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Saturday, 22 March 2008 00:42
NHL Headline News

 SCOREBOARD
Saturday, March 22
New Jersey at Pittsburgh (7:30 p.m. EDT). The Devils and Penguins are fighting for first place in both the Atlantic Division and the Eastern Conference.

STARS
Friday
-Nicklas Backstrom and Alexander Ovechkin, Capitals. Backstrom scored two goals 32 seconds apart in the closing minutes and Ovechkin added two goals, including his 60th, to lead Washington to a 5-3 win at Atlanta.
-Kyle Okposo, Islanders, snapped a tie with 2:35 remaining by scoring his first NHL goal, and New York beat New Jersey 3-1.
-Vesa Toskala, Maple Leafs, stopped 35 shots to help Toronto defeat Buffalo 4-1.
-Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, Flyers, each scored in the shootout and Richards had a goal in regulation to lead Philadelphia to a 4-3 win over the New York Rangers.
-Niklas Backstrom, Wild, made 30 saves in Minnesota's 2-1 victory at Vancouver.

ALEXANDER THE GREAT
Alex Ovechkin became the NHL's first 60-goal scorer in 12 years by netting two Friday night in Washington's 5-3 victory over Atlanta. No one in the NHL had hit the mark since the 1995-96 season when Pittsburgh's Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr both did it. Ovechkin's 60th goal also tied the Capitals' club mark set by Dennis Maruk in the 1981-82 season.

BREATHING ROOM
Minnesota has recorded a point in seven straight games (3-0-4) and moved three points ahead of Vancouver and Calgary for the lead in the Northwest Division after outlasting the Canucks 2-1 on Friday night. ... San Jose won for the 14th time in 15 games and increased its lead in the Pacific Division to seven points over Anaheim after beating the Ducks 2-1.

MILESTONES
New York Rangers forward Jaromir Jagr had two points in Friday night's 4-3 shootout loss at Philadelphia and tied Phil Esposito for ninth place on the career list at 1,590. The goal was the 640th of his career, tying him with Dave Andreychuk for 12th all-time. ... Jeremy Roenick scored his second goal in as many games to give him 508 for his career, passing Jean Beliveau for 36th place on the all-time list. His latest tally was the difference in San Jose's 2-1 win over Anaheim. ... New York Islanders captain Bill Guerin played in his 1,100th career game against New Jersey on Friday night. Guerin's first NHL game was with the Devils in 1992.

LATE PLAYOFF PUSH
Toronto won for the fourth time in five games and moved within five points of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with its 4-1 win over Buffalo on Friday night. The Maple Leafs also won their fifth straight road game, the team's best string since closing the 2003-04 season with a similar run. The Sabres' playoff push took a hit. In having a three-game winning streak snapped, Buffalo lost ground, dropping to 10th, a point behind Washington after the Capitals beat Atlanta on Friday.

NEW YUCH, NEW YUCH
New Jersey dropped to 1-12 against the two New York teams in the NHL after a 3-1 loss to the Islanders on Friday night. The Devils failed to take over first place in the Eastern Conference and remain tied with Pittsburgh atop the Atlantic Division.

BLANKED
Anaheim was held without a shot on goal in a period for the second time in team history Friday night, going without one over the final 20 minutes en route to a 2-1 loss to San Jose. It first happened during the first period of a 3-1 loss at Dallas on Dec. 27, 2000.

STRAIGHT SHOOTERS
Philadelphia won for just the second time in seven shootouts and jumped past Boston into seventh place in the Eastern Conference with a 4-3 win over the New York Rangers on Friday night.

SURGERIES
Buffalo center Tim Connolly will miss the rest of the regular season after the team decided Friday he'll have surgery to remove bone chips in his hip. ... New York Rangers forward Blair Betts had foot surgery Friday and will be out two to three weeks.

SPEAKING
``Scoring a game-winning goal against one of the best goalies in history, that's not bad at all,'' - New York Islanders rookie Kyle Okposo on victimizing Martin Brodeur for his first NHL goal, the game winner with 2:35 left that gave his team a 3-1 victory over New Jersey on Friday night.
 

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