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Hurricanes Finding Ways to Get Ahead

April 02, 2001|Associated Press

Shane Willis scored 1:18 into overtime as the Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Ottawa Senators, 3-2, on Sunday at Ottawa and moved back in front in the race for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.

"We came out ready . . . there really was a great sense of that on the bench," Hurricane Coach Paul Maurice said.

Jeff O'Neill scored twice for the Hurricanes, who are one point ahead of Boston. Each team has four games remaining.

The Senators, who had goals from Shawn McEachern and Alexei Yashin, took a two-point lead over New Jersey atop the Eastern Conference.

"We've got to raise our level of desperation," Ottawa Coach Jacques Martin said.

"These teams are battling for a playoff spot."

Edmonton 3, Chicago 3--Even after trailing by two goals entering the third period, the Oilers managed to rally for a tie at Chicago thanks to goals by Janne Niinimaa and Ryan Smyth, who scored 1:13 apart midway through the third period.

The tie moved the Oilers closer to earning a playoff spot in the Western Conference. Only four points separate fifth-place Edmonton from the ninth-place Kings in the West.

Detroit 2, Washington 1--Steve Yzerman's power-play goal 11 seconds into overtime lifted the Red Wings at Detroit and extended their unbeaten home streak to 17 games, one shy of the franchise record achieved in the 1931-32 and 1954-55 seasons.

Detroit assured itself the Central Division title and Washington locked up the Southeast Division title with the point for the overtime loss.

Washington's Dmitri Khristich tied the score with 8:59 left.

Columbus 2, St. Louis 1--Chris Pronger returned to the ice for the Blues' loss at Columbus, Ohio. Bruce Gardiner and Petteri Nummelin scored, and Ron Tugnutt stopped 29 shots for the Blue Jackets.

Pronger had missed 30 of 32 games, including the last 15 after breaking his left forearm Feb. 26 against San Jose.

Making up for lost time, Pronger figured in both goals scored in the first period. He almost tied it in the final seconds, firing a slap shot from just inside the blue line that Ron Tugnutt caught in his midsection but the puck bounced to a Columbus defender as the horn sounded.

Buffalo 4, Tampa Bay 2--Alexei Zhitnik had two goals, and Dave Andreychuk and Miroslav Satan scored 47 seconds apart in the third period to lead the Sabres at Tampa, Fla.

The Sabres are one point behind fourth-place Philadelphia in the race for home-ice advantage in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Andreychuk scored with 13:03 left and moved past Brett Hull into second place on the NHL career list with his 236th power-play goal.

New York Rangers 4, Atlanta 2--Mike York's short-handed goal at Atlanta helped the Rangers extend their winning streak to a season-high four games.

Rookie defenseman Tomas Kloucek joined a long list of injured Rangers by tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee after he hit it against the boards in the third period. He will be sidelined into next season.

Thrasher goalie Damian Rhodes returned after sitting out 16 games because of a groin strain and made 25 saves.

Around the League

Atlanta's leading scorer Ray Ferraro agreed to a one-year contract for next season that will pay him $2 million plus incentives. . . . Pittsburgh center Mario Lemieux will sit out tonight's game against the New York Islanders to rest for the playoffs. . . . Columbus recalled left wing Mathieu Darche and defenseman Mike Gaul from Syracuse of the American Hockey League.

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