NHL news and notes: March 17

NHL news and notes: March 17

Hockey Today - March 17
Sat, Mar 17, 2007
By Associated Press

SCOREBOARD
Saturday, March 17

St. Louis at Edmonton (8 p.m. EDT). The Oilers have dropped nine straight, and have not won since dealing Ryan Smyth to the New York Islanders at the trade deadline.

STARS Friday

-Teemu Selanne and Andy McDonald, Ducks, scored two goals apiece in Anaheim's 5-2 victory over Chicago.

-Sidney Crosby and Erik Christensen, Penguins, each scored two goals to power Pittsburgh past Montreal 6-3.

-Alexei Zhitnik, Thrashers, scored a power-play goal 2:18 into overtime to give Atlanta a 2-1 win over the New York Rangers.

-Jason Pominville, Sabres, scored twice to help Buffalo hold off Tampa Bay 3-2.

SNAPPED

Washington snapped a nine-game losing streak with a 5-1 victory over Toronto on Friday night. The Capitals, winless since beating New Jersey on Feb. 24, snapped their longest losing streak overall in 25 years. The victory also snapped Washington's seven-game home losing streak.

STRONG IN DEFEAT

Tampa Bay's Vincent Lecavalier scored twice in a 3-2 loss to Buffalo on Friday night, giving him an NHL-leading 48 goals. He set a team record with 96 points this season. ... Montreal defenseman Sheldon Souray scored his 17th power-play goal of the season in a 6-3 loss at Pittsburgh.

GREAT GOALIES

Washington's Olaf Kolzig recorded his first win since Feb. 4, making 34 saves in a 5-1 win over Toronto on Friday night. ... Kari Lehtonen stopped 38 shots in Atlanta's 2-1 overtime victory over the New York Rangers. ... Vesa Toskala stopped all 35 shots he faced San Jose's 3-0 win over Columbus. He and Evgeni Nabokov, who had three shutouts in San Jose's previous six games, tied the franchise record of 11 shutouts they set in 2003-04.

HOME COOKING

Anaheim has earned 13 points, going 6-0-1 in the first seven games of an eight-game homestand after a 5-2 win over Chicago on Friday night. ... Atlanta has a six-game home winning streak after a 2-1 overtime victory over the New York Rangers. ... San Jose improved to 11-0-1 at home against the Blue Jackets since Columbus entered the NHL in 2000 after posting a 3-0 win.

LETTING IT GO

Rangers forward Ryan Hollweg, who was felled last week by a two-handed stick slash to the head by the Islanders' Chris Simon, has told Nassau County prosecutors that he will not file assault charges against Simon for the incident at Nassau Coliseum on March 8. Simon, who apologized several days after the incident, was suspended without pay for a record 25 games by the NHL.

SPEAKING

''You just shake your head because you see that all the time from Sid. It seems like he's performing miracles. I wouldn't be surprised if he walks on water one of these days. You can't say anything else, it was ridiculous to watch.'' - Pittsburgh's Erik Christensen on teammate Sidney Crosby, who scored two goals in a 6-3 win over Montreal on Friday night. For his first score, Crosby stickhandled his way through three Canadiens and flicked the puck into the net while falling to his left to elude a fourth.

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Re: NHL news and notes: March 17

Stars activate Morrow from injured list
Fri, Mar 16, 2007
By Associated Press

FRISCO, Texas -- Dallas Stars left wing Brenden Morrow was activated from the injured reserve list on Friday, nearly four months after he severed tendons in his right wrist during a game against Chicago.

The 28-year-old Morrow was sidelined Dec. 26 after he was stepped on by a skate. He participated in recent full-contact practices and is expected to play Saturday at Nashville.

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Re: NHL news and notes: March 17

Saturday, March 17, 2007

The goalies below have been confirmed by a source:

Niklas Backstrom, Minnesota Wild - Backstrom is the probable starter for Saturday's game against the Flames, reports the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Josh Harding will serve as the backup because Manny Fernandez's knee is acting up again as described in a separate entry below.

Curtis Joseph, Phoenix Coyotes - Joseph is the probable starter for Saturday's game against the Avalanche, reports the Arizona Republic.

Tomas Vokoun, Nashville Predators - Vokoun is the probable starter for Saturday's game against the Stars, reports the Nashville Tennessean.

Ed Belfour, Florida Panthers - Belfour is the probable starter for Saturday's game against the Islanders, reports the Miami Herald. If he starts, he would break the franchise record for consecutive starts which is a pretty noteworthy feat considering that Roberto Luongo is the current record holder.

John Grahame, Carolina Hurricanes - Grahame is the probable starter for Saturday's game against the Devils, reports the Raleigh News & Observer. Cam Ward is scheduled back next week, so while Grahame will lose a significant amount of fantasy value when that happens, his strong play should yield him more starts down the stretch.

Brian Boucher, Columbus Blue Jackets - Boucher is the probable starter for Saturday's game against the Kings, reports the Columbus Dispatch.


The goalies below have not been confirmed by any sources:

Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils - Brodeur is the probable starter for Saturday's game against the Hurricanes.

Andrew Raycroft, Toronto Maple Leafs - Raycroft is the probable starter for Saturday's game against the Canadiens.

Jaroslav Halak, Montreal Canadiens - Halak is the probable starter for Saturday's game against the Maple Leafs.

Martin Biron, Philadelphia Flyers
- Biron is the probable starter for Saturday's game against the Senators.

Martin Gerber, Ottawa Senators - Gerber is the probable starter for Saturday's game against the Flyers.

Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins - Thomas is the probable starter for Saturday's game against the Rangers.

Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers - Lundqvist is the probable starter for Saturday's game against the Bruins.

Rick DiPietro, New York Islanders - DiPietro is the probable starter for Saturday's game against the Panthers. He'll probably be a game-time decision for tonight so if you have a comparable option on your bench, it would be wiser to keep DiPietro inactive until he actually returns.

Curtis Sanford, St. Louis Blues - Sanford is the probable starter for Saturday's game against the Oilers.

Dwayne Roloson, Edmonton Oilers - Roloson is the probable starter for Saturday's game against the Blues.

Marty Turco, Dallas Stars - Turco is the probable starter for Saturday's game against the Predators.

Miikka Kiprusoff, Calgary Flames - Kiprusoff is the probable starter for Saturday's game against the Wild.

Peter Budaj, Colorado Avalanche - Budaj is the probable starter for Saturday's game against the Coyotes. The Avs are in a furious battle for their playoff lives and if Budaj wins tonight, he may even get another start on Sunday at Jose Theodore's expense.

Dominik Hasek, Detroit Red Wings - Hasek is the probable starter for Saturday's game against the Canucks.

Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks - Luongo is the probable starter for Saturday's game against the Red Wings.

Mathieu Garon, Los Angeles Kings - Garon is the probable starter for Saturday's game against the Blue Jackets.


General goalie news:

Manny Fernandez, Minnesota Wild
- GM Doug Risebrough acknowledged that Fernandez recently aggravated his knee injury again, reports the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Fernandez, who originally sprained his left medial collateral ligament on January 20 and aggravated it January 30, left Friday's practice at the Saddledome early. However, it's unclear if he hurt himself in practice, at Wednesday's practice in Edmonton where he was in visible distress or if this is just the discomfort he's been voicing in recent days. Unfortunately, the goalie did not want to speak about his injury but Risebrough and coach Jacques Lemaire both suggested that it's not a structural problem and that Fernandez will have to get used to playing with the discomfort.

Cam Ward, Carolina Hurricanes - Ward was on the ice for the first time on Friday since lacerating his leg, reports the Raleigh News & Observer. He faced a few live shots but did not go down on his knees to make the saves but is a bit leary of going down just yet. Ward plans to get the stitches in his knee taken out on Sunday and he will also take to the ice at that time with hopes of returning later in the week - possibly Thursday against the Capitals.

Year-to-date: 2028 / 2134 = 95.0%

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Re: NHL news and notes: March 17

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Brian Gionta, New Jersey Devils - The Devils placed Gionta on long-term injured reserve retroactive to March 6, reports the Bergen Record. He is still suffering from a groin injury but with recent injuries decimating the team, the Devils had no choice but to deactivate him for a minimum of 24 days or 10 games. This allows the team to clear his salary from their payroll for that pro-rated period of time, thereby allowing them to recall some players from their minor league affiliate team. In any case, the Devils expect to bring Gionta back April 1 against the Bruins.

Brendan Shanahan, New York Rangers - Shanahan, out since February 17 while recovering from a concussion, practiced yesterday, reports the New York Newsday. Coach Tom Renney said he's a possibility for either Monday or Wednesday but conceded that it's still speculative at this point to discuss Shanny's return.

Peter Forsberg, Nashville Predators - Forsberg is expected to return to the ice tonight for the first time since March 3, reports the Nashville Tennessean. He has missed the last six games with an "upper-body'' injury, but the former NHL MVP pronounced himself healthy and ready to return to the lineup following practice on Friday.

Steve Sullivan, Nashville Predators - Sullivan was on the ice on Friday as he recovers from a back injury, reports the Nashville Tennessean. However, he concentrated on mainly conditioning drills and has been ruled as out for tonight's game against the Stars. Trotz said there's a chance Sullivan could be ready for the three-game Canadian road trip which begins Wednesday against the Canucks.

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