Flyers dull Sabres as Esche gets first shutout

Posted: Sunday, December 15, 2002

PHILADELPHIA -- Robert Esche recorded his first shutout for Philadelphia and Donald Brashear and Eric Desjardins scored as the Flyers beat the Buffalo Sabres 2-0 Saturday night.

Esche, obtained last summer from Phoenix, was rarely tested in stopping 15 shots. His best stop was a glove save on a shot from the right point by Dmitri Kalinin with 3:34 left. It was his fourth career shutout.

The Flyers pelted Martin Biron with 34 shots while holding the Sabres to their lowest shot total of the season. It was Philadelphia's first home shutout since Dec. 1, 2001.

Maple Leafs 4, Rangers 1

TORONTO -- Mats Sundin had a goal and an assist as Toronto handed the New York Rangers their season-high fifth straight loss.

The Rangers, on their longest losing streak since dropping six in a row last season, elected to give 19-year-old Dan Blackburn his 18th straight start in goal instead of using Mike Dunham -- acquired Thursday.

Tie Domi and Nik Antropov also scored for the Maple Leafs, who have won eight straight at home and nine of 12 overall. Ed Belfour turned aside 36 shots.

Canadiens 4, Bruins 2

MONTREAL -- Richard Zednik, Chad Kilger, Craig Rivet and Yanic Perreault scored to lead Montreal over Boston.

Boston, which got goals from Ivan Huml and Marty McInnis, extended its season-high losing streak to three. Jose Theodore made 25 saves in his first start since allowing seven goals in Colorado on Dec. 6.

Lightning 4, Islanders 3

TAMPA, Fla. -- Vincent Lecavalier had two goals and an assist to lead Tampa Bay over the New York Islanders.

Cory Sarich and Vaclav Prospal also scored for the Lightning, who snapped a five-game losing streak against the Islanders. Tampa Bay had been outscored 22-7 in its five losses to New York.

Mark Parrish, Shawn Bates and Kenny Jonsson scored for New York, 0-2-1 since winning three straight games. Bates has four short-handed goals this season, including one in each of the last two games.

Red Wings 6, Blue Jackets 4

DETROIT -- Sergei Fedorov had two goals and an assist one day after his 33rd birthday as Detroit beat Columbus.

Brendan Shanahan, Tomas Holmstrom, Darren McCarty and Kirk Maltby also scored for Detroit.

Lasse Pirjeta, Geoff Sanderson, Tyler Wright and Jody Shelley scored for Columbus.

Senators 4, Devils 3, OT

OTTAWA -- Mike Fisher's goal 1:50 into overtime extended Ottawa's home unbeaten streak to a club-record eight games.

Martin Havlat raced up the right boards and drilled a shot that Fisher deflected past Devils goalie Martin Brodeur.

Todd White, Shaun Van Allen and Havlat also scored for Ottawa, stretching the Senators' unbeaten string to five games (4-0-1).

Jamie Langenbrunner, Sergei Brylin and Christian Berglund scored for New Jersey.

The Senators have only one loss in 15 games (11-1-3).

Blues 4, Thrashers 0

ST. LOUIS -- Brent Johnson earned his first shutout of the season, and Tyson Nash scored his first goal to spark St. Louis.

Johnson made his first start at home this season and helped stretch Atlanta's losing streak to six games. Johnson stopped 32 shots in earning his 10th career shutout and first since topping San Jose on March 13.

Johnson made his first start on Thursday at Nashville after missing the first 28 games with a high ankle sprain.

Petr Cajanek and Cory Stillman also scored.

Predators 3, Wild 1

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Scott Walker scored a pair of goals, one on the power play, to lead Nashville over Minnesota.

The Wild cut the deficit to 2-1 at 1:30 of the third on Andrew Brunette's 12 goal this season.

Adam Hall also scored for Nashville.

Sharks 2, Capitals 0

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Evgeni Nabokov stopped 34 shots for his first shutout of the season, and San Jose coach Ron Wilson's new team beat his old one in a victory over Washington.

The Sharks won for the third time in four games since Wilson replaced Darryl Sutter. Marco Sturm and Adam Graves scored as the Sharks got back within one victory of .500.

Nabokov has missed just one start in the Sharks' last 22 games, including 14 straight starts. He got his 15th career shutout with 16 saves in the third period.

The Capitals lost for the third time on a five-game road trip.

Canucks 6, Oilers 3

EDMONTON, Alberta -- Markus Naslund scored four goals to lead Vancouver over Edmonton.

The Vancouver captain scored his fourth of the game and NHL-best 20th of the season at 12:36 of the second period.

Todd Bertuzzi and Daniel Sedin also scored for Vancouver. Bertuzzi, Brendan Morrison, Mattias Ohlund and Ed Jovanovski each had two assists for the Canucks.

Mike York, Ryan Smyth and Jason Chimera scored for the Oilers.

Avalanche 3, Flames 1

CALGARY, Alberta -- Dean McAmmond and Derek Morris scored to lead depleted Colorado past Calgary.

The Avalanche were without injured forwards Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg, but used McAmmond and Morris -- both former Flames -- to supply the offense.

Vaclav Nedorost scored the other goal for Colorado, which won for just the second time in 12 games against division opponents (2-4-4-2).

Stephane Yelle, formerly of Colorado, scored his first goal in 18 games for Calgary. The Flames have lost two straight after going 2-0-1 in their first three games under interim coach Al MacNeil.

Kings 3, Penguins 2, OT

LOS ANGELES -- Mathieu Schneider scored with 37.4 seconds left in overtime to lift Los Angeles over Pittsburgh.

Craig Johnson's goal with 11:32 remaining in regulation tied it for the Kings. Ziggy Palffy had the other goal for Los Angeles.

Alexei Kovalev and Jan Hrdina scored for the Penguins, who have lost seven straight.

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