NHL News and Notes April 6

NHL News and Notes April 6

Hockey Today - April 6
Fri, Apr 6, 2007
By Associated Press

SCOREBOARD

Friday, April 6

Florida at Tampa Bay (8 p.m. EDT).

The Lightning are a point behind Atlanta for the Southeast Division lead. Tampa Bay closes the season against the Thrashers on Saturday.

STARS

Thursday

- Milan Hejduk scored three goals, including two in the third period, to lead Colorado past Vancouver 3-1.

- Thomas Vanek, Sabres, scored twice and added an assist as Buffalo beat Boston 4-2.

- David Legwand, Predators, scored two goals to help Nashville snap a three-game skid with a 4-1 win over St. Louis.

- Jaromir Jagr, Rangers, reached the 30-goal mark for the 15th straight season and added an assist to carry New York to a 3-1 victory over Montreal.

- Tom Poti, Islanders, contributed three assists to help New York keep its playoff hopes alive with a 5-2 win over Toronto.

- Nikolai Khabibulin, Blackhawks, made a season-high 56 saves, as Chicago defeated Detroit 3-2 in a shootout.

CLINCHED

New Jersey clinched the Atlantic Division title with a 3-2 win over Philadelphia on Thursday night. This is the Devils' second straight Atlantic Division title and seventh overall. ... By earning a point in a 3-2 shootout loss to Chicago, Detroit clinched their sixth straight Central Division title. The Red Wings need one more point to secure its third consecutive Western Conference title. ... After a seven-season absence, the N.Y. Rangers have reached the postseason for the second straight year following a 3-1 win over Montreal. The win, which also secured a berth for Tampa Bay, will help give New York either the sixth or seventh seed in the Eastern Conference.

WINNING WAYS

Buffalo matched a franchise record with its 52nd victory, following a 4-2 win over Boston on Thursday night. The Sabres (52-21-7), who have clinched the Eastern Conference's top seed, matched their win total from last season. ... Nashville set franchise records with its 50th victory and 108 points, beating St. Louis 4-1. New Jersey defeated Philadelphia 3-2 to lift the Devils to their franchise-record 49th victory of the season, surpassing the mark set in 1997-98 and 2000-01. ... San Jose recorded its fifth straight victory and set a franchise record with 106 points with a 4-3 victory over Calgary.

GOALIE MARKS

New Jersey goalie Martin Brodeur surpassed Bernie Parent, Philadelphia's stalwart Stanley Cup-winning goalie, for wins in a season with 48 as the Devils downed the Flyers 3-2 on Thursday night. Brodeur stopped 34 shots to break the 33-year-old record in the city where Parent led the Broad Street Bullies to two Stanley Cup championships. ... Ryan Miller stopped 20 shots to earn his 39th victory of the season to set the single-season team record as Buffalo beat Boston 4-2. Miller surpassed the mark of 38 set by Don Edwards in 1977-78.

SHUTOUT

Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom shut out Edmonton for the second time in three days as Minnesota preserved slim hopes of winning the Northwest Division title as the Wild posted a second straight 3-0 victory Thursday night. Backstrom, who got his fifth shutout of the season and improved to 4-0 against the Oilers, stopped 22 shots after a 25-save performance against the defending Western Conference champions on Tuesday night. Minnesota has won five straight against Edmonton.

SPEAKING

''This is his year. He's played fantastic hockey. It couldn't have happened to a more fantastic individual.'' - Hockey Hall of Fame goalie Bernie Parent on New Jersey goalie Martin Brodeur, who surpassed Parent for wins in a season with 48 as the Devils downed Philadelphia 3-2 on Thursday night. Parent set the record in 1973-74 on his way to leading the Flyers to two consecutive Stanley Cup championships.

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Re: NHL News and Notes April 6

Sabres RW Afinogenov finally back
Thu, Apr 5, 2007
By Associated Press

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Maxim Afinogenov returned for Buffalo's game against Boston on Thursday night, the Sabres forward's first after missing 21 with a broken left wrist.

The right wing was greeted by cheers as he took the ice for the pregame skate, Afinogenov's return coming as the Sabres enter the playoffs next week as the Eastern Conference's top seed.

Afinogenov entered the night with 23 goals and 34 assists in 53 games.

With two games left in their regular season, the Sabres are now minus only two regulars: center Tim Connolly, who has resumed practicing after missing the entire season with a concussion and knee injury; and forward Paul Gaustad, who isn't expected back this season after having surgery to repair a sliced tendon in his left leg.

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Re: NHL News and Notes April 6

Giguere tends to ailing newborn; out until playoffs
April 6th, 2007

Anaheim, CA (Sports Network) - Anaheim Ducks goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere will not be with the team this weekend because he and his wife are dealing with a non-life threatening medical condition to their newborn son.

Giguere is expected to rejoin the Ducks on Monday, prior to the playoffs.

"J.S. and his wife, Kristen, are dealing with an issue of much greater importance than hockey games," Ducks general manager Brian Burke said. "Our entire organization supports them during this difficult time and asks that their privacy be respected."

The Ducks will try to seal the Pacific Division title tonight, when they visit the Dallas Stars.

Giguere, who is 36-10-8 with four shutouts and a 2.26 goals against average this season, missed 12 games with a groin strain, from December 29 to January 19.

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