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Red Wings wrap up top seed in West

Posted: Thursday, April 01, 2004

COLUMBUS, Ohio Robert Lang scored his first goal in a Detroit uniform, jamming in a loose puck in the third period to lead the Red Wings to a 3-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday night.

The Red Wings' fourth straight win gave them 107 points, clinching the top seed in the Western Conference playoffs. They also have a three-point lead over Tampa Bay in the race for the NHL's best record.

Islanders 5, Canadiens 1

UNIONDALE, N.Y. Mark Parrish and Roman Hamrlik each had two goals to help the New York Islanders move closer to a playoff berth.

Adrian Aucoin also scored for the Islanders, whose magic number to clinch the final slot in the Eastern Conference playoffs dropped to two over Buffalo.

Senators 5, Panthers 4

SUNRISE, Fla. Martin Havlat scored with 6:26 left in the third period to lead the Ottawa Senators.

The victory moved the Senators past Toronto and Philadelphia into third place in the Eastern Conference standings. Ottawa has 100 points, Toronto 99 and Philadelphia 98.

Sabres 4, Rangers 3

NEW YORK Mark Messier scored a goal and then was given a hero's salute in what could have been his last home game with the Rangers.

Messier's 694th NHL goal in his 1,756 game wasn't enough against the Sabres, who stayed alive in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

Wild 5, Avalanche 4, OT

ST. PAUL, Minn. Marc Chouinard scored his second goal of the game 53 seconds into overtime to lift the Wild.

Chouinard poked the rebound of a shot by Stephane Veilleux under the leg pad of Colorado goaltender Tommy Salo, and the Avalanche fell to 1-5-1-1 in their last eight games.

Oilers 3, Stars 1

DALLAS Ryan Smyth broke a second-period tie with a power-play goal, and Edmonton boosted its playoff chances by snapping Dallas' 17-game home unbeaten streak (13-0-4).

Edmonton improved to 89 points to draw even with seventh-place St. Louis in the Western Conference.

Flames 1, Coyotes 0

CALGARY, Alberta Jarome Iginla scored his 40th goal of the season, and Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 27 shots for his fourth shutout of the season as Calgary clinch its first playoff berth in eight years.

Sharks 3, Kings 0

LOS ANGELES Alyn McCauley and Niko Dimitrakos scored 29 seconds apart in the second period, leading San Jose over Los Angeles.

Canucks 2, Mighty Ducks 1

ANAHEIM, Calif. Brendan Morrison set up the tying goal by Markus Naslund and the winner by Sami Salo with 21 seconds left, as Vancouver took over first place in the Northwest Division.

Vancouver's fourth straight victory gave them 97 points, one more than Colorado. Both teams have two games remaining.

Ruslan Salei scored for the Mighty Ducks, and Martin Gerber made 41 saves but Anaheim lost its fourth straight.



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