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Senators rally past Isles
Published December 31, 2005
OTTAWA - Bryan Smolinski scored with 1:46 left to give the Senators a 4-3 win over the Islanders on Friday.
Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson scored his 25th goal in the first before leaving with a rib injury in the second.
Trailing 3-1, Ottawa came back on Dany Heatley's 25th goal late in the second and Peter Schaefer's tying goal 4:06 into the third.
Smolinski brought the Corel Centre-record crowd of 20,055 to its feet when he drove in on goalie Garth Snow and beat him for his eighth goal.
New York had injury troubles, too. It lost starting goalie Rick DiPietro and defenseman Alexei Zhitnik. DiPietro was injured during a scramble that led to Alfredsson's goal 6:29 into the game.
Chris Campoli scored with 1:58 left in the period to restore New York's lead, and Snow came up with a pad save on Peter Schaefer's penalty shot with 49 seconds left after the forward was hauled down by Zhitnik on a breakaway.
Then 2:07 into the second, Zhitnik slid backward into the boards and was unable to brace for the impact. He appeared to injure his right shoulder.
The status of him and DiPietro is not known.
Things looked bleak for Ottawa when Jason Blake scored 7:45 into the second to make it 3-1, moments after Alfredsson left the game when he was hit by Zdeno Chara's shot from the point.
Standing in front of Snow, Alfredsson immediately crouched after he was struck on the right side. The right wing stumbled as he struggled to reach Ottawa's bench. He used his stick to right himself then quickly discarded it and both his gloves while making his way directly to the dressing room.
He went to the hospital for X-rays, but his status is unknown.
SABRES 4, THRASHERS 1: Ryan Miller made 34 saves and Chris Drury had a goal and an assist for host Buffalo, which has won 18 of 22 but was coming off Thursday's shootout loss to Toronto. Atlanta's Kari Lehtonen, making his first start since injuring his groin in the first period of the Thrashers' opener, finished with 25 saves.
PANTHERS 2, CANADIENS 1: Joe Nieuwendyk scored twice and Roberto Luongo stopped Alex Kovalev's penalty shot with 2:57 left. The Panthers are unbeaten at home in regulation in their past six games (5-0-1), and have 12 of their 15 wins at home. Kovalev was awarded a penalty shot after being hooked by Lukas Krajicek on a breakaway. Luongo, who stopped 27 shots, has not allowed a goal onnine penalty shots he has faced in his career. Montreal's Jose Theodore had 28 saves in his second game back after missing four with a knee injury.
BLUE JACKETS 3, BLACKHAWKS 2: Rick Nash and Nikolai Zherdev had a goal and an assist in visiting Columbus' third consecutive win. The Blue Jackets scored all of their goals in the first. Dan Fritsche started at 2:59 when he slipped free from defenseman Jaroslav Spacek and redirected Geoff Platt's centering pass past Craig Anderson's glove side. Zherdev made it 2-0 at 8:44 after taking a pass from Nash and finishing a two-on-one. After a faceoff in the Chicago zone, defenseman Jim Vandermeer lost the puck to Zherdev, who fed Nash at the side of the net with 6:58 left.
COYOTES: Center Pascal Rheaume, acquired from New Jersey earlier this season, was recalled from San Antonio. Rheaume, 32, who was part of New Jersey's 2003 Cup team, replaces defenseman Derek Morris, who was placed on the injured list with a sprained ankle sustained Wednesday against San Jose.
SABRES: Center Daniel Briere was diagnosed with a hernia and will have surgery next week. Briere, expected to be out until April, has 14 goals and 23 points in 24 games.
TRADE: The Blackhawks acquired right wing Radim Vrbata from the Hurricanes for future considerations. In 16 games, Vrbata, 24, two goals and three assists.