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NHL briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 7, 2001

Hot Capitals rally to defeat Leafs 3-2

TORONTO -- Sergei Gonchar scored the go-ahead goal after assisting on the tying goal in the third period in the Washington Capitals' 3-2 victory over the Maple Leafs on Saturday night.

After Gonchar's shot went off Toronto goalie Curtis Joseph, Jeff Halpern batted in the rebound to tie it at 2 at 6:55 of the third. Just 45 seconds later, Gonchar one-timed the puck over Joseph's shoulder.

Gonchar has the most goals among NHL defensemen the past three seasons with 48.

Matthew Herr also scored for the Capitals, 6-2-2 in their past 10.

Nik Antropov and Gary Roberts scored for the Leafs, who have three wins in the past 12 games.

Washington goalie Olaf Kolzig, last year's Vezina Trophy winner, stopped 24 shots. Kolzig is 14-4-2 in his past 20 starts.

BLUES 5, WILD 1: Pierre Turgeon and Dallas Drake each had a goal and an assist as host St. Louis snapped Minnesota's eight-game unbeaten streak.

With a win or a tie, the Wild would have tied an NHL record for the longest unbeaten streak by an expansion team set by the 1993-94 Florida Panthers. St. Louis snapped a two-game skid.

The Blues beat former teammate Jamie McLennan, who started in goal for the Wild. St. Louis outshot Minnesota 34-7 during the first two periods and recorded a season-high 50 shots. McLennan was pulled after the second period in favor of Manny Fernandez.

St. Louis got off to a quick start, thanks to a short-handed goal by Mike Eastwood 2:01 in.

AVALANCHE 2, HURRICANES 2: Colorado's Peter Forsberg broke out of a scoring slump with a goal and an assist, and Carolina's Jeff O'Neill had two goals.

Visiting Colorado staved off a 4-on-3 in the final 32 seconds to extend its unbeaten streak to five. Avalanche rookie goalie David Aebischer stopped three shots in the final 10 seconds.

Colorado outshot Carolina 17-3 in the first, but went into the break tied after O'Neill stole a pass from Aaron Miller and scored with 2:46 left.

Carolina's Ron Francis had an assist, moving him within two points of tying Phil Esposito on the NHL's career points list. Francis is sixth with 1,588 points.

Colorado wing Milan Hejduk (strained back) did not play after the first and is doubtful for today's game at Detroit.

SENATORS 4, CANADIENS 3: Alexei Yashin scored his sixth career hat trick as Ottawa completed a perfect three-game homestand.

Yashin opened the scoring 2:07 in and added his second at 10:30 of the second.

Yashin, who sat out last season in a contract dispute, then broke a 3-3 tie by beating Jose Theodore with a shot from the right faceoff circle with under nine minutes left.

Ottawa's fans, who usually boo Yashin regardless of his performance, gave him a standing ovation and showered the ice with at least a dozen baseball caps.

RANGERS 5, DEVILS 5: Brian Rafalski's tying goal with 1:30 left in regulation -- his second score -- spoiled Jan Hlavac's three-goal effort for host New York as New Jersey extended its unbeaten streak against the Rangers to 21 games. The Rangers are 0-14-7 in the regular season against the Devils since Jan. 12, 1997. New Jersey did it this time by rallying from an early 3-1 deficit. Brodeur made 21 saves in his 47th straight start, including the playoffs.

FLYERS 2, THRASHERS 2: Keith Primeau scored his 200th NHL goal with 7:36 left to salvage a point for host Philadelphia. Primeau, standing alone in the crease, poked the puck past goalie Damian Rhodes' stick after taking a pass from Ruslan Fedotenko. Atlanta has 39 points to match its expansion season total.

COYOTES 2, ISLANDERS 1: Ossi Vaananen and Trevor Letowski scored less than two minutes apart late in the third to rally visiting Phoenix.

SABRES 2, PREDATORS 0: Martin Biron made 29 saves for his second consecutive shutout, and Chris Gratton and Stu Barnes scored to lead visiting Buffalo.

STARS 4, BRUINS 0: Backup goalie Marty Turco earned his first career shutout for visiting Dallas. He was appearing in his 10th game, and has stopped 93 of his past 95 shots.

Angry Belfour leaves Stars

BOSTON -- Ed Belfour left the Stars after the goalie and coach Ken Hitchcock had a "disagreement over Belfour's participation in the pregame optional practice."

Bob Gainey announced in a statement that he would not comment until the team is finished collecting information. Gainey has requested that Hitchcock not comment.

To replace Belfour, Dallas recalled Rick Tabaracci under emergency conditions from Utah of the IHL.

"Right now, it is out of our control," Stars captain Derian Hatcher said. "It is between Bob Gainey and Eddie, but it is safe to say that for the rest of this road trip, Marty Turco is our No. 1 goalie."

Belfour, who played Thursday night in the Stars' 4-2 loss in Detroit, is 16-11-4 this season with seven shutouts and a 2.13 goals-against average.

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