NHL News and Notes April - 23

NHL News and Notes April - 23

Hockey Today - April 23
Mon, Apr 23, 2007
By Associated Press

Dallas at Vancouver (9 p.m. EDT). For the first time in their history, the Stars have come back from a 3-1 series deficit to force a Game 7 after posting a 2-0 win on Saturday night.

STARS Sunday

- Brian Gionta, Devils, scored two goals to lead New Jersey to a 3-2 victory over Tampa Bay.

- Johan Franzen, Red Wings, scored early in the second overtime period, leading Detroit to a series-clinching 2-1 victory over Calgary.

MOVING ON

New Jersey advanced to the second round of the NHL playoffs with a 3-2 victory over Tampa Bay Sunday. The Devils, who ended the best-of-seven series in six games, have now won their opening-round series in five of their last seven postseason appearances since 2000. New Jersey will now play Ottawa. ... Detroit, the top-seeded team in the Western Conference, will play either sixth-seeded Dallas or No. 5 San Jose in the second round after a series-clinching 2-1 double-overtime victory over Calgary. The Red Wings won the series 4-2.

OUTSHOT

Detroit dominated the shot taking in its six-game Western Conference playoff series over Calgary. The Red Wings outshot the Flames 55-21 in its 2-1 clinching victory in double overtime on Sunday night. Calgary goalie Miikka Kiprusoff made 53 saves in the game, the second time in the series that Detroit had more than 50 shots and more than a 30-shot advantage. The Red Wings outshot the Flames in each of the games and 255-129 for the series.

PENALTY BOX

The NHL came down hard on Calgary Sunday, suspending goalie Jamie McLennan for five games and fining coach Jim Playfair $25,000 and the team $100,000 for actions late in Game 5 of the Flames' 5-1 loss to Detroit in their first-round series on Saturday. McLennan, who's suspension began with Game 6 Sunday night in Calgary, was given a match penalty for slashing Detroit's Johan Franzen in the midsection, one of four penalties the Flames were assessed for aggressive and illegal use of the stick.

SPEAKING

''We won, and it doesn't matter if you play well or not. It's a fine line in the playoffs - winning and losing, and how somebody performs - because the luck factor is such a big factor.'' - New Jersey goalie Martin Brodeur after the Devils advanced to the second round of the NHL playoffs with a 3-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Sunday. Brodeur stopped 32 shots as the Lightning was eliminated in the first round for the second straight season. The first team to score won each game of the series.

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Re: NHL News and Notes April - 23

Eastern Conference semifinals feature Senators-Devils and Sabres-Rangers

(CP) - Second-round NHL Eastern Conference playoff matchups (seedings in parentheses):



(1) Buffalo vs. (6) N.Y. Rangers


When: TBA

Where: Buffalo, N.Y.

Last playoff meeting: 1978, Sabres won preliminary round 2-1.

First round: Buffalo 4-1 over N.Y. Islanders; Rangers 4-0 over Atlanta.

Season series: Buffalo won all four - 7-4 at home Oct. 14, 4-3 in overtime in New York on Nov. 5, 3-2 in overtime in New York on Nov. 26 and 4-3 in shootout at home on Dec. 1.

Top playoff scorers: Buffalo - Chris Drury 5 points (4 goals-1 assist), Daniel Briere 5 (1-4), Dainius Zubrus 5 (0-5), Thomas Vanek 4 (2-2); Rangers - Michael Nylander 8 (4-4), Jaromir Jagr 7 (2-5), Fedor Tyutin 5 (0-5), Sean Avery 5 (1-4).

Playoff goaltending: Buffalo, Miller, 4-1, 2.21 goals-against average, .918 save percentage; Rangers, Lundqvist, 4-0, 1.50, .939.

Power play: Buffalo 4-for-24; Rangers 5-for-24.

Injury: Rangers D Karel Rachunek, out since March 13 with a knee injury, should be available for opener.

Sabres quote: "I definitely don't think we're playing our best hockey. I think everybody will agree on that. But, at the same time, what we've done is find ways to win." - Briere.

Rangers quote: "I feel we're kind of rewriting the personality of the New York Rangers. I think one of the reasons the fans appreciate this team is that we reflect the personality of the city. We have a team made up of players from diverse cultures, of hard workers, of little guys who play bigger than they are. We want to be a reflection of New York, and we are." - Brendan Shanahan.


(2) New Jersey vs. (4) Ottawa


When: TBA

Where: East Rutherford, N.J.

Last playoff meeting: 2003, Devils won conference final 4-3.

First round: New Jersey 4-2 over Tampa Bay; Ottawa 4-1 over Pittsburgh.

Season series: Ottawa won 8-1 at home Oct. 21 but New Jersey won last three - 3-2 at home Nov. 17, 3-2 in Ottawa on Jan. 6 and 2-1 in home shootout April 3.

Top playoff scorers: New Jersey - Scott Gomez 9 (2-7), Brian Rafalski 7 (2-5), Patrick Elias 7 (1-6), Zach Parise 6 (6-0); Ottawa - Daniel Alfredsson 6 (3-3), Chris Kelly 4 (3-1), Jason Spezza 4 (2-2), Dany Heatley 4 (2-2).

Playoff goaltending: New Jersey, Brodeur, 4-2, 2.33, .917; Ottawa, Emery, 4-1, 2.01, .909.

Power plays: New Jersey 7-for-28; Ottawa 6-for-24.

Injuries: New Jersey D Colin White sat out the last four games with a stiff back . . . Ottawa F Patrick Eaves remains out with concussion . . . Ottawa D Anton Volchenkov, who hurt his left elbow Friday, says he'll be ready to go.

Devils quote: "It just keeps getting tougher. Ottawa's got a great team. We've got some history with those guys in the playoffs so it should be fun." - Scott Gomez.

Senators quote: "What I like about our club is that we're more business-like than in the past. We have new players who came in and found roles on the team and they came to trust each other and love each other. They are now a solid, well-knit club." - GM John Muckler.

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