Longtime minor-leaguer makes rare NHL start


EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) -- Marc Lamothe had to wait almost five
years for another chance to be the starting goaltender in an NHL

When he got it, Lamothe stopped 29 shots to help the Detroit Red Wings tie the
Edmonton Oilers 1-1 Monday night.

"It was great," Lamothe said. "It was really special that it
was here in Edmonton."

Lamothe has played almost 10 years in the minors waiting for his
shot, including 45 games with the Oilers' AHL team in Hamilton in
2001-02 before the Red Wings signed him as a free agent. He made
one start and appeared in another game during a brief period with
the Chicago Blackhawks in 1999.<

Nicklas Lidstrom converted a pass from Steve Yzerman for
Detroit's third-period goal. Lamothe gave up a goal to Edmonton's
Jason Chimera, a former teammate, in the first period.

"It felt like it was back to pee wee since I'd scored," said
Chimera, who scored for the first time since Dec. 13.

Lamothe had a 1.88 goals-against average and .928 save
percentage in 36 games for the Grand Rapids Griffins, Detroit's AHL
affiliate. He was called up Feb. 11.

"He was good, he was very good, particularly early," said Red
Wings coach Dave Lewis. `We didn't break in the first period, and
it's a good point for us."

The teams fired four shots apiece in overtime. The Western
Conference-leading Red Wings moved into a tie with idle Ottawa for
the top spot in the overall NHL standings.

Tommy Salo stopped 25 shots for Edmonton, none better than against Brendan Shanahan with a flash of the glove on a backhander in the second period. Shanahan also had a second-period goal called back when a goaltender interference penalty was assessed to Tomas Holmstrom.

"It is a pretty good building block for our team to come in in
a big-game situation and hold Detroit to one goal," Oilers
coach Craig MacTavish said.

The Oilers had beaten Colorado on the road recently and defeated
Vancouver in overtime Saturday. Edmonton needs to win the
majority of its remaining 20 games to have any hope of making the
playoffs. The club currently sits 10th in the Western Conference.

"It's going to come; we all believe it," MacTavish said. "But
it's got to come in a hurry."

Game notes
Lamothe had his mother, brother and sister in the
stands. They flew in from Ottawa. ... The Oilers interviewed a
season ticket holder from Nebraska during a stoppage in the first
period. ... Detroit GM Ken Holland was to meet with Dominik Hasek's
Edmonton-based agent, Rich Winter, regarding a settlement on Hasek's
$6 million contract.