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Hockey Today - Dec. 29

Hockey Today - Dec. 29

Sabres face tough weekend test

Buffalo at Pittsburgh

The Sabres then travel to Mellon Arena on Saturday to meet the Penguins. The Pens’ problem all season has been inconsistent goaltending, and it has not improved with Dany Sabourin between the pipes, while Marc-Andre Fleury heals a bad ankle sprain. The Sabres have won three of their last five meetings with the Penguins, who will have a rest advantage because of an off-day on Friday.


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Hockey Today - Saturday, Dec. 29


Saturday, Dec. 29

Buffalo at Pittsburgh (7:30 p.m. EST). The Sabres visit the Penguins in a preview of their Jan. 1 outdoor matchup in Buffalo.



-Evgeni Nabokov, Sharks, made 26 saves to earn his fifth shutout and league-leading 20th win as San Jose edged St. Louis 1-0.

-Martin Brodeur, Devils, stopped 26 shots and made three saves in the shootout to lift New Jersey to a 2-1 win over Buffalo.


Evgeni Nabokov stopped 26 shots to pick up his fifth shutout and league-leading 20th win to help San Jose extend its club-record road winning streak to eight games with a 1-0 win over St. Louis on Friday. The Sharks also set a team record by earning a point in their 11th straight road game (10-0-1). The Blues have not beaten San Jose at home since Dec. 18, 2003.


Mike Mottau's first goal since October got New Jersey even late in the third period and the Devils edged Buffalo 2-1 in a shootout on Friday to pick up their third straight win. New Jersey has scored just five goals in the spurt. It was Mottau's first goal in 30 games dating back to Oct. 6.


Guillaume Latendresse, Michael Ryder and Christopher Higgins scored on the first three shots of the game and Montreal routed Florida 5-1 on Friday. The Canadiens snapped a six-game winless streak against the Panthers. Florida had been 5-0-1 against Montreal the past two seasons. ... Buffalo earned a point but dropped its second straight following six consecutive wins, falling to New Jersey 2-1. The Sabres had a four-game road winning streak snapped.


The New York Islanders signed top prospect Kyle Okposo to a three-year, entry level contract on Friday. He will join the Islanders' organization, which selected him with the No. 7 pick in the 2006 NHL draft, after the junior tournament is over. He tallied 40 points in 40 games as a freshman at at Minnesota.


''I went to the bench and I asked (assistant coach) Jeff Daniels 'What do you think?' He said, 'Go to your butter,' and that's my move to my backhand.'' - Carolina's Chad LaRose, on his penalty-shot goal in the Hurricanes' 4-3 win over Boston on Friday.

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Saturday's NHL matchup notes

Philadelphia at Tampa Bay

Since January 2003, the Lightning are 6-1-0 at the St. Pete Times Forum against the Flyers, with the lone loss coming by one goal.

Los Angeles at Colorado

On Dec. 1, Ryan Symth scored two third-period goals to lead Colorado to a 5-2 victory over the Kings. Just 16 days later against Los Angeles, Smyth's power-play goal less than 3 minutes into the game started a three-goal first en route to a 4-2 triumph.

Washington at Ottawa

Alexander Ovechkin had a goal and an assist as Washington ended Ottawa's franchise-record eight-game win streak with a 4-1 road victory on Nov. 8.

N.Y. Rangers at Toronto

Toronto has won two of three meetings with the Rangers in 2007-08, both in New York.

New Jersey at N.Y. Islanders

New Jersey is 0-2-1 against the Islanders in 2007-08, all one-goal decisions including one in overtime. They've lost four straight in the series dating back to last season.

Boston at Atlanta

The Bruins visited Atlanta on Dec. 12, winning 5-3. That contest ended a six-game winning streak for the Thrashers against Boston.

Carolina at Columbus

Columbus has only beaten the Hurricanes twice in eight meetings. The teams have met in Columbus just three times, and Carolina has won the last two.

Buffalo at Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh has yet to win in regulation at home over Buffalo with Sidney Crosby, going 1-2-1 with the lone victory coming in a shootout.

San Jose at Nashville

The Sharks will try to snap a seven-game losing streak at Nashville since a 2-1 victory there on Oct. 24, 2002.

Edmonton at Minnesota

The Wild have won five straight over the Oilers in Minnesota, where they are 12-6-0 this season.

Detroit at Phoenix

The Red Wings have won both meetings this season against the Coyotes, and have outscored them 30-10 during a six-game win streak in the series.

St. Louis at Dallas

Dallas looks to snap a three-game skid against St. Louis when the teams meet for the first time this season.

Anaheim at Calgary

The Ducks had lost six straight at Calgary before Giguere made 38 saves in Anaheim's 4-1 victory on Nov. 29. Anaheim has won three of the last four overall meetings.

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Capitals recall goaltender Cassivi from Hershey AHL affiliate

ARLINGTON, Va. -- With backup goalie Brent Johnson out with a sprained knee, the Washington Capitals recalled Frederic Cassivi from the AHL's Hershey Bears on Friday.

Johnson sprained his left knee late in the first period of a 4-3 overtime loss in Pittsburgh on Thursday night and will be out at least a week.

Cassivi has played 13 career NHL games, including five with the Capitals in the last two seasons. He has a 10-10-1 record in 21 appearances for Hershey this season, posting a 3.10 goals-against average.

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Lightning place goalie Marc Denis on waivers

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Lightning placed backup goalie Marc Denis on waivers Friday.

Denis, who's in his ninth NHL season, has been a major disappointment since being acquired from Columbus in a June 2006 trade and signing a three-year, $8.6 million contract. He appeared in 10 games this season, going 1-5 with a 4.05 goals-against average and .859 save percentage.

If the 30-year-old clears waivers Saturday, the Lightning plan to reassign him to Norfolk of the American Hockey League.

Denis entered the season as Johan Holmqvist's backup, but dropped to third-string when the Lightning recalled rookie Karri Ramos from Norfolk last week. Denis was a healthy scratch for the four games Tampa Bay has played since Ramos was promoted and named the starter.

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