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Ramsay's firing sparks Flyers

New Philadelphia coach Barber oversees win over Islanders

Posted: Monday, December 11, 2000

PHILADELPHIA -- By firing Craig Ramsay, the Philadelphia Flyers management sent a message to its players.

They got it in Bill Barber's first game.

Keith Primeau scored two goals in Barber's debut as the Philadelphia head coach in the Flyers' 5-2 victory Sunday night over the New York Islanders.

''We wanted to put in a strong performance not only for Billy but for ourselves,'' Primeau said. ''The guys have to take it a little personally. He (Ramsay) wasn't in it alone. We were there with him.''

Rick Tocchet put it more bluntly: ''We really didn't play well so far this year as a team. There's the old cliche, one guy gets fired for 22 guys.''

Barber was promoted from assistant coach earlier in the day to replace Ramsay. He is the fourth Flyers coach to win his debut.

''We are all responsible for what happened, even the coaching staff,'' Barber said after the game. ''It's been an emotional day. ... We played the best we could play.''

Kevin Stevens, a healthy scratch in five of the last six games, added a goal and two assists, and captain Eric Desjardins ended a 21-game goal drought with the go-ahead score in the middle period.

The Flyers snapped a 1-1 tie with two goals within 24 seconds early in the second.

Primeau won the faceoff on a power play and passed the puck back to Dan McGillis at the blue line. McGillis returned it to Primeau, who scored from in front.

Desjardins made it 3-1 at 2:27 with a rising shot that finished a 2-on-1 with Mark Recchi. The defenseman last scored Oct. 19 against Montreal.

''We're still shocked a little,'' Desjardins said. ''But what was really important tonight was the game and I think that we did a really good job of getting back and making sure we were focused.''

Barber was given a mandate to toughen up the Flyers, the least penalized team in the league. However, through two periods the Flyers notched only one penalty -- a high-sticking call against Andy Delmore just six seconds in.

Philadelphia finally showed some muscle -- and earned several penalties -- in the third after a pair of fights.

''I was glad to see the team get a win out of this whole ordeal,'' Delmore said. ''This was one game. You can't judge the emotion factor on just one game.''

Predators 2, Wild 1

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Cliff Ronning and Scott Walker had a goal and an assist each as the Nashville Predators beat the Minnesota Wild Sunday to snap a four-game losing streak.

Trailing 1-0 after a period, the Predators scored twice in the second to give the Wild their second consecutive loss.

The Predators were shut out for 166:44 (eight periods) before Walker scored.

Wild forward Darby Hendrickson scored his fourth goal just 5:22 in.

Jamie McLennan finished with 17 saves for Minnesota.

Penguins 4, Red Wings 3

DETROIT -- Rookie Toby Petersen scored his first career goal in the third period to give Pittsburgh a victory over Detroit.

Pittsburgh's Michal Rozsival scored his first goal since Jan. 27, a span of 49 games. Kip Miller and Martin Straka added Penguins goals.

Vyacheslav Kozlov, Brendan Shanahan and Steve Yzerman scored for Detroit. Yzerman scored his second goal in as many games.

Before Friday's victory over Philadelphia, Yzerman hadn't scored since March 27.

Stars 1, Mighty Ducks 0

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Ed Belfour posted his ninth career shutout against Anaheim, and Grant Marshall's first-period goal held up for Dallas.

The defending Western Conference champions won for only the second time in six games.

Belfour's shutout was his 25th with Dallas, one shy of Cesare Maniago's franchise record. With his seventh this season, Belfour, who leads active goalies with 56 shutouts, matched Roman Turek's league-leading total of last season.

Marshall scored his second goal of the season just 5:26 in.

Blues 6, Blackhawks 1

CHICAGO -- Al MacInnis, Mike Eastwood and Pavol Demitra had a goal and assist each as St. Louis tied a team record with its seventh straight victory by beating Chicago.

Craig Conroy, Scott Young and Bryce Salvador also scored for the Blues.

Brent Johnson stopped 22 shots as the Blues improved 20-4-3 and moved within two points of Colorado for first place overall in the NHL.

Dean McAmmond scored for Chicago, which dropped its third straight and slipped to a league-worst 3-9-0-1 at home.

Blue Jackets 1, Coyotes 1

PHOENIX -- Marc Denis stopped 39 shots as Columbus tied Phoenix.

The expansion Blue Jackets, who beat Phoenix earlier in the season, had won two straight.

Sean Burke made 29 saves for Phoenix, which has won just four of its last 17 games.

The Blue Jackets opened overtime on the power play and got off four shots. They ended the extra period with six shots, while Phoenix had just one.

Both goals came in the second period, with Steve Heinze putting Columbus ahead and Jyrki Lumme answering.

Kings 2, Canucks 1

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Stephane Fiset stopped 17 shots and Brian Smolinski snapped a scoreless tie early in the third period as Los Angeles beat Vancouver.

Fiset, making just his third start after missing the Kings first 25 games with a knee injury, improved to 3-0.

Kings rookie Steven Reinprecht made it 2-0 with a short-handed goal at 7:12.

Brent Sopel brought Vancouver within a goal with 4:49 left to play.



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