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NHL

No. 8 Islanders shock regular-season champ

©Associated Press

April 10, 2003


OTTAWA -- The Islanders proved coach Peter Laviolette right.

Dave Scatchard, Alexei Yashin and Shawn Bates scored, and Garth Snow earned his first playoff shutout to lead New York to a 3-0 victory against top-seeded Ottawa on Wednesday in the opener of their first-round series.

One day after Laviolette proclaimed his eighth-seeded team was better than the Presidents' Trophy-winning Senators, the Islanders, who finished with 30 fewer points, backed him up.

Making his first playoff start in six years, Snow made a solid save on Mike Fisher's backhand early before Scatchard quieted the enthusiastic crowd.

Ottawa has a history of disappointing its fans in the playoffs. Despite seven consecutive postseason appearances and three 100-point seasons in five, the Senators have just two series wins and none when they have home-ice advantage.

"We believe that you work for your breaks," Islanders captain Mike Peca said. "And we were working hard and rewarded for it."

With the teams skating four-on-four, Scatchard banked a shot from behind the goal line off Patrick Lalime's pad and into the net to make it 1-0 at 7:59.

Yashin, the former Senators captain who was jeered whenever he touched the puck, made it 2-0 3:36 later when he was left alone and scored into an open left side.

Bates deflected Adrian Aucoin's point shot past Lalime 9:06 into the second for a 3-0 lead. The Senators didn't threaten after that as Chris Neil drew the only cheer when he checked Yashin in the third.

"We were too overanxious," Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson said. "We were running around, trying to finish every check. We wanted to do too much."

OILERS 2, STARS 1: Ryan Smyth scored short-handed between Marty Turco's legs, and Shawn Horcoff beat the record-setting goaltender's glove on a two-on-one break for visiting and eighth-seeded Edmonton.

Turco, in his first season as a No. 1 goalie, went 31-10-10, setting a league record with a 1.72 goals-against average and leading the league with a .932 save percentage. And Mike Modano gave him a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal 8:52 in.

But Turco allowed two goals in 3:48 early in the second. Turco saw Smyth's shot the entire way and was in position to stop it, but it squirted under him.

A spurt of penalties left the Stars down at least one man in the final 4:06.

LEAFS 5, FLYERS 3: Alexander Mogilny had a hat trick, and Mikael Renberg scored a power-play goal with 5:39 left for visiting Toronto. Philadelphia dominated the game, outshooting the Leafs 31-15. But Toronto scored four goals on its first 13 shots against Roman Cechmanek.

Philadelphia surpassed its record-low total of two goals in its five-game playoff loss to Ottawa last season but didn't get any from its high-profile players. Instead, it got goals from players who combined for 18 in the regular season: Eric Desjardins (eight), Donald Brashear (eight) and Eric Weinrich (two).

Tied at 3 and with Brashear in the penalty box, Renberg, an ex-Flyer, took a pass from Tomas Kaberle and beat Cechmanek. Mogilny scored into an empty net in the final minute.

DEVILS 2, BRUINS 1: Jamie Langenbrunner scored twice and Martin Brodeur made 26 saves for host New Jersey.

With 4:25 left in the first, Jeff Friesen skated around defenseman Nick Boynton, and Steve Shields stopped his shot from in close. But Shields didn't have a chance on Langenbrunner's rebound.

Langenbrunner stretched the Devils' lead to 2-0 on a bad play by Bruins forward Michal Grosek with 8:22 left in the second. Grosek's cross-ice pass from deep in his zone hit Joe Nieuwendyk's stick and set up Langenbrunner alone for a shot from between the circles.

Bryan Berard scored 3:28 into the third after a pass from Joe Thornton. But Brodeur made a stick save on Jozef Stumpel on a two-on-one with 8:35 left. He made a glove save on Glen Murray a little more than a minute later, and he stopped a bouncing shot by Berard with 2:35 left.

BLUES: Left wing Pavol Demitra returned to St. Louis for the birth of his first child, but the team's leading scorer is expected back for Game 1 tonight.

Also, owner Bill Laurie pleaded guilty in a drunken driving case. He was fined $450 and ordered to complete a substance abuse program for traffic violators.

CANUCKS: Center Mats Lindgren left practice early due to soreness in his back that forced him to miss nine of the final 10 regular-season games. Brandon Reid was recalled as a precaution. Reid had two goals and three assists in seven games.

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