Red Wings Win, Become First to Clinch Division

From Associated Press

Since nothing short of winning the Stanley Cup will please the Detroit Red Wings and their fans this season, clinching a division title might seem trivial.

But Red Wing forward Darren McCarty put the achievement in perspective Sunday after Detroit secured the Central Division with a 4-2 victory over the Calgary Flames at Detroit.

"It's important because it's one of the goals you have to pass on your way to the big goal," said McCarty, who had two assists in Detroit's sixth consecutive victory and 52nd of the season. "We want home ice [for the playoffs], so it's important for that."

The Red Wings, the first NHL team to clinch a playoff spot, are 10-1 in their last 11.

Chicago 5, N.Y. Islanders 1--Tony Amonte scored twice on passes from Jeremy Roenick in a 1:24 span of the second period as the Blackhawks won at Chicago.

Ottawa 5, Tampa Bay 0--Damian Rhodes recorded his second successive shutout, and the Senators set a franchise record with their 15th victory of the season.

Toronto 4, Vancouver 2--Mike Gartner and Larry Murphy each scored twice as the Maple Leafs extended their unbeaten streak to four games by winning at Toronto.

Washington 2, Dallas 1--Peter Bondra and Michal Pivonka each scored at Landover, Md., and goalie Jim Carey tied the Capitals' record for wins (29) in a season.

Florida 3, New Jersey 0--Martin Straka had a goal and an assist at Miami as the Panthers ended a nine-game winless streak.

Philadelphia 8, San Jose 2--John LeClair scored his third career hat trick and Eric Lindros added four assists as the Flyers hammered the Sharks at Philadelphia.

Colorado 8, Edmonton 1--Joe Sakic became the fifth NHL player to reach 100 points this season with a goal and four assists for the Avalanche at Denver.

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