boston.com Sports Sportsin partnership with NESN your connection to The Boston Globe
NHL PLAYOFF ROUNDUP

Predators flex muscles in win

Emotions -- and tempers -- can't get much higher between the San Jose Sharks and Nashville Predators.

J.P. Dumont scored an unassisted shorthanded goal, then added a power-play goal 2 1/2 minutes later, and the Predators evened their Western Conference quarterfinal by beating San Jose, 5-2, last night in a penalty- and fight-filled game in Nashville.

After 32 combined penalties for 141 minutes and six game misconducts in the final minute, the NHL issued a statement not to expect any disciplinary decisions until today. League vice president Colin Campbell will study the incidents.

"I think Colin Campbell has a job, and his job is to review these plays," San Jose center Joe Thornton said. "I'm sure if he wants us to play this way, we can play this way. It's in his hands, and we'll see what happens."

Peter Forsberg scored his first two goals this postseason, rookie Alexander Radulov had a goal and an assist in the first period, and Marek Zidlicky had two assists as the Predators made sure this series will return to Nashville for Game 5. Craig Rivet and Ryane Clowe scored for San Jose.

Tempers began flaring in Game 1 Wednesday night. San Jose's Jonathan Cheechoo was knocked out of that game with a sprained knee. The Sharks keep calling it a dirty hit, which the Predators called an unfortunate collision that should not have gotten Scott Hartnell ejected.

When Forsberg clinched it last night with an empty-netter with 65 seconds left, things disintegrated with three fights off the ensuing faceoff and five players ejected.

The worst of the rugged play came much earlier. Radulov skated up and elbowed Steve Bernier into the boards at 4:44 of the second period, snapping Bernier's head back before the Sharks forward fell facefirst onto the ice.

Officials gave Radulov a five-minute major and game misconduct. But San Jose could not score, not even when the Sharks got a five-on-three for 61 seconds at the end of that major.

Cheechoo played and assisted on Clowe's third-period goal.

Stars 2, Canucks 0 -- Jeff Halpern and Joel Lundqvist scored on the opening shift in each of the first two periods, and Marty Turco made 35 saves for his first shutout in 24 career playoff appearance as visiting Dallas evened its first-round series with Vancouver.

Ducks 3, Wild 2 -- Defenseman Francois Beauchemin scored two power-play goals and Ilya Bryzgalov made 30 saves, leading host Anaheim to the win and a 2-0 lead in its series with Minnesota.

SEARCH THE ARCHIVES