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Wings score twice in third to beat Ducks 4-3

by John Kreiser
Depending on who you ask, Johan Franzen did or did not bat the puck into the net with a high stick. Fortunately for the Detroit Red Wings, the officials and a video review agreed with Franzen.

Franzen swatted a puck out of the air and into the net at 10:07 of the third period as the Red Wings rallied for a 4-3 victory over the Anaheim Ducks. Pavel Datsyuk's shot hit goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere and popped into the air, where Franzen whacked it into the net. It was called a goal on the ice, and a video review didn't overturn the call.

"I felt like it was under the bar when I hit it," said Franzen, who was credited with his 19th goal of the season. "I was hopeful."

Giguere, not surprisingly, disagreed.

"I thought it was a high stick," he said. "At the angle the puck went in, there's not much room between my shoulder and the crossbar."

However, Giguere said he had no quibble with the call.

"I guess they reviewed it and had to stick with the decision," he said. "The League has to respect the referees — what they see on the ice. They have to give them the benefit of the doubt."

Franzen's goal came 35 seconds after Dan Cleary had tied the game by ripping a 30-foot wrist shot past Giguere. Chris Osgood preserved the lead in the final seconds by robbing Corey Perry, who was alone just in front of the crease and appeared to have an open net before Osgood dove and gloved his wrist shot.

The Wings took the lead at 9:03 of the first period on a goal by Tomas Holmstrom, who redirected Pavel Datsyuk's pass over Giguere's shoulder. But the Ducks then took charge. Ryan Getzlaf tied it at the 17-minute mark and set up Perry's power-play goal at 18:48.

Jiri Hudler's power-play goal early in the second period got the Wings even, but Steve Montador took Getzlaf's cross-ice pass and beat Osgood from the right circle at 11:28 to put Anaheim ahead for a second time.


Wings coach Mike Babcock wasn't happy with his team's effort for most of the first two periods.

"I thought we started good and then we got soft," he said. "There's no excuse for this team to play like that. We hurt ourselves with two offensive-zone penalties. We just wanted to get harder and compete harder and be better.

"We spend a lot of time talking about all these fancy things. If you want the puck more than the other guy, and you're harder on the puck, you have a chance to win. That's how simple tonight's game came down to."

Though the Ducks dominated much of the first two periods, Giguere said his team got the outcome it deserved.

"I didn't think we played well enough to win," he said. "We found a way to lose. That's the difference between us and them right now. They are a team that knows how to win. We are a team that's looking to figure out a way how to win.

"The first half (of the game), that's the team we can be. The second half is the team we don't want to be."

Blackhawks 4, Sabres 1 | Video

Chicago made it eight in a row at the United Center by beating Buffalo, though the Blackhawks may have lost All-Star defenseman Duncan Keith.

Keith, who averages nearly 26 minutes of ice time a game, left midway through the second period after a hard open-ice hit by Buffalo's Drew Stafford after releasing a shot. Chicago's Ben Eager then went after Stafford and drew a triple minor, giving Buffalo a six-minute power play — which the Blackhawks killed off to preserve a 3-1 lead.

"I thought it was a completely dirty hit [on Keith]," Eager said. "That team has seen their fair share of head shots, and that guy doesn't have many hits all year. He's a skilled guy, so I'm sure they won't do anything to him. I'm sure if I was the one who hit him, I would, probably would, be sitting out for a while."

The Blackhawks hope Keith isn't seriously hurt.

"Dunc was talking after the game," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. "We'll have a better idea tomorrow."

Stafford, who wasn't penalized and has taken just five minors this season, said he was just backchecking and had no intent to injure.

"I hope he's OK. I'm not trying to hurt anybody," Stafford said. "At the same time, you have to keep your head up if you're going to make a play over the blue line like that."

Buffalo broke on top at 10:32 of the opening period when Ales Kotalik took a pass from Adam Mair and ripped a shot from the slot past Cristobal Huet. Patrick Sharp tied it at 15:36 when he trickled a rebound past former Hawk Patrick Lalime.

"It feels good to get back on the scoresheet," said Sharp, who hadn't had a point in the prior three games. "I've had confidence, the puck just wasn't going in. I knew it would be a matter of time."

Jonathan Toews put the Hawks ahead to stay 2:29 later. Lalime appeared to have stopped Toews' shot from the left circle, but the puck rolled between his right arm and body, and landed in the net. Martin Havlat made it 3-1 at 5:53 of the second, finishing off a 3-on-1 break by beating Lalime high on the stick side.

"If you look at the scoring chances, they were pretty well even. The odd-numbered rushes — we might have had the edge; they scored on one of theirs and we didn't score," Ruff said.

Chicago then killed off a bench minor for too many men on the ice. Just as that expired, Eager was assessed his triple minor — but Buffalo did nothing with the six-minute advantage. The Sabres managed just one shot on goal and nearly allowed a shorthanded goal to Adam Burish after Lalime misplayed the puck.

"We got off to the start we wanted to get off to, but we didn't finish when we needed to finish, and on our six-minute power play, the execution wasn't good," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "We didn't win enough battles and we didn't get enough zone time."

"The way we shut them down, the momentum, the crowd, it turned to our advantage," Quenneville said. "It was good to see."

James Wisniewski's goal 17 seconds into the third period gave the Hawks some more breathing room.

"You come out at the start of the third period and give up a goal on the first shift; that really took the momentum out of our team," Ruff said.

Senators 3, Thrashers 2 | Video

Home continues to be a tough place for the Thrashers to win. Ottawa made it two wins in two nights when Dean McAmmond broke a 2-2 tie with a breakaway goal 14:23 into the second period, while Atlanta lost for the 12th time in its last 14 games at Philips Arena.

Atlanta has just 33 points, last in the Southeast Division and next-to-last in the overall standings. The Senators are tied with Tampa Bay for 12th in the East with 36 after winning for only the fifth time on the road. They are just 5-14-3 away from Scotiabank Place.

"The spirits are good," coach Craig Hartsburg said. "The guys are battling. Our guys showed a lot of character."

In Ilya Kovalchuk's first game as captain, the Thrashers took a pair of one-goal leads in the first period, only to see Ottawa get even. Todd White beat rookie Brian Elliott from the slot at 5:37 for a power-play goal, but Daniel Alfredsson's power-play goal from the left circle 64 seconds later made it 1-1.

Chris Thorburn's tip-in at 15:28 again put the Thrashers ahead. That lead lasted until 18:09, when Jason Spezza scored on another power play to get the Senators even at 2-2.

"It's definitely a special night in my career, but I wanted to win the game," Kovalchuk said. "The penalties are killing us."

McAmmond scored for the second time in two nights when he took Jarkko Ruutu's pass and beat defenseman Ron Hainsey up ice before putting the puck past Kari Lehtonen.

Elliott, who was in goal for Tuesday's home win against Carolina, stopped 29 shots to hand the Thrashers their fifth loss in six games overall.

"I felt a little shaky in the first period," Elliott said. "I came back pretty strong in the second and third periods. I think the guys saw that and grew confidence in me."

It looks like Elliott will get more playing time after his back-to-back wins. Ottawa general manager Bryan Murray has indicated that he will send Martin Gerber, who's 4-9-1, to the minors for two weeks of conditioning.

"He made some huge saves for us late in the game," Hartsburg said of Elliott, a ninth-round pick in the 2002 Entry Draft. "I thought he looked a little nervous in the beginning, but he got bigger and bigger in the net as the game went on."

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

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