Sabres, Stars and Ducks All Lose at Home
Thursday, November 16th 2006, 6:23 am
News On 6
Home had been where the wins were for Buffalo, Dallas and Anaheim until a topsy-turvy night in the NHL changed all that. The Sabres, Stars and Ducks all were beaten Wednesday by teams that, so far, have been also-rans.
Buffalo fell 4-2 to the Ottawa Senators, who are languishing in fourth place in the Northeast Division and trying to find their way. Dallas lost 3-0 to the New York Islanders, the third-place team in the Atlantic that is two games into a five-game road trip.
And the biggest surprise of all was the beating Jean-Sebastien Giguere and the Anaheim Ducks took from the league-worst Philadelphia Flyers, who carried a six-game losing streak to California. The Flyers surged to a 7-4 victory and sent Giguere to the bench before the first period was over.
Entering play Wednesday, the Sabres had just one regulation loss in Buffalo _ the same amount the Stars suffered in Dallas. The Ducks were even better, sporting a perfect regulation record in Anaheim with eight wins and three overtime defeats.
Daniel Briere and Thomas Vanek scored for the Sabres, who had their four-game winning streak snapped. Buffalo (15-2-1) lost for only the second time in regulation.
``They're a good team, let's not forget that,'' defenseman Brian Campbell said. ``We didn't want to let them off the hook, but it happened.''
In other games, it was: Carolina 2, the New York Rangers 1; Boston 3, Washington 2 in a shootout; Montreal 3, Tampa Bay 1; Nashville 5, Columbus 4; and San Jose 4, Colorado 3.
Chris Neil and Jason Spezza had power-play goals, and Chris Phillips also scored for the Senators. Peter Schaefer had the biggest goal when he snapped a 2-2 tie with 7:11 left.
The win was just the second in nine games for the Senators, who also snapped a two-game losing streak and won for only the second time in nine games. The defending Northeast Division champs came in with the third-fewest points in the Eastern Conference.
``We're not playing beautiful hockey ... we're just trying to find a way to win like we did today,'' captain Daniel Alfredsson said. ``It's one game, but it's a very big game for us.''
The same can be said for the Islanders, who came off a five-day break following a win at Philadelphia and dominated the Stars in their first matchup since February 2004.
Rick DiPietro stopped 35 shots to register his first shutout of the season and seventh of his career and Mike York, Jason Blake and Trent Hunter scored for New York.
``DiPietro showed he's one of the best goalies in the league,'' Stars center Mike Modano said.
After a three-game losing streak at the start of the season out West, the Islanders _ under new coach Ted Nolan _ are 8-3-2.
``We're trying to build an identity,'' Nolan said.
Marty Turco made 19 saves for Dallas. Despite the loss, the Stars (12-5) are off to their fourth-best, 17-game start in franchise history.
``We've had our chances,'' Stars forward Eric Lindros said. ``The hockey gods haven't been with us but we'll keep working and force the luck back our way.''
Peter Forsberg returned to the Philadelphia lineup with a goal and an assist, and the Flyers scored on five of 11 shots against Giguere to snap a franchise record-tying six-game losing streak.
``We were happy to get away with a win. We haven't won in a long time, so it was great,'' Forsberg said. ``It's great for our confidence. But we have been playing better lately than we did at the beginning of the year.''
Sami Kapanen scored the first of his two goals during Philadelphia's first-period barrage, which drove Giguere to the bench with 3:34 left in the period. Giguere entered the game 10-0-4 with a 1.98 goals-against average.
Mike Knuble, Simon Gagne and Geoff Sanderson each had a goal and an assist for the Flyers (4-12-2). Forsberg had missed two games while being fitted for a brace to help his troublesome right ankle.
The Flyers have had three other six-game losing streaks, most recently Jan. 25-Feb. 5, 1994. They are 3-6-1 since John Stevens replaced Ken Hitchcock as coach.
Andy McDonald and Dustin Penner had power-play goals for the Ducks, who have lost two of three since setting an NHL record with points in their first 16 games.
Hurricanes 2, Rangers 1
Rod Brind'Amour scored the tiebreaking goal with 6:05 left in the third period to lift host Carolina. Cam Ward stopped 23 shots and Craig Adams also scored for the Hurricanes.
Jaromir Jagr scored the 599th goal of his career, and Kevin Weekes made 22 saves for the Rangers.
Bruins 3, Capitals 2, SO
Patrice Bergeron scored the only goal in the shootout to lift visiting Boston. After Bergeron beat Olie Kolzig, Tim Thomas snuffed a shot by Matt Pettinger to secure the victory.
Thomas stopped 33 shots for the Bruins, who got first-period goals from Phil Kessel and Brad Stuart.
Dainius Zubrus scored his 12th goal and Pettinger had a short-handed tally for the Capitals.
Canadiens 3, Lightning 1
Sheldon Souray scored a pair of power-play goals, helping visiting Montreal. Saku Koivu recorded his 335th assist with the Canadiens, tying him for 16th on the franchise's career list.
Vinny Prospal scored for Tampa Bay.
Predators 5, Blue Jackets 4
David Legwand had two goals and an assist, and Nashville ruined the debut of Columbus interim coach Gary Agnew.
J.P. Dumont, Vernon Fiddler and Scott Nichol also scored for the Predators, who have won seven of eight overall and eight of nine on the road.
Rick Nash scored twice and Fredrik Modin had a goal and an assist for Columbus, which has lost four of five.
Sharks 4, Avalanche 3
Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau scored power-play goals 17 seconds apart in the third period and Evgeni Nabokov stopped 40 shots for visiting San Jose.
The teams combined for five goals in an 8:18 span of the third period before the Avalanche dropped their fourth straight.
The Sharks lost star forward Jonathan Cheechoo in the second period to a left leg injury.