Red Wings Triumph in Another Battle Royal
After a slow start, Wednesday night’s game turned into everything Detroit fans were hoping for: mass mayhem and another bloody Red Wing victory over the hated Colorado Avalanche.
Sergei Fedorov scored two third-period goals for a 2-0 victory at Detroit and Chris Osgood won the battle of the goalies by punching out Patrick Roy, the highlight of a melee that broke out with 7:11 remaining.
“It’s Colorado playing Detroit, and the [fighting] seems to be part of the game,” Avalanche forward Warren Rychel said. “They don’t like us and we don’t like them.”
It was reminiscent of the March 26, 1997 game at Joe Louis Arena in which Darren McCarty bloodied Claude Lemieux and Mike Vernon duked it out with Roy. Roy lost that fight too.
“I’m not there to fight,” Roy said. “My job is to win hockey games. Sometimes when things happen, you have to stick together. Look at what Detroit did last year, and they won the playoffs.”
San Jose 3, Pittsburgh 2--Jeff Friesen scored on a short-handed breakaway with 7:03 left in the third period to give the Sharks the victory at Pittsburgh.
Friesen scored his fifth short-handed goal to tie for the league lead as the Sharks ended a 3-1 trip and closed within a point of Edmonton and Phoenix for the last playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Boston 4, New York Rangers 2--Dmitri Khristich scored a goal and assisted on two others to lead the Bruins at New York.
The Rangers extended their winless streak to seven games (0-6-1) as their playoff hopes have all but evaporated.
Wayne Gretzky scored his 21st goal on a slap shot from the slot 39 seconds into the third period to cut the margin to 3-2. Anson Carter’s empty-net goal at 19:42 closed out the scoring.
Carolina 4, New Jersey 0--Trevor Kidd made 37 saves to post his first shutout of the season and the Hurricanes moved within a point of a playoff berth by defeating the Devils at East Rutherford, N.J.
Ray Sheppard, Nelson Emerson, Gary Roberts and Jeff O’Neill scored as Carolina won its third in a row on the road. The Hurricanes have lost once in their last six games (4-1-1) in a late-season playoff rush that has them bearing down on Ottawa.
New York Islanders 4, Tampa Bay 0--Wade Flaherty stopped 25 shots for his second career NHL shutout and Mariusz Czerkawski scored two goals for the third consecutive game as the Islanders defeated the Lightning at Uniondale, N.Y.
Flaherty, who started his seventh game since coming up from the minors on Jan. 9, also had an assist on one of Trevor Linden’s two short-handed goals for New York’s other scores.
Montreal 4, Florida 3--The Canadiens scored two goals within 13 seconds in the third period, including Marc Bureau’s second of the game, to cap off a come-from-behind victory at Miami.
Benoit Brunet had one goal and three assists for Montreal. Dave Gagner had a goal and an assist on the Panthers’ two first-period power-play goals that gave them a 2-0 lead.
St. Louis 6, Toronto 4--Geoff Courtnall and Terry Yake each had a goal and an assist to lead the Blues at Toronto.
Courtnall assisted on Pierre Turgeon’s power-play goal with the Blues two men up in the first period and followed up with another power-play goal 70 seconds later to give the Blues a 3-1 lead after the first period.
Yake assisted on Jim Campbell’s second-period power-play goal and scored an insurance goal in the third period.
Calgary 3, Dallas 1--Joel Bouchard had a short-handed goal and an assist to lead the Flames over the Stars at Calgary.
Bouchard’s goal at 3:41 of the second period gave the Flames a 2-0 lead. Using Jason Wiemer as a decoy, Bouchard fired a wrist shot from the faceoff circle that beat Dallas goaltender Roman Turek high on the glove side.
Vancouver 4, Edmonton 2--Arturs Irbe turned aside 42 shots and his teammates killed off 11 power plays to lift the Canucks at Vancouver.
The loss hurt the Oilers in the race for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.