They Anaheim Ducks are starting to play like defending Stanley Cup champions. Ryan Getzlaf had a goal and two assists, and Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 39 saves in Anaheim’s 5-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday night. 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.
The Phoenix Coyotes can’t even score against the San Jose Sharks, let alone beat them. Goalie Evgeni Nabokov shut out Phoenix for the third straight time as the Sharks beat the Coyotes 1-0 Friday night for their fourth victory in a row. “Incredible goaltending from the first game of the season right up to game 26,” Sharks defenseman Craig Rivet said.
Brad Boyes scored two goals and the St. Louis Blues kept up their strong play with a 4-3 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Friday night. Doug Weight and Paul Kariya also scored for the Blues, who improved to 9-2-1 in their last 12 games. Shawn Horcoff, Robert Nilsson and Marty Reasoner had the goals for Edmonton, which lost its second straight.
Stephen Weiss can’t seem to beat Rick DiPietro on penalty shots. However, a hard wrist shot from the slot did the trick Friday night. Weiss broke a scoreless tie in the second period less than 2 minutes after being stopped on a penalty shot to help the Florida Panthers snap a three-game losing streak with a 3-0 victory over the New York Islanders.
Henrik Zetterberg kept up his strong play, and Dominik Hasek got back on track. Zetterberg had his second career hat trick and Hasek stopped 19 shots for his 77th shutout to lift the Detroit Red Wings to a 5-0 win over the Minnesota Wild on Friday night. Johan Franzen also had a goal and an assist for NHL-leading Detroit, which won its fifth straight.
The Atlanta Thrashers haven’t yet made up for last season’s playoff flop, but at least they’ve made up for a miserable start to this season. Slava Kozlov’s slap shot from beyond the left circle with about 5 minutes left in the game lifted the Thrashers to a 4-2 win over New York on Friday night, handing the Rangers their third straight loss.
Four straight wins on the road, then five in a row at home. The New Jersey Devils are winning wherever they go, and suddenly Newark is every bit of a home-ice advantage as the Meadowlands was all those years. Vitaly Vishnevski and Dainius Zubrus scored 4:15 apart in the first period, and the Devils won their ninth straight game by beating the Washington Capitals 3-2 on Friday night.
Predators Holdings LLC announced Friday that it has completed its $193 million purchase of the Nashville Predators from Craig Leipold, ending months of uncertainty over the team’s future. The new owners immediately took over operation of the team and management of the team’s arena, the Sommet Center.
The Vancouver Canucks have denied that former coach Marc Crawford called for retaliation against Steve Moore during a 2004 game against the Colorado Avalanche. The team released a statement Friday refuting claims in court documents in the multimillion dollar lawsuit Moore filed against former Canucks forward Todd Bertuzzi, the Canucks and their parent company, Orca Bay Hockey, in February 2006.
Predators forward David Legwand has signed a six-year, $27 million contract extension through the 2014-15 season. Legwand holds franchise records with 304 points, 113 goals, 28 game-winning goals, 10 overtime points and 15-multiple goal games. Legwand’s first goal in a 5-4 win at Montreal on Saturday propelled him past Kimmo Timonen to the top spot on the team’s career scoring list.
Andy Pettitte formally returned to the New York Yankees on Friday night when he accepted the team’s offer of salary arbitration. Catcher Michael Barrett returned to the San Diego Padres when he accepted his club’s offer and infielder Mark Loretta went back to the Houston Astros. They were the only players to accept among the 17 offered arbitration by their former clubs last Saturday.
Chargers coach Norv Turner said it’s 50-50 whether All-Pro outside linebacker Shawne Merriman will plays Sunday at Tennessee. The AFC defensive player of the week disagrees. “Yeah, I’ll be good,” Merriman said Friday after sitting out practice a second straight day to rest his ailing right calf. He injured it Sunday against Kansas City, when he had three sacks to push his season total to 9 1/2 .