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Coyotes Remain in Playoff Spot With 3-1 Victory

April 01, 2001|From Associated Press

The Phoenix Coyotes' third line is supposedly there to keep things going while the marquee players rest. It did a lot more against the San Jose Sharks.

Landon Wilson shed the banger image with two goals as the Coyotes beat the Sharks, 3-1, Saturday night at Phoenix.

"We know our role," said Wilson, who got his second into an empty net with 16 seconds remaining. "As third-liners we've got to get the puck in, get the puck out and win battles. But we approached this as a playoff game, and we needed to win. We came prepared, and we battled a very aggressive and hard-working team."

Mike Johnson scored first, helping the Coyotes preserve their one-point lead over the Kings in the race for the final Western Conference playoff spot.

The Kings have the tiebreaker over Phoenix and have four games left to three for the Coyotes. The teams play Tuesday night at Phoenix.

"The guys responded, which may surprise a lot of people but doesn't surprise me," Phoenix Coach Bob Francis said. "We issued some people a challenge this morning. We talked to Brad May, Travis Green and Landon Wilson, and they were obviously outstanding."

Sean Burke needed only 16 saves to end San Jose's three-game unbeaten streak as the Sharks looked punchless from the start.

"You don't win hockey games in the first period, but you can sure lose them in the first. And that's what we've done," San Jose's Mike Ricci said. "We've gotten lucky the last couple of times, but if you're going to do it all the time you're going to get burned in key situations like this."

Trailing 2-0 near the end of the second, the Sharks showed life after Jeremy Roenick picked up a penalty with 54 seconds remaining. Ricci, waiting when a shot by Marcus Ragnarsson bounced off Burke, poked it back in for a power-play goal 19 seconds before the period ended, but Phoenix continued to control play in the third.

Pittsburgh 5, St. Louis 3--Mario Lemieux set up Jaromir Jagr's tying goal before scoring the game-winner with 1:12 remaining as the Penguins rallied with four goals in the third period to defeat the Blues at Pittsburgh.

The rally clinched the Penguins' 11th consecutive trip to the playoffs, the second longest streak in the NHL to St. Louis' 22.

Lemieux, bothered by a bad back in practice Friday, won the game with his 34th goal, one-timing Alexei Kovalev's pass into the left circle by rookie goalie Brent Johnson. Kovalev started the four-goal rally by scoring 17 seconds into the period.

Lemieux, who had a three-point game, earlier set up the first of Jagr's two third-period goals to tie it at 3-3 at 12:47.

New York Rangers 4, New Jersey 3--Guy Hebert stopped 38 shots at East Rutherford, N.J., and the Rangers ended a 23-game winless streak to the Devils that spanned four years.

Petr Nedved, Adam Graves, Michal Grosek and Sandy McCarthy scored for the Rangers in a game that featured the second-period ejections of Mark Messier and Jason Arnott and ended with a wild scrum in front of Hebert.

The Devils remained one point behind Ottawa for first place in the Eastern Conference. The win was the Rangers' first against the Devils since a 3-0 decision on Jan. 12, 1997.

Alexander Mogilny scored twice and Randy McKay had a goal for the Devils, who outshot New York, 41-19.

Philadelphia 1, Detroit 0--Kent Manderville scored early in the third period as the Flyers ended a four-game winless streak with a victory at Philadelphia.

Detroit, which has the NHL's best record since the all-star break, had won four in a row. The Red Wings have lost only three of 25 games and hadn't been outscored in the third period in 20 games.

It was the 10th shutout of the season for Philadelphia's Roman Cechmanek, one fewer than league leader Dominik Hasek of Buffalo.

Boston 4, New York Islanders 2--Jason Allison scored three goals, including the game-winner with 1:19 remaining and then adding an empty-netter as the Bruins got a key win at Boston.

Boston moved past Carolina into eighth place for the final berth in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Byron Dafoe stopped 21 shots, one of them with a defenseman's stick.

Nashville 4, Minnesota 1--Mike Dunham stopped 41 shots and Scott Walker had two goals and an assist as the Predators won at Nashville, Tenn.

The expansion Wild kept Dunham busy with a season-high 42 shots, but Nashville finished the season series with three victories and a tie over Minnesota.

Montreal 4, Toronto 1--Karl Dykhuis had two goals and assisted on another as the Canadiens stalled Toronto's playoff drive in defeating the Maple Leafs at Montreal.

Dallas 2, Calgary 0--Marty Turco stopped 27 shots and Joe Nieuwendyk and Mike Modano scored goals to give the Stars a shutout victory at Calgary.

Around the League

Montreal Coach Michel Therrien and General Manager Andre Savard, both hired during an early-season shake-up, signed contract extensions. Therrien was given a one-year extension through next season, while Savard signed on for three additional years. Assistant general manager Martin Madden got a two-year deal. . . . Atlanta goalie Damian Rhodes, who missed 16 games with a groin injury, was activated from the injured list and Norm Maracle was reassigned to Orlando of the International Hockey League.

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