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A happy return for Shanahan

Associated Press / January 20, 2009
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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 Predators, 3-1, last night in Nashville 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.

Shanahan, who turns 40 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 all-time NHL list.

Wild 4, Blackhawks 1 - Niklas Backstrom made 40 saves, and defenseman Marek Zidlicky had two power-play goals and an assist as Minnesota dealt Chicago only its third regulation loss at home this season.

Sabres 3, Panthers 2 - Ales Kotalik and Derek Roy scored in a shootout and goalie Ryan Miller (27 saves) stopped Nathan Horton and David Booth as visiting Buffalo improved to 6-2 in shootouts this season.

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

Capitals 2, Islanders 1 - Alex Ovechkin scored two goals, the second coming 1:46 into overtime as visiting Washington handed New York its eighth straight loss.

Lightning 4, Stars 2 - Vincent Lecavalier scored twice and Tampa Bay rallied for three goals in the third period for its first home win over Dallas since Feb. 19, 1996.

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