NHL news and notes: March 27

NHL news and notes: March 27

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The goalies below have been confirmed by a source:

Marc-Andre Fleury, Pittsburgh Penguins - Fleury is the probable starter for Tuesday's game against the Capitals, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Ray Emery, Ottawa Senators
- Emery is the probable starter for Tuesday's game against the Bruins, reports the official Senators website.

Jaroslav Halak, Montreal Canadiens - Halak is the probable starter for Tuesday's game against the Rangers, reports the Montreal Gazette. While Cristobal Huet continues to practice and is nearing a return, the Canadiens will continue to play Halak as long as he is winning.

The goalies below have not been confirmed by any sources:

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

Ed Belfour, Florida Panthers - Belfour is the probable starter for Tuesday's game against the Lightning.

Johan Holmqvist, Tampa Bay Lightning - Holmqvist is the probable starter for Tuesday's game against the Panthers. After Marc Denis' latest implosion, we're pretty certain that Holmqvist will get the lion's share of starts over the rest of the season and playoffs. However, he has missed the last two games with the flu and while there was no real confirmation that he'd start tonight's game, the St. Petersburg Times belives that he is "ready" to play.

Cam Ward, Carolina Hurricanes - Ward is the probable starter for Tuesday's game against the Maple Leafs.

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

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

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

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

Rick DiPietro, New York Islanders - DiPietro is the probable starter for Tuesday's game against the Devils.

Fredrik Norrena, Columbus Blue Jackets - Norrena is the probable starter for Tuesday's game against the Blues.

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

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

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

Niklas Backstrom, Minnesota Wild - Backstrom is the probable starter for Tuesday's game against the Flames. Would you believe that this guy leads the NHL in both goals-against-average and save percentage?

Mikael Tellqvist, Phoenix Coyotes - Tellqvist is the probable starter for Tuesday's game against the Stars.

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

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

Jose Theodore, Colorado Avalanche - Theodore is the probable starter for Tuesday's game against the Canucks. He was rock solid in relief of Peter Budaj in a crucial shootout victory over the Canucks on Sunday but this is a tough call as coach Joel Quenneville may go back to Peter Budaj seeing as how he has passed Theodore on the depth chart over the past few weeks.

Sean Burke, Los Angeles Kings - Burke is the probable starter for Tuesday's game against the Sharks.

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


Year-to-date: 2150 / 2262 = 95.0%

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Re: NHL news and notes: March 27

Hockey Today - March 27
Tue, Mar 27, 2007
By Associated Press

SCOREBOARD

N.Y. Rangers at Montreal (7:30 p.m. EDT). The Canadiens, Carolina and the New York Islanders are all tied for the final playoff spot in the East with 84 points, three less than the Rangers.

STARS - Monday

-Dominik Hasek and Pavel Datsyuk, Red Wings. Hasek made 25 saves for his seventh shutout of the season and 75th overall, and Datsyuk scored in Detroit's 1-0 victory over Anaheim.

GETTING TIGHT

Detroit snapped a four-game losing streak and moved into a tie with Nashville atop the Central Division and Western Conference standings with Monday night's 1-0 win over Anaheim. The Red Wings and Predators both have 103 points, three more than the Pacific-leading Ducks.

WELCOME BACK

Ales Kotalik, who's missed 16 games with a right knee injury, practiced fully on Monday and is expected to play in Buffalo's home game against New Jersey on Wednesday. Devils captain Patrik Elias is expected to return Tuesday against the New York Islanders after missing four games with a groin injury.

NEW DEAL

Hockey Night in Canada will remain on the CBC through 2014, with the broadcaster and NHL agreeing to a six-year contract extension on Monday. The CBC will maintain exclusive Canadian coverage of NHL games on Saturday nights.

SPEAKING

''My view on fighting hasn't changed. We've never taken active steps or considered eliminating fighting from the game. I've always taken the view that it's a part of the game and it rises and lowers based on what the game dictates.'' - NHL commissioner Gary Bettman on whether fighting should be eliminated from the game.

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Elias set to return with the Devils
Mon, Mar 26, 2007
By Associated Press

WEST ORANGE, N.J. -- The New Jersey Devils' chances of winning the Atlantic Division improved a little on Monday with the return of left wing Patrik Elias.

The Devils' captain skated with the team at the Codey Arena and pronounced himself ready to go for the big game at the Nassau Coliseum against the New York Islanders on Tuesday night.

It will be Elias' first game since suffering a groin injury on March 15, and this is a big one for both teams.

New Jersey is tied with Pittsburgh for first place in the division with seven games left in the regular season. The Penguins have six to go, while the Islanders are in a pack of six teams battling for the last three playoff spots.

''We have been here long enough, everybody, to know that you just can't turn the switch on or off,'' Elias said. ''We have to get it going now. Our goal isn't to look at the standings, but to work hard and get into the playoff mode.''

Injuries this past month have raised questions about the Devils.

A year ago, they won their final 11 games to win the division title. They swept the Rangers in the first round before being eliminated by the eventual champion Carolina Hurricanes in the second.

New Jersey is literally limping down the stretch this season, winning only four of its last 11 games.

Besides Elias, the Devils' leading scorer, John Madden and Brian Gionta have battled groin injuries this month. Jamie Langenbrunner, the team's second-leading scorer, was forced to leave a game against Florida on Saturday night with an illness. He did not practice on Monday.

''The last couple of days, I don't think panic has set in, but you are concerned,'' said center Scott Gomez. ''You get that attitude that certain guys will come back and we'll get back to where we were. But that's not how it works in this league sometimes.''

The good news for New Jersey is that Madden has skated the past two days and Gionta, who is on the long-term injury list until next month, practiced on Monday.

The young kids the Devils have called up from the minors - Rod Pelley and David Clarkson - have filled in admirably. New Jersey has struggled scoring, which is to be expected with Elias (21 goals) and Gionta (24) out of the lineup along with their best defensive forward, Madden.

''It's better to have these injuries now than right before the playoffs,'' forward Jay Pandolfo said. ''I think if the guys can get back in time we can get it going again.''

And if they can't, the Devils still have Martin Brodeur in goal.

''You want to go out there and feel good when the playoffs start,'' Brodeur said. ''Last year was special, winning 11 in a row going in. Regardless of what happens, we just have to play well every game; get consistent effort, get the power play going. It's a fine line, though. You want guys back, but you want them healthy.''

Elias said no one is pushing him to get back. He's ready, and he hopes the Devils are ready when the race for the Stanley Cup starts in two weeks.

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Re: NHL news and notes: March 27

Isles' DiPietro again sidelined
March 27th, 2007

Uniondale, NY (Sports Network) - New York Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro is reportedly again bothered by a head injury he sustained earlier this month and could be sidelined while the club tries to battle for a playoff spot.

According to a report in Newsday, DiPietro will sit out Tuesday's game against the New Jersey Devils and could be suffering from post-concussion syndrome. The paper said the team will issue a statement later Tuesday.

DiPietro was hurt during the first period of a March 13 loss against Montreal after colliding with Canadiens forward Steve Begin, whose skate struck the goaltender in the head.

New York dropped the next two games while DiPietro sat out, but he has played the last four contests -- a shoo tout loss, two wins and, most-recently, an overtime loss to the Rangers on Sunday.

The Islanders entered Tuesday's action tied with Montreal and Carolina for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference -- just two points behind seventh- place Tampa Bay and three behind the sixth-place Rangers.

After signing an astonishing 15-year contract last summer, DiPietro has been a stalwart in net for the Isles with a mark of 32-19-9 and a 2.58 goals-against in 62 games.

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