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Coyotes outlast Predators 1-0 in 10-round shootout

by Brian Compton
Sixty minutes weren't enough for a goal to be scored in Tuesday night's showdown between the Phoenix Coyotes and the Nashville Predators at the Sommet Center.

Overtime? Not a chance.

But in the 10th round of the shootout, Adrian Aucoin beat Pekka Rinne with a wrist shot as the Coyotes earned a hard-fought, 1-0 victory -- their fifth in a row.

"That literally was like a playoff game," Aucoin said. "The ice was about as bad as I've ever played on in the NHL, and it showed. There wasn't too many pretty plays. We kept working hard and both goalies were great."

Lauri Korpikoski beat Pekka Rinne in the second round for Phoenix with a wrister, but David Legwand tied it in Round 3. Ilya Bryzgalov then denied seven straight shooters to keep the Coyotes alive before Aucoin thanked him the only way we knew how. Shea Weber missed the net to give Phoenix the win.

"I tried to put him to sleep with my speed," Aucoin joked. "I'm going glove somewhere. It ended up going lower and off the post. It was a lucky one."

The win was Bryzgalov's 30th of the season -- and second in a 1-0 shootout. He is the first Coyotes goalie with that many victories since Curtis Joseph had 32 in 2005-06.

"His whole game was impressive," Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said. "Chances in the shootout are the best you're going to get, and he was excellent. He gave us a chance to win, and that's all we can ask for."

Bryzgalov stopped 11 shots in the third period, including Martin Erat's drive from the right circle with just under six minutes left. He made another three saves in overtime.

"Credit to Bryz … he made it real easy for us again," Aucoin said. "But when our forwards play the way they do, it makes it real easy for us D-men. That was a real good team effort."

Rinne started his second straight game after the Predators snapped a five-game skid Saturday night to start a four-game homestand -- Nashville's last before the Olympic break.

"There wasn't a lot of space, so when you moved, you had to fight for inches," coach Barry Trotz said. "It wasn't overly physical in terms of dirty or nasty, but it was a hard game because it was a goal line stand on both sides. Both teams were pushing back, and we knew one puck would be the difference."

Lightning 2, Thrashers 1 | HIGHLIGHTS

Antero Niittymaki did it again.

The Tampa Bay goaltender made 26 saves and beat Atlanta for the 16th consecutive time as the Lightning edged the Thrashers at Philips Arena.

Stephane Veilleux and Martin St. Louis scored first-period goals and Niittymaki protected the lead, giving up only a second-period goal to Todd White. Niittymaki is 11-0 in Atlanta's rink.

"It's just another building," said Niittymaki, who is 5-1-1 in his last seven games. "I don't think about it. I don't think you can win them all. We'll have to see what happens next time."

Veilleux opened the scoring at 9:37 of the first period, when he took a pass from Alex Tanguay and fired a shot from the left circle past Ondrej Pavelec. St. Louis, set up by a pass from Steven Stamkos, made it 2-0 with his 17th goal of the season at 12:43.

White cut the deficit in half at 2:46 of the second off a feed from defenseman Mark Popovic, who made his return after missing 27 games due to a broken foot. But Niittymaki stopped all nine shots he faced in the third as Tampa Bay hung on.

"Sometimes you get a game like that where you can't get a goal behind," Thrashers coach John Anderson said. "The curse continues, I guess. A little frustrating. I thought we played a decent game."

Tampa Bay avoided a three-game losing streak and improved to 9-15-5 on the road.

"We're in a playoff mode right now," St. Louis said. "It was good to get the win in regulation. It was big because they didn't get a point."

Stars 4, Wild 2 | HIGHLIGHTS

On the verge of losing his job as the starting goaltender, Marty Turco made a season-high 40 saves and Mike Modano scored his 556th career goal as Dallas skated past Minnesota at the American Airlines Center.

"I saw the puck pretty good.  I was excited to get back in there. The guys played a good, solid game and we got the lead.." -- Marty Turco
Brad Richards, James Neal and Jamie Benn also scored for the Stars, who played their last three games with Turco on the bench. Alex Auld had played six of the team's previous eight games.

"I saw the puck pretty good," Turco said. "I was excited to get back in there. The guys played a good, solid game and we got the lead."

Guillaume Latendresse and Andrew Brunette scored for the Wild, who haven't won in Dallas since March 21, 2003. Wade Dubielewicz made 14 saves in his first NHL appearance this season. Niklas Backstrom was out because of the flu and backup Josh Harding has been slowed by a hip injury.

"It's disappointing," Dubielewicz said. "I thought we put out a pretty good effort. We should have won this game. You double them in shots … we battled hard enough where I had to come up with one more save, and I couldn't do it. That's pretty tough to swallow right now."
Dallas scored the only goal of the first period with nine minutes remaining as Neal redirected a blast by Karlis Skrastins past Dubielewicz for his 22nd of the season. The Stars took the 1-0 lead into the locker room thanks to a strong performance by Turco, who faced 14 shots in the first 20 minutes.

"(Turco) was huge," Dallas coach Marc Crawford said. "That many shots, it's not the formula that we'd like. But I never felt we were out of control of the game."

Richards made it 2-0 with a power-play goal at 12:54 of the second, when his long slap shot found its way past Dubielewicz just six seconds after a two-man advantage expired.

"I thought he could have been better," Minnesota coach Todd Richards said of Dubielewicz, who played for the team's AHL affiliate on Monday night.

Latendresse cut the deficit in half with 50 seconds left in the second when he redirected a shot from Brent Burns past Turco for a power-play tally. But Modano restored the Stars' two-goal lead just 25 seconds later as he one-timed Brenden Morrow's feed past Dubielewicz for his 13th goal of the season.

"It's been a good stretch," said Modano, who added an assist and has 1,353 career points, tying Guy Lafleur for 24th on the all-time list. "I feel like I'm getting some good looks on net, and some quality chances and shots have been finding their way through legs and the goalies."

Brunette again got the Wild back to within one at 16:03 of the third period, but any hope of a comeback was dashed 53 seconds later when Benn beat Dubielewicz from the right circle to make it 4-2.

"They scored, but to go right back and force the issue and score was huge," Brad Richards said. "We did it twice tonight. That's probably why we won the game, those two shifts after those goals."

Avalanche 5, Blue Jackets 1

Ryan O'Reilly scored twice shorthanded and Brandon Yip also had a pair of goals as Colorado blew past Columbus at the Pepsi Center.

T.J. Galiardi had four assists and Craig Anderson made 20 saves for the Avalanche, who swept their four-game season series with the Blue Jackets.

"That doesn't happen very often," Galiardi said of O'Reilly's two shorthanded goals. "All the credit to O’Reilly. He just made two great plays, stuck with it on the second one, and on the first, he had two guys all over him and was able to put it in on the short-side."

Antoine Vermette scored the lone goal for Columbus, which came shorthanded just 5:47 into the game. Soon after, Avs coach Joe Sacco ripped into his team during a television timeout. Colorado responded as Kyle Quincey beat Mathieu Garon (21 saves) with 1:29 left in the opening period and Yip scored his first of two goals on a one-timer 4:33 into the second to give the Avs a 2-1 lead.

"That timeout came at a perfect time, and the coach gave it to us pretty good there," Galiardi said. "Basically he told us to wake up, and we responded. Some guys had big games and we're glad to have the two points."

"We played well early on and then they took over early in the second period," Columbus forward Fredrik Modin said. "We weren't able to match them after that."

The Avs added three more tallies in the third. Yip scored just 41 seconds into the period before O'Reilly scored his first of two shorthanded goals on a rush with Galiardi at 7:14 to make it 4-1. With Columbus still on the power play, the two teamed up on another rush that O’Reilly converted with 9:31 remaining. It was O'Reilly's second two-goal game of the season.

"We all knew we had to step it up," O'Reilly said. "Getting that first goal was good for them but we had to regroup. We stayed to our game, kept working hard and we got a few bounces."

Red Wings 4, Sharks 2 | HIGHLIGHTS

Derek Meech broke a 2-2 tie with a power-play goal 4:40 into the third period as Detroit scored four unanswered goals to earn an impressive win at San Jose.

Dan Cleary and Henrik Zetterberg scored late in the first to erase a 2-0 deficit, and Patrick Eaves added an insurance goal for the Red Wings, who are 3-0 against the Western Conference-leading Sharks.

"We've got points in three games in a row here," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "I thought our team was good. We played hard. Our good players were real good. We got down early, but we found a way to get it done."

Meech has two goals this season, and both have been game-winners. With Ryane Clowe in the penalty box for boarding, Meech let go a shot from the side of the net that deflected in off goalie Evgeni Nabokov (33 saves) to make it 3-2.

"It feels good," Meech said. "It was kind of a lucky bounce. I was just trying to get it on net and trying to get something happening there. It's a nice win for us. We've been trying to get things straight out here. We felt good tonight and it was a good win."

Joe Thornton scored both goals for the Sharks, who led 2-0 before the midway point of the opening period. San Jose has lost only twice in regulation in its last 12 games -- both at HP Pavilion against the Red Wings.

"We let them back in the game when we probably should have stepped on it a little bit," said Thornton, who now has 15 goals. "That's hockey. Any team can come back."

Jimmy Howard made 32 saves for Detroit and stopped all 18 shots he faced over the final 40 minutes. Tomas Holmstrom returned after missing 13 games with a broken foot and had two assists in 14:53.

"Just the kind of emotion that he has, I think he's a real team leader with how he plays at the net and his tenacity," Babcock said of Holmstrom. "He made some good plays."

Thornton, who went 15 games against the Wings without a tally, got the Sharks off to a fast start by scoring his two goals on rebounds of shots by Dany Heatley in a span of 3:34.

But Cleary made it 2-1 at 14:52 of the first when he one-timed Valtteri Filppula's feed past Nabokov for his 12th goal of the season before Zetterberg poked a rebound home to tie the game with 1:02 left in the period.

Eaves put the game away with 11:02 remaining in regulation off a feed from Brian Rafalski. It was his ninth goal of the season.

"They hunted us down pretty good," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said of the Wings. "They were relentless. Their forecheck was real good. It became a bit of a frustrating night."

According to Babcock, Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall suffered an ankle injury early in the third period and will not be able to play on Wednesday night, when the Red Wings visit Anaheim.

"I don't foresee him leaving a game and being ready to go tomorrow," Babcock said.

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

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