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Hockey today - October 14

Hockey today - October 14

Hockey today - October 14

SCOREBOARD Sunday, Oct. 14

Minnesota at Anaheim (8 p.m. EDT). The teams split four meetings last season, with each being decided by one goal.

STARS Friday

-Phil Kessel, Bruins, scored three goals for his first career hat trick and Boston beat Los Angeles 8-6.

-Matthew Lombardi, Flames, scored twice, including the overtime winner that gave Calgary a 3-2 victory at Dallas.

-Robert Lang, Blackhawks, scored the tiebreaking goal in the third period and Chicago rallied for a 3-2 win at Detroit.

-Jaromir Jagr, Rangers, assisted on all three goals in New York's 3-1 win over Washington.


Philadelphia forward Jesse Boulerice was suspended 25 games by the NHL on Friday for striking Vancouver's Ryan Kesler across the face with his stick, the longest single-season ban in league history. Boulerice is the second Flyer in two weeks to draw a long suspension - rookie Steve Downie was suspended 20 games for an intentional hit against Ottawa. In 1998, Boulerice was suspended for one year by the Ontario Hockey League for violent stick-swinging.


St. Louis goalie Manny Legace improved to 12-1 lifetime against Colorado after making 24 saves in Friday night's 4-1 win. His career goals-against average against the Avalanche is 1.85.


Mike Modano scored for Dallas in Friday night's 3-2 overtime loss to Calgary to move within four points of matching Phil Housley's record for U.S.-born players. Modano's first goal of the season gave him 1,228 career points in 1,243 games and 508 goals for his career, the most for any U.S.-born player.


Robert Lang haunted his former team for the second time in less than a week on Friday night, scoring the go-ahead goal midway through the third period to help Chicago defeat Detroit 3-2. On Saturday, Lang tied the game late in the third period before the Blackhawks defeated the Red Wings 4-3 in a shootout.


The New York Rangers scored all three of their goals with the man-advantage in Friday night's 3-1 win over Washington. The Rangers had failed in all 15 power-play chances over the season's first three games, while the Capitals hadn't allowed a power-play goal in 12 short-handed situations while jumping to a 3-0 start.


Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie announced his continued interest in buying the Nashville Predators on Friday in a move that could disrupt the intended sale to a group of local businessmen. Balsillie, whose $220 million offer fell through earlier this year after he tried to move the team to Canada, now says he believes Nashville is a viable market for hockey, according to a letter sent to the Nashville Sports Authority by his spokesman. However, current owner Craig Leipold is committed to completing the sale to the local investors, the team announced Friday. The local group put down a $10 million deposit in August on a $193 million offer and has until Oct. 31 to complete the sale.


''It's just one of those teams that you have to be up for. Hopefully, it keeps up. I respect this team so much. They're so talented, if you don't show up against these guys, they're going to bury you in a hurry.'' - St. Louis goalie Manny Legace on improving to 12-1 lifetime against Colorado with 24 saves in Friday night's 4-1 win over the Avalanche.

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Sunday's key NHL matchup notes

Minnesota Wild at Anaheim Ducks

Goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere appears to be very close to returning to Anaheim's (2-3-1) lineup after undergoing hernia surgery in August.

If Giguere is unable to play on Sunday, Ilya Bryzgalov likely would start again. Bryzgalov made 18 saves against the Bruins for his first win of the season, and went 3-1-0 with a 2.09 GAA against Minnesota in last season's playoffs.

Detroit Red Wings at Los Angeles Kings

Since a season-opening 4-1 victory over Anaheim, Los Angeles has surrendered 22 goals during its four-game skid. Among the league's worst defensive teams in 2006-07, the Kings have allowed an NHL-worst 23 goals this season.

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Sim will miss rest of season for Islanders
October 14, 2007

PHILADELPHIA - The final diagnosis is in, and it confirmed the bad news for new Islanders forward Jonathan Sim. He will undergo complete knee reconstruction surgery sometime within the next two to four weeks and miss the rest of the season.

According to a club official, Sim blew out the anterior cruciate ligament and the medial collateral ligaments in his left knee in the home opener against Buffalo. The recovery period is considered six to nine months, but there's virtually no chance Sim could make it back for the playoffs if the Islanders qualify. His return is expected for training camp next September.

Throughout the preseason games, Sim seemed a perfect fit on the third line with Mike Sillinger and Trent Hunter. "That was a huge, huge loss for us to lose a guy like him who lives to compete and who plays third line, power play and penalty-killing," Islanders coach Ted Nolan said yesterday. "Saying that now, we have to compensate."

Andy Hilbert, who played with Sillinger and Hunter last season, has returned to that position and Sean Bergenheim moved up to the second line. But Nolan said fourth-liners Richard Park and Chris Simon also could move up.

Isles files

Defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron was benched against the Flyers to make room for Simon, who returned after a 25-game suspension. Bergeron committed two errors that led to goals Thursday in Toronto, and Nolan plans to go with six defensemen for now.

"I had a bad game last game, and I could have played a lot better," Bergeron said. "So I'll be sitting out. My game is not where it needs to be right now, obviously, but it's early in the year."

Bryan Berard took Bergeron's place in a pairing with Andy Sutton. "Sutton and Bergeron haven't quite clicked, for whatever reason," Nolan said. "If you don't work, there's always somebody going to take your job. [Bergeron] let his game slip a little bit and Berard started to get his game going. We want to have competitiveness within our own team. That's no slap against someone. It's the nature of life."

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Knee injury sidelines Seidenberg

MONTREAL - It's still early, but the injuries are already piling up for the Carolina Hurricanes.

Dennis Seidenberg was the latest to fall, with a mild sprain of the medial collateral ligament in his right knee. David Tanabe replaced him in the lineup against the Montreal Canadiens for Saturday's 3-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens, his second game with the Hurricanes since re-signing with the team a week ago.

Seidenberg suffered the injury during Thursday's win over the Ottawa Senators when he jumped in the air to knock down a puck and was hit by Ottawa's Chris Kelly.

The sprain was mild enough that Seidenberg had it taped up and returned to the game, playing more than 17 minutes. But with the Canes off until Friday, it made more sense to let it heal than risk doing more damage tonight against the Canadiens.

"I've done this before," Seidenberg said. "I know what's wrong."

With Seidenberg, Mike Commodore (hip) and Andrew Ladd (ankle) out, the Hurricanes have already lost 13 man-games to injury in only six games, on pace for 178 despite being completely healthy on opening night.

POWER IS ON: The Canes made the power play a primary focus in the offseason, bringing in Jeff Hamilton and Matt Cullen, and in training camp, where Ron Francis returned to the ice to help out. So far, it's a resounding success.

Despite a 1-for-7 performance in the opener that arguably cost them a regulation win, the Canes are clicking along at a 26.5 percent clip after scoring two power-play goals Saturday. They've scored at least one power-play goal in all but one of their six games and went 7-for-18 on this three-game road trip.

"We've been playing pretty good hockey," Cullen said. "We're getting power-play goals and even-strength goals from all of our lines."

GOALIE GAMES: Cristobal Huet got the start in goal for Montreal on Saturday and shined, stopping 35 of the 38 shots he faced, but rookie Carey Price is already the fans' favorite after shutting down Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday in his debut.

In other words, there's a goaltending controversy bubbling up here, even though Huet was 1-0-1 with a respectable .903 save percentage in his first two starts. Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau acknowledged as much Friday when he defended his decision to start Huet.

"It was the right thing to do," Carbonneau said. "Obviously I want to win games, and it's tough to change the lineup when you're successful, but Cristobal Huet earned the right to be there -- to be announced and be in the net. ... I didn't want to start anything else."

TAILWINDS: Seven Carolina players have three-game scoring streaks, while 11 different Hurricanes recorded at least a point on the three-game trip.

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Probable Goalies

Chris Osgood, Detroit Red Wings - Osgood is the probable starter for Sunday's game against the Kings, reports the Detroit News. Dominik Hasek will start against the Ducks next week.

Josh Harding, Minnesota Wild - Harding is the probable starter for Sunday's game against the Ducks, reports the Minneapolis Star-Tribune blog. This is really only a guess and it wouldn't surprise anyone if coach Jacques Lemaire stuck with Niklas Backstrom.

Jason LaBarbera, Los Angeles Kings - LaBarbera is the probable starter for Sunday's game against the Wings.

Ilya Bryzgalov, Anaheim Ducks - Bryzgalov is the probable starter for Sunday's game against the Wild. Jean-Sebastien Giguere went through another full practice and could make his season debut.

Year-to-date: 145 / 150 = 96.7%

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