Hockey Today - October 11

Hockey Today - October 11

Hockey Today - October 11
ASSOCIATED PRESS

SCOREBOARD

Thursday, Oct. 11

N.Y. Islanders at Toronto (7:30 p.m. EDT).

Jason Blake led the Islanders with 40 goals last season before signing with the Maple Leafs as a free agent during the summer.

STARS


Wednesday

-Mike Richards, Flyers, had two goals and two assists in an 8-2 victory over Vancouver.

-Pascal Leclaire, Blue Jackets, made 32 saves for his second straight shutout in a 2-0 victory over Phoenix.

-Chris Gratton, Lightning, reacquired from Florida in June, scored twice in a 2-1 victory over the winless Panthers.

-Niklas Backstrom, Wild, stopped 21 shots for his second shutout of the season in unbeaten Minnesota's 2-0 victory over Edmonton.

-Milan Michalek, Sharks, scored his second power-play goal with 3:31 left, lifting San Jose to a 2-1 victory over Chicago.

-Niklas Hagman, Stars, matched his career high with two goals, including one short-handed, as Dallas beat Los Angeles for the ninth straight time, 5-1.

STARTS

Brian Elliott won his NHL debut in goal, stopping 27 shots as Ottawa beat winless Atlanta 3-1 Wednesday night, improving to 5-0 - one short of the franchise record to start a season. ... Carey Price made 26 saves in his NHL debut and Tomas Plekanec and Andrei Markov each had a goal and an assist to lead Montreal to a 3-2 win over Pittsburgh.

ROOKIES

Chicago rookie Jonathan Toews, drafted third overall in 2006, scored on his first shot in his first NHL game, assisted by Patrick Kane, 2007's first overall pick. However, San Jose beat Chicago 2-1 Wednesday night.

PAYBACK

Paul Kariya helped beat his old team in St. Louis' home opener, assisting on two first-period goals by Brad Boyes in a 4-1 victory over Nashville on Wednesday night. The Blues were 1-11-4 the last two seasons against the Predators. Kariya, Nashville's leading scorer the last two seasons before signing a three-year, $18 million free-agent deal in St. Louis, has five assists in three games.

SNAPPED

Ryan Getzlaf scored the tying goal and assisted on the third-period game-winner as Anaheim stopped a three-game winless streak with a 2-1 victory over Boston on Wednesday night. The Ducks marked the Stanley Cup title they won in June over Ottawa by raising an orange-white-and-black banner and lowering the gleaming Cup from the ceiling on a silver tray.

STREAKS

Boston C Marc Savard sat out Wednesday night's game in Anaheim because of a groin strain sustained Saturday in Phoenix, ending his consecutive games played streak at 166 since April 3, 2004. ... Philadelphia improved to 9-0-4 in Vancouver since 1989 with an 8-2 victory.

CONSISTENT


Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist has given up two goals in each of the first three games, but New York lost its second straight Wednesday night, 2-1 to the rival Islanders. The Rangers went 0-for-6 on the power play and have failed to score in 15 man-advantage chances this season.

GUILTY

Former NHL player Rob Ramage was found guilty Wednesday of impaired driving causing death and four other charges in connection with a wreck that killed former Chicago Blackhawks star Keith Magnuson. Magnuson, 56, died Dec. 15, 2003, when a rental car driven by Ramage, 48, slammed head-on into another vehicle in Woodbridge. Ramage, who lives in St. Louis, is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 17.

SITTING OUT

Atlanta was without RW Marian Hossa, who was scratched after injuring his groin in practice Monday, in its 3-1 loss to Ottawa on Wednesday night.

SPEAKING

''I read it in the game notes. It's kind of weird that's how that worked out.'' - Montreal goalie Carey Price, who made his NHL debut against Pittsburgh on Wednesday night just like Canadiens Hall of Famers Ken Dryden and Patrick Roy. The Canadiens won 3-2.

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Re: Hockey Today - October 11

Tonight's key NHL matchup notes
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Atlanta Thrashers at Buffalo Sabres


Ryan Miller was 2-0-2 with a 2.83 GAA against the Thrashers last season, and is 4-1-2 with a 2.50 GAA lifetime against them.


New York Islanders at Toronto Maple Leafs

Rick DiPietro made 36 saves Wednesday to improve to 3-1-0 with a 2.02 GAA in four games. The goaltender has struggled at Toronto, going 1-3-0 with one tie and a 4.42 GAA in six contests.


Carolina Hurricanes at Ottawa Senators


Ottawa, which has scored a league-high 16 goals, will be looking to open a season with six straight wins for the second time since the end of the lockout. The Senators also have won three straight and five of six from the Hurricanes.


New Jersey Devils at Florida Panthers

Martin Brodeur is 30-10-0 with seven ties and a 1.96 goals-against average in 47 career games against Florida.


Phoenix Coyotes at Nashville Predators


Phoenix will play its second straight road game after opening with two home games. The Coyotes will try to avoid losing their ninth consecutive game on the road dating to last season, when they went 13-26-2.

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Flyers forward Jesse Boulerice expects to be suspended for cross-check
By ASSOCIATED PRESS

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Philadelphia Flyers forward Jesse Boulerice said he expects to be suspended for cross-checking Vancouver's Ryan Kesler across the face late in an 8-2 rout on Wednesday night.

The hit occurred with 5:41 left and the Flyers leading 7-2. After some pushing and shoving back and forth, Boulerice caught an unsuspecting Ryan Kesler across the face with his stick, leaving the Canucks forward lying motionless on the ice. He eventually got up and skated to the bench on his own.

Boulerice's coach agreed that a suspension is probably forthcoming.

''It's unacceptable, it's something that we can't have, Flyers coach John Stevens said. ''We didn't need to get involved in anything really, we had the hockey game in hand and that was the message on the bench, so that kind of stuff can't happen.''

Boulerice received a match penalty for intent to injure, which comes with an automatic review by the league.

''I'm just lucky my jaw isn't broken, hopefully it's not fractured,'' Kesler said. ''Obviously it's a dirty play and you don't like to see that happen to anyone. ... It shouldn't be in the game.''

Boulerice said he was sorry for the hit.

''I reacted in a bad way the wrong way,'' he said.

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Matvichuk trade expected soon
Newark Star-Ledger

Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello announced yesterday he will attempt to trade veteran defenseman Richard Matvichuk, who has fallen out of favor in new coach Brent Sutter's system.

Lamoriello told Matvichuk of his decision in a meeting yesterday morning. Matvichuk, 34, did not practice with the team at Codey Arena in West Orange, and did not make the trip to Florida, where the Devils will play the Panthers tonight before heading to Atlanta for a game on Saturday.

Lamoriello, who does not intend to put Matvichuk on waivers, believes he can get a deal done soon.

"It's a situation where we're trying to work with him and help him to get an opportunity somewhere else," Lamoriello said. "We're going to talk to other teams.

"When you've got a veteran and a player like Richard, who has given everything he could give, it's something we believe in, as far as giving him the opportunity somewhere else. It's just not going to work out here."

Matvichuk sat out all but one regular-season game last year following back surgery. The emergence of younger defensemen, coupled with a struggle to fit his $1 million salary under the team's cap, worked against him then.

In the playoffs, he was solid, which made his healthy scratch from the season opener in Tampa a week ago difficult for him. Matvichuk told The Star-Ledger last week he was "shocked" and "hurt," and said it was worse than having to sit out almost all of last season.

Matvichuk, scratched from all three games so far this season, was unavailable for comment yesterday. Lamoriello said he first spoke with him about where he stood with the team after the scratch in Tampa.

"Not every player is fit for every system, and every system is not fit for every player," Lamoriello said. "But I believe Richard can play."

When it was suggested Matvichuk doesn't fit into the current Devils system, Lamoriello replied, "I'd have to say that, yes."

Sutter has pushed an up-tempo style, and mentioned yesterday he would like to see the defensemen move the puck to the forwards more quickly to improve the team's transition game. Sutter elaborated a bit on Lamoriello's view of Matvichuk's problem with the system.

"It's a situation of how we want to play the game, and we want to be a team that (is), I guess you can use the word, quicker," Sutter said. "At this point in time, as far as we're concerned, it's the right thing for (Matvichuk) and also the right thing for the hockey team."

Notes: Martin Brodeur said he will start in Florida. Kevin Weekes, his backup, made 32 saves to beat the Panthers six days ago for the Devils' only victory.... Nicklas Bergfors did not practice yesterday. Lamoriello said Bergfors was "sore" and wanted to skate but was told to stay off the ice.... Arron Asham, who skipped practice for "personal reasons" on Tuesday, skated with the team.

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Re: Hockey Today - October 11

The following goalies have been confirmed by a source

Andrew Raycroft, Toronto Maple Leafs - Raycroft is the probable starter for Thursday's game against the Islanders, reports Sportsnet.

Ryan Miller, Buffalo Sabres - Miller is the probable starter for Thursday's game against the Thrashers, reports WGR 550 radio.

Cam Ward, Carolina Hurricanes - Ward is the probable starter for Thursday's game against the Senators, reports the Raleigh News & Observer.

Martin Gerber, Ottawa Senators - Gerber is the probable starter for Thursday's game against the Hurricanes, reports TSN.

Alex Auld, Phoenix Coyotes - Auld is the probable starter for Thursday's game against the Predators, reports the Arizona Republic.

Kari Lehtonen, Atlanta Thrashers - Lehtonen is now the probable starter for Thursday's game against the Sabres, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution blog.

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