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‘Beezer’ Looks Set For The Olympics

Sun., Feb. 1, 1998

John Vanbiesbrouck gained his second shutout in three games as the Florida Panthers beat visiting Tampa Bay 2-0 Saturday to extend the Lightning’s franchise-record losing streak to 12 straight.

Vanbiesbrouck recorded 27 saves for the 28th shutout of his career, and despite not cashing in on a penalty shot, the suddenly home-friendly Panthers won their third straight and stretched their unbeaten streak to 4-0-2 at Miami Arena.

In the second period, Florida’s Tom Fitzgerald was awarded a penalty shot at 3:50 when Stephane Richer took him down on a breakaway. But Fitzgerald missed, giving the Panthers an imperfect 0-for-4 record on penalty-shot attempts in their history.

Other games

In San Jose, Calif., Owen Nolan and Jeff Friesen each had a goal and an assist to lead the Sharks to a 5-2 victory over Pacific Division-leading Colorado.

Nolan got San Jose started with a goal 41 seconds into the game, and the Sharks improved their lead to 2-0 on Friesen’s shorthanded goal at 10:11 of the first period. The goal was Friesen’s 20th of the season. He is the only Shark with as many as 10.

In Pittsburgh, Tom Barrasso made 51 saves and Fredrik Olausson scored twice as the Penguins defeated the Detroit Red Wings 4-2 to stretch their unbeaten streak to seven games. Barrasso lost his shutout at 10:34 of the third when Martin Lapointe scored on Detroit’s 40th shot.

Olausson ended a 17-game goal drought with his first multiple-goal game in nearly five years. The Penguins were outshot 15-4 in the second period but outscored Detroit 2-0.

In Boston, rookies Hal Gill and Sergei Samsonov and 19-year veteran Ray Bourque scored third-period goals as the Bruins overcame a 2-0 deficit and defeated the New York Rangers 4-2.

Bourque, who had been in a slump with no goals in 19 games, got his ninth.

In St. Louis, Craig Conroy scored twice and Brett Hull had four assists to lead the Blues to a 6-3 victory over the Dallas Stars.

Hull was playing in only his second game after missing 14 games with a broken wrist. The Blues were 4-7-3 without Hull.

Judge lets suit proceed

A U.S. federal judge in Philadelphia is allowing a lawsuit to proceed against the NHL, former league President John Ziegler and NHL Players’ Association founder Alan Eagleson.

Judge Thomas O’Neill will hold the first pretrial conference in the case Monday after Eagleson’s recent conviction in Canada and the United States.

The suit was delayed while Eagleson faced his criminal charges. Filed by five former NHL players, including Hall of Famer Brad Park, it accuses the league of breaching its duty by allowing Eagleson to act unchecked in negotiating with the league and its players. Attorneys for the players have asked that the case be classified as a class-action suit, meaning it could affect as many as 2,000 former NHL players.

Federov bound for Nagano

Sergei Fedorov of the Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings will join Russia’s Olympic hockey team, replacing injured Alexei Kovalev of the New York Rangers.

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