EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Kevin Stevens scored twice and referee Bill McCreary nullified an apparent game-tying goal last night, as the Pittsburgh Penguins forced a seventh game in the Patrick Division semifinal by defeating the New Jersey Devils, 4-3.
The Penguins, who won the regular-season Patrick championship, have the opportunity to win the series tomorrow night at home, where they were 4-0 over the Devils during the regular season.
New Jersey had hoped to avoid the trip to Pittsburgh and might have had McCreary not waved off a goal by Laurie Boschman with 1 minute, 32 seconds left in the second period, which would have tied the game 4-4.
But McCreary ruled that Boschman directed the puck past Frank Pietrangelo with his skate. The replay showed he deflected the pass by Claude Lemieux with his stick and then it went off his stake.
Pietrangelo, subbing for the injured Tom Barrasso and making his first playoff appearance, made the lead stand up thereafter, making 28 saves.
The Penguins came into the game facing elimination and knowing they would be without both defenseman Paul Coffey (scratched cornea) and Barrasso (shoulder injury).
Bruins 3, Whalers 1
HARTFORD, Conn. -- Boston scored on its first two shots and Andy Moog was outstanding in goal, as the Bruins advanced to the Adams Division final.
Nevin Markwart and Bob Sweeney scored, as the Bruins jumped a 2-0 lead 8:50 into the game. Dave Christian also scored and Vladimir Ruzicka had two assists, as the Bruins won the playoff series in six games.
Hartford outshot Boston, 15-6, in the first period, but the Bruins had the better chances. The Whalers never got any clean breaks while being continually hounded by the Bruins; the Bruins continually sprang players for three-on-two and two-on-one breaks.
The Whalers appeared listless in the second period after they failed to score during a five-minute major at the end of the first period. They tried to rally in the third period but Moog, who made 31 saves in the game, made several key stops. Hartford outshot Boston, 32-16, in the game.
The Bruins outscored the Whalers, 9-1, at the end of the series. It was the second straight year the fourth-place Whalers were beaten by the Bruins in the first round of the playoffs. Last year the Whalers forced a seventh game.
Canadiens 5, Sabres 1
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Shayne Corson scored short-handed and on the power play within 80 seconds in the second period, as Montreal took the best-of-seven Adams Division semifinal series in six games.
Buffalo hasn't advanced past the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs in six tries since 1983 -- including first-round losses in each of the past four seasons. Montreal also ended the Sabres' playoff hopes last year in six games in the division semifinal.
The game turned midway through the second period when the Sabres failed to score during a five-on-three advantage. They tied the game with a short-handed goal, but fell behind for good when Corson scored while Buffalo was on the power play at 14:15.