Hockey Today - December 4

Hockey Today - December 4

Tuesday's NHL betting matchup notes
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Detroit Red Wings at Montreal Canadiens

This will be Detroit's first trip to Montreal since a 2-1 loss on Oct. 20, 2003. The Canadiens have lost three straight at the Bell Centre after starting 5-2-2 there.

Nashville Predators at Toronto Maple Leafs

The Predators beat the Maple Leafs 4-2 on Feb. 8 in their only meeting last season. Nashville is 5-2-0 with one tie all-time against the Leafs, but have not visited Toronto sine a 2-1 loss on Jan. 6, 2004.

Ottawa Senators at Tampa Bay Lightning

The Senators are 20-4-0 with a tie in their last 25 games against the Lightning, including 9-2-0 with a draw at Tampa.

St. Louis Blues at Calgary Flames

Miikka Kiprusoff is 7-2-1 with a 2.27 GAA and a shutout in 10 starts against St. Louis.

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Re: Hockey Today - December 4

Predators' Nichol suspended 5 games for hit to head
ASSOCIATED PRESS

TORONTO -- Nashville Predators forward Scott Nichol has been suspended five games by the NHL for a blow to the head of Montreal defenseman Patrice Brisebois.

Nichol will be eligible to return Dec. 15 at Colorado and will lose $45,732 in salary for Saturday's incident.

''The crosscheck by Mr. Nichol to the head area of his opponent was reckless and dangerous,'' said Colin Campbell, NHL senior executive vice president of hockey operations. ''Although no serious injury resulted, the action is unacceptable.''

Nichol, who was suspended nine games last December, is considered a repeat offender under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Last December, Nichol was suspended nine games for his sucker-punch to the head of Buffalo defenseman Jaroslav Spacek and lost $25,267 in salary.

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Re: Hockey Today - December 4

Hockey Today - Tuesday, Dec. 4
ASSOCIATED PRESS

SCOREBOARD

Tuesday, Dec. 4

Detroit at Montreal (7:30 p.m. EST). Detroit leads the league with 18 wins and 88 goals scored.

STARS

Monday

- Cory Stillman and Cam Ward, Hurricanes. Stillman scored twice and Ward stopped 28 shots to help Carolina thump the New York Rangers 4-0.

- Joe Thornton, Sharks, had a pair of assists to help San Jose squeak past Colorado 3-2.

- Mathieu Garon, Oilers, made 31 saves and survived all three shots he faced in the shootout and Edmonton beat Los Angeles 4-3.

ISLES STRANDED

The New York Islanders fell to Boston 3-1 on Monday and have lost three straight for the first time this season. The Islanders have gone 13 straight games scoring two goals or fewer in regulation and overtime. Chris Campoli had just the fourth power play-goal for the Islanders in their past 49 chances in the loss.

BOUNCING BACK

Matt Cullen had two assists in his return to Madison Square Garden to help Carolina beat the New York Rangers 4-0 on Monday. Cullen already has 21 assists this season after recording only 25 during his one year with the Rangers. It was quite a turnaround for the Hurricanes, who had lost four of six and were pounded 8-1 in Buffalo on Saturday.

STARS SHINE IN COLUMBUS

Dallas edged Columbus 2-1 in a shootout on Monday, improving to 20-3-3 against the Blue Jackets. The Stars have won both meetings with Columbus this season in shootouts at Nationwide Arena. Marty Turco made 25 saves and improved to 11-1-1 against the Blue Jackets.

OPPOSITE DIRECTIONS

Pittsburgh defeated Phoenix 3-1 on Monday to earn its fourth victory in five games. The Coyotes completed a four-game road trip winless after winning their previous four.

RARITY

Henrik Lundqvist made 25 saves, but allowed more than three goals in a game for just the second time in 25 appearances this season, as the New York Rangers fell to Carolina 4-0 on Monday.

SNAPPED

Boston downed the New York Islanders 3-1 on Monday for its first road win against the Islanders in 11 games. The Bruins were 0-5-4-1 at the Nassau Coliseum since a 4-2 victory on Dec. 22, 2001. Chris Campoli broke New York's shutout streak with 1:51 left in the game. The Islanders had been blanked for the previous 140 minutes, 12 seconds.

SUSPENDED

Philadelphia's Riley Cote was suspended three games by the NHL on Monday, the fifth Flyers player disciplined by the league this season for illegal hits. Cote was given a match penalty for a head shot on Dallas' Mat Niskanen in the third period of the Stars' 4-1 win over the Flyers on Saturday. The NHL is prepared to take severe discipline against the franchise, such as a hefty fine, if another Flyer needs to be punished again for an illegal hit. ... Nashville's Scott Nichol has been suspended five games by the league for a blow to the head of Montreal's Patrice Brisebois. Nichol, who was suspended nine games last December, is considered a repeat offender under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

SPEAKING

''What's wrong with the offense? A lot. We've just got to work harder. It comes down to be a little more gritty, a little hungrier. We're OK. OK just doesn't cut it.'' - New York Islanders coach Ted Nolan, on his frustration with the team's lack of scoring.

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Detroit Red Wings vs. Montreal Canadiens

- The Detroit Red Wings and the Montreal Canadiens will both be trying to pick up a win on Tuesday when they battle at Bell Centre.

Henrik Zetterberg had a goal and an assist to lead the Red Wings to a 3-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday night.

The Wings cashed as huge -280 home favorites as the game played under the 5.5-goal total set by oddsmakers.

Guillaume Latendresse had two goals for the Canadiens, who led 4-0 after two periods of play in their 5-4 SO loss to the Nashville Predators on Saturday night.

The Preds cashed as +125 underdogs as the game played well over the 5.5-goal total set by oddsmakers.

Current streak:
Detroit has won 3 straight games.
Montreal has lost 2 straight games.

Team records:
Detroit: 18-6-2
Montreal: 13-9-4

Detroit most recently:
When playing on Tuesday are 4-3-3
Before playing Edmonton are 4-6
After playing Phoenix are 7-3
After a win are 8-2

Montreal most recently:
When playing on Tuesday are 6-4
Before playing Boston are 7-3
After playing Nashville are 3-3-1
After a loss are 7-3

A few trends to consider:
Detroit is 12-4 SU in its last 16 games when playing Montreal
Detroit is 14-5 SU in its last 19 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Detroit's last 7 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Detroit's last 6 games
Montreal is 14-7 SU in its last 21 games at home
Montreal is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games at home
Montreal is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games when playing at home against Detroit
Montreal is 4-12 SU in its last 16 games when playing Detroit

Next up:
Detroit home to Minnesota, Friday, December 7
Montreal at Boston, Thursday, December 6

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Ottawa Senators vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

- The Ottawa Senators and the Tampa Bay Lightning will both be trying to pick up a win on Tuesday when they battle at St. Pete Times Forum.

Ottawa fell behind 4-0 on Saturday, and lost 5-2 to the Rangers as -160 home favorites. The seven goals scored were OVER the posted total of 5.5.

Dany Heatley scored his 14th goal of the season, while Martin GErber allowed three goals on 12 shots for the Senators.

Vincent Lecavalier had two goals and an assist to lead the Lightning to a 4-1 win over the Boston Bruins on Saturday night.

The Bolts cashed as -140 home favorites as the game played under the 6-goal total set by oddsmakers.

Current streak:
Ottawa has lost 6 straight games.

Team records:
Ottawa: 16-7-2
Tampa Bay: 11-13-2

Ottawa most recently:
When playing on Tuesday are 6-4
Before playing Boston are 8-2
After playing NY Rangers are 7-3
After a loss are 4-6

Tampa Bay most recently:
When playing on Tuesday are 4-6
Before playing St. Louis are 3-7
After playing Boston are 5-5
After a win are 6-4

A few trends to consider:
Ottawa is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games when playing on the road against Tampa Bay
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Ottawa's last 7 games
Ottawa is 14-3 SU in its last 17 games when playing Tampa Bay
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Ottawa's last 8 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 7 of Tampa Bay's last 10 games
Tampa Bay is 9-4 SU in its last 13 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Tampa Bay's last 6 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 12 of Tampa Bay's last 18 games when playing at home against Ottawa

Next up:
Ottawa at Florida, Wednesday, December 5
Tampa Bay home to Carolina, Thursday, December 6

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Nashville Predators vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

- The Nashville Predators and the Toronto Maple Leafs will both be trying to pick up a win on Tuesday when they battle at Air Canada Centre.

Martin Erat scored the shootout winner as the Predators came back from a four-goal deficit to defeat the Montreal Canadiens 5-4 on Saturday night.

The Preds cashed as +125 underdogs as the game played well over the 5.5-goal total set by oddsmakers.

Alex Ponikarovsky and Nik Antropov each had a goal and an assist as the Maple Leafs beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-2 on Saturday night.

The Leafs won as -140 home favorites as the teams combined for six goals, resulting in a push for bettors.

Current streak:
Nashville has won 2 straight games.
Toronto has won 2 straight games.

Team records:
Nashville: 13-9-2
Toronto: 10-11-6

Nashville most recently:
When playing on Tuesday are 8-2
Before playing Minnesota are 7-3
After playing Montreal are 3-3-3
After a win are 6-4

Toronto most recently:
When playing on Tuesday are 6-4
Before playing San Jose are 3-3-2
After playing Pittsburgh are 4-6
After a win are 2-8

A few trends to consider:
Nashville is 6-2 SU in its last 8 games on the road
Nashville is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games when playing Toronto
Nashville is 9-4 SU in its last 13 games
The total has gone UNDER in 13 of Nashville's last 19 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 11 of Toronto's last 16 games at home
Toronto is 2-3-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing at home against Nashville
Toronto is 3-7 SU in its last 10 games
Toronto is 2-5-1 SU in its last 8 games when playing Nashville

Next up:
Nashville home to Vancouver, Thursday, December 6
Toronto at NY Rangers, Thursday, December 6

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St. Louis Blues vs. Calgary Flames

- The St. Louis Blues and the Calgary Flames will both be gunning for a victory on Tuesday when they meet at Pengrowth Saddledome.

Enforcer D.J. King scored a rare goal as the Blues beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-1 on Saturday night.

The Blues won as -145 favorites as the game played under the 5.5-goal total listed by oddsmakers.

Adrian Aucoin, Jarome Iginla, and Daymond Langkow each had a goal and an assist for the Flames in their 4-3 overtime loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night.

The Jackets upset the Flames as +140 road underdogs as the game played over the 5.5-goal total set by oddsmakers.

Current streak:
Calgary has lost 4 straight games.

Team records:
St. Louis: 15-8-1
Calgary: 10-13-4

St. Louis most recently:
When playing on Tuesday are 2-7-1
Before playing Tampa Bay are 4-4-1
After playing Chicago are 4-6
After a win are 5-5

Calgary most recently:
When playing on Tuesday are 6-4
Before playing Los Angeles are 3-7
After playing Columbus are 5-5
After a loss are 3-7

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of St. Louis's last 7 games when playing on the road against Calgary
St. Louis is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of St. Louis's last 8 games
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of St. Louis's last 10 games when playing Calgary
Calgary is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games when playing St. Louis
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Calgary's last 7 games when playing at home against St. Louis
Calgary is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against St. Louis
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Calgary's last 10 games when playing St. Louis

Next up:
St. Louis at Edmonton, Friday, December 7
Calgary home to Pittsburgh, Thursday, December 6

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NHL suspends Cote, warns Flyers

The winger will be forced to miss three games. If there are more incidents, the team could be punished.

Winger Riley Cote has become the fifth Flyer to be suspended by the NHL this season for landing a check to an opponent's head. Cote, 25, drew a three-game suspension yesterday.

Commissioner Gary Bettman has formally told the team that any more incidents could result in disciplinary action such as a large fine against the organization.

The league thinks, "like I do, that these are different coincidences and have to be viewed differently, but the question was raised about ramifications if it happens again," said Paul Holmgren, the Flyers' general manager. "Obviously, we're under watch."

Cote charged into Dallas' Matt Niskanen on the back boards with an elbow to the head in the final minutes of Saturday's 4-1 loss.

Niskanen was not injured. If he had been, Cote would likely have been suspended longer.

Bettman and deputy commissioner Bill Daly spoke to Holmgren by telephone after Cote's hearing in a conference call with Colin Campbell, the NHL's executive vice president and disciplinarian. Asked how the Flyers' players would be addressed after the league officially put the organization on notice, Holmgren said tersely, "It will be discussed."

"We want to play hard but play within the rules," Holmgren said. "It has to stop. The way it's going, it has to stop."

Campbell acknowledged that the league gave the Flyers a warning.

"Gary Bettman and I thought, based upon five suspensions in the first quarter of the season, that a conversation was required," Campbell said. "We talked to Paul and raised this and said it was time that he and [coach John Stevens] address this with the team."

"I had a chance to plead my case," said Cote, who will forfeit $8,021.40 in salary during the suspension. "I wasn't out there to hurt anybody but get a spark for the team. . . . It was unfortunate the way it turned out. I knew for sure I would get a couple just the way things were going - our reputation.

"I'm not going to put my team and the organization in this situation again. No one wants to hurt anybody, no one wants to get suspended. . . . We want to finish our checks, but no cheap shots."

Holmgren spoke to Cote after the game. The winger received a match penalty for the hit.

"It wasn't the smartest thing to do," Holmgren said, adding that Cote "crossed the line and he knows it. I think three games was fair."

No club in the NHL has been hit with as many suspensions as the Flyers. They have lost 52 man-games to them this season.

The other suspensions and dates of the incidents were:

Scott Hartnell on Nov. 26 - Hartnell was suspended for two games for a dangerous hit on Boston's Andrew Alberts, who was kneeling on the ice.

Randy Jones on Oct. 27 - Jones was banned for two games for hitting Boston's Patrice Bergeron while chasing the puck. Bergeron suffered multiple injuries, including a concussion that has kept him sidelined.

Jesse Boulerice on Oct. 10 - Boulerice received a league-record 25-game suspension for cross-checking Vancouver's Ryan Kesler across the neck.

Steve Downie on Sept. 25 - Downie was suspended for 20 games for a leaping shoulder hit to the head of Ottawa's Dean McAmmond in an exhibition game.

Fracas at practice. Things are tense among the Flyers, who have lost five straight home games and continue to play inconsistently. At yesterday's practice, there was a brief fight between Danny Briere and Sami Kapanen.

"I always felt if players got their backs up in practice, it was a good thing," Holmgren said.

Briere said that the players had a team meeting in the morning about the Flyers' sloppy, inconsistent play and that a lot of raw emotions came to the surface, then spilled onto the ice.

"It was a battling drill . . . he gave me a shot," Briere said. "We're obviously not happy with the way we are bouncing up and down. Sometimes things like that happen. You always see it happen a few times a year."

Kapanen concurred.

"It's just frustration at the way we played the last game," he said. "Going into practice, everybody is a little tense. Things are not going the way we want at home. I'm probably frustrated the way I played myself."

Stevens downplayed the incident. "It was a competitive drill and emotions ran a little high," he said. "There was a lot of good work today. . . . There was contact there. Both guys got a little upset and stood their ground. It was short-lived."

phillynews.com.

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Re: Hockey Today - December 4

Flyers recall Downie
December 4th, 2007

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - The Philadelphia Flyers recalled forward Steve Downie from their American Hockey League affiliate the Phantoms on Tuesday.

Just prior to the season, Downie was suspended 20 games by the NHL for his hit on Ottawa's Dean McAmmond in a preseason game on September 25 that gave the center a concussion and knocked him out of action indefinitely.

The AHL also ruled that Downie was not eligible to play in the league for one month from the start of its regular season.

After his one month ban from the AHL, the 20-year-old Downie played for the Philadelphia Phantoms in early November and in 13 games has registered one goal and 11 assists.

The Flyers originally selected Downie in the first round (29th overall) of the 2005 Entry Draft.

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Re: Hockey Today - December 4

Penguins waive Recchi
December 4th, 2007

Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - The Pittsburgh Penguins waived veteran forward Mark Recchi on Tuesday according to a report in the Pittsburgh Post- Gazette.

The 39-year-old Recchi, who can now be claimed by any team up until noon on Wednesday, was a healthy scratch in the last six games for Pittsburgh and seven of the last eight overall.

The 19-year veteran had two goals and six assists in 19 games this season for the Pens.

The Kamloops, British Columbia native has compiled 510 goals and 831 assists in 1,357 regular-season games with Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Montreal and Carolina.

Recchi has also appeared in 140 postseason games and totaled 47 goals and 70 assists while being a member of two Stanley Cup champions, 1991 in Pittsburgh and 2006 in Carolina.

If Recchi is not claimed by any team, the Penguins have the option of sending him to Wilkes-Barre of the American Hockey League.

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