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Hull into top five; Wings win

Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published March 16, 2003

DETROIT -- Brett Hull reached another milestone Saturday and the defending Stanley Cup champions look ready to defend their title.

Hull scored his 709th goal to move into fifth on the career list as the Red Wings beat the Avalanche 5-3.

Pavel Datsyuk, who assisted on the goal that moved Hull past Mike Gartner, Brendan Shanahan, Sergei Fedorov and Igor Larionov, scored for the Red Wings, who have won 14 of their past 16.

"When you've got the players we do and do what you're supposed to do, just don't be stupid and you'll be all right," Hull said.

Hull, who has 30 goals this season, trails Phil Esposito (717), Marcel Dionne (731), Gordie Howe (801) and Wayne Gretzky (894) on the career list.

Colorado forward Peter Forsberg left in the second period with a bruised leg and didn't return.

MAPLE LEAFS 1, CANUCKS 0: Owen Nolan scored a power-play goal with 51 seconds left in the second and Ed Belfour made 23 saves for visiting Toronto. The Leafs stayed four points behind Philadelphia for fourth place in the East and three ahead of the Lightning for fifth.

Vancouver still clinched a playoff spot with Nashville's loss to St. Louis.

Canucks forward Brad May was taken off the ice on a stretcher after a hit from Toronto's Mats Sundin. May, who leveled defenseman Robert Svehla earlier in the shift, had passed the puck and was looking down when Sundin jarred him with his right shoulder.

Also, newly acquired Maple Leafs center Doug Gilmour is expected to miss four to six weeks with a left knee injury.

FLYERS 4, PENGUINS 1: Ranked most of the season among the league's worst teams with a manpower advantage, visiting Philadelphia rode power-play goals by center Jeremy Roenick 4:07 apart in the second. Philadelphia has converted four of 10 power-play chances in two games since acquiring Tony Amonte from Phoenix and getting John LeClair back from a shoulder injury.

DEVILS 3, RANGERS 1: Patrik Elias' goal and assist helped host New Jersey gain a seventh straight berth and hurt New York's chances of getting to the postseason. The last time the Devils missed the playoffs was 1995-96 when, as defending Stanley Cup champions, they were edged out of the final spot by the Lightning. The Rangers are in danger of missing the playoffs for a team-record six straight seasons.

BRUINS 4, PANTHERS 1: Jonathan Girard snapped a tie with a goal early in the third and Jeff Hackett stopped 24 shots to lead host Boston, which is 5-1-0-1 after going winless in nine games. Girard snapped a 1-all tie 6:28 into the third on a power play.

THRASHERS 5, SABRES 3: Slava Kozlov's goal beat his old team and gave host Atlanta a team record for victories, 24. Kozlov scored the go-ahead goal with 4:02 left and Ilya Kovalchuk set a franchise record with his 33rd of the season.

HURRICANES 0, KINGS 0: Los Angeles' Cristobal Huet made 30 saves and Kevin Weekes stopped 23 shots for host Carolina. Each goalie made a few saves in the overtime to preserve the shutout. Huet gloved Bret Hedican's shot from the left side just before the final horn.

BLUE JACKETS 5, WILD 0: Marc Denis had 24 saves and Andrew Cassels scored twice as host Columbus set a franchise mark with five first-period goals. Columbus, with the worst record in the West, lost four consecutive coming in. Cassels set a Blue Jackets record when he scored 16 seconds in.

ISLANDERS 5, SENATORS 2: Mattias Weinhandl scored twice and Garth Snow had 31 saves for visiting New York, which moved five points ahead of Montreal for the final playoff spot in the East and a snapped an 11-game winless streak against the league's top club.

BLUES 1, PREDATORS 0: Cory Stillman scored with four minutes left and Chris Osgood stopped 35 shots in his debut for visiting St. Louis. Nashville's Scott Walker beat Osgood over his glove hand at the horn but officials ruled the game ended before the puck crossed the line. St. Louis forward Keith Tkachuk, the team's leading scorer with 30 goals, will miss the rest of the regular season after severely spraining his right wrist Thursday against Vancouver.

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