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KINGS PUT CRIMP IN FLAMES' PLAYOFF HOPES

Corey Millen scored twice to climax a four-goal first period Saturday as Los Angeles Kings scored three times in a 4:44 span to beat Calgary 5-2 at Inglewood, Calif., and put a crimp into the Flames' playoff hopes.

The loss left Calgary four points behind the idle Winnipeg Jets in the race for the fourth and final Smythe Division playoff slot, with seven games remaining for both teams. The Flames missed the playoffs only twice in their first 19 seasons and have qualified in every season since 1974-75, winning their only Stanley Cup in 1989.Mike Vernon became the Flames' first goalie with 30 losses since the franchise moved from Atlanta to Calgary in 1980, surrendering three goals on the Kings' first five shots of the game. He was pulled in favor of Jeff Reese after just 5:55 of play.

Wayne Gretzky opened the scoring, just 71 seconds after the opening faceoff and 36 seconds after a roughing penalty against Craig Berube. The NHL's 10-time scoring champion had two goals and an assist and is tied with Mario Lemieux of the idle Pittsburgh Penguins for the league lead in points.

John McIntyre, out for five games with a broken nose, got his fifth goal from in-close just seconds after shooting wide from the same spot with Vernon at his mercy. Millen then drove the beleaguered goalie to the bench by converting a pass by Kyosti Karjalainen from the edge of the crease.

Fifteen seconds after another roughing penalty to Marc Habscheid, Millen added his 20th goal to pad the margin to 4-0 with 5:43 left in the period. It was the 100th power play goal surrendered by the Flames, the most in the NHL.

Blues 3, Canadiens 3

At Montreal, Brendan Shanahan scored 3:15 into the final period to help the St. Louis Blues to a tie with the Montreal Canadiens.

Islanders 2, Devils 2

At East Rutherford, N.J., Stephane Richer scored on a 45-foot slap shot with 51 seconds to play in regulation, giving the New Jersey Devils a tie with the New York Islanders.

Oilers 4, Bruins 3

At Boston, Scott Mellanby scored on a breakaway with 54 seconds remaining, giving the Edmonton Oilers a 4-3 victory over the Boston Bruins, breaking a six-year regular-season jinx in Boston Garden.

Sharks 5, Whalers 4

At Hartford, Conn., Dale Craigwell scored with 74 seconds left as the San Jose Sharks twice came from two goals behind to beat the Hartford Whalers for their third road victory this season.

Nordiques 4, North Stars 2

At Quebec, Owen Nolan's 38th goal highlighted a three-goal, first period and goaltender Stephane Fiset made 35 saves, including a penalty shot in the second period, as the Quebec Nordiques beat the Minnesota North Stars.

Blackhawks 3, Maple Leafs 1

At Toronto, Michel Goulet scored twice Saturday night and Ed Belfour stopped 24 shots to lead the Chicago Blackhawks to victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.