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NHL briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 8, 2001

Carolina passes Boston on two Brind'Amour goals

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Rod Brind'Amour scored two goals, his winner coming 4:52 into the third period, as the Hurricanes edged the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1 Wednesday night.

The win pushed Carolina two points ahead of Boston for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East with 16 games left.

Brind'Amour, the second-best faceoff man in the league, also won three key draws deep in Carolina's zone in the final seconds to help secure the victory.

"He's been a key factor for our hockey team since December," linemate Martin Gelinas said of Brind'Amour, acquired in late January last season from Philadelphia for Keith Primeau. "He's getting recognized as one of the best two-way players in the NHL."

"The door is open for us right now," Brind'Amour said. "We don't have to rely on anyone else if we take care of business."

Carolina visits the Ice Palace tonight.

Niclas Wallin blocked a shot in Carolina's end to start the winning rush, feeding Gelinas for an odd-man break with Brind'Amour. The center didn't get good wood on his shot from the slot, but it fooled Ron Tugnutt, slipping between his legs.

CAPITALS 4, PENGUINS 3: Jeff Halpern scored the winner with 3:20 left after Mario Lemieux-led Pittsburgh rallied from two goals down in the third.

Richard Zednik had a goal and two assists as the visiting Capitals opened a seemingly safe 3-1 lead, squandered it in 31/2 minutes, then rallied to improve to 8-0-1 on the road since Jan. 27.

Lemieux, angry after drawing a goal-producing penalty in the third, scored his 25th goal and set up Alexei Kovalev's 40th to quickly make it 3-all.

But Halpern won it with his 17th of the season, taking advantage of goalie Jean-Sebastien Aubin's ill-advised sprawl even before the puck was shot to flip a wrister into the top of the net.

Lemieux, who sat out the second game the last time Pittsburgh played on back-to-back nights, plans to play tonight at Atlanta.

SHARKS 3, PANTHERS 3: San Jose's Scott Thornton scored a career-high three goals, including the tying tally with 1:36 left.

Len Barrie had a goal and two assists for a career-best three-point game, but Florida extended its winless streak to a season-high eight (0-5-2-1).

San Jose extended its season-worst winless streak to 0-4-1-1.

Host Florida trailed 2-1 after two periods before Pavel Bure scored his league-leading 45th goal on a power play at 14:22.

One night after losing in Tampa Bay for its first overtime loss of the season, San Jose failed to hold a lead after two periods for the first time this season (16-0-1).

BLACKHAWKS 4, STARS 1: Jocelyn Thibault stopped 18 shots, and Bob Probert had a goal and an assist for visiting Chicago.

Thibault was within 3:24 of his seventh shutout of the season, and 22nd career, when Sami Helenius scored his first goal of the season for Dallas.

Chicago beat Dallas for the first time in three meetings this season. The Blackhawks are 4-10-3 in their past 17 against the Stars.

Dallas remained in first place by one point over the Sharks in the Pacific.

OILERS 4, MAPLE LEAFS 0: Tommy Salo made 25 saves for his sixth shutout as host Edmonton beat Curtis Joseph and Toronto for the first time in nearly three years.

The Oilers have won six straight.

Edmonton had lost eight in a row to Toronto, with Joseph, a former Oiler, in goal each time.

AVALANCHE: New information given by Patrick Roy's wife convinced prosecutors not to pursue a domestic violence case against the goaltender. Michele Roy initially refused to cooperate with authorities after her husband tore down two doors at their home during an October argument, but later told investigators she was in a different room when it happened.

KINGS: Los Angeles activated goaltender Stephane Fiset, lent him to the Lowell Lock Monsters of the AHL for conditioning purposes, and placed center Jozef Stumpel (fractured rib) on the injured list.

RANGERS: New York claimed Guy Hebert off waivers from the Mighty Ducks. Hebert, 34, became expendable because of the emergence of Jean-Sebastien Giguere and Monday's acquisition of Steve Shields from the Sharks. Hebert is Anaheim's career victories leader with 173.

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