Third-period spurt lifts Stars past Jackets

By wire services
Published December 22, 2005

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Philippe Boucher and Stu Barnes had two goals and the Stars scored three times during the first four minutes of the third for a 5-3 victory over the Blue Jackets on Wednesday.

Trailing 3-2 entering the third, Dallas pulled even 53 seconds in on Boucher's one-timer from just inside the blue line. Barnes was unchecked at the goal mouth to score on his rebound 44 seconds later then scored again at 4:52 when he was all alone for a tap-in from Brendan Morrow. In all, the Stars scored on three of their first five shots in a span of 3:59.

Johan Hedberg stopped 23 shots for the Stars, weathering seven power plays in the first while the Blue Jackets outshot Dallas 12-2. The Stars outshot Columbus 33-14 the final two periods.

"The penalty-kill unit did a great job, and the guys who aren't doing penalty kill did a great job because they're sitting there for about 13 minutes and not getting out there," Barnes said. "When we did get back to five-on-five, we did play well. That's huge to have an effort like that all the way through."

ISLANDERS 4, DEVILS 2: Jason Blake scored in his return from a concussion for host New York. Blake, who missed two games after crashing head-first into the boards Dec.13, had the Islanders' first two shots and made it 1-0 with the second 2:49 in. He stole the puck from defenseman Sean Brown in front of the net and shot it over Martin Brodeur's left pad.

Mike York, who had a goal and two assists, put New York up 2-1 8:04 into the second after defenseman Colin White and forward Erik Rasmussen failed to clear the puck from in front of the net.

PREDATORS 6, BLACKHAWKS 1: Ryan Suter scored his first career goal for visiting Nashville, which has won four in a row. Suter, the seventh overall pick in 2003, rifled a shot over Nikolai Khabibulin's glove to make it 1-0 with 6:38 left in the first. Steve Sullivan made it 3-1 2:10 into the second during a power play on a low drive from the blue line. Vernon Fiddler made it 4-1 5:58 later to chase Khabibulin, who allowed four goals on 11 shots.

KINGS 5, FLAMES 2: Visiting Los Angeles scored four in the third to rally. Mike Cammalleri, who also scored in the second, tied it at 4:28 during a power play by sweeping a low shot past Miikka Kiprusoff. Jeff Giuliano put Los Angeles ahead 27 seconds later when he redirected Tom Kostopoulos' shot from the blue line. It became 4-2 with 6:23 left when Pavol Demitra converted Alexander Frolov's centering pass. And Kostopoulos' empty-netter with 1:01 left sealed it. Pens move closer to arena

PITTSBURGH - The Penguins have partnered with a gambling company in hopes of building a new arena the team says it must have to remain in Pittsburgh.

If Isle of Capri Casinos lands the license expected to be awarded next year for a Pittsburgh slots parlor, it will build a $290-million arena.

It would then turn the arena over to the city-county agency that currently operates Mellon Arena, where the Penguins have played since 1967. The Penguins, who presented a report about moving to Kansas City at the recent owners' meeting, previously planned to pursue the license on their own.

BLUE JACKETS: Defenseman Bryan Berard was put on injured reserve with a sore lower back. Berard, eligible to return Sunday, has six goals, five on the power play, and 13 assists.

FLYERS: Left wing Simon Gagne, who has a team-high 23 goals, is expected to play tonight after missing five games with a groin injury. Rookie center Mike Richards, who sustained a concussion Dec.15, also is expected to return after missing two games.