NHL news and notes: March 28

NHL news and notes: March 28

Hockey Today - March 28
Wed, Mar 28, 2007
By Associated Press

SCOREBOARD
Wednesday, March 28

New Jersey at Buffalo (7 p.m. EDT). The Devils have four wins in their last 11 games and trail the Sabres by seven points for first place in the Eastern Conference standings.

STARS

Tuesday

-Miika Kiprusoff, Flames, made 38 saves in regulation and overtime and two more in a shootout to help Calgary edge Minnesota 1-0.

-Alex Kovalev, Canadiens, got his second straight two-goal game as Montreal held off the New York Rangers 6-4.

-Ryan Whitney, Penguins, scored two second-period goals to lead Pittsburgh past Washington 4-3.

-Mike Ribeiro, Stars, scored two goals in Dallas' 6-0 win over Phoenix.

-Olli Jokinen, Panthers, had a goal and two assists to lead Florida past Tampa Bay 5-2.

-Roberto Luongo, Canucks, stopped all 34 shots he faced in Vancouver's 3-0 win at Colorado.

-Patrick Marleau, Sharks, scored two goals to help San Jose defeat Los Angeles 3-1.

SIX SPOTS SEALED

Two Eastern Conference teams and four Western clubs all clinched playoff spots on Tuesday night. New Jersey clinched its 10th straight playoff berth with a 3-1 win over the New York Islanders, while Pittsburgh used that plus its 4-3 victory at Washington to seal its first berth since 2001. Vancouver, Dallas, Minnesota and San Jose all clinched with wins and Colorado's 3-0 loss to the Canucks.

GOALIE WOES

New York Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro sat out Tuesday night's game against New Jersey because of headaches that came on two days earlier. DiPietro, who missed most of three games with a head injury earlier this month, complained again of headaches after the Islanders' overtime loss to the New York Rangers on Sunday. The team wouldn't say whether DiPietro sustained a concussion when he was injured at Montreal on March 13, nor would it confirm if he has one now. Islanders backup Mike Dunham left during the third period of Tuesday's game with leg cramps and was replaced by Wade Dubielewicz.

RECORD NIGHT

Nashville matched a franchise record with its 49th win for 105 points and went ahead of idle Buffalo and Detroit (103 points each) into first in the NHL standings with Tuesday night's 4-3 win over Edmonton. The Predators also had 49 wins last season. ... Martin Brodeur broke his own team record for wins in a season after picking up his 44th in New Jersey's 3-2 win over the New York Islanders. Brodeur, who had 43 victories three previous times, is three wins shy of tying Bernie Parent's NHL record of 47 in a season. Vancouver's Roberto Luongo also won his 44th game Tuesday night, 3-0 over Colorado, to help the Canucks match the franchise record with their 46th victory. ... Miika Kiprusoff recorded his 21st shutout in a Calgary uniform in Tuesday night's 1-0 shootout win at Minnesota, breaking Dan Bouchard's franchise record.

SPOILER

Florida prevented Tampa Bay from pulling even with Atlanta atop the Southeast Division standings with its 5-2 win over the Lightning on Tuesday night. Instead, Tampa Bay (86 points) is tied with Montreal in the last two Eastern Conference playoff spots, with three teams two points behind.

HOME COOKING

Montreal's home winning streak is at seven games after a 6-4 win over the New York Rangers on Tuesday night. The win also vaulted the Canadiens into a tie with Tampa Bay for seventh in the Eastern Conference with 86 points. ... Toronto has won a season-high six straight at the Air Canada Centre after going 12-14-5 at home after a 6-1 rout of Carolina.

SHOOTING STARS

Dallas is 8-1-1 in its last 10 games after a 6-0 rout of Phoenix on Tuesday night. The Stars finished the season series against the Coyotes at 7-1 to move to 98 points, two behind first-place Anaheim in the Pacific Division.

SNAPPED

Minnesota's nine-game winning streak came to an end with a 1-0 shootout loss to Calgary on Tuesday night. ... Despite being outshot 34-17, Boston snapped a five-game losing with a 3-2 win over Ottawa.

RED HOT

Olli Jokinen moved into a second-place tie with Pavel Bure on Florida's all-time goal-scoring list with his 152nd in Tuesday night's 5-2 win over Tampa Bay. Jokinen has six goals and seven assists in his last five games. ... Bill Guerin, acquired in a trade with St. Louis last month, scored his eighth goal in eight games during Tuesday night's 3-1 win over Los Angeles. He failed to find the net in his first six games with the Sharks.

COMING SOON

University of Michigan defenseman Jack Johnson, the third overall draft pick in 2005, signed a multiyear contract with Los Angeles on Tuesday and is set to make his NHL debut Thursday against Vancouver. The Kings acquired Johnson, the third overall selection in the 2005 draft, from Carolina last Sept. 29.

SPEAKING

''Our margin of error was minimal going into today's game, now it is no room. We basically have to win every game going forward.'' - Colorado coach Joel Quenneville after his team's playoff chances took a major hit with Tuesday night's 3-0 loss to Vancouver. The Avalanche trail eighth-place Calgary by seven points with six games left.

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Re: NHL news and notes: March 28

DiPietro out again due to headaches
Tue, Mar 27, 2007
By Associated Press

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- New York Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro sat out Tuesday night's game against the New Jersey Devils because of headaches that came on two days earlier.

DiPietro, who missed most of three games with a head injury earlier this month, complained again of headaches after the Islanders' overtime loss to the New York Rangers on Sunday. The team wouldn't say whether DiPietro sustained a concussion when he was injured at Montreal on March 13, nor would it confirm if he has one now.

Rangers forward Sean Avery fell on DiPietro's head in a crease pileup Sunday, and the 25-year-old goalie also had a shot strike him in the mask. He didn't come out of the game, but was unable to practice Monday and didn't participate in the team's morning skate on Tuesday.

''After the game on Sunday, Rick told our medical staff that he was suffering from headaches,'' Islanders general manager Garth Snow said in a statement. ''Until Rick is completely recovered, he will not play. As important as these games are, nothing is more important than Rick's health.''

The team declined to give any more details on DiPietro's injury or whether he underwent baseline tests that would confirm a concussion. Initially, DiPietro was said to have had a stiff neck and overall body soreness.

The Islanders are being much more tightlipped about their franchise goalie's injury than they were in revealing Chris Simon's concussion as part of his statement following his stick-swinging attack against Rangers forward Ryan Hollweg that resulted in Simon's season-ending suspension.

Dr. Elliot Pellman, the Islanders' director of medical services, resigned last month as the longtime chairman of the NFL's committee on concussions. He is also the head physician for the New York Jets.

DiPietro, in the first season of a landmark 15-year contract with the Islanders, was originally hurt in the first period against the Canadiens two weeks ago. He left that game following a mid-ice collision with Montreal forward Steve Begin. DiPietro fell to the ice after being hit on the right side of his mask by Begin's right skate when he lunged forward to win a race to the puck just inside New York's blue line.

The Islanders led 1-0 at the time, but backup Mike Dunham allowed five goals on 32 shots in the 5-3 loss. Dunham also played the next two games, giving up 11 goals on 61 shots in losses to Ottawa and Florida. DiPietro returned for the final game of the four-game trip and stopped 36 of 40 shots in an overtime defeat to Tampa Bay.

DiPietro bounced back in the following two games, beating Pittsburgh 3-1 with a 35-save effort, and giving up three goals on 21 shots Saturday in a win at Philadelphia. He allowed two goals to the Rangers in 64 minutes on Sunday.

The news is potentially devastating to the Islanders' postseason hopes. New York entered Tuesday night tied for eighth in the Eastern Conference with seven games remaining.

''We have to go out and focus on winning the hockey game, not what they have or don't have,'' Devils coach Claude Julien said.

The Islanders said that DiPietro will be evaluated on a daily basis and won't be available to comment on his condition until he is cleared to play. New York recalled goalie Wade Dubielewicz from Bridgeport of the AHL on Tuesday to serve as Dunham's backup against New Jersey.

DiPietro tied the Islanders team record with 32 victories this season, and has a 2.58 goals-against average and .919 save percentage in playing 62 of New York's first 75 games.

''Every game that we've played them has been a very close game. Obviously he was a big part of it,'' said Devils forward Patrik Elias, who returned to the lineup Tuesday after missing five games with a groin injury. ''If you ask me who would I rather have in the net, DiPietro or Dunny, I would obviously say Dunny.''

The Islanders were also missing defenseman Freddy Meyer, who is out indefinitely with a broken finger. New York recalled defenseman Allan Rourke from Bridgeport to fill in.

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Re: NHL news and notes: March 28

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The goalies below have been confirmed by a source:

Kari Lehtonen, Atlanta Thrashers - Lehtonen is the probable starter for Wednesday's game against the Panthers, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The goalies below have not been confirmed by any sources:

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

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

John Grahame, Carolina Hurricanes - Grahame is the probable starter for Wednesday's game against the Flyers.

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

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

Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Anaheim Ducks - Giguere is the probable starter for Wednesday's game against the Blackhawks.

Nikolai Khabibulin, Chicago Blackhawks - Khabibulin is the probable starter for Wednesday's game against the Ducks.


Year-to-date: 2174 / 2288 = 95.0%

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