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NHL Roundup

Avalanche beat Flames again, lead Northwest

Associated Press / December 14, 2009

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Darcy Tucker scored his first goal in nearly two months, Craig Anderson stopped 19 shots, and the Colorado Avalanche beat Calgary, 3-2, last night in Denver to take over the top spot in the Northwest Division.

Chris Stewart and Wojtek Wolski also scored for the Avalanche, 3-0 this season against the Flames.

Rene Bourque and Mark Giordano scored for Calgary. The Flames pulled Miikka Kiprusoff for an extra attacker with about a minute remaining, but couldn’t tie it. Kiprusoff gave up three goals, the most he has allowed since surrendering six in a loss to Chicago Nov. 19.

The Avalanche have won four of their last five to take a two-point lead over the Flames in the division.

Anderson, making his second start since returning from a neck ailment, was solid in net all night. He made his best save in the second period, stuffing Dustin Boyd on a breakaway chance.

Stewart’s goal midway through the second period staked the Avalanche a 2-0 lead. But Bourque quickly trimmed the deficit, scoring his ninth goal of the season just 1:17 later.

Just before the end of the second period, though, Tucker rammed in a shot near the goal crease. The goal was originally credited to TJ Galiardi, but an overhead view showed the puck had already trickled into the net before Galiardi touched it.

Blackhawks 4, Lightning 0 - Backup Antti Niemi made 18 saves for his third shutout in seven starts this season, and Marian Hossa had a goal and an assist to lead host Chicago past slumping Tampa Bay.

Patrick Kane, Ben Eager, and Jonathan Toews also scored for the Blackhawks, who have won three of four and improved to 6-1-1 against Eastern Conference teams.

Kane left the game with 6:59 left in the first period after suffering an upper-body injury and didn’t return. Kane landed hard after Tampa Bay’s Matt Smaby tripped him along the boards and appeared to sustain a head injury.

Antero Niittymaki stopped 25 shots for the Lightning, 0-3-1 in their last four. Tampa Bay has scored just 13 goals in its 1-6-2 slide.

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