Sat, Dec 24, 2005 - Page 18 News List

Panthers interrupt Sabres' streak

AMERICAN HOCKEY Buffalo, who were last beaten by San Jose 5-0 on Dec. 2, had also won nine consecutive road games


Alexander Ovechkin, left, of the Capitals scores in a shootout against Michael Garnett of the Thrashers at Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, on Thursday. Washington won 6-5.


Jozef Stumpel scored two goals to help the Florida Panthers beat Buffalo 4-1 on Thursday, snapping the Sabres' seven-game winning streak and ending goalie Martin Biron's 13-game NHL winning streak.

It was a good day for Stumpel, who was also named to Slovakia's Olympic team.

"It's exciting and maybe it gave me a lift," said Stumpel, of making the Turin roster. "It was great to get a couple goals."

The Sabres had also won nine consecutive road games, one short of the league record set by the Sabres in 1983-1984 and matched by the St. Louis Blues in 2000 and the New Jersey Devils in 2001. Buffalo last lost on the road in Ottawa on Nov. 12. The loss to the Senators was Biron's last defeat.

"I made a mistake on their second goal to give the puck up on the wall," Biron said. "I'll take the blame for that. They created the chances and created more opportunities and they got the goals."

Rostislav Olesz and Olli Jokinen also had goals for Florida and Roberto Luongo had 27 saves. Thomas Vanek scored for Buffalo and Biron had 26 saves.

Rangers 4, Lightning 2

At New York, Tom Poti scored New York's third power-play goal with just 1:48 left and the Rangers snapped a three-game losing streak by beating Tampa Bay.

Poti, who has heard boos from the home crowd all season long, fired a slap shot from the slot for his first goal of the season. That rescued the Rangers, who blew a two-goal lead over the defending Stanley Cup champions earlier in the period.

Tampa Bay has lost three straight, and four of its last five.

Martin Rucinsky had an empty-net goal and two assists, and fellow Czech Republic Olympians Petr Prucha and Martin Straka also scored for New York, which only netted four goals in the losing streak that took place entirely at home.

Flyers 4, Senators 3

At Philadelphia, Simon Gagne celebrated his return to the Philadelphia lineup with a goal and an assist to help the Flyers top Ottawa.

Gagne, who missed five games with a strained groin, converted on a power play off a give-and-go with Peter Forsberg to give the Flyers a 4-0 lead at 9:08 of the second period.

Mike Knuble, Sami Kapanen, and R.J. Umberger also scored for the Flyers, who have beaten the Senators twice in a season for the first time since going 4-0 in 1997-1998.

Philadelphia won the first meeting this season at Ottawa on Oct. 30.

Zdeno Chara, Antoine Vermette, and Mike Fisher scored goals for the Senators, who have dropped three of their last four games.

Bruins 4, Maple Leafs 1

At Boston, Alexei Zhamnov got the tiebreaking goal, his first score of the season, and Hannu Toivonen stopped 26 shots to lead the Bruins over Toronto.

Travis Green, Keith Primeau and Brad Stuart also scored, and Brian Leetch had three assists as Boston won for the second time in its last seven games at home.

The Bruins improved to 3-1-1 against the Maple Leafs this season.

Toronto, the league's third-highest scoring team in power-play opportunities, was 0-for-9 with the man advantage. Toivonen stopped two-man advantages in each of the first two periods.

Mariusz Czerkawsi scored the Maple Leafs' lone goal.

Capitals 6, Thrashers 5, SO

At Atlanta, rookie Alexander Ovechkin scored the only goal in a shootout to lift Washington past Atlanta.

After Washington's Andrew Cassels and Atlanta's Ilya Kovalchuk had shots blocked to lead off the shootout, Ovechkin's shot over Atlanta goaltender Michael Garnett's glove gave the Capitals the lead.

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