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NHL PLAYOFF ROUNDUP : Lemieux Sparks Penguins' Rally

April 23, 1993|From Associated Press

Mario Lemieux ignited a three-goal third period, helping the Pittsburgh Penguins push the New Jersey Devils to the brink of playoff elimination with a 4-3 victory Thursday night at East Rutherford, N.J.

The two-time defending Stanley Cup champions can sweep the best-of-seven first-round series by winning on Sunday.

Winning Game 3 and posting their NHL-record 14th consecutive playoff victory didn't come easily. Pittsburgh, which twice had to come back from one-goal deficits, rallied after Bobby Holik's goal with 3:28 to play in the second period gave New Jersey a 2-1 lead.

Lemieux pulled the Penguins even 67 seconds into the third period, and then the Penguins quickly moved ahead, 4-2, on a fluke goal by defenseman Peter Taglianetti and a goal by defenseman Larry Murphy.

The Penguins are 20-0-1 since March 5, when they lost to the New York Rangers.

"We're not really cocky or overconfident," Penguin forward Rick Tocchet said. "We know if we play well we have a chance of winning every night. Who knows when we're going to lose?"

N.Y. Islanders 4, Washington 3--Ray Ferraro scored at 4:46 of overtime at Uniondale, N.Y., capping a rally from a 3-1 deficit.

The Islanders, who also won in overtime in Game 2, took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven Patrick Division semifinal series, which will resume Saturday.

Steve Thomas and Pierre Turgeon scored late goals as the Islanders won for the first time this season when trailing after two periods. Before Thursday, they were 0-25-2. They also improved their franchise overtime record in the playoffs to 27-7.

These teams have a playoff history of such games. But this one was considerably shorter than Tuesday night's double-overtime affair, won by the Islanders, 5-4, at Landover, Md. It also marked the first time in five games this season the Islanders had defeated the Capitals at the Nassau Coliseum.

Buffalo 4, Boston 3--Yuri Khmylev's power-play goal gave the Sabres the overtime victory at Buffalo and a 3-0 lead in the Adams Division semifinal series.

After Boston defenseman Ray Bourque was called for hooking Doug Bodger only 37 seconds into overtime, Khmylev tipped Dale Hawerchuk's shot from the point into the net at 1:05.

"I went in front of the net," Khmylev said through an interpreter. "I didn't see the shot. I didn't even see who shot it. The puck just went off me."

A Buffalo victory Saturday in Game 4 would give the Sabres their first opening-round series victory since 1983. The first-place Bruins finished 23 points ahead of the fourth-place Sabres during the regular season.

The Sabres' other goals were scored by Alex Mogilny and Bob Sweeney; the Bruins got goals from Bourque, Brian Smolinski and Cam Neely.

Trailing late in the third period, 2-1, the Bruins tied the score, fell behind by a goal, then sent it into overtime during a space of 2 1/2 minutes.

Montreal 2, Quebec 1--Vince Damphousse scored a disputed goal in overtime to give the Canadiens the victory at Montreal.

Quebec leads the best-of-seven Adams Division semifinal series, 2-1, with Game 4 set for Saturday at Montreal.

Quebec goalie Ron Hextall stopped Damphousse's shot on a power play, but the rebound went off the skate of a Quebec defenseman 10:30 into overtime.

The Nordiques protested that the goal was kicked into the net by Kirk Muller, who was originally credited with the goal, but it was upheld by a video-replay judge. Montreal was on the power play because Curtis Leschyshyn was sent off for slashing Brian Bellows at 9:26 of overtime.

The Canadiens outshot the Nordiques, 50-35, including 12-5 in overtime.

Montreal thought it had scored the winner 7:38 into overtime when Stephan Lebeau batted Benoit Brunet's deflected pass out of the air and into the net. But that goal was disallowed after video replays showed the puck was hit with a stick above shoulder height.

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