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Stars cruise past fatigued Sabres

DALLAS — Jere Lehtinen and Ted Donato scored first-period goals over a span of 1:02, and the Dallas Stars increased their lead in the Pacific Division with a 4-1 victory Sunday over the Buffalo Sabres.

Mike Modano added a short-handed goal and an assist, and Mike Keane had a goal to help Dallas move three points ahead of idle San Jose.

Darryl Sydor matched his career high with three assists, and Ed Belfour had 19 saves for Dallas.

Jean-Pierre Dumont had a second-period power-play goal for the Sabres, coming off Saturday's 3-2 overtime victory at Colorado. Buffalo was 7-2 over its previous nine games.

Buffalo, playing its third game in four days, looked like a tired team in the first period. The Sabres were outshot 7-2 and outscored 2-0.

Lehtinen notched a power play goal at 13:50 off Brett Hull's setup, and Donato's rebound shot made it 2-0.

Keane beat Buffalo goaltender Dominik Hasek from the slot 59 seconds into the second period to push Dallas' advantage to 3-0.

Dumont got the puck past Belfour from the left faceoff circle at 13:50 of the second period. But Modano scored his 24th goal of the season on a backhander from the slot while the Stars were killing a penalty to extend Dallas' lead to 4-1.

HURRICANES 6, BLACKHAWKS 3: At Chicago, Sandis Ozolinsh had three goals and an assist, and Jeff O'Neill, Martin Gelinas and Kevin Hatcher also connected for Carolina, which scored four straight goals in third period.

The victory pulled the Hurricanes into a tie with Boston for eighth place and the final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference. Both teams have 15 games remaining.

Ozolinsh's hat trick was the second of his career and first with Carolina. Rod Brind'Amour had two assists for the Hurricanes.

Eric Daze, Michael Nylander and Boris Mironov scored for the Blackhawks, whose four-game unbeaten streak, which included three wins, was snapped. Daze has 13 goals and two assists in his last 13 games.

PREDATORS 5, RANGERS 2: At Nashville, Tenn., Randy Robitaille scored two third-period goals and had two assists, and Cliff Ronning added two goals and one assist for Nashville.

Robitaille, recalled by the Predators from the minors March 1, broke the game open in the third period. At 2:21, he fired a wrist shot from the blue line that went through traffic and past goaltender Kirk McLean. At the 9:04 mark, Robitaille skated in from the right circle, took a pass from Ronning and scored on a wrist shot from the slot.

Kim Johnsson and Petr Nedved scored for the Rangers.

DEVILS 6 LIGHTNING 0: At East Rutherford, N.J., Jason Arnott, Petr Sykora and Scott Gomez each scored two goals, and Martin Brodeur earned his seventh shutout of the season as New Jersey beat Tampa Bay.

Brodeur made 15 saves for his 49th career shutout. He improved to 20-4-2 against Tampa Bay with four shutouts.

The Devils limiting the Lightning to only three third-period shots in their fourth straight victory.

Stars 4

Sabres 1