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Roenick says goodbye to Philly

by John Kreiser
A few thoughts as we pause to congratulate Ted Lindsay, Brian Burke, Phil Housley and Bob Naegele for winning the Lester Patrick Award:

For Jeremy, it's always sunny in Philadelphia — If this was Jeremy Roenick's last visit to Philadelphia as a player, he certainly gave the Wachovia Center crowd something to remember him by.

Roenick scored the clinching goal in the shootout Wednesday night as the San Jose Sharks survived a bevy of blown leads to beat the Flyers, 7-6, keeping Philadelphia winless through 6 games.

As is the case seemingly everywhere he plays, Roenick was a fan favorite during his days with the Flyers, from 2001-04. He received a nice ovation from the Flyers faithful when he was shown on the jumbo screen early in the game.


"A see-saw battle between San Jose and the Flyers..."


"Well, another game and still no win..."

"That was awesome," he said of the reception. "This is one building I'll never forget."

Roenick, now 38, said he doesn't expect to make it back to the City of Brotherly Love as a player.

"This most likely will be my last game in this building and it's a nice way to finish," Roenick said after the Sharks completed a home-and-home sweep of the Flyers. "This city really means a lot to me. I have a lot of great memories in this building."

Roenick was ready to retire in the summer of 2007 before Sharks GM Doug Wilson talked him into playing again. In addition to scoring 10 game-winning goals last season, Roenick became a shootout ace, scoring on 5 of 8 tries. He wasn't even the best Shark in the shootout — that honor went to Joe Pavelski, who was 7-for-11 and scored in the first round against Martin Biron on Wednesday before Roenick's clincher.

"I think you look to the stats of last year, and we went with the stats of last year, (Pavelski) and I were one and two," said Roenick of the shootout. "I might be an old goat, but sometimes the puck goes in the net."

The last laugh — Sean Avery made a pest of himself to Martin Brodeur in last spring's playoffs as the New York Rangers eliminated the New Jersey Devils. The two met again when Avery and his new team, the Dallas Stars, came to the Prudential Center — and this time it was Brodeur who left with a smile after he stopped 21 shots in a 5-0 victory.

Brodeur said the Devils weren't concerned with Avery, who has yet to score for his new team.

''It's 2 points,'' Brodeur said of the Devils' fifth win in six games. ''We just played our game and we didn't worry about him too much.''


"That Avery guy? He got a whole bunch of nothing..."


"Turco needs time to stew and regain his form..."


"Understudies for now, but stars in the making..."

Brodeur refused to shake Avery's hand after the Rangers eliminated New Jersey last spring. On Wednesday, he gave Avery a few shoves to try to move him away from the crease, and Avery complained that penalties weren't called. Brodeur also fired a puck at Avery during a clearing attempt in the second period.

''He's a skill player when he plays hockey,'' Brodeur said. ''Today he played hockey and it showed. He made some good plays.''

The shutout was Brodeur's 98th — five short of Terry Sawchuk's NHL record of 103 — and he moved within 8 wins of Patrick Roy's league mark of 551. Brodeur did his talking with his play, while Avery declined comment.

''Marty has accomplished a lot. I don't think that ranks up there in the top 25 for that matter,'' said Devils center John Madden, who scored twice.

No rust — Florida goaltender Craig Anderson spent the first two weeks of the season watching Tomas Vokoun play goal. When he finally got the chance to play, he made the most of it.

The Panthers gave Anderson an early 2-0 lead and he did the rest — stopping 41 shots in Florida's 3-1 victory at Ottawa.

"It's good to get the first one out of the way — first win, first start. I just wanted to go out there and battle for the guys and make sure that I gave them a chance to win," said Anderson, who made 38 saves in the final 40 minutes. "We came out flying in the first and took it to them, I think, and we were able to get a good lead. After that, it was just holding down the fort."

Anderson made 26 saves in the third period alone. His best may have come when he lunged to his left to make a glove save on Antoine Vermette's shot while Ottawa enjoyed a power play for the final 3:05 of the third period after David Booth was assessed a double minor for high sticking.

''I knew I slid way too far and I was just trying to get back, and luckily I was back in time,'' Anderson said.

Coming off a 3-1 loss at Montreal on Monday, the Panthers wanted to get off to a quick start. They did just that, as Rostislav Olesz and Nathan Horton scored goals 48 seconds apart early in the first period. Cory Stillman added a second-period goal, and Anderson did the rest.

''We wanted to have a quick start, and the start won us the game,'' coach Peter DeBoer said after his team improved to 3-2-0.


Road, sweet road —
Maybe the Detroit Red Wings should book some more games away from home.

The Wings haven't played well at Joe Louis Arena this season, going 1-1-1 in 3 games. But they're still perfect away from home after a 4-3 victory at St. Louis that wasn't as close as the final score would indicate.

"We've been a pretty good road team," coach Mike Babcock said. "To be a championship-level team, you have to be good in both places."

They've been flawless on the road, where they're 3-0-0. The Blues spent most of the first two periods watching the Wings take control of the game.

''We were star struck for two periods,'' goalie Manny Legace said. ''We watched them skate around.''

Added coach Andy Murray: "They've got a tremendous amount of talent and skill."

The hottest Wing in the early going has been Tomas Holmstrom, who scored for the fourth game in a row.

"Holmstrom is good at finding an open spot," captain Nicklas Lidstrom said. "He doesn't need much to put the puck in the net."

Bulin Wall stands tall — For a guy who was placed on waivers before the start of the season, Nikolai Khabibulin is playing pretty well.

The Chicago Blackhawks found no takers when they put Khabibulin on waivers, and it's turned out to be a good thing for them. He's been solid in his last three outings — and especially so in Wednesday's 23-save performance during a 3-0 shutout of the Edmonton Oilers.

However, new coach Joel Quenneville isn't ready to hand him the No. 1 job ahead of Cristobal Huet, one of the Hawks' big free-agent signings during the summer.

"Right now, I'm in no hurry," said Quenneville, who got the job when Denis Savard was fired last week. "'Both guys are deserving of getting some playing time. It's a healthy position to be in as a team."

Quenneville especially was happy with Khabibulin's positioning in his fourth shutout since joining the Hawks in 2005.

"He was square. He was challenging," Quenneville said. "And the guys in front of him played extremely well. I thought all areas of the game were in order."

Khabibulin agreed that he had plenty of help.

"The whole team worked well," Khabibulin said. "I was really impressed."

Edmonton coach Craig MacTavish was emphatically not impressed with his team's play. The Oilers came to Chicago with a 4-0-0 record after 4 one-goal wins. He said they weren't ready to go when the puck was dropped.

"In the first period we weren't ready to play at the start again," MacTavish said. "We've gotten away with it in at least two of the first four games. We knew it wasn't going to be long before it bit us in the rear end, and it took a good chunk out of us."

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

Contact John Kreiser at

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