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Forsberg's Big Night Helps Avalanche Clinch

April 17, 1998|From Associated Press

Peter Forsberg had two goals and two assists, helping the Colorado Avalanche clinch the Pacific Division title and the No. 2 playoff seed in the Western Conference with a 4-1 victory over San Jose Thursday night at Denver.

The Avalanche, snapping a seven-game winless streak (0-6-1), closed out division runner-up Los Angeles and became the first NHL team to win four straight division titles since the Edmonton Oilers in the mid-1980s. The Avs' first title in the streak came when they were the Quebec Nordiques.

Forsberg, increasing his season point total to 90 to trail only Pittsburgh's Jaromir Jagr (100), scored his first goals since March 7.

Philadelphia 7, Florida 3--Eric Lindros scored two power-play goals--his first since March 7--and the Flyers ruined the Panthers' final game at Miami Arena.

Lindros scored his 29th and 30th goals of the season while playing in just his second game since being sidelined with a concussion on March 7.

Montreal 2, Ottawa 0--Brian Savage scored in the second period and Benoit Brunet scored an empty-net goal in the final minute at Kanata, Ontario as the Canadiens clinched at least seventh place in the Eastern Conference.

Montreal moved five points ahead of eighth-place Ottawa and both teams have one game left. The Canadiens also moved within two points of Washington and Buffalo, who are tied for fifth place in the East.

N.Y. Islanders 4, Tampa Bay 0--Wade Flaherty continued his goaltending mastery over the Lightning by stopping 25 shots at Uniondale, N.Y.

Flaherty allowed just one goal in four starts against the Lightning. He got offensive support from Bryan Berard, Mike Hough, Ken Belanger and Trevor Linden in recording his fourth career shutout.

Pittsburgh 4, Carolina 1--The Penguins scored three power-play goals in a span of 2:52 without NHL scoring leader Jaromir Jagr, who has a groin injury, at Greensboro, N.C.

The Penguins, having already clinched the Northeast Division title and heading to the playoffs for the eighth consecutive season, sat out the team's top-four goal scorers to try to get them healthy for the postseason.

Chicago 1, New Jersey 1--Sergei Brylin scored his second goal of the season in the final period and the Devils, resting several of their top players, tied the Blackhawks in their home finale.

Phoenix 3, Dallas 2--Defenseman Gerald Diduck scored the tying and winning goals in the third period for the first two-goal game of his 14-year career as the Coyotes clinched sixth place in the Western Conference at Phoenix.


Buffalo Sabres captain Michael Peca, last season's Selke Trophy winner as the NHL's topdefensive forward, will be sidelined at least seven days aftersuffering a knee injury in Wednesday's overtime loss to New Jersey.

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