NHL ROUNDUP : Red-Hot Red Wings Beat Flyers, 3-1
For many seasons the Norris Division was the doormat of the National Hockey League. The division winner was often a .500 team and it seldom made a mark in the playoffs.
The division improved a bit last season when the Chicago Blackhawks carried the eventual Stanley Cup champion Edmonton Oilers to six games in the playoff semifinals.
The league started to take notice of the division this season when Chicago and St. Louis jumped off to fast starts. The Blackhawks have the best record in the league and the Blues have established themselves a contender.
A third Norris Division team, the Detroit Red Wings, wants to be counted among the elite. The Red Wings, last in the division last season, are being led by a talented rookie from the Soviet Union, Sergei Fedorov.
Fedorov, who turned 21 Thursday, scored a goal and assisted on the other two Saturday at Philadelphia to lead the Red Wings past the Flyers, 3-1.
The 6-1 center leads all rookies in goals with 14 and points with 34.
Their seventh win in the past 11 games improved the Red Wings’ record to 16-13-4. Last season the Red Wings did not win their 16th until their 46th game.
“Sergei is a great talent,” Detroit star Steve Yzerman said. “He can do a lot of good things with the puck.
“But another thing that has helped us this season is that we are coming together. We have a number of young guys with talent. They have now played 33 games and it is beginning to show. We should only get better.”
The Flyers have won only once in the last seven games, where they have produced only 15 goals.
Boston 1, New Jersey 1--The Bruins didn’t seem to have their hearts in this game at Boston after losing Coach Mike Milbury and wing Lyndon Byers.
Both were given automatic suspensions after coming out on the ice in Friday night’s game against Hartford. Milbury will be out five games, Byers 10.
Saturday’s game was as close as the score indicates. Both teams had 35 shots on goal.
Defenseman Lee Norwood’s first goal of the season earned the tie for New Jersey.
Minnesota 5, Chicago 1--The North Stars are the No. 4 team in the Norris Division, but for this game at Bloomington, Minn., they ignored the Blackhawks’ record.
Ulf Dahlen, who has started slowly after coming over from the New York Rangers in the trade that sent popular Mike Gartner away, scored twice to lead the North Stars.
The goals gave Dahlen four in 22 games.
Hartford 3, Washington 2--The Whalers, happy to get away from the Bruins, converted Capital mistakes into a victory at Landover, Md. The Whalers were trounced twice in a row by Boston.
New York Islanders 7, Quebec 2--Pat LaFontaine had two goals and two assists at Uniondale, N.Y., to lead the Islanders to a rare romp. Brent Sutter also had two goals for the Islanders, who dominated the battle between the two cellar teams.
Winnipeg 4, Montreal 2--Phil Housley, one of the outstanding offensive defensemen, led the Jets to the victory at Winnipeg. Housley scored his ninth goal in the first period, then set up two in the third period to bring the Jets from behind.
St. Louis 4, Toronto 2--Brett Hull scored his 31st goal shortly after the third period faceoff at St. Louis to trigger a Blues uprising. The Blues were trailing, 2-1, when Hull scored. The Blues scored twice more in the next eight minutes and moved to within four points of first place in the Norris Division.