Blues’ Demitra Leaves Blackhawks Speechless
The wires came off Pavol Demitra’s broken jaw on Wednesday, and so did the shackles on his game.
Demitra, playing for the first time in a month, set up two goals for the St. Louis Blues in a 3-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night at St. Louis.
“He’s right back at it,” teammate Craig Conroy said. “He doesn’t miss a beat. He’s going to be a big factor in the playoffs for us.”
Despite playing in only 56 games, Demitra is fourth on the Blues in scoring with 19 goals and 28 assists. Wearing a face guard, he set up goals by Craig Conroy and Mike Eastwood in the second period.
“I was sick of practicing,” Demitra said. “The last three weeks I’ve been working on my conditioning and I feel my season is just starting now.”
Demitra’s jaw was broken March 7 by a shot from teammate Al MacInnis. He lost 11 pounds the first two weeks after the injury but has been building up to this comeback.
Vancouver 6, Calgary 3--Pavel Bure scored his 49th goal and added two assists to lead the Canucks at Calgary, Canada.
The Canucks broke open a 4-3 game when Alexander Mogilny and Bure scored 14 seconds apart late in the third period.
Carolina 5, Toronto 2--Gary Roberts scored his 11th hat trick and Trevor Kidd was sharp in goal again for the surging Hurricanes at Greensboro, N.C.
The loss eliminated the Maple Leafs from playoff contention.
Carolina, 7-2-1 in its last 10 games, remained two points behind Ottawa with five regular-season games left in the battle for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Ottawa 4, Pittsburgh 1--Damian Rhodes stopped 25 shots and Magnus Arvedson had a goal and an assist at Kanata, Canada.
Bruce Gardiner, Igor Kravchuk and Jason York had the other goals for the Senators.
Florida 3, Philadelphia 2--Bill Lindsay had an assist and then scored the eventual game-winner in a fight-filled second period at Miami.
After Lindsay’s 12th goal, his fifth in the past eight games, four separate fights broke out resulting in four misconduct penalties and three game misconducts. There were 142 penalty minutes handed out in the second period.
Detroit 5, Phoenix 1--Doug Brown scored two goals for the Red Wings at Detroit.
Steve Yzerman had a goal and an assist for the Red Wings, who won their fifth in a row.
Boston 4, New York Islanders 1--Sergei Samsonov had his first career hat trick for the Bruins at Boston, helping the Bruins clinch a playoff spot.
The NHL wants to move its U.S. television package on the Fox network from Saturdays to Sundays next year, an attempt to boost sagging ratings before national broadcast rights come up for negotiation. Fox’s ratings for NHL games this season are down 15% and are at their lowest since the network outbid CBS for rights in 1994.