Ottawa goalie notches third straight shutout to keep Flyers on the ropes

Sublime Lalime

Posted: Thursday, April 25, 2002

OTTAWA -- Patrick Lalime grabbed a share of NHL history and was quick to share the credit.

Lalime posted his third consecutive 3-0 shutout to equal a league NHL record as the Ottawa Senators beat the reeling Philadelphia Flyers before a jubilant, towel-waving sellout crowd of 18,500 at the Corel Centre.

''I'd like to thank my teammates,'' said Lalime. ''You can't do it yourself, it's a team effort. The important thing is the win.

''It's fun out there. We've got three in the bank. Now we've just got to get the fourth.''

The Senators took a 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference best-of-seven quarterfinal. Game 5 is Friday night in Philadelphia.

Lalime's 28-save performance gave him a share of the NHL playoff record for consecutive shutouts first set by Clint Benedict of the Montreal Maroons in 1926, and matched by John Ross Roach of the New York Rangers in 1929; Frank McCool of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1945; and Brent Johnson of the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night.

The only shot to beat Lalime came in Game 1 when the Flyers scored in overtime. The NHL record for the longest postseason shutout sequence is 248 minutes, 32 seconds set by Detroit's Normie Smith in 1936.

''I have confidence in everyone in front of me,'' said Lalime. ''They're clearing rebounds and doing everything we need to win.''

Wade Redden, Sami Salo and Marian Hossa scored for Ottawa and Shawn McEachern had two assists.

The Flyers are 0-for-11 in previous playoff series when they fall behind three games to one.

''I don't have any answers,'' said Flyers center Keith Primeau. ''If I had answers, we wouldn't be in the predicament we're in. We better find answers pretty soon, though.''

Islanders 4, Maple Leafs 3

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Shawn Bates fired in a penalty shot with 2:30 left in regulation as the Islanders came from behind to send the series back to Toronto on Friday night tied 2-2.

Game 6 is back in Nassau Coliseum on Sunday.

The Maple Leafs played without Mats Sundin, their captain and leading scorer. The team would not divulge Sundin's injury or illness.

Hurricanes 3, Devils 2, OT

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Kevin Weekes, playing for slumping starter Arturs Irbe, stopped 40 shots, and Josef Vasicek scored the winner 8:16 into overtime.

The win by the Hurricanes gave them a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinals with a chance to win a Stanley Cup playoff series for the first time in 16 years at New Jersey on Saturday.

The Devils led 2-1 after Patrik Elias scored a power-play goal with 8:14 left and the Hurricanes took another penalty three minutes later.

But Bobby Holik, who has been New Jersey's best player, was called for boarding with 1:50 left. Jeff O'Neill broke out of his scoring slump by pounding one past Martin Brodeur 21 seconds into the power play.

Vasicek then scored his third career playoff goal from the slot midway into the OT period.

Sharks 2, Coyotes 1

PHOENIX -- Mike Rathje broke an 0-for-20 string with San Jose's first power-play goal since Game 1, and the Sharks held on. That pushed the Coyotes to the brink of their 10th consecutive first-round playoff elimination since 1987.

The Sharks, who reached the Western Conference semifinals in 2000 but were beaten in the first round by St. Louis last year, take a 3-1 lead back to San Jose for Game 5 Friday night.

Mike Ricci got the winner, giving the Sharks a 2-0 lead. Radoslav Suchy scored the only goal on Evgeni Nabokov, who continued his mastery of Phoenix for his third win in the series.

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