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NHL ROUNDUP : Barrasso Stymies Capitals

Tom Barrasso returned to playoff action Sunday night at Landover, Md., and it was no coincidence that the Pittsburgh Penguins’ defense improved.

The veteran goalie, out since he injured a shoulder in Game 5 of the opening round of Stanley Cup competition, stopped 26 shots to lead the Penguins to a 3-1 victory over the Washington Capitals.

Mario Lemieux had a goal and an assist to pace the attack, but it was the defense that made the difference and gave the Penguins a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. They regained the home-ice advantage.

In the first two games at Pittsburgh, the Penguins gave up 10 goals and were fortunate to get the split.

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A power-play goal by Dino Ciccarelli near the middle of the first period was all Barrasso gave up.

Barrasso’s quick pass out started the break midway through the second period that sent Kevin Stevens in for the tie-breaking goal. It was Stevens who scored in overtime Friday night to prevent the Penguins from falling behind, 2-0, in the series.

Neither Lemieux, who has a chronic back problem, nor Barrasso is in top condition. The Penguins were also without three injured defensemen, including Paul Coffey.

“I think everybody wanted to make up for the loss of our defensemen,” Barrasso said. “We checked well and played solid defense. They made it easier for me.

“It took me a minute or two to settle down, but I feel really great. The shoulder doesn’t hurt.”

Boston 3, Montreal 2--The visiting teams have won four of the six second-round games in the Wales Conference.

Ken Hodge scored with only 81 seconds remaining in regulation at Montreal and Andy Moog stopped 39 shots to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead in this series.

After Brian Skrudland tied the score for Montreal with only 5:50 left on a feed in front of the net from Mike McPhee, it appeared the teams were headed for overtime.

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The Canadiens outshot the Bruins, 41-26, but Moog made a several excellent saves.


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