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Thursday, 13 March 2008 23:48
NHL Headline News

 SCOREBOARD
Friday, March 14
St. Louis at San Jose (10:30 p.m. EDT). The Sharks go for the first 11-game winning streak in team history.

STARS
Thursday
-Ilya Kovalchuk and Bobby Holik, Thrashers. Kovalchuk scored three times and set up Holik's tiebreaking tally with 3:47 left and Atlanta rallied to beat Calgary 6-4.
-Pavel Datsyuk, Red Wings, had two goals and an assist to lead Detroit to a 5-3 victory over Dallas.
-Jason Spezza and Martin Gerber, Senators. Spezza scored a pair of power-play goals and Gerber stopped 28 shots to help Ottawa top Montreal 3-0.
-Alexander Frolov, Kings, scored twice in Los Angeles' 4-1 win at Nashville.
-Jamie Langenbrunner, Devils, scored the only goal of the shootout to give New Jersey a 4-3 win at Minnesota.
-Mike Smith, Lightning, stopped 35 shots and Tampa Bay beat Boston 3-1.

THEY'RE IN
Detroit became the first team this season to clinch a playoff berth after beating Dallas 5-3 on Thursday night. It was the fifth straight win for NHL-leading Red Wings, who reached 100 points for an league-record tying eighth-straight season. Montreal had 100-point seasons from 1975-82.

BACK ON TOP
Colorado has won eight of nine, including five straight at home, and took sole possession of first place in the Northwest Division for the first time since Dec. 18 by defeating Edmonton 5-1 on Thursday night. ... New Jersey regained first place in the Eastern Conference standings after outlasting Minnesota 4-3 in a shootout. The Devils upped their point total to 88, one more than idle Pittsburgh.

FLICKERING
Calgary blew leads of 3-0 and 4-2 and lost for the third time in four games, 6-4 at Atlanta on Thursday night. The Flames dropped into a second-place tie in the Northwest Division, two points behind Colorado, which beat Edmonton 5-1 on Thursday.

DOMINATION
Colorado's Peter Budaj improved to 5-0 against Edmonton this season and 9-1-2 in 12 career appearances against the Oilers after a 2-0 win on Thursday night.

INCHING CLOSER
Phoenix moved within three points of Vancouver for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference with Thursday night's 2-0 victory over the Canucks.

ONE-SIDED SERIES
Ottawa beat Montreal for the fifth time in six meetings with its 3-0 victory on Thursday night. Both teams have 87 points with 10 games remaining, but the Senators have one more victory to claim first place in the Northeast Division.

SIDELINED
Nathan Paetsch is out indefinitely with a concussion, leaving Buffalo's depleted defense down a third player in the midst of their final playoff push. He was leveled by a vicious elbow from Pittsburgh's Georges Laraque during the Sabres' 7-3 loss Wednesday night. ... Vancouver defenseman Mattias Ohlund will miss the rest of the regular season after having surgery Thursday to remove bone chips from his left knee. ... Ryan Smyth (concussion) and Peter Forsberg (groin) were both kept out of the Colorado's lineup Thursday night against Edmonton.

SPEAKING
``It could have been very easy to just kind of call it a year and not work hard. We know our playoff chances are over but we want to prove to ourselves and the guys who are going to be here next year we're not going to accept another losing season again.'' - Tampa Bay defenseman Dan Boyle after the Eastern Conference-worst Lightning beat playoff hopeful Boston 3-1 on Thursday night.
 

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