Hockey Today - Dec. 27

Hockey Today - Dec. 27

Maple Leafs G Toskala sits out; Isles counterpart DiPietro injured
December 26, 2007

Associated Press

UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) -- Maple Leafs goalie Vesa Toskala sat out against the Islanders on Wednesday night because of tightness in his groin, and New York counterpart Rick DiPietro left the game due to a knee injury.

Toskala practiced with his teammates Wednesday morning, shortly after the team's post-Christmas flight to New York, but was the first Toronto player off the ice. He isn't expected to play Thursday at Philadelphia, either, when the Maple Leafs complete a club-record tying seven-game road trip.

DiPietro made the start for New York, but lasted only one period. He didn't come out of the dressing room after the first intermission because of an undisclosed knee injury. The Islanders said the franchise goalie wouldn't return and would be re-evaluated on Thursday.

DiPietro allowed two goals on nine shots in his brief action, and left with the Islanders leading 3-2.

Wade Dubielewicz, who gave up eight goals on 42 shots in New York's 8-1 loss at Toronto on Oct. 11, came on in relief.

Toskala had played in 16 straight games, including 12 consecutive starts after Toronto was outscored 8-2 in back-to-back consecutive road losses to Dallas and Phoenix on Nov. 23-24.

Andrew Raycroft allowed two goals on seven shots in the opening 8:24 against Phoenix and hadn't played since. He got the start Wednesday night and was touched for three goals on 14 shots in the first period.

The Islanders hadn't scored as many as two goals in a first period since they had three on opening night in Buffalo on Oct. 5.

Scott Clemmensen, best known for his time as Martin Brodeur's backup in New Jersey, was recalled from AHL Toronto.

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Hockey Today - Dec. 27
ASSOCIATED PRESS

SCOREBOARD

Thursday, Dec. 27

Florida at Atlanta (7 p.m. EST). The Panthers are tied for second in the Southeast Division with the Thrashers, who are led by league goal-scoring leader Ilya Kovalchuk.

STARS

Wednesday

-Jaromir Jagr, Rangers, scored twice to lead New York past Carolina 4-2.

-Pascal Leclaire, Blue Jackets, made 21 saves for his league-leading seventh shutout and Columbus blanked Atlanta 2-0.

-Chris Osgood, Red Wings, stopped 20 shots for his 45th career shutout, leading Detroit to a 5-0 victory over St. Louis.

-Mike Comrie, Islanders, scored twice, including with 9.6 seconds left in overtime, to lift New York over Toronto 4-3.

-Robert Lang, Red Wings, scored two goals in the third period and Chicago defeated Nashville 5-2.

-Brenden Morrow and Mike Ribeiro, Stars. Morrow had two goals and Ribeiro scored his 20th goal and added two assists in Dallas' 8-3 rout of Minnesota.

-Milan Michalek, Sharks, scored two goals to help San Jose squeak by Los Angeles 3-2.

REWARDED

Washington ended a three-game skid by beating Tampa Bay 3-2 on Wednesday just hours after the team removed the ''interim'' tag from coach Bruce Boudreau's title. The Capitals improved to 8-5-3 under Boudreau, who took over for the fired Glen Hanlon on Thanksgiving.

FOR THE RECORD

San Jose set a club record with its seventh consecutive road victory, beating Los Angeles 3-2 on Wednesday and handing the Kings their eighth straight loss overall. The previous club mark for consecutive road wins was Nov. 30-Dec. 19, 2001. The losing streak is the Kings' longest since 2003-04, when they dropped their final 11 games.

SHOOTING STARS

Dallas pounded Minnesota 8-3 on Wednesday to move to 10-1-1 in its past 12 meetings with the Wild. The Stars had their biggest scoring game since a 9-1 win over Chicago on Nov. 4, 2005. Minnesota's previous season high for goals allowed was six on Nov. 16 at Vancouver.

BOUNCING BACK

Wade Dubielewicz stopped 21 of 22 shots in relief of injured starter Rick DiPietro in the New York Islanders' 4-3 overtime victory over Toronto on Wednesday. Dubielewicz rebounded from his previous outing against the Maple Leafs, an 8-1 loss on Oct. 11. ... Chris Osgood made 20 saves to lead Detroit past St. Louis 5-0, bouncing back from a 3-2 loss to the Blues on Dec. 20 that snapped his eight-game unbeaten streak.

STREAKS

Scott Gomez registered two assists in the New York Rangers' 4-2 win over Carolina on Wednesday, extending his point-scoring streak to 10. ... Ilya Kovalchuk played in his 165th consecutive game, a 2-0 loss to Columbus, to set a new Thrashers franchise record. ... Jason Spezza extended his point streak to eight games, his third streak of eight or more games this season in Ottawa's 5-3 win over Buffalo, its second straight and eighth in 10 games. ... The New York Islanders beat Toronto 4-3 in overtime to win their third straight, including consecutive home victories in overtime. ... Patrick Sharp, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane each had a goal and assist as Chicago beat Nashville 5-2 for its season-high fourth straight win.

SNAPPED

Jaromir Jagr scored twice to end a 10-game drought without a goal and help the New York Rangers beat Carolina 4-2 on Wednesday. The Rangers snapped a three-game slide with the win, just their third in 11 games. The Hurricanes had won three of four. Ottawa upended Buffalo 5-3 to snap the Sabres' season-high six-game winning streak. Buffalo lost for just the fifth time in the past 18 games. ... Columbus shut out Atlanta 2-0 to end the Thrashers' four-game winning streak.

STRONG IN DEFEAT

Vincent Lecavalier scored both Tampa Bay goals in a 3-2 loss to Washington on Wednesday. The Lightning have lost five of six and are an NHL-worst 3-13-1 on the road. ... Alex Steen scored twice in Toronto's 4-3 overtime loss to the New York Islanders. The Maple Leafs are 1-2-2 in their past five, all on the road. ... Pavol Demitra scored two goals in Minnesota's 8-3 loss to Dallas.

EXTENSION

Nicklas Lidstrom and the Red Wings agreed to a two-year extension that will keep the star defenseman under contract with Detroit through the 2009-10 season. The deal is worth about $15 million. Lidstrom celebrated the new contract by scoring his fifth goal of the season in a 5-0 win over St. Louis on Wednesday.

SPEAKING

''It shook whatever's left of my brain cells.'' - Ottawa goalie Martin Gerber, after taking a slap shot off his mask 4 minutes into the first period of the Senators' 5-3 win over Buffalo on Wednesday. Gerber stayed in the game and made 29 saves for the victory.

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Thursday's NHL matchup notes
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Toronto at Philadelphia

The Flyers are 0-5-1 in their last six meetings with Toronto, including an 0-3-1 mark last season.

Florida at Atlanta


The Thrashers look to win their 12th straight home game over the Panthers on Thursday night at Philips Arena.

Montreal at Tampa Bay

Montreal has won three of its last four in Tampa Bay.

N.Y. Islanders at Ottawa

The Islanders are also just 5-17-0 with five ties in Ottawa since the Senators franchise began play in 1993, and haven't won there since March 15, 2003.

Washington at Pittsburgh

The Penguins are 8-1-0 against the Capitals since Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin entered the league.

Columbus at Nashville

The Predators look to defeat the Blue Jackets for the 12th straight time. The Predators have thrived against the Blue Jackets, outscoring them 11-5 to win all three meetings in 2007-08. Nashville has won 11 straight over Columbus since the start of last season.

Detroit at Colorado

The Avalanche and Red Wings split the four-game season series in 2006-07 with each team winning once at home and on the road.

Anaheim at Edmonton

The Oilers have won all three meetings this season against the Ducks, outscoring them 12-3.

Minnesota at Phoenix

The Wild have won five straight games over the Coyotes - including two this season - by a combined 14-5 margin.

Calgary at Vancouver

The Canucks have won seven of the last nine meetings, including a 4-1 home victory on Nov. 18 in the most recent matchup.

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Florida Panthers vs. Atlanta Thrashers

- The fans at Philips Arena will be treated to a game between the Florida Panthers and the Atlanta Thrashers when they take their seats on Thursday.

Olli Jokinen scored the lone goal for the Panthers in their 2-1 overtime loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night.

The Leafs upset the Panthers as +116 road underdogs as the teams played under the 5.5-goal total listed by sportsbooks.

Atlanta were shut out 2-0 by Columbus last time out, as +120 road underdogs. The two goals were UNDER the posted over/under (5.5).

Kari Lehtonen stopped 26-of-28 shots in the loss for Atlanta.

Team records:
Florida: 17-16-3
Atlanta: 18-18-1

Florida most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 6-4
Before playing NY Rangers are 6-4
After playing Toronto are 7-3
After a loss are 5-5

Atlanta most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 8-2
Before playing NY Rangers are 4-6
After playing Columbus are 3-3-1
After a loss are 5-5

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

Next up:
Florida home to Montreal, Friday, December 28
Atlanta home to Boston, Saturday, December 29

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Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Philadelphia Flyers

- The Toronto Maple Leafs and the Philadelphia Flyers will both be trying to pick up a win on Thursday when they battle at Wachovia Center.

The Maple Leafs fell 4-3 in overtime to the Islanders last time out, as +105 underdogs. The combined score made it OVER the posted over/under (5.5).

Alexander Steen scored twice for the Maple Leafs, and Mark Bell had the other marker in the loss. Andrew Raycroft made 24 saves in his first start in over a month.

Mike Richards had two goals and an assist in the Flyers' 6-5 shootout loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night.

The Sabres upset the Flyers as +119 road underdogs as the teams played well over the 6-goal total set by oddsmakers.

Current streak:
Philadelphia has lost 6 straight games.

Team records:
Toronto: 15-14-8
Philadelphia: 16-14-4

Toronto most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 4-5-1
Before playing San Jose are 3-3-2
After playing NY Islanders are 5-5
After a loss are 4-6

Philadelphia most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 4-5-1
Before playing Tampa Bay are 6-4
After playing Buffalo are 2-8
After a loss are 5-5

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

Next up:
Toronto home to NY Rangers, Saturday, December 29
Philadelphia at Tampa Bay, Saturday, December 29

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Montreal Canadiens vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

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

The Canadiens lost to Dallas 4-1 as a +145 underdog last time out. The five runs scored fell UNDER the posted over/under total (5.5).

Andrei Markov scored Montreal's lone goal, while Carey Price stopped 17-of-21 shots in the loss.

The Lightning were defeated 3-2 by the Capitals last time out, as +115 road underdogs. The five goals were UNDER the posted over/under (6).

Vincent Lecavalier scored both goals in a losing effort for the Lightning.

Current streak:
Montreal has lost 2 straight games.
Tampa Bay has lost 2 straight games.

Team records:
Montreal: 17-13-6
Tampa Bay: 15-19-3

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

Tampa Bay most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 5-5
Before playing St. Louis are 3-7
After playing Washington are 6-4
After a loss are 3-7

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Montreal's last 7 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Montreal's last 6 games when playing Tampa Bay
Montreal is 6-3 SU in its last 9 games when playing Tampa Bay
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Montreal's last 6 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Tampa Bay's last 6 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Tampa Bay's last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Tampa Bay's last 6 games when playing Montreal
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Tampa Bay's last 6 games when playing at home against Montreal

Next up:
Montreal at Florida, Friday, December 28
Tampa Bay home to Philadelphia, Saturday, December 29

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New York Islanders vs. Ottawa Senators

- The fans at Scotiabank Place will be treated to a game between the New York Islanders and the Ottawa Senators when they take their seats on Thursday.

Mike Comrie scored with just 10 seconds remaining in overtime for his second of the night, leading the Islanders to a 4-3 win over the Maple Leafs last time out as -125 favorites. The combined score made it OVER the posted over/under (5.5).

Andy Hilbert and Bill Guerin also tallied in the win, and Wade Dubielewicz made 22 saves in replacing the injuried Rick DiPietro.

The Senators continued their dominance with a 5-3 win over the Sabres last time out, at -110 odds. The eight goals made it OVER the posted over/under (6).

Antoine Vermette, Wade Redden, Mike Fisher, Daniel Alfredsson and Dany Heatley replied for the Senators. Martin Gerber made 29 saves for the victory.

Current streak:
New York has won 3 straight games.
Ottawa has won 2 straight games.

Team records:
New York: 18-15-2
Ottawa: 24-8-4

New York most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 4-5-1
Before playing New Jersey are 6-4
After playing Toronto are 7-3
After a win are 4-6

Ottawa most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 6-3-1
Before playing Boston are 8-2
After playing Buffalo are 6-4
After a win are 7-3

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 17 of the NY Islanders last 23 games
NY Islanders are 4-2 SU in their last 6 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of the NY Islanders last 6 games on the road
NY Islanders are 2-5 SU in their last 7 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Ottawa's last 5 games at home
Ottawa is 8-1 SU in their last 9 games when playing NY Islanders
Ottawa is 7-0-1 SU in their last 8 games when playing at home against NY Islanders
Ottawa is 8-2 SU in its last 10 games

Next up:
NY Islanders home to New Jersey, Saturday, December 29
Ottawa home to Washington, Saturday, December 29

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Washington Capitals vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

- The Washington Capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins will both be trying to pick up a win on Thursday when they battle at Mellon Arena.

Matt Bradley scored at 17:07 of the third period on Wednesday, giving the Capitals a 3-2 win over the Lightning. The Capitals won the game as -135 favorites, and the five goals were UNDER the posted over/under (6).

Dave Steckel had a goal and two assists, while Brian Pothier potted the other goal in the victory.

The Penguins defeated Boston 4-2 as a -180 favorite last time out. The six goals scored went OVER the posted over/under total (5.5).

Gary Roberts scored a pair of goals and added an assist for Pittsburgh, while Georges Laraque had a goal and an assist in the win.

Team records:
Washington: 14-19-4
Pittsburgh: 18-16-2

Washington most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 2-8
Before playing Calgary are 5-5
After playing Tampa Bay are 1-9
After a win are 3-7

Pittsburgh most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 3-6-1
Before playing Ottawa are 4-6
After playing Boston are 4-6
After a win are 5-5

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 8 of Washington's last 11 games when playing Pittsburgh
Washington is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games
Washington is 5-12 SU in its last 17 games on the road
Washington is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing Washington
Pittsburgh is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Washington
The total has gone OVER in 8 of Pittsburgh's last 11 games when playing Washington
The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Pittsburgh's last 11 games at home

Next up:
Washington at Ottawa, Saturday, December 29
Pittsburgh home to Buffalo, Saturday, December 29

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Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Nashville Predators

- The Columbus Blue Jackets and the Nashville Predators will both be trying to pick up a win on Thursday when they battle at Sommet Center.

Pascal LeClaire stopped all 21 shots in leading the Blue Jackets to a 2-0 shutout win over the Thrashers last time out, as -140 favorites. The two goals were UNDER the posted over/under (5.5).

Dan Fritsche scored on the power play, and Jared Boll added an even strength marker in the win.

The Predators lost 5-2 to the Blackhawks last time out, as +115 road underdogs. The seven goals made it OVER the posted over/under (5.5).

Alexander Radulov and Marek Zidlicky answered for the Predators.

Team records:
Columbus: 16-14-6
Nashville: 16-17-2

Columbus most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 7-3
Before playing Carolina are 3-3-1
After playing Atlanta are 4-4-1
After a win are 2-8

Nashville most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 7-3
Before playing Minnesota are 7-3
After playing Chicago are 6-4
After a loss are 4-6

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Columbus's last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Columbus's last 5 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Columbus's last 9 games when playing Nashville
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Columbus's last 6 games when playing on the road against Nashville
Nashville is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing Columbus
Nashville is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Columbus
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Nashville's last 9 games when playing Columbus
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Nashville's last 6 games at home

Next up:
Columbus home to Carolina, Saturday, December 29
Nashville home to San Jose, Saturday, December 29

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Detroit Red Wings vs. Colorado Avalanche

- The fans at Pepsi Center will be treated to a game between the Detroit Red Wings and the Colorado Avalanche when they take their seats on Thursday.

Chris Osgood stopped all 20 shots Wednesday, as the Red Wings shut out the Blues 5-0. The Red Wings won the game as -155 favorites, and the five goals were a PUSH against the posted over/under (5).

Valtteri Filppula scored two goals for the Red Wings, while Nicklas Lidstrom, Jiri Hudler and Brian Rafalski added the other markers in the win.

The Avalanche defeated Vancouver 3-1 as a -125 favorite last time out. The four goals scored fell UNDER the posted over/under total (5).

Marek Svatos scored a goal and had an assist for Colorado, while Peter Budaj made 21 saves in the win.

Current streak:
Detroit has won 2 straight games.
Colorado has won 2 straight games.

Team records:
Detroit: 27-7-3
Colorado: 21-13-2

Detroit most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 9-1
Before playing Edmonton are 5-5
After playing St. Louis are 7-3
After a win are 8-2

Colorado most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 7-3
Before playing Buffalo are 8-8-1
After playing Vancouver are 4-6
After a win are 4-6

A few trends to consider:
Detroit is 12-2 SU in its last 14 games
Detroit is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Colorado
Detroit is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games on the road
Detroit is 8-2 SU in its last 10 games when playing Colorado
Colorado is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Colorado's last 7 games
Colorado is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Colorado's last 6 games at home

Next up:
Detroit at Phoenix, Saturday, December 29
Colorado home to Los Angeles, Saturday, December 29

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Minnesota Wild vs. Phoenix Coyotes

- The fans at Jobing.com Arena will be treated to a game between the Minnesota Wild and the Phoenix Coyotes when they take their seats on Thursday.

The Wild were pounded 8-3 by the Stars on Wednesday, as +115 road underdogs. The combined 11 goals sailed OVER the posted over/under (5).

Pavol Demitra scored twice and Aaron Voros added a single in the loss.

Zbynek Michalek potted the lone marker for the Coyotes in their 2-1 shootout loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night.

The Canucks cashed as -112 road favorites as the teams played under the 5-goal total set by sportsbooks.

Current streak:
Minnesota has lost 2 straight games.

Team records:
Minnesota: 20-14-2
Phoenix: 17-16-1

Minnesota most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 3-6-1
Before playing Florida are 2-2-2
After playing Dallas are 5-5-1
After a loss are 6-4

Phoenix most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 3-7
Before playing Chicago are 4-6
After playing Vancouver are 2-8
After a loss are 5-5

A few trends to consider:
Minnesota is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing Phoenix
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Minnesota's last 5 games when playing Phoenix
Minnesota is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games
Phoenix is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Phoenix's last 5 games when playing Minnesota
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Phoenix's last 5 games at home
Phoenix is 4-9 SU in its last 13 games at home

Next up:
Minnesota home to Edmonton, Saturday, December 29
Phoenix home to Detroit, Saturday, December 29

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Anaheim Ducks vs. Edmonton Oilers

- The fans at Rexall Place will be treated to a game between the Anaheim Ducks and the Edmonton Oilers when they take their seats on Thursday.

Chris Pronger had a goal and an assist as the Ducks defeated the San Jose Sharks 5-2 on Saturday night.

The Ducks upset the Sharks as +134 road underdogs as the game played over the 5-goal total listed by oddsmakers.

The Oilers lost to Chicago 3-2 as a +115 underdog last time out. The combined score fell UNDER the posted over/under total (5.5).

Tom Gilbert and Dustin Penner each scored a goal for Edmonton, while Mathieu Garon made 31 saves on 34 shots in the loss.

Current streak:
Anaheim has won 3 straight games.
Edmonton has lost 3 straight games.

Team records:
Anaheim: 18-15-5
Edmonton: 16-18-3

Anaheim most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 2-7-1
Before playing Calgary are 5-5
After playing San Jose are 4-6
After a win are 5-5

Edmonton most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 4-6
Before playing Detroit are 8-2
After playing Chicago are 4-4-1
After a loss are 5-5

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Anaheim's last 6 games on the road
Anaheim is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games on the road
Anaheim is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games when playing Edmonton
Anaheim is 2-15 SU in its last 17 games when playing on the road against Edmonton
Edmonton is 15-2 SU in its last 17 games when playing at home against Anaheim
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Edmonton's last 5 games
Edmonton is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing Anaheim
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Edmonton's last 9 games at home

Next up:
Anaheim at Calgary, Saturday, December 29
Edmonton at Minnesota, Saturday, December 29

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Calgary Flames vs. Vancouver Canucks

- The Calgary Flames and the Vancouver Canucks will both be gunning for a victory on Thursday when they meet at General Motors Place.

The Flames lost to New Jersey 1-0 in overtime as a -145 favorite last time out. The one goal scored fell UNDER the posted over/under total (5).

Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 21-of-22 shots for Calgary in the loss.

The Canucks lost to Colorado 3-1 as a +105 underdog last time out. The four goals scored fell UNDER the posted over/under total (5).

Taylor Pyatt scored the Canucks' lone goal, while Roberto Luongo stopped 29-of-32 shots.

Current streak:
Calgary has lost 2 straight games.

Team records:
Calgary: 17-13-7
Vancouver: 20-13-4

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

Vancouver most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 7-3
Before playing San Jose are 5-5
After playing Colorado are 7-3
After a loss are 7-3

A few trends to consider:
Calgary is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games on the road
Calgary is 6-2 SU in its last 8 games
Calgary is 2-5 SU in its last 7 games when playing on the road against Vancouver
Calgary is 2-7 SU in its last 9 games when playing Vancouver
Vancouver is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games at home
Vancouver is 7-2 SU in its last 9 games when playing Calgary
Vancouver is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games when playing at home against Calgary
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Vancouver's last 6 games at home

Next up:
Calgary home to Anaheim, Saturday, December 29
Vancouver home to Anaheim, Sunday, December 30

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Ducks' Pahlsson will stay home because of injury

Defenseman will skip trip because of abdominal strain.

December 27, 2007

As one key member of the Ducks' penalty-killing unit begins his first extended trip of the season, another is staying home.

Center Samuel Pahlsson, who emerged as a defensive star during Anaheim's run to the Stanley Cup title last spring, will not make the three-game Canadian swing that begins tonight at Edmonton because of an abdominal strain, Coach Randy Carlyle said after practice Wednesday.

"It's just something that has been bothering him periodically," said Carlyle, who made the decision Tuesday. "It's best to give him pretty close until the new year."

Pahlsson also missed the first five games this season after undergoing hernia surgery in early September. Before that stretch, he had not missed a game since February 2003.

"He kills penalties," veteran defenseman Chris Pronger said. "That's invaluable with the number of starters around our league that can produce and put the puck in the net."

His absence increases the value of another veteran penalty killer, Scott Niedermayer, who returned from a hockey sabbatical Dec. 16. The Ducks (18-15-3) lost to San Jose in his return but have since won three in a row.

Niedermayer's presence on the ice has been a big lift, but Carlyle also has noticed a difference in the team's work ethic.

Because the front office was forced to make a roster move before Niedermayer could be activated, Carlyle said he sensed an uncertainty in the locker room. That changed when the Ducks traded center Andy McDonald to St. Louis on Dec. 14.

"It's not easy to come to work every day, knowing that one guy is not going to be in that room tomorrow," Carlyle said.

Brian Sutherby may be close to returning from a groin injury that has kept him out since Dec. 2. He practiced with the team Wednesday.

TONIGHT

at Edmonton, 6 PST, FSN West

Site -- Philips Arena.

Radio -- 830.

Records -- Ducks 18-15-5; Oilers 16-18-3.

Record vs. Oilers -- 0-2-1.

Update -- Edmonton could be without No. 2 scorer Ales Hemsky, who left in the second period Sunday with a knee injury after colliding with Chicago's Martin Lapointe in a 3-2 loss.

latimes.com

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