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Hats off to Parrish

by John Kreiser /
A few thoughts as we prepare for the festivities of Hall of Fame Weekend:

You only get one chance to make a first impressionMark Parrish sure knows how to get off on the right foot with his new teammates.

The 10-year veteran forward, signed by the Stars this week, gave Dallas a jolt by scoring three goals in his first game with his new team, leading the Stars to a 5-2 win at Anaheim.

"I hope there’s no pressure or expectations after tonight," said Parrish, who scored 16 goals and 30 points in 66 games for Minnesota last season before being bought out during the summer. "I was hoping to get off to a good start, I got some good bounces and great plays by my linemates. I’m still trying to figure out how the third one went in. I didn't feel like I had lost anything. … I was skating at my alma mater (St. Cloud State) and preparing for my chance and I wanted to make the most of it. I wanted to make a difference and contribute to a win and it feels good that we won tonight."

He followed what's becoming a tradition in Dallas. Brad Richards had five assists in his first game as a Star last February, and rookie Fabian Brunnstrom scored three times in his NHL debut last month. Each of those players also scored against the Ducks.

Parrish, 31, skated on a line with Mike Modano and Sean Avery. He scored twice with the man advantage, giving a boost to a power play that entered the game next-to-last in the NHL.

Parrish signed a tryout contract with Bridgeport of the AHL before agreeing to a deal with the Stars on Wednesday.

"Great start by Parrish, we knew he was in his element," Stars coach Dave Tippett said. "He had some timely goals on the spot and he was a solid player for us tonight."

The Stars also had a good night defensively. They hadn't played since giving up five goals in back-to-back losses at Boston and Chicago last Friday and Saturday.

"I've been working hard and we've been through some rough patches, I wasn't myself, but tonight is a step in the right direction," goalie Marty Turco said. "Parrish was really good tonight obviously and I think playing the Ducks here brings out the best in us tonight. It's important to get a win no matter what and build on this moving forward."

He's No. 1 — Thanks to some third-period heroics by his defense, Peter Laviolette will wake up this morning as the winningest U.S.-born coach in NHL history.

Dennis Seidenberg and ex-Senator Joe Corvo scored in the third period to give the Carolina Hurricanes a 2-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators. It was Laviolette's 240th career victory, moving him past John Tortorella among American-born NHL bench bosses.

He downplayed the milestone.

"Those things happen — every year, somebody plays their 400th game, somebody scores their 300th point," Laviolette said. "If you stay around long enough, something will happen, and I've been fortunate and lucky to stay around long enough in this game."

The Hurricanes were fortunate against Ottawa when Seidenberg's point shot sailed through traffic and past Martin Gerber for the game-tying goal at 11:06 of the third period.

Corvo then took advantage of an Ottawa turnover in its own zone to score the go-ahead goal, snapping the rebound of Tim Gleason's slapper over Gerber's shoulder, spoiling the night for his former team again. He had his lone career hat trick the first time he played against Ottawa after the trade last January.

"It's just a little extra in the Kool-Aid before the game," he said of scoring against his ex-teammates.

Mason-arySteve Mason's first week as an NHL goaltender couldn't be going better.

Mason won his NHL debut on Wednesday when Columbus beat Edmonton 5-4. He made it 2-for-2 on Friday by leading the Blue Jackets to a 4-3 shootout victory over Montreal, their first home win ever over the Canadiens.

"It's definitely pretty exciting," he said. "Two wins in two games — I can't complain about that."

The 20-year-old stopped both Montreal shooters in the shootout, but coach Ken Hitchcock said Mason did his best work in the first period, when the Canadiens had a 19-8 advantage in shots and were all over the Blue Jackets.

"The first period was excellent," Hitchcock said of Mason's performance. "You are going to need your goalie some nights (and tonight) we looked like we had the stare going — we looked like we were in awe of the stage or just watching. We needed him in the first period and he came up big and then we started to play."

One thing he doesn't want to see when Calgary comes to Nationwide Arena on Saturday night is a repeat of his team's first-period performance against the Canadiens.

"I think we spent the first period just watching," he said. "It didn't feel like 19 shots, but it felt like we weren't checking very hard. We started to really play in the second and third period, they way we had to, to beat them."

Learning from last night — Atlanta coach John Anderson reamed out his players between the second and third periods of Thursday's game against the New York Islanders. The result: three goals that turned a 3-1 deficit into a 4-3 victory.

On Friday, they didn't need Anderson to peel any paint after two periods — they knew exactly what to do.

"Guys were reminding each other that we came back from two goals last night, so there was no reason why we couldn't do it again," said Williams, whose power-play goal 48 seconds into overtime gave the Thrashers a 5-4 victory at Buffalo. "We just wanted to make sure we battled hard. It was a good win, and we've got a little bit of a roll going."

That they do. After a miserable week to end October, the Thrashers have won three in a row after winning just two of their first 11

"We're getting our confidence back," said center Bryan Little, who had two goals and an assist on Todd White's game-tying goal in the third period. "We're starting to turn it around, and we're playing our game more."

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

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