Rangers keep playoff hopes alive by beating Bruins

Posted: Sunday, March 30, 2003

BOSTON -- Alex Kovalev scored two goals as the New York Rangers helped their slim playoff hopes with a 3-1 win over the Boston Bruins on Saturday.

The Rangers, who spoiled Boston's bid to clinch a playoff berth, are four points behind the New York Islanders for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Rangers have four games left. The Islanders have five games remaining.

The Bruins, 2-2-1 since general manager Mike O'Connell took over as interim coach after firing Robbie Ftorek on March 19, can earn a postseason berth with two points.

Red Wings 6, Blues 2

ST. LOUIS -- Brett Hull's 33rd career hat trick lifted Detroit over St. Louis, spoiling Chris Pronger's return to the lineup.

Pronger scored in his first game back for St. Louis. He missed the first 77 games of the season while recovering from knee and wrist surgery.

Pavel Datsyuk, Nicklas Lidstrom and Sergei Fedorov also scored for the Red Wings, who have won 19 of 22 (19-2-0-1). Pronger was on the ice for five Detroit goals.

The Red Wings went 4-0-0-1 against the Blues this season. The teams combined for 219 penalty minutes in the third period and the coaches shouted at each other during the final minute of the game.

Avalanche 6, Coyotes 1

DENVER -- Greg de Vries and Riku Hahl each scored a career-high two goals to lead Colorado past Phoenix.

The Avalanche took control in the first period, scoring three goals in just 2 minutes, 15 seconds to erase a 1-0 deficit. Peter Forsberg had two assists, giving him 99 points on the season -- second best in the NHL behind Vancouver's Markus Naslund.

Colorado raised its point total to 99 and moved ahead of St. Louis into the No. 4 position in the Western Conference. St. Louis, which lost to Detroit 6-2 on Saturday, has 97 points.

Patrick Roy had 27 saves for the Avalanche, 22-4-3-3 in their last 32 games.

Flyers 3, Penguins 0

PHILADELPHIA -- Jeremy Roenick had a goal and an assist, and Roman Cechmanek recorded his fifth shutout of the season as Philadelphia defeated Pittsburgh.

Philadelphia moved within two points of Atlantic Division-leading New Jersey.

Cechmanek, who made 20 saves, earned his 19th career shutout to pass Ron Hextall and move into second place on the Flyers' career list behind only Bernie Parent.

Michal Handzus and Marty Murray also scored for the Flyers, who extended their unbeaten string to four games (2-0-2). It was Pittsburgh's first game since the Penguins snapped their 16-game winless streak with a victory over the New York Rangers on Wednesday.

Sabres 3, Hurricanes 1

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Miroslav Satan, Maxim Afinogenov and Daniel Briere scored power-play goals in a 7 1/2-minute span as Buffalo beat Carolina.

Buffalo won its season-best fourth in a row, while the Hurricanes are winless in seven (0-5-2) to remain in last place in the NHL with 61 points.

The Sabres, tied for 26th in the league with the man advantage, scored three power-play goals for the first time this season -- two on 5-on-3s in the first period. They won despite being outshot 10-0 in the third. Mika Noronen stopped 39 shots to win his third game this season.

Senators 3, Canadiens 1

MONTREAL -- Patrick Lalime made 30 saves for his career-high 37th win, and Ottawa eliminated Montreal from playoff contention.

Brian Pothier, Bryan Smolinski and Jason Spezza scored for Ottawa, which halted a two-game winless skid. Ottawa has 107 points to lead the NHL.

Saku Koivu scored for Montreal, which will miss the playoffs for the fourth time in five years, the worst stretch in the franchise's 86 years in the NHL.

Maple Leafs 4, Capitals 3, OT

TORONTO -- Mats Sundin scored at 2:56 of overtime as Toronto beat Washington.

Steve Konowalchuk and Peter Bondra scored third-period goals for the Capitals, who rallied to tie it after being down 3-1. Alexander Mogilny, Bryan McCabe and Wade Belak also scored for the Maple Leafs.

Rick Berry scored in the second period for the Capitals, who remained two points behind first-place Tampa Bay in the Southeast Division.

Panthers 1, Lightning 1

TAMPA, Fla. -- Martin St. Louis tied it with 36.1 seconds left in the third period as Southeast Division-leading Tampa Bay tied Florida.

St. Louis redirected Brad Richards' shot from the top of the left circle after goalie Nikolai Khabibulin was pulled for an extra skater. Tampa Bay is 6-0-5 in its past 11 games.

Khabibulin made 29 saves in extending his unbeaten streak to 15-games (11-0-4).

Thrashers 3, Predators 2

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Dany Heatley and Marc Savard each had a goal and an assist as Atlanta stretched Nashville's franchise-worst winless streak to 11 games.

Kirill Safronov gave Atlanta a 1-0 lead in the first period.

Greg Johnson and Denis Pederson scored for Nashville.

Blue Jackets 6, Flames 4

CALGARY, Alberta -- Geoff Sanderson scored four goals, three in a row in the second period, and added an assist as Columbus beat Calgary.

Andrew Cassels had a goal and four assists, and Matt Davidson also scored for the Blue Jackets, who won for just the second time in 11 road games.

Canucks 5, Kings 1

LOS ANGELES -- Henrik Sedin and Markus Naslund scored second-period goals to lead Vancouver over Los Angeles.

Vancouver snapped its 14-game winless streak (0-9-3-1) in Los Angeles, that dated seven seasons to April 6, 1996. Canucks goalie Alexander Auld made 31 saves to help the Canucks maintain a four-point lead over Colorado in the Northwest Division race.

The Canucks scored two goals on just four shots in the second period, breaking open a 1-1 game. Alexander Frolov scored for the Kings, and Matt Cooke had Vancouver's goal in the first period.

Trevor Linden and Daniel Sedin added power-play goals in the third period.

Stars 4, Sharks 3

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Brenden Morrow scored a power-play goal with 2:02 left, and Teemu Selanne's apparent goal as time expired was disallowed as Dallas beat San Jose.

Dallas held on to first place in the Western Conference and swept the season series from the Sharks -- but only after a five-minute video review.

Jere Lehtinen had a goal and an assist, Ulf Dahlen got his 300th career goal, and Scott Young also scored as the Stars stayed one point ahead of Detroit in the race for home-ice advantage through the conference finals.

Teemu Selanne ended a 15-game goal-scoring drought, and Marco Sturm scored two goals -- including the 100th of his career -- for the Sharks, who never led while losing for the ninth time in 12 games.



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