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Recchi leads Bruins to 5-3 win over Hawks

by John Kreiser
The Boston Bruins got Mark Recchi at the trade deadline to do just what he did on Saturday -- give their offense a boost.

In his second game with his new team, Recchi scored a pair of goals as Boston snapped a three-game losing streak with a 5-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks at TD Banknorth Garden.

Boston avoided matching its longest losing streak of the season and won for just the fourth time in the past 13 games.

Recchi got his goals by doing what he does best -- going to the net. He found himself alone in front and tipped the puck through Cristobal Huet's pads at 10:19 of the first period to open the scoring, then made it 3-1 at 16:16 of the second by deflecting Dennis Wideman's shot into the net.

That goal came just 35 seconds after David Krejci swatted a loose puck between Huet's pad and the left post to break a 1-1 tie. Chicago's Jonathan Toews had tied the game 30 seconds before Krejci's goal.

"I used to be a good scorer from the outside, but now I have to score the dirty ones all the time," Recchi said. "That's where I have to go, and I know if I don't go there, I'm not going to score.

"With the playmakers we have, it makes a big difference. If you go there, they're going to make the plays to get it to you."

Boston coach Claude Julien said Recchi did just what he was acquired to do.

"What you saw him do is what he excels in," Julien said. "He's so good in tight, around the net. We've been looking for someone to score those type of goals. He's a real big asset in that area."

Phil Kessel made it 4-1 at 1:35 of the third period after Blackhawks defenseman Brian Campbell fell down at the blue line and Kessel converted a 3-on-2 with Milan Lucic and Marc Savard. That turned out to be a big goal when the Hawks rallied. Kris Versteeg scored from the left circle at 10:26, and Patrick Kane's power-play blast from the left point sailed through a screen and past Tim Thomas with 5:26 remaining. Chicago pressured the Bruins the rest of the way but couldn't beat Thomas again, and P.J. Axelsson hit the empty net with 33 seconds remaining.

"We got ourselves back into the game a couple of times," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "We had a real good second period. At 4-1 we got ourselves right back in it and had a couple of sniffs. Tough loss."

The Bruins don't get much time to rest on their victory. They visit the New York Rangers on Sunday afternoon (12:30 p.m. ET, NBC).

"We need to carry over some of that effort and bring at least that much, if not better," Julien said. "It's inching toward what we want to accomplish. Tonight was a step in the right direction."

Kings 4, Wild 3 | Video

Anze Kopitar has rediscovered his scoring touch.

Kopitar, who sacrificed some of his offensive game to fit into new coach Terry Murray's system, stretched his goal-scoring streak to four games as the Kings completed a season sweep of the struggling Wild.

Kopitar gave Los Angeles a 3-2 lead at 8:45 of the second period with his 23rd goal. Minnesota defenseman Martin Skoula lost control of the puck behind the net and Michal Handzus passed to Kopitar, who hesitated a moment before beating Niklas Backstrom high to the glove side from 25 feet.

"When you have a little hot streak, it seems like the puck is always coming to you," Kopitar said. "Maybe they're looking for me a little more, or I'm just in the right spot at the right time. Hopefully I'm going to keep going like this and keep contributing."

Murray has been pleased with the way Kopitar has worked to become more defensively conscious.

"That was a big change for Kopitar," he said. "Whenever I'd come in to talk about responsibilities in our defensive zone away from the puck, he'd really do a tremendous job on focusing on playing below our goal line to help the defensemen. I believe in three guys breaking the puck out of the zone, and he's there every time. So that was a change.

"On the offensive part, it's a matter of time before it starts to work itself out. But I think he's had a pretty good year on the checking part of the game."

Wild coach Jacques Lemaire changed goalies, replacing Backstrom with Josh Harding, but it didn't help. Teddy Purcell's power-play goal at 15:11, on the first shot against Harding, made it 4-2. Eric Belanger scored with 15:17 left in regulation to make it a one-goal game, but the Wild couldn't get the equalizer.

Both teams scored twice in the first period, with the Kings getting goals from Kyle Quincey and Kyle Calder against a shaky Backstrom. Owen Nolan and Stephane Veilleux scored for the Wild.

"It wasn't a good night for our goalie," Lemaire said. "The first and second were stoppable shots. When you give up easy goals, you're in trouble."

The Kings won all four games against the Wild for the first time ever.

"They're a working team and they play exactly the way we play," Lemaire said. "They're on the puck and they're really sound defensively. There's not much difference in the two teams."

Panthers 5, Blues 3 | Video

David Booth picked a heck of a way to get out of his scoring slump.

The Florida forward scored three times and added an assist, helping the Panthers move into fifth place in the Eastern Conference with a win against St. Louis at the BankAtlantic Center.

Booth came into the game with one goal in his last 15 games before recording his second hat trick of the season. His first came Nov. 9 at Anaheim after he went into that game with one goal in 11 games.

''You have to keep working hard and eventually they'll go in,'' said Booth, who leads Florida with 24 goals. ''You play with great players and they'll find you.''

Nathan Horton and Radek Dvorak also scored for the Panthers, a point ahead of sixth-place Montreal. Florida, coming off a 4-1 loss to Pittsburgh on Thursday night, hasn't lost back-to-back games in regulation since the end of December. Tomas Vokoun made 26 saves in his 500th NHL appearance.

''We'll enjoy it for tonight,'' Panthers coach Pete DeBoer said of his team's move into fifth place. ''The way the conference is going to flip-flop back and forth for the next three or four weeks we're not going to throw any parties when we're in fifth and we're not going to have any funerals if we fall to eighth or ninth. That's how this is going to go for the next few weeks. It's nice to be in the middle of it.''
The Blues, 12th in the Western Conference, missed a chance to move into a three-way tie for ninth place. David Backes scored twice for St. Louis, which lost in regulation for only the second time in 11 games (7-2-2). Brad Boyes also scored for the Blues.

''We've got to play with a sense of urgency, a sense of desperation at all times,'' St. Louis coach Andy Murray said. ''We didn't have that at the start. The way we played in the second half of the game just magnified that problem. I realize it's back-to-back games, but that's the schedule the National Hockey League put together, so you've got to deal with it.''

Senators 6, Sabres 3 | Video

Daniel Alfredsson scored twice -- including his 350th goal -- and Nick Foligno added a pair of his own as Ottawa skated past Buffalo at Scotiabank Place.

''I didn't even know it until they showed it tonight, but it's obviously getting closer to 400, which I hope I'm going to achieve,'' Alfredsson said. ''Five hundred, maybe it's a little too far off, who knows.''


GOALS: 1 | ASST: 0 | PTS: 1
SOG: 1 | +/-: 0

Alfredsson added his 351st goal -- his second of the game and 20th of the season -- in the third, moments after Foligno got his second of the game as he finished off a 2-on-1 with Ryan Shannon to put Ottawa up 5-3.

''That's unbelievable,'' said Foligno, the son of 355-goal scorer Mike Foligno. ''That's a lot of goals and obviously it's a nice tribute to how good of a player he is and how hard he's worked in this League, and hopefully he gets many more.''

Buffalo had won two in a row, including a 5-1 win over Phoenix on Friday night. The Sabres, locked in a tight battle to make the playoffs, fell to 1-3-1 against Ottawa this season. Jochen Hecht, Thomas Vanek and Drew Stafford scored for Buffalo.

The Sabres trailed by just a 3-2 score after two periods but allowed three tallies in the final 20 minutes to seal their fate.

''We had opportunities to capture momentum and I thought the end of the second period hurt us,'' Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said.

Blue Jackets 8, Red Wings 2 | Video

It's very rare Detroit is wiped out on home ice, but such was the case on Saturday night.

Rick Nash had his fourth career hat trick -- and his second against the Wings this season -- and Steve Mason made 44 saves as Columbus pummeled Detroit at Joe Louis Arena. The Red Wings also allowed eight goals to Nashville on Feb. 28.

''You get mad. You don't want to play like this, especially in front of your home fans,'' said Detroit forward Henrik Zetterberg, who was a minus-4. ''Today it was the breakaways we gave them. You have to execute, make the passes. We have to step up and play better as a group.''

Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock raved about the play of his team, which is fighting to make the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. R.J. Umberger scored twice for Columbus, while Jason Williams had a goal and an assist.

''We've been getting these efforts for a long time,'' Hitchcock said. ''The difference for us was it paid off tonight.''

The Blue Jackets chased Detroit goalie Chris Osgood, who stopped 16 of 23 shots. Columbus held a 4-1 lead after two periods and busted the game wide open by scoring the first three tallies in the third. Osgood was replaced by Ty Conklin, who allowed one goal on five shots.

''We didn't give ourselves a chance. We hung our goalie out to dry -- both of them,'' Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. ''We got out of sync by turning the puck over early and we never really got it going.''

After scoring once in the second period, Nash recorded the hat trick with a pair of goals in the third. He completed the impressive feat with 7:44 remaining.

''We needed this win tonight to stay in the race and determine our own fate,'' Nash said.

Oilers 4, Maple Leafs 1 | Video

Dwayne Roloson made 39 saves and Kyle Brodziak scored twice as Edmonton cruised past Toronto at Air Canada Centre.
"What you saw him do is what he excels in. He's so good in tight, around the net. We've been looking for someone to score those type of goals. He's a real big asset in that area."  -- Bruins coach Claude Julien, on Mark Recchi
Roloson kept his team in the game early, as the Oilers were outshot 17-5 in the first period. But Edmonton led 3-1 after 40 minutes, as Ales Hemsky, Brodziak and Fernando Pisani all beat newcomer Martin Gerber. The Leafs outshot the Oilers 40-18 overall.

''The chances we gave up were prime scoring chances,'' Leafs forward Matt Stajan said.

Roloson made his 21st consecutive start for the Oilers, who iced the victory when Brodziak added an empty-net goal at 19:32 of the third period.

''He's really on top of his game,'' Edmonton defenseman Steve Staios said of his goaltender.

Afterwards, the 39-year-old Roloson was unaware of all the rubber he faced on Saturday night. It wasn't until he was mobbed by his teammates that he realized just how hard he was asked to work.

"I don't look up there until after the game," Roloson said. "It's the least of my worries."
Flyers 4, Predators 1 | Video

Joffrey Lupul scored twice and Martin Biron made 31 saves as Philadelphia cruised past Nashville at the Wachovia Center. The loss snapped the Preds' win streak at six games.

Mike Richards and Claude Giroux also scored to help the Flyers bounce back from a 5-1 home loss to Calgary on Thursday.

''We really focused on the start of the game because that's what did us in against Calgary,'' Lupul said, referring to the Flames' four-goal first period. ''Even though it was 0-0 tonight, we had some confidence going into the second. Our penalty kill did a good job and we got some timely goals.''

Martin Erat scored for Nashville, which missed a chance for the second-longest winning streak in franchise history. The Predators opened the 2005-06 season with eight straight wins.

''We didn't get our game started today,'' Nashville defenseman Kevin Klein said. ''We got away from what has led to our success -- playing physical, chipping pucks in, and really forechecking them hard. They punished us on special teams especially.''

Biron was bidding for a shutout until Erat found the back of the net 7:45 into the third period. He stopped all 26 shots he faced through the first 40 minutes.

''There's no magic recipe,'' Biron said. ''We're a good team and when we don't complicate things we usually play good. Give credit to Calgary. The other night they put pressure on us right away. We were never able to get our legs or our momentum going. Tonight we did.''

Erat's goal cut Philadelphia's lead to 2-1, but Lupul restored the Flyers' two-goal lead when he beat Pekka Rinne just 1:06 later. The Flyers' forward now has 20 goals this season.

''No excuses,'' said Rinne, who had won six straight games and posted an 11-2-1 record since Jan 30. ''We played really well for about 50 minutes or so but we pretty much gave it away on those two goals.''

Hurricanes 9, Lightning 3 | Video

Eric Staal had a career night, as he tied franchise records with four goals and six points as Carolina continued its playoff push with a convincing win at Tampa Bay.

It was the third time -- the first since Ron Francis on Feb. 12, 1984, against Edmonton -- that a Hartford-Carolina player had four goals. Staal's six-point night was the fourth in franchise history. He has 32 goals this season, and has five goals and 12 points during a five-game point streak.

''That's one of those games that don't happen very often,'' Staal said. ''It was a good win for our team, which was the bottom line. But it's fun getting points and being on the offensive side of the game. I've been on the other end of it before.''

Tuomo Ruutu had two goals and three assists, and Erik Cole added four assists for the Hurricanes, who have won seven of nine. Anton Babchuk, Joe Corvo and Rod Brind'Amour also scored for Carolina. The Hurricanes jumped from 10th to seventh in the Eastern Conference with the victory.

''We've been pretty solid,'' Carolina coach Paul Maurice said. ''Every once in a while one of these happens. You don't get too excited. You just hope everybody gets through the game, and nobody gets hurt and you go on the next one.''

Martin St. Louis, Vincent Lecavalier and Ryan Malone scored for Tampa Bay, which has lost 14 of 18.
''A team stinker,'' said Lightning interim coach Rick Tocchet, who scheduled a postgame off-ice workout, with a second session set for 9 a.m. Sunday. ''Every single guy contributed. You can't get rid of 21 guys in one night."

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

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