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Tampa rebounds with shootout win

by Brian Compton
Lightning goaltender Marc Denis stopped all three breakaway chances he faced in the shootout and Tampa Bay defeated the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 Tuesday night at the Bell Centre.
Twenty-four hours after being pummeled in Toronto, the Tampa Bay Lightning turned their frowns upside down.
Brad Richards scored the only goal in a shootout and Marc Denis — in only his fourth start of the season — stopped all three breakaway chances as the Lightning rebounded from Monday’s 6-1 loss for a 3-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre.

''I've found that if I go in with speed and doing something quick I have more success, and that's all it is, there's no secret,'' said Richards, who is 2-for-2 in shootouts  this season. ''I go in and try to shoot, it's pretty simple. I don't have the hands to do a bunch of dipsy-doodle stuff.''

It was the sixth straight loss on home ice for the Habs, who have also dropped six of their last eight overall.
Alexei Kovalev broke a scoreless tie when he beat Denis just 47 seconds into the second period ( 700K ). After Lightning defenseman Brad Lukowich was called for hooking, Kovalev fired a slap shot that broke his stick, but he still got enough on it to find the back of the net as the Canadiens took a 1-0 lead.
Vincent Lecavalier quickly tied things up when he scored his 20th goal of the season ( 700K ) just over a minute later. After Tampa Bay was awarded a power play, Lecavalier beat rookie Carey Price with a slap shot that went off the goaltender’s glove before crossing the goal line to make it 1-1.
''It was like trying to catch a knuckleball,'' Price said.
Andre Roy gave the Lightning their first lead of the night at 8:58 of the second ( 700K ). The Tampa forward was able to capitalize on a golden opportunity, as Montreal’s Ryan O’Byrne fell while playing the puck in the Canadiens’ zone. Roy gained control and fired a high shot from the slot that beat Price to give the Lightning a 2-1 lead. It was Roy’s second goal of the season. 
''That was huge,'' Roy said. ''I was at the end of my shift and I was pretty exhausted but I gave a last push and I was lucky enough that O'Byrne just lost it.''
But with only 4:38 to play in regulation, Tomas Plekanec sent the capacity crowd into a frenzy when he scored his 10th goal of the season to tie the game. With the teams at even strength, Plekanec ripped a shot from the slot past Denis.
''We worked hard for that goal, and we worked really hard to get that point,'' Price said.

Flames 2, Panthers 1, SO | Video

Tomas Vokoun was thisclose to recording his second consecutive shutout. Instead, Jarome Iginla erased a 1-0 deficit with 10.2 seconds left in regulation, and Kristian Huselius scored the lone goal in a shootout as Calgary edged Florida at the BankAtlantic Center.

''It's a big boost for sure,'' Iginla said. ''It feels great. Probably our last seven games, our habits have been getting a lot better and we've been playing a lot of games we felt we deserved to win and haven't quite gotten the results. Tonight maybe feels like a little payback.''

Until Iginla’s tally, Olli Jokinen had the game’s only goal when he beat Kiprusoff at 16:03 of the second period ( 700K . The veteran forward intercepted Daymond Langkow’s clearing attempt near the Flames’ net and fired a wrist shot that bounced off the goal post before going past Kiprusoff.

''It looked like we were going to get (two) points,'' Jokinen said. ''We didn't. Ten seconds remaining and they got a tying goal. We should have two points.''

Instead, Iginla knotted things up in the final moments of the third period. After Alex Tanguay’s shot from the point didn’t get through, Iginla collected the loose puck and roofed a wrist shot over Vokoun’s right shoulder, ruining the latter’s bid for back-to-back shutouts. Vokoun blanked the New York Islanders in a 3-0 win on Friday night.

''We were so close to winning,'' Vokoun said. ''When you look at the goal they scored, it was just like ours — it was a dirty goal around the net. That's 85 percent of the goals in this league, they are scored that way. If you pay the price and work hard, eventually it's going to pay off for you.''
Huselius’ tally in the shootout certainly paid off for the Flames. It was his first trip back to Florida since the Panthers dealt him to Calgary two years ago.
''We played them last year in Calgary, but it's totally different when you're playing at home the first time back,'' Huselius said. ''But it's a good feeling to see ... It was nice to get the win, for sure.''
Calgary’s road trip continues on Thursday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning, as they visit the St. Pete Times Forum for the first time since losing Game 7 of the 2004 Stanley Cup Final.
Oilers 5, Blues 4, SO | Video
Shawn Horcoff scored the lone goal in the shootout after recording a goal and an assist in regulation to lead the Edmonton Oilers to 5-4 win over the St. Louis Blues
Shawn Horcoff scored the lone goal in the shootout after potting a goal and an assist in regulation as Edmonton improved to 8-1 in the breakaway competition with a victory at St. Louis.
Oilers goalie Mathieu Garon stopped David Perron, Brad Boyes and Weight in the shootout to help Edmonton snap a three-game losing streak.

“I try to make them make the first move,” said Garon, who has allowed only one goal in 16 shootout chances. “We have players who are scoring goals, so it lets you play with confidence.”
The loss ended a six-game home winning streak for the Blues, who got two goals and an assist from Doug Weight. The veteran center has four goals in his last three games after failing to find the back of the net in the first 25.
“He’s been on fire as of late,” Blues forward Jamal Mayers said of Weight. “I’m happy for him; he’s been working hard on different parts of his game. I’m sure he hasn’t gone through anything like this before, and it showed the true character that he has. He’s one of our leaders.”
Fernando Pisani erased a 4-3 deficit for the Oilers when he beat Hannu Toivonen with 4:08 remaining in regulation. Pisani had missed the first 26 games of the season due to colitis.
St. Louis blew a golden opportunity to regain the lead when it was awarded a two-man advantage with 2:18 left. Keith Tkachuk fired one shot wide and had a rebound chance denied by Garon.
“To be honest with you, 5-on-3, you should look for the perfect play,” Blues coach Andy Murray said. “That’s why it’s 5-on-3, and you should be patient with it. We bobbled a couple of pucks at the top. We had four or five really good chances, and we didn’t score. If you get four or five on a power play, you expect you’re going to bury one.”
The Blues held a 4-3 lead after 40 minutes thanks to a three-goal barrage in the second period. Defenseman Eric Johnson assisted on each of those tallies, but his team surrendered four one-goal leads.
“Give Edmonton credit — they battled hard in Dallas (Monday) night and got a point, and came in here tonight and played real hard and got two points,” Murray said.
Sharks 4, Wild 1 | Video
Home, sweet home.
That hasn’t exactly been the case for San Jose this season, but the Sharks got two goals from Steve Bernier and 36 saves from Evgeni Nabokov to earn just their second win at HP Pavilion since Nov. 12.
It certainly was a much better effort than the one the Sharks provided on Saturday, when they were blown out of their own building in a 7-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres.
“We knew we had to come out very hard for tonight’s game,” Bernier said. “I think that’s what we did. We’re very happy to have the two points.”
Joe Pavelski had a goal and an assist for the Sharks, who moved back into a first-place tie with the idle Dallas Stars. A major reason why San Jose (16-9-4) is atop the Pacific with Dallas is the play of Nabokov, who has started every game for the Sharks this season. He stopped 17 of 18 shots in the third period, as Branko Radivojevic ended his shutout bid with 9:02 left in regulation.
The Sharks found themselves up 4-0 in the second period thanks to a three-goal outburst in a nine-minute span. Mike Grier put San Jose up by a pair at 4:17, followed by goals by Bernier at 8:48 and 13:17.
“We went in front of the net and scored some goals,” Bernier said. “We worked hard. That’s all we have to do. After a win like this, I hope we’ll be able to do the same thing in two days from now.”
Nicklas Backstrom made 26 saves for the Wild, who have dropped three of their last four games. Minnesota (16-12-2) was outplayed for most of the night and certainly will need a better effort when it visits Anaheim on Friday night.
“They played a tight game and made it tough to get in there and create a forecheck,” Wild forward Mark Parrish said. “We’ve got to take lessons from this and come out a heck of a lot harder in Anaheim.”
Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire said he expected the Sharks to come out blazing the way they did, especially after the drubbing they took at the hands of the Sabres on Saturday night.
“We played a good team that got beat badly their last game,” Lemaire said. “They were ready to perform as good as they could, and they did. We didn’t give them great chances, but they find ways to score goals. We weren’t good enough to take control of the puck and get out of our end.”

Material from wire services and team media were used in this report.
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