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NHL

Panthers wear a tie on trip to Washington

By Wire services
Published February 22, 2004

WASHINGTON - Robert Lang and the Capitals got the lucky bounce they needed.

Lang scored his team-leading 28th on a deflection and assisted on Sergei Gonchar's goal to help the Capitals tie the Panthers 2-2 on Saturday night.

With the Capitals trailing 2-0 late in the second period, Lang's drive to the goal was slowed. He got just enough of the puck, however, to push it toward the net, and it ended up deflecting in off the skate of Florida's Andreas Lilja.

"If we had been in that situation earlier this season, I think we would have probably folded our tents and called it a night," Washington goalie Olaf Kolzig said. "We got that fluky goal at the end of the second period that kind of jump-started us a little bit and we dominated the rest of the way."

Gonchar tied it at 7:10 of the third, just seconds after a Washington power play expired, one-timing a shot by Roberto Luongo's glove to extend Washington's unbeaten streak to four.

"Obviously, it's frustrating to see a lucky goal, but we were still up 2-1 and there's no reason to think that they would get another one after that," Luongo said.

Lang had a chance to win it in overtime, but shot high over an open net with less than two minutes to play.

Mike Van Ryn and Kristian Huselius scored for the Panthers, 1-2-2 with a game left on a six-game road trip.

Van Ryn opened the scoring at 1:45 of the second period when he spun blindly between the circles and fired a shot through the legs of Kolzig. Huselius posted his less than four minutes later with a backhanded flip just inside the near post.

BRUINS 3, HURRICANES 3: Brian Rolston scored with 7:19 left in the third for visiting Boston. Carolina's Ron Francis scored his 544th in the first, tying Maurice Richard for 20th on the career list. Josef Vasicek added a goal and an assist for the Hurricanes, and Erik Cole had a third-period goal.

FLYERS 5, THRASHERS 4: Simon Gagne scored on a penalty shot with 1:01 left, helping host Philadelphia snap a three-game losing streak. Joni Pitkanen scored two power-play goals for the Flyers.

DEVILS 7, RANGERS 3: Scott Gomez had two goals and three assists for the second time in three games, and Patrick Elias had two goals and two assists to lead visiting New Jersey.

SENATORS 2, FLAMES 1: Martin Havlat scored 2:26 into the third for host Ottawa.

MAPLE LEAFS 5, CANADIENS 4: Backup goalie Mikael Tellqvist remained undefeated, and Matt Stajan and Tom Fitzgerald scored and had an assist for host Toronto.

ISLANDERS 4, SABRES 1: Shawn Bates and Adrian Aucoin each had a goal and assist for host New York.

PREDATORS 8, COYOTES 2: Steve Sullivan had a goal and three assists for visiting Nashville. In Coyotes news, Ladislav Nagy, the team's leading goal scorer with a career-high 24 in 55 games, will miss the rest of the season after surgery on his left wrist.

BLUE JACKETS: Right wing Kent McDonell was recalled from Syracuse of the AHL.

CANUCKS: Forward Matt Cooke was suspended for two games without pay for spearing Matt Johnson of the Wild Thursday.

Late Friday

PREDATORS 3, MIGHTY DUCKS 2 (OT): Scott Walker scored at 3:34 of overtime and added two assists for visiting Nashville. Anaheim defenseman Vitaly Vishnevski tied it with 9:12 left in regulation.

[Last modified February 22, 2004, 01:45:26]


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