Monday's National Hockey League Capsules

Nov 6, 2007 - 3:38 AM By PA SportsTicker

MONTREAL 2, BUFFALO 0 ---------------------

MONTREAL (Ticker) -- The Montreal Canadiens managed to salvage a split of their four game homestand thanks to a 2-0 win over the struggling Buffalo Sabres at the Bell Center.

Tomas Plekanec scored in the second period and Bryan Smolinski added an empty net tally with 22 seconds to play in the third for Montreal, which will now head out on a four-game road trip.

Montreal goaltender Cristobal Huet turned aside 29 shots for his first shutout of the season and the 14th of his career.

For the third time in the homestand the Canadiens lacked offensive spark in the first period. The Sabres outshot the Canadiens, 9-1, at the 12-minute mark and the Canadiens had only two shoots on Sabres goalie Ryan Miller with 7:46 left in the opening session.

At the opposite end of the ice, Huet turned away 16 shots to keep the scoresheet blank. Miller easily handled the eight shots the Canadiens did manage to fire his way in the first.

It was a different story in the second session as Montreal turned up the intensity while Buffalo sputtered along with the Sabres getting their first shot on Huet with 9:43 left in the period.

Montreal got on the board when Andrei Markov hit Andrei Kostitsyn with a breakout pass as Kostitsyn sped down the right boards. Breaking over the Buffalo blue line, Kostitsyn pulled the play his way and laid a pass to Plekanec breaking towards Miller from the left.

Plekanec went to his backhand and slipped the puck inside the right post, past the sprawling Sabre netminder for a 1-0 advantage at 13:06.

Huet made four saves in the second period and nine more in the third for his 10th shutout as a Canadien.

Miller finished with 17 saves for Buffalo, which has lost three straight.

CAROLINA 5, WASHINGTON 0 ------------------------

RALEIGH, North Carolina (Ticker) - Cory Stillman scored a natural hat trick in the first 12 minutes and Eric Staal added a pair to lead Carolina to a 5-0 victory.

Goaltender Cam Ward recorded his third career regular-season shutout - all against the Capitals - and fifth overall for the Hurricanes.

Stillman became the second player in franchise history to record a first-period hat trick. Ron Francis had the other in 1985, when the team was in Hartford, Connecticut and the Whalers beat Montreal, 11-6, in Patrick Roy's second game in goal for the Canadiens.

Stillman's first two goals came on the power play en route to his fourth career hat trick. His last occurred on January 5, 2002, against Dallas when he was with St. Louis.

The first goal came when Rod Brind'Amour won a faceoff and sent the puck to Ray Whitney along the left boards, who fired it back to Brind'Amour and over to Stillman on the right side of the goal. Stillman slapped a one-timer past Olaf Kolzig for a 1-0 advantage 4:23 into the contest.

Less than three minutes later, Stillman, who owns an eight-game scoring streak, worked a give-and-go with Whitney and beat Kolzig up the middle.

Stillman's last tally was perhaps the most impressive. On a 2-on-1 break, Erik Cole faked a slap shot from the point and passed to Stillman, who slipped the puck past Kolzig's outstretched right leg as he was flying past the net.

FLORIDA 4, TAMPA BAY 3 ----------------------

SUNRISE, Florida (Ticker) -- David Booth redirected Ruslan Salei's slap shot with less than two minutes remaining as the Panthers downed the Tampa Bay Lightning, 4-3.

At 18:41 of the third period and the game deadlocked at 3-3, Florida center Olli Jokinen worked the puck from the left side over to Salei, who launched a slapper from the right faceoff circle that Booth was able to redirect past Tampa Bay goaltender Johan Holmqvist for the go-ahead goal.

The contest was marred by a violent play at 14:04 of the second period, when Lightning center Nick Tarnasky slammed Panthers defenseman Mike Van Ryn into the boards. While most of the attention centered on Van Ryn, who was visibly shaken on the play, Tarnasky met up with the other Florida defenseman Bryan Allen, who was rushing to Van Ryn's side.

Tarnasky spotted Allen and both players skated around each other. A linesman attempted to break them up, but restricted Allen more than he did Tarnasky, leaving the door open for the Lightning center to strike a defenseless Allen.

PITTSBURGH 5, NEW JERSEY 0 --------------------------

NEWARK, New Jersey (Ticker) -- Dany Sabourin stopped 20 shots for his first NHL shutout and Sidney Crosby scored twice as the Penguins handed the New Jersey Devils their worst home shutout loss in nearly 16 years, 5-0.

Pittsburgh was coming off back-to-back losses in which it squandered two-goal leads. But there was no collapse in the finale of a four-game road trip.

Crosby opened the scoring at 12:09 of the first period, extending his career-best points streak to 13 games. The reigning Hart Trophy winner also capped the scoring just under 3 1/2 minutes into the third, chasing goaltender Martin Brodeur.

In between, Adam Hall, former Devil Petr Sykora and Erik Christensen tallied for the Penguins, who avenged a 5-4 home loss to New Jersey on October 17.

Sabourin wasn't tested much in his third start in four games. The 27-year-old Quebec native did not face a shot over the final 15 minutes, 49 seconds of the second period, then turned aside only six in the third.

NY RANGERS 2, PHILADELPHIA 0 ----------------------------

NEW YORK (Ticker) -- Jaromir Jagr scored with 33 seconds remaining in the first and the Rangers received another solid performance from Henrik Lundqvist in a 2-0 victory over the rival Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden.

Jagr was considered a game-time decision as he tweaked a groin during Saturday's win over the New Jersey Devils. In case Jagr was unable to play, the Rangers recalled Greg Moore from the minors.

Jagr decided against sitting out when he participated in warmups and the Rangers came out hot, firing a season-high 22 shots in the opening period on Philadelphia goaltender Martin Biron.

They finally broke through after Daniel Briere was called for tripping, negating Philadelphia's first power play and creating a 4-on-4 situation.

With more open ice to work with, Jagr took a behind-the-back pass from defenseman Daniel Girardi in the neutral zone, skated in and blasted a wrist shot from above the right circle over Biron's left shoulder and into the top right corner of the net. It was just Jagr's third goal of the season and second on New York's 5-1-0 homestand. He also scored on October 27 against Toronto.

Lundqvist made Jagr's goal stand up as he made 11 saves in the first, stopped 14 more in the second, including Scottie Upshall on a shorthanded breakaway midway through the period. In the final 2 1/2 minutes of the second, he made a blocker save on Joffrey Lupul, a toe stop on Briere and a stick save on Simon Gagne.

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