Hockey Today - Dec.19

Hockey Today - Dec.19

Hockey Today - Dec.19
ASSOCIATED PRESS

SCOREBOARD

Wednesday, Dec. 19

Colorado at Anaheim (10 p.m. EST).

The Avalanche meet the Stanley Cup champions for the first of four times this season.

STARS

Tuesday

-Markus Naslund and Roberto Luongo, Canucks. Naslund scored twice and Luongo stopped all 31 shots he faced in Vancouver's 5-0 win over New Jersey.

-Scott Gomez, Rangers, had two goals in New York's 4-0 win over Pittsburgh.

-Jason Spezza, Senators, scored a pair of goals to lead Ottawa past Boston 3-2.

-Miikka Kiprusoff, Flames, made 36 saves to help Calgary defeat Columbus 3-1.

-Scott Walker, Hurricanes, deflected in a power-play goal with 32.6 seconds left in overtime and Carolina rallied for a 3-2 win over Toronto.

-Peter Mueller, Coyotes, scored at 6:25 of the third period to break a tie and help Phoenix defeat Philadelphia 3-2.

-Sergei Zubov, Stars, had the only goal of the shootout to give Dallas a 2-1 win at Edmonton.

MEMORABLE MILESTONE

Minnesota scored three unanswered goals in the third period and gave coach Jacques Lemaire a victory in his 1,000th career game, 3-2 over Nashville on Tuesday night.

ROAD WARRIORS

Calgary wrapped up a perfect six-game road trip with a 3-1 win in Columbus on Tuesday night and is one win shy of tying the franchise's longest road winning streak of seven, set in 1988. It's the team's longest winning streak away from home in nearly four years. ... Phoenix improved to 4-1 on its six-game road trip after Tuesday night's 3-2 win at Philadelphia. The swing concludes at San Jose on Thursday night.

HEALTHY ENOUGH

Markus Naslund overcame the flu to score twice and Roberto Luongo returned from a rib injury to make 31 saves and Vancouver beat New Jersey 5-0 on Tuesday night. Luongo had been out since Dec. 8 because of his injury, while Naslund missed practice on Monday with his sickness.

CAUGHT IN A STORM

Carolina scored twice in the final 1:35 of regulation and a power-play goal in the final minute of overtime to stun Toronto 3-2 on Tuesday night. It was the Maple Leafs' seventh overtime loss of the season, most in the NHL.

STREAKS

Jarome Iginla scored for the fifth straight game to help Calgary defeat Columbus 3-1. ... Ottawa has a six-game winning streak after holding off Boston 3-2. The run started after the Senators lost a season-high seven consecutive games.

GOING EXTRA

Edmonton set an NHL record by competing in its fourth straight shootout, but lost to Dallas 2-1 on Tuesday night. The Oilers, who had won the first three, lost for just the second time in their 12 shootout appearances.

SHARK FISHING

Anaheim beat San Jose for the third time in four meetings this season, 2-0 on Tuesday night.

TROUBLE IN TAMPA

Tampa Bay has dropped three straight and five of six and fell to 3-12-1 on the road this season after a 6-2 defeat at Atlanta on Tuesday night.

ON THE PROWL

Florida won for the fourth time in six games (4-1-1) after holding off Montreal 3-2 on Tuesday night.

POWERLESS PENGUINS

Pittsburgh was limited to just five shots through the first two periods and 18 total in Tuesday night's 4-0 loss to the New York Rangers.

GROUNDED FLYERS

Philadelphia's losing streak reached a season-long four games after a 3-2 defeat to Phoenix on Tuesday night. The Flyers have also lost eight of their past nine games at home (1-6-2) since opening the season 6-0 in Philadelphia.

WE MEET AGAIN

New York Islanders forward Chris Simon met with league disciplinarian Colin Campbell on Tuesday to discuss his latest penalty for attempting to injure an opponent. Simon took a paid leave from the Islanders on Monday, agreeing with the team that he needed time away from hockey after he stomped on Pittsburgh forward Jarkko Ruutu during a 3-2 loss to the Penguins on Saturday.

TRADE

Philadelphia acquired defenseman Jim Vandermeer from Chicago on Tuesday night for rugged left wing Ben Eager.

SPEAKING

''It's one of the most enjoyable little stretches I've been on since being here.'' - Jarome Iginla after Calgary finished a 6-0 road trip with a 3-1 win at Columbus.

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Wednesday's NHL matchup notes
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Buffalo at NY Islanders

The Sabres' three-game win streak began last Wednesday with a 5-3 home win over the Islanders, the teams' first meeting since New York opened the season with a home-and-home sweep of Buffalo.

Los Angeles at Detroit

Los Angeles is last in the NHL with 26 points, has lost four straight overall and now must visit the Red Wings, who have won 14 of the last 15 meetings between the teams. The Kings are 0-7-3 with one tie in Detroit since a 3-2 victory on Feb. 18, 2000.

Nashville at Chicago

Nashville hasn't had trouble scoring goals against Chicago, winning 5-4 in overtime at home on Nov. 15 and 5-2 at the United Center on Nov. 4.

Colorado at Anaheim


This is the first meeting between these teams this season. Anaheim ended a four-game slide against the Avalanche with a 5-3 home victory in the last matchup on Feb. 25.

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Buffalo Sabres vs. New York Islanders

- The Buffalo Sabres and the New York Islanders will both be gunning for a victory on Wednesday when they meet at Nassau Coliseum.

Buffalo's Ryan Miller stopped 26 shots in Saturday's 3-1 win over Chicago, coming in as -135 home favorites. The four goals scored were UNDER the posted total of 5.5.

Thomas Vanek had a goal and an assist, while Drew Stafford scored the game-winner for the Sabres.

The Islanders fell behind 2-0 in Saturday's 3-2 loss to Pittsburgh, falling as -115 home favorites. The five goals scored were UNDER the posted total of 5.5.

Richard Park scored on the power-play, while Rick DiPietro stopped 37 shots for the Islanders.

Current streak:
Buffalo has won 3 straight games.

Team records:
Buffalo: 16-14-1
New York: 15-14-2

Buffalo most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 3-7
Before playing Colorado are 6-4
After playing Chicago are 4-4-2
After a win are 6-4

New York most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 6-4
Before playing New Jersey are 6-4
After playing Pittsburgh are 9-1
After a loss are 5-5

A few trends to consider:
Buffalo is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Buffalo's last 5 games when playing NY Islanders
Buffalo is 12-4 SU in their last 16 games when playing NY Islanders
Buffalo is 5-2 SU in their last 7 games when playing on the road against NY Islanders
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of the NY Islanders last 5 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of the NY Islanders last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of the NY Islanders last 5 games when playing Buffalo
NY Islanders are 2-4 SU in their last 6 games at home

Next up:
Buffalo home to Philadelphia, Friday, December 21
NY Islanders at Pittsburgh, Friday, December 21

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Los Angeles Kings vs. Detroit Red Wings

- The Los Angeles Kings and the Detroit Red Wings will both be trying to pick up a win on Wednesday when they battle at Joe Louis Arena.

The Kings were doubled 4-2 by the Avalanche last time out, as +105 underdogs. The six goals were a PUSH against the posted over/under (6).

Dustin Brown tallied on the power play, and Michal Handzus scored shorthanded for the Kings. Jason LaBarbera stopped 36 shots in a losing effort.

Henrik Zetterberg scored the shootout winner Monday night, as the Red Wings clipped the Capitals 4-3. The Red Wings won the game as -280 favorites, and the combined score made it OVER the posted over/under (5.5).

Tomas Holmstrom scored twice for the Red Wings, and Zetterberg tallied on the power play. Dominik Hasek made 27 saves in the win.

Current streak:
Los Angeles has lost 4 straight games.
Detroit has won 2 straight games.

Team records:
Los Angeles: 12-20-2
Detroit: 24-6-3

Los Angeles most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 8-2
Before playing Dallas are 3-7
After playing Colorado are 4-6
After a loss are 4-6

Detroit most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 3-6-1
Before playing Edmonton are 5-5
After playing Washington are 8-2
After a win are 8-2

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Los Angeles's last 8 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Los Angeles's last 9 games when playing on the road against Detroit
Los Angeles is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games on the road
Los Angeles is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games
Detroit is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Los Angeles
Detroit is 14-1 SU in its last 15 games when playing Los Angeles
Detroit is 9-1 SU in its last 10 games
Detroit is 8-1 SU in its last 9 games at home

Next up:
Los Angeles at Columbus, Friday, December 21
Detroit at St. Louis, Thursday, December 20

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Nashville Predators vs. Chicago Blackhawks

- The Nashville Predators and the Chicago Blackhawks will both be trying to pick up a win on Wednesday when they battle at United Center.

The Predators let a two-goal lead slip away and fell 3-2 to the Wild last time out, as +140 road underdogs. The five goals were UNDER the posted over/under (5.5).

Jason Arnott and J. P. Dumont answered for the Predators, and Dan Ellis stopped 28-of-31 shots in the loss.

The Blackhawks lost to Florida 3-1 as a -160 favorite last time out. The four goals scored fell UNDER the posted over/under total (5.5).

Dave Bolland scored the Blackhawks lone goal, while Patrick Lalime stopped 21 of the 24 shots he faced.

Current streak:
Nashville has lost 4 straight games.
Chicago has lost 2 straight games.

Team records:
Nashville: 14-15-2
Chicago: 15-15-2

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

Chicago most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 5-5
Before playing Edmonton are 5-5
After playing Florida are 3-3-5
After a loss are 4-6

A few trends to consider:
Nashville is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games when playing Chicago
Nashville is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Chicago
The total has gone UNDER in 15 of Nashville's last 22 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Nashville's last 6 games when playing Chicago
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Chicago's last 6 games when playing Nashville
Chicago is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Nashville
Chicago is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games at home
Chicago is 1-6 SU in its last 7 games when playing Nashville

Next up:
Nashville home to Los Angeles, Saturday, December 22
Chicago at Ottawa, Saturday, December 22

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Colorado Avalanche vs. Anaheim Ducks

- The fans at Honda Center will be treated to a game between the Colorado Avalanche and the Anaheim Ducks when they take their seats on Wednesday.

The Avalanche allowed two goals in the third period, but held on to double the Kings 4-2 last time out. The Avalanche won the game as -115 favorites, while the combined six goals were a PUSH against the posted over/under (6).

Ryan Smyth, Jaroslav Hlinka, Paul Stastny and Ben Guite had the goals. John-Michael Liles and Brett Clark pocketed a pair of assists in the win.

The Ducks earned a 2-0 shut out victory over the Sharks last time out, as +125 underdogs. The final score fell UNDER the posted over/under (5).

Corey Perry and Bobby Ryan scored in the win for the Ducks, and Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 20 saves for the shutout.

Current streak:
Colorado has won 3 straight games.

Team records:
Colorado: 19-13-1
Anaheim: 16-15-5

Colorado most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 3-7
Before playing Buffalo are 8-8-1
After playing Los Angeles are 2-8
After a win are 4-6

Anaheim most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 5-5
Before playing San Jose are 4-6
After playing San Jose are 4-6
After a win are 4-6

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Colorado's last 6 games
Colorado is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Colorado's last 5 games when playing Anaheim
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Colorado's last 9 games on the road
Anaheim is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Colorado
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Anaheim's last 5 games when playing Colorado
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Anaheim's last 6 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Anaheim's last 6 games when playing at home against Colorado

Next up:
Colorado home to NY Rangers, Friday, December 21
Anaheim at San Jose, Saturday, December 22

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Flyers trade LW Ben Eager for Chicago D Jim Vandermeer
ASSOCIATED PRESS

PHILADELPHIA -- The Flyers traded to get defenseman Jim Vandermeer from Chicago on Tuesday night, sending left wing Ben Eager to the Blackhawks.

The 27-year-old Vandermeer had two goals, seven assists and 44 penalty minutes in 26 games for the Blackhawks this season.

He's rejoining the Flyers, who traded him to Chicago as part of a deal that brought Alex Zhamnov to Philadelphia in February 2004.

Eager, 23, was a first-round draft pick in 2002, by Phoenix. He is scoreless with 62 penalty minutes in 23 games for the Flyers this season.

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Wednesday NHL Gameday

Nicklas Lidstrom and the Detroit Red Wings will look to continue their winning ways when they host the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday. Here is your NHL Gameday . . .

Buffalo Sabres at New York Islanders, 7:00pm ET

The Sabres don't look like they'll repeat as Northeast champions this season, but a modest three-game winning streak at least has improved their chances of getting out of the division basement. Buffalo has knocked off the Islanders, Capitals, and Blackhawks in their past three outings, and they've won five of their eight games so far in December.

The Islanders, on the other hand, have been tumbling over the past couple of weeks. New York has won just twice in eight December outings (beating the Lightning and the Coyotes) to fall into the Atlantic Division cellar. Rick DiPietro allowed five goals on 41 shots in the Isles' 5-3 loss to Buffalo last week, and they fell to Pittsburgh on Saturday.

Los Angeles Kings at Detroit Red Wings, 7:30pm ET

The Kings now have both forward Alexander Frolov and goaltender Jason LaBarbera back from injury, and they'll need all hands on deck if they hope to crawl out of the basement of the Western Conference. Los Angeles has been terrible so far in December, and a game against the league's top team is not a great Christmas present.

Detroit has picked up at least one point in each of their eight December contests, going 7-0-1 over that stretch. Their only blemish? An overtime loss to the Oilers last Thursday night. The Red Wings knocked off the Capitals 4-3 in a shootout on Monday night, and they lead the league with a 24-6-3 record and 51 points through 33 games this season.

Nashville Predators at Chicago Blackhawks, 8:30pm ET

The Predators have slumped in December, and they've tumbled out of the playoff picture in the Western Conference. Lately Nashville's problem has been scoring goals - in three outings last week (against the Wings, Avs, and Avs again) the Predators managed to score just three times. Not surprisingly, all of those contests were losses.

Chicago has played poorly this month as well - their December record stands at only 1-6-0 heading into play on Wednesday night. The Blackhawks' only win this month came against the lowly Kings last week, and now they're fighting with the Preds to stay out of the Central Division basement. Chicago and Nashville will play again on Boxing Day.

Colorado Avalanche at Anaheim Ducks, 10:00pm ET

The Avalanche have been playing some of the league's weaker teams this month, and as a result they've been moving up the standings. Colorado did manage to lose twice to the Blue Jackets over the past two weeks, but they also laid a 9-5 beating on the Blues on December 9. Milan Hejduk led the way that night with three goals and three assists.

Scott Niedermayer is back, and the Ducks are hoping that means the victories will start to come back as well. Anaheim dealt forward Andy McDonald to the Blues in exchange for forward Doug Weight last week, which helped them fit Niedermayer into the team's salary cap. Anaheim also recalled promising forward Bobby Ryan from their farm team.

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Simon draws 30-game suspension
December 19, 2007

NEW YORK (AP) -New York Islanders forward Chris Simon was banned for 30 games Wednesday, drawing the longest suspension in NHL history again.

The Islanders confirmed the suspension by the league for Simon's latest infraction - stepping on Pittsburgh's Jarkko Ruutu with his skate during a game last weekend.

Simon missed the first five games of this season while completing a 25-game ban handed out in March. That was the previous record for an NHL suspension. This is the seventh time in Simon's career that he has been suspended.

The 35-year-old player went on a paid leave of absence Monday to receive counseling, and then met with the league's disciplinarian Colin Campbell on Tuesday.

Simon agreed he needed time away from hockey after he stomped on Ruutu during a 3-2 loss to the Penguins on Saturday. Simon drew a match penalty when he pulled out Ruutu's leg with his, sending the forward to his knees between the team benches. He then stepped on the back of Ruutu's leg with his skate, and was ejected.

``Since Saturday night, the focus of the New York Islanders has been on Chris Simon the person, not him as a player or on his place in our lineup,'' Islanders general manager Garth Snow said in a statement confirming the suspension.

``As we announced on Monday, the Islanders are going to provide Chris the time and support he needs for counseling. For Chris right now, hockey must be secondary to the priority of taking care of himself.''

On March 11, Simon was suspended 25 games - 15 regular-season games, five playoff games, and five games to open this season - for his two-handed stick attack to the face of New York Rangers forward Ryan Hollweg.

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Penguins F Malone leaves team for treatment of infected cut
By ASSOCIATED PRESS

PITTSBURGH -- Penguins forward Ryan Malone left the team Wednesday in Boston and returned to Pittsburgh to be treated by team doctors for an infected cut on his leg.

The infection resulted in flu-like symptoms that caused Malone to sit out the Penguins' 4-0 loss to the New York Rangers on Tuesday night.

The Penguins were off Wednesday before playing in Boston on Thursday night. They return home to play the New York Islanders on Friday. Malone is expected to miss both games.

Malone is sixth in scoring on the team with nine goals and five assists in 32 games.

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Hurricanes F Craig Adams suspended 2 games by NHL
ASSOCIATED PRESS

TORONTO -- Carolina Hurricanes forward Craig Adams was suspended two games without pay Wednesday for hitting Toronto's Alex Steen with his stick.

Adams was assessed a minor penalty for high-sticking after hitting the Maple Leafs' forward at 16:05 of the third period Tuesday night. Carolina went on to win 3-2 in overtime.

Adams will miss Thursday's game at Florida and Dec. 22 at Tampa Bay. He will forfeit $6,417.12, with the money going to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

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