It was a night to remember for Calgary Flames forward Theoren Fleury, a night to forget for the Vancouver Canucks.
Fleury scored three goals, including his 50th of the season, as the Flames defeated the Canucks 7-2 on Tuesday night to enhance Calgary's chances of finishing first in the Smythe Division.The Canucks, fighting to edge Winnipeg for the fourth and final playoff berth in the Smythe, fell victim to the pint-sized Fleury and remained tied with the Jets.
"I always dreamed of scoring 50 and I have to give credit to my teammates," said Fleury, who also reached the 100-point mark. "I was fortunate tonight to get a couple of big goals."
Fleury scored his first goal of the game early in the second period to give the Flames a 3-1 lead. He added two more in the third to the wild cheers of more than 20,000 fans.
"This is for Mom, Dad and my brothers," Fleury said.
While the Flames stayed within three points of front-running Los Angeles, who they play Sunday, the Canucks have just one game left this season - against the Jets in Vancouver on Thursday.
"For a long time we expected the last three games against Winnipeg to be very big games and it's worked out that way," Canucks defenseman Doug Lidster said. "If we play as well as we did the other night (in a win over Winnipeg), I think we'll come out on top."
Winnipeg has a game in hand on the Canucks, but Vancouver, with more victories, would get the final playoff spot if the teams end the season tied in points.
Vancouver can clinch a playoff berth with a victory over Winnipeg on Thursday.
Penguins 3, Flyers 1
Lemieux provided the offense with the first hat trick ever by a Penguin at the Spectrum and Tom Barrasso did the rest, stopping 48 of the Flyers' season-high 49 shots.
Kings 2, Oilers 0
Gretzky hadn't scored since March 7, but ended the drought 8:23 into the game when he beat Bill Ranford. Kelly Hrudey made the goal stand up with 33 saves until Gretzky tacked on an empty-netter with six seconds to play.
Rangers 3, Devils 3
Mike Gartner scored twice as the Rangers rallied for three second-period goals to tie New Jersey at Madison Square Garden.
Bruins 7, Nordiques 4
Cam Neely joined the 50-goal club for the second straight season by scoring twice as the Bruins accomplished in Quebec what they couldn't manage last Thursday in Boston - beating Ron Tugnutt and the Nordiques.
Blackhawks 2, Maple Leafs 2
Jeremy Roenick's power-play goal with 1:32 left in regulation salvaged a tie for the visiting Blackhawks and extended their unbeaten streak to nine games.
Sabres 4, Capitals 2
Tony Tanti and Grant Ledyard scored 1:42 apart in the third period as Buffalo continued its mastery of Washington at the Capital Centre.