The Philadelphia Flyers picked up where they left off last spring against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Marcus Ragnarsson scored the go-ahead goal in the second period, leading the host Flyers to a 3-1 victory over Toronto in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series last night. The Flyers beat the Leafs in a grueling first-round matchup last year that amounted to the equivalent of nine games -- seven games and seven overtimes.
Tony Amonte and Simon Gagne also scored for Philadelphia, coming off four days of rest after eliminating the defending Stanley Cup champion New Jersey Devils in five games.
Alexander Mogilny scored for Toronto, which advanced with a victory over Ottawa in Game 7 Tuesday night.
Robert Esche had 22 saves, outplaying Ed Belfour after proving himself against reigning Vezina Trophy winner Martin Brodeur in the first round.
Sharks 5, Avalanche 2 -- Patrick Marleau had his second three-goal game of the postseason, and host San Jose scored three first-period goals in a victory over Colorado in the opener of their second-round playoff series.
Marleau, the Sharks' 24-year-old captain, took over the NHL's postseason goal-scoring lead (six) during San Jose's relentless offensive performance for nearly two periods against a Colorado lineup loaded with prolific scorers and All-Stars.
He scored San Jose's opening goal and added two more in 94 seconds midway through the second, chasing shaky Colorado goalie David Aebischer.
Flames 2, Red Wings 1 -- Marcus Nilson's first career playoff goal at 2:39 of overtime lifted Calgary at Detroit in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal.Miikka Kiprusoff made 28 saves to help the Flames win their fourth straight playoff game on the road. It was the Flames' third straight overtime game.