Tue, Apr 28, 2009 - Page 19 News List

NHL: Hurricanes, Capitals win to force deciding games

REUTERS , RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA

New York Rangers center Blair Betts lies on the ice after a hit by Washington Capitals winger Donald Brashear in the first period of their Eastern Conference playoff game in New York on Sunday. Betts was taken to the locker room injured.

PHOTO: REUTERS

The Carolina Hurricanes and Washington Capitals staved off elimination to force game seven in their respective Eastern Conference playoff series with decisive victories on Sunday.

The Hurricanes stormed to a 4-0 triumph over the New Jersey Devils after the visiting Capitals had earlier defeated the New York Rangers 5-3.

Eric Staal scored twice and had an assist for the Hurricanes, while Ray Whitney scored once and assisted on three others and Cam Ward made 28 saves for a fired-up Carolina, who evened the series at 3-3.

Carolina blasted 15 shots at Devils netminder Martin Brodeur during the opening period, while New Jersey mustered only four.

Whitney scored midway through the period off assists by linemates Staal and Chad LaRose.

Then Staal struck twice within three minutes during the second period and Jussi Jokinen added a 5-on-3 clincher in the third as Carolina peppered Brodeur with 37 shots for the game.

Game seven of a see-saw series in which neither team has won consecutive contests is in New Jersey today.

In New York, former Rangers defenseman Tom Poti had a goal and three assists as Washington won its second consecutive game to tie the series at 3-3.

The second-seeded Capitals also had goals from two other defensemen, Mike Green and Milan Jurcina, while Russian forwards Viktor Kozlov and Alex Ovechkin also scored.

Scott Gomez, Ryan Callahan and Marc Staal responded for the Rangers.

Henrik Lundqvist, whose netminding enabled New York to take a 3-1 lead in the series, gave up five goals on 20 shots before being replaced.

Washington led 5-1 after two periods with New York scoring twice in the third. The Capitals host game seven today.

The Rangers played without coach John Tortorella, who was suspended for one game by the NHL after he threw a water bottle at a fan doused him in beer during game five in Washington. Assistant Jim Schoenfeld filled in.

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