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Selanne nets pair, but Canucks prevail

by Brian Hunter

It didn’t take Teemu Selanne long to get back in the scoring groove.

Playing in his first preseason game since re-signing with the Anaheim Ducks on Friday, Selanne scored a pair of goals. But in the end it was Kyle Wellwood coming through in the fifth round of the shootout to give the Vancouver Canucks a 5-4 victory Sunday night at Honda Center.

After Joakim Lindstrom of the Ducks and Cory Hodgson of the Canucks scored in the first round of the tiebreaker, goaltenders David Leneveu and Curtis Sanford held firm through the next three rounds. Sanford stopped Kent Huskins to begin the fifth round and Wellwood, who also scored in regulation for Vancouver, then beat Leneveu for the winner.

Selanne, who was able to return to the Ducks after the team created cap space by trading defenseman Mathieu Schneider to Atlanta, netted a power-play goal with 3:10 left in the first period to give Anaheim a 2-1 lead. His second goal, with 6:58 left in regulation, tied the score at 3-3. Daniel Sedin gave the Canucks a 4-3 lead with 5:21 to play, but Corey Perry tallied his second of the game with 2:14 remaining to force overtime.

Sami Salo and Steve Bernier had the other Vancouver goals.

Canadiens 3, Panthers 2 (SO)
Alex Kovalev scored the only goal of the shootout Sunday night, lifting Montreal Canadiens to its second straight preseason win at the Bell Centre, this one in come-from-behind fashion.

Goaltender Carey Price stopped 36 shots through regulation and overtime, then denied all three Florida skaters in the tiebreaker. Kovalev, the third shooter for Montreal, put a backhander past Tomas Vokoun to end it.

Andrei Kostitsyn and Yannick Weber scored power-play goals 3:25 apart in the second period to bring the Canadiens back from a 2-0 deficit. Tomas Plekanec had the primary assist on both goals. Less than two minutes before Kostitsyn scored, Price prevented the Panthers from scoring a third unanswered goal when he turned aside Nathan Horton on a penalty shot.

Horton beat Price early in the first period just 1:11 after Anthony Stewart opened the scoring. Vokoun went on to make 33 saves for Florida.

Hurricanes 1, Flyers 0
Sergei Samsonov rescued his career when Carolina picked him up midway through last season. The Hurricanes hope the talented winger keeps up the offensive production.

Samsonov scored 8:20 into the first period for the game’s only goal and Michael Leighton made 21 saves as the Hurricanes split a home-and-home with the Flyers, taking Sunday’s contest at the RBC Center a day after Philadelphia closed out the Spectrum with a 4-2 win.

Samsonov won the Calder Trophy in 1997-98 after registering 22 goals and 47 points for the Boston Bruins, who drafted him with the eighth pick in the 1998 draft. He would score as many as 75 points in a season, but spent the past several years shuttling from Edmonton to Montreal, then bottoming out with Chicago last season. He had just four assists in 23 games for the Blackhawks before the Hurricanes acquired him. He then rebounded with 14 goals and 32 points in 38 games.

Jean-Sebastien Aubin and Scott Munroe combined to make 34 saves for the Flyers, who played without a number of regulars, including Simon Gagne, Scott Hartnell, Mike Knuble, Scottie Upshall and captain Mike Richards.

Red Wings 4, Thrashers 0
Chris Osgood cruised to the shutout, needing to make only 14 saves as Detroit prevailed at Joe Louis Arena.

Rookie forward Ville Leino, signed as a free agent from Finland during the summer, scored the only goal the Wings would need with 3:39 left in the first period. A left wing who is battling players like Darren McCarty, Aaron Downey and Darren Helm for a roster spot, Leino got to the net and jammed in the rebound of Helm’s pass attempt to score the goal.

Henrik Zetterberg added a goal and an assist, while Mikael Samuelsson and Dan Clearly had the other Detroit goals. Jiri Hudler collected a pair of assists.

Kari Lehtonen tuned up for the regular season by making 34 saves for the Thrashers.

Blackhawks 4, Stars 3
Brian Campbell showed Sunday why Chicago’s signing of him was one of the top acquisitions of the offseason.

Campbell assisted on all four Blackhawks goals in front of a United Center crowd that can’t wait to see similar performances once the regular season begins. He was signed to an eight-year, $56.8 million contract in part to improve the Chicago power play, which went 3-for-7 against Dallas.

New captain Jonathan Toews scored twice with the man advantage, with Patrick Sharp and Jack Skille adding the other goals. Sharp put the Blackhawks ahead to stay with a power-play marker in the first and Skille’s tally midway through the second proved to be the game-winner. Antti Niemi went the distance in goal, making 31 saves.

Matt Niskanen, Joel Lundqvist and Loui Eriksson scored for the Stars, who got 24 saves in net from Tobias Stephan.

Wild 2, Sabres 1 (SO)
Andrew Brunette beat Patrick Lalime on a wrist shot in the fourth round of the shootout to decide a tight contest at HSBC Arena.

Brunette, back with Minnesota after three seasons in Colorado, sent the game into overtime when he scored a power-play goal with just 2:57 left in regulation. Owen Nolan got the Wild on the board first in the shootout, but Drew Stafford answered in the next round for the Sabres, leading to Brunette’s decisive score.

Jochen Hecht provided Buffalo with a 1-0 lead when he scored 13 seconds into the second period. Clarke MacArthur’s hit behind the net on Minnesota defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron created a turnover, and Hecht beat Niklas Backstrom, who ended up making 28 saves. The Sabres outshot the Wild 5-1 in overtime but Backstrom kept them off the board.

Lightning 4, Eisbaren Berlin 1
Olaf Kolzig made a triumphant return to Germany by making 34 saves to defeat his former team and Gary Roberts notched a goal and an assist as Tampa Bay won the first exhibition game on its European trip.

Kolzig, who signed with the Lightning during the offseason after playing his entire NHL career in Washington, is a native of Germany and played for Eisbaren Berlin during the work stoppage in 2004-05.

The Lightning face off against HC Slovan at Samsung Arena on Tuesday before opening the 2008-09 regular season with games against the New York Rangers in Prague on Saturday and Sunday.


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