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Zetterberg, Hasek power Wings past Wild

by John Kreiser
Henrik Zetterberg (L) recorded his second career hat trick in the Detroit Red Wings' 5-0 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Friday night.
Henrik Zetterberg has been great since opening night. Dominik Hasek has had his ups and down. Both were at the top of their game Friday night.
Zetterberg had the second three-goal game of his career and Hasek stopped 19 shots for his 77th career shutout as the Detroit Red Wings rolled to a 5-0 victory over the Minnesota Wild.
Zetterberg has been one of the Wings’ best players from opening night. He has at least one point in 25 of Detroit’s 28 games and has 21 goals and 40 points. The line of Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and Tomas Holmstrom controlled the puck whenever it was on the ice.
"Your best players have to be your best players," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "He and Pav (Datsyuk) come to play every night.
Unlike Zetterberg, Hasek has had his ups and downs this season. But he’s on the upswing, with back-to-back victories after losing three straight starts.
Hasek feels his struggles are over.
"I believe I can continue to play like this," he said. "I can feel it more in my heart and my stomach. I am talking more, you can hear me on the ice. I bang my stick more on the ice, and that's what I need to be doing to keep myself in the game and play on the best level."
Zetterberg gave Detroit a 1-0 lead with 2:17 left in the opening period when he fired a rebound past Josh Harding from the bottom of the left circle.
The Red Wings broke it open with three goals in a span of 4:19 in the second period.
Zetterberg' scored a shorthanded goal at 5:31 to make it 2-0. He picked up a loose puck in front of the Minnesota net, made a move and put a shot past Harding.
Jiri Hudler made it 3-0 just 50 seconds later when he beat Harding on a one-timer from the bottom of the left circle for his seventh goal, while a penalty was being called on the Wild and Hasek on the bench for a sixth attacker. Franzen added a power-play goal at 9:50, when he jammed in a rebound for his second goal.
"In the second, we had a couple of bad breaks," Harding said.
Zetterberg completed the hat trick 41 seconds into the third period on a one-time slap shot from the right circle.
"When you get one, you want to get two. When you get two, you want to get three," he said.

"When you have a chance (for a hat trick), you give it a little extra."
Count Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire among the fans of Zetterberg and his linemates.

"He's just great... that whole line" Lemaire said. "Just look at their stats."
Datsyuk has 11 goals and 34 points; Holmstrom has 13 goals and 27 points.

"Them and that (Sidney) Crosby line (with Pittsburgh), they're right up there," Harding said.

Thrashers 4, Rangers 2 | Video
It won’t make up for last spring’s playoff disaster, but the Thrashers got a little more revenge on the Rangers. Slava Kozlov’s tie-breaking goal with 5:17 left in regulation sparked Atlanta to its second win in as many meetings with the team that swept them out of the playoffs last spring.

The Thrashers followed the playoff loss to the Rangers by losing their first six games this season, costing coach Bob Hartley his job. GM Don Waddell went behind the bench, the Thrashers beat the Rangers in his first game and are 14-7-1 since the change.
Kozlov, who had an assist on the game-tying goal in the second period, shot the puck above the left shoulder of Rangers backup goalie Stephen Valiquette, breaking a 2-2 tie.

"They backed off toward their net, so I waited to get a screen in front of the goal," Kozlov said.
Marian Hossa added an empty-netter with 5.2 seconds remaining. Eric Boulton also scored for Atlanta. Marcel Hossa, Marian’s brother, and Chris Drury scored early in the first period to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead.

Waddell also applauded Kozlov's pass across the ice in front of the net to set up Pascal Dupuis’ tying goal at 5:58 of the second period.

"Kozlov showed experience and made a great play on the second goal," Waddell said. "He made a smart play there and to score the game-winner was a good play coming up the neutral zone. He waited and used the defenseman as a screen."

It was the Rangers’ third straight loss, but coach Tom Renney was much more please with the way his team played.

“We're not happy about the loss at all, naturally, but we played a game that was more in keeping with what we have been up to in the last month or so," Renney said.
Valiquette got his third start of the season in place of Henrik Lundqvist, who allowed four goals in each of his last two starts.
“I’m disappointed because I thought we played a very strong game," Valiquette said. "Everyone hustled and played hard. We played much better than the last couple of games. ... Hockey is humbling sometimes."
Panthers 3, Islanders 0 | Video
Panthers goaltender Tomas Vokoun stopped all 25 shots he faced as Florida snapped a three-game home losing skid with a 3-0 win over the New York Islanders.
Florida ended a three-game home losing streak by playing with the kind of desperation and work ethic the Islanders seem to have lost. Stephen Weiss and Nathan Horton scored on the power play for the Panthers, who had 41 shots and controlled the tempo all night.
Rick DiPietro stopped Weiss on a penalty shot at 6:41 of the second period. But Weiss got even when he beat DiPietro with a screened wrist shot less than two minutes later.
"The same breakaway and the same move and he made the same save, so I was thinking I had to get it up and I just didn't do it," said Weiss, who was also stopped by DiPietro in a shootout last season. "It was nice to get a power play and the chance to get it back."
Horton converted a rebound 3:31 into the third period and Olli Jokinen hit the empty net with 12 seconds left.
Tomas Vokoun stopped 25 shots to beat the Islanders for the fifth time in as many career decisions. He nearly lost his shutout with 1:41 remaining, but video replay ruled that Sean Bergenheim kicked the puck into the net.
“We did the things we said we were going to do," Vokoun said. "We wanted to shoot a lot and we did that. We wanted to play good defensively. It was going to be a tight game. We stayed patient and kept the pressure on in the power play, and that was the difference in the game."
The Islanders lost their fifth straight game and have looked nothing like the team that was among the NHL’s early-season surprises.
"We have to take it upon ourselves, every one of us has got to look in the mirror," Islanders coach Ted Nolan said. "It might sound like a broken record, but the bottom line is we've got to work harder. If you don't work, you're going to have nights like this. Lately we’ve been having more nights like this than not."
DiPietro said the Islanders’ play isn’t at the same level it was when they won nine of their first 13 games.
"We're just playing all right," he said. "We're not playing great hockey right now. We're not playing the kind of hockey we were playing early in the season."
Senators 4, Stars 2
Ottawa has gone from seven straight losses to back-to-back wins. The Senators followed up a run-and-gun win in Florida on Wednesday by shutting down the Stars in Dallas.
Christoph Schubert and Antoine Vermette scored first-period goals, Mike Fisher added a power-play goal in the third period and Ray Emery stopped 23 shots for the Senators, who had allowed four or more goals in seven of their previous eight games. Chris Kelly added an empty-netter with 30 seconds remaining.
"We were strong in the trenches and battled hard," Ottawa coach John Paddock said. "This was the most urgent game we've played in a while."
Ottawa was 0-4-3 before the victory in Florida.
"We kind of got in a lull," said Fisher, who didn’t have a point during the seven-game slide.

"Guys weren't playing as well as we knew we could, myself included. It takes time to get on track. I think we're getting our confidence back."
Niklas Hagman and Mike Ribeiro scored for Dallas, 8-4-0 in its last 12 games.
"We were on our heels most of the night and we couldn't seem to get any momentum," Dallas coach Dave Tippett said.

Sharks 1, Coyotes 0 | Video

Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov is congratulated by teammates Joe Thornton and Craig Rivet after San Jose defeated the Phoenix Coyotes 1-0.
Not only can’t Phoenix beat the Sharks, the Coyotes can’t even score on them. Evgeni Nabokov stopped all 27 shots he faced to shut out Phoenix for the third straight time.

"Incredible goaltending from the first game of the season right up to game 26," Sharks defenseman Craig Rivet said after San Jose’s fourth straight victory. "What can I say? He's been the backbone for us all year. He gives us confidence."
Milan Michalek's goal with 15 seconds left in the second period was the difference in the

Sharks' fifth consecutive road victory.
San Jose improved to 4-0 against Phoenix this season. The Coyotes scored the first goal of the series, and the Sharks have scored the next 16. Nabokov has shut out Phoenix 5-0, 6-0 and now 1-0. The Coyotes have gone just under 231 minutes against the Sharks' goalie without scoring.

This time, the Sharks had to work a lot harder. Phoenix goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov was almost as good as Nabokov, stopping 25 of 26 shots.

"A tough loss to swallow," Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky said, "because we played hard."
Michalek, who scored his ninth goal of the season, took a slick pass from Joe Thornton and beat Bryzgalov with a wrist shot from 10 feet.

"The defenseman kind of screened me. I didn't see the shot," Bryzgalov said. "I just saw the puck when it hit me in the chest and went under my arm into the net."

Avalanche 2, Flyers 1 | Video

Colorado continued its dominance at home as Milan Hedjuk scored with 2.7 seconds left in the second period and Jose Theodore stopped 28 shots.

The Avs struggled at home last season while posting a 22-16-3 record at the Pepsi Center. They won their first six home games this season, and the win over Philadelphia improved their record to 11-3. Their problem has been winning on the road, where they’re just 4-9-1.

"We have to place an emphasis on getting points everywhere, but we want to make sure what we set in place right off the bat is something that we can carry through all year long, and playing well at home is important," Avalanche coach Joel Quenneville said.

Martin Biron had 30 saves and Daniel Briere scored for the Flyers.

Jaroslav Hlinka gave the Avalanche a 1-0 lead at 7:26 of the second period with his fourth goal of the season. He skated into the Flyers zone, and his shot from the right faceoff circle beat Biron just under the crossbar.

"He had very little room to put it there," Biron said. "When a guy takes it inside the post, not much you can do."

The Flyers tied it during a power play late in the second period when Briere beat Theodore at 16:55.

"In the second period we used more composure, started creating more chances and finally we got a goal," Briere said. "In the first period, it was a matter of us not making the smart plays."

Hejduk put Colorado ahead to stay with his 99th career power-play goal. Ryan Smyth’s backhand pass went through Paul Stastny’s legs to Hedjuk, who one-timed a shot over Biron’s right shoulder.

"It was a much-needed power-play goal for us," Hejduk said. "Ryan made a great play. I was open in the slot and fired to the far side high, and it went in."

Ducks 5, Blackhawks 3 | Video

The Ducks' Ryan Getzlaf puts the puck past Blackhawks goalie Nikolai Khabibulin in Anaheim's 5-3 win over Chicago. 
A visit to Chicago was a good way to start a road trip for the Ducks.
Anaheim hasn’t lost to Chicago in regulation since falling 3-1 at the United Center on Nov. 2, 2003. The Blackhawks' only victory over the Ducks since then was a 4-3 shootout decision at Anaheim on Nov. 17, 2006.

Ryan Getzlaf had a goal and two assists, Chris Kunitz scored twice and Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 39 saves as the Ducks improved to 10-0-1 in their last 11 games against Chicago.

After a 4-7-1 start, the Ducks are 10-5-3 in their last 18 games.

''We've obviously had some wake-up calls in the last little while,'' Getzlaf said. ''We need to bear down and play. We were able to do that tonight. We were a team.”

Chicago's Jonathan Toews, the NHL's rookie goal-scoring leader, had his 11th. Patrick Sharp and Robert Lang also scored for the Blackhawks, who lost their third straight. Kunitz tied the game at 2-2 at 7:15 of the second period and Mathieu Schneider out Anaheim ahead to stay at 11:47, beating Nikolai Khabibulin over the glove from the slot.

Getzlaf's breakaway goal at 4:31 of the third period turned out to be the eventual winner.

''I think it's just a matter of our ability to play and stick with the system we've put in place,'' Getzlaf said. ''We weren't thrilled with our first period, but we were able to rally around each other and get some goals in the second and third periods.''
Despite the loss, Chicago coach Denis Savard was pleased with the way his young team matched up against the defending Stanley Cup Champions.

''I liked our desire, our grit, our will,'' Savard said. ''We have to bring it every night. If we do, we'll win lots of games. ... I know where we're at; we're very close. It's consistency we're looking for.''
Blues 4, Oilers 3 | Video

Edmonton’s third-period problems continued, as the Blues scored three times in the final 20 minutes, then held off the Oilers at Rexall Place to improve to 9-2-1 in their last 12 games.
Two nights after they blew a 2-0 lead by allowing four third-period goals to Pittsburgh, they gave up three to the Blues. Brad Boyes got his second of the game during a power play at 3:12 and ex-Oiler Doug Weight scored 54 seconds later to break a 26-game drought.

“I felt like a different player when it went in,” Weight said. “It was a great relief. It’s good to contribute this way.”

Robert Nilsson cut the margin to one when he tapped in Sam Gagner’s pass at 12:16, but Paul Kariya backhanded a loose puck past Mathieu Garon at 14:15 after the Oilers’ defense couldn’t clear the zone.

“The first and fourth goals were in an area that needs to be protected,” Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said. “They ended up winning the scramble, and the puck went into the net.”
Marty Reasoner scored with 39 seconds left in regulation and the Oilers nearly got the tying goal in the final seconds, but defenseman Tom Gilbert’s shot hit the post.

“We fought back hard, but three goals is hard to come back from,” Gilbert said.
Gagner said the Oilers got away from what they had done well in the first two periods.

“We tried to pressure them as much as possible,” he said. “Maybe we got away from that in the third period.”

The victory was a rebound for the Blues, who lost 3-1 in Calgary two nights earlier.

“We deserved to lose in Calgary,” Weight said. “We bounced back with a good effort against a feisty team.”

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