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Flyers' Delmore nets overtime game winner

Philly flyin' high again

Posted: Wednesday, May 03, 2000

PITTSBURGH -- The Philadelphia Flyers' desperation overcame Jaromir Jagr's domination.

Jagr rallied Pittsburgh from a two-goal deficit before the Flyers came back on the road to do what they couldn't do at home, winning 4-3 on Andy Delmore's overtime goal Tuesday night to cut the Penguins' series lead to a game.

Delmore, a rookie defenseman, scored his first two career playoff goals, the second at 11:01 of overtime to overcome a brilliant game by Jagr, who had two goals and an assist.

The road team won for the third consecutive game in the Eastern Conference semifinals. The seventh-seeded Penguins take a 2-1 lead into Game 4 Thursday, but squandered a chance to virtually wrap up the series by allowing the Flyers to dominate the overtime.

''If had we lost this game, the series would have been all but over,'' said the Flyers' Keith Jones, who had a goal and two assists.

The top-seeded Flyers outshot the Penguins 11-1 in the extra session and 44-18 overall, with Delmore wristing a shot from the slot past Ron Tugnutt off passes by Jones and Jody Hull.

''I let Jody Hull know how open I was. He made a drop pass to Keith Jones and he made a shovel pass to me,'' Delmore said. ''I was lucky enough to shift from by backhand to my forehand and make the shot.''

Jones said, ''Delmore was yelling for the puck loud enough that the people up top could hear him. He scored a fantastic goal.''

Jagr scored his fourth and fifth goals of the series and had a hand in every Penguins goal as they rallied from Flyers leads of 2-0 and 3-2 before Philadelphia ended an eight-game playoff overtime losing streak.

The Flyers hadn't won a playoff overtime game since Eric Lindros' goal beat New Jersey on June 7, 1995.

''He (Jagr) was unbelievable,'' Penguins forward Matthew Barnaby said. ''That's one of the best games I've ever seen anyone play.''

The Flyers, who never led in either game in Philadelphia, opened a 2-0 lead in a frenetically played first period, lost it as Jagr's line scored twice in the second period, then regained it on John LeClair's goal at 7:27 of the third.

''We didn't fold,'' Flyers goalie Brian Boucher said. ''It was almost like we knew it was our turn to win.''

The Flyers are one of the NHL's best teams with a lead. But as they already know, that means nothing when Jagr is on the ice -- and that probably seemed to the Flyers like virtually every shift.

Jagr, who appeared to skate in an even higher gear than normal in the second period and kept it going, got open in the high slot, skillfully faked defenseman Eric Desjardins off his skates, and wristed a shot by Boucher at 14:28 of the third for his fourth goal in two games.

''It seemed like we were always coming from behind,'' Jagr said. ''It's tough to do that against a team like Philadelphia. We spent a lot of energy after we got behind 2-0.''

Sharks 2, Stars 1

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- The San Jose Sharks got to Ed Belfour just enough to get back in their playoff series with the Dallas Stars.

Ending a 171-minute, 28-second scoring drought that included consecutive shutouts by the Dallas goalie in the first two games of the series, the Sharks broke through for goals by Owen Nolan and Mike Ricci and beat the Stars 2-1 Tuesday night.

The Sharks trail the best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal series 2-1 with Game 4 set for Friday night.

San Jose goalie Steve Shields made his team's sudden offense stand up by stopping 30 shots, including several clutch saves in the final period. Dallas pulled Belfour in the final minute for an extra attacker but Shields smothered Kirk Muller's wraparound attempt with 30 seconds left and Dallas failed to register another shot.

San Jose finally got its first goal of the series at 5:42 of the second period and it took a 5-on-3 power play to do it. With Blake Sloan and Aaron Gavey in the penalty box, Gary Suter got off a shot from the top of the slot and Ricci, positioned in front of the net, used the shaft of his stick to redirect it past Belfour before the Dallas goalie could adjust.

It was the first goal scored on Belfour since early in the third period of Game 5 in Dallas' first-round victory over Edmonton, a span of 164:35.

Ricci's first goal of the series marked San Jose's first playoff score since Jeff Friesen's goal at 14:14 of the second period in the Sharks' game 7 victory at St. Louis on April 23, when they completed their first-round upset of the top-seeded Blues.

Nolan, San Jose's leading scorer who sat out game 2 at Dallas because of foot and shoulder injuries, came back to score his seventh postseason goal at 14:56 of the second, putting the Sharks in front.

Bryan Marchment started the rush in the San Jose zone, got the puck out on the wing to Vincent Damphousse, who shot a lead pass out to the streaking Nolan. He just managed to take a poke at the puck as it slid across the slot and directed it into the corner of the net past the startled Belfour.

A San Jose turnover near the red line gave the Stars a short-handed breakaway in the final seconds of the second period but Mike Modano's shot from up close was stopped by Shields.

Dallas opened the scoring on the power play as Modano scored his fifth goal of the playoffs and third of the series. Shields deflected a shot by Brett Hull but the puck came out to Modano at the bottom of the faceoff circle and he wristed a shot past Shields 3:35 into the game.

San Jose had some early chances, outshooting the Stars 12-8 in the first, but was frustrated by Belfour. At one point, Friesen shook loose on a breakaway but Belfour came out to the top of the crease and smothered the shot just as Friesen's stick met the puck.

Belfour had another great stop with about eight minutes left in the period. The Sharks got the puck to Todd Harvey alone in the slot but Belfour dropped to his knees in anticipation of the forehand shot and blocked it.



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