NHL news and notes: March 30

NHL news and notes: March 30


Hockey Today - March 30
Fri, Mar 30, 2007
By Associated Press

SCOREBOARD
Friday, March 30

Tampa Bay at Carolina (7 p.m. EDT). The Hurricanes trail the Lightning and Canadiens by two points in the race for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

STARS

Thursday

-Jarome Iginla, Flames, scored his first hat trick of the season, leading Calgary past Minnesota 4-2.

-Slava Kozlov, Thrashers, scored two goals, including the game-winner on the power play with 46.4 seconds remaining in overtime to give Atlanta a 3-2 win over Toronto.

-Teemu Selanne, Ducks, scored a goal and assisted on three third-period power-play goals, helping Anaheim beat Columbus 5-2.

-Daniel Sedin, Canucks, scored two goals in Vancouver's 4-2 win over Los Angeles.

GOOD TIMES

Pittsburgh's 4-2 victory over Boston on Thursday moved the Penguins into first place in the Atlantic Division. Pittsburgh has 100 points, two more than idle New Jersey and second in the conference only to the Buffalo Sabres. Last season, the Penguins managed just 58 points and missed the playoffs. ... Anaheim beat Columbus 5-2 Thursday night to set a franchise record for road wins with 20. The Ducks won their 46th game and now have 104 points, extending their franchise records.

TOO LATE?

Colorado won for the 11th time in 14 games but remain seven points behind Calgary for the Western Conference's final playoff spot after Thursday night's 4-3 win over Phoenix. The Flames won their fifth straight, beating Minnesota 4-2, to maintain their lead.

SNAPPED

Pittsburgh had lost five straight in Boston before Thursday night's 4-2 win over the Bruins.

STAYING HOME

Rick DiPietro didn't travel with the New York Islanders to Buffalo on Thursday and will sit out a second straight game when his teammates play the Sabres. DiPietro complained of headaches after a rough outing against the New York Rangers on Sunday. He won't play Friday and will likely miss Saturday night's home game against Ottawa because he hasn't been on the ice since he was injured. Islanders coach Ted Nolan said Mike Dunham will make his second consecutive start on Friday and will be backed up again by Wade Dubielewicz.

SPEAKING

''We're in the playoffs, and one through eight, I don't know who we want to play ... Which team do we match up best against? I can't figure it out, so I'm not spending any time doing it.'' - Detroit coach Mike Babcock.

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Re: NHL news and notes: March 30

Sabres' Lydman ready to return
Thu, Mar 29, 2007
By Associated Press

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Add veteran defenseman Toni Lydman to the growing list of healthy Buffalo Sabres.

Lydman practiced for a second straight day Thursday and is expected to play against the New York Islanders on Friday after missing six games with an upper body injury. The Sabres have not disclosed the nature of Lydman's injury. He was hurt during the second period of a 5-3 win at Florida on March 15.

Lydman gives the Eastern Conference-leading Sabres seven healthy defensemen for the first time in six weeks, and his return comes with six games left on Buffalo's schedule. Nathan Paetsch is initially expected be the odd defenseman out even though the rookie has played well in a fill-in role, registering two goals and 22 assists in 59 games this season.

Coach Lindy Ruff hasn't ruled out using Paetsch as a forward in order to keep him active.

The Sabres are quickly getting healthier after forwards Ales Kotalik and Daniel Paille both played their first games in more than a month in a 4-3 win over New Jersey on Wednesday. Both made immediate impacts, scoring a goal each.

Lydman's return would leave the Sabres minus two regulars, right wing Maxim Afinogenov, who's missed 18 games with a broken wrist, and center Tim Connolly, who's not played this season while recuperating from post-concussion symptoms. Both players could be back in time for the first round of the playoffs, which start in two weeks.

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Re: NHL news and notes: March 30

Islanders G DiPietro to miss 2nd straight game
Thu, Mar 29, 2007
By Associated Press

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Rick DiPietro didn't travel with the New York Islanders to Buffalo on Thursday and will sit out a second straight game when his teammates play the Buffalo Sabres.

DiPietro complained of headaches after a rough outing against the New York Rangers on Sunday, when he was piled on in the crease and took at least two shots in the mask. He won't play Friday and will likely miss Saturday night's home game against Ottawa because he hasn't been on the ice since he was injured.

The 25-year-old goalie missed most of three games earlier this month following a mid-ice collision with Montreal's Steve Begin on March 13. DiPietro, in the first season of a landmark 15-year contract, was kicked in the head by Begin and showed symptoms of a concussion although the Islanders never said whether he had one then or now.

At the time he was said to have a stiff neck and general body soreness.

Islanders coach Ted Nolan said Mike Dunham will make his second consecutive start on Friday and will be backed up again by Wade Dubielewicz. Dunham came out of Tuesday's loss to New Jersey in the third period because of leg cramps and was replaced by Dubielewicz.

New York forward Ryan Smyth (leg) skated by himself, and Andy Hilbert (shoulder) didn't practice Thursday. Both players accompanied the team to Buffalo and will be game-time decisions. The Islanders recalled Steve Regier from Bridgeport of the AHL, and he will play if Smyth or Hilbert are forced to sit out.

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Re: NHL news and notes: March 30

Friday, March 30, 2007

The goalies below have been confirmed by a source:

Dominik Hasek, Detroit Red Wings - Hasek is the probable starter for Friday's game against the Stars, reports the Detroit News.

Johan Holmqvist, Tampa Bay Lightning
- Holmqvist is the probable starter for Friday's game against the Hurricanes, reports the Tampa Tribune. It took almost the whole season, but the Lightning have apparently finally realized that Marc Denis is not the answer and so it will be Holmqvist who will either lead them to the playoffs or to the golf course.

Jaroslav Halak, Montreal Canadiens - Halak is the probable starter for Friday's game against the Montreal Gazette. While coach Guy Carbonneau has gone on record to say that Halak will continue to start as long as he's winning, the Gazette is speculating that Cristobal Huet will make his return from a hamstring injury to start Saturday's game against the Sabres.

Ray Emery, Ottawa Senators - Emery is the probable starter for Friday's game against the Canadiens, reports the official Senators website. Martin Gerber is scheduled to get the start tomorrow against the Islanders.

The goalies below have not been confirmed by any sources:

Cam Ward, Carolina Hurricanes - Ward is the probable starter for Friday's game against the Lightning.

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

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

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

Ed Belfour, Florida Panthers - Belfour is the probable starter for Friday's game against the Capitals. Craig Anderson was terrific in his first start for the Panthers and could get a start or two the rest of the way as the team evaluates him for next season.

Marty Turco, Dallas Stars
- Turco is the probable starter for Friday's game against the Red Wings. Coach Dave Tippett didn't want to reveal his starter for tonight but did concede that Turco and Mike Smith would probably split starts the next two games. However, our selection is far from given as there are two conflicting factors to consider: Turco is coming off a strong shutout over the Coyotes but has a dismal career record against the Wings.

Mike Dunham, New York Islanders - Dunham is the probable starter for Friday's game against the Sabres.

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

Brian Boucher, Columbus Blue Jackets - Boucher is the probable starter for Friday's game against the Blackhawks.

Nikolai Khabibulin, Chicago Blackhawks - Khabibulin is the probable starter for Friday's game against the Blue Jackets. Patrick Lalime is probably due for a start any game now, so keep that in mind.

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

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


Year-to-date: 2197 / 2312 = 95.0%

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