Playoffs Already Started, Blackhawks’ Chelios Says

From Associated Press

As the battle for playoff spots in the Western Conference rages on, Blackhawk defenseman Chris Chelios says the playoffs have already started for Chicago.

Chelios scored the game-winner with 7:57 left, and the Blackhawks strengthened their playoff prospects with a 2-1 victory Sunday over the Flames at Calgary.

“These last 10 to 15 games mean so much, as far as I’m concerned, this is the playoffs right now,” Chelios said. “If we don’t win now, we’re eliminated.”


With three games remaining for each team, Chicago moved four points ahead of Calgary in the battle for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Colorado 2, Phoenix 1--Patrick Roy stopped 24 shots in his first action in 11 days and Joe Sakic scored the game-winner in the second period as the Avalanche won at Denver to earn its franchise-record 48th victory.

Keith Tkachuk scored for Phoenix to become the NHL’s first 50-goal scorer of the season.

Philadelphia 2, Ottawa 1--Goals by Trent Klatt and Pat Falloon at Philadelphia gave the Flyers their second straight 100-point season.

The Flyers, battling New Jersey for the Atlantic Division title, are 5-1-2 in their past eight games.

The Flyers, however, lost forward Mikael Renberg just seven seconds into the game when he sustained cuts on his nose, chin and mouth after falling to the ice.

Washington 3, Florida 3--Peter Bondra scored the tying goal with 49.2 seconds left in regulation and the Capitals kept their slim playoff hopes alive with a victory at Landover, Md.


New Jersey 2, St. Louis 0--Rookie goalie Mike Dunham was perfect on Martin Brodeur’s day off and Jay Pandolfo scored a late goal as the Devils beat the Blues at St. Louis. John MacLean also scored.