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Sharks eliminate Predators again

April 21, 2007|From the Associated Press

Patrick Marleau scored his second goal with 4:21 left, and the San Jose Sharks clinched a berth in the Western Conference semifinals for the third consecutive year, defeating the Nashville Predators, 3-2, Friday night at Nashville.

Marleau tied the score with a power-play goal late in the second period as the Sharks closed out Nashville with a Game 5 win on the Predators' home ice for the second year in a row.

The Predators had two full power-play chances in the third period and had the man advantage for the final 24 seconds. But it didn't help, and the Sharks ended the series by clearing the puck with 10 seconds left.

Buffalo 4, New York Islanders 3 -- Ryan Miller's blind glove save in the final seconds at Buffalo, N.Y., was enough -- barely -- to lift the Sabres past the Islanders and into the Eastern Conference semifinals.

After giving up three third-period goals, Miller stopped the final nine shots he faced. Maxim Afinogenov scored the decisive goal as the Sabres eliminated the Islanders in five games.

Islanders defenseman Sean Hill became the first NHL player suspended for violating the league's drug policy -- a 20-game ban that will carry into next season.

New Jersey 3, Tampa Bay 0 -- Martin Brodeur made 31 saves at East Rutherford, N.J., in posting his 22nd playoff shutout as the Devils took a 3-2 lead in the first-round Eastern Conference series.

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