the third period.

The Flyers, now 0-3-1, made a pair of comeback attempts in the second that were quickly snuffed out. Simon Gagne beat Raycroft on a penalty shot at 4:33, Milan Hejduk answered with a power-play goal 44 seconds later. Mike Richards lit the lamp on a Flyers' man-advantage at 8:25, Cody McCormick restored the two-goal lead for the Avalanche by scoring with just 36 seconds left in the period.

"It was just a must-win, whatever it takes to win," McCormick said. "Play within the system and go out there and have fun. I think everybody did their jobs and that was the main thing."

Paul Stastny capped the scoring with Colorado skating on a 5-on-3 with 7:17 left in the third.

"It's definitely very frustrating at this time. We didn't expect to get off to a slow start like we have so far the last four games," the Flyers' Daniel Briere said. "I know it's a cliché but the worst thing you can do right now is point fingers. We need to stay together, regroup. It's a long season, there’s more than four games played. There's still lots of time. But the urgency needs to show up now in our game."

It won't get any easier for the Flyers, who visit unbeaten San Jose on Saturday night.


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









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