Tuesday, March 25, 2003

O'Connell wins home debut

By The Associated Press

BOSTON - Mike Knuble scored the tiebreaking goal 15 seconds into the third period on Monday night to lead the Bruins to a 3-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs in Mike O'Connell's home debut as Boston coach.

Steve Shields stopped 24 shots, including a glove save on Alexander Mogilny's wrist shot with 45.9 seconds left to preserve the win.

Rob Zamuner and Martin Lapointe also scored for Boston.

Darcy Tucker and Tomas Kaberle scored for Toronto and Ed Belfour stopped 30 shots as the Maple Leafs lost in regulation for the first time in eight games.

Toronto twice took one-goal leads before the Bruins tied it.

Flyers 6, Thrashers 2

PHILADELPHIA - Michal Handzus had two goals, and the Flyers scored three times within 1:36 of the third period as Philadelphia beat Atlanta.

Tony Amonte added a goal and an assist, and Keith Primeau and Donald Brashear each had two assists as the Flyers stopped Atlanta's four-game road unbeaten streak (2-0-2).

Amonte has five goals in seven games since being acquired from Phoenix on March 10.

Ilya Kovalchuk and Marc Savard scored for the Thrashers.

Robert Esche, starting his fourth straight game in place of injured goalie Roman Cechmanek, made 16 saves.

Sabres 4, Avalanche 3, OT

BUFFALO, N.Y. - Jochen Hecht scored his second goal of the game with 44.8 seconds left in overtime as Buffalo rallied to beat Colorado.

Peter Forsberg scored twice, once on the power play, and Milan Hejduk scored his 43rd goal for Colorado. Forsberg, who had never scored a goal in four previous games at HSBC Arena, has seven points in the last two games, and 18 goals and 66 points in the last 41 games.

Daniel Briere tied it at 3 when he scored a power-play goal with 7:19 left in regulation. Maxim Afinogenov also scored for Buffalo.

Colorado backup David Aebischer, playing in his 22nd game, stopped 31 shots. Buffalo's Martin Biron made 33 saves.

Devils 4, Panthers 1

SUNRISE, Fla. - Brian Gionta's second-period goal held up as the game-winner in New Jersey's victory over Florida.

Jiri Bicek, Jay Pandolfo and Joe Nieuwendyk also scored for the Devils, who won their fourth straight.

Marcus Nilson scored a power-play goal for Florida, which set a franchise record with its seventh consecutive home loss. The Panthers haven't won at home in 13 games (0-10-2-1).

Martin Brodeur made 19 saves and extended his unbeaten streak at Florida to 12 games (11-0-1). Brodeur is 19-1-3 in his last 22 decisions against the Panthers.

Mighty Ducks 5, Blue Jackets 0

ANAHEIM, Calif. - Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 29 saves, and Rob Niedermayer scored two goals as Anaheim beat Columbus.

Giguere earned his eighth shutout this season, moving him into a tie for the league lead. The Ducks broke open a one-goal game by scoring three times after Anaheim learned it clinched its first postseason berth since 1999.

Playing for first-year coach Mike Babcock, the Ducks have already set a franchise record for wins and points. Their previous best was 85 points and 36 wins set during the 1996-97 season.

Lightning 4, Sharks 1

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Vincent Lecavalier and Dave Andreychuk each had a goal and an assist as Tampa Bay clinched a playoff berth.

Nikolai Khabibulin made 34 saves as the Lightning extended their unbeaten streak to a franchise-record nine games (6-0-3). Khabibulin hasn't lost since Feb. 11 (11-0-2).

Andre Roy and Ruslan Fedotenko also scored for Tampa Bay, which earned just the second playoff trip in the club's 11-year history while extending its Southeast Division lead over Washington to five points with six games to play.

With a power-play goal late in the second period, Lecavalier passed Brian Bradley to become Tampa Bay's franchise goal-scoring leader (112).

Patrick Marleau scored his career-best 26th goal for the Sharks.

Flames 2, Coyotes 0

CALGARY, Alberta - Stephane Yelle and Martin Gelinas scored, and Roman Turek made 16 saves as Calgary knocked Phoenix out of the Western Conference playoff picture.

Turek recorded his fourth shutout of the season and 24th of his career. He didn't face a shot until he smothered Paul Mara's soft wrister 3:15 into the second period.

The Coyotes were outshot 15-0 in the first period. It was the second time in franchise history that Calgary didn't allow a shot in a period and the second time in franchise history that Phoenix couldn't register one.

Calgary beat the Coyotes on home ice for the first time in 11 tries (1-7-2-1) dating to Oct. 30, 1997.

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NHL: O'Connell wins home debut
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