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  •   Flyers Get Even With Maple Leafs, 5-2

    Team Logo By Rachel Alexander
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Thursday, April 29, 1999; Page D3

    PHILADELPHIA, April 28 – The sellout crowd at First Union Center had been waiting for a confrontation between Philadelphia's Sandy McCarthy and Toronto's Tie Domi from the opening faceoff in tonight's Game 4 of the teams' first-round playoff series.

    When it finally came less than three minutes into the second period, it wasn't splashy – McCarthy checked Domi into the boards, and Domi earned a penalty when he responded by rubbing McCarthy's face with his glove. Still, it was enough to change the momentum of the game and the series when Flyers defenseman Eric Desjardins used the ensuing power play to score the game-winning goal in Philadelphia's 5-2 victory.

    With the best-of-seven series tied at 2, the teams will return to Toronto for Game 5 on Thursday.

    "Winning is great revenge, but on the other hand, there is still something there," McCarthy said. "It was tough. I wanted to punch him right back [after the face-wash], but it wasn't the right time for it."

    Tensions have been high since McCarthy, who is part black and part Native Canadian, accused Domi of using a racial epithet in Monday's Game 3. Domi not only denied the charge but said McCarthy spit in his face; the NHL decided not to suspend either player after an investigation Tuesday yielded inconclusive evidence.

    Players seemed keyed up from the start of tonight's game, but most of the action was in the nets as the teams raced to a 2-2 tie in the opening 13 minutes. Three of the goals came on power plays, with former Washington winger Craig Berube and John LeClair scoring for the Flyers and Sergei Berezin and Steve Sullivan evening the score for Toronto.

    But after Desjardins put Philadelphia ahead, 3-2, on Domi's penalty, the Maple Leafs struggled, failing to register a shot on goaltender John Vanbiesbrouck in the first eight minutes of the second period. LeClair scored his second goal of the night with about two minutes to go in the period, and when the Maple Leafs continued to founder, unable to convert even a two-minute two-man advantage, Rod Brind'Amour rounded out the scoring with an empty-net goal at the end of the third.

    "We didn't defend well; we didn't play well in a lot of areas," Toronto Coach Pat Quinn said. "After the first period, it was almost like we stopped playing."

    Landon Wilson and Don Sweeney finally scored and Boston finally won another playoff game at home, evening this series at 2.

    It was the Bruins' second win in their last 13 home playoff games and first in their last five. And they needed a couple of unlikely scorers to achieve that.

    Sweeney tied the game with 1:42 left in the second period with his seventh goal in 85 career playoff games. The defenseman had two goals in 81 games during the regular season.

    Then Wilson put the Bruins ahead on a power play at 3:54 of the third period with his first goal in five career playoff games. In 22 regular season games, he scored just three times.

    Steve Heinze added another goal with 8:44 left in the game, and Rob DiMaio scored into an empty net with 37 seconds left to cap Boston's comeback from a 1-0 deficit. Ray Sheppard had scored his fourth goal of the series just 4:21 into the game on a rising shot from the top of the right circle.

    The victory guaranteed Boston would return home Sunday night for a sixth game of the best-of-7 Eastern Conference quarterfinal series after Friday night's Game 5 at Carolina. The Hurricanes have lost all five series in which they were tied at two games apiece.

    But their chances seemed good last night following consecutive 3-2 wins after the Bruins had won the opener 2-0. Carolina is 7-21 in road playoff games but three of those wins came in Boston.

    And the Hurricanes struck early on Sheppard's goal in a hard-hitting first period in which there were several shoving matches.

    The smaller Bruins, though, also played physically and tied the game with Kent Manderville of Carolina and Darren Van Impe of Boston in the penalty box for roughing.

    Sweeney scored with a high shot to the far side of goaltender Arturs Irbe that came from the inside edge of the left circle. It was set up by Jason Allison, the only player with points in all four games. He passed the puck across the slot from low in the right circle.

    Then Wilson scored the winning goal with nine seconds left in a holding penalty to Carolina's Bates Battaglia. Ray Bourque shot the puck off the boards behind Irbe and Joe Thornton, standing to the right of the goalie, pushed the rebound across the crease where Wilson jammed it in.

    Heinze added his second goal of the series from about five feet in front of Irbe after taking Anson Carter's pass from behind the net.

    © Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

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