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NHL briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 5, 2001

First-place Stars blitz Sabres 4-1

DALLAS -- Now that the Stars have taken the Pacific Division-lead from San Jose, they are intent on widening their advantage over the Sharks.

Jere Lehtinen and Ted Donato scored first-period goals during a 62-second span as Dallas defeated Buffalo 4-1 Sunday.

The Stars -- seeking a fifth straight division title -- lead the Sharks by three points.

"The pride factor is involved now," Stars coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We've been hanging around this thing all year. Our players are recognizing that there are only five or six weeks left. We know we have to keep competing at a high level."

Mike Modano added a short-handed goal and an assist, and Mike Keane had a goal for Dallas.

Darryl Sydor matched his career best with three assists, and Ed Belfour had 19 saves for the Stars, returning from a 1-3 road trip. Dallas had travel problems coming back from Anaheim and got home on Saturday afternoon, 11 hours late. "We all recognize the difficulty of travel," Hitchcock said.

J.P. Dumont had a second-period power-play goal for the Sabres, who earned an overtime victory at Colorado on Saturday. Buffalo was 7-2 in its previous nine games.

Buffalo, playing its third game in four days, looked tired in the first period. The Sabres were outshot 7-2 and trailed 2-0.

AVALANCHE 5, COYOTES 0: Patrick Roy stopped 28 shots as host Colorado ended the 65-game streak of the last team to avoid a shutout this season. Joe Sakic had two assists, moving into a tie with Jaromir Jagr for the league points lead.

Scott Parker, Shjon Podein, Alex Tanguay, Chris Drury and Peter Forsberg scored for the Avalanche, who won for the fifth time in six games.

Roy, who won his league-best 33rd game, recorded his fourth shutout of the season and the 52nd of his career, moving past Rogie Vachon for 16th all-time.

HURRICANES 6, BLACKHAWKS 3: Sandis Ozolinsh had three goals and an assist to lead visiting Carolina. Jeff O'Neill, Martin Gelinas and Kevin Hatcher also scored for the 'Canes, who scored four straight goals in third period.

"We were dragging early, and needed our special teams to pick it up for us," Carolina coach Paul Maurice said. "Our power play got going in the third, and that was the difference."

The victory pulled the Hurricanes into a tie with Boston for the eighth and final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference. Both teams have 15 games remaining.

PREDATORS 5, RANGERS 2: Randy Robitaille scored two third-period goals and had two assists, and Cliff Ronning added two goals and one assist for host Nashville.

Robitaille, recalled by the Preds from the minors March 1, broke the game open in the third. At 2:21, he fired a wrist shot from the blue line that got past goaltender Kirk McLean. At the 9:04 mark, Robitaille skated in from the right circle, took a pass from Ronning and scored from the slot.

Late Saturday

KINGS 6, RED WINGS 3: Luc Robitaille had two power-play goals and an assist and Jozef Stumpel had a power-play goal and three assists as host Los Angeles halted Detroit's 13-game unbeaten streak with a fight-filled victory. The frustrated Red Wings didn't go down without a fight. Chris Chelios and Robitaille slugged it out on two separate occasions in the second period in which 74 minutes in penalties were called.

FLAMES 3, BLUES 2 (OT): Marc Savard scored 4:01 into overtime and host Calgary overcame a third-period deficit.

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