Hockey Today - Dec. 28

Hockey Today - Dec. 28

Sakic to have hernia surgery, out 8-12 weeks
December 27, 2007

Associated Press

DENVER (AP) -- Joe Sakic will undergo hernia surgery Friday, and the Colorado Avalanche captain will be out of action for up to three months.

Sakic has been out since Nov. 30, missing 12 games. The operation will keep the 38-year-old center sidelined for eight-to-12 weeks.

"Joe's rehabilitation has not progressed as anticipated and upon further evaluation the decision has been made to perform surgery in order for him to fully recover," Avalanche team physician Andy Parker said Thursday in a statement released by the club.

Before sitting out against San Jose on Nov. 30, Sakic, who has seven goals and 15 assists in 24 games this season, had played in 232 consecutive games -- dating to Jan. 6, 2004.

"After consulting with the doctors we believe this procedure will enable me to return to the lineup," Sakic said in a statement.

Sakic, in his 19th NHL season, ranks eighth on the league's career points list with 1,611. He is 11th in assists (994) and 14th in goals (617).

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Re: Hockey Today - Dec. 28

Blue Jackets put Malhotra, Peca on IR
December 27, 2007

Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- The Blue Jackets placed centers Manny Malhotra and Michael Peca on injured reserve Thursday.

Columbus also added left wing Joakim Lindstrom and center Andrew Murray on emergency recall from its American Hockey League affiliate in Syracuse, N.Y.

Malhotra was placed on the injured reserve list retroactive to Dec. 12 due to a knee injury. Peca has lingering effects of a blow to the head suffered against Nashville on Dec. 23.

Lindstrom has a goal in three games with Columbus this season, picking up his second career NHL goal against Colorado on Dec. 5. Columbus. Murray has 13 goals and two assists in 34 games with Syracuse this season.

A player on injured reserve is ineligible to compete in games for at least a week.

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Re: Hockey Today - Dec. 28

Friday's NHL matchup notes
By ASSOCIATED PRESS

Buffalo at New Jersey

The Devils, who have played an NHL-high 22 road games, play three of their next four at home, where they have won nine of 10 against the Sabres.

Boston at Carolina

The Bruins have dropped three of four in Carolina. However, since the start of the 2003-04 season, Boston has won just three times in 12 games against the Hurricanes.

Montreal at Florida


The Canadiens haven't beaten Florida since a 1-0 shootout win Nov. 28, 2006. Montreal has lost five of its last six on the road in the series.

San Jose at St. Louis

The Sharks have dominated the Blues in recent years, going 8-1-1 in the past 10 meetings.

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Re: Hockey Today - Dec. 28

Hockey Today - Friday, Dec. 28
ASSOCIATED PRESS

SCOREBOARD

Friday, Dec. 28

Buffalo at New Jersey (7 p.m. EST). New Jersey's Martin Brodeur recently moved into second place on the career shutouts list with 95.

STARS

Thursday

-Sergei Gonchar, Penguins, tallied in overtime to help Pittsburgh rally past Washington 4-3.

-Valtteri Filppula, Red Wings, scored two goals for the second straight game in Detroit's 4-2 win over Colorado.

-Joffrey Lupul, Flyers, scored twice in Philadelphia's 4-1 victory over Toronto.

-Nathan Horton, Panthers, scored twice to push Florida past Atlanta 5-3.

-Niklas Backstrom, Wild, made 46 saves to lead Minnesota past Phoenix 3-2.

YOUNG STARS

Sidney Crosby had two assists in Pittsburgh's 4-3 overtime win over Washington on Thursday, continuing to win his head-to-head matchup against Alex Ovechkin despite Ovechkin's 26th goal. Crosby has 17 points in 10 career games against Ovechkin - nine of them Penguins victories. Ovechkin, who has four goals and 10 points against Pittsburgh, hasn't gone consecutive games without a goal since Nov. 5-6.

MILESTONES

Jason Spezza scored a power-play goal for his 300th NHL point, leading Ottawa to a 5-2 win over the New York Islanders on Thursday. Spezza earned his milestone point in his 277th regular-season game with his 13th goal of the season in the second period. He added his 301st point with an assist 1:43 later. ... Nashville edged Columbus 4-3 to mark the 300th win for both the Predators and Barry Trotz, marking the 18th time a coach has won 300 games with an NHL team.

RED DECEMBER

Valtteri Filppula scored two goals for the second straight game and Dominik Hasek made 22 saves in Detroit's 4-2 win over Colorado on Thursday. It was the Red Wings' 11th win in December and their 13th victory in 15 games.

PROVIDING A SPARK

Doug Weight scored a tiebreaking goal with 3:39 left to lift Anaheim over Edmonton 2-1 on Thursday. The Ducks (19-15-5) improved to 4-0-1 since Scott Neidermayer returned. The playoff MVP had been contemplating retirement. The Oilers (16-19-3) suffered their fourth straight loss.

NO SUPPORT

Wade Dubielewicz, the Islanders' rarely used backup goalie, made 32 saves in just his third start of the season, a 5-2 loss to Ottawa on Thursday. Dubielewicz has allowed 17 goals in his three starts, while the Islanders have only scored three over that span. New York had a three-game winning streak snapped.

STREAKS

Mike Richards picked up an assist in Philadelphia's 4-1 win over Toronto to stretch his point streak at home to 16 games, tying a team record set by Bobby Clarke in the 1975-76 season. ... Martin Gerber stopped 24 shots to help Ottawa extend its winning streak to three with a 5-2 victory over the New York Islanders. The Senators have won nine of 11 (9-1-1).

SNAPPED

Nathan Horton scored two goals for the first time since March 27 to help Florida upend the Thrashers 5-3 on Thursday and end an 11-game losing streak in Atlanta. The Panthers had gone 0-10-1 at Philips Arena since November 2003. ... Philadelphia snapped a six-game slide with a 4-1 win over Toronto. The Flyers also snapped a six-game winless streak against the Maple Leafs (0-5-1). ... Jan Hlavac broke a 17-game goal drought in the final minute of Tampa Bay's 5-2 loss to Montreal. ... Vancouver downed Calgary 5-3 to hand the Flames their first regulation loss in December (7-1-4). Calgary was looking to tie a franchise record with its seventh straight road win.

STRONG IN DEFEAT


Ilya Kovalchuk scored his league-leading 30th and 31st goals in Atlanta's 5-3 loss to Florida on Thursday.

OUT

Joe Sakic will undergo hernia surgery Friday, and the Colorado captain will be out for up to three months. Sakic has been out since Nov. 30, missing 12 games. Before sitting out against San Jose on Nov. 30, Sakic had played in 232 consecutive games - dating to Jan. 6, 2004. Sakic, in his 19th NHL season, ranks eighth on the league's career points list with 1,611.

SPEAKING

''We have over 80 games, so I knew it was going to come sometime. It is a goal I will remember all my life. I haven't thought about it that much, but I knew it was going to come.'' - Nashville's Ville Koistinen, after his first NHL goal lifted the Predators over Columbus 4-3 on Thursday.

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Boston Bruins vs. Carolina Hurricanes

- The Boston Bruins and the Carolina Hurricanes will both be gunning for a victory on Friday when they meet at RBC Center.

The Bruins lost to Pittsburgh 4-2 as a +160 underdog last time out. The six goals scored went OVER the posted over/under total (5.5).

P.J. Axelsson and Petteri Nokelainen scored for Boston, while Alex Auld stopped 21 of the 24 shots he faced.

The Hurricanes allowed three goals in the final period in a 4-2 loss to the Rangers last time out, as +135 underdogs. The six goals made it OVER the posted over/under (5.5).

Scott Walker scored shorthanded, and Eric Staal replied on the power play in the loss for the Hurricanes.

Current streak:
Boston has lost 4 straight games.

Team records:
Boston: 18-14-4
Carolina: 19-16-3

Boston most recently:
When playing on Friday are 6-4
Before playing Ottawa are 4-6
After playing Pittsburgh are 2-8
After a loss are 6-4

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

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Boston's last 7 games when playing on the road against Carolina
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Boston's last 8 games when playing Carolina
Boston is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games on the road
Boston is 2-3-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Carolina
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Carolina's last 7 games when playing at home against Boston
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Carolina's last 8 games when playing Boston
Carolina is 6-2 SU in its last 8 games when playing Boston
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Carolina's last 6 games

Next up:
Boston at Atlanta, Saturday, December 29
Carolina at Columbus, Saturday, December 29

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Buffalo Sabres vs. New Jersey Devils

- The Buffalo Sabres and the New Jersey Devils will both be trying to pick up a win on Friday when they battle at Prudential Center.

The Sabres were defeatedc 5-3 by the Senators last time out, at -110 odds. The eight goals made it OVER the posted over/under (6).

Jochen Hecht, Brian Campbell and Adam Mair scored for the Sabres.

The Devils blanked Calgary 1-0 in overtime as a +125 underdog last time out. The one goal scored fell UNDER the posted over/under total (5).

Patrik Elias scored in overtime for New Jersey, while Martin Brodeur stopped all 30 shots he faced to earn the shutout.

Current streak:
New Jersey has won 2 straight games.

Team records:
Buffalo: 19-15-1
New Jersey: 20-13-3

Buffalo most recently:
When playing on Friday are 3-7
Before playing Colorado are 6-4
After playing Ottawa are 5-5
After a loss are 5-5

New Jersey most recently:
When playing on Friday are 7-3
Before playing Buffalo are 9-1
After playing Calgary are 7-7-1
After a win are 7-3

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

Next up:
Buffalo at Pittsburgh, Saturday, December 29
New Jersey at NY Islanders, Saturday, December 29

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Montreal Canadiens vs. Florida Panthers

- The fans at BankAtlantic Center will be treated to a game between the Montreal Canadiens and the Florida Panthers when they take their seats on Friday.

The Canadiens snapped a two-game losing skid with a convincing 5-2 win over the Lightning last time out, at -110 odds. The seven goals made it OVER the posted over/under (6).

Maxim Lapierre, Guillaume Latendresse, Alexei Kovalev, Andrei Markov and Andrei Kostitsyn scored for the Canadiens.

Tomas Vokoun made 38 saves Thursday night, as the Panthers defeated the Thrashers 5-3. The Panthers won the game as +105 underdogs, while the eight goals sailed OVER the posted over/under (5.5).

Nathan Horton scored twice for the Panthers, while Radek Dvorak, Ruslan Salei and Jay Bouwmeester added the other goals in the win.

Team records:
Montreal: 18-13-6
Florida: 18-16-3

Montreal most recently:
When playing on Friday are 7-3
Before playing NY Rangers are 7-3
After playing Tampa Bay are 3-7
After a win are 2-8

Florida most recently:
When playing on Friday are 4-5-1
Before playing NY Rangers are 6-4
After playing Atlanta are 5-5
After a win are 5-5

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

Next up:
Montreal at NY Rangers, Sunday, December 30
Florida home to Philadelphia, Sunday, December 30

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San Jose Sharks vs. St. Louis Blues

- The San Jose Sharks and the St. Louis Blues will both be gunning for a victory on Friday when they meet at Scottrade Center.

Milan Michalek scored twice to help the Sharks defeat the Kings 3-2 last time out, as -145 favorites. The five goals were UNDER the posted over/under (5.5).

Joe Pavelski scored the other goal for the Sharks, and Evgeni Nabokov stopped 29 shots in the win.

The Blues were shut out 5-0 by the Red Wings last time out, as +135 home underdogs. The five goals were a PUSH against the posted over/under (5).

Manny Legace allowed four goals on 16 shots, before being replaced in the loss.

Current streak:
St. Louis has lost 2 straight games.

Team records:
San Jose: 19-12-5
St. Louis: 18-13-3

San Jose most recently:
When playing on Friday are 2-8
Before playing Toronto are 2-2-3
After playing Los Angeles are 7-3
After a win are 6-4

St. Louis most recently:
When playing on Friday are 4-4-2
Before playing Tampa Bay are 4-4-1
After playing Detroit are 4-6
After a loss are 5-5

A few trends to consider:
San Jose is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games on the road
San Jose is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing on the road against St. Louis
San Jose is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing St. Louis
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of San Jose's last 5 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of St. Louis's last 10 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 4 of St. Louis's last 6 games when playing at home against San Jose
St. Louis is 2-6 SU in its last 8 games
St. Louis is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games when playing San Jose

Next up:
San Jose at Nashville, Saturday, December 29
St. Louis at Dallas, Saturday, December 29

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