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Canadiens rout 'Canes
By Wire services
Published April 23, 2006
RALEIGH, N.C. - Alex Kovalev scored twice and Cristobal Huet made 43 saves to lead the Canadiens to a 6-1 victory against the Hurricanes in the series opener.
Carolina outscored Montreal 20-6 in sweeping the four regular-season games, and Matt Cullen put it up 1-0 50 seconds in.
"I just tried to focus on my game," Huet said. "There was a long way to go."
Francis Bouillon and Radek Bonk gave Montreal a 2-1 lead after one, and Kovalev made it 3-1 2:18 into the second.
The Hurricanes held a 35-14 advantage in shots through two. In one stretch, they failed to score during three Montreal penalties in a span of 3:28.
And 10 seconds after the third ended, it became 4-1.
Chris Higgins tried to stuff in the rebound of a shot by Niklas Sundstrom, who had just left the box. Higgins then chased down the puck behind the net and sent it toward the crease, where it bounced in off the back of goaltender Martin Gerber.
"It seemed like the puck didn't want to bounce in," Cullen said. "You've got to give their goalie credit. He played well."
SABRES 3, FLYERS 2 (2OT): Daniel Briere tipped in Jochen Hecht's centering pass 7:31 in for host Buffalo. The Sabres outshot the Flyers 29-12 through two and 58-32 overall and led 2-0.
But Mike Knuble put in a rebound with 3:26 left in the second, and Simon Gagne's power-play goal with 1:51 left forced overtime.
But with a delayed penalty being called, Hecht got to a loose puck and circled along the left boards. He sneaked a pass into the middle, where the open Briere stuck his stick out.
The Flyers also lost center R.J. Umberger. He was knocked woozy during the first overtime on Brian Campbell's clean check. His status is unknown.
AVS 5, STARS 2: Down 2-0 in the first, visiting Colorado rallied. The Avs' first goal came 1:40 after Bill Guerin converted Jason Arnott's pass. With goalie Marty Turco sliding to his right, Joe Sakic pushed the puck toward the middle, and Milan Hejduk knocked it into the open net.
It was tied 5:24 into the second. Turco was still on the side of the net after playing the puck when defenseman Jon Klemm gave it away. Jim Dowd passed it to Wojtek Wolski, and Turco couldn't get back in time.
After Rob Blake's power-play goal at 9:08, a puck through traffic, there was only 15 more seconds of play before Colorado was on the power play again. And John-Michael Liles scored at 11:12 past a sprawling Turco.
DEVILS 6, RANGERS 1: Patrik Elias scored two of host New Jersey's team-record five power-play goals. The Devils, who fell one shy of the league playoff record set in Boston's 10-0 win over Toronto on April2, 1969, have won 12 in a row. New York, which took 13 penalties, has lost six in a row and might have lost star Jaromir Jagr.
Scott Gomez put the Devils up 2-1 7:48 into the second by converting Brian Gionta's pass into an open right side of the net. Ken Klee made it 3-1 with 2:50 left in the second, one second after Tom Poti left the box, with a shot from the blue line that hit a Ranger in front.
New Jersey's final goal, with 4:26 left, might prove most costly to New York. Right after Elias scored, Jagr was helped to the dressing room. Coach Tom Renney said only that Jagr has an "upper-body injury," and didn't disclose his status for Game 2.
FLAMES 2, DUCKS 1 (OT): Darren McCarty won it for host Calgary 9:45 in. Anaheim played without top goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who practiced in the morning but sat out with a lower-body injury. In his place, Ilya Bryzgalov made 28 saves.
The Ducks tied it 5:17 into the third when Rob Niedermayer's pass deflected off the stick of defenseman Roman Hamrlik and Jeff Friesen batted it in. But McCarty skated freely into the zone and one-timed in a pass from Kristian Huselius.