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NHL briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 19, 2000

Rangers' Richter ready to return Sunday vs. Lightning

CHICAGO -- New York goalie Mike Richter is expected to return Sunday night against the Lightning after knee surgery kept him out of the Rangers' first five games.

Richter, who had surgery on his right knee in April to replace the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, is scheduled to start at Madison Square Garden.

He was injured in the skills competition of February's All-Star weekend in Toronto. Richter missed 12 games over the second half of last season.

"I think we're seeing the same Mike Richter that we saw before he got hurt last season," coach Ron Low said. "His knee is sound and in perfect shape."

"Any time you get more responsibility it feels good," Richter said. "It's difficult as a player to sit on the sidelines. Fortunately Kirk McLean has played real well."

McLean made his fifth straight start Wednesday in the Rangers' 4-2 victory against the Blackhawks.

KINGS: Holdout center Jozef Stumpel signed a three-year contract believed to be worth more than $7.5-million. Defenseman Rob Blake went on the injured list, retroactive to Monday, with a lower back injury.

HURRICANES 3, PENGUINS 2: Martin Gelinas and Rob DiMaio scored in a 35-second span of the second period to end host Pittsburgh's three-game winning streak. Arturs Irbe made 15 saves in the third period for the Hurricanes, who held Jaromir Jagr scoreless for the first time in five games this season. The Penguins played the final 18 seconds with a two-man advantage after pulling goalie Jean-Sebastein Aubin and getting a power play on a tripping call against Sandis Ozolinsh.

AVALANCHE 5, BLUE JACKETS 1: David Aebischer turned away 20 shots in his first NHL start and Peter Forsberg had two goals as visiting Colorado remained unbeaten. Patrick Roy sat out, 24 hours after becoming the winningest goalie in NHL history with his 448th career victory. He received a standing ovation.

STARS 2, SHARKS 1: Rookie Tyler Bouck scored his first NHL goal early in the third period and host Dallas hung on for its third straight victory. Bouck's rebound with 18:21 left extended Dallas' lead to 2-0. Brenden Morrow got the Stars' first goal early in the second period. Jeff Friesen ended Ed Belfour's bid for his 51st career shutout with 13:49 left on a power-play rebound that made it 2-1.

CANUCKS 4, FLAMES 1: Felix Potvin came within 4.7 seconds of his second straight shutout, stopping 22 shots as host Vancouver won its third straight.

LAWSUIT DENIED: A federal appeals court agreed with a lower court's decision that the NHL and its teams were not responsible for the actions of Alan Eagleson, the former head of the NHL Players' Association who served six months in prison for fraud.

Former NHL players Dave Forbes, Rick Middleton, Brad Park, Ulf Nilsson and Doug Smail filed a class action lawsuit against the NHL and all its individual teams in 1995 on behalf of about 1,000 NHL players who played during Eagleson's tenure.

The players alleged that teams knew Eagleson was using his control of international hockey and NHL disability insurance funds to enrich himself, but allowed him to continue unrestrained. They alleged that, by not stopping Eagleson, the league violated portions of the U.S. Labor-Management Relations Act and federal racketeering laws.

COYOTES: Center Daniel Briere was waived. If the team's second-round pick in the 1996 entry draft clears waivers Friday, he will return to Phoenix's AHL affiliate, the Springfield Falcons.

FLYERS: General manager Bob Clarke says he will make another attempt to convince Eric Lindros to re-sign with the club when he is cleared to play. Clarke said he has no offers for a trade. Lindros, who couldn't be reached, is recovering at home in Canada from his sixth concussion.

SABRES: The NHL suspended defenseman Alexei Zhitnik for four games over a high-sticking incident. Zhitnik was penalized for hitting Montreal's Andrei Markov in the head with his stick Tuesday. Zhitnik said it was not intentional.

SENATORS: Coach Jacques Martin received a multiyear contract extension.

SHARKS: Captain Owen Nolan remains out because of an abdominal tear. Top goalie Steve Shields was out with a sprained ankle.

STARS: Left wing Jon Sim, who fractured a shoulder blade during training camp, was activated.

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