Islanders taker battler of New York

Posted: Tuesday, March 06, 2001

NEW YORK -- Jason Blake had a goal and an assist and Mariusz Czerkawski had a goal and two assists as the New York Islanders made Lorne Henning a winner in his latest debut as coach in a 5-2 victory Monday over the New York Rangers.

The Islanders, who snapped a four-game losing streak, built a 4-0 lead, including goals by Blake, Bill Muckalt and Juraj Kolnik within 85 seconds of the second period. John Vanbiesbrouck made 40 saves. Brian Leetch and Sandy McCarthy scored for the Rangers, who lost for the sixth time in seven games.

Flyers 6, Bruins 4

PHILADELPHIA -- Mark Recchi scored twice, including the go-ahead goal on a power play with 3:17 left in the third period, to rally Philadelphia over Boston. The win moved the Flyers into first place in the Atlantic Division, one point ahead of the New Jersey Devils.

Eric Desjardins, Dan McGillis, Ruslan Fedotenko and Keith Primeau also scored for the Flyers, who are 9-1-1 in their last 11 home games.

Desjardins scored a short-handed goal at 5:57 of the third period to tie it 4-4.

Boston's Joe Thornton scored two power-play goals within 56 seconds early in the second to put the Bruins ahead 4-3. Brian Rolston and Jason Allison also scored for the Bruins, dropped their sixth straight road game.

HEAD:Sharks acquire Selanne for Shields

HEAD:Islanders take battle of New York

CREDIT:AP Photo/Jeff Zelevansky

CAPTION:Islanders goalkeeper John Vanbiesbrouck deflects a shot by Mike York of the Rangers at Madison Square Garden in New York Monday.

BYLINE1:By GREG BEACHAM

BYLINE2:AP Sports Writer

Teemu Selanne, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks' sharpshooting wing who was the NHL's top goal-scorer two seasons ago, was traded Monday to the San Jose Sharks for goalie Steve Shields, wing Jeff Friesen and draft picks.

The deal is a bold move for the Sharks, who slipped out of first place in the Pacific Division last week. General manager Dean Lombardi stayed within his division to acquire one of the NHL's most dynamic scorers well in advance of next week's trade deadline.

''There's no doubt he'll put the puck in the net,'' Lombardi said. ''That's what we want.''

San Jose's offense suffered in the absence of injured center Vincent Damphousse and suspended captain Owen Nolan. The Sharks, whose woeful power play also should be helped by Selanne, are fighting for playoff position and their first division title.

In Selanne, they get a proven scorer with 26 goals and 59 points this season. Selanne, who was said to upbeat about the move from the Western Conference's worst team to a contender, is expected to play in the Sharks' game at Tampa Bay on Tuesday night.

The deal cost San Jose two talented players who hit low spots as the Sharks surged into contention this season. Shields lost his job as starting goalie while Friesen struggled to score.

The trade signals a major philosophical change for two California franchises that have had little playoff success in recent seasons. The Ducks are last in the conference while San Jose has slipped to sixth at 34-21-10-0 (78 points).

For years, the Mighty Ducks resisted the urge to break up their high-scoring tandem of Selanne and captain Paul Kariya. Though the two wings posted impressive offensive numbers during their five seasons together, Anaheim advanced beyond the first round of the playoffs just once.

''I was surprised he was available,'' Lombardi said. ''Usually, they don't move too much within (the same division). Given that there's a bit of a rivalry here in California between (San Jose, Anaheim and Los Angeles), that's one of the things that crosses your mind.''

Selanne, who has played in two Olympics for Finland, won the Calder Trophy in 1993 after scoring 76 goals and 132 points -- both NHL rookie records -- for the Winnipeg Jets.

Traded to Anaheim in 1996, he twice scored more than 100 points for the Ducks and finishes his career in Anaheim with 482 points (225 goals, 257 assists) in 394 games.

A seven-time All-Star, Selanne was the game's MVP in 1998. He also was the first winner of the Maurice Richard trophy, awarded to the NHL's leading goal-scorer, after scoring 47 goals in 1998-99.

Selanne, who makes $8 million this season, becomes the Sharks' highest-paid player.

He will make $9.5 million next season in the final year of his contract, but Lombardi said the Ducks agreed to pay part of Selanne's salary in 2001-02 to keep the Sharks' payments to Selanne in line with the salary made by Nolan.

Friesen is a free agent after this season while Shields' contract contains a club option for next year.

Anaheim received a draft pick in the deal. The Mighty Ducks also will receive a second-round pick in 2003 if the Sharks re-sign Selanne, but the pick will revert to San Jose is Shields reaches undisclosed performance incentives.

The Sharks' goaltending is now the responsibility of two rookies: Evgeni Nabokov, among the top contenders for the Calder Trophy, and Miikka Kiprusoff, having an outstanding season with the Sharks' top affiliate in Kentucky.

''If we didn't have Kiprusoff coming, I don't think you'd give (Shields) up,'' Lombardi said. ''With what we have in the minors, we could fill a hole without creating a hole.''

Shields, increasingly unhappy about his backup role in recent weeks, might push out veteran Guy Hebert in Anaheim. Hebert, the franchise's victories leader, lost his job this season to Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who has made 10 consecutive starts.

Friesen, 25, is the Sharks' career leader in scoring (350 points) and games played (512). Though he has just 12 goals and 36 points this season, he skated opposite Nolan on the Sharks' top line.

Lombardi said he found it difficult to trade Friesen, the Sharks' top pick in the 1994 draft. Friesen, who never played in the minors, has never worn another professional team's jersey.

''He said some things to me personally that really hit you in the heart,'' Lombardi said. ''It's probably shock and disbelief. When you have a player that's been here since he's 17, it's got to hurt.''



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