NHL News and Notes April - 26

NHL News and Notes April - 26

Hockey Today - April 26
Thu, Apr 26, 2007
By Associated Press

Ottawa at New Jersey (7 p.m. EDT). The Devils and Senators have met twice before in the playoffs, with each team winning a series. Oddsmakers list the Devils as -104 underdogs. The total is set at -104.

STARS Wednesday

-Andy McDonald, Ducks, had three goals and an assist to lead Anaheim past Vancouver 5-1.

-Thomas Vanek and Ryan Miller, Sabres. Vanek scored twice, sparking a three-goal second period, and Miller stopped 32 shots in Buffalo''s 5-2 win over the New York Rangers.

FOR STARTERS

Buffalo won its fifth straight series opener Wednesday night, 5-2 over the New York Rangers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. The Sabres are 1-13 when losing Game 1 of a best-of-seven series.

FEELING DUCKY

Anaheim won the opener of its Western Conference semifinal series with Vancouver, 5-1 on Wednesday night. The Ducks won three of the four games between the teams during the regular season.

COMING AND GOING

Rangers defenseman Michal Rozsival hurt his leg early in the second period against Buffalo and was knocked out of the opening game of the Eastern Conference semifinal series Wednesday night. The injury happened the same day New York welcomed back defenseman Karel Rachunek, who returned after missing 16 games because of a sprained right knee.

OUT IN THE COLD

New Jersey captain Patrik Elias missed his second straight practice with a cold Wednesday, sparking concern that the left wing on the Devils'' top line might not be available for Game 1 against Ottawa on Thursday night. Elias saw a team doctor and was told to remain at home and away from the team.

EYE SORE

Red Wings forward Tomas Holmstrom has an eye injury that will sideline him Thursday night when Detroit opens its second-round series against San Jose. Calgary''s Craig Conroy hit Holmstrom with his stick at 6:44 of overtime Sunday night in Detroit''s series-winning victory over the Flames.

SPEAKING

''A lot of things were said before the game, and we made sure we showed to respond not in the paper but on the ice.'' - Ales Kotalik after Buffalo's 5-2 win over the New York Rangers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Wednesday night. Kotalik was referring to Rangers coach Tom Renney''s comments suggesting the top-seeded Sabres weren't the league''s ''cream of the crop.''

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Re: NHL News and Notes April - 26

Rangers D Rozsival knocked out of Game 1 with leg injury
Wed, Apr 25, 2007
By Associated Press

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Rangers defenseman Michal Rozsival hurt his leg early in the second period against Buffalo and was knocked out of the opening game of the Eastern Conference semifinal series Wednesday night.

Without announcing the extent of the injury, the Rangers said Rozsival wouldn't return. He played two shifts in the middle frame before leaving the game.

Rozsival, a veteran of six NHL seasons, leads New York defensemen with two goals this postseason. Both were scored during the Rangers' first-round series sweep of Atlanta. Rozsival also led Rangers defensemen with 40 points (10 goals, 30 assists) in 80 games during the regular season.

New York did welcome back defenseman Karel Rachunek, who returned after missing 16 games because of a sprained right knee.

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Rangers D Rachunek returns for Game 1 against Sabres
Wed, Apr 25, 2007
By Associated Press

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Rangers defenseman Karel Rachunek returned Wednesday for Game 1 of New York's second-round playoff series against the Buffalo Sabres.

It was Rachunek's first game since March 13, when he sprained a ligament in his right knee. He missed the final 12 games of the regular season and all four games of New York's first-round sweep over Atlanta.

''I'm just excited to go back to playing hockey,'' Rachunek said after the team's morning skate Wednesday. ''It's been a long time.''

Rachunek finished the season with six goals and 26 points. He has played in 20 playoff games in his career, registering four points.

Thomas Pock, who had three assists in the first round against Atlanta, was scratched to make room on the roster

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Re: NHL News and Notes April - 26

Wings' Holmstrom, Lebda out for Game 1
Associated Press

DETROIT -- Red Wings forward Tomas Holmstrom has an eye injury that will sideline him Thursday night when Detroit opens its second-round series against San Jose.

"The doctors want no blood on his eye before he plays," Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said Wednesday. "It's a blow because he scored 30 goals this season, and he's one of our key players. But we expect to get him back at some point in the series, and that's good news for us and him."

Defenseman Brett Lebda also will miss Game 1 with a sore ankle and concussion

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Devils captain Elias out for Ottawa opener
Associated Press

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - New Jersey Devils captain Patrik Elias will be sidelined for the first game of the second-round playoff series against the Ottawa Senators on Thursday because of a lingering cold.

"Patrik was here this morning and he will not be in the lineup," Devils coach Lou Lamoriello said after the team's morning skate. "He is much better. The way he feels, he'll skate tomorrow and be ready for Saturday."

Elias, a left wing who had 21 goals and 48 assists this season, developed a cold over the weekend and missed practices Tuesday and Wednesday. He was not immediately available for comment.

Lamoriello would not say who would replace Elias on the line with Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta. Erik Rasmussen skated with them Wednesday, and David Clarkson may be another option.

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