Devils close in on Philly

Posted: Monday, March 29, 2004

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. The New Jersey Devils narrowed their focus and took a step toward catching the Atlantic Division-leading Philadelphia Flyers.

''We just have to win these final hockey games,'' said Scott Gomez who assisted on all three goals Sunday night in the Devils' 3-2 win over the New York Islanders. ''We're not worrying about Philly. To be honest, I think that's what got us in trouble in the past. We got three games left and then the real dance starts, so we want to be going at full steam.''

Patrik Elias had a goal and two assists, and Scott Niedermayer and Brian Gionta also scored for the Devils who moved within two points of the Flyers. Martin Brodeur made 12 saves to post his 36th win.

Blues 3, Blackhawks 1

CHICAGO Keith Tkachuk, Petr Cajanek and Brian Savage all scored while St. Louis had a two-man advantage in the first period.

Doug Weight and Scott Mellanby had two assists for the Blues, who are in seventh place in the Western Conference.

Shawn Thornton scored for Chicago, winless in five games (0-2-2-1)

Chicago drew six consecutive penalties in the first period, giving the Blues 10:48 of power-play time. St. Louis had a man-advantage for 7:26 straight including 3:25 when they skated five-on-three.

Wild 2, Mighty Ducks 1

ST. PAUL, Minn. Marian Gaborik netted the go-ahead goal in the third period against Minnesota nemesis Jean-Sebastien Giguere, lifting the Wild over Anaheim.

Dwayne Roloson made 18 saves, and rookie Rickard Wallin had a goal for Minnesota, which scored on Giguere for just the fourth time in eight games.

Niclas Havelid scored for the Mighty Ducks, whose recent dominance of the Wild finally ended. After a four-game sweep in last year's Western Conference finals, Anaheim went 2-0-1 in the first three matchups this season.

Oilers 4, Coyotes 2

EDMONTON, Alberta Igor Ulanov and Petr Nedved scored third-period goals 29 seconds apart to help Edmonton beat Phoenix.

Just 28 seconds after Phoenix captain Shane Doan tied the game with his second goal of the night, Ulanov put the Oilers back ahead. Nedved, who had a goal and two assists, made it 4-2 at 7:44.

Ulanov added an assist, Mike York scored his 16th and Fernando Pisani also chipped in a goal and an assist for the Oilers, who have earned points in 16 consecutive games.

The Oilers are tied for seventh place in the Western Conference with St. Louis at 87 points, two more than ninth-place Nashville.

Sharks 2, Stars 1, OT

SAN JOSE, Calif. Wayne Primeau scored 2:57 into overtime, and Evgeni Nabokov made 20 saves in San Jose's overtime victory over Dallas.

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