Hockey Today - Nov. 6

Hockey Today - Nov. 6

DiPietro questionable for Rangers game
November 5, 2007

Associated Press

SYOSSET, N.Y. (AP) -- Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro was cleared to practice Monday, two days after he was struck in the right eye by Sidney Crosby's stick.

New York coach Ted Nolan said DiPietro looked good in the net Monday but didn't reveal if the 26-year-old franchise goalie would play Tuesday night when the Islanders face the New York Rangers at home.

"Let's see how Ricky does at the morning skate on Tuesday and then we'll make a decision," Nolan said. "He's too valuable to this franchise to do anything hasty."

DiPietro was injured Saturday night in the second period of the Islanders' 3-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

He was examined at Nassau Coliseum during the game and then went to the office of team ophthalmologist Dr. Bruce Zagelbaum, who confirmed that DiPietro didn't sustain a serious injury or permanent damage to his eye.

Crosby charged the net with just over six minutes left in the second period and his stick came up into the cage portion of DiPietro's mask. DiPietro immediately skated toward the blue line and was attended to by Islanders trainers before leaving the ice.

Crosby was given a four-minute penalty for high-sticking.

DiPietro is in the second season of a landmark 15-year contract with the Islanders. He was sidelined by two concussions 12 days apart late last season, missing the final seven games and the playoff opener. He also had offseason surgery to repair a tear in his left hip.

DiPietro said Monday that he didn't sustain a blow to head from Crosby.

"I got a stick to the eye," he said. "I consider myself very fortunate it was not as bad as it could have been."

The news wasn't all good for the Islanders on Monday as defenseman Aaron Johnson, who has been used often this season at forward, injured a knee in a collision during practice and will be sidelined about six weeks.

"You never want to see that with a guy as dedicated as Aaron Johnson," Nolan said. "The good news is, when it happened it looked like the injury could have even been worse. I'm glad to hear we'll get A.J. back."

The Islanders are expected to recall a player from Bridgeport of the AHL before Tuesday night's game with the Rangers.

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Re: Hockey Today - Nov. 6

Injuries keep Demitra, Gaborik out again
November 5, 2007

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -The depleted Minnesota Wild placed forward Pavol Demitra on injured reserve before Monday's game against Edmonton with a strained groin, and forward Marian Gaborik joined him on the scratch list with the same injury.

This has not been a promising start for Minnesota's two Slovakian stars, not because of production but because of health. Demitra missed his fifth game out of 15, and Gaborik was out for the third time.

After getting three goals and two assists in the last two games, Gaborik leads the Wild with 13 points. Demitra is tied for fourth with 10 points.

Center Wes Walz, who has taken an unspecified personal leave from the team, missed his third straight game, too. Demitra, Gaborik and Walz skated on the team's top line in the season opener.

Forward Dominic Moore was taken off injured reserve to replace Demitra on the 23-man active roster.

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Re: Hockey Today - Nov. 6

Gagne back in Flyers lineup
November 5, 2007

NEW YORK (AP) -- Philadelphia forward Simon Gagne returned to the Flyers lineup Monday night after missing four games due to dizziness.

Gagne was cleared for full activity over the weekend and then practiced Sunday. He came through that well, and reported no problems Monday morning after skating again.

"I didn't have a lot of time to practice," he said. "I felt good yesterday, I woke up today and felt good."

Flyers coach John Stevens said he would monitor Gagne's ice time, but didn't have a certain number of minutes in mind. He didn't expect to use the star left winger in penalty-killing situations as he normally would.

Gagne took seven shifts in the first period Monday against the Rangers, logging 5 minutes, 1 second of ice time.

"I want to play that first game and I want to go through it," he said. "There is not a better way to test how I feel."

He hadn't played since he was knocked out of a game against Florida on Oct. 24, when his jaw crashed into the shoulder of Panthers defenseman Jay Bouwmeester on a high check. Gagne tried to play a few shifts, but left the game after he experienced dizziness.

Gagne, who led the Flyers last season with 41 goals and 68 points, had four goals and four assists in his first eight games this season

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Re: Hockey Today - Nov. 6

Suspension over, Bell to make Leafs debut
November 5, 2007

Associated Press

TORONTO (AP) -- Forward Mark Bell will make his debut for the Maple Leafs on Tuesday at Ottawa after completing a suspension for a drinking and driving incident.

Bell finished serving a 15-game ban on Saturday and will be in the Toronto lineup against the Senators, the team said.

"I've definitely been thinking about it a lot lately, I anticipate little butterflies," Bell said after practice Monday. "Just more excitement than anything."

The discipline stemmed from a drinking and driving incident in San Jose, where Bell played for the Sharks last year.

Kyle Wellwood, who has been sidelined after having surgery for a sports hernia, is also likely to make his season debut.

"Everything's been going great and I haven't had any setbacks," Wellwood said. "I definitely want to play."

The team said he would play eight to 12 minutes, mostly on the power play. He and Bell are expected to skate on the same line.

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Re: Hockey Today - Nov. 6

Hockey today - November 6
ASSOCIATED PRESS

SCOREBOARD


Tuesday, Nov. 6

N.Y. Rangers at N.Y. Islanders (7 p.m. EST)

The Rangers and Islanders meet for the second time this season. The Islanders won 2-1 on Oct. 10.

STARS

Monday

-Cory Stillman, Hurricanes, scored three first-period goals in Carolina's 5-0 victory over Washington.

-Jere Lehtinen, Stars, had goal and two assists in a 5-0 victory at Anaheim.

-Sidney Crosby, Penguins, scored twice to lead Pittsburgh to a 5-0 win at New Jersey.

-Mark Parrish, Wild, had two goals in Minnesota's 5-2 victory over Edmonton.

-Paul Stastny, Avalanche, scored two goals in a 4-1 win over Calgary.

-Henrik Lundqvist, Rangers, stopped all 30 shots he faced in New York's 2-0 win over Philadelphia.

QUICK TRICK

Carolina's Cory Stillman scored three times in the first 11:28 of the game, leading the Hurricanes to a 5-0 win over Washington. Stillman's hat trick was the second-fastest in Hurricanes franchise history. Ray Whitney scored three goals in 1:40 last season.

GREAT GOALIES


Nicklas Backstrom improved to 6-0-0 in his career against Edmonton after making 22 saves in Monday night's 5-2 win. His streak of three straight shutouts against the Oilers ended, but he has only given up four goals in those six starts. ... Henrik Lundqvist picked up his fourth shutout of the season after making 30 saves in the New York Rangers' 2-0 win over Philadelphia on Monday night. Lundqvist, who had only five shutouts all last season, has allowed more than one goal only once in the past eight games. All his shutouts this season have come in that span and the Rangers have gone 5-2-1. ... Cristobal Huet made 29 saves for his first shutout in nearly a year and Montreal beat Buffalo 2-0. ... Pittsburgh's Dany Sabourin earned his first NHL shutout by making 20 saves in a 5-0 victory at New Jersey. ... Marty Turco recorded his 31st career shutout by making 19 saves in Dallas' 5-0 win at Anaheim.

ROAD WOES

Tampa Bay is off to a franchise-worst 0-7 start on the road after allowing the go-ahead goal with 1:19 left for a 4-3 loss to Florida. The Lightning have dropped six in a row overall.

LUCKY SEVEN

Colorado's winning streak against Calgary reached seven games after a 4-1 victory on Monday night. The Flames' last win over the Avalanche was a 5-2 victory in Calgary on Feb. 17.

WILD INJURIES

Minnesota placed forward Pavol Demitra on injured reserve before Monday's game against Edmonton with a strained groin, and forward Marian Gaborik joined him on the scratch list with the same injury. Demitra missed his fifth game out of 15, and Gaborik was out for the third time.

BELL BACK


Forward Mark Bell will make his debut for Toronto Tuesday at Ottawa after completing a suspension for a drinking and driving incident. Bell finished serving a 15-game ban on Saturday. The discipline stemmed from a drinking and driving incident in San Jose, where Bell played for the Sharks last year.

SPEAKING


''I'm not going to sugarcoat it. Our commitment tonight was unacceptable. This was a big divisional game. To come to the rink like that doesn't cut it. I am surprised, to be quite honest.'' - New Jersey coach Brent Sutter after Monday night's 5-0 home loss to Pittsburgh.

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Re: Hockey Today - Nov. 6

Tuesday's key NHL matchup notes
ASSOCIATED PRESS

New York Rangers at New York Islanders

Rick DiPietro made 36 saves to lead the Islanders (7-4-0) to a 2-1 win over the Rangers on Oct. 10 in the most recent meeting. The Islanders are 7-1-2 against the Rangers since losing five straight to them in regulation, and DiPietro has been outstanding over that span, going 6-1-2 with a 1.98 goals-against average.

Washington Capitals at Atlanta Thrashers


Ilya Kovalchuk has a nine-game points streak (five goals, 13 points) against the Capitals, and has 17 goals and 37 points in 31 career games against them.

Toronto Maple Leafs at Ottawa Senators


The Senators are 14-2-2, including 7-1-1 at home, against the Maple Leafs since the start of the 2005-06 season.

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