Tue, Apr 07, 2009 - Page 19 News List

NHL: Florida beat Pittsburgh to keep playoff hopes alive


Detroit Red Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson of Sweden, right, sidesteps a check by Minnesota Wild forward Antti Miettinen of Finland in the second period of their game in Detroit, Michigan, on Sunday.


Bryan McCabe and Rostislav Olesz each had a goal and an assist and Tomas Vokoun made 41 saves to lead the Florida Panthers to a 4-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday night.

David Booth and Ville Peltonen also scored and Jay Bouwmeester had two assists to help the Panthers move into a tie with the idle New York Rangers for eighth place in the Eastern Conference.

Florida, vying for its first playoff berth since 2000, has 89 points with three games remaining. The Rangers, who lost 1-0 to Boston on Saturday, hold the edge over Florida because they have one more victory.

Pascal Dupuis and Mark Eaton scored for the Penguins, who needed a victory to clinch a playoff spot. Sidney Crosby traded punches with a Florida player for the second time this season after Panthers defenseman Keith Ballard upended Evgeni Malkin with a low check late in first period. Crosby, who fought Brett McLean during a Jan. 3 game, received a minor penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct and a major for fighting.


At Colombus, Ohio, Kris Versteeg beat fellow rookie star Steve Mason on a breakaway at 3:10 of overtime to give Chicago the victory.

Versteeg ended it with his 22nd goal of the season moments after Chicago’s Nikolai Khabibulin stopped Kris Russell’s breakaway.

Khabibulin made 20 saves for his second shutout of the season. Mason stopped 24 shots for the Blue Jackets.

A day after clinching a playoff spot for the first time in seven years, the Blackhawks ran their winning streak to three and snapped a season-high five-game road losing streak.


At Washington, Tomas Fleischmann had a goal and an assist for his first multipoint game in nearly two months as Washington moved into sole possession of second place in the Eastern Conference.

Alexander Semin, Keith Aucoin, Michael Nylander, Eric Fehr and Brooks Laich also scored for the Capitals, two points ahead of New Jersey. Ilya Kovalchuk scored his 42nd goal for Atlanta, and Colby Armstrong, Jim Slater and Slava Kozlov also scored.


At Detroit, Michigan, Marian Hossa scored with 55 seconds left and Chris Osgood made 20 saves to help Detroit snap a three-game losing streak. Pavel Datsyuk added a goal and an assist and Jiri Hudler also scored.

Cal Clutterbuck had a goal and an assist and Marian Gaborik added a goal for Minnesota.


At Anaheim, California, Joe Pavelski and Jonathan Cheechoo scored the tying and go-ahead goals on power plays as San Jose beat Anaheim.

In the other game it was:

• Avalanche 4, Canucks 1

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