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ELIAS SAVES STREAKS WITH BUZZER-BEATER

Everyone knew Patrik Elias was hot. Apparently he has a flair for the dramatic, too.

On the verge of seeing his franchise-record point-scoring streak snapped, Elias extended it to 14 straight games when he scored with 1.7 seconds left Wednesday night. And with that, he helped the Devils keep a bunch of streaks alive as they beat the Florida Panthers, 3-2.

"He was cutting the corner close there," Devils goalie Martin Brodeur said. "But he did it."

Boy, did he ever. Elias' 21st goal of the season -- and his 20th in 21 games and seventh in the last five -- extended the Devils' winning streak to five. It also gave them their 10th win in the last 11 games and improved their record to 12-1-2 in the last 15.

It also did wonders for Brodeur, who made 21 saves for his 10th straight win and tied his own franchise record by going unbeaten in 14 (12-0-2). It also improved his record to 30-9-5, making him just the fifth goalie in NHL history to win 30 or more games five seasons in a row.

The game appeared to be headed for overtime as the Panthers were trying to make one final rush with time running out.

Florida defenseman Robert Svehla's pass was picked off by Elias, who broke in, faked out Panthers goalie Mike Vernon then flopped to the ice to celebrate his improbable goal.

By that time, Elias had figured his scoring streak was over. "But I didn't mind because we were playing good as a team," he said. "It just happened. I got it and we came up with a win."

Federov breaks slump

DETROIT -- For one night, the Detroit Red Wings didn't have to rely on their top line for most of their scoring.

Sergei Fedorov scored his first goal since Dec. 20 and Chris Osgood made 30 saves as the Red Wings beat the Toronto Maple Leafs, 4-2.

Pat Verbeek, Nicklas Lidstrom and Kirk Maltby also scored for the Red Wings, who've won two straight after an 0-3-2 skid. Though they lead the Western Conference with 65 points, they're only 4-5-2 in January mainly because they've relied so much on their top line of Verbeek, Steve Yzerman and Brendan Shanahan.

"In order to be successful you need everybody to contribute, and tonight they did," said Verbeek, whose first-period goal was his sixth in seven games. "Sergei played well tonight, everybody played well tonight. Anytime you win or are in position to win you have to get contributions from everybody."

Lindros set to return

PHILADELPHIA -- Eric Lindros plans to return to the Flyers' lineup for tonight's home game against Florida, confident he's recovered from a Jan. 14 concussion.

The game also will mark the debut of center Keith Primeau, acquired from Carolina on Sunday for Rod Brind'Amour.

The Flyers have scored just seven goals in going 0-3-2 in their last five games (Lindros missed four of them), four of them coming in a 4-4 tie at Pittsburgh on Sunday.

Lindros' concussion was his third in the last 22 months, but after Wednesday's practice he said he was not having any after effects from the latest injury.

Around the rinks

Ken Klee scored the winner as the Capitals beat the Flames, 2-1, extending Washington's unbeaten streak to a season-best nine games. Olaf Kolzig made 26 saves for Washington, 8-0-1 during the streak and 10-1-3 since dropping three consecutive road games in December. . . . Stephane Richer scored his 400th career goal and Scott Young added two goals as the Blues beat the Senators, 4-1. . . . Mike Modano had a goal and two assists and Darryl Sydor passed out two assists to lead the Stars to a 3-1 win over the Kings. Ed Belfour was the difference in goal for the Stars with 36 saves. The Stanley Cup champions have not lost to Los Angeles in 22 straight games. . . . Gino Odjick scored a bad-angle goal with 5:05 left as the Islanders snapped a four-game road losing streak with a 4-2 triumph over the Mighty Ducks. Anaheim's Paul Kariya tied a career best by scoring in his fourth consecutive game. Teemu Selanne also scored for the Ducks. . . . The game between the Thrashers and Coyotes was postponed due to an East Coast snowstorm. The Thrashers said the game will be made up on March 29.

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