|Nabokov blanks Coyotes again; Hasek, Vokoun also have shutouts, and Devils win 9th straight|
|Written by Admin|
|Saturday, 08 December 2007 02:00|
Detroit's Dominik Hasek and Florida's Tomas Vokoun also had shutouts Friday night, and Martin Brodeur helped the New Jersey Devils to their ninth straight victory.
Nabokov, the only goalie to start all of his team's games, stopped 27 shots for his fourth shutout of the season and Milan Michalek had the only goal in the Sharks' 1-0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes. San Jose won its fourth straight overall and fifth in a row on the road.
``Incredible goaltending from the first game of the season right up to game 26,'' Sharks defenseman Craig Rivet said. ``What can I say? He's been the backbone for us all year. He gives us confidence.''
The shutout was Nabokov's 38th of his career, moving him into a tie for fourth with Buffalo's Jocelyn Thibault among active goalies.
Hasek stopped 19 shots for his 77th shutout in the Red Wings' 5-0 victory over Minnesota, Vokoun had 25 saves as the Panthers snapped a three-game skid with a 3-0 win over the New York Islanders, and Brodeur made 23 saves to lead the Devils to a 3-2 victory over Washington.
In the other games, it was: Atlanta 4, the New York Rangers 2; Anaheim 5, Chicago 3, Ottawa 4, Dallas 2; St. Louis 4, Edmonton 3; and Colorado 2, Philadelphia 1.
San Jose improved to 4-0 against Phoenix this season. The Coyotes scored the first goal of the series, and the Sharks have scored the next 16. Nabokov has shut out Phoenix 5-0, 6-0 and now 1-0, holding the Coyotes scoreless for nearly 231 minutes.
Ilya Bryzgalov nearly matched Nabokov's performance, stopping 25 shots for the Coyotes. He withstood a barrage of 12 San Jose shots in the first period, many of them from close range.
``We take pride in our defense,'' Bryzgalov said. ``I try not to pay attention to those stats right now. We'll take it a game at a time because that's what matters.''
Michalek, who scored his ninth goal of the season, slipped a wrist shot past Bryzgalov in the second period from about 10 yards in front of the net, with a slick assist from Joe Thornton.
At Detroit, Henrik Zetterberg had his second career hat trick and Johan Franzen and Jiri Hudler also scored to help Hasek get his second straight win after losing three consecutive starts.
``I believe I can continue to play like this,'' Hasek said. ``I can feel it more in my heart and my stomach. I am talking more, you can hear me on the ice. I bang my stick more on the ice and that's what I need to be doing to keep myself in the game and play on the best level.''
Pavel Datsyuk added three assists in the Red Wings' fifth straight win.
Stephen Weiss and Nathan Horton scored power-play goals for Florida, and Olli Jokinen added an empty-netter with 12 seconds left to hand the visiting Islanders their fifth straight loss.
Vokoun got his second shutout of the season two nights after he was pulled after giving up two goals in the first 7:10 of the Panthers' 5-4 loss to Ottawa.
``We did the things we said we were going to do,'' Vokoun said. ``We wanted to shoot a lot and we did that. We wanted to play good defensively. It was going to be a tight game. We stayed patient and kept the pressure on in the power play and that was the difference in the game.''
Vitaly Vishnevski and Dainius Zubrus scored 4:15 apart in the first period, and Travis Zajac scored the game-winner in the third to help New Jersey match the third-best winning streak in franchise history. Now, the Devils are two wins away from tying their second-best streak and four from matching the record.
New Jersey swept a five-game homestand to improve to 8-4 at the new Prudential Center.
``It takes a while to build up a home-ice advantage,'' Elias said. ``I'm glad we've done as good of a job as we did.''
Alexander Semin and Brooks Laich scored for the Capitals, who have an NHL-worst 20 points.
Thrashers 4, Rangers 2
Slava Kozlov's slap shot from beyond the left circle with about 5 minutes left lifted host Atlanta to the win.
Eric Boulton, Pascal Dupuis and Marian Hossa also scored for the Thrashers, and Johan Hedberg stopped 30 shots.
Marcel Hossa and Chris Drury scored for the Rangers, who lost their third straight.
Senators 4, Stars 2
Christoph Schubert and Antoine Vermette scored first-period goals, and Mike Fisher added a power-play goal in the third period to lead visiting Ottawa.
Ray Emery stopped 23 shots in an improved defensive effort for the Senators, who had allowed four or more goals in seven of their previous eight games.
Mike Ribeiro scored his 12th goal of the season and Niklas Hagman registered his 11th goal on a power play for Dallas.
Ducks 5, Blackhawks 3
Ryan Getzlaf had a goal and two assists, and Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 39 saves for visiting Anaheim.
Chris Kunitz added two goals - including an empty-netter - and Corey Perry and Mathieu Schneider also scored for the Ducks, who improved to 10-0-1 against Chicago.
Chicago's Jonathan Toews, the NHL's rookie goal-scoring leader, netted his 11th. Patrick Sharp and Robert Lang also scored for the Blackhawks, who lost their third straight.
Avalanche 2, Flyers 1
Jose Theodore made 28 saves and Milan Hejduk scored a power-play goal with 2.7 seconds left in the second period for host Colorado. Jaroslav Hlinka gave the Avalanche a 1-0 lead with his fourth goal of the season at the 6:26 mark of the second period.
Martin Biron had 30 saves and Daniel Briere scored for the Flyers.
Blues 4, Oilers 3
Brad Boyes had two goals, and Doug Weight and Paul Kariya also scored for visiting St. Louis, which improved to 9-2-1 in its last 12 games.
Shawn Horcoff, Robert Nilsson and Marty Reasoner had the goals for Edmonton, which lost its second straight.