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NHL Division Leaders Take Their Lumps

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AP
It was a tough night for NHL division leaders. Detroit, Tampa Bay and Anaheim all lost Friday night to teams trying to improve their postseason chances.

Ryan Smyth scored in regulation and had the only goal in the shootout to give the Edmonton Oilers a 4-3 victory over Detroit that snapped the Western Conference leader's 13-game home winning streak.

Raffi Torres and Marty Reasoner also had goals for Edmonton in regulation and Dwayne Roloson stopped 27 shots for the Oilers, who are five points behind Calgary for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

"It's a huge win for us. Everybody that we're chasing got points last night, we were able to stay in the pack with them," Roloson said. "We were able to play smart and simplify our game and capitalize on our chances."

Henrik Zetterberg, Tomas Holmstrom and Valtteri Filppula scored for the Red Wings, whose winning streak ended one short of a tying a franchise record set in 1964-65. Detroit last lost at home on Dec. 12.

In other NHL games Friday night, it was: Boston 6, Tampa Bay 2; and Dallas 4, Anaheim 1.

Lightning coach John Tortorella said he made some bad decisions in Tampa Bay's loss to Boston, which moved within five points of Carolina for the final Eastern Conference playoff berth. He also made it clear in a profanity-laced tirade that he believes referees Tom Kowal and Ian Walsh made some bad calls.

Though the Southeast Division-leaders lost for just the fifth time in 21 games, Tortorella was unhappy that enforcer Andre Roy was given an automatic three-game suspension for abusing the officials when he made a gesture after departing the penalty box at the end of the game.

"I think if a little common sense comes into play and egos stay out of it, the ref would just leave it alone," Tortorella said. "It's the end of the game. It's a frustrating loss. I guess egos get in the way, so they have to make a big deal out of really nothing. It is what it is."

Roy received a roughing penalty with 22 seconds left and then was given a game misconduct at the 20-minute mark.

Dallas is five points behind Pacific-leading Anaheim and two back of second-place San Jose. The Stars trailed the Ducks by 15 points on Jan. 15.

"That was as good a team effort as we've had all year," Stars goalie Mike Smith said. "First place seemed out of reach a couple of months ago. Now it isn't. We want to win the division and this helps."

Smith was in the nets for the fourth time in the last seven games, including three starts. Coach Dave Tippett wants Smith to get more game action down the stretch to keep Marty Turco fresh for the playoffs.

"We've talked since training camp about wanting to go down the stretch with two (goalies) ready to play," Tippett said. "And we've got that. March will be very busy for us. We'll need both of them."

The Oilers, who upset the Red Wings in six games in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs last season, have gone 3-1-0 against Detroit this season.

"It doesn't hurt, playing in the playoffs and having the success that we did," Edmonton's Smyth said. "We had pretty good success this year against them, and we just wanted to carry some momentum."

Nicklas Lidstrom and Mathieu Schneider had two assists apiece, and Dominik Hasek made 23 saves for the Red Wings.

"The way the game was played today, too many mistakes," Hasek said. "That's why we lost the game."

Bruins 6, Lightning 2

At Tampa, Fla., Brad Boyes had two goals and Tim Thomas made 24 saves, leading surging Boston to its eighth win in 10 games.

Marco Sturm, Phil Kessel, Brandon Bochenski and Stanislav Chistov had Boston's other goals.

Boyes scored midway through the first and early in the second to give Boston a 3-1 advantage.

Dan Boyle and Filip Kuba scored for the Southeast Division-leading Lightning, who have a one-point lead over second-place Atlanta.
Stars 4, Ducks 1

At Dallas, rookie Mike Smith stopped 24 shots, Jussi Jokinen and rookie Krys Barch each had a goal and an assist, and Dallas tightened the Pacific Division race by beating slumping Anaheim.

The Stars are 10-3-2 in their last 15 games, including a 7-1-1 run at home.

Ladislav Nagy got Dallas off to a fast start with a first-period goal, his first for the Stars since being acquired in a trade with the Phoenix Coyotes on Feb. 12.

Jere Lehtinen's breakaway goal 40 seconds into the third period, his 20th of the season, gave Dallas a 4-0 lead. Lehtinen has eight goals in his last 14 games, reaching the 20-goal mark for the seventh time in his career.

Corey Perry's 14th goal ended Smith's bid for his fourth shutout with 4:45 left.