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Roberts helps lift Leafs over Capitals

©Associated Press

February 21, 2003

WASHINGTON -- The Maple Leafs aren't waiting for the playoffs to prove they can win on the road.

Gary Roberts had two goals and an assist as Toronto beat the Capitals 6-2 Thursday night for its sixth consecutive road victory.

"I don't think we're playing differently once we're on the road, where as compared to the first month of the season where we struggled," Toronto's Mats Sundin said. "We tried to win playing good offensively. I think we realized after a while that we have to play good defensively."

Roberts was playing in his third game since returning from surgery on both shoulders that caused him to miss the first 57 games of the season.

Mikael Renberg, Jonas Hoglund, Travis Green and Robert Reichel also scored for the Maple Leafs, who have won four straight and nine of 10. Alexander Mogilny had three assists, and Toronto had four power-play goals to tie a season high.

Toronto matched Philadelphia for the league's best road streak of the season. With a victory Saturday in Montreal, the Leafs can tie the franchise record of seven straight, last done during the 1960-61 season.

Kip Miller and Jaromir Jagr also scored for the Capitals, who have dropped two straight and three of four.

Washington, which has six goals in four games, maintained a two-point lead over second-place Tampa Bay in the Southeast.

PANTHERS 4, SENATORS 3: Marcus Nilson and Ivan Majesky scored late in the third to lift Florida. Nilson scored with 4:46 left to tie it, and Majesky scored the winner with 24.5 seconds left to give Florida its second straight road win. The Panthers overcame a 3-1 deficit after Ottawa's Shaun Van Allen scored twice 39 seconds apart. Matt Cullen and Jeff Toms also scored for the Panthers. The teams combined for four goals in 3:34 of the period, including three in 1:01. Ottawa ended an eight-game unbeaten streak at home, falling to 21-5-2-1 there.

RED WINGS 6, OILERS 2: Brendan Shanahan had three goals for his 15th career hat trick, and Tomas Holmstrom scored twice for host Detroit. Five of Detroit's goals came on the power play, in seven chances, tying a league high this season. The Red Wings have scored 12 times in their past 21 chances with the man advantage. Edmonton is winless in four games (0-3-0-1). Igor Larionov also scored for the Red Wings, and Brett Hull had three assists. Jani Rita and Todd Marchant scored for the Oilers. In other news, Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman expects to return within the next week. The injured center has not played this season while recovering from offseason knee surgery.

AVALANCHE 5, PENGUINS 2: Colorado had the first goal for the 14th straight game, then held off host Pittsburgh, getting two goals from Dean McAmmond. Milan Hejduk scored his team-leading 33rd and eighth in seven games for Colorado, which moved into fourth in the West playoff race by improving to 11-0-2-1 in its past 14 games. Steven Reinprecht added a goal and assisted on both of McAmmond's goals, his ninth and 10th and his first in 10 games.

CANUCKS 4, BLUES 2: Nolan Baumgartner had a goal and an assist just hours after being recalled from the minors, and visiting Vancouver extended its unbeaten streak to 11. Vancouver, 7-0-4 during the streak, took a 3-0 lead with two power-play goals and one short-handed to chase Blues goalie Fred Brathwaite. Brathwaite allowed three goals on five shots before being pulled at 2:16 of the second, and fans cheered every save by his replacement, struggling Brent Johnson. Artem Chubarov and Matt Cooke also scored for the Canucks, and backup goalie Peter Skudra had 22 saves.

FLYERS 5, KINGS 0: Eric Chouinard scored twice, and Roman Cechmanek stopped 28 shots to lead host Philadelphia. Radovan Somik, Mark Recchi and Kim Johnsson also scored for Philadelphia, which is unbeaten in four games (2-0-2) after consecutive shutouts last week. The Flyers pulled within three points of first-place New Jersey in the Atlantic Division. The Kings had won six of eight. They are seven points behind Edmonton for the eighth playoff spot in the West.

COYOTES 2, BLACKHAWKS 1: Daniel Briere snapped a tie with a wraparound goal with 2:08 left for visiting Phoenix. After stealing the puck from Chicago defenseman Nathan Dempsey, Briere circled to the right of the net and slipped the puck past Jocelyn Thibault. Paul Mara also scored for Phoenix, which got 25 saves from Brian Boucher and won its fourth straight. Eric Daze scored for the Blackhawks, who have won three of 16 (3-11-2). Thibault had 24 saves.

PREDATORS 4, FLAMES 1: Denis Arkhipov had consecutive goals in the second to lead host Nashville. All four goals came in the second, and Nashville took a 1-0 lead for its fourth straight game. Tomas Vokoun had 38 saves to win his fourth in a row.

DEVILS: Defenseman Colin White is expected to be out 1-2 weeks with a strained right knee. The prognosis isn't as bad as the Devils expected after the third-year player was hurt in a mid-ice collision with Ottawa forward Mike Fisher on Wednesday night.

TRADE: The Rangers acquired minor-league center Cory Larose from the Wild for left wing Jay Henderson, whom they acquired last month from Boston.

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