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Devils push luck, but beat Penguins

©Associated Press
February 24, 2003

PITTSBURGH -- Few teams are as good as the Devils in coming from behind to win. They just wish they wouldn't have to keep doing it so often.

Joe Nieuwendyk scored midway through the third period for his 1,000th career point and Scott Gomez put New Jersey ahead 37 seconds later as the Devils came back to beat the Penguins 4-3 on Sunday.

New Jersey overcame deficits of 1-0 and 3-2 while rallying to win in the third period for the second straight game.

The Devils have won five of the 19 games they have trailed entering the third period and are 9-12-0-4 when an opponent scores first. This time, they led 2-1 after the second period, then fell behind in the third before rebounding.

"We're probably pushing our luck a little bit, if we're counting on that," goalie Martin Brodeur said. "I don't think we want to do this all the time. But, right now, it's working."

Nieuwendyk made it 3-3 when he became the 65th player in league history to reach 1,000 points, picking up the puck in the neutral zone and skating through two Penguins before scoring from the high slot.

"That was a great goal," Penguins star Mario Lemieux said.

Lemieux and Martin Straka each had a goal and an assist and Rico Fata scored for the second straight game for the Penguins.

FLAMES 4, COYOTES 2: Jarome Iginla scored four times as visiting Calgary snapped a six-game losing streak against Phoenix. The 2001-02 MVP, who led the league in goals and points last season, has found his stride in February, scoring 13 of his 28 goals this month. The hat trick was his second in nine games. Iginla scored on a power play, short-handed, at even strength and into an empty net for his first four-goal game. Roman Turek had 32 saves for the Flames, allowing goals to Deron Quint and Ladislav Nagy.

STARS 3, BLACKHAWKS 0: Ron Tugnutt made 20 saves for his second shutout this season and 23rd of his career, and Mike Modano scored twice for visiting Dallas. Scott Young added a goal and an assist for Dallas, which extended its unbeaten streak to four (2-0-2). The Stars have lost once in 12 games (8-1-3) and twice in 25 (17-2-6).

DUCKS 4, HURRICANES 0: Sandis Ozolinsh had a goal and an assist against his former team, and Martin Gerber stopped 28 shots for his first career shutout for Anaheim. The Mighty Ducks improved to 7-3 in their past 10 road games and have 70 points, one better than last season with 20 games left. Carolina has won three games since Dec. 22. Adam Oates scored in the first and Paul Kariya added his 23rd in the second. Ozolinsh scored 57 seconds into the third, and Jason Krog scored with 6:32 left.

BRUINS 4, ISLANDERS 4: Don Sweeney scored his second goal of the season with 2:24 left to lift visiting Boston to a much-needed tie. Sweeney moved in on goalie Garth Snow and wristed a shot in the top left corner to give Boston an important point, putting it in seventh place in the Eastern Conference playoff hunt. Boston also got goals from Glen Murray and Jozef Stumpel, and a goal and three assists from Brian Rolston. Michael Peca had two goals, and Jason Wiemer and Jason Blake also scored for New York.

CANUCKS 7, JACKETS 2: Markus Naslund and Todd Bertuzzi each scored twice and host Vancouver extended its league-high unbeaten streak to 13 games (9-0-4). Brendan Morrison had a goal and three assists, and Bertuzzi added two assists for the Canucks, who won their fourth straight. Columbus forward Jody Shelley, who had 29 penalty minutes against the Sharks on Friday night, was suspended for two games earlier in the day.

PREDATORS 5, LEAFS 2: Vitali Yachmenev scored twice as visiting Nashville ended Toronto's five-game winning streak. Rem Murray, Scott Walker and Adam Hall also scored for the Predators, who have won five of six. Predators defenseman Cale Hulse sat out after he was suspended for one game for his cross-check on Ottawa forward Peter Schaefer on Saturday night.

AVALANCHE 4, RANGERS 1: Milan Hejduk scored twice to extend his goal streak to seven games and Patrick Roy stopped 37 shots for host Colorado. The Avalanche's first line of Hejduk, Peter Forsberg and Alex Tanguay combined for three goals and three assists. Avalanche captain Joe Sakic, who has missed a month with a broken foot, said he is 90 to 95 percent sure he will play against Edmonton on Tuesday.

WILD 3, BLUES 1: Wes Walz scored two goals, and Antii Laaksonen had two assists for visiting Minnesota. Manny Fernandez had 21 saves for Minnesota, which snapped a three-game losing streak. Pavol Demitra scored his fifth goal in five games for the Blues, who have lost five of six.

THRASHERS 3, OILERS 3: Yannick Tremblay and Dan Snyder scored in the third as visiting Atlanta rallied from a two-goal deficit. Daniel Tjarnqvist also scored for Atlanta, which is 1-4-2 in its past seven games.

RED WINGS: Captain Steve Yzerman, out since having major surgery on his right knee Aug. 2, said he is likely to return "in the next week or so."

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