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NHL: Tampa Bay Keeps Top Position in Eastern Conference


The Boston Bruins rallied from a three goal deficit to edge the Tampa Bay Lightning in a contest between two of the top teams in the National Hockey League's Eastern Conference.

Boston's Michael Nylander scored early in the third period to lift the Bruins at home. Boston trails Southeast Division champion Tampa Bay by two points for the best record in the conference.

Moving just one point behind Tampa Bay is Atlantic Division leader Philadelphia, which shut out the New York Rangers 3-0. Robert Esche stopped 24 shots for his third shut out of the season.

Meanwhile, the Dallas Stars stretched their club-record home unbeaten streak to 17 games with a 3-1 win over the Saint Louis Blues. Stars captain Mike Modano had a goal and an assist.

Toronto's Owen Nolan scored twice to help the Maple Leafs beat the Northwest Division leading Colorado Avalanche 5-2. The game was marred by an ugly slashing incident in the second period. Toronto's Wade Belak was ejected and assessed a match penalty after hitting Colorado defenseman Ossi Vaananen in the head with his stick. Vaananen was not seriously injured.

In other NHL games Saturday, the Montreal Canadiens topped the defending champion New Jersey Devils 3-2, the Carolina Hurricanes slipped past the Ottawa Senators 3-2 in overtime, and the Buffalo Sabres kept their playoff hopes alive with a 2-1 triumph over the Florida Panthers.

Also, the Washington Capitals skated to a 2-2 draw with the Atlanta Thrashers, the Nashville Predators beat the Calgary Flames 3-1, and the Central Division leading Detroit Red Wings defeated the Los Angeles Kings 4-2.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.

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