The New York Rangers bring out the best in the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Four of the Lightning's 15 victories this season have come against the Rangers, including a 4-3 win Wednesday night that snapped goaltender Mike Richter's unbeaten streak at 16 games."We play frightened against them more than other teams because we know how powerful they are," Lightning coach Terry Crisp said. "Fear is a great motivator."
After the game, the Rangers were fearful that they may have lost Alexei Kovalev for the season with a knee injury.
Kovalev, who plays on the first line with Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier, hurt his right knee when he got tangled with Alexander Selivanov behind the Rangers' net in the second period. Kovalev was to have the knee examined today, but teammates seemed to expect the worst.
"People will find out just how valuable he is to our team," Messier said.
Patrick Poulin scored the game-winner for Tampa Bay with 2:44 remaining in the third period.
"We had chances and couldn't put them away," Rangers coach Colin Campbell said. "This was a team we thought we could jump on. They're a scrappy team and they hung in there."
Poulin scored shortly after Rangers forward Luc Robitaille was pulled down from behind on a breakaway by Cory Cross. No penalty was called, and Tampa Bay scored on the ensuing rush when Poulin converted Selivanov's rebound for his eighth goal of the season.
Devils 1, Avalanche 1
At East Rutherford, Colorado's Rene Corbet scored on a third-period breakaway as the Avalanche extended their unbeaten streak to eight games. It was the third straight tie for injury-plagued Colorado (5-0-3), which got 32 saves from backup goalie Craig Billington. Martin Brodeur made 34 saves for New Jersey, which is 1-3-1 in its last five games.
Blackhawks 4, Oilers 1
Jeff Hackett made 35 saves and Tony Amonte scored twice before getting hurt with 31/2 minutes left as Chicago snapped Edmonton's four-game winning streak. X-rays on Amonte's left knee revealed no fracture, but he was taken to a Chicago hospital for an MRI. Results won't be known until today. Gary Suter and Chris Chelios added goals for Chicago, and Kevin Miller had three assists.
Stars 6, Red Wings 3
At Dallas, Dave Reid had three goals and an assist for a career-high four points, and rookie Roman Turek stopped 26 shots before he was injured late in the third period. Turek bruised his right thigh with 5:51 remaining in a collision with Detroit's Brendan Shanahan. After Andy Moog replaced Turek, the Stars put the game away when Reid scored twice in a span of 1:46 in the third period.
Mighty Ducks 3, Panthers 2
At Anaheim, Steve Rucchin had a goal and an assist, and Guy Hebert made 30 saves as the Mighty Ducks completed a two-game season sweep of Florida. Teemu Selanne and Warren Rychel also scored for Anaheim, while Paul Kariya had two assists. Dave Nemirovsky and Bill Lindsay scored for Florida. Florida goalie John Vanbiesbrouck, scheduled to start for the Western Conference in the All-Star game on Jan. 18, gave up three goals on Anaheim's first nine shots.