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Franzen’s five goals lift Wings

Reeling Senators suffer eighth consecutive loss

Johan Franzen fights to score the first of his five goals, beating Robin Lehner. Johan Franzen fights to score the first of his five goals, beating Robin Lehner. (Adrian Wyld/Associated Press)
Associated Press / February 3, 2011

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There is something about Ottawa that brings out the best in Johan Franzen.

Franzen was a one-man show last night, scoring five goals to lead the Detroit Red Wings to a 7-5 victory over the slumping Senators in Ottawa.

“I’ve only been in here twice, I think, but I scored two goals the last time I was here,’’ he said. “I like this building.’’

Franzen is the first NHL player to score five goals in a game since Minnesota’s Marian Gaborik did it Dec. 20, 2007. Franzen is the first player to score five times against the Senators.

“Guys were setting me up all night,’’ Franzen said of linemates Henrik Zetterberg and Todd Bertuzzi. “Hank and Bert didn’t want to shoot it themselves, they were just trying to set me up.’’

Kris Draper and Niklas Kronwall also scored, and Jimmy Howard made 29 saves for the Red Wings. It was Detroit’s first visit to Ottawa since October 2008.

Milan Michalek scored twice for Ottawa, and Peter Regin had a goal and two assists. Chris Campoli and Alex Kovalev also scored for the Senators.

The Senators (17-27-8) have lost 14 of 15 and haven’t won a home game since beating Pittsburgh Dec. 26. Ottawa’s 0-6-2 home skid is the team’s longest since going 0-7-1 from Jan. 31-March 2, 1996.

“It really is tough,’’ Campoli said. “For the most part we’ve struggled to score goals this year, and when you get five, more often than not, you’re going to win the game. Unfortunately it didn’t work out that way.’’

Robin Lehner was pulled midway through the second period after giving up four goals on 19 shots in his first home start. Brian Elliott surrendered two goals on 19 shots in relief.

“It’s really frustrating,’’ Regin said of the loss. “It’s been a tough stretch for me, so it was good to finally get on the board. But at the same time we didn’t win so it doesn’t mean that much.’’

Penguins 3, Islanders 0 — Brent Johnson made 20 saves and host Pittsburgh blanked New York for the second time in nine days.

The Penguins’ veteran backup was 16.5 seconds away from his second shutout of the season when he was ejected after fighting with Islanders counterpart Rick DiPietro.

“The guys didn’t know I had that little mean streak in me,’’ said Johnson, who has 14 career shutouts, but had never fought in the NHL. “It was something I’ve kind of wanted to do for a while. Maybe it’s just a little bit of frustration about some things.’’

Tyler Kennedy, Chris Kunitz, and Max Talbot scored for Pittsburgh, which has won four consecutive games and seven of eight — all without captain Sidney Crosby (concussion). The Penguins have also been without All-Star center Evgeni Malkin (sinus infection) for five games. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 29 New York shots in a 1-0 win Jan. 25, the Penguins’ 10th consecutive home victory against the Islanders.

The blanking officially goes into the record books as a team shutout because Fleury played the final 16.5 seconds.

The Islanders have lost six of eight and haven’t won in Pittsburgh since Dec. 21, 2007.

Canadiens 3, Panthers 2 — Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta scored third-period goals and Alex Auld made 33 saves to lead host Montreal.

Jeff Halpern tied it at 1 in the second period with his eighth goal, and Plekanec put Montreal up, 2-1, with his 17th at 5:46 of the third. Gionta, who scored twice in Tuesday’s shootout win at Washington, made it a two-goal lead at 11:32 with his 19th.

The Colorado Avalanche-St. Louis Blues game that was postponed Tuesday because of severe weather in St. Louis has been rescheduled for Feb. 22.

The game was postponed hours before the scheduled start. Missouri has been hit hard by potentially the worst winter storm in decades, and St. Louis was socked in by a mix of snow, freezing rain, and dangerously cold temperatures.

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