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Goaltender Richter Bedevils New Jersey

May 12, 1997|From Associated Press

Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier are the marquee names for the New York Rangers, but goalie Mike Richter proved to be the team's biggest star against the New Jersey Devils.

Adam Graves provided the winning goal, scoring on a wraparound with 5:52 left in overtime as the Rangers eliminated the Devils from the playoffs for the third time in six seasons and advanced to the Eastern Conference finals with a 2-1 victory Sunday at East Rutherford, N.J.

All the Devils could talk about was Richter's performance during the series.

Richter gave up only four goals in leading the Rangers to a 4-1 series upset of the Devils, the regular-season Eastern Conference champions. And one of those goals was an empty-netter.

"Every game Mike Richter plays against us, he's fantastic," Devil defenseman Ken Daneyko said. "He's been like that against us for the last five or six years."

Philadelphia 6, Buffalo 3--Eric Lindros scored two goals--one on a penalty shot--within 41 seconds at Buffalo.

The Flyers won the series in five games and earned their second trip to the conference finals in three years.

Lindros, held in check much of the first five games, took control in the second period when he scored on a breakaway and the penalty shot for a 3-0 lead.

Dainius Zubrus also had two goals, the second an empty-netter with 12 seconds left. John LeClair and Shjon Podein also scored, and Rod Brind'Amour had three assists for Philadelphia.

Ron Hextall, making his first postseason appearance, stopped 21 shots.

Steve Shields played again for injured Buffalo goalie Dominik Hasek and made 34 saves.

Colorado 4, Edmonton 3--Adam Deadmarsh's second goal of the game with 1:08 left pushed the Stanley Cup champion Avalanche into the Western Conference finals with a victory over the Oilers to win the best-of-seven series, 4-1.

Deadmarsh, Colorado's leading goal-scorer during the regular season but recently in a slump, put Colorado ahead, 2-0, early in the second period. Edmonton rallied to tie and, after each team scored in the third period, Deadmarsh got a power-play goal, beating Curtis Joseph from in front of the goal on a pass from Valeri Kamensky.

Edmonton pulled Joseph and, after a Colorado penalty, had a 6-on-4 advantage in the final 41 seconds but couldn't get a shot on goal.

Claude Lemieux, the NHL leader in playoff goals, scored his 10th early in the third period for a 3-2 lead, but Edmonton's Andrei Kovalenko tied it at 13:49.

Colorado will meet Detroit in a rematch of last season's bitter Western Conference final.

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