Hockey Today - Dec. 30

Hockey Today - Dec. 30

Sunday's NHL matchup notes
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Philadelphia at Florida

The Panthers have won five straight against the Flyers, including a 4-3 home victory on Oct. 24.

Los Angeles at Chicago

Chicago has won four of five over Los Angeles. Nikolai Khabibulin has won five of his last six games versus the Kings, and is 18-8-0 with a tie against them in his career.

Montreal at N.Y. Rangers

The Rangers won three of four meetings against Montreal last season - including both games at Madison Square Garden.

Anaheim at Vancouver

The Canucks have won both meetings with the Ducks this season. However, before a 4-0 win on Nov. 27, they had dropped six straight at home in the series.

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Penguins' Gary Roberts breaks left leg, out indefinitely
ASSOCIATED PRESS

PITTSBURGH -- Penguins forward Gary Roberts broke his left leg while tangling awkwardly with Buffalo's Tim Connolly midway through the second period of Pittsburgh's 2-0 win Saturday night.

As Connolly fell in the left circle in Buffalo's end, the 41-year-old Roberts went down with him and struck his left leg hard on the ice, breaking his fibula.

A stretcher was brought out but Roberts did not use it, limping off the ice with assistance.

''I don't know who got a piece of me but I fell,'' Connolly said. ''I'm not sure exactly what happened but I was surprised to see him down. It's a freak accident, and I wish something like that doesn't happen.''

Roberts, who re-signed with Pittsburgh after playing a key role in the Penguins' playoff drive last season, was honored before the game for recently scoring his 900th career point. Roberts has three goals and 12 assists in 37 games this season, the oldest player on one of the league's youngest teams.

Roberts, a left wing who broke into the NHL with Calgary during the 1986-87 season, has 434 goals and 469 assists for 903 points in 1,192 career games.

''There's no doubt, Gary was doing a great job as a true leader for a lot of guys,'' coach Michel Therrien said. ''The young players on the team will have to compensate for the leadership that we won't have from Gary Roberts and we don't know for how long.''

Roberts is the second veteran Penguins player to be seriously hurt in less than a week. Defenseman Mark Eaton is out indefinitely after tearing a knee ligament Sunday against Boston.

The Penguins also are without goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (sprained ankle), who hasn't played since Dec. 5 and may not return until February.

''It's been tough, seeing guys like that, real key guys, go down,'' forward Colby Armstrong said. ''When you see a guy like that laying on the ice, for sure, it's tough.''

Despite the injuries, the Penguins have won seven of 11 and are four games above .500 (20-16-20 for the first time this season after beating Buffalo 2-0.

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Philadelphia Flyers vs. Florida Panthers

- The Philadelphia Flyers and the Florida Panthers will both be gunning for a victory on Sunday when they meet at BankAtlantic Center.

Philadelphia netted a pair of power-play goals in Saturday's 4-2 win at Tampa Bay, coming in as -130 road favorites. The six goals scored were a PUSH with the posted total of 6.

Joffrey Lupul opened the scoring with a penalty shot, and Martin Biron stopped 31 shots for the Flyers.

Florida fell behind early in Friday's 5-1 loss to Montreal, coming in as -135 home favorites. The six goals scored were OVER the posted total of 5.5.

Olli Jokinen tallied a short-handed goal, while Tomas Vokoun allowed four goals on nine shots for the Panthers.

Current streak:
Philadelphia has won 2 straight games.

Team records:
Philadelphia: 18-14-4
Florida: 18-17-3

Philadelphia most recently:
When playing on Sunday are 6-4
Before playing Tampa Bay are 6-4
After playing Tampa Bay are 5-5
After a win are 2-8

Florida most recently:
When playing on Sunday are 4-5-1
Before playing NY Rangers are 6-4
After playing Montreal are 2-8
After a loss are 6-4

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Philadelphia's last 7 games when playing Florida
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Philadelphia's last 5 games when playing on the road against Florida
Philadelphia is 17-6-1 SU in its last 24 games when playing on the road against Florida
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Philadelphia's last 6 games on the road
Florida is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing Philadelphia
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Florida's last 7 games when playing Philadelphia
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Florida's last 5 games when playing at home against Philadelphia
Florida is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games

Next up:
Philadelphia at New Jersey, Friday, January 4
Florida at New Jersey, Wednesday, January 2

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Los Angeles Kings vs. Chicago Blackhawks

- The Los Angeles Kings and the Chicago Blackhawks will both be gunning for a victory on Sunday when they meet at United Center.

Los Angeles scored three third-period goals in Saturday's 3-1 win at Colorado, coming in as 200 road underdogs. The four goal scored were UNDER the posted total of 6.

Scott Thornton scored the game-winner, and Jean-Sebastien Aubin made 29 saves for the Kings.

Robert Lang scored twice in leading the Blackhawks to a 5-2 victory over the Predators on Wednesday, as -135 favorites. The seven goals made it OVER the posted over/under (5.5).

Patrick Sharp, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane also scored for the Blackhawks. Nikolai Khabibulin made 30 saves for the win.

Current streak:
Chicago has won 4 straight games.

Team records:
Los Angeles: 13-24-2
Chicago: 19-15-2

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

Chicago most recently:
When playing on Sunday are 5-4-1
Before playing Edmonton are 6-4
After playing Nashville are 6-4
After a win are 6-4

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Los Angeles's last 6 games when playing on the road against Chicago
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Los Angeles's last 8 games
The total has gone UNDER in 9 of Los Angeles's last 12 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Los Angeles's last 11 games when playing Chicago
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Chicago's last 6 games when playing at home against Los Angeles
Chicago is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing Los Angeles
Chicago is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games at home
Chicago is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games

Next up:
Chicago at Los Angeles, Tuesday, January 1

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Montreal Canadiens vs. New York Rangers

- The Montreal Canadiens and the New York Rangers will both be gunning for a victory on Sunday when they meet at Madison Square Garden.

Montreal raced out to a 4-0 lead in Friday's 5-1 win at Florida, coming in as 115 road underdogs. The six goals scored were OVER the posted total of 5.5.

Chris Higgins notched a goal and two assists, and Cristobal Huet made 40 saves for the Canadiens.

Jaromir Jagr had a goal and three assists as the Rangers defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-1 on Saturday night.

The Rangers won as -107 road favorites as the teams played over the 5.5-goal total set by oddsmakers.

Current streak:
Montreal has won 2 straight games.
New York has won 2 straight games.

Team records:
Montreal: 19-13-6
New York: 19-15-4

Montreal most recently:
When playing on Sunday are 2-8
Before playing Tampa Bay are 7-3
After playing Florida are 4-6
After a win are 2-8

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

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Montreal's last 10 games when playing on the road against NY Rangers
Montreal is 6-2 SU in their last 8 games when playing on the road against NY Rangers
Montreal is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Montreal's last 6 games when playing NY Rangers
The total has gone OVER in 4 of the NY Rangers last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 8 of the NY Rangers last 10 games when playing at home against Montreal
The total has gone UNDER in 13 of the NY Rangers last 19 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of the NY Rangers last 6 games when playing Montreal

Next up:
Montreal home to Tampa Bay, Thursday, January 3
NY Rangers at Calgary, Wednesday, January 2

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Anaheim Ducks vs. Vancouver Canucks

- The Anaheim Ducks and the Vancouver Canucks will both be trying to pick up a win on Sunday when they battle at General Motors Place.

Todd Bertuzzi, Scott Niedermayer, and George Parros had markers for the Ducks in their 5-3 loss to the Calgary Flames on Saturday night.

The Flames won as -122 home favorites as the teams played over the 5-goal total listed by oddsmakers.

The Canucks broke open a tie-game and came away with a 5-3 win over the Flames last time out, as -150 favorites. The eight goals sailed OVER the posted over/under (5).

Mason Raymond, Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, Sami Salo and Taylor Pyatt scored for the Canucks. Roberto Luongo made 29 saves for the victory.

Team records:
Anaheim: 19-16-5
Vancouver: 21-13-4

Anaheim most recently:
When playing on Sunday are 8-1-1
Before playing Columbus are 5-5
After playing Calgary are 8-2
After a loss are 6-4

Vancouver most recently:
When playing on Sunday are 5-3-2
Before playing San Jose are 5-5
After playing Calgary are 8-2
After a win are 5-5

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

Next up:
Anaheim home to Columbus, Wednesday, January 2
Vancouver at Calgary, Monday, December 31

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Moreau's back for Oilers after more than 14 months
ASSOCIATED PRESS

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Edmonton captain Ethan Moreau was in the Oilers' starting lineup for Saturday's game at Minnesota, marking his long-awaited return from an injury absence that lasted more than 14 months.

The 32-year-old left wing, who helped the Oilers reach the Stanley Cup finals in 2006, dislocated his right shoulder just eight games into last season and didn't play again. He had recently signed a four-year contract extension through 2011, before getting hurt.

Then in September, Moreau took a slap shot off his left ankle in a preseason game. He was supposed to miss a few weeks, but the injury was later discovered to be worse than initially diagnosed.

Moreau, a first-round draft pick by the Chicago Blackhawks in 1994, has 224 points in 685 career games.

Saturday night, he started on a line with Andrew Cogliano and Fernando Pisani against the Wild and assisted on Cogliano's first-period goal. He played over 17 minutes as the Oilers lost in overtime 5-4.

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