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Coyotes Get Boost in West

March 21, 1997|From Associated Pres

Keith Tkachuk had four goals, but more important to the Phoenix Coyotes were the two points they got for beating the Blackhawks, 4-2, at Chicago on Thursday night.

The victory gave Phoenix 73 points, good enough for fifth place in the Western Conference and two more than the Mighty Ducks.

"It's just nice to get a win. At this time of the year the game was important," Tkachuk said. "We are in a battle for the playoffs and neck-and-neck with one another."

Chicago dropped three points below St. Louis for the final playoff spot in the West.

Tkachuk deflected in a shot by teammate Oleg Tverdovsky for his third goal, a power-play score that broke a 2-2 tie at 10:23 of the final period, and then added an empty-net goal with 20 seconds to go. It was the second four-goal game of his career.

Pittsburgh 6, Toronto 3--Joe Mullen, the NHL's oldest player at 40, scored two goals to lead the Penguins, who won at Pittsburgh and have a two-game winning streak for the first time in more than a month.

Goaltender Patrick Lalime, playing for the injured Ken Wregget, has been in the nets for both wins. He had lost six decisions in a row before getting a relief victory against Buffalo on Tuesday.

St. Louis 4, Hartford 1--Grant Fuhr blocked 28 shots and Pierre Turgeon had two goals and an assist for the Blues, who retained the eighth spot in the Western Conference with a victory in St. Louis.

Florida 2, Ottawa 2--Jody Hull scored at 1:40 of the third period for the Panthers, who salvaged a tie at Kanata, Canada.

San Jose 2, Vancouver 1--Viktor Kozlov's unassisted, power-play goal 2:40 into the third period broke a tie and Kelly Hrudey stopped 30 shots for the Sharks, who ended a five-game losing streak with a victory at Vancouver.

The Canucks are 1-7-2 in their last 10 games.

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