NHL News and Notes June - 1

NHL News and Notes June - 1

Hockey Today - June 1
Fri, Jun 1, 2007
By Associated Press

SCOREBOARD

Friday, June 1

No games scheduled. The Stanley Cup finals resume Saturday in Ottawa.

KEEPING IT CLOSE

Anaheim posted its second straight one-goal win of the Stanley Cup finals with a 1-0 victory over Ottawa in Game 2 on Wednesday night. It was the Ducks' 11th one-goal victory of 13 such games - one win shy of the playoff record shared by Anaheim (2003) and Montreal (1993) - and second of this series.

COMEBACK

Ottawa will have to bounce back after losing the first two games of the Stanley Cup finals at Anaheim. Only once in 30 chances has the road team dropped the first two games and rallied to take the Cup. The only team to win the championship after trailing 2-0 on the road was the 1971 Montreal Canadiens, who beat the Chicago Blackhawks in seven games.

RATINGS

The Stanley Cup finals lost nearly a quarter of what already was a small television audience. Through two games, the Stanley Cup finals averaged a 0.7 rating, down 22 percent from last year's 0.9, and households are down 20 percent, to 485,000 from 606,000 last year. The first two games were shown on Versus with the remainder of the series to be broadcast by NBC, starting with Game 3 at Ottawa on Saturday night.

CAPTAIN CROSBY

Pittsburgh gave Sidney Crosby the long-anticipated title of captain Thursday, making him the youngest to wear the captain's C on his sweater. Already the youngest player in NHL history to get 100 points in a season and to win a scoring title, Crosby was 19 years and 297 days old when he became a captain. The youngest captain in league history was Tampa Bay's Vincent Lecavalier (19 years, 324 days).

SPEAKING

''We've got nothing to lose. Nobody expects us to come back now except for the guys in the room. We have to use that world-beater mentality. We feel like we're still in this series, and anybody who writes us off is crazy. We have to prove that.'' - Ottawa center Jason Spezza. The Senators trail Anaheim 2-0 in the Stanley Cup finals.

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Around the rink: Stanley Cup final notes
Thu, May 31, 2007
By Associated Press

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Ducks are headed to Ottawa with history on their side.

Anaheim's 1-0 victory Wednesday night gave the Ducks a commanding 2-0 lead in the Stanley Cup finals. Game 3 is Saturday in Ottawa.

Of the 30 home clubs that won the first two games of the finals since the best-of-seven format began in 1939, 29 went on to win the Cup.

The only team to win the championship after trailing 2-0 on the road was the 1971 Montreal Canadiens, who beat the Chicago Blackhawks in seven games.

''We're excited to get back to our building,'' Ottawa's Joe Corvo said. ''It's going to be loud and it's going to help us out.''


HOLD UP: Dany Heatley, like his teammates frustrated that Ottawa isn't generating more offense, said the Senators aren't used to seeing the Ducks' brand of defense.

''They do a good job whether it's subtle or whether it's blatant,'' he said. ''They definitely play a real hold-up defensive style. We have to find ways (to overcome it).''

Isn't that style supposed to be against the rules now?

''No question,'' Heatley said.


SCORIN' SAMMY: Samuel Pahlsson's game-winning goal for Anaheim in the third period Wednesday was his second deciding one of the playoffs.

He also had the game-winner in Game 6 of the Western Conference finals against Detroit.

''The most important thing is to win the game, but of course, it's great to score the goal,'' Pahlsson said.

The checking line of Pahlsson, Travis Moen and Rob Niedermayer has combined for five game-winning goals in the playoffs. Moen scored the game-winner in a 3-2 victory Monday in Game 1. Niedermayer has one game-winner.


MAN-ADVANTAGE: For the second consecutive game, Ottawa had a two-man advantage and didn't score.

Senators coach Bryan Murray credited Anaheim goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere for stopping his team.

''We had four or five real good chances at the net. We jammed at it,'' Murray said. ''He made two stops and then the puck came back to us again. We got another chance. That's what the game of hockey is. It's create and hope that you can get one by.''


CALIFORNIA DREAMIN': The Ducks' appearance marks the third time a California team has reached the Stanley Cup finals.

The first two went home empty-handed.

Anaheim took the 2003 finals to Game 7 before the New Jersey Devils captured the Cup. The Los Angeles Kings made it to the final round in 1993, but the Montreal Canadiens knocked them off in five games.

The only team from the West Coast to win the Stanley Cup wasn't from California, or even the United States. The Victoria Cougars of the Western Canada Hockey League won it in 1925.

There hasn't been a champion from the West Coast of any kind since Stanley Cup play was restricted to NHL teams. That was 80 years ago.


DOWNSIZED: Goalies' equipment was downsized by the league a couple of years ago, and the Ducks' Jean-Sebastien Giguere said he learned to live with it.

''My equipment is 14 percent smaller,'' he said.

Some opponents in the past wondered whether Giguere, who tends to make most saves look routine, had pads that were larger than they were supposed to be.

He said there's no way that would happen.

''A company is just not allowed to send you equipment that's not legal, and it's got to go through the league before it gets to you,'' Giguere said. ''We all play with the same equipment. So we are all in the same boat.

''You have to pick equipment that's going to fit your style and how you play.''


NOTES: Anaheim improved to 11-2 in one-goal games in the playoffs, one short of the postseason record shared by the 2003 Ducks and the 1993 Montreal Canadiens. ... The announced crowd of 17,258 was the Ducks' 33rd consecutive sellout and included rapper Snoop Dogg and baseball Hall of Famer Dave Winfield. ... Anaheim has outshot the Senators 63-36 in the series' first two games. ... At 5-0, the Ducks are undefeated at home in the finals. They won each of their three home games against the New Jersey Devils in the 2003 finals, but lost the Cup in seven games.

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Hurricanes re-sign defenseman Wesley
June 1, 2007

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -Glen Wesley re-signed with the Carolina Hurricanes Friday for one year at $1.4 million.

The 38-year-old defenseman completed his 19th NHL season and 12th with the franchise last year. An alternate captain, he had one goal and 12 assists while ranking second on the team with 103 blocked shots in 68 games.

Wesley considered retiring after the Hurricanes won the Stanley Cup last season, which came in his fourth trip to the finals, before signing a one-year, $1.2 million contract in July.

Wesley is the only player left from the 1997-98 squad, which was the first in North Carolina for the former Hartford Whalers franchise. He ranks second in team history with 835 games played.

Carolina president and general manager Jim Rutherford called Wesley ``a steadying force on our blue line.''

``His leadership is important to the fabric of our dressing room and we are glad he is returning to play another season,'' Rutherford said.

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Flames sign Lombardi, Nilson to extensions
June 1st, 2007

Calgary, AB (Sports Network) - The Calgary Flames have signed forwards Matthew Lombardi and Marcus Nilson to contract extensions.

Financial terms of the deals were not disclosed, but Lombardi inked a three- year extension and Nilson signed a two-year pact.

Lombardi, a 25-year-old center, registered career highs with 20 goals, 26 assists and 46 points in 81 games this past season. The Montreal native was a third-round pick by the Flames in 2002 and has recorded 42 goals with 59 assists for 101 points in 215 NHL games.

Nilson, a 29-year-old left wing, registered five goals and 10 assists for 15 points in 63 games this past season. The eight-year NHL veteran from Sweden has 64 goals and 99 assists for 163 points in 474 games with Florida and Calgary.

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