Thrashers outsoar Wings in wild one

Associated Press
Published December 14, 2005

ATLANTA - The Thrashers have a long way to go on defense, but they know how to score, especially on the power play.

"They have a ton of offensive talent," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said Tuesday after Patrik Stefan scored a late goal to help Thrashers escape with a 7-6 victory over the Red Wings.

The Thrashers showed their scoring potential with four second-period goals. Then they showed how poor their defense can be as the Red Wings rallied from a 6-2 deficit with four goals in the first nine minutes of the third.

The Thrashers recovered thanks to Stefan's second goal of the game with 4:11 left for their first win over Detroit in franchise history. The Red Wings were 7-0 against Atlanta.

"We came back and won the game in the last minutes against a strong team," Stefan said. "I think the most important thing was to stay out of the penalty box. They have a great power play. We scored some big goals on the power play and then they scored some on the power play."

Brendan Shanahan sparked the flurry for Detroit 24 seconds into the third on a 5-on-3 power play.

After Atlanta took a 3-2 lead early in the second, Babcock lifted starting goaltender Jimmy Howard for Chris Osgood. The Thrashers scored three power-play goals in a span of less than two minutes against Osgood to take the big lead.

CANUCKS 3, RANGERS 2: Matt Cooke knocked in a rebound with 4:31 left, snapping a tie in his first game since missing 17 with a broken jaw and lifting visiting Vancouver.

Canucks coach Marc Crawford's only concern in playing Cooke was whether the forward would be able to see well in his first game wearing a full face shield. But when Rangers forward Michael Nylander mishandled the puck in front, Cooke swooped in and smacked it in for his fourth goal and first since Oct. 29 - three days before he was injured in practice.

Also, Canucks goalie Dan Cloutier will miss at least the rest of the regular season with an injury that will require surgery. Cloutier, who played with the Lightning from 1999-2001, partly tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee when Anaheim forward Rob Niedermayer ran into him in the first period of a Nov. 20 game.

PANTHERS 7, PREDATORS 3: Nathan Horton had his first hat trick to help host Florida snap a four-game losing streak. The Panthers spoiled the first NHL start for Predators goalie Brian Finley, who was pressed into duty when scheduled starter Chris Mason pulled a groin in warmups. Florida snapped a 1-1 tie in the second with four straight goals, including Martin Gelinas' power-play goal.

FLYERS 3, BLUE JACKETS 1: Rookie Jeff Carter scored the go-ahead goal early in the second for host Philadelphia, which has won five of its past seven. Also, Blue Jackets forward Sergei Fedorov will not play for Russia in the Olympics. Fedorov, who turned 36 Tuesday, said he needs to recuperate from a nagging injury and to adapt to his new team, which he joined in mid November after being traded from Anaheim.

WILD 4, ISLANDERS 3: Marc Chouinard's power-play goal in the final seconds of the second won for visiting Minnesota. New York forward Jason Blake left on a stretcher in the third after tangling with Wild defenseman Kurtis Foster and crashing headfirst into the boards. He was taken to a hospital and the severity of the injury was not known.

HURRICANES 5, BLACKHAWKS 3: Aaron Ward was awarded the tying goal after a video review early in the second and Matt Cullen put host Carolina ahead about a minute later. Cullen scored again in the third for the Hurricanes, who lead the Southeast Division by three points over the Lightning.

CANADIENS 5, COYOTES 2: Andrei Kostitsyn, called up earlier in the day from Hamilton of the AHL, scored his first NHL goal for host Montreal. With Coyotes coach and Team Canada general manager Wayne Gretzky looking on, Montreal goalie Jose Theodore (27 saves) outplayed another competitor for a spot on Canada's Olympic squad, Curtis Joseph, who stopped 23 shots.

DEVILS 2, OILERS 1 (SO): Viktor Kozlov and Brian Gionta scored in a shootout and Martin Brodeur stopped Jarret Stoll and Ales Hemsky in the tiebreaker for host New Jersey. Edmonton's Ty Conklin had 27 saves in his first appearance since Oct. 21. Former Lightning defenseman Cory Cross tied it for Edmonton in the second.

BLUES 3, PENGUINS 0: Keith Tkachuk and Jamal Mayers each scored their eighth goals of the season and goalie Curtis Sanford made 21 saves for St. Louis, which earned only its third win at home this season and sixth overall, fewest in the Western Conference. Pittsburgh remained at eight wins, fewest in the East.