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SENATORS STAY CLOSE TO DEVILS

Though they didn't make any headway in the standings, the Ottawa Senators gained some confidence.

Rob Zamuner intercepted a pass in the New Jersey zone and fired a shot past goalie Martin Brodeur with 11:46 remaining in the third period, lifting Ottawa to a 4-4 tie with the Devils on Thursday night.

"You obviously want to win every game," Zamuner said. "I think sometimes when we fall behind, we get down on ourselves a bit. Psychologically, it's nice to come back and tie the game, and get a point.

The tie kept Ottawa within one point of the Eastern Conference-leading Devils. The Senators host the Sabres at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Daniel Alfredsson, Alexei Yashin and Shawn McEachern scored for the Senators, who had three separate one-goal leads before Petr Sykora gave the Devils their first lead of the game.

Sykora broke a 3-3 tie 1:34 into the third period when he picked off Magnus Arvedsson's pass in the Devils' zone and sped down the ice to beat goalie Patrick Lalime.

"Turnovers are caused when you're not given much time," Devils coach Larry Robinson said. "We certainly knew we didn't want to give them any time with the puck, and that's probably vice versa."

Sykora scored for the fifth straight game, extending his point-scoring streak to a career-best nine games.

After blowing three leads earlier in the game, the Senators managed to make a comeback of their own with Zamuner's 16th goal of the season.

"Both teams obviously really wanted to win this game," Ottawa captain Alfredsson said. "It wasn't like either team waited for the other to do something. Both teams took charge."

Alexander Mogilny scored twice for the second straight game and Scott Gomez got his ninth of the season for the Devils Mogilny has 24 goals in his last 25 games.

New Jersey lost defensemen Scott Niedermayer and Brian Rafalski to injury in the first period. Niedermayer aggravated a knee injury and Rafalski bruised his shoulder.

Wings even long-time rivalry with Leafs

DETROIT -- It's one of the oldest and best rivalries in hockey.

The Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs have played 632 games, and the series couldn't be more equal.

After Detroit's 2-1 home win over Toronto, the longtime rivals are 270-270-92 against each other.

Although the game was played at Detroit's Joe Louis Arena, many in the sold-out crowd of 19,995 were cheering for the Maple Leafs.

Cries of "Go Leafs Go" echoed throughout the arena, answered by Red Wings fans crying, "Let's Go, Red Wings!"

"It's a great atmosphere to play in," Toronto coach Pat Quinn said. "It's one of the rivalries that's lasted for a long, long time and continues regardless of where either team happens to be in the standings. Even back in the early '90s, late '80s when the Detroit team wasn't a very good team, they were still very competitive games and a lot of fun to come to."

Red Wings forward Darren McCarty, who scored the winning goal and added an assist, grew up in Leamington, Ontario, and admits there's nothing like beating the Leafs.

"It's fulfilling, rewarding and it's extra-special because it's Toronto," McCarty said. "(Everything) changes, but Toronto and Detroit never does."

Shayne Corson scored the Maple Leafs' only goal.

The Red Wings play the Leafs three times this season, including Saturday night in Toronto.

Demitra back on the beam

ST. LOUIS -- Pavol Demitra scored his first goal in three games since returning from an eye injury and added an assist as the St. Louis Blues beat the Tampa Bay Lightning, 4-1.

Ladislav Nagy and Alexander Khavanov each had a goal and two assists for St. Louis, which is one point behind Colorado for first place overall. Blues backup goalie Brent Johnson started his second straight game with Roman Turek suffering from tendinitis.

Khavanov added a third-period power-play goal for the Blues.

Around the rinks

Bob Essensa and Steve Shields were both perfect in goal. Essensa finished with 31 saves, and Shields stopped 26 shots as the Canucks and Sharks played to a scoreless tie. . . . David Legwand scored two power-play goals in the second period, leading the Predators to their fourth straight win, 3-1, over the Blue Jackets. . . . Bryan Smolinski and Kelly Buchberger each scored twice in the second period as the Kings beat the Hurricanes, 4-2. . . . ABC's broadcast of the All-Star Game that featured Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux produced the lowest ratings ever for the event, according to Nielsen Media Research Inc. Sunday's game was watched in 1.7 percent of homes with TVs, and 4 percent of homes with TVs turned on, Nielsen said. The rating was 23 percent lower than the previously least-watched NHL All-Star Game, in 1999 on Fox.

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