Adam Oates scored his first career hat trick and added two assists as the St. Louis Blues routed the Detroit Red Wings 6-1 in a fight-filled game Friday night to avoid elimination in their opening-round NHL playoff series.
Oates scored twice during a first-period three-goal blitz, then got his third goal - and fourth of the playoffs - on a backhander at 10:33 of the second as the Blues cut the Detroit lead to 3-to-2 in the best-of-7 Norris Division semifinal series.Oates' hat trick was the Blues' first three-goal game in the playoffs since Peter Zezel also had a five-point night against Minnesota on April 11, 1989.
Brett Hull added two goals and two assists and Paul Cavallini also scored for the Blues, who led 5-1 after two periods to chase Red Wings goaltender Tim Cheveldae. Oates has 13 points in the series and Hull has 12.
The Blues beat the Red Wings six of eight games during the regular season and finally found a way to dominate Detroit again, outshooting them 42-18.
Defensively, the Blues held Detroit without a breakaway or any significant rushes for the first time in the series. And St. Louis' penalty killers held the Red Wings to one shot in four second-period power plays.
In the third period, the game degenerated into one punching match after another. Five players received game misconducts after a brawl at 6:40, by which time 110 penalty minutes had been assessed by referee Dan Marouelli. Another fight at 6:53 produced an additional 54 penalty minutes. The two teams' 308 penalty minutes, including 247 in the third period, was a St. Louis playoff record.
The old record for both teams was 161 minutes April 21, 1988, in the Norris Division finals against Detroit.
St. Louis connected on its third, fourth and seventh shots of the game to take a 3-1 lead.
Bobby Dollas gave the Red Wings the lead at 2:12 of the first period, knocking in the rebound of a shot Sergei Fedorov took while sliding on the ice.
The Blues then responded with three goals in a span of 5:44.
Oates grabbed a loose puck near his own blue line and scored unassisted on an end-to-end rush at 3:45, beating Cheveldae with a slap shot from the top of the right circle.
At 4:58, Hull's sixth goal of the playoffs gave the Blues their first lead since they were ahead 1-0 in Game 3. Hull steamed in on the left side and wound up to shoot near the top of the left circle. Then when defenseman Steve Chiasson tried to make a diving stop, he slipped the puck around the defenseman and scored to Cheveldae's glove side.
Oates made it 3-1 at 9:29, flipping in the rebound of a Hull shot.
Cavallini scored on the Blues' first shot of the second period, connecting on a high slap shot from about 50 feet at the 40-second mark. Then Oates gave St. Louis a four-goal lead when he came out of the corner untouched with the puck and skated across the slot, waiting until Cheveldae went down to flip in a backhander.
Hull made it 6-1 on a slap shot at 8:08 of the third period, beating Allan Bester.
North Stars 6, Blackhawks 0
At Chicago, Brian Bellows assisted on Minnesota's first four goals as the North Stars buried the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 5 of their NHL playoff series.
Minnesota took a 3-2 lead in the series with its second straight victory and could win the Norris Division semifinal series at home Sunday.
The North Stars broke a team record with five playoff power-play goals. Their previous high was four against Chicago in 1982 and Edmonton in 1984.
Brian Propp scored the only goal of the first period at 17:59, beating Ed Belfour high to the glove side from the hash marks.
Mark Tinordi got his third of the playoffs on a power play just 32 seconds into the second period, and Chicago defenseman Dave Manson responded 21/2 minutes later by taking two minor penalties.
Then with Chris Chelios' slashing penalty giving the North Stars 1:21 of a 5-on-3, Minnesota blew it open.
Flames 5, Oilers 3
At Calgary, Alberta, Carey Wilson scored a pair of goals to lead the Calgary Flames to a victory over the defending Stanley Cup Champion Edmonton Oilers in the Smythe Division semifinal series.
The triumph left the Flames trailing 3-2 in the series and forced a sixth game in Edmonton Sunday night.
For the fifth straight game the Flames took the early lead. Al MacInnis snapped a 30-foot shot by Edmonton goaltender Grant Fuhr 11 seconds into a Flames power-play at 3:28 of the first period.
Wilson gave the Flames a 2-0 lead at 7:56 of the period when Gary Suter's 45-foot wrist shot hit Wilson in the deep slot. It was the Calgary's second power-play goal of the period.
Kings 7, Canucks 4
At Inglewood, Calif., Brad Jones snapped a second-period tie with his first NHL playoff goal and Luc Robitaille netted two of Los Angeles' three power-play goals, lifting the Kings to a triumph over the Vancouver Canucks and a 3-2 lead in their first-round playoff series.
Jones, playing in only his second game in the best-of-seven series, gave Los Angeles a 5-4 edge with the Kings using a sixth attacker following a delayed penalty on Rob Murphy. Steve Duchesne had tied it earlier in the period, just 28 seconds after Vancouver took its final lead.