Hockey Today - December 5

Hockey Today - December 5

Hockey Today - Wednesday, Dec. 5
ASSOCIATED PRESS

SCOREBOARD

Wednesday, Dec. 5

Boston at New Jersey (7 p.m. EST). The Devils have won their past seven games to climb back into the Atlantic Division race.

STARS

Tuesday

-Pavel Datsyuk, Red Wings, scored two unassisted goals off turnovers to lead Detroit to a 4-1 win over Montreal.

-Vesa Toskala, Maple Leafs, stopped 34 shots to help Toronto beat Nashville 3-1.

SLUMPING

Vinny Prospal scored in the fourth round of a shootout as Tampa Bay extended Ottawa's losing streak to seven games with a 4-3 victory Tuesday night. The Senators have lost seven games in a row for the first time since Feb. 22-March 9, 1996.

SWINGS

Detroit's 4-1 victory over Montreal on Tuesday night was the Red Wings' fourth straight, and the third straight loss and fifth in six games for the Canadiens.

LONG TIME COMING

Toronto forward Wade Belak scored his first goal since Dec. 20, 2003 - his eighth career goal in 407 NHL games - in a 3-1 victory over Nashville on Tuesday night.

DOMINANCE

Calgary outshot St. Louis 20-2 in the second period of a 3-1 victory Tuesday night. The Blues lost in regulation for just the second time in 11 games (8-2-1).

SUDDENLY SCORING

Tampa Bay forward Mathieu Darche, who has five goals in 48 career NHL games, scored for the third straight game Tuesday night, a 4-3 shootout victory over Ottawa.

STREAKING

Toronto captain Mats Sundin extended his record home-ice points streak from the start of the season to 16 with an assist in Tuesday night's 3-1 victory over Nashville.

GOODBYE?

Mark Recchi, who played on Pittsburgh's first Stanley Cup-winning team in 1991 and rejoined them in 2004 and 2006, was placed on waivers Tuesday. If the 39-year-old right wing is not claimed, the Penguins are expected to negotiate a buyout of his $1.75 million contract. Recchi, 23rd in NHL career scoring with 1,341 points, has two goals and six assists in 19 games this season.

UP AGAIN

Forward Steve Downie, who received a 20-game suspension for a vicious preseason hit on Ottawa's Dean McAmmond, was recalled by the Flyers from the team's AHL affiliate on Tuesday. Downie had a goal and 11 assists in 13 games for the Philadelphia Phantoms, leading them with 63 penalty minutes.

SPEAKING

''Maybe he sees himself at the All-Star game too quick. I don't think he's injured but his play on the ice is not where it should be. We've talked to him about it. We need him to get back to where he was earlier in the year. We need him to be our best defenseman and right now he's not.'' - Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau on defenseman Andrei Markov, who leads Eastern Conference defensemen in All-Star voting, following a 4-1 loss to Detroit on Tuesday night.

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Re: Hockey Today - December 5

Wednesday's NHL betting matchup notes
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Boston Bruins at New Jersey Devils

These clubs split four meetings last season, with each winning once on the other's home ice.

New York Islanders at Atlanta Thrashers

Atlanta has won just four times in 14 home games against New York since entering the NHL for the 1999-00 season. Two of those victories, though, have come in the last three meetings at Philips Arena.

Colorado Avalanche at Columbus Blue Jackets

The Avalanche have won five straight at Nationwide Arena, outscoring the Blue Jackets 21-6 during that stretch. Colorado is 10-0-1 with one tie all-time at Columbus, and leads the all-time series 22-1-1 with one draw.

Ottawa Senators at Florida Panthers

The Senators have won five straight against Florida by a combined 24-7 score, and are 19-5-1 in the series since the start of the 2000-01 season.

Philadelphia Flyers at Minnesota Wild

This will be only the Wilds' third meeting with Philadelphia in Minnesota. They played to a 3-all tie in 2000 before the Wild posted a 2-0 win in 2003.

Vancouver Canucks at Chicago Blackhawks

The Canucks have won 13 of the last 15 matchups with the Blackhawks, including a 2-0 victory Nov. 25. Vancouver has won four straight and six of seven in Chicago after winning just three of its previous 22 games there.

San Jose Sharks at Dallas Stars

San Jose has won two of three meetings this season against the Stars, including both road matchups.

Pittsburgh Penguins at Edmonton Oilers

The Penguins last played in Edmonton on Dec. 6, 2003, a 4-3 Oilers win. Edmonton also won the teams' most recent meeting, 3-1, in Pittsburgh on Jan. 10, 2006.

Los Angeles Kings at Phoenix Coyotes

The Coyotes have scored 20 total goals during a four-game home winning streak versus Los Angeles.

Buffalo Sabres at Anaheim Ducks

The Sabres seek their sixth straight win in Anaheim. Since a 5-2 loss in January 1997, the Sabres have outscored the Ducks 23-7 during their winning streak.

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Wednesday NHL Gameday

Martin Brodeur will backstop his surging New Jersey Devils against the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night at the shiny new Prudential Center. Here is your NHL Gameday

Boston Bruins at New Jersey Devils, 7:00pm ET

Boston has won five of their past seven games to gain ground on the first-place Senators in the Northeast Division. The Bruins are coming off a 3-1 road win over the Islanders on Monday night, with Tim Thomas stopping 33 of 34 shots in the game. Glen Murray, Petteri Nokelainen, and Chuck Kobasew had goals for Boston versus New York.

The Devils have won seven games in a row dating back to November 17, and they're quickly moving up the Atlantic Division standings. New Jersey has knocked off the Thrashers twice during that streak, including a 3-2 decision in a shootout on Sunday. Sergei Brylin and John Madden scored in regulation, and Brodeur picked up 23 saves.

Philadelphia Flyers at Minnesota Wild, 8:00pm ET

The Flyers have been alternating wins and losses over the past couple of weeks, most recently losing 4-1 at home to the Stars on Saturday night. Randy Jones had the lone Philly goal in that defeat, while Martin Biron gave up four goals on 30 shots. Forward Scott Hartnell is eligible to return from his two-game league suspension on Wednesday.

The Wild have won four games in a row, getting past each of the Predators, Coyotes, Blues, and Canucks during that stretch and moving into first place in the Northwest Division. Niklas Backstrom stopped 19 of 20 shots in Minnesota's 2-1 win over Vancouver on Sunday, while Eric Belanger and Aaron Voros tallied in that slim victory.

Vancouver Canucks at Chicago Blackhawks, 8:30pm ET

Vancouver got 28 saves from Roberto Luongo in their loss to Minnesota on Sunday, while Mike Brown scored his first goal of the season in the defeat. The Canucks had won three games in a row before falling to Minnesota, and they beat Chicago 2-0 back on November 25. Luongo picked up 27 saves for the shutout in the victory on that night.

The Blackhawks won back-to-back games over the Lightning and Coyotes after falling to the Canucks, but they fell 3-1 to the Blues on Saturday night. Patrick Lalime stopped just 23 of 26 St. Louis shots in that defeat, while Robert Lang scored the Chicago goal. Martin Havlat has picked up three points in three games since returning from his injury.

Buffalo Sabres at Anaheim Ducks, 10:00pm ET

The Sabres have padded their record with six wins in their past seven games, with their only loss in the past two weeks coming against the Blues on November 28. Buffalo is coming off an 8-1 pounding of the Hurricanes on Saturday, with Ales Kotalik scoring twice and Jaroslav Spacek picking up three points. Ryan Miller had 20 saves in the win.

The Ducks will just be glad to not play Edmonton on Wednesday night; Anaheim lost back-to-back games to the Oilers over the weekend by a combined score of 9-1. That pair of losses dropped Anaheim down into 11th place in the conference standings Overall the Ducks have lost five of their past seven games, defeating Calgary and L.A.

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Stars' Boucher set for shoulder surgery
December 5th, 2007

Frisco, TX (Sports Network) - Dallas Stars veteran defenseman Philippe Boucher is scheduled to undergo shoulder surgery on Wednesday and will be sidelined at least four weeks.

The 34-year-old Boucher, who was placed on injured reserve and will be re- evaluated in four weeks, has one goal and 10 assists in 28 games this season for Dallas.

Boucher had a career year last season for the Stars as he netted 19 goals and 32 assists. His 12 power-play goals tied a franchise record for most by a defenseman in one season.

Dallas also announced that forward Junior Lessard has been recalled from Iowa of the American Hockey League.

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Avs' Laperriere activated from IR
December 5th, 2007

Denver, CO (Sports Network) - The Colorado Avalanche activated forward Ian Laperriere from injured reserve on Wednesday.

Laperriere has missed the last nine games while recovering from a knee injury suffered on November 11 against the Minnesota Wild. He will be available to play as Colorado faces Columbus on Wednesday night.

The 33-year-old recorded two goals and six points with 31 penalty minutes in 17 games before the setback.

In a related roster move, the Avalanche assigned forward Wyatt Smith to Lake Erie, their AHL farm club.

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Penguins' Recchi clears waivers
December 5th, 2007

Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Pittsburgh Penguins veteran forward Mark Recchi cleared waivers on Wednesday.

According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, no teams put a claim in for Recchi after he was placed on waivers Tuesday morning. Since he was not claimed, the Penguins have the option of sending him to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League.

The 39-year-old Recchi 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.

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