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Hawks overcome three-goal deficit for 5-4 win

by Brian Compton /
Much like the Montreal Canadiens, the Toronto Maple Leafs had a special night spoiled on Saturday at the Air Canada Centre.

After honoring Wendel Clark in a pre-game ceremony, Dave Bolland crashed the party with a goal 49 seconds into overtime, as the Chicago Blackhawks rallied from a 3-0 deficit and earned a 5-4 victory.

The Leafs allowed a 4-2 lead to slip away in the third period. Patrick Kane got the Blackhawks within a goal just 58 seconds into the period before Ben Eager tied it at 12:27. Chicago fired 29 shots in the final two periods, including 15 in the third.

"We definitely would like that third period back," Toronto forward Matt Stajan said. "What can you say? Kudos to them, they outplayed us that whole period. I don't think it's a secret."

Bolland, who is from the Toronto area, was thrilled after scoring the overtime winner in front of more than 50 family and friends. It was just the seventh career NHL goal for the former first-round draft pick. Bolland made a nifty move to get around Leafs defenseman Jeff Finger before ripping a shot past Vesa Toskala.

"I just took one step (into the slot) and it was a wide-open cage for me," Bolland said.

The Leafs certainly fed off the intensity created by Clark's pre-game ceremony. Pavel Kubina opened the scoring with 2:23 left in the first before Stajan and Dominic Moore scored just over six minutes apart in the second to increase Toronto's lead to 3-0.

After a rocky beginning, Nikolai Khabibulin settled down and finished with 34 saves.

Patrick Sharp got the Hawks back into it with a pair of goals less than three minutes apart late in the second period. He beat Vesa Toskala during a power play at 13:43, then made it 3-2 on a gorgeous wrist shot at 16:03. Alexei Ponikarovsky restored Toronto's two-goal lead at 17:10, but the Hawks took over in the third.

"We have to learn from these kind of things," Moore said. "Obviously we've had our fair share of comeback wins, but it's different thing when you have a lead, knowing how to manage the game."

Clark had three stints in Toronto, the first lasting from 1985-94. His best season came with the Leafs in 1993-94, when he had 46 goals, 30 assists and 115 penalty minutes. The Maple Leafs wore patches with Clark's number on their jerseys, and many among the sellout crowd of 19,474 sported stick-on handlebar mustaches like the former forward's.

He's the 16th player to be honored by the Leafs, although the only two jerseys officially retired by the team are Bill Barilko's No. 5 and Ace Bailey's No. 6.

"Several years ago when I retired as a player, I stated the two proudest moments of my hockey career were when I was drafted first overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs and second, the day I was named captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs," Clark said. "Tonight's the official hat trick."

Although the game didn't end the way the Leafs had hoped, there was plenty that the Toronto players wanted to keep in their memory.

"It was a special night for anyone who was here," Moore said. "We would have loved to have pulled out a victory for Wendel, for his honor. But I don't think there's any honor lost."

Islanders 4, Sabres 2 | Video

Mark Streit and Andy Hilbert each had a goal and an assist, and Joey MacDonald made 35 saves in his 10th consecutive start as New York handed Buffalo its fifth straight loss.

MacDonald stopped 30 shots during the first two periods, including 18 in the second to keep the Islanders' one-goal lead intact. New York recorded only two shots in the period but escaped with a lead when Jon Sim scored a power-play goal at 7:41.

Andy Hilbert gave the Isles a 1-0 lead with his second goal in as many nights, as a shot from Trent Hunter ricocheted off Hilbert and past Patrick Lalime at 14:20 of the first. Mark Mancari tied it for the Sabres with his first goal of the season less than five minutes later.

Sim's goal and MacDonald's heroics put the Islanders ahead after 40 minutes.

''That's what my job is. I have to come up and make the save when we need it,'' MacDonald said. ''They threw a lot of pucks on the net in the second period, but our defense also did a great job clearing the rebounds and giving them only one opportunity.''

Bill Guerin put the Isles up by a pair when he whipped a backhander past Patrick Lalime for his seventh goal of the season 4:24 into the third. The goal proved to be the game-winner, as Derek Roy made it 3-2 with 4:34 remaining. Streit added an empty-net tally with two seconds left.

''We needed a bit of a cushion,'' Guerin said of his goal. ''When you're up against a talented team like Buffalo, you know they can turn it up at any given moment and produce offense. The bigger the cushion, the better.''

Meanwhile, the Sabres are reeling. After getting off to an 8-2-2 start, Buffalo is 1-6-1 in its last eight games and lost on back-to-back night at home.

''We had no emotion early on,'' Sabres forward Jason Pominville said. ''We weren't competing and we lost a lot of one-on-one battles.''

Flyers 4, Coyotes 3, OT | Video

Entering Saturday's action, Phoenix was 7-0 when leading after two periods.

Not anymore.

After Jeff Carter erased a 3-2 deficit with 1:07 remaining, Mike Richards scored 1:35 into overtime to give Philadelphia its fourth straight victory and fifth in six games.

Richards jumped out of the penalty box to score off a pass from Carter after the Flyers killed a Phoenix power play that extended 1:08 into overtime.

''Right over the blue line I was going to pass it right away,'' Richards said. ''But I held on to it as long as I could. The (Phoenix) guy slid by and I took the shot.''

The Coyotes headed for the second intermission with a 2-1 lead. After Scott Hartnell and Daniel Carcillo traded goals in the first period, Martin Hanzal put Phoenix in front in the final minute of the second as he managed to poke a loose puck past Martin Biron despite being tangled up with Flyers defenseman Luca Sbisa.

''We played a pretty solid game and let it slip away,'' Coyotes defenseman Ed Jovanovski said. ''With Murphy's Law, it just broke down and went the other way.''

Mike Knuble tied the game at 2-2 with his eighth goal of the season at 5:08 of the third on a power-play tally. With Jovanovski in the penalty box, Knuble parked himself near the net and redirected Kimmo Timonen's shot past Mikael Tellqvist.

Former Flyers forward Todd Fedoruk regained the lead for the Coyotes when he beat Biron at 14:46, as his wrist shot deflected off Philadelphia defenseman Lars Kukkonen and into the net to make it 3-2. But Carter, who is enjoying an All-Star campaign, tied the game at 18:53 as he redirected a shot from Richards past Tellqvist for his 14th goal of the season.

''He is really playing unreal,'' Richards said of Carter. ''He's doing a lot of good things on the penalty kill and on the power play. Right now he's doing everything he can to win us hockey games.''

The Coyotes, who have lost five in a row, went just 1-for-8 on the power play. They were outshot 12-6 in the third period.

''I'm more disappointed in the (missed) power play in overtime than I am in their score late in the game,'' Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky said.

Blue Jackets 2, Thrashers 0 | Video

Steve Mason probably knew he'd record his first NHL shutout sooner or later. However, he probably didn't think he'd only have to make 15 saves to do it.

Mason didn't face more than six shots in any period against the Thrashers, and Rick Nash extended his goal streak to five games as Columbus blanked Atlanta at Philips Arena.

''Overall, it was a pretty simple game, and the only hard part was staying focused,'' said Mason, who got the starting nod after Pascal Leclaire allowed seven goals on Tuesday against Edmonton. ''You try not to think about it, but obviously during the third period, it's on your mind when there are no goals up on the board.''

Nash scored his 10th goal of the season and was credited with his ninth assist when R.J. Umberger added his eighth goal, an empty-netter, with 1:18 remaining. Nash, who has 12 points in nine games, praised Mason even though the rookie was rarely challenged.
''It was nice to keep the shot count down,'' said Nash, who has 12 points in nine games. ''It was great, especially against a team like that with (Ilya) Kovalchuk and (Slava) Kozlov. He shut them down.''

After riding high on a five-game winning streak, the Thrashers have now lost three in a row. Atlanta went 0-for-2 on the power play and did not have any player record more than two shots on goal.

"We can't come out flat and try to make up in the third,'' Thrashers defenseman Garnet Exelby said. ''We need to come out hungry to play in the first and not get too far behind. We were riding high after winning five straight. This brings us back to harsh reality.

''We are going to be in big trouble by Christmas, for the playoff picture, if we keep this up. Each and every one of us has to keep each one other accountable. It's not just a turnover or a missed play. You're letting your teammate down. We need to realize that we are playing for each other.''

Blues 2, Wild 1 | Video

The Blues completed a successful weekend as Brad Boyes scored twice and Chris Mason made 31 saves for his first win since joining St. Louis.

''Coming to a new team, I felt sometimes I wasn't going to get one here,'' said Mason, who was acquired from Nashville for a fourth-round draft pick during the offseason and had lost his first five decisions.

Niklas Backstrom made 24 saves for the Wild, who have a League-low 28 goals in the 15 games they've played since earning a 6-2 win against Florida on Oct. 16. Minnesota went 0-for-5 on the power play.

''They are pressing, there's no doubt,'' Wild coach Jacques Lemaire said. ''Now they feel a little pressure because we didn't score goals 5-on-5. Now it seems our power play is suffering, too. You can't have both.''

All three goals were scored in the second period. Stephane Veilleux gave the Wild a 1-0 lead at 1:54 for the first goal scored by a Minnesota player other than Mikko Koivu in 170:06. But Boyes tied it less than a minute later and beat Backstrom again at 12:47 via the power play.

''You hate to see your teammate down on the ice like that, he's the biggest part of our team. But we're going to have to move past that, and we're going to have to play some games without him in there.''  -- Canucks goalie Curtis Sanford on teammate and netminder Roberto Luongo
Mason stopped all 13 shots he faced in the third period to secure the victory, giving the Blues two wins in as many nights. They beat Anaheim 3-2 in overtime at home on Friday.

''It was great for Chris Mason,'' Blues coach Andy Murray said. ''He's played well this year. He's been deserving on other nights and we didn't get the job done for him.''

Ducks 2, Stars 1, SO | Video

Ryan Getzlaf knows how aggressive Marty Turco can be in a shootout, and he used it to his advantage.     Getzlaf beat Turco on a forehand shot in the third round, while Jonas Hiller stopped 2-of-3 as Anaheim edged Dallas at the American Airlines Center.

''I know Marty a little bit, how he likes to come out,'' Getzlaf said. ''I thought I'd slow it down a little bit to throw his timing off so he couldn't just back into the net.''

It was the Stars' first game since losing captain Brenden Morrow to a season-ending knee injury on Thursday. The power play struggled mightily in its first game without him, as the Stars went 0-for-8 with the man advantage.

''The way things have been going, it goes without saying that there were some positives tonight,'' said Turco, who made 23 saves. ''We're emphasizing the little things and it's nice to get the point, but we really wanted the win.''

Corey Perry scored Anaheim's lone goal in regulation, which came 5:37 into the first period. With the Ducks on a power play, Perry took a pass from Teemu Selanne and fired a sharp-angled shot past Turco as Anaheim took a 1-0 lead.

Loui Eriksson tied things up for Dallas with his ninth goal of the season at 10:09 of the second period, when he converted on Trevor Daley's centering feed.

The Ducks thought they regained the lead on another Perry power-play goal at 15:01 of the second period. But after a video review, officials ruled that the net was off its pegs before the puck crossed the goal line and the goal was disallowed.

''We're not going to get too high with a shootout win,'' Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said. ''You want to take that workmanlike attitude into the next game to try to establish our identity. We want to get back playing our grinding type of hockey.''

It's the same type of hockey Morrow plays. Turco knows just how much the Stars' captain will be missed.

''I'm used to having him in the lineup making a difference, pulling the guys along,'' Turco said. ''There's not too many guys in the League you'd miss as much as Brenden Morrow. We've got to pick up the slack.''

Red Wings 5, Flames 2 |Video

Pavel Datsyuk and Jiri Hudler each had a goal and an assist, and Ty Conklin made 31 saves as Detroit used a big third period to win its fifth straight.

Andreas Lilja also had two assists for the Red Wings, who haven't lost in regulation in November (7-0-1) with four more games remaining in the month.

"Conklin gave us a good effort tonight," said Detroit coach Mike Babcock, whose team is now 10-1-1 on the road and 9-0-3 when leading after two periods. "We know how to win. We've been winning for a while here and we're determined. When you get contributions from lots of people, you're better."

Detroit needed just 4:26 to get on the board, as Kirk Maltby gave his club an early lead. With the teams at even strength, Maltby redirected a shot by Lilja past Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff.

Brett Lebda put the Wings up by a pair when he notched his first goal of the season at 11:46 of the second period. After taking a pass from Hudler, Lebda floated a wrist shot at the net that managed to squeak past Kiprusoff to make it 2-0.

The Flames -- who had won three in a row -- rallied on goals from Curtis Glencross and Mark Giordano, but Detroit regained the lead at 11:21 of the third on Hudler's seventh goal of the season. On a delayed penalty to the Flames, Hudler jumped off the bench as the extra attacker and fired a feed from Henrik Zetterberg into the top corner to make it 3-2.

"It's a bit of luck," said Hudler, who had 4 goals and 2 assists in his last three games. "It was a great pass. I had nothing else to do, so I just shot the puck and tried to hit the net."

Datsyuk added his seventh of the season with 1:31 remaining, and Marian Hossa iced the victory with an empty-net goal at 19:54. Conklin stopped 12 of 13 shots in the third period.

While it's likely Chris Osgood will be between the pipes on Monday in Vancouver, Conklin knows it's performances like the one he put forth on Saturday that will help him get more ice time.

"I think I'm here to help Ozzie and give him a couple of nights off when he needs it," said Conklin, who signed on to be Osgood's backup in the offseason. "I have to play well when I get the opportunity. I don't decide when I play. The only thing I have any impact on is how I play when I do play."

The loss leaves Calgary (11-9-1) just 2 games over the .500 mark. The Flames host Los Angeles on Tuesday night.

"It's a tough one because for a lot of the night we did a lot of good things and we fought our way back," Flames captain Jarome Iginla said. "We stuck with it and found a way to tie it up in the third and to keep some pressure. Unfortunately, they are a very good team and they know how to hang in. When they are getting pushed they know how to hang in there and capitalize, which they did tonight."

Sharks 7, Capitals 2 | Video
Ryan Clowe scored twice and Rob Blake had 4 assists as San Jose pummeled Washington at HP Pavilion.
Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau had a goal and an assist for the Sharks, who improved to 11-0-1 on home ice. Washington hadn't been to San Jose in nearly three years, but the Capitals haven't won in the Bay Area since 1993. They've lost 11 straight overall to the Sharks, who received a 19-save effort from Brian Boucher.
In a meeting of division leaders, San Jose showcased its depth both up front and on the blue line. Seven different players had multi-point nights in the victory.
"I believe it's essential for any team to win a championship," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "I've been there firsthand to see it, where your third and fourth lines can contribute offensively. It's a must, and it's something we're going to continue to strive for as the year goes on."
With 3 assists, Dan Boyle grabbed the overall League scoring lead among defensemen with 19 points.
"The back end had a lot of points tonight," said Marc-Edouard Vlasic, who had a goal and an assist. "It was a big challenge for us to shut down the offensive power on the other side. We've got a lot of depth on our team to put the puck in the net."
Washington found itself in an early 3-0 hole, as Marleau, Clowe and Devin Setoguchi all beat Brent Johnson in the opening period. Tom Poti closed the gap to 3-1 at 7:56 of the second period, but Thornton scored less than five minutes later and Vlasic made it 5-1 in the period's final minute.
"The fourth goal was the one that sunk us," Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said.
''It was nice to keep the shot count down. It was great, especially against a team like that with (Ilya) Kovalchuk and (Slava) Kozlov. [Blue Jackets goalie Steve Mason] shut them down.'' -- Columbus forward Rick Nash
Tomas Fleischmann cut the deficit to 5-2 with his eighth goal of the season 2:19 into the third period on a power-play tally, but the Caps would not get any closer. Clowe notched a power-play goal of his own at 5:44 before Mike Grier made it 7-2 with 53 seconds left.

"With Ovechkin, you need a team effort," Blake said. "I thought we had that tonight."

With the NHL's best record (17-3-1), the Sharks know it won't always be as easy as it looked on Saturday night. The biggest challenge moving forward will be to avoid complacency.

"You'd like to think that the leadership won't let it happen," McLellan said. "But that leadership includes us as coaches. We have to keep holding the players accountable. We're not naïve enough to think that it's going to be this way all the way through. We're going to have some adversity, and that won't be a bad thing for our hockey club."

Avalanche 4, Kings 3, SO | Video

Marek Svatos and Milan Hejduk scored in the first two rounds of a shootout on Saturday at the Staples Center, as Colorado extended its shootout win streak to eight games.

Patrick O'Sullivan and Dustin Brown scored 74 seconds apart early in the third period and Alexander Frolov connected during a power play for the Kings at 14:45 of the second. But O’Sullivan and Brown were stopped in the shootout by Budaj, who made 27 saves in regulation.

"They have great shooters," Budaj said. "I was able to get a good gap and I was able to get a read on them. I feel good right now."

After falling behind 2-0, the Kings rallied for three goals to take the lead. But Paul Stastny tied the game for Colorado just 2:28 after Brown had put Los Angeles in front.

"We had a lot of jump in the third," Brown said. "A shootout's a shootout. You never know who can win."

Budaj started strong and finished stronger. The Avs netminder stopped all 13 shots he faced in the opening period and was perfect in the shootout.

"Peter's been very sharp," Avs coach Tony Granato said. "When he was playing 4 or 5 years ago down in the minors, (the shootout) was one of his strengths. You just gain confidence, you gain experience, you gain knowledge of the shooters. He's been very solid the past couple of weeks."

Colorado defenseman Adam Foote left the game with a back injury at 6:51 of the second period. He was chasing the puck into the left corner of the Avalanche zone when Kings forward John Zeiler shoved him into the boards with his right forearm. Foote remained motionless on his stomach for several moments. He eventually got up and was escorted off the ice by teammate Ian Laperriere and a trainer.

"They were stronger on the puck," Kings coach Terry Murray said of the Avs. "(But) to come back like we did in the third period is a big effort. It's a good point. Whenever we play games like this and battle hard at the end, there's lots of stuff that we can take away and learn from."

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

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