Chris Chelios took the ice and received a standing ovation - for being old.
At 45 years and 348 days, Chelios became the second-oldest player to appear in an NHL game in the Detroit Red Wings' 1-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche. When the milestone was announced during the first period, Chelios jokingly grabbed his back.
``I wouldn't say celebrate,'' Chelios said of the accomplishment. ``I guess it's something to be pretty proud of. I guess I'm the oldest American-born ever to play.''
Chelios passed Moe Roberts, who played for the Chicago Blackhawks on Nov. 25, 1951, at 45 years, 347 days old. Only former Red Wings star Gordie Howe, who was 52 years, six days old before he retired in 1980 with the Hartford Whalers, played at an older age than Chelios.
``I had to smile when they announced it,'' Colorado coach Joel Quenneville said. ``He grabbed his back like an old-timer. I give him credit for that.''
Not to be outdone by his ``elderly'' teammate, 42-year-old Dominik Hasek made 19 saves for his second consecutive shutout, and 79th of his career.
``It was a good night for the old guys,'' said defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom, a relatively young 37.
In other NHL games, it was: New Jersey 2, Buffalo 1 in a shootout; Carolina 1, Boston 0; Philadelphia 4, Atlanta 1; Pittsburgh 3, Florida 1; Montreal 4, Chicago 3 in overtime; Tampa Bay 5, New York Rangers 3; St. Louis 6, Columbus 1; Phoenix 3, Calgary 1; Nashville 7, Los Angeles 0; and Vancouver 3, New York Islanders 2 in a shootout.
At Detroit, Pavel Datsyuk scored the lone goal for the Red Wings, who have won 18 of their last 21. Datsyuk, Lidstrom and Henrik Zetterberg were all chosen to start the All-Star game on Jan. 27 in Atlanta.
``Anytime you get a shutout, you have to thank your teammates,'' said Hasek, who hasn't allowed a goal in nearly 135 minutes. ``To get a shutout, of course everybody must play well. And when you hold the other team under 20 shots, it's obvious that you have played well.''
Chelios, a native of Chicago in his 24th season, said that being on a winning team, having great teammates and appreciative fans are the biggest reasons for his longevity. When the Red Wings acquired Chelios from the Blackhawks late in the 1998-99 season, he was one of Detroit fans' most despised opposing players. He has since become a crowd favorite.
Chelios even came to the aid of Lidstrom late in the first period after the captain was crosschecked by Colorado's Cody McCormick after a stoppage in play. Chelios received a two-minute roughing penalty and McCormick, 24, got two minutes for slashing.
``That's just Cheli in a nutshell,'' Lidstrom said. ``Stepping up for his teammates.''
Devils 2, Sabres 1, SO
At Newark, N.J., Brian Gionta and Patrik Elias scored in the shootout for New Jersey.
The first two shooters, Clarke MacArthur for Buffalo and Zach Parise for New Jersey missed. Ales Kotalik beat Martin Brodeur with a backhander before Gionta countered.
The skidding Sabres dropped their seventh straight. It's Buffalo's worst slump since a seven-game losing streak Dec. 4-19, 2003.
Hurricanes 1, Bruins 0
At Boston, Cam Ward stopped 19 shots for his third shutout of the season and Eric Staal scored.
The win was just the third in eight games for Carolina, which played its second straight 1-0 game after losing in St. Louis on Saturday. It was the Hurricanes' first 1-0 victory of the season.
Flyers 4, Thrashers 1
At Atlanta, Jeff Carter scored two goals within a span of 13 seconds in the second period and the Flyers beat the Thrashers for the eighth straight game.
Scott Hartnell added the 100th goal of his career with 1 second left in the period for a 4-1 lead.
Ilya Kovalchuk's league-leading 35th goal midway through the opening period gave the Thrashers a 1-0 lead.
Penguins 3, Panthers 1
At Sunrise, Fla., Ty Conklin made 27 saves to remain unbeaten in eight starts this season, and the Penguins extended their longest winning streak in nine years to seven games.
The game was scoreless until midway through the second period, when the Penguins scored three times in 3:06 on goals by Sidney Crosby, Petr Sykora and Georges Laraque.
Gregory Campbell scored for Florida.
Canadiens 4, Blackhawks 3, OT
At Montreal, Guillaume Latendresse scored 3:18 into overtime to give the Canadiens a victory over the Blackhawks and their first home overtime win this season.
Andrei Markov, Saku Koivu and Patrice Brisebois all scored for the Canadiens.
Robert Lang and Kris Versteeg scored 18 seconds apart in the second period to give Chicago a 3-2 lead. Jack Skille added his first career goal for the Blackhawks.
Lightning 5, Rangers 3
At New York, Chris Gratton broke out of a long scoring slump with two goals and an assist, and Tampa Bay snapped a seven-game losing streak.
The Lightning had gone 0-5-2 following a win over Toronto on Dec. 20 that ended a 1-4-1 skid. Tampa Bay is last in the Eastern Conference with 37 points, and only Los Angeles has fewer in the NHL.
Defenseman Doug Janik and Vaclav Prospal also scored for the Lightning, who led 4-1 late in the second period before they nearly gave it away with a series of penalties.
Martin St. Louis added an empty-net goal with 2.4 seconds left.
Jaromir Jagr, Scott Gomez and Michal Rozsival scored for New York.
Blues 6, Blue Jackets 1
At St. Louis, Andy McDonald scored twice and had an assist to lead the Blues.
The Blues, who last scored six goals in a 6-2 win over Anaheim on Jan. 16, 2007, got another strong game from goalie Manny Legace. He hadn't allowed a goal in a team-record 187 minutes and 39 seconds before Rick Nash took a pass from Joakim Lindstrom and beat Legace for his 22nd goal.
David Backes, Keith Tkachuk, David Perron and Dan Hinote also scored for St. Louis.
Coyotes 3, Flames 1
At Calgary, Alberta, Ilya Bryzgalov made 30 saves and the Coyotes extended their winning streak to five games with a victory over the Flames.
Daniel Winnik, Joel Perrault and Keith Yandle each scored in the second period and the Coyotes won in Wayne Gretzky's 200th game as an NHL coach.
Alex Tanguay scored the lone goal for Calgary.
Predators 7, Kings 0
At Los Angeles, Chris Mason earned his 10th NHL shutout with 28 saves, and Darcy Hordichuk snapped a 64-game goal-scoring drought.
J.P. Dumont's power-play goal in the third period extended his goal-scoring streak to six games.
Canucks 3, Islanders 2, SO
At Vancouver, British Columbia, Alex Edler scored the winning goal in the sixth round of the shootout.
Markus Naslund and Daniel Sedin scored in regulation for the Canucks, who outshot the Islanders 45-28. Bill Guerin and Blake Comeau had goals for the Islanders.

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