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Isles snap slide by beating Ducks 3-2

by John Kreiser /
One night after beating the Washington Capitals, a member of the NHL's elite, the Anaheim Ducks couldn't find a way to beat the League's worst team.

The New York Islanders, winners of just one of their previous 22 games, scored three times in 99 seconds late in the first period and held on the rest of the way for a 3-2 victory Thursday night that ended a six-game losing streak. New York had won just once, a 2-0 victory against New Jersey on Nov.  26, since capping a 4-1-2 start with an overtime win at Tampa Bay on Oct. 21.

"It's good that we won, but we're not happy," said goaltender Rick DiPietro, who made 30 saves. "When we win 10 in a row, then we'll be a bit happy."

There weren't many happy faces in the visiting locker room, where the Ducks knew they had let two points get away after an emotional 2-1 overtime win at Washington 24 hours earlier.

"Tonight, things were tough around here," said former Islander Jason Blake, who scored Anaheim's second goal. "We have to forget about it and move on."

PA Parenteau scored a power-play goal at 15:06 of the first period, Blake Comeau made it 2-0 just 28 seconds later and Matt Moulson stole the puck and scored on a backhander at 16:45, giving the Islanders their first three-goal lead in a game in two months.

That ended the night for Curtis McElhinney, who shut out the Islanders 1-0 at Anaheim last month. Jonas Hiller was perfect the rest of the way, and the Ducks began to assert themselves.

Anaheim outshot the Islanders 26-17 in the final two periods and outplayed them for long stretches during that time. But the Isles hung on thanks to 30 saves by Rick DiPietro, 18 faceoff wins in 24 tries by center Zenon Konopka and a fabulous game by defenseman Andrew MacDonald, who was credited with 5 takeaways and 8 blocked shots.

"Nothing surprises me," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. "We played a great first period and then we had to hang on, but we did."

Joffrey Lupul got one goal back midway through the second period for Anaheim, and Blake knocked in a rebound 90 seconds into the third period, but that was all the offense the Ducks could manage. The sense of relief when the final horn went off at the Coliseum was palpable.

"It's a huge relief," MacDonald said. "It's been a rough go lately. If you ask anyone, no one is thrilled with the way we played, but the most important thing is we got the two points."

Senators 3, Wild 1 | HIGHLIGHTS

With their fathers in the house at the Xcel Energy Center, the Senators snapped out of a slump with a victory in Minnesota.

"You always want to make your dad proud," said forward Nick Foligno, who got the go-ahead goal with his father -- former NHL sharpshooter Mike Foligno -- watching. "Sometimes it's tougher to have your dad yelling at you than your coach."

Kyle Brodziak had the lone goal for the Wild and had another goal waved off because Minnesota was called for having too many men on the ice. The goal would have given Minnesota a 2-1 lead midway through the second period. Instead, Foligno scored 9 seconds later and the Wild never recovered.

"We were all yelling from the bench that there were too many men on the ice," Senators coach Cory Clouston said. "Lucky for us one of the linesman caught it."

Brodziak blamed himself.

"I jumped early. It looked like (Mikko Koivu) was coming (to the bench) and instead of making sure, I jumped too early and that's why we got the penalty," Brodziak said.

Pierre-Marc Bouchard set up Brodziak for an easy one-timer in front of the net that gave the Wild a 1-0 lead just 3:36 into the game. Minnesota (13-13-4) had a chance to extend its lead later in the period, but failed to score during a 41-second, 5-on-3 power play.

"You look back at the game and the missed opportunities," Wild coach Todd Richards said. "Maybe if you can come out of the first at 2-0 or 3-0, but it didn't work out that way. Then in the end, we got what we deserved."

Daniel Alfredsson knocked the puck over a sprawling Jose Theodore at 6:11 of  the second to make it 1-1. Alfredsson leads the Senators with 20 points, but has registered only two goals in his last 13 games.

Foligno put Ottawa ahead at 11:21 and Chris Kelly hit the empty net to assure the Senators of their fifth consecutive victory against the Wild.

Sharks 4, Stars 3 (OT) | HIGHLIGHTS

Rookie Logan Couture is becoming a star in San Jose. The first-year center rocketed a power-play wrister past Kari Lehtonen 1:20 into overtime to give the Sharks a win at Dallas -- atoning for a shootout loss to the Stars at home three days earlier.

With Mike Ribeiro serving a double minor for high sticking, Couture won a faceoff, played catch with defenseman Dan Boyle and fired a wrist shot from the high slot that got past Lehtonen for his 15th goal of the season.

"I kind of curled back, gave myself some momentum and just stepped into a wrister," Couture said. "Those are the ones that feel real good coming off your stick."

Sharks coach Todd McLellan is already impressed with his first-year center.

"'Catalyst' would be a very good word," McLellan said. "He's scored some very big goals. Our special teams were below par but he found a way to get the winner in overtime. He's one of the top, if not the top, rookie in the league and when you have that type player on your team, you're thankful."

Lehtonen, returning after missing four games with a back injury, never saw the shot.

Torrey Mitchell and Devin Setoguchi scored 1:46 apart in the second period for the Sharks. Setoguchi, activated off injured reserve Wednesday after missing nine games with an upper-body injury, also had a first-period goal.

Brenden Morrow and Loui Eriksson scored power-play goals, and Tom Wandell scored at even strength for the Stars, 9-0-2 in their last 11 at home. Wandell's goal at 7:56 of the third forced OT.

San Jose was coming off Wednesday night's 3-2 loss at Nashville. The Sharks wasted a 2-1 lead in the final 3:30 of that one, allowing a pair of goals in a 44-second span.

"It was an important bounce back," McLellan said. "They had two ways to go. They could have pouted and dragged themselves into the rink, but they played. Credit goes to the leadership group and the followers did what they were supposed to do."

Blues 6, Kings 4 | HIGHLIGHTS

The injury-riddled Blues lost another regular when defenseman Erik Johnson couldn't dress because of a sprained right knee, but still found a way to beat the Kings for the fourth time in a row when Alex Steen broke a 4-4 tie by scoring with 2:53 remaining.

Steen, who has 7 points in the last five games, knew he had to step up.

"We're not walking around feeling sorry for ourselves," Steen said. "I think you look around the room, there is not one player who didn't play a good game tonight."

David Backes added a power-play empty-netter with 59 seconds left.

Johnson was hurt in Wednesday's 5-2 loss at Detroit. The Blues are also without regulars Andy McDonald, T.J. Oshie, Alex Pietrangelo and Roman Polak.

"We just dig in," said defenseman Eric Brewer, whose second-period goal made it 4-2.  "Everyone is committed to this work ethic."

The Kings tied it late in the second period on goals by Wayne Simmonds and Dustin Brown in an 87-second span, then outshot the Blues 12-7 in the third period but were denied by Ty Conklin, who improved to 6-1-0 against the Kings.

"We had some good things happen in that third period," Kings coach Terry Murray said. "We had four or five good shifts but just didn't finish."

Rangers 4, Coyotes 3 (SO) | HIGHLIGHTS

Erik Christensen had the only goal of the shootout as the Rangers rallied from 2-0 and 3-1 deficits to beat the Coyotes.

For's complete game story, click here.

Oilers 6, Blue Jackets 3 | HIGHLIGHTS

Edmonton overcame a hat trick by Kristian Huselius to snap a two-game slide by beating visiting Columbus.

For's complete game story, click here.

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

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