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Straka strikes, Canadiens denied in 3-2 Penguin win

Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published December 29, 2002

PITTSBURGH -- Martin Straka scored two of Pittsburgh's three goals in a second period in which an apparent Montreal goal was waved off, and the Penguins ran their winning streak to four with a 3-2 victory Saturday night.

Milan Kraft scored the first of two Pittsburgh goals in 1:17 early in the period as the Penguins erased a 1-0 deficit and ended an eight-game winless streak against the Canadiens.

Montreal appeared to close within 3-2 when Richard Zednik steered a puck past Jean-Sebastien Aubin at 15:39 of the second, just as the net was being dislodged by Marc Bergevin.

Referees Stephen Walkom and Kevin Pollock could have awarded the goal or called Bergevin for delay of game. Instead the play was reviewed by video replay judge Dale Ruth, who is allowed only to determine whether the net was off its moorings, not who dislodged it.

"Obviously, it should have been a penalty (on Bergevin)," Canadiens defenseman Craig Rivet said. "Sometimes you get that call and sometimes you don't. But that's not the reason why we lost the game."

ISLANDERS 3, HURRICANES 0: Chris Osgood had 25 saves for host New York, which earned its first shutout. Defenseman Roman Hamrlik, in his first game since Dec. 10 after missing six with a separated left shoulder, assisted on each goal. The Hurricanes dropped games on consecutive nights and remained two points behind the Lightning for first in the Southeast Division.

WILD 4, SABRES 3: Marian Gaborik scored his 23rd goal and added two assists for visiting Minnesota. Gaborik beat Martin Biron 27 seconds after Miroslav Satan gave Buffalo a 1-0 lead 2:57 into the game.

BLUES 6, BLUE JACKETS 1: Doug Weight assisted on the first two goals for visiting St. Louis, which improved its unbeaten streak to four. The Blues handed Columbus its worst loss of the season, 7-1 on Oct. 17 at St. Louis.

BRUINS 1, THRASHERS 0: Rob Zamuner scored a power-play goal late in the first and John Grahame stopped 29 shots. Boston spoiled the home debut of Atlanta interim coach Don Waddell, who took over Thursday when Curt Fraser was fired by Waddell, also the general manager. Fraser watched from a suite next to the press box.

RANGERS 2, PANTHERS 1 (OT): Darius Kasparaitis scored his first goal of the season, 56 seconds into overtime, for visiting New York. Bobby Holik passed the puck into the slot to Kasparaitis, who redirected a shot between the legs of goalie Jani Hurme. Radek Dvorak forced OT for the Rangers, who had not led in any of their previous eight games until Kasparaitis' goal.

RED WINGS 4, PREDATORS 2: Sean Avery had a goal and an assist for visiting Detroit. Red Wings goalie Manny Legace left in the second when he was knocked down by Nashville's Scott Hartnell, who skated into the goal crease on a breakaway. Curtis Joseph replaced Legace, who made 21 saves.

DEVILS 2, CAPITALS 1 (OT): Scott Niedermayer scored a power-play goal with 49.5 seconds left in overtime for host New Jersey. The Devils got the overtime power play when Washington had too many men on the ice. Jaromir Jagr was slow to leave after arguing that a penalty should have been called when he was pulled down by defenseman Oleg Tverdovsky. New Jersey forced OT on Christian Berglund's second-period goal.

COYOTES 4, FLYERS 0: Sean Burke made 23 saves for host Phoenix in his first game since spraining his ankle Oct. 22. Burke, who has 32 shutouts, missed 29 games. Ladislav Nagy, Tony Amonte, Daymond Langkow and Daniel Briere scored.

Flames hire Sutter as coach

It took less than a month for Darryl Sutter to find a new team.

The Flames hired Sutter as coach and he makes his debut tonight against the Mighty Ducks. The Sharks fired Sutter Dec. 1 after an 8-12-2-2 start.

Calgary fired Greg Gilbert Dec. 3. Gilbert was in his second full season as coach after taking over in March 2001. Al MacNeil, the special assistant to general manger Craig Button, was the interim coach. Sutter was 192-182-60 in just more than five regular seasons with the Sharks.

"This is not a short-term deal for me," Sutter said. "I want the identity of the Calgary Flames back to where it was -- this is a tough town, a tough place to play. Just to restore that is really important."

BLUES: Goalie Tom Barrasso cleared waivers and was released. The 37-year-old was signed as a free agent Nov. 4 and was 1-4 in six games.

CANADIENS: Forward Mariusz Czerkawski was sent to Hamilton of the American Hockey League.

COYOTES: The league suspended Todd Simpson two games without pay for high-sticking Kings forward Ian Laperriere on Thursday.

KINGS: Center Eric Belanger and left wing Erik Rasmussen went on injured reserve because of muscle strains.

MAPLE LEAFS: Captain Mats Sundin sat out against the Oilers with a left shoulder injury, ending his consecutive game streak at 269.

MIGHTY DUCKS: Captain Paul Kariya was in the lineup against the Canucks despite the death of his father a day earlier. Kariya, a Vancouver native, practiced Friday, then left to visit his family in nearby North Vancouver. That day, Tetsuhiko Kariya suffered a fatal heart attack.

OILERS: The team granted center Jiri Dopita's request and released him. He had a goal and five assists in 21 games.

PENGUINS: Right wing Alexandre Daigle was sent to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL. He has seven points and eight penalty minutes in 30 games this season.

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