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Thursday, 21 February 2008 23:55
NHL Headline News

 SCOREBOARD
Friday, Feb. 22
Colorado at Phoenix (9 p.m. EST). The Avalanche have lost five straight.

STARS
Thursday
- Roberto Luongo, Canucks, stopped 49 shots in regulation and three more in the shootout to lead Vancouver past Nashville 3-2.
- Alexander Frolov and Patrick O'Sullivan, Kings. Frolov scored three goals and O'Sullivan had a goal and four assists in a 5-1 victory over St. Louis.
- Ales Kotalik, Sabres, scored twice in Buffalo's 5-1 win at Toronto.
- Evgeni Malkin and Sergei Gonchar, Penguins. Malkin scored his 35th goal midway through the third period and got his second assist on Gonchar's power-play goal moments later to help Pittsburgh beat Montreal 5-4.
- Douglas Murray and Milan Michalek, Sharks, scored 42 seconds apart early in the third period to lift San Jose to a 3-1 win at Philadelphia.
- Rick Nash, Blue Jackets, scored in regulation and in a shootout to help Columbus beat Ottawa 3-2.
- Marco Sturm, Bruins, scored the only goal of the shootout and Boston rallied for a 5-4 win at Florida.

SIMON'S BACK
Chris Simon returned to the New York Islanders' lineup Thursday night after serving his 30-game suspension for stepping on the skate of Pittsburgh's Jarkko Ruutu on Dec. 15. He heard a few cheers and louder boos from the Nassau Coliseum crowd when he first hit the ice and touched the puck.

STREAKS
San Jose halted a five-game losing streak and extended Philadelphia's skid to nine (0-8-1) with a 3-1 victory on Thursday night. ... The New York Islanders increased their winning streak to six games and moved within a point of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference after blanking Tampa Bay 1-0 on Thursday night. The Islanders' last six-game winning streak came from Dec. 21-31, 2003.

SABRE DANCE
Buffalo won for the 10th time in 14 games (10-2-2) after beating Toronto 4-1 on Thursday night. A month ago, the two teams were at the same place in the standings but now the Sabres now are nine points clear of the Leafs.

ROAD WARRIORS
Boston improved to 3-0-1 on its five-game road trip after rallying from a two-goal, third-period deficit to beat Florida 5-4 on Thursday night. The trip ends Saturday at Tampa Bay. ... Pittsburgh won in Montreal for the second time this season after posting a 5-4 victory on Thursday night. The teams split the four-game season series, with the road team winning each time.

FIRST WIN
Columbus earned its first-ever win in Ottawa after defeating the Senators 3-2 in a shootout on Thursday night. The Blue Jackets had two losses and a tie in the Canadian capital since entering the league in 2000-01.

SNAPPED
Tampa Bay's 10-game road run of earning at least one point (7-0-3) came to an end with a 1-0 loss to the New York Islanders on Thursday night.

SOME BREATHING ROOM
Carolina extended its lead in the Southeast Division to four points over second-place Washington and five over third-place Atlanta with a 5-3 win over the Thrashers on Thursday night.

GROUNDED FLYER
Philadelphia's Simon Gagne was advised by a concussion specialist to sit out the rest of the season and take at least a month off before starting light physical exercise, recommendations that have the Flyers hopeful their star forward will be ready to go for the start of next season. Gagne has seven goals and 18 points in 25 games.

BIEKSA BACK
Vancouver recalled defenseman Kevin Bieksa from its AHL affiliate after a one-game conditioning assignment. Bieksa missed 46 games since the skate of Nashville's Vernon Fiddler dug into his right leg as the two got tangled in a corner during a Nov. 1 game. Last season, he was tops among Canucks defensemen with 12 goals and 42 points.

SPEAKING
``Fans pay their hard-earned money to voice their opinions. You can't control that. Chris is a big boy and we're all professional athletes here. You take the good with the bad and unfortunately our fans chose to do that.'' - New York Islanders coach Ted Nolan on the crowd at Nassau Coliseum booing Chris Simon Thursday night after he returned from a 30-game suspension for stepping on the skate of Pittsburgh's Jarkko Ruutu on Dec. 15.
 

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