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Hockey Today - Nov. 17

Hockey Today - Nov. 17

Hockey Today - Saturday, Nov. 17

SCOREBOARD Saturday, Nov. 17

Anaheim at San Jose (10:30 p.m. EST). The defending champion Ducks (9-8-3) visit the first-place Sharks (11-7-2) in a matchup of Pacific Division rivals.

STARS Friday

-Jussi Jokinen, Stars, scored four goals, including a second-period hat trick in about 7 minutes, and Dallas beat Colorado 6-1.

-Marian Hossa and Johan Hedberg, Thrashers. Hossa had two goals and an assist and Hedberg stopped 31 shots for his 11th career shutout, leading Atlanta to a 3-0 victory over Carolina.

-Rick DiPietro, Islanders, got his second shutout of the season and beat New Jersey for the third time in a 1-0 win.


Martin Brodeur failed in his third try to become the second goaltender in NHL history to record 500 wins, behind Patrick Roy's 551 after a 1-0 loss at home to the Islanders on Friday night. Previously he lost 2-1 to the Islanders on Nov. 10 and 4-2 to the New York Rangers on Wednesday.


A local investor group trying to buy the Nashville Predators reached an agreement with city officials on changes to the arena lease. In the deal announced Friday afternoon, Mayor Karl Dean said the team would be required to stay in Nashville for five years or it would have to pay back the city its investment in the operations of the Sommet Center.


The New York Islanders have won five of their past seven games after a 1-0 win at New Jersey on Friday night. ... Tampa Bay's Vincent Lecavalier had a goal and two assists to extend his team record for consecutive multipoint games to seven and the Lightning beat Washington 5-2. Tampa Bay also won its fifth straight.


Dallas ended a four-game home losing streak with a 6-1 win over Colorado on Friday night. ... St. Louis stopped a scoreless drought of 144 minutes, 32 seconds against Columbus in the first period of a 2-1 victory Friday night. The Blue Jackets had shut out the Blues twice earlier in the season.


Vancouver, averaging a league-low 1.67 goals a game on home ice and coming off a 1-0 shootout loss to Edmonton on Wednesday, scored four times in the first period on its way to a 6-2 win over Minnesota on Friday night. The Canucks jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first 16:32, matching their goal total from the previous four home games combined.


''I'm upset I didn't have him on the ice more.'' Dallas coach Dave Tippett on Jussi Jokinen, who scored four goals, including a second-period hat trick in about 7 minutes in the Stars' 6-1 win over Colorado on Friday. Jokinen needed just five shots to score his four goals.

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Re: Hockey Today - Nov. 17

Saturday's NHL matchup notes

Phoenix Coyotes at Los Angeles Kings

Phoenix has won only two of its last 18 games at Los Angeles, going 2-10-2 with four ties - including 1-2-1 last season

Ottawa Senators at Toronto Maple Leafs

The Sens have gone 15-2-2 against the Leafs since the start of the 2005-06 season - including three wins against them so far this season

Boston Bruins at Montreal Canadiens

The Bruins (9-6-2) have been outscored 8-2 in two losses this season to the Canadiens, including a 6-1 road defeat on Oct. 22.

New Jersey Devils at Philadelphia Flyers

Martin Brodeur is 11-1-1 with a 2.19 goals-against average in his last 13 starts against the Flyers, including 1-1-0 with a 2.50 GAA this season.

Florida Panthers at Carolina Hurricanes

The Panthers look to beat the Hurricanes on the road for the first time in nearly five years when the Southeast Division rivals meet on Saturday night for the fourth time this season.

Chicago Blackhawks at Detroit Red Wings

Chicago (10-8-1) has not won four in a row over Detroit (13-4-1) since taking five straight meetings in 1985-86.

N.Y. Rangers at Pittsburgh Penguins

New York has lost three straight and five of its last six in Pittsburgh.

St. Louis Blues at Nashville Predators

The Predators have been one of the league's hottest clubs recently, going 8-1-1 following a season-high six-game losing streak.

Calgary Flames at Edmonton Oilers

Jarome Iginla has a goal and three assists in two games against the Oilers this season.

Anaheim Ducks at San Jose Sharks

Leading scorer Ryan Getzlaf has heated up with 10 points in the last six games and Corey Perry had two goals and an assist in the Ducks' 6-3 win in Los Angeles Thursday.

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Re: Hockey Today - Nov. 17

Ducks put backup goaltender Bryzgalov on waivers

Team says it didn't field any offers for the player and let him go to find a starting job elsewhere.

Signaling their inability to get anything in return for their expendable backup goaltender, the Ducks put Ilya Bryzgalov on waivers Friday to give him a chance at earning a starting job elsewhere.

General Manager Brian Burke informed Bryzgalov of the move after Thursday night's 6-3 victory over the Kings at Staples Center. Bryzgalov headed to his Yorba Linda home after saying goodbye to teammates.

Bryzgalov has been the backup to Jean-Sebastien Giguere for more than two seasons. This season, the Russian netminder has gone 2-3-1 with a 2.55 goals-against average in nine games.

Agent Don Meehan said his client wanted a clearer shot at becoming a No. 1 goalie with Jean-Sebastien Giguere entrenched in Anaheim. Teams have until 9 a.m. today to put in a waiver claim.

"I've had discussions with Brian probably over the past year," Meehan said. "He's always promised us if it didn't work out in Anaheim, he'd give him an opportunity to go somewhere else. Brian followed through on his word."

Bryzgalov, 27, has been on the market since June when the Ducks signed Giguere to a four-year, $24-million contract extension containing a full no-trade clause after his strong playoff performance in their run to their first Stanley Cup title.

Over the summer, Burke said he would trade Bryzgalov if he could make the right deal. None materialized.

"I said I would find him a place to play," Burke said. "He's a good kid. He deserves a place to play."

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Dallas Stars send Mattias Norstrom to IR, recall Fistric

DALLAS -- The Dallas Stars placed defenseman Mattias Norstrom on the injured list on Friday and brought up defenseman Mark Fistric from the Iowa Stars, their AHL affiliate.

Norstrom sustained a small fracture of his orbital bone in a game on Nov. 7 and hasn't played since. His condition will be evaluated in two weeks. The move is retroactive to Nov. 9.

The 35-year-old Norstrom has played in 852 NHL games with Dallas and the Los Angeles Kings. The Stars acquired him in a trade with the Kings on Feb. 27.

The 21-year-old Fistric played in 15 games for Iowa this season and will be making his NHL debut.

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Re: Hockey Today - Nov. 17

Hurricanes activate Ladd, place Cole on IR

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Carolina Hurricanes activated left wing Andrew Ladd on Friday and placed forward Erik Cole on injured reserve.

Ladd has missed 16 games after injuring his ankle Oct. 6 at Washington. He had one goal in three games before he was hurt.

Cole was placed on injured reserve retroactive to Tuesday. He missed the Hurricanes' 6-1 loss at Tampa Bay on Wednesday after injuring his neck two days earlier in a 4-3 win at Florida. He is eligible to return Nov. 21 when Carolina is to host Philadelphia.

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Re: Hockey Today - Nov. 17

Bruins recall Rask to replace injured Fernandez

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins recalled goalie Tuukka Rask from Providence of the AHL to replace injured Manny Fernandez.

Fernandez went on injured reserve Nov. 9 with a left knee strain after hurting it during practice 10 days earlier. It's the same knee he injured last year with the Minnesota Wild.

Rask has a 7-1 record with a 1.98 goals-against average for Providence this season. A native of Finland, Rask was the 21st overall pick by Toronto in the 2005 draft and traded to Boston in June 2006 in exchange for goalie Andrew Raycroft.

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Re: Hockey Today - Nov. 17

Bergeron may be out for season

Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli, who last week placed center Patrice Bergeron on the long-term injured reserve list, yesterday told an all-sports radio station in Toronto the 22-year-old pivot could be finished for the season.

"He is suffering from a serious concussion," Chiarelli told Don Landry and Gord Stellick, cohosts of Fan590's "The Morning Show."

"And he could be out for the whole year."

Bergeron, who sustained a Grade 3 concussion Oct. 27 when he was driven into the boards by the Flyers' Randy Jones, has been available to the media only once, for some 10 minutes, since the incident. Otherwise, according to club employees, he remains at his Boston condo, and receives treatment for his head and neck injuries with the team's medical personnel at the Garden or at the club's facility in Wilmington.

"What I said was, I'm operating under the assumption that he could be out for the year," Chiarelli said between the first and second periods of last night's game against the Maple Leafs at the Garden. "That's the nature of concussions.

"Who knows, he could be back in a month."

Chiarelli said he spoke with Bergeron yesterday, and the center told him it was "a good day," compared with days earlier this week when he felt tired.

"He had some color in his face," said Chiarelli. "And he's got a little better movement in his neck - not as sore."

Meanwhile, now that Bergeron's salary cap hit of $4.75 million has been placed in abeyance, the Bruins are able to use that money to look for roster help. That sounds encouraging, but the pool of available players at this time of the season is quite shallow. The best unrestricted free agents were scooped, as they always are, in the days immediately following the start of the unrestricted free agent period July 1.

Desperate to pump up the goal volume, the Bruins were back to work with pretty much the same configuration of forwards that had produced 11 goals in the last six games.

Short of making a trade (difficult these days), or dropping in a hot hand from the minors (not likely), the Bruins have to find a way to wring out new offensive vigor from what has been a dull bunch. As of yesterday, they ranked dead last in the league in goals with 36.

"The one thing we have tried to stabilize is our goals against," said coach Claude Julien. "This team last year was giving up way too many goals. That pushes a team out of the game. We had to really concentrate on that this year. Sometimes when you focus on that part of hockey, the other part of the game suffers."

Fernandez out; Rask up
Tuukka Rask was back on the Boston bench, serving his fourth game for the varsity as backup to Tim Thomas. Julien said Rask will make the trip to Montreal for tomorrow night's game. Rask, who was in net for Providence's home-opening win Wednesday night, was summoned from the AHL on an emergency basis - once more spelling Manny Fernandez, who continues to struggle with his ailing knee.

Chiarelli said surgery is not scheduled for Fernandez but it could not be ruled out.

"I don't know," said Chiarelli. "I guess we'll evaluate it again." Chiarelli said the Providence Bruins have the goaltending position covered with Jordan Sigalet and Mike Brown.

Ward still ailing
Aaron Ward, still bothered by a concussion he sustained last week, did not suit up for the Bruins. Andrew Ference, back in the lineup after a short stint on the injury list, took Ward's spot on the top defensive pairing with Zdeno Chara. According to Chiarelli, Ward still suffers symptoms of post-concussion syndrome. "But I don't expect he will be out too long," said Chiarelli . . . All of the Bruins' goals were scored at even strength, which left Dennis Wideman sporting an impressive plus-4, followed by Brandon Bochenski and Peter Schaefer, each with plus-3 . . . Maple Leafs winger Jason Blake, fighting cancer, had a game-high seven shots on net. Darcy Tucker had six . . . The Bruins swept the three stars: 1. Schaefer; 2. Glen Metropolit; and 3. Marc Savard . . . Amid mounting injuries and the paucity of scoring, Julien in recent games cobbled together an energy line, with Petteri Nokelainen centering rookie Milan Lucic and AHL veteran Jeremy Reich, the last of whom is the resident tough guy with Shawn Thornton sidelined by a foot fracture. "Our job is to go out and shake it up a little bit," Reich said prior to last night's game. "You know, it's an energy line - we try to be a momentum changer." Reich, whose energy provided a much-needed lift last season, had to wait a dozen games this season before he finally got called into action. The wait, noted Reich, can be agonizing. "Once I get the call, my job is to go out and skate . . . get in on the forecheck and hit," he said. "And [Julien] has been showing some confidence in me, putting me out there for penalty-killing duty, too."

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Re: Hockey Today - Nov. 17

Thrashers GM calls off coaching search
November 16, 2007

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -The Atlanta Thrashers have called off their coaching search for now.

General manager Don Waddell said Friday that the Thrashers wouldn't hire any outside coaching candidates this season. He fired Bob Hartley last month, took over himself and led Atlanta to a 9-4 record.

``We're keeping it internal, we're not going to bring an external candidate in,'' Waddell said after the Thrashers' 3-0 victory over Carolina. ``We like the way things are going right now, so why change when things are going well?''

Waddell declined to say if he would remain as interim coach through the season, meaning it's possible that assistant coach Brad McCrimmon could be promoted.

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Gagne and Flyers dealing with concussions
November 16, 2007

The Philadelphia Flyers are again treading down the tricky road of concussions.

Try as they might to do the right thing, they seem to get tangled up in how to handle the most serious of NHL injuries.

Add Simon Gagne to the list of prominent Flyers felled by a concussion, a group that includes former captains Eric Lindros and Keith Primeau.

It took two bouts of dizziness and other symptoms for the determination to be made Wednesday that Gagne sustained at least one concussion, if not two.

``First of all we didn't know for sure and secondly I wasn't aware of the repercussions,'' general manager Paul Holmgren said. ``I was under the assumption ... if he's got a mild concussion, he's got to be out seven days. That's not the case.''

Gagne was injured at Florida on Oct. 24 after being hit in the jaw by Panthers defenseman Jay Bouwmeester. He sat out four games, but the Flyers never said anything about a concussion. Gagne was said to be dealing with dizziness.

Gagne returned to practice after being symptom-free for two days. He followed that with a morning skate the next day on Nov. 5 before dressing for that night's game at the New York Rangers.

Gagne came through that OK, but didn't look like himself on the ice. Two nights later, he was hit by Pittsburgh's Gary Roberts and the symptoms came back.

The Flyers thought Gagne could be dehydrated and put him through a battery of tests to rule out illness.

``We treated this as a concussion all along,'' Holmgren said. ``It was not fully diagnosed as a mild concussion until (Wednesday).''

Concussions in the NHL require a protocol that says a player should be without symptoms for a week before returning. That is a guideline, not a rule. Yet, that raises the question of whether the team was reluctant to announce a concussion because of a perceived forced weeklong absence.

``I don't believe we were hiding anything,'' Holmgren said. ``We just want to clarify everything. There's been no deception on our part, and I apologize for the confusion.

``He wanted to play, and obviously we wanted him to play. Did we push him back too soon? Hindsight is a great thing. Maybe we did. We would like to believe we didn't give him enough practice time to get himself ready.''

Gagne has talked to Primeau, his former teammate, and was given advice not to come back too soon - a lesson Primeau learned the hard way. He was forced to retire last year after repeated concussions and lingering symptoms.

Gagne got on a bike Thursday and rode for 12 minutes. There is no timetable for his return.

``I tell him how I feel and he understands me,'' Gagne said of Primeau. ``That helps me see where I am at. He told me to make sure I'm 100 percent before I come back.

``We know what happened to him, and he doesn't want to see this happen to me.''

ILYA LIGHTS IT UP: It's not that Ilya Kovalchuk couldn't play for Bob Hartley, it's just that he and Don Waddell go way back together.

Whatever it is, Kovalchuk has been sizzling since the Atlanta Thrashers changed coaches.

``He's the reason why I'm here, in Atlanta, I mean,'' the Thrashers' star forward said of Waddell, the general manager and new interim coach. ``He is the one who picked me first overall in the draft in 2001. I've got a really good relationship with him.

``He is the coach, I am the player. He said, 'Just work hard, play your best,''' Kovalchuk said. ``We've got a little bit different system now. We move more with the speed and we try to create some more offensive opportunities. So that's kind of my style of hockey, so I really enjoy it.''

Kovalchuk, 24, had three goals and one assist in the first six games under Hartley, who was fired and replaced by Waddell on Oct. 17 after an 0-6 start. That came on the heels of the Thrashers' first playoff appearance, which ended quickly in a first-round sweep against the New York Rangers.

``I want to say a huge thanks for Bob Hartley, because he is the guy who teach me a lot,'' the Russian native said. ``I think he's done a lot of great things for the Thrashers organization. Because before he came here, we got teams who won like 20 games during the regular season, and it wasn't even fun.

``He made a good team. We make the playoffs last year. I don't think it's all his fault. But that's life, so what are you going to do?''

Since Waddell stepped behind the bench, Kovalchuk has 12 goals and nine assists in 12 games and the Thrashers went 8-4. He netted the winner in overtime Tuesday against Florida.

``When you're 0-6 from the start, you expect they're going to do something,'' Kovalchuk said. ``They fired the coach so that was a little bit like a shock for the team. And everybody started to prepare themselves better. We just started playing for each other, and that's the key.''

The left winger earned first star honors last week after putting up six goals and an assist in games at Ottawa and Tampa Bay. He started this week on top of the NHL goal list and seems primed to exceed the 42 he netted last season.

His career best of 52 scored in the 2005-06 season could be in range, as well.

``I never think how many goals or how many points I'm going to score. I just go there and play my hardest and play my best,'' Kovalchuk said. ``Coach puts you in there, he expects for me to score not maybe every shot, but that's why I'm there, to score goals and make good plays.''

J.R. AT 500: After watching Mike Modano break the record for most points by an American-born NHL player, Jeremy Roenick finally got his long-awaited milestone out of the way.

Now that he has 500 goals, does that mean Roenick is ready to hang up his skates? No way.

Roenick contemplated retirement during the offseason, but when former teammate Doug Wilson, the San Jose Sharks GM, called him to play, he put the future on hold.

The drive for the five goals he needed for 500 wasn't the motivation.

``It's a huge achievement. It would be pretty egomaniac-ish of me, if that's even a word, to say it wasn't a big deal,'' Roenick said. ``It's even bigger than I thought now that I've achieved it. But that is not why I came back to play.''

As he skates in his 18th NHL season, his career objectives have been whittled to one.

``My list is the Stanley Cup and it ends there,'' the 37-year-old Roenick said. ``If I finish my career without one, it'll be very disappointing, but it'll still be a career that I think has been a very full one.

``There doesn't have to be asterisk there. I don't want that to happen, but that's the only goal that I have right now.''

ALL BETTS ON: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is about to find out just what hockey fans think about him and the league.

Bettman has signed on to participate in a weekly radio show on XM Satellite Radio that will allow people to call in or e-mail questions to the head of hockey.

``The NHL has the best fans in sports,'' Bettman said. ``We are able to offer this unique outlet for answering their questions. I look forward to hearing from our fans directly and being a part of this one-of-a-kind radio show.''

The show, to be co-hosted by former player and veteran broadcaster Bill Clement, will debut on Nov. 27 from 4-5 p.m. EST on XM's NHL Home Ice channel and It will begin a regular run on Dec. 6 and air on Thursdays.

``Hockey fans have an unprecedented opportunity to get their questions answered directly from commissioner Bettman and other senior executives at the NHL,'' said Eric Logan, XM Satellite Radio executive vice president of programming. ``We're thrilled that commissioner Bettman wants to do a radio show like this.''

Clement will be joined week to week by NHL executives such as Bettman, deputy commissioner Bill Daly, and Colin Campbell, the NHL's vice president of hockey operations who also serves as league disciplinarian.

``This program sets the bar high. It marks the first time fans of a professional sports league will have direct access to the sport's top decision makers,'' said John Bitove, chairman of XM Canada. ``This is a unique opportunity for hockey fans to engage the commissioner and learn more about the inner workings of their favorite sport.''

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Re: Hockey Today - Nov. 17

Shea Weber-D- Predators     

Shea Weber will be in the Predators' lineup Saturday night against St. Louis.

He has been out of action since the first game of the season with a dislocated knee cap but will likely skate against the Blues with defense partner Dan Hamhuis.

Chris Osgood-G- Red Wings
Chris Osgood will likely miss Saturday's contest against the Blackhawks as he is battling a flu bug.

If Osgood can't dress as Dominik Hasek's backup, the Wings will re-call Jimmy Howard from Grand Rapids. To accomplish that however, the team will have to once again demote Aaron Downey.

Mattias Norstrom-D- Stars
Mattias Norstrom was placed on the injured reserve list Friday.

It was just a procedural move as the rugged defenseman needs a few more weeks to allow his broken orbital bone to heal.

Mattias Ohlund-D- Canucks     
Mattias Ohlund could be facing a suspension for his two-handed slash that injured Mikko Koivu in Friday night's contest.

It was a vicious retaliatory gesture in response to an elbow to Ohlund's face courtesy of Koivu

Mark Parrish-W- Wild Nov.    

Mark Parrish left Friday night's game against the Canucks after the first period with a strained back.

He will be re-evaluated Saturday and should be considered day-to-day for now.

Mikko Koivu-C- Wild
Mikko Koivu could be out of action for quite some time due to what may be a rather serious knee injury.

He left the game late in the third period of Friday's 6-2 loss to Vancouver after being slashed in the left knee by the Canucks' Mattias Ohlund. Koivu was seen limping and in obvious pain after the game.

Brent Sopel-D- Blackhawks
Brent Sopel is questionable for Saturday night's game against the Red Wings.

He is back with the team after a bout with the flu and will test out his fitness level in Saturday morning's skate to determine if he can dress.

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Re: Hockey Today - Nov. 17

Coyotes claim Bryzgalov off waivers from Ducks
November 17th, 2007

Glendale, AZ (Sports Network) - The Phoenix Coyotes claimed goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov off waivers from the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday.

On Friday, the defending Stanley Cup champion Ducks surprisingly waived Bryzgalov, who went 3-1 with a 2.25 goals-against average and .922 save percentage in five playoff games last season. In nine games this season, the 27-year-old Bryzgalov is 2-3-1 and has posted a 2.55 GAA with a .909 save percentage.

"We are excited to bring in a world class goaltender with a Stanley Cup on his resume," said Coyotes general manager Don Maloney. "At 27 years old, he is just entering his prime and we look forward to having him in our lineup."

Bryzgalov, who served as the backup netminder to starter Jean-Sebastien Giguere in Anaheim, went 10-8-6 with a 2.47 GAA and .907 save percentage in 27 regular season games last year for the Ducks. The Togliatti, Russia native was selected by Anaheim in the second round of the 2000 draft.

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