Maple Leafs give in to Devils in overtime

Posted: Sunday, April 29, 2001

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Randy McKay and Bobby Holik got their act together just in time for the New Jersey Devils.

McKay took a pass from Holik and scored from close range at 5:31 of overtime as the defending Stanley Cup champion Devils beat Toronto 6-5 on Saturday night to even the Eastern Conference semifinal at one game apiece.

Until the goal, McKay and Holik played one of their worst playoff games ever. They were on the ice for four of Toronto's goals, including three in the final 14:01 of regulation.

''Even if we had won that game 5-4, I would have been in a bad mood,'' McKay said. ''I was on for four goals against and made some mistakes. It wasn't my night and this was the biggest game of the playoffs.''

Sitting in the locker room after the third period, teammates told the two to fight back.

''It was no big deal,'' said Scott Gomez, who had a goal and two assists. ''We kept saying: 'Who's going to get it.' We kind of joked that they owed us one, and they came through.''

Sergei Bryan set up the game winner, blocking a shot by kA Berg at the right point with Toronto on the attack. It set up a 4-on-2 that eventually became a 2-on-1. Bobby Holik carried the puck toward goaltender Curtis Joseph and then feathered a pass across the crease that McKay tapped into an open net.

''Holik, I thought he might shoot it,'' said Joseph, who had allowed only three goals in the Maple Leafs first five playoff games. ''He swung it around with the long reach. I cheated a little bit on McKay but he got it up.''

Alexander Mogilny had two goals and three assists, while Brian Rafalski and John Madden also scored for the Devils.

''There is no doubt we dodged a big bullet,'' Devils goalie Martin Brodeur said. ''There is no way around it. We put ourselves in that situation and we got ourselves out. This is something that is real nice for us and tough for them.''

Mats Sundin and Steve Thomas scored twice each and Danny Markov once for Toronto, which had won five straight playoff games.

Maple Leafs goalie Curtis Joseph had allowed only three goals in those five games.

The best-of-seven series shifts to Toronto for games on Tuesday and Thursday.

''We got the split,'' Joseph said. ''We're going back to our building and hopefully, we'll get the job done. Nobody said it would be easy.'

Avalanche 2, Kings 0

DENVER -- Patrick Roy set an NHL record with his 16th career playoff shutout as Colorado evened its Western Conference semifinal series with Los Angeles Kings at 1-1.

Roy, already the NHL's winningest goalie for his career and in the playoffs, had been tied for most playoff shutouts with Clint Benedict of Ottawa and the Montreal Maroons (1919-28). Roy finished with 20 saves, while the Kings' Felix Potvin had 26 saves.

Ville Nieminen and Joe Sakic scored, and Ray Bourque had a key defensive play for top-seeded Colorado.

Games 3 and 4 of the best-of-seven series will be in Los Angeles on Monday and Wednesday.

Penguins 3, Sabres 1

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Andrew Ference, a defenseman known for his hard-hitting style, scored the go-ahead goal with 11:51 left in the third period to lift Pittsburgh over Buffalo.

Robert Lang and Alexei Kovalev also scored as the Penguins, playing without Jaromir Jagr, took a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven second-round series, which resumes Monday in Pittsburgh.

Former Penguins player Stu Barnes scored for the Sabres. The Sabres are 0-15 when losing the first two games of a playoff series.

Jagr, who won his fourth consecutive scoring title this season, missed the game with a charley horse sustained in the second period on Thursday.



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