Wed, May 10, 2006 - Page 19 News List

Hurricanes beat Devils in overtime

STANLEY CUP Niclas Wallin sent the crowd into a frenzy as he scored a goal off his skate in overtime to lift Carolina to a 2-0 lead over the New Jersey Devils


San Jose Sharks goaltender Vesa Toskala, left, of Finland, stops a shot attempt by the Edmonton Oilers' Ryan Smyth in the first period of their NHL Western Conference hockey second-round playoff game on Monday in San Jose, California.


Carolina's Niclas Wallin scored the overtime winner as Carolina posted a 3-2 victory over New Jersey and opened a two-games-to-none lead in their Stanley Cup quarter-final series.

"We always find a way to come back," Wallin said.

In the other Eastern Conference game, Ryan Miller showed nerves of steel by making several amazing stops en route to 43 saves as Buffalo registered a 2-1 win over Ottawa Senators to take a two games to none lead in their series.

The San Jose Sharks also took a 2-0 series lead with a 2-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers.

On Saturday, the Carolina Hurricanes opened the series with an easy 6-0 victory that ended New Jersey's 15-game winning streak.

In that win, they got a pair of goals on attempted passes and dominated special teams.

In this one, the Hurricanes did not dominate on special teams but nevertheless created their breaks at two opportune times.

They tied the game with 3.7 seconds left in regulation when Eric Staal chipped the puck past Martin Brodeur and, just over three minutes into the extra session, created the pivotal turnover that led to the game-winner.

Devils defenceman Ken Klee attempted to get the puck into the offensive zone, but Hurricanes captain Rod Brind'Amour stripped him near the boards at center ice and spotted Wallin streaking down the right side.

Wallin cruised through the slot before New Jersey defenceman Paul Martin caught up with him.

Martin dove and swiped at the puck, deflecting it off Wallin's skate and between Brodeur's pads, sending the crowd at the RBC Center into a frenzy.

"That's the way we've been all year, we're a no-quit team," Staal said. "It was a good job by the guys continuing to battle, even though it was kind of an unlucky goal against us there. We kept with it."

The Hurricanes outshot the Devils, 15-5, in the third period but faced a 2-1 deficit when Scott Gomez deflected rookie Zach Parise's shot off both posts with 21 seconds left.

But Carolina tied it on the next shift as Justin Williams dug the puck out from the left corner and fed Staal.

Rookie Cam Ward recorded his sixth straight victory and made 14 of his 21 saves in the first period for Carolina, which will play Game Three in New Jersey today.

In Ottawa, J.P. Dumont and Jochen Hecht scored second-period goals for fourth-seeded Buffalo, which can take a commanding 3-0 series lead when it hosts game three today.

The Sabres were outshot, 44-17, including a 17-4 margin in the second period and a 15-4 margin in the final session.

They were outplayed throughout by the top-seeded Senators, who arrived with the necessary desperation in their biggest game of the season but simply had no answers for Miller, who rebounded in impressive fashion from a shaky performance in game one.

In San Jose, Joe Thornton snapped a tie late in the second period with his first postseason goal in over three years and Vesa Toskala made 24 saves as the Sharks posted edged Oilers to take both games at home in their Western Conference semi-final series.

Olympic champion Sweden blanked Italy 4-0 behind two goals from Kenny Jonsson on Monday to qualify for the second round of ice hockey's World Championship along with Russia and Switzerland.

The three were added to the United States, Canada, Finland and the Czech Republic, which secured their advancement on Sunday.

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