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Flames beat Blues for second OT win in two nights

by Brian Hunter /
The St. Louis Blues finally scored a goal. In the end, though, it was the Calgary Flames who celebrated.

Dion Phaneuf scored 2:50 into overtime as the Flames won a road game in OT for the second night in a row, edging the Blues 2-1 on Thursday at the Scottrade Center.

Phaneuf, who scored a career-low 11 goals last season, picked up his sixth in only 14 games by blasting the puck past Chris Mason, who finished with 27 saves and shut out the Flames for nearly 60 minutes following an early goal by Jarome Iginla.

"It got tipped up high," Mason said. "He was shooting at the other side of the net and it went in the short side."

Phaneuf called the goal "a classic example of traffic. Luckily, it went in."

Lars Eller scored his first NHL goal for the Blues, and it was a big one. When Eller beat Miikka Kiprusoff on a power play 7:15 into the third period, not only did he end the goalie's bid for a shutout, he broke a scoreless streak of 171 minutes, 5 seconds for St. Louis as a team.

Phoenix and Florida had blanked the Blues in consecutive home games, and they hadn't put a puck in the net since David Perron's empty-netter in a 5-2 win at Carolina on Oct. 28.

Eller, taken No. 13 in the 2007 Entry Draft, deflected in a point shot by Erik Johnson for the Blues' first power-play conversion after 26 straight failed opportunities.

"I liked our work ethic and our level of determination," St. Louis coach Andy Murray said. "You know it's a tough league. You have to scrap and claw for every point you can get."

Iginla scored his third goal in two games just 3:34 into the game, beating Mason on a breakaway. The goalie got a piece of Iginla's shot, but it trickled across the goal line for an unassisted goal.

Calgary won 3-2 in Dallas on Wednesday with Iginla scoring the overtime winner. Kiprusoff, who missed that game due to the flu, returned with a 30-save performance.

"To be able to get two of them in a row, in overtime like this, it's a great feeling," Iginla said. "It's good for momentum."

Blue Jackets 4, Thrashers 3 | HIGHLIGHTS

Two more goals by Raffi Torres helped vault Columbus into first place in the Central Division. Jakub Voracek and Derick Brassard also scored and Mathieu Garon stopped 32 shots for the Blue Jackets as Columbus jumped one point ahead of Chicago, which lost at Phoenix.

It was a disappointing night for the crowd at Philips Arena, which saw the Thrashers trail by two goals for much of the night. Bryan Little scored at even strength while defensemen Tobias Enstrom and Pavel Kubina had power-play goals. Kubina made it 4-3 at 2:06 of the third, but Garon made 10 saves in the period to hold the lead.

"When you go up by two goals, there is not nearly as much pressure," Garon said.

Voracek and Brassard scored 2:07 apart in the first period to give Columbus a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes. Torres made Atlanta think twice whenever the Thrashers got a sniff at a possible comeback.

Little beat Garon at 4:06 of the second only to have Torres answer 1:43 later. Enstrom picked up his first of the season at 11:01, but Torres -- who had a pair of third-period goals Sunday in a 5-4 overtime win in Washington -- needed all of 1:44 this time to restore the two-goal lead again by beating Ondrej Pavelec.

"Those two goals were pretty much empty-netters," Kubina said. "We overplayed the puck, and two guys covered one guy on one side and no one covered (Torres) on the other side. We've just got to be better in the defensive zone and talk more."

The heroics of Torres and a couple of the Jackets' young scorers made up for a rare scoreless effort by captain Rick Nash.

"He is a big part of this team, but you can't expect him to score in every game," Garon said.

Senators 3, Lightning 2 (OT) | HIGHLIGHTS

A scoreless October is now a thing of the past for Ottawa sniper Jason Spezza, and he's hoping Thursday night marks the beginning of a sizzling month of November. Spezza scored his first goal of the season with 43 seconds remaining in overtime to beat Tampa Bay and get the Scotiabank Place fans firmly back in his corner.

"I felt pretty good about my game going into tonight and I just wasn't getting many bounces," said Spezza, a 30-goal scorer each of the last three seasons. "It's nice to get one, though, to get the monkey off a little bit."

Spezza also assisted on both of Ottawa's goals in regulation, scored by Daniel Alfredsson and Mike Fisher.

"He's a big part of our team," said Pascal Leclaire, who stopped 18 shots. "He's a presence. When he has the puck he can do so many things. He makes the defense back up a little bit and keeps them thinking so obviously you want him on your team and he played great tonight."

The Lightning received power-play goals by Alex Tanguay and Steven Stamkos, but were unable to build on their first road win of the season Tuesday in Toronto. Antero Niittymaki finished with 26 saves.

"Obviously we wanted to win but I think it was a good game," captain Vincent Lecavalier said. "It was a little bit like the game in Toronto, high intensity, and both teams had their chances and the goalies played well. I think it was a good game overall."

Neither team was able to enjoy the lead for very long in regulation. After Tanguay opened the scoring for the Lightning at 3:03 of the first, Alfredsson evened things up 1:59 later. Fisher gave the Senators the lead on the power play with eight minutes left in the second, but Stamkos responded 100 seconds later by netting his ninth goal in eight games and 12th of the season.

Canucks 5, Wild 2 | HIGHLIGHTS

With some of its leading scorers missing, Vancouver will take goals wherever they can be found. Against the Wild, that meant tough guy Darcy Hordichuk and the recently-unemployed Matt Pettinger. Both scored their first goal of the season as the Canucks beat Minnesota at Xcel Energy Center to win their third in a row.

"You're not going to win with one line and you're not going to win with two lines," right winger Mikael Samuelsson said. "You're going to win with your whole team and that's what we did tonight. It's huge."

Samuelsson scored twice Tuesday night to help beat the Rangers, but he was held off the scoresheet by the Wild. Instead it was Hordichuk opening the scoring at 3:49 of the first with his first goal in 50 games.

"I haven't had a lot of shots this year, but it's not how many shots you have, it's how many you make count," Hordichuk said. "It was nice to have one go in."

Pettinger, who played for Tampa Bay last season but didn't hook on with an NHL organization until Vancouver signed him earlier in the week, helped the Canucks extend a 3-2 lead by scoring with 5:08 left in the second, and the Wild never challenged after that.

Mason Raymond and Henrik Sedin also scored in the second for the Canucks. Alex Burrows hit the empty net with 1:41 remaining in the game. Andrew Raycroft kept up his strong play with Roberto Luongo sidelined, stopping 28 shots.

"We're having fun and we believe in each other and every night it's a new guy stepping up," Raycroft said.

They've had to with Pavol Demitra missing the entire season thus far due to multiple shoulder surgeries and Daniel Sedin out for an extended period of time with a broken bone in his foot.

Minnesota got a pair of second-period goals by Kyle Brodziak, but the usually reliable Niklas Backstrom was pulled after allowing four goals on 17 shots. Josh Harding played the third period.

"All you have to do is look at the standings and see there's got to be desperation and urgency with every game we play," said coach Todd Richards, whose team is last in the Northwest Division. "We were behind 2-0 and then we decided to play."

Coyotes 3, Blackhawks 1 | HIGHLIGHTS

Phoenix got back on track following a two-game losing streak, and one of its young stars got a gorilla off his shoulders.

Peter Mueller's first goal of the season gave the Coyotes a 2-0 lead in the first and held up as the game-winner. The 21-year-old, who scored 22 goals and put up 54 points as a rookie two seasons ago, had just two assists to show for his first 13 games this season.

"Finally," Mueller said. "It's like someone took a weight vest off of me."

First-year Phoenix coach Dave Tippett scratched Mueller from a couple of games before re-inserting him for Wednesday's loss in Colorado. He's seen a renewed commitment by his young charge when it comes to doing the little things.

"He sat out a couple of games and it hopefully helped him get his urgency back," Tippett said. "There's an urgency in the details in what he's doing in practice. He's not so nonchalant, and that has shown the last two games."

Martin Hanzal and Scottie Upshall also scored and Ilya Bryzgalov made 31 saves for Phoenix, which despite the recent hiccup is tied for the fourth-most points in the Western Conference.

"They're a better team," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said of the Coyotes, who were swept by the Hawks last season. "They're deeper, they're balanced, they have a very mobile defense and they've got good goaltending."

Cristobal Huet finished with 20 saves and Kris Versteeg scored shorthanded for the Blackhawks with 6:04 remaining in the second period -- but that came after the Coyotes had already built a three-goal lead.

"Everyone was in together," Bryzgalov said. "There were no passengers tonight. Everybody did his role."

Ducks 4, Predators 0 | HIGHLIGHTS

Anaheim goalie Jonas Hiller turned in his strongest effort of the season, stopping all 40 Nashville shots for his fifth career shutout, and Teemu Selanne's pair of goals moved him into 38th place on the all-time NHL list, past the great Jean Beliveau.

Todd Marchant and Bobby Ryan also scored as the Ducks rebounded on Honda Center ice from a loss to Pittsburgh on Tuesday.

"I really hope tonight's game is going to give us the confidence boost that we need," Selanne said. "I'm not very happy about how we played, and this team can play way better than we did. For some reason we were a little too flat, and if seemed to me that there wasn't enough intensity there. But we found a way to win."

Hiller made his fourth-straight start as Jean-Sebastien Giguere recovers from a groin injury he re-aggravated against Columbus almost two weeks ago. Hiller also had the last shutout by an Anaheim goalie, back on Jan. 17 in Minnesota.

"We played pretty solid defensively," Hiller said. "I gave up a couple of rebounds, but our defensemen were doing a great job clearing the puck. It's definitely the way we have to play. After we got the first goal, we were able to get that second one and were able to build on that."

This was actually a 1-0 game into the third period, on the strength of Selanne's power-play goal with 4:28 remaining in the first. Hiller had to make that hold up while Predators goalie Pekka Rinne held off the Ducks, but they broke through again 8:05 into the third thanks to Selanne.

During a 4-on-4 situation, Saku Koivu set up Selanne's eighth of the season for a 2-0 lead. Then, with Ryan and Joel Ward of the Predators each a second away from stepping back onto the ice following matching minor penalties, Marchant lit the lamp at 9:51.

Ryan completed the scoring with 2:20 remaining. Koivu and Ryan Getzlaf each picked up two assists on the night.

Nashville had won three in a row, but that ended as the Predators were shut out for the fourth time this season.

"We tried to generate as many chances as we could, especially on special teams, but we didn't really bear down and put a few home," Ward said.

Material from wire services was used in this report

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