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STANLEY CUP NHL PLAYOFFS

A Mixture of Old, New Clash as Chase Resumes

May 02, 1997|HELENE ELLIOTT | TIMES STAFF WRITER

It was almost like the old days for the Edmonton Oilers, but it was the dawning of a new day for the Mighty Ducks.

The Oilers, long removed from their dynasty of five Stanley Cups in seven years, staged the biggest upset of the playoffs when they defeated the Dallas Stars in overtime of the seventh game of their Western Conference series. In their first playoff appearance since 1992, the young Oilers eliminated a team that had the NHL's second-best record and finished 24 points ahead of them.

The Ducks were sitting pretty after a seven-game victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in their first playoff series, but they're not content.

The defending Cup champion Colorado Avalanche was pushed harder than expected and needed six games to subdue the Chicago Blackhawks. The Detroit Red Wings also needed six games to solve St. Louis goalie Grant Fuhr.

In the East, New Jersey justified its top seeding by routing Montreal in five games. The Buffalo Sabres showed what they can do when they're not fighting one another--or with reporters--as they beat Ottawa in a seventh-game overtime finale.

Philadelphia sent Mario Lemieux into retirement by defeating Pittsburgh in five games, backed by first-time playoff starter Garth Snow. And the New York Rangers earned a week off by defeating the defending conference champion Florida Panthers in five games.

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