Hockey today - October 12

Hockey today - October 12

Hockey today - October 12
ASSOCIATED PRESS

SCOREBOARD

Friday, Oct. 12

Calgary at Dallas (8:30 p.m. EDT)

The Flames (0-2-1) are the lone winless team in the Western Conference.

STARS

Thursday

-Mats Sundin, Maple Leafs, set two Toronto records with his goal in an 8-1 rout of the New York Islanders.

-Fredrik Sjostrom, Coyotes, scored two goals and Phoenix beat Nashville 6-3.

-Erik Cole and Chad Larose, Hurricanes. Cole scored twice and Larose had three assists to help Carolina defeat Ottawa 5-3.

-Tomas Vokoun, Panthers, stopped all 29 shots he faced in Florida's 3-0 win over New Jersey.

-Tim Connolly and Brian Campbell, Sabres, each had a goal and two assists to lead Buffalo past Atlanta 6-0.

LOST AND FOUND

Toronto's Mats Sundin scored his 390th goal for his 917th point on Thursday night to break the ties he'd shared with Darryl Sittler for club records in both categories. Earlier in the game, Sundin was credited with an assist but were informed five minutes into the third period that it had been mistakenly awarded.

SLOW STARTS

Atlanta, last season's Southeast Division-champs, have dropped its first four games of the season after a 6-0 defeat at Buffalo on Thursday night. It is the Thrashers' worst start since losing nine straight to open the 2002-03 season. In their four losses, Atlanta has scored only four goals. ... New Jersey dropped to 1-3 after a 3-0 loss at Florida, its worst start since the 2001-02 season. Martin Brodeur, who won his third Vezina Trophy as top goalie last season, is off to an 0-3 start.

SNAPPED

Ottawa's season-opening five-game winning streak was halted with a 5-3 home loss to Carolina on Thursday night. The Senators fell one game short of matching their best start ever.

WELCOME BACK

Fredrik Sjostrom, a healthy scratch for Phoenix' first-three games of the season, scored twice to lead the Coyotes to a 6-3 win over Nashville on Thursday night.

STREAKING SPEZZA

Ottawa center Jason Spezza had two more assists to increase his total to 10 in Thursday night's 5-3 loss to Carolina. He has an assist in each of the six games he has played, though he has yet to score this season.

RAGING RYAN

Canucks center Ryan Kesler called for Philadelphia enforcer Jesse Boulerice to receive a 20-game suspension for cross-checking him in the head. Boulerice faces an automatic review by NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell after he received a match penalty and game misconduct for the incident in the third period of Philadelphia's 8-2 victory in Vancouver on Wednesday night.

ON THE MEND

Ottawa goalie Ray Emery was assigned to Binghamton of the American Hockey League on Thursday for a two-game conditioning stint.

SHAKEUP

Chicago senior vice president Bob Pulford was reassigned Thursday, the first major move by the Blackhawks since Rocky Wirtz took over as chairman Oct. 5 after his father, William Wirtz, died last month. Pulford became Chicago's coach and general manager in 1977 and its senior vice president in 1990.

SPEAKING

''Not that I was slacking off in the summer, but I had to really put the pedal down because we want to be an elite team,'' - Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller after stopping all 20 shots he faced in Thursday night's 6-0 win over Atlanta. Miller had allowed nine goals over his first two starts.

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Re: Hockey today - October 12

Friday's key NHL matchup notes
ASSOCIATED PRESS


Washington Capitals at New York Rangers

The undefeated Capitals will try to match their best start in franchise history and go 4-0 for the first time since the 1997-98 season. The Capitals have allowed just two goals in three games and have killed off all 12 of its opponents' power-play chances.


Chicago Blackhawks at Detroit Red Wings

Detroit's line of Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and Tomas Holmstrom combined for two goals and two assists in a 4-2 victory over Calgary Wednesday. The trio has accounted for 16 points this season.


Colorado Avalanche at St. Louis Blues

Jose Theodore is expected to make his first start since undergoing offseason knee surgery. He hasn't faced the Blues since 2002 while with Montreal and is 0-3-0 with a 4.03 GAA in his career against St. Louis.


Calgary Flames at Dallas Stars

The Stars have won their two home games this season by a combined score of 9-2. They are 17-3-2 in their last 22 games in Dallas. They also have seven wins and one tie in their last eight home games against the Flames.


Vancouver Canucks at Edmonton Oilers

Edmonton took a season-low 21 shots in a 2-0 loss to Minnesota on Wednesday, going 0-for-4 on the power play. They were 27th in the league with a 14.2 power-play percentage last season, and have not scored in 16 opportunites with a man advantage this season.


Boston Bruins at Los Angeles Kings

The Bruins could get an offensive boost if forward Marc Savard is cleared to return. Savard, Boston's leading scorer with 22 goals and 74 assists last season, missed Wednesday's game with what the team called a "core" injury. He could return as early as Friday.

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Hossa sidelined, Thrashers call up forward to replace Hossa
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ATLANTA -- With Marian Hossa sidelined by a groin injury, the Atlanta Thrashers called up right wing Darren Haydar on Thursday from Chicago of the American Hockey League.

Haydar appeared in three preseason games for the Thrashers, scoring one goal. Last season, he led the AHL with 122 points (41 goals, 81 assists).

Hossa was injured in practice Monday. He missed a 3-1 loss to Ottawa, the Thrashers' third setback in three games to start the season, and wasn't able to play at Buffalo on Thursday night.

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Niedermayer, Selanne remain undecided about retiring from Anaheim Ducks
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ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Fans chanted ''one more year!'' at Scott Niedermayer and Teemu Selanne when they joined the rest of the Anaheim Ducks in unveiling the team's Stanley Cup championship banner Wednesday night.

Even NHL commissioner Gary Bettman chimed in, telling Niedermayer, ''We, of course, would love to see you back'' during the first period intermission of the Ducks' home opener against Boston.

Niedermayer and Selanne have yet to announce whether they intend to play this season or retire.

Both players definitely heard the fans' pleas of another season, and witnessed the standing ovations.

''It was pretty convincing,'' Niedermayer said after the first period.

Selanne added, ''It was pretty awesome. It was emotional, too.''

Even while they wait, the Ducks have moved on. Defenseman Chris Pronger was named captain in place of Niedermayer, and the team signed defenseman Mathieu Schneider from Detroit during the offseason as insurance in case Niedermayer called it quits.

Then, Niedermayer said he told general manager Brian Burke that he was leaning toward retirement at 34. But now, he said, ''I'm not as sure as I was.''

The Ducks could use their two veteran stars. Anaheim had lost three consecutive games heading into Wednesday night after splitting a season-opening two-game series with the Los Angeles Kings in London.

''When things aren't going well, you'd like to be out there to help,'' said Niedermayer, who won the Conn Smythe Trophy as last season's playoff MVP.

He spent a harried summer in his hometown of Cranbrook, British Columbia, where he was bombarded by friends and strangers wanting to know if he'd be back.

''It was hectic in Canada, talking about it everyday, 10 times a day,'' said Niedermayer, who said he has not skated in months.

He returned to Southern California about six weeks ago, where he is less hassled and has had more time to think.

''I have a little bit of an idea in my mind,'' he said.

But he offered no timetable for making an announcement.

''The team has been too understanding,'' he said. ''This has taken it too far already. When it does come to a conclusion, it's probably best for everybody.''

During the summer in Finland, Selanne kept busy with daily off-ice workouts, shuttling his kids to soccer and hockey practice and whittling down his golf handicap. Being away from Anaheim kept his mind off hockey.

''It has been so easy because I haven't been around,'' he said. ''I know when I'm around more, I'm probably going to get the feeling again.''

Selanne said the Ducks haven't pushed him to make a decision, and he also offered no timetable.

''If I'm going to come back, it has to come from inside,'' he said. ''I want to make sure this decision is right.''

What if Niedermayer calls and says he's coming back?

''I'm going to have second thoughts,'' Selanne said, smiling.

Before the game, the Ducks celebrated 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.

It was carried to a table where the Conn Smythe and Campbell trophies rested. The team also raised banners signifying its first Pacific Division championship and Western Conference title.

Selanne wore his glittering Stanley Cup ring, which includes the words 'California's First Cup' and the Ducks' 16-5 postseason record on one side. The other side has his name and 93, marking the Ducks' inaugural year, and 07 for their championship season. The ring contains 14 diamonds representing the years the team has been in existence.

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Boulerice gets 25-game suspension
Friday October 12

VOORHEES, N.J. (AP) -- Philadelphia forward Jesse Boulerice was suspended 25 games by the NHL on Friday for cross-checking Vancouver's Ryan Kesler across the face, the second Flyer in three weeks to receive a ban of at least 20 games.

Boulerice's vicious hit came late in Philadelphia's 8-2 win over Vancouver on Wednesday night. After some pushing and shoving, Boulerice caught an unsuspecting 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.

"We're by no means condoning what happened," Flyers coach John Stevens said after Friday's practice. "He's going to have to stand up and pay the price."

Flyers rookie Steve Downie was suspended 20 games by the NHL last month for leaving his feet to deliver a deliberate and dangerous hit to the head Ottawa's Dean McAmmond.

The Flyers, once known as the Broad Street Bullies, have quickly established an unwanted identity as a team full of out-of-control goons.

"It's almost implied that's the direction we're going when it couldn't be further from the truth," Stevens said.

Boulerice received a match penalty for intent to injure and Kesler called for a 20-game suspension.

"There's nothing good that comes out of an incident like that," Stevens said.

The 23-year-old center practiced Thursday and expected to play Friday when the Canucks faced the Oilers in Edmonton. The swelling in Kesler's right lip and jaw had subsided, but he still had some red marks on his face.

Boulerice said after the game he was sorry for the hit.

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

Boulerice was charged with assault to do great bodily harm less than murder in 1998 while playing for the OHL after a violent stick swinging incident. He pleaded no contest to a reduced charge of aggravated assault.

The Ontario Hockey League suspended Boulerice for one year because of the incident. But he played the next season in the AHL and was instead ruled ineligible to play until mid-November.

"Whatever happened in Jesse's head triggered something," Flyers forward Mike Knuble said. "For the most part, players don't want to see players going after each other with sticks in the face. That's not the game we're trying to promote."

The Flyers (2-1) play their home opener against the New York Islanders on Saturday night

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