Atlanta shuts out Nashville for first home win of season


ATLANTA, Reuters

Milan Hnilicka stopped 37 shots for his first career shutout and Yannick Tremblay scored the game’s only goal as the Atlanta Thrashers blanked the Nashville Predators, 1-0, for their first home win of the season on Wednesday.

Late in the second period, Tremblay grabbed control of a clearing attempt and fired a low wrist shot that deflected off the skate of Predators defenseman Cale Hulse. Goaltender Tomas Vokoun had no chance to stop the shot, and Tremblay had a gift on his 25th birthday.

Hnilicka improved to 3 2-2 with a 2.44 goals-against average and a save percentage over .900.

Vokoun entered with slightly better numbers at 2.14 and .924. He stopped 22 shots, including six in the third period, but fell to 3-4 3.

In Raleigh, North Carolina, Marcus Nilson scored twice and rookie Denis Shvidki added his first NHL goal as the Florida Panthers matched their season win total with a 4-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes.

Nilson capped a three-goal second period and hit an empty net for his first career multi-goal game.

Shvidki scored 79 seconds before Nilson’s first goal in the second period, ending a 14 game drought.

The Panthers’ Trevor Kidd made 22 saves against his former team.

In Detroit, Mathieu Dandenault scored his first two goals of the season and nearly had a hat trick as the surging Detroit Red Wings ended rookie goaltender Evgeni Nabokov’s 11-game unbeaten streak with a 4-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks.

Brendan Shanahan added a goal and an assist and rookie Jiri Fischer collected a pair of assists for the Red Wings, who stretched their unbeaten streak to four games (3-0-1) and are 8-2-1 in the last 11 contests.

Vincent Damphousse scored the lone goal for San Jose, which lost for only the second time in its last 13 games.

In St. Paul, Minnesota, Theo Fleury had a goal and an assist during a fast-paced second period as the New York Rangers got back on the winning track with a 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild.

A bust in 1999-00, his first season with New York, Fleury took over the league lead with his 14th goal, scoring shorthanded with 405 left in the second to tie it at 1 1.

The Rangers exploded for three goals in a span of 209 to grab a 3-1 lead. Petr Nedved and Brian Leetch scored 52 seconds apart.

Kai Nurmimen and Lubomir Sekeras scored for the Wild.

In Toronto, Mark Recchi scored 306 into overtime as the Philadelphia Flyers snapped the Toronto Maple Leafs’ four-game home unbeaten streak with a 2-1 victory.

Sidelined since October 21 with complications from a concussion, Recchi converted a short pass from Keith Primeau with 94 seconds left in the extra session.

Rookie Roman Cechmanek stopped 30 shots and continued his outstanding play for the Flyers. The 29 year-old is 4-1-1 for a team that is just 7-7-4.

In Anaheim, California, Patrick Roy made 41 saves for his 50th career shutout and Joe Sakic continued his torrid play with a goal and assist as Colorado extended its unbeaten streak to six games with a 3-0 blanking of slumping Anaheim.

Roy stopped 14 shots in each of the first two periods before turning aside all 15 in the third for his second shutout of the season.

Milan Hejduk also tallied for the Avalanche, who continued the best start in franchise history by improving to 14-2-3-0.

In Buffalo, Brett Hull scored with 408 left in the third period to bring the Dallas Stars to a 2-2 tie with the Buffalo Sabres.