Bruins top Tampa, heat up race in Eastern Conference

Posted: Sunday, March 21, 2004

BOSTON Michael Nylander scored his first goal of the season 2:52 into the third period Saturday, lifting Boston over Tampa Bay.

The Bruins, who rallied from a 3-0 deficit, moved two points behind Tampa Bay and remained one behind second-place Philadelphia in the race for the best record in the Eastern Conference.

Tampa Bay has lost three of four.

Brian Rolston, Travis Green, Sergei Gonchar and Joe Thornton scored for Boston, 15-0-5 in their last 20 home games against the Lightning.

Flyers 3, Rangers 0

PHILADELPHIA Robert Esche made 24 saves for his third shutout of the season, and Philadelphia made sure the New York Rangers would miss the playoffs for a seventh straight year.

Claude Lapointe and Simon Gagne scored first-period goals for the Atlantic Division-leading Flyers, who defeated the Rangers for the fifth time this season and moved within one point of Tampa Bay for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

Mattias Timander added an empty-net, short-handed goal his first goal with the Flyers with 44.4 seconds left.

Stars 3, Blues 1

DALLAS Stu Barnes scored the go-ahead goal with 12:04 remaining and Dallas extended its franchise-record, home-unbeaten streak to 17 games (13-0-4).

Mike Modano had a goal and an assist, and Jere Lehtinen added a goal for the Stars, who moved into a fourth-place tie with Vancouver in the Western Conference playoff race.

Dallas pulled within three points of first-place San Jose in the Pacific Division.

Ryan Johnson had the only goal for the Blues, who are trying to reach the playoffs for a 25th straight season.

Canadiens 3, Devils 2

MONTREAL Rookie Michael Ryder had a goal and an assist, and Montreal jumped over New Jersey into sixth place in the Eastern Conference.

The Canadiens earned a win and a tie in the home-and-home series with the Devils that began Friday night in New Jersey. The teams are even with 90 points, but Montreal is ahead in the standings because it has won two more games.

Jim Dowd and Alex Kovalev also scored for the Canadiens, 11-1-1-1 in their last 14 games.

John Madden and Sergei Brylin each brought New Jersey within a goal.

Both teams need just one point to qualify for the playoffs.

Maple Leafs 5, Avalanche 2

TORONTO Owen Nolan scored twice, leading Toronto past Colorado.

The Maple Leafs led 3-0 after the first period, but John-Michael Liles and Joe Sakic scored quick goals in the second period after Toronto's Wade Belak was ejected for slashing defenseman Ossi Vaananen in the head with a violent swing of his stick.

Vaananen was shaken up, but stayed on the Avalanche bench during the second period. Belak was given a match penalty for attempting to injure.

Hurricanes 3, Senators 2, OT

OTTAWA Bret Hedican scored with 59.3 seconds remaining in overtime, lifting Carolina past Ottawa.

Sean Hill and Josef Vasicek also scored for the Hurricanes, and Arturs Irbe made 29 saves. Carolina rallied from a 2-1 deficit in the third period to force overtime.

Jason Spezza and Marian Hossa had goals for the Senators, who got 26 saves from Patrick Lalime. Ottawa, in third place in the Northeast Division, are two points behind Boston and one behind Toronto.

The Hurricanes lost Erik Cole five minutes into the third period after the forward collided with Senators defenseman Zdeno Chara.

Sabres 2, Panthers 1

SUNRISE, Fla. Miroslav Satan and Derek Roy both scored, helping Buffalo beat Florida.

Martin Biron had 23 saves for the Sabres, who are clinging to playoff hopes in the Eastern Conference. Buffalo won for the second time in six games to move within four points of the eight-place New York Islanders with seven games remaining.

Vaclav Nedorost scored for Florida, which got 21 saves from Roberto Luongo.

The Panthers lost their second game in two nights as their playoff chances became even slimmer. Florida is nine points behind the Islanders with seven games left.

Capitals 2, Thrashers 2

WASHINGTON Andy Sutton scored his second power-play goal of the game with 35.2 seconds left to give Atlanta a tie with Washington.

Jeff Halpern and Alexander Semin scored for the Capitals, and Olaf Kolzig made 43 saves.

Washington celebrated its 30th season in the NHL by honoring the Capitals' All-Time 30 Team and All-Time Starting Six. Kolzig, in his 10th season with the Capitals, was the only member of starting six who made it to the game.

Predators 3, Flames 1

CALGARY, Alberta Martin Erat scored the go-ahead goal at 17:35 of the second period, and Nashville beat Calgary.

Scott Hartnell and Sergei Zholtok scored for Nashville. After Zholtok's empty-net goal with 2.9 seconds remaining, Flames head coach Darryl Sutter sent out a physical line for the ensuing faceoff and a brawl broke out. Several skirmishes took place simultaneously, including one between the goalies, Tomas Vokoun of Nashville and Miikka Kiprusoff of Calgary.

Jarome Iginla scored his 38th of the season for Calgary.

Red Wings 4, Kings 2

LOS ANGELES Jason Williams scored the tying and go-ahead goals early in the second period, and Steve Yzerman had three assists for his first three-point game of the season to lead Detroit over Los Angeles.

Luc Robitaille of the Kings assisted on a power-play goal in the first period and scored on another power play with 2:51 remaining for his 1,367th career point, tying Johnny Bycyk for the most by a left wing in NHL history.

Ray Whitney scored for Detroit and Curtis Joseph had 23 saves for the Red Wings, who took sole possession of the NHL's best record with 97 points two more than Tampa Bay.

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