Lightning nip Devils on Richards' goal

Posted: Friday, March 26, 2004

TAMPA, Fla. Brad Richards scored with 4:58 left to give the Eastern Conference-leading Tampa Bay Lightning a 2-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night.

Richards' pass from behind the net appeared to deflect into the net off New Jersey defenseman Viktor Kozlov.

New Jersey tied it at 1 midway through the period on Patrik Elias' 35th goal of the season.

Pavel Kubina opened the scoring midway through the second period for the Lightning, who swept the four-game season series with the Stanley Cup champion Devils.

Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 18 shots for Tampa Bay, and Martin Brodeur made 15 saves for New Jersey.

Islanders 4, Flyers 2

PHILADELPHIA Wade Dubielewicz came off the bench to stop all 14 shots he faced in his NHL debut to lead New York to its fourth straight victory.

Adrian Aucoin had two goals in the first period, Mark Parrish scored the game-winner on a breakaway in the second, and Janne Niinimaa had a third-period goal. Dubielewicz replaced Garth Snow after the first period.

John LeClair and Michal Handzus scored for Philadelphia. Flyers center Jeremy Roenick returned to the lineup after missing 19 games because of a broken jaw and a concussion.

Maple Leafs 3, Bruins 0

BOSTON Ed Belfour made 33 saves for his eighth shutout of the season, and Toronto cut Boston's lead in the Northeast Division to one point.

Toronto got goals from Joe Nieuwendyk and Ron Francis in the first nine minutes of the second period and an empty-net goal from Nik Antropov with 1:43 left in the game.

Hurricanes 3, Panthers 2

RALEIGH, N.C. Josef Vasicek scored with 11:51 left to help Carolina overcome a two-goal deficit.

Rod Brind'Amour and Kevyn Adams also scored for the Hurricanes, eliminated from postseason contention Tuesday.

Nathan Horton and Niklas Hagman scored for Florida. Roberto Luongo made 42 saves, giving him an NHL-record 2,219 this season. He broke the mark of 2,214 set by Toronto's Felix Potvin in 1996-97.

Predators 4, Rangers 2

NEW YORK Andreas Johansson snapped a third-period tie, and Nashville moved into seventh place in the Western Conference with its team-record 35th victory.

Nashville, which missed the playoffs its first five NHL seasons, has a one-point lead over eighth-place Edmonton and St. Louis.

Defensemen Marek Zidlicky and Mark Eaton, and Martin Erat also scored for Nashville. Jaromir Jagr reached 30 goals for 13th straight season and Karel Rachunek also scored for New York, which dropped its eighth straight (0-5-0-3).

Senators 4, Canadiens 0

MONTREAL Daniel Alfredsson scored twice and added an assist, and Patrick Lalime made 29 saves for Ottawa for his fifth shutout of the season.

Brian Smolinski and Jason Spezza also scored for Ottawa.

Montreal, 2-1 losers in Buffalo on Wednesday night, failed for the second straight game to earn the single point it needs to clinch a playoff spot.

Red Wings 3, Avalanche 1

DENVER Manny Legace stopped 34 shots and Detroit scored twice in the final 2 1/2 minutes.

Detroit managed just 23 shots, but Tomas Holmstrom scored on a power play in the first period and Pavel Datsyuk sealed the win with 2:32 left. Henrik Zetterberg added an empty-net goal to push the Red Wings over the 100-point mark (101) and seven points ahead of Colorado in the Western Conference.

Steve Konowalchuk scored for Colorado, 0-4-1 in its last five games.

Blues 3, Mighty Ducks 2

ST. LOUIS Jamal Mayers scored his first goal in 18 games, and Chris Pronger had three assists for St. Louis.

The Blues have 83 points, tied with the Oilers for the eighth spot in the Western Conference, with six games to go in a tight four-team battle for the final two positions.

Pavol Demitra had a goal and an assist, and Keith Tkachuk also scored for the Blues. Jason Krog and Rob Niedermayer scored for the Mighty Ducks.

Wild 8, Blackhawks 2

CHICAGO Alexandre Daigle scored twice and the Minnesota Wild set a franchise record for goals.

Andrei Zyuzin, Wes Walz, Matt Johnson, Anti Laaksonen, Rickard Wallin and Marian Gaborik also scored for Minnesota. Pascal DuPuis had four assists, and Filip Kuba and Gaborik assisted on two goals.

The Wild broke the team record of seven goals set in a 7-4 home victory over Chicago on Jan. 7.

Mark Bell and Brett McLean scored for Chicago.

Sharks 3, Flames 2

SAN JOSE, Calif. Vincent Damphousse banked in a shot off Miikka Kiprusoff's leg with 23.2 seconds to play Thursday night, giving the San Jose Sharks a 3-2 victory over Calgary and sole possession of second place in the Western Conference.

Evgeni Nabokov stopped 28 shots for the Sharks, who got their sixth victory in eight games and moved two points ahead of Colorado in the conference standings. San Jose also took a three-point lead over idle Dallas in the Pacific Division.

Until Damphousse scored a breathtaking goal from behind the net shortly after a power play ended, the Sharks seemed headed to a disheartening tie. San Jose blew a two-goal lead in the final 6 1/2 minutes, allowing goals by Martin Gelinas and Oleg Saprykin.

But Damphousse grabbed a loose puck and threw it at the net, where Kiprusoff inadvertently deflected it into his own net. The goal was Damphousse's 1,201st career point.

Nils Ekman and Mike Ricci scored a minute apart in the second period against Kiprusoff, the Sharks' longtime backup goalie who has thrived in Calgary under former San Jose coach Darryl Sutter. Kiprusoff made 24 saves.

Despite the loss, the Flames appear headed back to the playoffs and they could face San Jose. The Sharks have 96 points, three shy of the franchise record, with five games left.

Though Gelinas broke up Nabokov's shutout bid with 6:16 to play, the San Jose goalie was otherwise outstanding. After slumping earlier in the month, Nabokov has posted back-to-back victories over Detroit and Calgary as the Sharks pursue playoff position.

The Sharks ended 36 scoreless minutes when Alyn McCauley flushed the puck out of the corner and Alex Korolyuk made a quick pass to Ekman for the game's first goal. Ekman, buried and forgotten in the New York Rangers' farm system at this time last season, got his 20th goal of the season.

A minute later, Ricci deflected Mike Rathje's shot between his legs and past Kiprusoff. It was the first goal since Feb. 16 for Ricci, who has battled injuries and bounced among the four lines this season while his younger teammates thrived.

Gelinas made an impressive tip to score his 16th goal of the season, deflecting Chris Clark's pass while facing away from the net. Saprykin added a power play goal with 4:01 to play.

Notes: Gelinas scored for the second straight game after getting just one goal in the Flames' previous 24. ... With the assist on Ricci's goal, Rathje became the Sharks' franchise scoring leader among defensemen. He has 154 points. ... The Flames didn't get their first shot on goal until 5 1/2 minutes had elapsed in the first period.

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