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DEVILS 3, PANTHERS 1

Joe Nieuwendyk set up goals by linemates Patrik Elias and Jamie Langenbrunner to lead host New Jersey.

Tkachuk, Holik suspended

NEW YORK _ Blues forward Keith Tkachuk was suspended for one game without pay by the NHL for slashing Chicago defenseman Lyle Odelein.

He was punished for swinging his stick at Odelein during a fight behind the Blackhawks' net in overtime of Saturday's game. Chicago scored the winning goal while Tkachuk was in the penalty box.

Tkachuk will miss the game tonight against Minnesota. He'll lose $42,783.51 in salary.

The league also suspended Devils center Bobby Holik for one game without pay for hitting Carolina's Rod Brind'Amour in the face with his stick.

The suspension was automatic because Holik was given a match penalty for deliberate injury by officials. He'll lose $18,041.24 in salary, which will go to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

Holik sat out New Jersey's game against Florida.

AVALANCHE: Forward Peter Forsberg plans to skate for about 10 minutes Thursday, marking his first ice time since surgery to repair tendon damage in his left foot on Jan. 10.

At the time of the surgery, Forsberg was expected to be sidelined until at least May 10, which would be the middle of the playoffs if the Avalanche advance that far.

Forsberg has said he hopes to be back for the playoffs.

COYOTES: Defenseman Danny Markov is expected to miss the rest of the regular season with a broken left foot.

MAPLE LEAFS: The team signed defenseman Jay Harrison to a multiyear contract. Harrison, a third-round pick (82nd overall) in the 2001 entry draft, had 12 goals, 31 assists and 116 penalty minutes in 61 games for Brampton of the OHL.

AWARD: Oilers goaltender Tommy Salo was named player of the week.

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