Maple Leafs blow past Senators

Posted: Tuesday, April 17, 2001

TORONTO -- Cory Cross scored 2:16 into overtime as the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Ottawa Senators 3-2 Monday night to take a 3-0 lead in the first-round playoff series.

Cross scored by shooting a long rebound past Senators goalie Patrick Lalime.

''It came out to me and I just one-timed it,'' Cross told CBC. ''I was lucky it went in. I didn't even see it go in.''

Toronto can eliminate Ottawa with a win at home on Wednesday night in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference series.

Down 2-0 in the game, and without a goal in the series, the Senators scored twice in the final 3:09 to force overtime.

The Senators had not scored on Curtis Joseph in more than 223 minutes of playoff action, dating to last year's playoffs, when Marian Hossa spoiled Joseph's third straight shutout with 3:09 left in regulation.

Penguins 3, Capitals 0

PITTSBURGH -- Kevin Stevens, buried on Philadelphia's bench until being brought back by Pittsburgh earlier in the season, scored his second key goal of a low-scoring series as the Penguins beat the Washington Capitals 3-0 Monday night.

The Penguins, abandoning the shoot-the-works style that has marked their play for a decade, have allowed only two goals in three games to lead the Eastern Conference series 2-1 going into Game 4 Wednesday night in Pittsburgh.

Alexei Kovalev and Jan Hrdina also scored in a 2:39 span of the third period, but it was two players rescued off hockey's scrap heap -- Stevens and rookie goalie Johan Hedberg -- who were the big stars on a team usually dominated by two of the game's big names, Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr.

Hedberg, playing in only his 12th NHL game, turned aside a succession of good Capitals scoring chances while making 25 saves in the first two periods -- many while the game was still scoreless -- and 34 overall in his first career shutout.

Flyers 3, Sabres 2

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Philadelphia coach Bill Barber spent the past day agonizing over whether to put defenseman Andy Delmore into the Flyers lineup.

He did, and Delmore delivered Monday night -- proving once again what an important playoff performer he is.

With the Flyers down two games to none in a first-round playoff series against the Buffalo Sabres, Delmore broke a tie with nine minutes left, leading the Flyers to a 3-2 victory.

''Call it lucky, call it what you want you want I guess, I don't know,'' Barber said. ''Having Delly in tonight rewarded our team with a win. He came up with obviously a big goal for us.''

Game 4 of the best of seven series is Tuesday night at Buffalo. All three games of the series have been decided by one goal.

Blues 6, Sharks 3

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- A radical change in style worked wonders for the St. Louis Blues.

Dallas Drake scored twice and Scott Young had three assists Monday night to lead a remarkable offensive charge as the Blues claimed a 6-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks and a 2-1 lead in their first-round playoff series.

Pierre Turgeon had a power-play goal and two assists for the Blues, who rebounded from their scoreless performance in Game 2 with two periods of relentlessly aggressive hockey the Sharks couldn't match.

Scott Mellanby, Jochen Hecht and Cory Stillman also scored as St. Louis torched rookie goalie Evgeni Nabokov, who shut out the Blues two days earlier but showed his playoff inexperience in a shaky performance.

The rest of the Sharks also shouldered blame as the Blues outskated, outchecked and generally outworked San Jose to a 5-2 lead after two periods. In front of the Sharks' deafening home crowd, the Blues had all the jump and determination.

Avalanche 4, Canucks 3, OT

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Peter Forsberg scored 2:50 into overtime to give Colorado a victory over Vancouver and a 3-0 lead in the Western Conference quarterfinal series.

With the teams playing four-on-four, Forsberg beat Vancouver defenseman Murray Baron on the outside and cut hard through the crease before roofing a forehand shot over sprawling goalie Bob Essensa.

Joe Sakic, Chris Drury and Adam Foote also scored for the Avalanche, and Milan Hejduk added a pair of assists as Colorado once again found a way to win a close game.

Trent Klatt, Todd Bertuzzi and Daniel Sedin scored for the Canucks, who were playing their first playoff game in Vancouver since April 27, 1996. Vancouver led 1-0 for the third straight game.



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