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They've lost their edges

Sabres, Canadiens are fit to be tied

Maybe now R.J. Umberger won't see himself flat on the ice every time he turns on the television.

Umberger scored the go-ahead goal midway through the third period, helping the Flyers even their first-round playoff series against Buffalo with a 5-4 victory last night in Philadelphia.

Peter Forsberg had two goals and a sensational assist, and Petr Nedved and Eric Desjardins also scored for the Flyers, who won their second straight game after a humiliating six-goal loss Monday.

Game 5 of the best-of-seven series is tomorrow in Buffalo. The Sabres won both games at home, including an 8-2 victory in Game 2 after a double-overtime win in the opener.

Umberger was knocked woozy by Brian Campbell's heavy check in Game 1 and missed the next game. The hit has been replayed excessively on highlight shows everywhere.

Tired of seeing it, the rookie made the difference with his first playoff goal.

Umberger carried the puck from his blue line into Buffalo's zone and took a slap shot from the right circle that squirted under goaltender Ryan Miller's right arm.

''I saw that hit enough. Now you can show the goal," Umberger said.

It was one of the few bad ones Miller has allowed in the series.

''I don't want that to be the way this series is remembered," Miller said.

Daniel Briere scored twice and Thomas Vanek and Mike Grier had goals for the Sabres.

Robert Esche made 26 saves, including several during odd-man rushes for Buffalo.

''We missed too many opportunities," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. ''We didn't convert."

Forsberg scored into a wide-open net as Miller started to skate off the ice in the final minute. Grier scored a shorthanded goal with 29 seconds remaining.

Sabres defenseman Teppo Numminen, who left Game 3 in the second period because of an irregular heartbeat, didn't play.

Hurricanes 3, Canadiens 2 -- Rod Brind'Amour restored Carolina's home-ice advantage with persistence and skill.

The Hurricanes' captain scored 5:54 into the third period to give Carolina a victory over host Montreal that tied the first-round playoff series.

The second-seeded Hurricanes, who won despite squandering an early 2-0 lead, dropped the first two games of the best-of-seven series at home but swept two straight in Montreal. Game 5 of the Eastern Conference matchup will be tomorrow night at Carolina.

Brind'Amour, who has four goals in three games, jumped on a loose puck behind Cristobal Huet and banked a shot in off the Montreal goalie for the go-ahead goal.

Justin Williams -- whose unpenalized high-stick in Game 3 forced Canadiens captain Saku Koivu to be hospitalized with an eye injury -- had a goal and assist on both Hurricanes goals in the first period.

Montreal rookie Alexander Perezhogin scored his first career playoff goal 5:21 into the second to make it 2-1.

Brind'Amour came close to restoring the Hurricanes' two-goal lead when he drove in on Huet right after Hurricanes defenseman Bret Hedican was given a double minor for high sticking to put Carolina down two players.

Huet stuck out his left pad to deny the scoring chance, and Canadiens defenseman Sheldon Souray took advantage and scored on the 5-on-3.

Before the game, Koivu sent a message to his teammates that he was released from the hospital and would be watching the game at home.

Stars 4, Avalanche 1 -- Niklas Hagman scored twice for visiting Dallas, which prevented Colorado from sweeping their first-round series and forced Game 5 tomorrow in Dallas.

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