Wild Finally Lose in Regulation

Thursday, October 25th 2007, 8:18 am
By: News On 6

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) _ Alex Tanguay and the Calgary Flames sent the Minnesota wild home empty-handed for the first time this season.

Tanguay scored the tying and go-ahead goals, and the Flames handed the Wild their first regulation loss in nine games, winning 5-3 on Wednesday night.

Minnesota earned 15 of 16 available points in its first eight games, winning seven times and dropping a shootout decision at Los Angeles. The Wild lost after leading 3-0 midway through the first period.

``This brings you back down to earth quick,'' the Wild's Mark Parrish said. ``It's a humbling game, it really is. Just when you think you have everything figured out, something like that comes along and bites you.''

Tanguay, who turned over the puck on the power play Monday night in a 4-1 loss to the Sharks, gave Calgary the lead at 3:46 of the third, and Robyn Regehr added a goal at 8:03.

``I wasn't happy about Monday, I gave (San Jose) a goal that shifted the game's momentum,'' said Tanguay, whose goals were his first in 18 games dating to last season. ``Tonight, we were skating and Iggy and Daymond (Langkow) were playing great. When we're skating, we're first on the puck and with their skill level, it's easy to make plays.''

In other NHL games Wednesday night, it was: Washington 5, Tampa Bay 3; Carolina 6, Buffalo 2; Florida 4, Philadelphia 3; and Detroit 3, Vancouver 2.

At Calgary, Alberta, Brian Rolston and Parrish scored power-play goals for Minnesota in a 2:04 span early in the first period, and Wes Walz made it 3-0 at 9:41.

Jarome Iginla and Dion Phaneuf got the comeback started with power-play goals in the second, and Tanguay tied it in the period with his first goal of the season.

On Tanguay's the go-ahead goal, goalie Niklas Backstrom shoveled the puck behind his net for Nick Schultz, but it bounced over the defenseman's stick. Iginla corralled the puck and zipped a pass out to Adrian Aucoin, whose slap shot was deflected in by Tanguay.

``It was huge for us to stay positive because it's easy to start saying 'Here we go again' when everything's going wrong, especially against who we were playing,'' Iginla said. ``We just tried to get the next goal. We threw the first period out, we threw the last game out, and that's not easy to do.''

Wild coach Jacques Lemaire said he could feel the momentum shift.

``The game changed after that,'' Lemaire said. ``We weren't as disciplined, we weren't as sharp, we stopped doing the good things that got us the lead that we had. You could see it coming.''

Miikka Kiprusoff had 16 saves for the Flames.

After falling behind early, Calgary's penalty-killers rebounded nicely, holding the Wild scoreless on their final seven power plays, including three in the third period.

``We just didn't have that little extra that we had in the first period _ battle to get the puck out or battle to get the puck in or win the 1-on-1 battles, those all went Calgary's way, which tends to happen to the team working the most,'' Parrish said.

Backstrom finished with 19 saves. The second-year goalie began the night second in the NHL in goals-against average (1.48) and wins (5), and third in save percentage (.943).

Capitals 5, Lightning 3

Chris Clark scored his first two goals after moving up to Alex Ovechkin's line, and host Washington's juggled lineup produced the team's biggest scoring output of the season.

Ovechkin had two assists and an empty-net goal to help the Capitals end a four-game losing streak. David Steckel added his first career goal, and Brooks Laich also scored for Washington. Jason Ward, Paul Ranger and Martin St. Louis scored for Tampa Bay.

Hurricanes 6, Sabres 2

Eric Staal, Jeff Hamilton, Cory Stillman and Bret Hedican scored third-period goals for host Carolina in the Hurricanes' first victory over Buffalo since Game 7 of the 2006 Eastern Conference finals.

Rod Brind'Amour and Ray Whitney added goals for Carolina, and Cam Ward made 19 saves to improve to 6-0 this season. Jason Pominville scored twice for Buffalo.Panthers 4, Flyers 3

At Sunrise, Fla., Olli Jokinen scored twice to break Scott Mellanby's Florida career goals and points records. Jokinen's first goal was his 355th point with the Panthers and his second goal was his 158th.

Gregory Campbell also had two goals, and Tomas Vokoun stopped 20 shots for the Panthers. Joffrey Lupul, Jeff Carter and Lasse Kukkonen scored for Philadelphia.

Red Wings 3, Canucks 2

Tomas Holmstrom scored his sixth and seven goals of the season, and Matt Ellis also had a goal for host Detroit.

Brian Rafalski added two assists, and Dominik Hasek made 13 saves for the Red Wings. Matt Cooke and Daniel Sedin scored for Vancouver.