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Joseph ties Sawchuk as Flames nip Stars

by John Kreiser

Flames goaltender Curtis Joseph made 29 saves to tie Terry Sawchuk for fourth on the all time list with 447 wins as the Calgary Flames cooled off the Dallas Stars with a 3-2 victory. 
Watch CuJo stone the Star's Mike Modano
Winning always feels nice, but winning the same number of games as Hall of Famer Terry Sawchuk feels even better to Curtis Joseph.
Joseph stopped 29 shots Wednesday night in his third game for Calgary and earned his 447th career victory when Jarome Iginla scored with 2:27 left in regulation to give the Flames a 3-2 victory over the Dallas Stars. The win ties Joseph with Sawchuk for fourth on the all-time list.
''This feels good,'' Joseph said. ''To be next to someone like Terry Sawchuk is a great honor.''
The Flames felt pretty good themselves after winning for the second time in two nights on the road. Calgary lost at Los Angeles and Anaheim in the middle of the road trip by a combined score of 10-5 before taking the final two against Phoenix and Dallas on consecutive nights.
''We had two bad games there, but this makes it a positive finish against two teams that play well at home,'' Iginla said.
The Flames didn't get to their hotel in Dallas until 3:30 on Wednesday morning, but they responded with a performance that pleased coach Mike Keenan.
''It was just on pure effort,'' Keenan said. ''That's a real good sign. To see an effort like that .... I'm really proud of the guys.''
Dallas coach Dave Tippett wasn’t nearly as happy — not after Iginla was left all alone in front of Marty Turco, where he took Daymond Langkow’s pass and scored his 38th goal of the season ( 700K ) with a quick wrist shot.
''I don't know how you can leave Iginla alone in front of the net, but we did,'' Tippett said.
Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas left his assignment on Iginla and tried to check Langkow, who was set up behind the net. That made it easy for Iginla to notch his eighth game-winner of the season.
''The puck went behind the net and we lost a little bit of composure there,” Robidas said. “I should have stayed in front and tried to block that pass. It's my bad there. I should have made sure that pass doesn't come back in front, and I was a little bit too aggressive there.''
Calgary took a 1-0 lead at 13:29 of the opening period when Alex Tanguay backhanded a loose puck past Turco ( 700K ) from the right circle with Robidas serving a tripping penalty. Dallas’ Niklas Hagman needed only 16 seconds of the second period to score his 22nd of the season ( 700K ) and tie it at 1-1, firing a shot from the left circle that got through Joseph's pads.
Tanguay’s shorthanded goal 30 seconds into the third period put Calgary ahead again ( 700K ), but the Stars came back to tie it at 2-2 on Mattias Norstrom's power-play goal ( 700K ) from beyond the left circle at 1:57. It was his first of the season and first since Jan. 13, 2007, when he played for the Los Angeles Kings.
The teams appeared headed for overtime until Iginla’s goal.
''We just made some crucial errors at bad times and didn't create enough chances,'' Tippett said.

Devils 3, Sharks 2
Don’t expect the Sharks to start singing “I Love New York” anytime soon. Backup goalie Thomas Greiss, making only his second NHL start, surrendered three goals in the second period as San Jose lost to the Devils at the Prudential Center, capping a three-loss tour in four days through the New York metropolitan area.
The Devils moved past idle Pittsburgh into first place in the Atlantic Division with their third consecutive victory. They’re also even with Montreal and Ottawa for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
"It's second nature. When you battle for positioning or you look at other teams, it's important you know where you stand," said Devils goalie Martin Brodeur, who made 30 saves for his League-leading 32nd victory. "Sometimes you see something and it motivates you. You always look at it."
All-Star Evgeni Nabokov had started every game but one for San Jose, but got the night off — and the difference was apparent. After Jonathan Cheechoo’s power-play goal 35 seconds into the second period put San Jose ahead, Zach Parise tied it when Greiss came out of his crease but was unable to cover the puck. It trickled through his pads, leaving the net wide open for Parise, who scored for the fourth straight game.
"I gave up a couple soft goals," Greiss said. "I should have just stayed in the net and go from there."
The Devils went ahead at 16:56, when Greiss was late to the left post and John Madden stuffed in a loose puck for the go-ahead goal. Seventy seconds later, Sergei Brylin beat Greiss from the slot with a wrist shot for a 3-1 lead.
Kyle McLaren made it a one-goal game with a 40-foot slap shot from straightaway with 6:06 left in regulation, and Devils coach Brent Sutter immediately used his timeout.
"We were still leading in the game, but had to get back to doing the details correctly — staying on the right side of our men, moving the pucks smartly in our zone," Sutter said. "Everything we talk about, we got a little bit away from it. The message was the things we [normally] talk about."
Whatever he said worked — although the Sharks had good pressure in the final minutes, they were unable to get another puck past Brodeur.
San Jose has lost five in a row, including the first three of its eight-game Eastern road swing. The Sharks were 16-3-2 away from home on Jan. 1, but have gone 1-5-1 on the road since — losing four straight.

"We're right in the thick of things," forward Jeremy Roenick said. "If we win some hockey games, we'll be OK. We're not playing bad hockey. We've got to score more goals and we have to stay away from the mistakes."

Islanders 3, Capitals 2, SO

Mike Comrie scored the only goal in the shootout and the New York Islanders extended their winning streak to a season-high five games with a 3-2 victory over the Washington Capitals
The Islanders may be running out of healthy bodies.

Determination is another matter.

For the second straight game, the injury-riddled Isles overcame a 2-0 deficit to win, this time on Mike Comrie’s shootout goal, and extended their winning streak to five.

The Islanders, playing without four of their six opening-night defensemen and second-line center Mike Sillinger, held Alex Ovechkin without a point for a season-high third straight game —though it wasn’t for lack of effort on Ovechkin’s part. The NHL’s goal-scoring leader was officially credited with just one shot on goal, but had four others blocked and missed six more — including three that hit the post. He also rolled his shootout attempt off the left post after he had Rick DiPietro down and out.

“It wasn’t easy,” said Isles defenseman Radek Martinek, who spent most of his night shadowing Ovechkin. “He’s so strong and so fast. It’s not easy to compete with him.”

The Caps grabbed a 2-0 first-period lead on goals by Alexander Semin and Brooks Laich, then seemed to relax as the Isles controlled the tempo for most of the rest of the game.

''I think it's lack of a killer instinct,'' Laich said. ''I don't think we really button down when we do have a lead. The old cliche is ‘step on the throat.’ We sit back a little bit more. Sometimes we're trying to make too-fancy plays, too, which can result in turnovers. We just have to keep playing our same game, stay aggressive.''
Miroslav Satan chipped Bill Guerin’s pass into a wide-open net at 9:37 of the second period, and Josef Vasicek forced overtime at 11:09 of the third period when his pass out from behind the goal line to the left of Olaf Kolzig hit the goaltender’s leg and deflected into the net.
''They got a lucky goal ... They find a way to get those cheesy ones,'' Kolzig said after the Isles beat the Caps for the third straight time this season. ''I give those guys credit. Every team has that team that they have a tough time playing against, and they work their butts off. For all the guys they are missing and them to come out with a win … I mean, hats off to them.''
The Islanders, riding their longest winning streak since December 2003, stayed within one point of the last playoff berth in the East.
''We're trying to make the playoffs, that's what's on our minds,'' said Rick DiPietro, who made 28 saves behind his injury-depleted defense. ''We dug ourselves a hole, and now we have to dig ourselves out.''

Blackhawks 3, Wild 0 | Video
The surging Hawks got a boost from goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin, who returned from a knee injury that kept him out for a week and stopped all 38 shots he faced as Chicago improved to 5-1-1 in its last seven games.
All three Chicago goals came from rookies: No. 1 overall pick Patrick Kane knocked in a rebound 3:49 into the first period and Dave Bolland scored with 19.4 seconds left in the second period and again at 5:24 of the third.
Khabibulin, who missed Chicago's last three games with a mild right knee sprain, got his 37th career shutout and first since March 6, 2007. It was only his second since signing with the Blackhawks as a free agent before the 2005-06 season.
"We played a pretty good defensive game," Khabibulin said. "The biggest thing from my perspective was to control the rebounds. The couple of times rebounds were lying around, the guys took care of it."
Kane put Chicago ahead when he followed the play and put a rebound past Josh Harding after the goaltender stopped Robert Lang’s point-blank shot. Bolland fired a shot between Harding’s legs to make it 2-0, then knocked in the rebound of Duncan Keith’s shot to complete the scoring.
Harding stopped 27 shots. The Wild are 4-2-1 in their last seven, but none of the wins came in regulation. They lost to Vancouver 3-2 in overtime on Tuesday night.
"We played hard, better than (Tuesday) night against Vancouver," Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire said. "We were more intense on the puck. We just gave them two goals without any effort by them."
Among Khabibulin's best stops were two on defenseman Brent Burns early in the second period. He made a sprawling close-in save on Burns at 3:40, then a glove save during a Minnesota power play about 30 seconds later. He also robbed Aaron Voros with 7:50 left in the game, and Keith Carney and Brian Rolston had shots hit posts late in the third period.
"Quite honestly, I got lucky a few times," Khabibulin said. "They hit the post three times and, one time, a guy had a wide open net and hit his own player. I'll take it."

Ducks 3, Avalanche 2, SO

Corey Perry scored the lone goal of the shootout to lift the Anaheim Ducks to a 3-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night.

Corey Perry scored the only goal of the shootout to move Anaheim within four points of first-place Dallas in the Pacific Division.
Perry beat Peter Budaj with a wrist shot in the first attempt of the shootout, and Jean-Sebastien Giguere stopped all three shots by Colorado, holding the puck aloft in his glove on the final stop against Milan Hejduk to give the Ducks their fifth straight win over the Avalanche and their seventh win in eight games overall.
Colorado has lost five in a row, but coach Joel Quenneville, whose club is still playing without Joe Sakic and Paul Stastny, wasn’t unhappy with what he saw.
“I was disappointed in the last couple or three games,” he said. “I thought tonight we were better across the board.”
The Ducks rebounded after a poor second period that saw the Avs grab a 2-1 lead on goals by Jeff Finger and Andrew Brunette. Rob Niedermayer tied it at 9:23 of the third, deflecting Chris Pronger’s shot from the right point after Pronger made an excellent play to keep the puck in the Avs’ zone.
Teemu Selanne gave the Ducks the lead at 13:31 of the first period, one-timing Chris Kunitz’s pass behind Budaj during a power play for his second goal since returning earlier this month. Both have come on the power play.
The Avs outshot Anaheim 12-5 in the first and continued to dominate play in the second period. They were finally rewarded when Finger took a pass from T.J. Hensick and pounded a slap shot past Giguere at 8:23.
“I thought they took the play to us in the first and second periods,” Niedermayer said. “We weren’t getting the job done. We came out in the third period, started skating, started getting our feet under us and took the play to them.”
Colorado took the lead for the first time at 17:30 when Giguere couldn’t control Marek Svatos’ shot and Brunette banged in the rebound.
“We weren’t that good tonight,” Selanne said. “The good thing was that we found a way to come back and win. That’s all that really matters.”

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

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