Canadiens Help Themselves and Devils by Tying Flyers

From Associated Press

The Montreal Canadiens clinched a playoff berth by tying the Flyers, 3-3, on Vincent Damphousse’s third-period goal at Philadelphia.

The tie also gave the New Jersey Devils home-ice advantage throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs. Even if the Flyers defeat the Devils in their regular-season finale today, New Jersey would finish one point ahead of Philadelphia.

Damphousse tipped his own rebound past Philadelphia goalie Garth Snow at 6:04 of the third period to force overtime.


The Flyers pulled Snow with a minute left in overtime, hoping to score with the sixth attacker. But the game ended in a tie, giving the Canadiens the eighth and final playoff berth in the East with 77 points.

The Canadiens will play the Devils when the playoffs begin later this week. The Flyers, playing without suspended star Eric Lindros, will be the third seeded team in the East behind New Jersey and the Buffalo Sabres.

Ottawa 1, Buffalo 0--Steve Duchesne scored with 4:01 remaining and the Senators rode the goaltending of Ron Tugnutt to their first playoff berth by defeating the Sabres at Ottawa.

Duchesne took a pass from Alexei Yashin and snapped a shot low to the stick side of Buffalo goaltender Dominik Hasek.

The Senators mobbed Tugnutt at the final buzzer, then circled the ice en masse in Stanley Cup-winning style while the capacity crowd of 18,500 cheered.

The Senators, who are in their fifth season, won their last three games to capture the playoff berth.


Washington 6, New York Islanders 2--The Capitals 14-year playoff streak came to an end despite the victory at Landover, Md., as the Capitals were knocked out of contention by Ottawa’s defeat of Buffalo.

Kelly Miller triggered a four-goal second period for the Capitals. Miller scooped up an errant Islander pass, spun to his left to evade New York’s defense, then snapped off a shot from near the right face-off circle at 8:24. Calle Johansson scored 21 seconds later with a slap shot off a face-off inside the Islander zone.

Vancouver 5, Edmonton 4--Donald Brashear and Markus Naslund each scored twice as the Canucks concluded a disappointing season with the victory over the playoff-bound Oilers at Vancouver.

Defenseman Steve Staois collected three assists for the Canucks, who missed the playoffs for the first time in seven years despite closing on a three-game winning streak and five-game unbeaten streak (3-0-2).

Ryan Smyth scored his 39th goal for Edmonton, whose third-period rally fell one short.

Toronto 4, Calgary 1--The Maple Leafs earned their sixth straight home victory over the Flames, as four different players scored, including Wendel Clark. His empty-netter was his 30th of the season.