NHL news and notes: March 21

NHL news and notes: March 21


Hockey Today - March 21
Wed, Mar 21, 2007
By Associated Press

SCOREBOARD

Wednesday, March 21

Colorado at Edmonton (9 p.m. EDT). The Avalanche continue their quest for the final playoff spot in the West against the Oilers, who have lost a franchise record-tying 11 straight games. Oddsmakers list the Oilers as +187 home underdogs. The total is set at 5 1/2-goals.

STARS Tuesday

-Jaroslav Halak, Canadiens, made 30 saves for his first NHL shutout, leading Montreal to a 1-0 win over Boston.

-Filip Kuba, Lightning, scored 55 seconds into overtime, giving Tampa Bay a 4-3 victory over the New York Islanders.

-Kristian Huselius, Flames, scored a goal and set up another in Calgary's 2-1 victory over Detroit.

NOT ENOUGH

Rick DiPietro made 36 saves in the New York Islanders' 4-3 overtime loss to Tampa Bay on Tuesday night, his first start after missing most of three games because of injuries sustained in a mid-ice collision with Montreal's Steve Begin last week. The Islanders went 0-3-1 on their four-game road trip and dropped to 11th place in the Eastern Conference, one point and three spots below the playoff cutoff.

SEASON SWEEPS

Tampa Bay swept the four-game season series from the New York Islanders with Tuesday night's 4-3 overtime victory. The Lightning has beaten New York eight consecutive times. ... Florida's 4-1 victory over Philadelphia completed the Panthers' first four-game season sweep of the Flyers.

BIG 3-0

Daymond Langkow scored his 30th goal in Calgary's 2-1 win over Detroit on Tuesday night, and is the third Flames player to hit the mark this season - joining Jarome Iginla (34) and Kristian Huselius (31). It is the first time since the 1993-94 season that three Flames reached 30 goals when Gary Roberts (41), Robert Reichel (40), Theo Fleury (40), and Joe Nieuwendyk (36) did it.

GOT HIS NUMBER

Martin Brodeur is 12-14-1 with seven ties against Toronto after Tuesday night's 2-1 loss. The Maple Leafs are one of two teams (Vancouver) he doesn't have a winning record against.

SURGERY

Edmonton Oilers defenseman Steve Staios will have season-ending knee surgery. Staios sprained a ligament in his left knee during practice Nov. 23 and aggravated the injury March 7 against Tampa Bay. He hasn't played since. Staios will miss the team's final nine games, leaving the Oilers' injury-riddled defense with four rookies in the lineup.

SPEAKING

''I came out and just kind of yelled at him and he looked at me, and it was time to go. My job is protect players like Kabby. He's not expected to go out there and fight. That's my job and I'm fine doing it.'' - Toronto's Wade Belak, who fought New Jersey's Cam Janssen in the Maple Leafs' 2-1 win over the Devils on Tuesday night. The last time the teams played on March 2 at New Jersey, All-Star Maple Leafs defenseman Tomas Kaberle sustained a concussion after a late hit from Janssen, who was suspended for three games.

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Oilers' Staios to have season-ending surgery
Tue, Mar 20, 2007
By Associated Press

EDMONTON, Alberta -- Edmonton Oilers defenseman Steve Staios will have season-ending knee surgery.

Staios, in and out of the lineup since spraining a ligament in his left knee during practice Nov. 23, aggravated the injury March 7 against Tampa Bay. He hasn't played since.

Staios will miss the team's final nine games, leaving the Oilers' injury-riddled defense with four rookies in the lineup.

No date for surgery is set.

''I feel comfortable with the decision,'' Staios said. ''We've taken some time to think about it and do the right thing.''

The 33-year-old Staios had his streak of 224 consecutive games ended when he sat out against the Chicago Blackhawks on Nov. 24.

Staios missed a total of 15 games, including Edmonton's last six outings, before the decision was made to have the surgery. Recovery is expected to take four months.

Staios, injured two days after signing a four-year contract extension worth $10.8 million Nov. 21, says he expects to be healthy in time for training camp.

''The timing is right,'' Staios said. ''The sooner the better. Four months sounds like a long time, but I think I'll be on the ice before that.''

The 10-year veteran had two goals, 15 assists, and 97 penalty minutes in 58 games this season.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007


The goalies below have not been confirmed by any sources:

Ryan Miller, Buffalo Sabres
- Miller is the probable starter for Wednesday's game against the Capitals.

Olaf Kolzig, Washington Capitals - Kolzig is the probable starter for Wednesday's game against the Sabres.

Antero Niittymaki, Philadelphia Flyers
- Niittymaki is the probable starter for Wednesday's game against the Rangers. Robert Esche is also a candidate to start to tonight as Martin Biron is unlikely to play in back-to-back games, especially following a loss.

Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers - Lundqvist is the probable starter for Wednesday's game against the Flyers. He may very well start every game for the rest of the season but if by chance coach Tom Renney wants to rest him, it will likely be Stephen Valiquette getting the start rather than injured Kevin Weekes, who has made only inconsistent progress from a torn quadricep.

Vesa Toskala, San Jose Sharks - Toskala is the probable starter for Wednesday's game against the Blackhawks.

Patrick Lalime, Chicago Blackhawks - Lalime is the probable starter for Wednesday's game against the Sharks.

Peter Budaj, Colorado Avalanche
- Budaj is the probable starter for Wednesday's game against the Oilers.

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

Tomas Vokoun, Nashville Predators - Vokoun is the probable starter for Wednesday's game against the Canucks.

Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks - Luongo is the probable starter for Wednesday's game against the Predators.

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

Mathieu Garon, Los Angeles Kings - Garon is the probable starter for Wednesday's game against the Stars.


Year-to-date: 2082 / 2188 = 95.2%

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Rangers hope top scorers return
Tue, Mar 20, 2007

The New York Rangers are hoping two key players return from injury for their Wednesday evening tilt with the Philadelphia Flyers.

Martin Straka and Brendan Shanahan, the team's third and fourth-leading scorers respectively, may be back in the lineup when they host the last place Flyers.

Straka injured his right knee Saturday against Boston and sat out New York’s 2-1 victory over Pittsburgh Monday. He has 27 goals and 37 assists in 69 games.

Shanahan suffered a concussion Feb. 17 and missed 15 games. He leads the team in goals with 28 and has 26 assists in 58 games. Without him, the Rangers played under the total in all but three games.

The Rangers are in seventh place in the Eastern Conference with 81 points, just one point ahead of Carolina in the final spot with nine games remaining.

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