Hockey Today - December 6

Hockey Today - December 6

Scott Niedermayer will rejoin Ducks, delay retirement
ASSOCIATED PRESS

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- NHL playoffs MVP Scott Niedermayer will rejoin the Anaheim Ducks and delay his retirement.

The Ducks called a 9:30 p.m. EST news conference Wednesday ''regarding the playing status of Scott Niedermayer.'' A person familiar with Niedermayer's situation said it would be announced that he's going to play again. The person requested anonymity because the announcement had not been made.

The 34-year-old defenseman had taken time off to decide whether he wanted to retire.

Another star in the Ducks' drive to their first Stanley Cup championship last season, 37-year-old Teemu Selanne, also hasn't played this year and hasn't said whether he will play or retire. Unlike Niedermayer, Selanne is a free agent.

Ducks general manager Brian Burke and the rest of the team's management apparently were not disturbed that Niedermayer and Selanne took the time off. The Ducks, however, got off to a slow start in their defense of the Stanley Cup and were third in the Pacific Division with a 12-12-4 record heading into Wednesday night's game against Buffalo.

Niedermayer hoisted the Stanley Cup for the fourth time in June and won his first Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoffs MVP. He previously played on three Cup champions with New Jersey before coming to Anaheim in 2005, when he joined his brother Rob on the Ducks.

Scott won the Norris Trophy as the league's top defenseman for the 2003-04 season when he was with the Devils.

When this season began, he had two years and $13.5 million remaining on his contract. According to league rules, the Ducks suspended him without pay because he did not report to training camp.

When he and Selanne were on hand for the unveiling of the team's Stanley Cup championship banner early this season, the fans chanted, ''One More Year!''

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Hockey Today - Thursday, Dec. 6
ASSOCIATED PRESS

SCOREBOARD

Thursday, Dec. 6

Carolina at Tampa Bay (7:30 p.m. EST). The Southeast Division-leading Hurricanes, in the midst of a five-game road trip, lead the second-place Lightning by seven points.

STARS

Wednesday

-Patrik Elias, Devils, scored his second goal of the game with 1:44 left in overtime and New Jersey rallied for a 4-3 win over Boston.

-Sidney Crosby, Penguins, had assists on three of Pittsburgh's four third-period goals in a 4-2 victory at Edmonton.

-Randy Robitaille and Ray Emery, Senators. Robitaille scored twice and Emery stopped a penalty shot in the third period to help Ottawa hold off Florida 5-4.

-Joe Thornton, Sharks, scored the go-ahead goal with 8:36 left and added two assists to lead San Jose past Dallas 3-2.

-Dan Fritsche, Blue Jackets, scored the tiebreaking goal with 4:05 left and Columbus edged Colorado 5-4.

-Brendan Morrison, Canucks, broke a tie early in the third period and had an assist in Vancouver's 3-2 win at Chicago.

WELCOME BACK

NHL playoffs MVP Scott Niedermayer will rejoin Anaheim after sitting out the first 28 games of the season. The 34-year-old defenseman had taken time off to decide whether he wanted to retire. He wasn't at the arena for the announcement. Niedermayer hoisted the Stanley Cup for the fourth time in June and won his first Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. Without Niedermayer and free agent Teemu Selanne, the Ducks got off to a slow start and were third in the Pacific Division with a 12-12-4 record heading into that night's game against Buffalo.

CRAZY EIGHT

New Jersey overcame a three-goal first-period deficit and extended its winning streak to eight games with a 4-3 overtime victory over Boston on Wednesday night. Zach Parise scored twice as did Patrik Elias, who got the game-winner with 1:44 left in the extra session.

SNAPPED

Ottawa ended a seven-game losing streak after defeating Florida 5-4 on Wednesday night. The Senators won for the first time since a 4-2 victory over Montreal on Nov. 19 and halted the club's longest losing streak since an 11-game slide in the 1995-96 season. Ottawa is 6-0 against the Panthers in the past two seasons. ... Anaheim snapped a 10-game winless drought against Buffalo with a 4-1 victory. The last time the Ducks beat the Sabres was Jan. 1, 1999, when Teemu Selanne scored three goals against Dominik Hasek in a 7-2 victory in Buffalo.

ONE MAN OFFENSE?

San Jose captain Joe Thornton has figured in 10 of the Sharks' 11 goals in the past four games, including a goal and two assists in a 3-2 win at Dallas on Wednesday night. Thornton has a team-leading 34 points, 21 more than second-place Jeremy Roenick and Milan Michalek.

KING CANUCK

Markus Naslund became Vancouver's career leading scorer Wednesday night with an assist in the 3-2 win at Chicago. Naslund has 332 goals and 393 assists for 725 points in 829 games with the Canucks. Teammate Trevor Linden, in his second tour with Vancouver, has 312 goals and 412 assists in 1,020 games with the team.

SINKING ISLAND

The New York Islanders dropped their four straight game and have been held to three goals or fewer in each of the past 16 games after Wednesday night's 4-3 shootout loss at Atlanta. The Islanders killed off all nine Thrashers power plays, but yielded two short-handed goals.

ROAD WARRIORS

Philadelphia pushed its road winning streak to four games and ended Minnesota's four-game run overall with Wednesday night's 3-1 victory.

RALLY TIME

Columbus scored four times in the third period to shock Colorado 5-4 on Wednesday night. Dan Fritsche's goal with 4:05 left capped a wild six-goal third period and helped the Blue Jackets defeat the Avalanche for just the third time in 25 meetings (3-20-2).

STRONG IN DEFEAT

Boston's Marc Savard extended his points streak to 11 games after picking up an assist in a 4-3 overtime loss at New Jersey on Wednesday night. Savard has two goals and 18 points during the run.

SIDELINED

Dallas defenseman Philippe Boucher is expected to miss at least four weeks because of shoulder surgery on Wednesday.

SPEAKING

''We knew that the first period was gross. There was no panic. It was a matter of waking up. We weren't out of the game. It shows the difference between the team now and when the streak started.'' - New Jersey's Zach Parise after the Devils overcame a three-goal first-period deficit to defeat Boston in overtime 4-3 on Wednesday night.

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Re: Hockey Today - December 6

Thursday's NHL betting matchup notes
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Montreal at Boston

The Canadiens have won the last six meetings - including three this season - by a combined margin of 24-9. Since the start of the 2005-06 season, Montreal has taken 15 of 19 games from the Bruins.

Toronto at N.Y. Rangers

The Maple Leafs are 1-0-1 this season against the Rangers, including a 4-1 victory on Oct. 27 at MSG.

Carolina at Tampa Bay

The first-place Hurricanes have dropped two of three this season to the Lightning, who are 9-3-2 at home against Carolina since the start of the 2002-03 season.

Vancouver at Nashville

The Canucks are 2-5-1 in their last eight games against the Predators.

Pittsburgh at Calgary

The Penguins haven't played at Calgary since Dec. 7, 2003. Iginla has five goals and five assists in 13 career games against Pittsburgh.

Buffalo at Los Angeles

Buffalo has won its last three games against Los Angeles since a 4-1 home loss on Feb. 21, 2003 and scored 23 goals in those three victories.

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Toronto Maple Leafs vs. New York Rangers

- The Toronto Maple Leafs and the New York Rangers will both be gunning for a victory on Thursday when they meet at Madison Square Garden.

The Maple Leafs won their third straight with a 3-1 victory over the Predators last time out, as -135 favorites. The four goals were UNDER the posted over/under (5.5).

Nik Antropov, Matt Stajan and Wade Belak scored the Leafs goals, while Vesa Toskala made 34 saves in the win.

The Rangers were shut out 4-0 by the Hurricanes last time out, as -160 favorites. The four goals were UNDER the posted over/under (5.5).

Henrik Lundqvist stopped 25-of-29 shots in a losing effort.

Current streak:
Toronto has won 3 straight games.

Team records:
Toronto: 11-11-6
New York: 15-10-2

Toronto most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 4-6
Before playing San Jose are 3-3-2
After playing Nashville are 3-3-1
After a win are 3-7

New York most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 2-7-1
Before playing Florida are 7-3
After playing Carolina are 5-5
After a loss are 6-4

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 8 of Toronto's last 11 games when playing on the road against NY Rangers
Toronto is 3-6 SU in their last 9 games when playing NY Rangers
Toronto is 5-14 SU in its last 19 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 10 of the NY Rangers last 13 games at home
NY Rangers are 18-6 SU in their last 24 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 8 of the NY Rangers last 11 games when playing at home against Toronto
NY Rangers are 12-5 SU in their last 17 games

Next up:
Toronto home to Boston, Saturday, December 8
NY Rangers at Atlanta, Friday, December 7

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Montreal Canadiens vs. Boston Bruins

- The fans at TD Banknorth Garden will be treated to a game between the Montreal Canadiens and the Boston Bruins when they take their seats on Thursday.

The Canadiens were defeated 4-1 by the Red Wings last time out, as +120 underdogs. The five goals were UNDER the posted over/under (5.5).

Christopher Higgins had the lone Canadiens marker, and Carey Price made 30 saves in a losing effort.

Dennis Wideman, Glen Murray, and Zdeno Chara scored for the Bruins in their 4-3 overtime loss to the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday night.

The Devils won as -160 home favorites as the teams played over the 5-goal total set by books.

Current streak:
Montreal has lost 3 straight games.

Team records:
Montreal: 13-10-4
Boston: 14-9-3

Montreal most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 4-6
Before playing Carolina are 7-3
After playing Detroit are 4-4-1
After a loss are 7-3

Boston most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 4-3-3
Before playing Ottawa are 3-7
After playing New Jersey are 4-6
After a loss are 7-3

A few trends to consider:
Montreal is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing Boston
Montreal is 8-3 SU in its last 11 games when playing on the road against Boston
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Montreal's last 10 games when playing on the road against Boston
Montreal is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Boston's last 5 games at home
Boston is 7-3 SU in its last 10 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Boston's last 10 games when playing at home against Montreal
Boston is 3-8 SU in its last 11 games when playing at home against Montreal

Next up:
Montreal home to Carolina, Saturday, December 8
Boston at Toronto, Saturday, December 8

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Carolina Hurricanes vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

- Divisional bragging rights will be on the line on Thursday when the Carolina Hurricanes and the Tampa Bay Lightning meet at St. Pete Times Forum.

Cam Ward stopped all 28 shots for the shutout, as the Hurricanes blew past the Rangers 4-0 last time out. The Hurricanes won the game as +140 underdogs, and the four goals were UNDER the posted over/under (5.5).

Cory Stillman led the way with a pair of goals, while Scott Walker and David Tanabe added singles.

Tampa Bay handed the Ottawa a seventh straight loss in a 4-3 shootout victory last time out, as +125 underdogs. Tampa Bay won the game as +125 underdogs, and the combined score was a PUSH against the posted over/under (6).

Vaclav Prospal scored the shootout winner, while Mathieu Darche, Chris Gratton and Filip Kuba scored in regulation. Johan Holmqvist made 26 saves in the win.

Current streak:
Tampa Bay has won 2 straight games.

Team records:
Carolina: 15-10-3
Tampa Bay: 12-13-2

Carolina most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 6-4
Before playing Boston are 5-5
After playing NY Rangers are 5-5
After a win are 3-7

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

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Carolina's last 6 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Carolina's last 7 games
Carolina is 3-11 SU in its last 14 games when playing on the road against Tampa Bay
Carolina is 1-6 SU in its last 7 games when playing Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games when playing Carolina
Tampa Bay is 11-3 SU in its last 14 games when playing at home against Carolina
The total has gone OVER in 8 of Tampa Bay's last 11 games
Tampa Bay is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games at home

Next up:
Carolina at Montreal, Saturday, December 8
Tampa Bay home to NY Islanders, Saturday, December 8

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Vancouver Canucks vs. Nashville Predators

- The Vancouver Canucks and the Nashville Predators will both be gunning for a victory on Thursday when they meet at Sommet Center.

Brendan Morrison had a goal and an assist to lead the Canucks to a 3-2 road victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday night.

The Canucks won as -115 road favorites as the teams played under the 5-goal total listed by books.

The Predators were defeated 3-1 by the Maple Leafs last time out, as +115 underdogs. The four goals were UNDER the posted over/under (5.5).

Shea Weber scored the lone goal for the Predators, and Chris Mason faced just 15 shots in taking the loss.

Team records:
Vancouver: 15-10-2
Nashville: 13-10-2

Vancouver most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 7-2-1
Before playing San Jose are 5-5
After playing Chicago are 8-2
After a win are 5-5

Nashville most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 3-7
Before playing Minnesota are 7-3
After playing Toronto are 3-3-1
After a loss are 5-5

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Vancouver's last 6 games
Vancouver is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Vancouver's last 8 games when playing Nashville
Vancouver is 2-6 SU in its last 8 games when playing Nashville
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Nashville's last 8 games when playing Vancouver
Nashville is 6-2 SU in its last 8 games when playing Vancouver
Nashville is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 7 of Nashville's last 10 games at home

Next up:
Vancouver home to Pittsburgh, Saturday, December 8
Nashville home to Anaheim, Saturday, December 8

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Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Calgary Flames

- The Pittsburgh Penguins and the Calgary Flames will both be gunning for a victory on Thursday when they meet at Pengrowth Saddledome.

Sidney Crosby had three assists to lead the Penguins to a 4-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday night.

The Pens cashed as -120 road favorites as the teams played over the 5.5-goal total set by oddsmakers.

The Flames snapped a four-game losing skid with a 3-1 win over the Blues last time out, as -135 favorites. The four goals were UNDER the posted over/under (5).

Marcus Nilson, Dustin Boyd and Kristian Huselius scored in the win and Miikka Kiprusoff faced just 16 shots in the win.

Current streak:
Pittsburgh has won 2 straight games.

Team records:
Pittsburgh: 13-12-2
Calgary: 11-13-4

Pittsburgh most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 4-6
Before playing Ottawa are 4-6
After playing Edmonton are 2-2-1
After a win are 5-5

Calgary most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 5-4-1
Before playing Los Angeles are 3-7
After playing St. Louis are 4-6
After a win are 3-7

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 8 of Pittsburgh's last 9 games when playing on the road against Calgary
Pittsburgh is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Pittsburgh's last 5 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 12 of Pittsburgh's last 16 games when playing Calgary
The total has gone OVER in 8 of Calgary's last 9 games when playing at home against Pittsburgh
The total has gone OVER in 12 of Calgary's last 16 games when playing Pittsburgh
Calgary is 6-2-1 SU in its last 9 games when playing at home against Pittsburgh
Calgary is 3-6 SU in its last 9 games at home

Next up:
Pittsburgh at Vancouver, Saturday, December 8
Calgary at Chicago, Sunday, December 9

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Buffalo Sabres vs. Los Angeles Kings

- The Buffalo Sabres and the Los Angeles Kings will both be gunning for a victory on Thursday when they meet at STAPLES Center.

Jochen Hecht tallied the lone goal for Buffalo in its 4-1 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday night.

The Ducks cashed as -125 favorites as the game played under the 5.5-goal total posted by books.

Mike Cammalleri potted the lone goal for the Kings in their 4-1 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes on Wednesday night.

The Coyotes won as -130 favorites as the teams played under the 5.5-goal total listed by oddsmakers.

Current streak:
Los Angeles has lost 3 straight games.

Team records:
Buffalo: 12-12-1
Los Angeles: 10-15-2

Buffalo most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 6-3-1
Before playing Colorado are 6-4
After playing Anaheim are 5-5-1
After a loss are 4-6

Los Angeles most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 4-6
Before playing Dallas are 3-7
After playing Phoenix are 6-4
After a loss are 4-6

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Buffalo's last 5 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Buffalo's last 5 games when playing Los Angeles
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Buffalo's last 5 games when playing on the road against Los Angeles
Buffalo is 6-2 SU in its last 8 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Los Angeles's last 5 games when playing Buffalo
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Los Angeles's last 5 games at home
Los Angeles is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Buffalo
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Los Angeles's last 5 games when playing at home against Buffalo

Next up:
Buffalo at San Jose, Saturday, December 8
Los Angeles home to Phoenix, Saturday, December 8

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Report: Crawford said Moore had to "pay the price" before Bertuzzi attack
December 6, 2007

TORONTO (AP) -Todd Bertuzzi's on-ice attack on Steve Moore might have been ordered by former Vancouver Canucks coach Marc Crawford, according to a report aired on CBC's ``The National'' Wednesday night.

Bertuzzi grabbed Moore from behind during a 2004 game, punched him on the side of his head and then landed on top of Moore, driving his head into the ice. The bloodied Colorado player was removed on a stretcher.

Moore sustained a broken neck and a concussion. He filed a lawsuit against Bertuzzi, the Canucks and their parent company in Ontario in February.

A statement of claim filed in court by Moore's lawyer and obtained by CBC alleges that Crawford pointed to Moore's name and number on a board in the Canucks' locker room during the second intermission of that game and said ``... (Moore) must pay the price.''

In an accompanying document, Moore's lawyer claims Crawford's statement was disclosed by Bertuzzi while under oath, and by Canucks general manager Dave Nonis.

A month earlier, during a Feb. 16 game in Denver, Moore checked Canucks forward Markus Naslund and that led to talk of retribution against him, culminating with the Bertuzzi hit a month later.

Crawford, now Los Angeles' coach, didn't want to talk about the report after the Kings' 4-1 loss to Phoenix on Wednesday night.

``I don't think this is the forum to be talking about that,'' he said. ``We've got enough of our own issues here with the Los Angeles Kings. Those are the things that I'm concerned about. I'm not concerned about anything that's said otherwise.''

Bertuzzi, who signed a two-year, $8 million contract with Anaheim in July, refused to comment when approached after the Ducks' 4-1 win over Buffalo on Wednesday night.

The NHL gave Bertuzzi a 17-month suspension for the Moore hit. He gave up about $502,000 in salary, and missed 13 regular-season games and the Stanley Cup playoffs in 2004. He also was prevented from playing hockey overseas during the lockout season.

Bertuzzi was later charged with assault causing bodily harm. He pleaded guilty and was given a conditional discharge and one year's probation.

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Bruins acquire Auld from Coyotes
December 6th, 2007

Glendale, AZ (Sports Network) - The Boston Bruins bolstered their goaltending on Thursday by acquiring Alex Auld from the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for forward Nate DiCasmirro and a fifth round draft choice in the 2009.

Auld put together a 3-6-0 record with a 3.54 goals against average, .880 save percentage and one shutout in nine games with the Coyotes this season. Throughout the duration of his career, Auld has assembled a 49-50-2-11 record with a 2.94 GAA, .901 save percentage and three shutouts in 117 games with Vancouver, Florida and Phoenix.

The 26-year-old made his NHL debut with the Vancouver Canucks on January 23, 2002 in a 4-2 victory over the Dallas Stars.

The 29-year-old DiCasmirro recorded two goals and three assists for five points and 12 penalty minutes in 20 games this season for the AHL's Providence Bruins. The forward racked up 57 goals and 105 assists in 358 career AHL games.

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Blackhawks place forward Williams on IR
December 6th, 2007

Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - The Chicago Blackhawks have placed forward Jason Williams on injured reserve with a groin strain.

To counteract the loss, Chicago recalled forward Dave Bolland from the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL.

Williams has been hampered by the groin strain for the past few weeks. The forward played in just one of the last eight games for the Blackhawks. On the season, Williams has played in 20 games and found the back of the net seven times in addition to 12 assists.

Bolland has appeared in 14 games for the IceHogs this season. In those games, he has scored six goals and assisted on four others.

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