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NHL: Avalanche, Devils Close to Reaching Round 2 of Playoffs


The Colorado Avalanche and the New Jersey Devils are each one game away from advancing to the second round of the National Hockey League playoffs.

Colorado pulled out a 4-3 overtime victory over the Dallas Stars Wednesday, taking a 3-0 lead in their first-round Western Conference playoff series. Colorado's Andrew Brunette scored the tying goal with just 57 seconds remaining in overtime, and teammate Alex Tanguay scored at the 1:09 mark in overtime.

The New Jersey Devils also have a 3-0 series lead over the New York Rangers, their Eastern Conference rivals, after cruising to a 3-0 shutout victory Wednesday. New Jersey goalie Martin Brodeur stopped 25 shots for his 21st career postseason shutout, leaving him two just shy of the NHL mark held by Patrick Roy.

The Rangers lost despite the surprise appearance of star Jaromir Jagr, who is battling a shoulder injury.

Also in the East, Peter Forsberg scored two goals to lead the Philadelphia Flyers to a 4-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. Despite the loss, Buffalo maintains a 2-1 series lead over Philadelphia. And the Carolina Hurricanes downed the Montreal Canadiens 2-1, as Eric Staal scored a power-play goal in overtime.

The victory narrows Montreal's lead in their playoff series at 2-1.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.
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