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Stuart stars as Boston nips Montreal

Bruins 2 2 2 6

Canadiens 1 3 1 5

MONTREAL - Brad Stuart scored his second goal of the third period with 1:42 left and the Bruins held off the Canadiens 6-5 on Monday night.

Stuart scored midway through the period to give Boston, which led 4-1 in the second, a 5-4 advantage before Sheldon Souray tied it moments later with his team-leading 10th goal on a power play.

The Bruins' defenseman restored Boston's lead once again at 18:18 with his fourth of the season.

Marc Savard had three assists for Boston, which has won four of five. Glenn Murray, Marco Sturm, Shean Donovan and Wayne Primeau also scored for the Bruins, who allowed three straight goals in the second after they chased Canadiens starter Cristobal Huet.

Boston's Tim Thomas stopped 34 of 39 shots, improving to 9-3 in his last 12 starts.

David Aebischer stopped 12 shots after replacing Huet following Primeau's short-handed goal 3:12 into the second.

Montreal has lost three of five, but hasn't dropped consecutive games this season.

CANUCKS: The Aquilini Investment Group took full control of the team and its arena following league approval of its purchase of the remaining 50 percent from Seattle businessman John McCaw. The Aquilini group, owned by Vancouver businessmen Francesco, Roberto and Paolo Aquilini, bought the first 50 percent in November 2004.

FLYERS: Bob Clarke returned as a senior vice president, more than six weeks after he quit as general manager because of burnout.

"It was a tough decision (to resign) but it was the right decision. But I don't want to be left out of the team,'' Clarke said.

As GM, Clarke never matched the success he had as a Hall of Fame player when he led the Flyers to Stanley Cup championships in the 1973-74 and 1974-75 seasons.

HURRICANES: Cory Stillman was activated nearly four months after surgery on his right shoulder. The left wing is expected to play during the team's four-game road swing that begins tonight in Calgary.

Stillman had 21 goals and 55 assists last season and became only the sixth player in NHL history to win the Cup in two straight seasons with different teams. He played for Tampa Bay in 2004.

Detroit's offense not the juggernaut it was

DETROIT - Where has the Red Wings' offense gone?

Tonight, the Wings play at St. Louis in their 26th game of the season. Last season, after 25 games, the Wings had 95 goals. This season they're at 65.

Instead of dominating opponents and shutting them down in the third period, the Wings spend night after night locked in a defensive grind. Pavel Datsyuk is on pace for about 50 points; last season he had 87. Henrik Zetterberg is on pace for 46 points, almost 40 less than the 85 he put up a year ago. Jason Williams, a 21-goal scorer last season, has three this season.

The Wings never expected to equal last season's heady 3.67 goals-per-game average, but general manager Ken Holland repeatedly said over the summer the aim was to be among the NHL's top 10 in offense. Instead, more than two months into the season, the Wings are in the bottom third, ranked 22nd at 2.6 goals per game.

There are numerous reasons why, including a change in style that calls for the forwards to hustle into their own zone and help backcheck. With five guys back it's all but impossible to get any odd-man rushes.

The Wings do have the second-lowest goals-against average in the league at 2.20 . But their lack of production has hurt their ability to shut teams down; last year, their winning percentage when leading after two periods was 95 percent, second best in the league. This season it's 81.8 and ranks 17th.

One of the chief problems has been the power play: Last season, it was the best in the league, and it consistently made it all but impossible for opponents to rally. This season it has worked so inefficiently it has significantly downgraded the Wings as an offensive threat.

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