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NHL ROUNDUP : Canucks Douse Flames, 11-0, Open 10-Point Lead

March 02, 1992|DAN HAFNER

The Vancouver Canucks, who won only 28 of 80 games last season, are running away with the Smythe Division.

And despite their other success this season, the Canucks, who have not had a winning season since 1975-76, will remember Sunday's performance at Vancouver for a long time.

With leading scorer Trevor Linden getting the first and last goals, the Canucks beat the Calgary Flames, 11-0.

Last season, the Flames won 18 more games than the Canucks and had 35 more points. But this season they aren't in the same class.

The Canucks' most lopsided victory was the Flames' worst defeat and left the Flames 20 points behind Vancouver. The Flames are in danger of missing the playoffs after getting 100 points last season. Three years ago, the Flames won the Stanley Cup.

Goalie Mike Vernon, the star of the Stanley Cup win, gave up three goals on six shots in the first period, then departed. Jeff Reese gave up the last eight.

Kirk McLean, whose 33rd victory is a club record, stopped 30 shots for his fifth shutout.

The Canucks, who also had two goals by Sergio Momesso and Garry Valk, extended their lead over the Kings to 10 points with 16 games remaining.

Edmonton 4, Winnipeg 2--What the Smythe Division does have is a heated battle for second place.

With this victory at Winnipeg, the Oilers opened a six-point lead over the fourth-place Jets and pulled to within two points of the Kings.

The score was 2-2 late in the second period when Norm MacIvor, who assisted on the first two Oiler goals, scored the first goal of the game that wasn't on a power play.

Bernie Nicholls capped the victory with his 13th goal five minutes into the final period.

Boston 4, Washington 1--After sitting out the first 59 games this season because of an abdominal injury, Dave Poulin is wasting little time getting back in form.

In his first game back Thursday night, he scored on his only shot to help the Bruins win, 4-2.

He followed that with an assist during Saturday's 5-5 tie.

During his third game, this one at Landover, Md., he scored what proved to be the winning goal early in the second period.

The injury kept the veteran center out of nearly 50 games last year.

"I feel great," Poulin said. "I feel I can make a contribution."

Philadelphia 1, San Jose 0--The Flyers haven't given up hope of making the playoffs. With Ron Hextall stopping 30 shots at San Jose, the Flyers pulled within five points of fourth place in the Patrick Division.

Mark Freer scored the only goal late in the first period.

Toronto 6, Minnesota 2--Joe Sacco, recently returned from the Winter Olympics, scored his first two NHL goals to lead the Maple Leafs to the important win at Toronto.

It was the second game for the U.S. star this season. He failed to score in 20 games with the Leafs last season.

The victory put the Leafs just five points behind the North Stars in the battle for the last playoff spot in the Norris Division.

Chicago 3, Buffalo 1--Rob Brown broke a scoreless tie at 5:16 of the last period at Buffalo, then assisted on the next two for the Blackhawks.

Jerry Roenick scored his 47th goal for Chicago, which moved into a tie with St. Louis for second place in the Norris Division.

New York Rangers 9, Hartford 4--The Whalers scored three goals in 78 seconds in the second period at New York. But the rest of the game, it was the Rangers doing the scoring.

Paul Broten had his first hat trick and Sergei Nemchinov had two goals to lead the Rangers.

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