Sun, Jan 28, 2007 - Page 22 News List

Fritsche scores winner as Blue Jackets blunt Sabres

AP , COLUMBUS, OHIO

The Carolina Hurricanes' Scott Walker, right, and the Washington Capitals' Chris Clark fight during the second period of their NHL hockey game in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Friday.

PHOTO: AP

Dan Fritsche jammed in a rebound on the second try midway through the third period for the decisive goal in the Columbus Blue Jackets' 3-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres in the NHL on Friday.

The Blue Jackets came into the third period trailing 2-1.

Manny Malhotra centered a pass to Rostislav Klesla, who was trailing the play, for a high shot that eluded Buffalo goaltender Ryan Miller and tied the score at 5:22 of the third period.

Columbus then took the lead when Manny Malhotra's pass was deflected but ended up on the stick of Jason Chimera. Chimera's shot was stopped by Miller, but Fritsche was at the goal mouth to jam at it for his 10th goal.

Chris Drury had both Buffalo goals, with Daniel Briere, just back from being named MVP of the All-Star game, adding two assists.

Hurricanes 6, Capitals 2

At Raleigh, North Carolina, Justin Williams had two goals and an assist to lead Carolina.

Ray Whitney had a goal and three assists, and Rod Brind'Amour, Cory Stillman and Eric Staal also scored. The Hurricanes scored three goals in the second period and outshot the Capitals 41-26.

Alexander Ovechkin scored his team-leading 30th goal and Chris Clark added a goal on a deflection for Washington, which has lost five of six and is one point ahead of last-place Florida in the Southeast Division.

Thrashers 5, Islanders 4, OT

At Atlanta, Ilya Kovalchuk scored his second goal of the game with 2:01 left in overtime, giving Atlanta a victory after it squandered an early three-goal lead.

Kovalchuk took a pass from Marian Hossa, sped across the blue line and beat Mike Dunham with a shot just inside the far post.

Kovalchuk, who has 26 goals on the season, also scored during a first-period spurt that led the Islanders to yank starting goalie Rick DiPietro before the game was six minutes old.

But New York kept coming back, rallying to tie the game at 3 in the second period and bouncing back again to force overtime after Hossa put Atlanta back in front with a goal 19 seconds into the third.

Devils 2, Lightning 0

At Tampa, Florida, Martin Brodeur made 28 saves, extending his NHL record for consecutive 30-win seasons to 11, to record his NHL-best ninth shutout this season and the 89th of his career.

Brian Gionta and Jay Pandolfo scored for the Devils, who are 11-2-1 over the last 14 games.

Tampa Bay goalie Johan Holmqvist stopped 23 shots as the Lightning lost for just the second time in nine games.

Gionta put New Jersey ahead 1-0 with 50.5 seconds left in the first. He scored from just outside the crease off a pass from behind the net by Scott Gomez.

Pandolfo made it 2-0 with an empty net goal with 42.5 seconds left.

Blues 2, Red Wings 1, OT

At St Louis, Bill Guerin scored 1:09 into overtime to lift St Louis over Detroit.

Guerin scored his team-leading 21st goal as he gathered a rebound off the pads of Detroit goalie Chris Osgood.

Ryan Johnson returned to the ice after sitting out 12 games with a separated shoulder and notched his fifth goal of the season eight minutes into the second period to put St Louis ahead 1-0.

The lead lasted 1:56 before Detroit's Johan Franzen tied the score. St Louis defensemen Jamie Rivers and Dennis Wideman went to clear the puck just in front of the net only to hit sticks and leave the puck for Franzen, who beat Manny Legace for his sixth goal.

Wild 2, Flames 1, SO

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