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Devils show hustle for new coach

Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2002

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Kevin Constantine's reputation as a strict disciplinarian jolted the New Jersey Devils to play scared -- and win.

Constantine, behind an NHL bench for the first time since Dec. 9, 1999, did little more than furrow his brow, chew his gum and cross his arms in his coaching debut with New Jersey, yet the Devils showed renewed zip in a 3-1 victory over the New York Islanders Tuesday night.

''Maybe his reputation made us more worried about what's going to happen to us, or what's going to happen to the team if we don't do what he says,'' said Bobby Holik, who scored New Jersey's other goal. ''But it's still just the first game. We have a long way to go to be where we want to be.''

The Devils responded well to Constantine, hired to replace nice-guy Larry Robinson, who was fired Monday.

Constantine, 43, said he would simply observe the Devils for a few games before instituting his own coaching schemes, but he did stress defense before the game.

''Guys were blocking shots who had never blocked a shot before in their life,'' captain Scott Stevens said.

Constantine also asked the team to play hard, but that was it.

''If you give too much out on the first night, you can paralyze people,'' Constantine explained.

New Jersey moved into a tie with Montreal for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Flyers 3, Penguins 2, OT

PHILADELPHIA -- Keith Primeau scored a tying goal with 17.5 seconds remaining in the third period, and Marty Murray won it early in overtime, leading Philadelphia past Pittsburgh.

Murray picked off a clearing attempt by Pittsburgh's Billy Tibbetts and scored past Jean-Sebastien Aubin 1:47 into overtime, snapping the Penguins' six-game winning streak.

With goaltender Brian Boucher pulled for an extra skater, Primeau forced overtime when he accepted a pass from John LeClair in the slot and scored past Aubin. LeClair also scored for the Flyers.

Alexei Kovalev and Toby Petersen scored for the Penguins, who have lost 16 of their last 17 games in Philadelphia. Aubin finished with 28 saves.

Hurricanes 2, Sabres 2, OT

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Bates Battaglia scored his 18th goal with 9:48 left as struggling Carolina rallied twice to tie Buffalo in its NHL-leading 20th overtime game.

The Hurricanes haven't won in seven games, but have five ties during that stretch to remain in first place in the Southeast Division, 10 points ahead of Washington.

Carolina had to kill a slashing penalty against Erik Cole in the final 1:50 of regulation to preserve the tie.

Maxim Afinogenov scored 2:37 into the second, and Chris Gratton scored just his second goal in his last 37 games at 9:05 of the third period.

Jeff O'Neill scored his team-leading 21st goal of the season with 2:52 left in the second period for the Hurricanes.

Maple Leafs 4, Sharks 3

TORONTO -- Bryan McCabe had two goals and an assist as Toronto beat San Jose for its third win in 11 games.

Jonas Hoglund added a goal and an assist, and Travis Green also scored for the Maple Leafs.

Todd Harvey scored two goals for the Sharks, who are winless in their last four games (0-3-1). Scott Hannon also scored for San Jose.

Toronto's Alexander Mogilny was knocked out of the game in the first period with a back injury after being checked into the boards by Brad Stuart.



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