The Associated Press
Apr. 21, 1998
No games scheduled. The NHL playoffs begin Wednesday night.
Dallas center Joe Nieuwendyk, who had seven goals in 10 games in April, was selected NHL player of the month Monday. Washington goalie Olaf Kolzig was selected the player of the week. He had a 1.26 GAA in four victories, including a 2-0 decision over the New York Islanders on April 13.
New Jersey was 3-5-2 in its final 10 regular-season games, and goalie Martin Brodeur, who challenged Bernie Parent's single-season record for victories, was 1-5-1 in his last eight starts.
Ottawa's 34-33-15 mark was its first winning record since entering the league six years ago.
STARTING NEW STREAKS
Washington and Boston, who meet in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, return to the postseason after having long playoff streaks snapped last season. The Capitals were in the playoffs 14 straight seasons, and the Bruins made 29 straight appearances.
STRONG STRETCH RUN
San Jose was 7-2-3 in its final 12 games to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in three years.
Philadelphia coach Roger Neilson will start goalie Sean Burke, who hasn't been in the NHL playoffs since 1990, over Ron Hextall in the best-of-7 series against Buffalo.
Defenseman Jeff Sharples scored a power-play goal with 33 seconds left to give the Utah Grizzlies a 4-3 victory over Kansas City on Monday night to tie the IHL Western Conference quarterfinal series 1-1.
``Ever since the Olympic break, it's been playoff mode for us and we've been playing really well. We knew what we had to do and we've done it.'' _ San Jose forward Bernie Nicholls. The Sharks were 7-2-3 in their final 12 games to reach the playoffs for the first time in three years.