NHL News and Notes June - 3

NHL News and Notes June - 3

Ducks Kunitz hurt in first game back
Sun, Jun 3, 2007
By Associated Press

OTTAWA -- Anaheim Ducks forward Chris Kunitz's return to the lineup was a short one in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals Saturday.

Playing his first game in three weeks after breaking a bone in his right hand, Kunitz limped off the ice favoring his left leg early in the second period against the Ottawa Senators. He appeared to be hurt after an open-ice check on Ottawa's Dean McAmmond.

Kunitz left the ice and went directly to the team's locker room.

The Ducks announced Kunitz sustained a lower body injury and his return was doubtful.

Kunitz missed seven games after being hurt May 11 in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals against Detroit. The Ducks initially ruled him out for the rest of the playoffs, but he was cleared to play by team doctors on Friday.

Kunitz immediately provided an impact for Anaheim's top line Saturday, on the ice when Teemu Selanne set up Andy McDonald for the opening goal 4 minutes in. Kunitz also delivered a few big checks, showing no signs of being bothered by his hand.

He had a goal and five assists in 11 games before he was hurt.

''It's been painful watching,'' Kunitz said before the game. ''From the initial shock of them telling me that the season was going to be over - it's a great relief that I might have a chance now.''

Rookie Drew Miller, who averaged nine minutes in the past two games, was scratched to make room for Kunitz.

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Re: NHL News and Notes June - 3

McAmmond knocked out of Game 3 by Pronger
Sun, Jun 3, 2007
By Associated Press

OTTAWA -- Ottawa Senators forward Dean McAmmond left Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final early in the third period Saturday with a head injury after Anaheim defenseman Chris Pronger knocked him to the ice with a forearm.

McAmmond was hit by Pronger after he drove the zone for a shot on net, falling and hitting the back of his head on the ice.

He was attended by Ottawa's team doctor before he was helped off the ice by linemates Oleg Saprykin and Christoph Schubert. A trainer helped him to the dressing room.

No penalty was called on the play.

McAmmond was credited with the go-ahead goal late in the second period when Pronger put the puck into his own net to put the Senators up 4-3.

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Re: NHL News and Notes June - 3

Crosby caps big week with Art Ross Trophy
June 2, 2007

OTTAWA (AP) -What a week for Sid the Kid.
   
First, Sidney Crosby was chosen Pittsburgh Penguins captain. Then he got to meet memebers of the Montreal Canadiens' teams that won five straight Stanley Cup titles in the 1950s. And on Saturday, former Canadiens star Henri Richard presented Crosby with the Art Ross Trophy for leading the NHL in scoring with 120 points.

As nice as the award was, Crosby was struck by meeting the Montreal greats, especially considering he grew up rooting for the Canadiens.

``Here I am talking about trying to win one Stanley Cup and those guys have 10 or 11,'' Crosby said. ``It doesn't seem fair.''

The NHL presented three other awards during a luncheon held prior to Game 3 of the Cup finals between the Anaheim Ducks and Ottawa Senators. The Ducks lead the best-of-seven series 2-0.

Tampa Bay's Vincent Lecavalier won the Maurice Richard Trophy, for leading the league with 52 goals. Minnesota's Niklas Backstrom and Manny Fernandez shared the William M. Jennings Trophy for helping the Wild allow a league-low 191 goals. Backstrom also won the Roger Crozier award for his league-leading 92.9 save percentage.

Of course, it was Crosby who generated the most attention.

In only his second season and four months shy of his 20th birthday, Crosby became the youngest player to win the scoring title with 36 goals, 84 assists. Perhaps, more remarkably, he played the final 2 1/2 weeks of the season with a broken left foot.

Even Lecavalier, who broke into the league at 18, paid tribute to Crosby.

``To do what he's doing right now is unbelievable,'' Lecavalier said. ``He's 19 years old. I can't even imagine how great he's going to be at 26 or 27.''

Lecavalier became the first French Canadian to win the Richard trophy since it was established in 1999.


NEIL'S NEW ADDITION:
Senators' gritty forward Chris Neil was all smiles after the morning skate, celebrating the birth of his first child. His daughter, Hailey Jean, was born Friday at 11:05 p.m. weighing in at 6 pounds, 10 ounces.

``It was an exciting day,'' said Neil, who missed practice after his wife Caitlin had the birth induced. ``Watching her being born, you can't have words for it. It's amazing. It's a miracle.''

Neil was relieved the birth - the due date was June 19 - didn't occur during a the day of a game or when the Senators were out of town.

``I'm back here today and ready to go,'' he said. ``I'm fortunate to have two exciting things going on my life at the same time. It's hard to juggle them, but I'm able to do it. And my wife's made it very capable for me to do that. ... She's been very supportive of it. She's been a real trouper.''


PRICEY ADVICE:
Teemu Selanne isn't interested in taking a cut in pay. That's the excuse the Ducks star forward gave in electing not speculate on which line Chris Kunitz would play if the injured left wing returns to the lineup for Game 3.

Referring to coach Randy Carlyle, Selanne quipped: ``Carlyle always says that when I start thinking about those things, I have to take a pay cut, I have to take a coach's salary. So you can ask him. He tells me that every day.''

Kunitz played alongside Selanne and Andy McDonald on the Ducks' top line before breaking a bone in his right hand against Detroit on May 11 in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals.


NOT THAT OLD: This is the first time in 80 years Ottawa's hosted a Cup final game, and Senators' coach Bryan Murray would like to point out he wasn't around back then.

``I don't remember the 80 years, almost, but not quite,'' said Murray, who at 64 grew up in Shawville, Quebec, about a 45-minute drive north of Ottawa.

Murray, however, recalls having discussions with Frank Finnigan, a member of that 1927 Cup-winning Senators team. ``He told me lots of these stories, as us old-timers tend to do: We like to tell stories.''

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Re: NHL News and Notes June - 3

Hockey Today - June 2
Sat, Jun 2, 2007
By Associated Press

SCOREBOARD Saturday, June 2

Anaheim at Ottawa (8 p.m. EDT). The Senators will have home-ice advantage as they try to bounce back from an 0-2 series deficit.

HIGH-POWER LINE

Samuel Pahlsson, Rob Niedermayer and Travis Moen are doing their job in shutting down the Senators' top line. In two games, Daniel Alfredsson, Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza have been limited to a combined 11 shots and two assists - a considerable drop-off for a trio that had produced 23 of Ottawa's 48 goals through the first three playoff rounds. Also, Moen scored the winning goal in Anaheim's 3-2 victory in Game 1, and Pahlsson produced the lone goal in a 1-0 win on Wednesday.

REUNITED

The NHL will pay tribute to members of the league's greatest dynasty before Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals on Saturday. Jean Beliveau, Henri Richard, Dickie Moore, Tom Johnson, Jean-Guy Talbot and Don Marshall will be on hand as part of a select group of 12 Montreal Canadiens who played for each of the record-setting five straight Stanley Cup-winning teams from 1956-60.

SIGNED

Carolina re-signed defenseman Glen Wesley to a one-year, $1.4 million contract Friday. Wesley, who will return for a 13th season with the franchise, is the last original player from the 1997-98 squad - the first in North Carolina for the former Hartford Whalers - and ranks second in franchise history with 835 games played. ... Forward Matthew Lombardi signed a three-year contract extension with Calgary. Lombardi comes off a breakout season with career highs in goals (20) and assists (26) in 81 games this season.

RESIGNED

The NHL's Players' Association accepted senior director Ken Kim's resignation Friday. Kim and former executive director Ted Saskin, whom the NHLPA executive board voted unanimously to fire on May 10, were put on paid leaves in March following allegations they read players' e-mails.

SPEAKING

''He thinks he's from Red Deer.'' - Anaheim GM Brian Burke on the determination of checking-line forward Samuel Pahlsson.

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