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Selanne's shootout winner puts Ducks into eighth

by John Kreiser
With Anaheim's season on the line, Teemu Selanne continues to deliver.

Selanne got an overtime winner against Nashville last week and came through with the shootout winner on Tuesday to give the Ducks a 2-1 victory over the Predators -- moving Anaheim into eighth place in the West.

The Ducks and Predators both have 78 points, one more than St. Louis, with nine games left -- but Anaheim has one more victory. Selanne's OT winner last week triggered a four-game winning streak that has moved the Ducks into the top eight in the West -- at least for now.

After the first three players for both teams were denied on their shootout attempts, Selanne skated in on goaltender Pekka Rinne and lifted a backhander just under the crossbar. Jean-Sebastien Giguere then stopped Radek Bonk for the win.

"He's so big that when he goes down, he can cover the whole bottom of the net from post-to-post," Selanne said of Rinne, a fellow Finn. "I had a chance to see what our three other shooters were doing, and I decided to go with that move."

Said Rinne: "He's very good at the shootout because he has good moves and fakes his shot really well. He was always my hero watching national team games. It's been nice to face him a few times."

Selanne also helped Anaheim take a 1-0 lead at 17:38 of the second period. He carried the puck down the right side of the Nashville zone, faked a shot and fed Drew Miller, who moved to the low slot before beating Rinne with a wrister to the stick side.

Miller's goal was his third in 18 games this season and second in his last three. The rookie has spent most of the season with Iowa of the American Hockey League.

"Points are at a premium," Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said. "Both teams are in desperation mode, but we were fortunate enough to steal an extra point in the shootout."

Shea Weber tied it with a power-play goal at 4:12 of the third period, beating Giguere from inside the right circle. Weber became the first Nashville defenseman to score 20 goals in a season. His nine power-play goals lead the team.

The Preds had a golden chance to win the game late in regulation, but Steve Sullivan was unable to score on a breakaway. Sullivan also hit the crossbar in the shootout.

"I thought in the third we had numerous chances with getting some pucks at the net. With Sully at two minutes to go there, he had Giguere beat," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "If that puck just doesn't flip on him we could’ve been the 2-1 victors. Then again in the shootout, he had Giguere beat."

While they didn't get two points, the one the Predators got could make a big difference -- it gave Nashville a 2-0-2 record in the season series with the Ducks, giving the Preds an advantage in the second tie-breaker.

"It’s about collecting points," Trotz said. "Obviously we would like two, and we didn’t get that, but every night that you get points, that’s what you need."

Blues 2, Kings 0 | VIDEO

St. Louis couldn't have picked a better time to beat the Kings for the first time in four meetings this season. Patrik Berglund scored twice in the third period and Chris Mason stopped all 22 L.A. shots for his fifth shutout of the season, moving the Blues within a point of eighth place.

Berglund broke a scoreless tie when he took a rebound of David Perron's shot off the backboards and hit a wide-open net at 7:56 for a power-play goal. He swatted a loose puck past Jonathan Quick at 13:13 for the first two-goal game of his NHL career.

"We could have played a lot better in the first 40 minutes, but we finally scored," Berglund said. "And Mason played unbelievable."

Mason, who made his 24th straight start, was at his best in the first period when the Kings outshot the Blues 11-4. Seven of the Kings' shots came on consecutive power plays.

"A lot of blocked shots," Kings coach Terry Murray said. "That's one thing they do well, they block well and they get in the lanes. We were doing the same, we did a real good job until the end."

St. Louis now has 77 points, one behind Anaheim and Nashville with nine games remaining -- though six of those are on the road.

Andy Murray acknowledged that this wasn't the prettiest win of the season -- not that he was looking for anything more than a victory.

"This is not gymnastics," he said. "We're not looking for style points. We're looking for two points."

The Kings continued their late-season fade. They're 1-5-1 in their last seven games and 2-9-1 in their last dozen on the road. They had walloped the Blues three straight times earlier in the season, but this was the first meeting since Dec. 11.

"They've been a thorn in our side all year," Andy Murray said.

Canucks 5, Stars 2 | VIDEO

Daniel Sedin wasn't going to let a high stick to the mouth slow him down. Just 100 seconds after being dazed by a high stick from Dallas' Mark Fistric, Sedin scored the go-ahead goal as the surging Canucks handed the slumping Stars their fourth consecutive loss.

Sedin had a bloody lip, multiple stitches in his mouth and lost a cap that protected one of his teeth. He also had the game-winning goal to solidify Vancouver's standing in the Western Conference.

"I got hit by the high stick," Sedin said. "But it was nice to score on the power play. We got the lead and that was huge."

His twin brother Henrik wasn't impressed.

"It was nothing," he said with a straight face. "He's not a baby."

Daniel's power-play goal at 18:27 of the first period put the Canucks ahead 2-1. Henrik scored in the second period and added an empty-netter. Ryan Kesler also scored twice for Vancouver, now 17-4-1 in its past 22 games. The Canucks now have 87 points, tying them for fourth place in the West with Chicago.

Roberto Luongo stopped 35 shots to help the Canucks snap a four-game road losing streak.

"It was a gritty game and we found a way to get goals," Luongo said. "Sometimes you're not going to get a picture-perfect goal, but you find a way to win."

Dallas continues to find ways to lose. The Stars came home from an 0-3 trip and dropped their fourth in a row to fall four points out of the last playoff spot in the West. Brendan Morrison and James Neal scored for the Stars, who are 4-11-1 since Feb. 21, and Marty Turco stopped 17 shots.

"It's disappointing," Morrison said. "We have nine games to go and who knows what can happen. We have to approach the next game like it's the last game of the year."

The Stars coughed up three power-play goals while failing to score with the man advantage.

"They have a good power play, but we made them look awfully good," Stars coach Dave Tippett said of the Canucks, who entered the day with the NHL's 17th-ranked unit. "Discipline was at the forefront of our preparation, but we didn’t have it tonight. You have to be able to kill a penalty; our PK was bad and we needed some more saves. We played hard and had guys working, 5-on-5 wasn’t bad, but the special teams killed us. We kept shooting ourselves in the foot."

Red Wings 3, Oilers 1 | VIDEO

Detroit was less than nine minutes away from going 0-for-Alberta before finally solving Dwayne Roloson, scoring three late goals to move back into first place in the overall standings and complete a sweep of the four-game series with the Oilers.

"We knew it was going to be tough," said Wings coach Mike Babcock, whose team lost 5-3 at Calgary on Monday. "We were concerned about getting through the first period. Any time you play the night before, you've got to get through the first period -- you've got to get your legs going. We gradually took over the game, and when you do that, things are going to work your way."

Denis Grebeshkov scored a power-play goal with 1:11 left in the first period. Roloson withstood a Detroit barrage and made it stand up until rookie defenseman Jonathan Ericsson scored with 8:45 remaining in regulation.

"We knew if we kept putting pressure on them, eventually the puck was going to go in," said Ericsson, who now has two NHL goals -- both at Rexall Place.

The Wings kept firing away and went ahead when Marian Hossa scored with 1:58 remaining. Valtteri Filppula's goal 32 seconds later wound up being the game-winner when Ales Kotalik scored with 60 seconds to play.

"We played what I thought was a pretty decent game," Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said. "We had a couple of breakdowns at the end, and they capitalized on them."

Detroit, which outshot Edmonton 35-13 over the final 40 minutes, went back ahead of San Jose in the overall standings with 107 points, one more than the Sharks -- though the Sharks have two games in hand.

The Oilers lost their second in a row and remained seventh in the West, one point ahead of Anaheim and Nashville and two in front of St. Louis with nine games remaining.

"It leaves everybody with a heavy heart," MacTavish said. "There's a sense of disappointment. -- but the fact that we played extremely well, we can take some solace from that.

"It's going to be quite a nine-game stretch. It will be hard on the coaches and harder on the players."

Lightning 2, Blue Jackets 1 (OT) | VIDEO

Columbus moved a point closer to the first playoff berth in franchise history despite losing a game it had totally dominated when Martin St. Louis scored 3:04 into overtime.

The Blue Jackets outshot Tampa Bay 17-7 in the first two periods and took the first eight shots of the third period -- the last of which was Jan Hejda's goal 4:21 into the third period for a 1-0 lead. But Hedja was called for Columbus' first penalty of the night midway through the third period and Ryan Malone's tip-in at 10:55 tied the score.

"We don't have any success when we get away from the game plan and turn the puck over and force the puck way too much," Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock said. "And I'm going to talk to those players on it tomorrow."

St. Louis won it when he took a breakout pass from Steven Stamkos, raced into the Columbus zone and zipped a wrist shot from near the right faceoff dot that caught the top left corner, extending his points streak to nine games, during which he's scored six goals.

"The power play got us going, and obviously Marty (scored) a great goal," Lightning coach Rick Tocchet said. "We'll take the win; it's good for the confidence of the guys. But we've got to start generating some offense."

The single point gives Columbus 83, the first time in franchise history the Jackets will finish with more points that games played. They're sixth in the West, four points ahead of seventh-place Edmonton and five in front of Anaheim and Nashville, after going 1-0-1 on a two-game swing through Florida.

"We got three points out of four without any of our big guns scoring," Hitchcock said. "We feel pretty fortunate to get that. Going back to Columbus now, we're going to have to get better production for the work that we're putting in."

Hejda's shot was the only one to beat rookie Mike McKenna, who made 33 saves -- including nine on Columbus captain Rick Nash.

"He kept us in the game and gave us a chance to win," St. Louis said.

The Blue Jackets finished the season with a 13-3-2 mark against the Eastern Conference, including a 5-0-1 record against Southeast Division teams.

"Obviously we carried the majority of the (game) and we just failed to put them away," said Columbus goaltender Steve Mason, who finished with 15 saves. "We know what we did wrong -- just failed to capitalize on chances."

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

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