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Coyotes win Doan's 1,000th game in shootout

by Brian Hunter /
Shane Doan had been having a relatively quiet night in his 1,000th NHL game Thursday night – until the Phoenix Coyotes went to a shootout with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Doan scored in the second round of the penalty-shot tiebreaker to draw the Coyotes even and Robert Lang followed with a goal on their next attempt for a 2-1 win over the Jackets at Nationwide Arena.

"I don't think it was our best effort, but we did enough to get the points," said goalie Jason LaBarbera, who made 38 saves and stopped two of three shootout attempts. "To be able to get two points out of a game like that for Shane Doan is pretty special."

Doan, who broke into the League by playing 74 games for the Winnipeg Jets in 1995-96, the season before the franchise relocated to Phoenix, has 265 goals and 642 points in his career. He took three shots on goal and picked up a minor penalty for interference during Thursday's game.

"It's a huge blessing," said Doan, the 42nd NHL player to reach the milestone and the 24th to do it for the franchise that originally drafted him. "It's hard to say what it really means. It will probably mean a lot more later on. Right now, that was a big win for us and we needed it."

After Rick Nash temporarily put the Jackets ahead in the shootout by beating LaBarbera, Doan responded against Mathieu Garon. LaBarbera then poke-checked Fedor Tyutin and Lang scored his second shootout goal in as many attempts this season for the victory.

"I just got beat 5-hole," Garon said of Lang's shot. "I was trying to be patient and I waited a little too long."

Nash scored a power-play goal in the third to draw Columbus even. Tyutin didn't get much on an attempted one-timer from the point, but the puck found its way over to Nash at the right dot and he drilled it past LaBarbera at the 8:19 mark.

The Coyotes goalie, making a rare start in place of Ilya Bryzgalov, got his revenge in overtime when Nash came crashing the net and backhanded a pass to Kristian Huselius at the left side of the net. LaBarbera stopped Huselius twice on the doorstep to keep the score tied.

"(Nash is) a world-class player when he gets in the slot like that," LaBarbera said. "He seems like he wants to pass it a little bit more. I was kind of playing the pass more, I just read it really well. Luckily enough, Huselius was a little too close to me to kind of get it over me."

Keith Yandle put the Coyotes ahead 1-0 just 1:48 into the opening period. The defenseman took advantage of a pair of Jackets colliding near the boards, picked up a bouncing puck and skated through the high slot before going high on Garon and beating him.

"I think it was my first shift so it's good to go out there and get a goal and get the team going a little bit," Yandle said.

Wild 3, Canadiens 1 | HIGHLIGHTS

Minnesota was able to play most of Thursday's game from in front, and in doing so left the Bell Centre in Montreal with a victory.

Mikko Koivu had the go-ahead goal late in the first period and Niklas Backstrom made 30 saves as the Wild improved to 9-2-1 over the last dozen games.

"Early in the game, you get the lead and you get the team going, and I think it's important on the road," Koivu said. "We did a pretty good job defensively, even if they had a lot of shots. In the third period we tried to keep it tight in the middle, and obviously Backstrom played a great game so that always helps."

Robbie Earl and Cal Clutterbuck had the other Minnesota goals, while Andrei Kostitsyn was responsible for Montreal's only tally. The Canadiens, who were coming off a 2-1 loss in New Jersey on Wednesday, are 0-4-1 in their last five.

"It's a tough thing we're going through," Canadiens defenseman Hal Gill said. "We've been playing a lot better, we've been in games, we're just coming out on the wrong end of them and we've got to find something to make the difference. We've got to dig a little deeper and get some goals and find a way to capitalize on chances."

Koivu redirected a Martin Havlat centering feed with 5:52 left in the first to give the Wild a 2-1 lead. It stayed that way until more than midway through the third, when Clutterbuck provided some insurance by stuffing a rebound off the end boards inside the right post and past Carey Price with 8:13 remaining.

Backstrom did the rest, extending his personal winning streak to four straight.

"I think we played a pretty good game," Backstrom said. "The guys on defense did a great job to help me see the puck."

Price probably would have liked to have the opening goal of the game back, as Earl got Minnesota on the board at 2:41 by beating him between the pads with a shot from the right faceoff dot.

Montreal responded just 45 seconds later, with Scott Gomez stripping the puck from Eric Belanger to start a play that ended with Kostitsyn working his way past defenseman Marek Zidlicky and scoring on a backhander.

"Moral victories suck in this business, I'm not going to sugar coat it," Canadiens forward Mike Cammalleri said. "It's a results-driven business, all our fans and all the people who care so much about this team want to see it win and so do we. When you talk about the process and working towards a goal, they're things that we can look at. But they don't really hold much weight as far as I'm concerned."

Red Wings 3, Lightning 0 | HIGHLIGHTS

It was a night full of good news and bad news for Detroit, which has become all too accustomed to winning games, but losing players.

In the good news department, Jimmy Howard made 30 saves against Tampa Bay to record his first NHL shutout.

In the bad news department, star forward Henrik Zetterberg was forced from the game late in the first period with a left shoulder injury after a crushing hit from Lightning defenseman Mattias Ohlund.

Good news, perhaps, was that Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said drove himself to the hospital to get an MRI after the game. He didn't know the extent of Zetterberg's injury or if he would miss any action.

"That was unfortunate," Ohlund said of the play that resulted in Zetterberg leaving. "I'm not trying to hurt anybody. I like to play hard."

Drew Miller, Todd Bertuzzi and Patrick Eaves scored as the injury-ravaged Wings continue to win games – this one was a milestone for their coach.

"I just think the guys are playing hard and we're getting good goaltending," said Babcock, who got his 300th career win.

Howard had his grandparents in the stand at Joe Louis Arena, an extra-special thrill for the goaltender in his first full season in the League.

"It feels great. It's exciting to do it in front of my grandparents," Howard said. "It's something real special. It's not their first game at the Joe. But it's their first game watching me. It's awesome."

The Lightning, losers of six in a row, received 19 saves from their goalie, Mike Smith.

"If we continue to make those kind of mistakes, we don't have a chance (to make the playoffs)," Smith said. "We don't have a good enough team to make those mistakes."

Miller, claimed off waivers from Tampa earlier this season, opened the scoring 8:24 into the first period, sweeping in from the left side and putting a shot past Smith while crashing the crease.

"It's a business move for them. They chose to get rid of me," Miller said of facing his old team. "You've got to land on your feet and make the most of wherever you're at. No hard feelings toward them."

That was the only goal until the third, when Bertuzzi doubled the Wings' lead at 6:48 by tipping in a Tomas Holmstrom pass. Eaves capped the scoring at 10:10 by gaining control of a Nicklas Lidstrom feed in the slot and poking the puck in past Smith.

Predators 6, Oilers 3 | HIGHLIGHTS

When these teams met in Nashville earlier this season, Edmonton put six on the scoreboard en route to victory. Patric Hornqvist and his teammates got a little payback Thursday.

Hornqvist scored twice and added an assist as the Predators overcame Pekka Rinne's early departure and rode a strong performance by Dan Ellis to a win over the Oilers to improve to 5-0-1 in their last six and tie Chicago for the Central Division lead.

Ryan Jones, Joel Ward, Marcel Goc and Jerred Smithson all contributed goals for Nashville, while Robert Nilsson scored a pair of power-play goals and Lubomir Visnovsky also scored for Edmonton.

"That has been our team lately," said Ellis, who would stop 21 of 22 shots. "We've shown a lot of resiliency as a team. We've put a lot of pressure on the net and made it difficult for other teams to play their game. We had a bit of a slow start but we picked our game up and were able to seal the deal."

Clinging to a 4-3 lead, Hornqvist's second of the night with less than four seconds remaining in the middle period was a crucial goal for the Predators. Smithson added an empty-netter in the final minute of the third.

Nilsson opened the scoring 3:05 into the game and Visnovsky doubled the Oilers' lead at 5:01 on just their fourth shot. At that point Rinne was lifted in favor of Ellis, and the Predators would come back to take the lead before the first period ended.

"We were sleeping at the start," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "We played back-to-back games and then had a big travel day and we just didn't have any legs. But I felt the next goal of the game would mean everything at that point and that we needed to wake up and go after it."

Jones converted a rebound with 7:47 left, Ward tied the score with 3:51 left on a backhander past Jeff Deslauriers and Goc redirected a J.P. Dumont pass 50 seconds later as Nashville went in front to stay.

"We played well for 50 minutes, but the first 10 was brutal," Hornqvist said. "Jonesy's goal was a big goal and after that we were all over them I think."

Hornqvist made it 4-2 when he finished off a three-way passing play with Dumont and Jason Arnott 8:18 into the second. Nilsson temporarily halted the Predators' momentum by notching his second of the game with 5:50 to play in the period, but Hornqvist struck again by tipping a Ryan Suter shot.

"Losing gracefully has been the standard here for a while," Oilers defenseman Sheldon Souray said. "When we go on the road and put hard work and have a team first attitude, it raises our standards. Good teams have that level consistently.

"We're a team that takes two steps forward and two steps back, and that gets you nothing. We don't want that to be acceptable."

Sharks 4, Ducks 1

Joe Thornton had one of those nights where he did just about everything for San Jose.

Thornton scored a pair of second-period goals, assisted on tallies by Patrick Marleau and Devin Setoguchi and finished with a plus-3 rating in a win Thursday over Anaheim.

Evgeni Nabokov made 20 saves and the Sharks moved back into a tie with the Kings for first place in both the Pacific Division and Western Conference. They also snapped an uncharacteristic five-game losing streak at HP Pavilion.

"It was nice to finally get a win at home," Thornton said. "We played well."

Ryan Getzlaf scored on the power play 34 seconds into the third for the only goal the Ducks would manage.

"We had a little bit of complacency coming in," Ryan said. "We didn't get emotionally involved until the third period and it's tough to win a game in 20 minutes."

Jean-Sebastien Giguere stopped 33 shots and kept the game scoreless until midway through the second period when Thornton redirected a Marleau shot in front of the net. That goal came at the 9:15 mark and was followed 6:10 later by Marleau scoring off a nice redirect in the air off a Douglas Murray shot.

"We got back to doing a lot of things we need to do to get back to winning," Marleau said. "We were pretty well-rested and it was nice to win a division game."

Getzlaf cut the Ducks' deficit in half by taking Ryan's feed and beating Nabokov just inside the right post. The Sharks didn't fold, however, salting the game away when Thornton added a power-play goal with 6:37 remaining and Setoguchi finished after a Thornton centering pass with 3:49 left.
"For a shift or two after their goal I think the bench was a little nervous," Thornton said. "But that's normal for a team that's a little fragile. We sure rebounded rather well afterward though."
It was the third time this season Anaheim has lost to San Jose in a rematch of a first-round series last postseason in which the top-seeded Sharks were upset in six games.

"We made too many mistakes," Ducks defenseman Scott Niedermeyer said. "They stuck to their game plan and we took too many penalties. We didn't have as much energy as we needed for most of the game."

Material from wire services was used in this report.

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