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Blues stage rally to finish off Sharks

ST. LOUIS — Jamie Langenbrunner and David Perron scored in a 45-second span of the third period as the Blues beat the Sharks 3-1 Saturday to wrap up the first-round series in five games.

Joe Thornton scored in the final minute of the second for San Jose. And the Sharks seemingly were in control before the flurry that ended their season.

Brian Elliott made 26 saves, and Andy McDonald ended all doubt with an empty-net goal in the final minute.

St. Louis, the No. 2 seed in the West, won a playoff series for the first time in a decade against a franchise that reached the conference final each of the previous two seasons. Before this series, St. Louis hadn't won a playoff game in eight years.

Senators' shutout puts Rangers on the brink

NEW YORK — Craig Anderson stopped 41 shots to make Jason Spezza's first-period goal stand up as the Senators beat the Rangers 2-0 to take a 3-2 series lead.

After Spezza beat Henrik Lund­qvist from the bottom of the right circle 9:18 into the game, it was the first time in the series the Senators played with a lead.

They trailed throughout losses in Games 1 and 3 and didn't lead until scoring in overtime of Games 2 and 4.

Mark Stone, 19, a sixth-round pick in 2010 making his NHL debut after playing in juniors earlier this month, assisted on the goal.

Since New York took a 2-0 lead in the first period of Game 4, Anderson has gone 116 minutes, 32 seconds without allowing a goal.

Panthers 3, Devils 0: Kris Versteeg had a goal and an assist and Jose Theodore made 30 saves for his second postseason shutout as the host Panthers moved a win away from their first series win since the 1995-96 East final. The Devils set a league record by killing 89.6 percent of their shorthanded situations. But Florida took a 1-0 lead on Versteeg's power-play goal 4:00 into the second, a one-timer that beat Martin Brodeur. It was Florida's seventh power-play goal of the series.

Capitals 4, Bruins 3: Troy Brouwer's power-play goal with 1:27 left gave the visiting Capitals a 3-2 series lead. "Everyone knows the fourth win is the hardest," said Braden Holtby, the Capitals' 22-year-old rookie goalie who made 34 saves. "But we're not really focusing on whether the Bruins can come back. We have a game to win." Last season, the Bruins trailed the Canucks 3-2 in the Stanley Cup final but won the final two games on the road to capture their first title since 1972. "It's good to know that we've been in tough spots before and responded well," said Bruins goalie Tim Thomas, last season's Vezina Trophy winner and playoff MVP. "Having said that, we've got to do that."

Norfolk loses: Robert Czarnik scored the tiebreaking goal 5:28 into the third as visiting Manchester beat Norfolk, the Lightning's AHL affiliate, 5-2 to tie the best-of-five conference quarterfinal at 1. Norfolk won its final 28 regular-season games then won Friday's Game 1. Manchester, the Kings affiliate, hosts Game 3 on Wednesday.

at Blues 0 0 3 3
Sharks 0 1 0 1

First PeriodNone. PenaltiesHavlat, SJ (hooking), 12:37.

Second Period1, San Jose, Thornton 2 (Winnik, Mitchell), 19:19. PenaltiesWingels, SJ, major (fighting), 6:35; Stewart, StL, major (fighting), 6:35; Havlat, SJ (holding stick), 7:34; Crombeen, StL (goaltender interference), 10:17.

Third Period2, St. Louis, Langenbrunner 1 (Nichol, Sobotka), 11:16. 3, St. Louis, Perron 1 (Pietrangelo, Oshie), 12:01. 4, St. Louis, McDonald 4 (Berglund), 19:21 (en). PenaltiesMcDonald, StL (delay of game), 15:30. Shots on GoalSan Jose 3-13-11—27. St. Louis 7-8-12—27. Power-play opportunitiesSan Jose 0 of 2; St. Louis 0 of 2. GoaliesSan Jose, Niemi 1-4-0 (26 shots-24 saves). St. Louis, Elliott 3-0-0 (27-26). A19,490 (19,150).

Senators 1 0 1 2
at Rangers 0 0 0 0

First Period1, Ottawa, Spezza 1 (Stone, Kuba), 9:18. PenaltiesNeil, Ott (roughing), 3:45; Prust, NYR (roughing), 3:45; Gonchar, Ott (hooking), 6:51; Cowen, Ott (interference), 11:40; Spezza, Ott (roughing), 17:45.

Second PeriodNone. PenaltiesFedotenko, NYR (high-sticking), :52; Rupp, NYR (charging), 13:48; Callahan, NYR (roughing), 17:23.

Third Period2, Ottawa, Spezza 2 (Konopka), 19:04 (en). PenaltiesCallahan, NYR (goaltender interference), 9:04; Michalek, Ott (slashing), 13:21. Shots on GoalOttawa 9-12-9—30. N.Y. Rangers 14-12-15—41. Power-play opportunitiesOttawa 0 of 4; N.Y. Rangers 0 of 4. GoaliesOttawa, Anderson 3-2-0 (41 shots-41 saves). N.Y. Rangers, Lundqvist 2-3-0 (29-28). A18,200 (18,200).

at Panthers 0 1 2 3
Devils 0 0 0 0

First PeriodNone. PenaltiesJovanovski, Fla (slashing), 9:05.

Second Period1, Florida, Versteeg 2 (Weiss, Campbell), 4:00 (pp). PenaltiesZidlicky, NJ (interference), 3:30; Parise, NJ (holding), 8:43; Zubrus, NJ, double minor (high-sticking), 13:23; Sturm, Fla (holding), 17:59; Henrique, NJ (high-sticking), 19:09.

Third Period2, Florida, Upshall 1 (Versteeg, Matthias), 13:17. 3, Florida, Kopecky 1, 19:26 (en-sh). PenaltiesBernier, NJ (roughing), 3:07; Carter, NJ (boarding), 3:07; Kopecky, Fla (roughing), 3:07; Gudbranson, Fla (roughing), 17:52. Shots on GoalNew Jersey 11-6-13—30. Florida 11-12-9—32. Power-play opportunitiesNew Jersey 0 of 3; Florida 1 of 6. GoaliesNew Jersey, Brodeur 2-2-0 (32 shots-30 saves). Florida, Theodore 2-1-0 (30-30). A19,513 (17,040).

Capitals 0 2 2 4
at Bruins 0 2 1 3

First PeriodNone. PenaltiesCarlson, Was (goaltender interference), 2:30; Brouwer, Was (unsportsmanlike conduct), 10:20; Paille, Bos (unsportsmanlike conduct), 10:20; Chara, Bos (roughing), 11:40; Hamrlik, Was (hooking), 15:42.

Second Period1, Washington, Semin 3 (Wideman, Johansson), 11:16. 2, Washington, Beagle 1, 14:27. 3, Boston, Seidenberg 1 (Lucic, Krejci), 17:21. 4, Boston, Marchand 1 (Peverley, Boychuk), 17:49. PenaltiesBrouwer, Was (roughing), 5:14; Boychuk, Bos (roughing), 5:14.

Third Period5, Washington, Knuble 1 (Ward, Erskine), 3:21. 6, Boston, Boychuk 1 (Seidenberg, Marchand), 8:47 (pp). 7, Washington, Brouwer 2 (Carlson), 18:33 (pp). PenaltiesWideman, Was (cross-checking), 7:29; Pouliot, Bos (slashing), 17:10. Shots on GoalWashington 11-12-9—32. Boston 10-14-13—37. Power-play opportunitiesWashington 1 of 2; Boston 1 of 3. GoaliesWashington, Holtby 3-2-0 (37 shots-34 saves). Boston, Thomas 2-3-0 (32-28). A17,565 (17,565).

Torres out 25 games

Coyotes wing Raffi Torres was suspended for 25 games by the league for Tuesday's hit that put Blackhawks star Marian Hossa out indefinitely.

Torres left his feet to hit Hossa, who didn't have the puck. Hossa was taken off the ice on a stretcher and briefly hospitalized.

"Raffi plays a hard, physical game, yet this contact crossed the line on what is acceptable in our game today," Coyotes general manager Don Maloney said in a statement released by the team. "We hope Marian Hossa makes a full and speedy recovery."

The suspension is the longest since Chris Simon received 30 games for stomping on Jarrko Ruutu's ankle in 2007.

Times wires

Blues stage rally to finish off Sharks 04/21/12 [Last modified: Saturday, April 21, 2012 10:58pm]
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