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Ducks edge Wings, 3-2

by Brian Compton

Mathieu Schneider came back to haunt his old team by scoring a goal and adding an assist to lead the defending Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks to a 3-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday afternoon.
Watch Schneider beat Chris Osgood
With the season the Detroit Red Wings are having, it’s understandable if they don’t spend too much time reflecting about some of their former players.
But Mathieu Schneider provided a painful reminder on Sunday.
The Anaheim Ducks defenseman tallied a goal and an assist, leading the defending Stanley Cup Champions to a 3-2 victory over the Wings at Joe Louis Arena.
Schneider – who spent the last three full seasons in Detroit after being traded there by Los Angeles in 2003 – broke a 1-1 tie at 8:28 of the second period ( 700K ) and gave the Ducks the lead for good. He played his first game in Motown since signing with Anaheim during the offseason. He wasn’t booed by the Red Wings’ faithful until his second-period tally.
''I guess you expect a little bit. The fans treated me tremendously when I was here,'' Schneider said. ''I hope there are no hard feelings.''
Detroit goalie Chris Osgood was less than pleased with the way Schneider’s tally unfolded. As Osgood attempted to freeze the puck in his crease, Ducks forward Chris Kunitz knocked it into the right corner, where he fed it in front to Schneider for his eighth goal of the season.
''You can't bodycheck a goalie in the crease and knee him,'' Osgood said. ''I don't know if he even got it with the stick. He just kneed me right in the head.''
The teams exchanged goals late in the opening period. Pavel Datsyuk broke a scoreless tie via the power play at 14:16 ( 700K ), when he redirected Nicklas Lidstrom’s shot past Jean-Sebastien Giguere (27 saves) for his 19th goal of the season. Anaheim’s Ryan Carter tied things up when he blasted a one-timer that went off Wings defenseman Chris Chelios and into the net at 17:49 ( 700K ).
Kent Huskins gave the Ducks a 3-1 lead with his third goal of the season at the 15:18 mark of the second period ( 700K ). After finding his way past three Detroit defenders, Huskins ripped a shot off the left wing that Osgood initially stopped before it bounced back to Huskins.

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The Pittsburgh Penguins know if they want to hang onto first place in the Atlantic Division, they’re going to have to find some answers for the rival Philadelphia Flyers.
After going a perfect 8-0 last season against the orange and black, the Penguins couldn’t muster a single lead in losing their first four against the Flyers in 2007-08. It finally changed Sunday, and not surprisingly, Evgeni Malkin deserves much of the credit.
Malkin scored his 31st of the season and assisted on the Penguins’ other three goals, including Kris Letang’s tally with 7:46 left that wound up as the game-winner in a 4-3 win over the Flyers at Mellon Arena. ...more

''I got a nice kind of bounce in front of the net,'' Huskins said.
Johan Franzen got the Red Wings back to within a goal when he scored on the power play 6:06 into the third ( 700K ). It was his 11th goal of the season as he backhanded a shot past Giguere to make it 3-2.
Detroit nearly tied the game in the final minute when Lidstrom fired a shot past Giguere. But it was ruled that Tomas Holmstrom made contact with Giguere, which negated the tally.
''Homer stole a lot of my goals like that too,'' Schneider joked. ''As soon as he made contact, it's a dead play.''

Capitals 3, Rangers 2, OT | Video
A milestone appearance by goalie Olaf Kolzig turned into a memorable day for both he and his Washington teammates with a thrilling win over New York.
Kolzig was a winner in his 700th NHL game, thanks to Mike Green’s power play goal 23 seconds into overtime. With the victory, the Capitals regained possession of first place in the Southeast Division. But the Washington netminder is far from content at this point.
“It’s not so much being first in our division,” said Kolzig, who finished with 31 saves to tie Ron Hextall for 23rd place on the all-time list with 296 career wins. “Our goal is to continue to win and keep climbing up the leaderboard in the Eastern Conference. It’s a bit of a stretch because Ottawa’s built such a lead, but our goal ultimately is to try to be the best team in the East.”
Alex Ovechkin continued his remarkable season as he notched a goal and two assists. The Russian superstar opened the scoring with his League-leading 47th goal of the season via the power play just 2:28 into the game. After Rangers goalie Steve Valiquette was whistled for delay of game, Ovechkin put Eric Fehr’s rebound past Valiquette as the Caps took a 1-0 lead.
“We made some dirty plays,” Ovechkin said of Washington’s power play, which had gone 0-for-18 over the previous six games. “A goal is a goal. It doesn’t matter how you score. Beautiful or dirty goals, the puck is in the net – and that’s good.”
Sean Avery tied the game for New York at 7:02 of the first period, when he took a pass from Scott Gomez and ripped a wrist shot from the right circle past Kolzig to make it 1-1. It was Avery’s sixth goal of the season.
Chris Drury gave the Blueshirts their first lead of the afternoon when he beat Kolzig 9:25 into the second period. After taking a pass from Martin Straka, Drury managed to fire a turnaround wrist shot that got past Kolzig for his team-leading 18th goal of the season. It was also Drury’s sixth goal in seven games.
"Three (points) out of four is not that bad, especially on the road," Drury said. "Obviously there is a bad taste in your mouth immediately after the game, but when we get on the plane we'll know we got three out of four and we'll have something to build on."
Boyd Gordon gave the Caps some momentum when he tied the game with only 15 seconds remaining in the second. The Washington forward was able to gain control of Ovechkin’s rebound as he flipped it over Valiquette to make it 2-2.
"That was a tough one," Rangers coach Tom Renney said of Gordon's tying goal. "We weren't quite as tidy as we needed to be in our own end. That one hurts the most, I think."
Washington started the overtime on a power play after Ryan Hollweg was nailed for tripping at 19:26 of the third. With the man advantage, Green took a pass from Ovechkin and fired a shot from above the circles past Valiquette for the game-winner.
"I was thinking shoot," said Green, who has three overtime goals this season. "Their guy was screening the goalie, so as long as I got it by him, there was a good chance of it going in."
And once it did, the Capitals jumped into first place in the Southeast Division standings. They have yet to lose back-to-back games in regulation since Bruce Boudreau replaced Glen Hanlon behind the bench on Nov. 22.

“The resiliency of this team is pretty amazing,” Boudreau gushed. “They’ve got the feeling that they don’t like to lose.”

Wild 2, Blues 1, SO | Video

Brent Burns' second game-winning goal in two days gave the Minnesota Wild a 2-1 shootout victory over the St. Louis Blues.

Brent Burns scored the game-winning goal for the second time in as many nights, as Minnesota edged St. Louis in a shootout at the Scottrade Center.
Twenty-four hours after he beat the New York Islanders in overtime, Burns made a nifty move on Blues goalie Manny Legace in the sixth round of the shootout. Burns slammed on the brakes just inches from the goal before swatting a forehand shot past Legace as the Wild came away with the victory.
''I hate those stops, when they come in on the side and put the brakes on and pull it back,'' Legace said. ''I think you should always keep the forward motion. But it was a good move.''
Marian Gaborik and Paul Kariya scored for their respective teams in regulation, with both of the tallies coming in the first period. Gaborik scored 5:21 into the game on a shot from the left circle. Kariya tied things up with a power play goal at 12:53, when he put home a rebound just eight seconds after Mikko Koivu went off on a delay of game penalty.
Minnesota goalie Josh Harding was sharp in the shootout, making saves against Andy McDonald, Kariya and David Perron. Lee Stempniak missed the net on the Blues’ final opportunity, while Martin Rucinsky lost control of the puck in Round 5.
''I think it's just like riding a bike,'' Harding said. ''I thought as the game went on, I felt more comfortable and we came out with the two big points.''

Sabres 5, Panthers 3 | Video
Derek Roy scored twice for Buffalo in a game that became secondary midway through the third period.
Florida forward Richard Zednik underwent emergency surgery on Sunday night after the skate blade of teammate Olli Jokinen connected with Zednik’s neck. Clutching his neck, Zednik immediately raced to the Florida bench, leaving a long trail of blood. A Sabres trainer jumped on the ice to apply a towel across the laceration, and Zednik was immediately taken to the Panthers' dressing room and transported to a local hospital soon thereafter.
The game was delayed for roughly 15 minutes. Zambonis were needed to help clean up the blood that Zednik left on the ice.
"I think we all were in shock, everybody was in shock," Jokinen said. "I've never seen anything like that. It's tough to focus on hockey after that. It was terrifying. We shouldn't have finished the hockey game. I don't think anyone on our team was thinking hockey after an injury like that."
Jason Pominville had a goal and an assist for the Sabres, who have won three of four. But even in the Buffalo locker room, thoughts and prayers went out to Zednik.
"It was very difficult," Roy said. "Things happen during the game. There's a lot of hitting. Sometimes bad things happen. We're all rooting for him. Hopefully he gets well."

Kings 3, Blue Jackets 2, SO | Video

Dan Cloutier returned to the NHL on Sunday night and made the most of his opportunity in between the pipes for the Kings, Los Angeles Kings edged the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 in a shootout. 

Dan Cloutier found himself back in the NHL on Sunday night, and the gritty goaltender made the most of his opportunity.
The Los Angeles netminder finished with 31 saves and stopped Jason Chimera in the shootout just moments before Patrick O’Sullivan tallied the game-winner as the Kings came out victorious at Nationwide Arena.
''I've waited a long time for this one,'' said Cloutier, who has struggled with injuries and mostly played in the minors the last few seasons. ''I've been through a lot in the last couple of years. I'm pretty excited to come back up and get an opportunity to play.''
Anze Kopitar scored twice for the Kings, who are 9-4-1 in their last 14 games. His first goal came just 43 seconds in, as he took a pass from Michael Cammalleri and tapped it past Pascal Leclaire as L.A. scored on just its second shot on goal.
''I don't think the goalie really knew where the puck was,'' Kopitar said. ''It was a really nice break for us to score right off the bat. It was good to start the game with.''
Ron Hainsey tied the game for Columbus with a power play goal at 5:33 of the first. Hainsey was able to beat a screened Cloutier on a blast from the point for his sixth goal of the season.
Kopitar restored the Kings’ lead with a power play goal of his own at the 9:02 mark of the second period. After Leclaire made an initial save on O’Sullivan, Kopitar backhanded the rebound through a crowd of players and into the net to make it 2-1.
Just over seven minutes later, Rick Nash erased the deficit with a power play goal. After a nice play by recently-acquired defenseman Dick Tarnstrom to keep the puck in the Kings’ zone, Nash took a pass from Michael Peca and ripped a low shot past Cloutier for his 29th goal of the season.

"It doesn't matter what they play, we're at home and have to come in and dictate,” Nash said.

“We didn't tonight, fell into their game and didn't finish opportunities."
Cloutier came up huge late in the third, as he robbed Chimera from close range. The save forced overtime.
''We didn't make a great deal of mistakes tonight, but Cloutier was there for us when we did,'' Los Angeles coach Marc Crawford said.
Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock was pleased with his team’s effort, but seems to be getting frustrated by the lack of offense.

"This is the hardest we've competed all year, in general in the last three or four games – it's a wasted opportunity based on our effort,” Hitchcock said. “The thing that's been our nemesis all year is haunting us and that is our inability to garner more than a couple of goals a game."    

Predators 6, Coyotes 3 | Video
Nashville has been through a lot lately – including tornadoes.
On Sunday, though, the Predators overcame one of the biggest obstacles thrown at them this season.
After watching a 3-0 lead slip away, Nashville responded not by throwing in the towel, but instead by scoring three unanswered goals in the third period in an impressive victory at Arena.
Two of those goals came in just 23 seconds, as J.P. Dumont and Rich Peverley helped lift the Predators to a much-needed victory. Dumont also had two assists for his second three-point game of the season.
''We were able to respond in the third period and come up with a big win,'' Nashville goalie Dan Ellis said. ''Did I get rattled? No, I mean their goals were kind of hitting bodies and it's just unfortunate. You're going to get those goals during the course of the season.''

The loss dropped the playoff-hopeful Coyotes to 11-13-2 in Phoenix. Coach Wayne Gretzky certainly wants more out of his club on home ice. The Coyotes allowed three goals on Nashville’s first eight shots.
''We are just not the same team in this arena,'' Gretzky said. ''We don't have the confidence as we do on the road. We are not winning hockey games when we need to be winning.''
Ilya Bryzgalov – one of the main reasons why Phoenix is in the playoff hunt – was pulled with 6:33 remaining in the first period, after Nashville’s Jason Arnott gave his club a 3-0 lead.
''We need Bryzgalov to be better,'' Gretzky added. ''He's taken on the responsibility as No. 1, and now he has to prove it. He's got to be way better.''
Shane Doan started a Phoenix rally with a power play goal at 18:27 of the opening period. Daniel Winnik and Ed Jovanovski tied the game with tallies in the second period before Nashville regained control in the third and ultimately rebounded from Saturday’s 4-3 loss to the San Jose Sharks.
''We did not have a great game in San Jose and everyone knew that,'' Arnott said. ''We had to battle back against Phoenix and the team pulled together. We had good contributions from everybody and never let down.''

Canucks 3, Blackhawks 2, SO | Video

Taylor Pyatt of the Canucks delivers a hit on Yanic Perreault of the Blackhawks during Vancouver's 3-2 shootout win over Chicago.

Markus Naslund erased a 2-1 deficit with 1:18 remaining in regulation, and Ryan Shannon scored the lone goal of the shootout, as Vancouver edged Chicago in a wild one at GM Place.
Shannon’s goal came on a controversial move, as he appeared to have bumped Blackhawks goalie Nikolai Khabibulin before spinning around to backhand a shot into an open net. Khabibulin shoved Shannon from behind moments after the goal.
Afterwards, Khabibulin was still fuming.
"I guess there's no such rule against it," said Khabibulin, who finished with 32 saves. "I guess he can do that, but he's going to pay the price for that."
''I don't think it matters how pucks go in the net, as long as they do,” said Shannon, who was playing in just his second game since being called up from the American Hockey League. ''I was just trying contribute to the team, and I figured that would be a good way to start things off. I came out wide and saw he came with the poke-check, so I put on the brakes and put it into the open net.''
Vancouver had a chance to win it earlier in overtime, when Daniel Sedin was awarded a penalty shot after Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook knocked his net off its moorings. Sedin, though, was unable to keep control of the puck on his free breakaway.
Alex Burrows also scored for the Canucks, who were able to avenge Saturday’s 6-2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche. The win was Vancouver’s third in 12 games.
''It was nice to come back, said Naslund after scoring his 20th goal for a team-record ninth straight season. ''We played a strong game. Unfortunately we got some bad bounces, like when you see that puck going over Louie, but we responded and got the win and that's all that matters. I think we deserved the win.''
Chicago – which has won only once in its last six – erased a 1-0 deficit with third-period goals from Patrick Sharp and Cam Barker. The Blackhawks also had Jonathan Toews back in the lineup after the rookie missed 16 games due to sprained knee. Chicago was outshot 34-18.

“We had a game plan, and unfortunately, we didn’t follow it,” Blackhawks coach Denis Savard said. “Our defense was struggling back there. We had a tough time tonight, for some reason. We turned the puck over without pressure at times. Khabi kept us in the game.”

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

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