© St. Petersburg Times, published December 8, 2002
PHILADELPHIA -- The Blues keep losing players. They also keep winning.
Already without Keith Tkachuk and losing Doug Weight midway through the second, St. Louis got first-period goals from Martin Rucinsky and Al MacInnis and beat Philadelphia 3-1 on Saturday.
Tkachuk is home because of personal matters, and Weight's left thumb was hit by a slap shot. Both are day to day.
"We just keep on battling," said Fred Brathwaite, who made 24 saves. "We have lost some players this year, and every time, the team steps up."
The Blues, who are 7-0-1 against the East, pulled within a point of Detroit in the Central.
Philadelphia has won just once in its past eight home games and has gone a franchise-record 16 consecutive games without scoring more than three goals.
Rucinsky made it 1-0 1:27 into the game after he picked up a turnover at the blue line. His forehand shot beat Roman Cechmanek high on his stick side.
MacInnis' goal came on a power play as he sent a slap shot that glanced off Eric Weinrich.
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Sabres forward Jochen Hecht lost part of his right ear after being struck in the side of the head with a puck during the third period of a 4-3 victory against Washington.
Hecht, who wears a protective visor, was tumbling to the ice after appearing to lose his balance and was hit by teammate Brian Campbell's shot. Hecht, bleeding from his right ear, remained face down for several minutes before he was helped off the ice.
Adam Mair and Dmitri Kalinin scored 68 seconds apart late to rally the Sabres.
Washington goaltender Sebastien Charpentier, who stopped 40 shots, started after being called up from Portland earlier in the day. Starter Olaf Kolzig is day to day after straining a groin muscle during warmups Friday.
SENATORS 5, HURRICANES 2: Martin Havlat scored his second goal of the game midway through the third, and Brad Smyth and Petr Schastlivy added power-play goals late to lift host Ottawa.
Havlat, who scored 35 seconds in, broke a 2-2 tie when he beat Arturs Irbe from the slot 10:09 into the third during a four-on-four.
OILERS 4, PANTHERS 0: Jussi Markkanen stopped 22 shots for his first shutout of the season for visiting Edmonton, which is 7-1-1 in its past nine.
Jason Chimera put Edmonton up 1-0, getting the puck on a pass from Ales Hemsky and scoring from just inside the left circle 8:42 into the game. Two minutes later, Ryan Smith made it 2-0 to chase Roberto Luongo.
MAPLE LEAFS 1, DEVILS 0: Ed Belfour made 38 saves for his league-leading fifth shutout, and Travis Green scored for host Toronto. Belfour earned his fourth shutout in nine games and 63rd overall, most among active goalies. New Jersey outshot Toronto 38-14.
ISLANDERS 6, PENGUINS 3: Michael Peca scored his first two goals of the season and linemate Brad Isbister had a goal and three assists for visiting New York.
Peca, who missed all but 27 seconds of the first 16 games after offseason knee and shoulder surgeries, hadn't scored a regular-season goal since April11.
The Penguins played without right wing Alexei Kovalev, the league's third-leading scorer with 34 points, because of a bruised triceps muscle. Pittsburgh recalled center Kris Beech from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to replace him.
CANADIENS 4, COYOTES 2: Richard Zednik, Randy McKay and Chad Kilger scored in the first for visiting Montreal, which ended a four-game winless streak.