NHL Last Night: New Devil, League Vet Scores Big

Brendan Shanahan's return to the New Jersey Devils was a big success.

Playing his first NHL game in more than eight months, Shanahan broke a scoreless tie in the second period and New Jersey beat the Nashville Predators 3-1 on Monday night for its fourth straight victory.

David Clarkson and Zach Parise also scored for the Devils, who moved ahead of the New York Rangers into first place in the Atlantic Division. New Jersey completed a 5-1 road trip, getting help in the finale from an old pro.

Shanahan, who turns 40 on Friday, scored at 1:38 of the second. He skated in from the left side along the goal line, deked Greg Zanon and fired a shot into the right side of the net, beating goalie Pekka Rinne during a 5-on-3 power play.

It was Shanahan's 651st goal, which ranks 11th on the NHL list. It also gave him 1,341 points, 24th on the career chart. Shanahan has played in 1,491 NHL games.

Shanahan, who spent the past two seasons with the Rangers, signed an $800,000, one-year contract with New Jersey on Wednesday. This was his first game since May 4, 2008, in the playoffs at Pittsburgh.

Shanahan was drafted by the Devils with the No. 2 pick in 1987. He left the team in 1991, signing a free-agent contract with St. Louis.

Radek Bonk scored for Nashville, which has lost three straight.

Blues 5, Bruins 4, SO
David Backes scored the tying goal with eighth-tenths of a second left in regulation and St. Louis went on to beat Boston in a shootout.

Down 4-2, the Blues rallied on David Perron's power-play goal with 1:20 left. Backes then batted the puck out of the air for an empty-net score as the siren sounded — after a lengthy replay review, the goal counted.

T.J. Oshie and Brad Boyes scored in the shootout for the Blues, who have the worst record in the Western Conference and had lost nine of their previous 10 road games.

The Eastern Conference-leading Bruins trailed 2-1 before scoring three times in a span of 1:39 late in the third period.

P.J. Axelsson and Michael Ryder had power-play goals 19 seconds apart, then Zdeno Chara scored off a faceoff with 3:05 left for a 4-2 edge.

Capitals 2, Islanders 1, OT
Alex Ovechkin scored two goals, the second coming 1:46 into overtime, to lead the Washington Capitals to a victory and send the New York Islanders to their eighth straight loss.

With Washington on a power play, Ovechkin took a pass from Alexander Semin and beat Yann Danis for the Capitals' third straight win. Jose Theodore earned his 200th career victory with 27 saves.

Kyle Okposo scored for New York, while Danis stopped 36 shots.

Washington has 63 points, putting the Capitals are far ahead in the Southeast division, and just eight points behind Boston in the Eastern Conference.

The Islanders have losing streaks this season of six, 10, and eight games.

Lightning 4, Stars 2
Vincent Lecavalier scored twice and the Tampa Bay Lightning rallied for three goals in the third period to beat Dallas, their first home win over the Stars in nearly 13 years.

Lecavalier gave the Lightning a 3-2 lead with 5:06 left in the third during a power play. Vinny Prospal added an empty-net goal.

Steven Stamkos pulled Tampa Bay even at 2 off a pass from Steve Downie at 11:46 of the third.

Tampa Bay's Mark Recchi assisted on Lecavalier's third-period goal, moving him past Dale Hawerchuk into 17th place on the NHL's career points list with 1,410.

Former Lightning star Brad Richards and Loui Eriksson scored for the Stars, who had their eight-game winning streak at Tampa Bay snapped. It was Dallas' first loss at Tampa Bay since Feb. 19, 1996.

Lecavalier had a short-handed goal 1:33 into the first. The Tampa Bay captain has a goal in three straight games, and has 16 points (nine goals, seven assists) over his last 12 games.

Sabres 3, Panthers 2, SO
Ales Kotalik and Derek Roy scored in a shootout to give Buffalo a victory over Florida.

Sabres goalie Ryan Miller stopped Nathan Horton and David Booth as Buffalo improved to 6-2 in shootouts this season.

Thomas Vanek and Tim Connolly scored in regulation for the Sabres, who have won three in a row and seven of nine.

Booth scored on a penalty shot for Florida, which hasn't lost in regulation in eight games (5-0-3). Nathan Horton had the other goal for the Panthers, who dropped to 2-6 in shootouts.

Miller finished with 27 saves. Florida's Tomas Vokoun stopped 24 shots.

Hurricanes 2, Maple Leafs 0
Cam Ward made 35 saves and Carolina snapped a five-game losing streak with a victory over the Maple Leafs, giving coach Paul Maurice a victory in his return to Toronto.

Joe Corvo and Chad LaRose scored to back Ward's second shutout of the season for Carolina.

The Maple Leafs were blanked for the second consecutive home game.

Maurice spent the past two seasons coaching the Maple Leafs and acknowledged recently that games against his former team mean a little more.

Toronto won 6-4 at Carolina on Thursday, but the Hurricanes returned the favor in the rematch.

Wild 4, Blackhawks 1
Niklas Backstrom made 40 saves, and defenseman Marek Zidlicky had two power-play goals and an assist to lead Minnesota past Chicago.

Mikko Koivu added a goal and two assists and Cal Clutterbuck had an empty-net goal as the Wild dealt the Blackhawks only their third regulation loss at home this season. Chicago is 14-2-5 at the United Center and lost 6-4 to Detroit at Wrigley Field in the NHL Winter Classic.

Owen Nolan had two assists for Minnesota, which went 2-for-3 on the power play.

Martin Havlat had the lone goal for the Blackhawks, and Nikolai Khabibulin had 22 saves. Havlat's goal came at exactly 10:00 of the second period, earning a fan $1 million as part of a promotion with the Illinois State Lottery.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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