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NHL briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 6, 2001


Flyers denied point

MONTREAL -- Saku Koivu scored his 17th goal with 7:59 left in the third period and Brian Savage scored in overtime as the Canadiens beat Philadelphia 3-2 Thursday night, denying the Flyers a crucial point in their bid for home-ice advantage in the opening round of the playoffs.

Savage scored his 21st goal 3:49 into overtime for Montreal's comeback win. Philadelphia earned one point from the overtime loss and drew even with idle Buffalo for fourth place in the Eastern Conference at 96 points.

Philadelphia led 2-1 before Koivu beat goalie Roman Cechmanek through the legs to tie 12:01 into the third.

Philadelphia and Buffalo, likely first-round playoff opponents, each has two games remaining, including each team's season finale on Sunday.

Michal Sykora assisted on Ruslan Fedotenko's 14th goal of the season 6:30 into the first and added a short-handed goal in the period as the Flyers took an 2-0 lead. With forwards John LeClair and Simon Gagne struggling after returning from injuries, the Flyers relied on Fedotenko and Sykora to provide the offense.

BLUES 4, BLUE JACKETS 1: Scott Young scored twice to reach 40 goals for the first time as St. Louis ended a five-game winless streak. Young has 29 points in his past 29 games.

Keith Tkachuk added a goal and an assist for St. Louis, which won for the fifth time in 24 games. It was the Blues' second victory at Savvis Center since the beginning of March.

RED WINGS 4, THRASHERS 0: Martin Lapointe scored two goals and Nicklas Lidstrom had three assists as Detroit got its first home shutout since Oct. 2, 1999. The Red Wings are unbeaten in 18 games at Joe Louis Arena, where they have not lost since Dec. 27. Their streak ties the franchise record set in 1931-32 and 1954-55.

Detroit is an NHL-best 18-4-5 since the All-Star break.

Brendan Shanahan, who had not missed a game this season, was a healthy scratch.

CAPITALS 3, PANTHERS 0: Olaf Kolzig made 28 saves for his fifth shutout of the season and host Washington snapped a three-game losing streak.

"It's important to establish the confidence again," said Kolzig, who recorded his 21st career shutout. "We've got two games to go before the playoffs, and we need to build off this -- get that timing and everything rolling."

The Panthers, who have lost three of four, had a season-high five-game (3-0-2) road unbeaten streak halted.

With the score 2-0, Florida had a chance to get back into contention when Washington's Chris Simon was given an elbowing major and a game misconduct for ramming Anders Ericksson into the corner at 6:13 of the second.

But the Panthers got five shots on Kolzig during the five-minute power play.

PREDATORS 4, FLAMES 0: Goaltender Mike Dunham stopped 33 shots and Cliff Ronning had a power-play goal and two assists for Nashville. The third-year franchise set a team record with 16 home victories despite winning six of its first 24.

Dunham also improved his personal and team mark with his fourth shutout this season.

FLYERS: Wing Rick Tocchet did not accompany the team to Montreal for Thursday night's game. He remained in Philadelphia seeking acupuncture treatment for a pulled groin muscle, sprained left knee and strained back.

RED WINGS: Defenseman Chris Chelios and forward Darren McCarty skated with the team for the first time since mid-March. Chelios gave no timetable for his return. McCarty said he hoped to be back for the playoff opener. Chelios broke his left thumb March 17 at Colorado and had surgery March 21. McCarty suffered a high right ankle sprain March 18 at San Jose.

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: Forward Scott Walker of Nashville and goalies Roberto Luongo of Florida and Fred Brathwaite of Calgary were added to Team Canada's roster. The championships are April 28-May 15 in Hanover, Germany. Players become available for the tournament as soon as their NHL teams are eliminated from the playoffs.

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