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Hockey Today - Jan. 6

Hockey Today - Jan. 6

Buffalo Sabres vs. Atlanta Thrashers

- The Buffalo Sabres and the Atlanta Thrashers will both be gunning for a victory on Sunday when they meet at Philips Arena.

Buffalo could not stop Ottawa's top line in Friday's 5-3 loss, falling as 100 home underdogs. The eight goals scored were OVER the posted total of 6.

Jochen Hecht netted a goal on the power play, and Ryan Miller stopped 13 shots for the Sabres.

Atlanta lost an early two-goal lead in Friday's 4-3 loss to Carolina, falling as -135 home favorites. The seven goals scored were OVER the posted total of 6.

Mark Recchi had a goal and an assist, while Kari Lehtonen stopped 29 shots for the Thrashers.

Current streak:
Buffalo has lost 5 straight games.

Team records:
Buffalo: 19-17-3
Atlanta: 20-21-1

Buffalo most recently:
When playing on Sunday are 5-4-1
Before playing Colorado are 6-4
After playing Ottawa are 5-5
After a loss are 4-6

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

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Buffalo's last 5 games when playing on the road against Atlanta
The total has gone UNDER in 9 of Buffalo's last 13 games on the road
Buffalo is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Buffalo's last 9 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Atlanta's last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Atlanta's last 5 games when playing at home against Buffalo
Atlanta is 7-3 SU in its last 10 games when playing at home against Buffalo
Atlanta is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games at home

Next up:
Buffalo at New Jersey, Tuesday, January 8
Atlanta home to Philadelphia, Tuesday, January 8

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Re: Hockey Today - Jan. 6

Detroit Red Wings vs. Chicago Blackhawks

- The Detroit Red Wings and the Chicago Blackhawks will both be trying to pick up a win on Sunday when they battle at United Center.

Dominik Hasek stopped 22 shots as the Detroit Red Wings defeated the Dallas Stars 3-0 on Saturday.

The Wings won as -127 road favorites as the teams played under the 5-goal total set by oddsmakers.

Chicago was outshot 32-21 in Friday's 2-1 loss at Anaheim, falling as 240 road underdogs. The three goals scored were UNDER the posted total of 5.

Patrick Sharp scored his 21st goal of the season, while Nikolai Khabibulin made 30 saves for the Blackhawks.

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

Team records:
Detroit: 31-8-3
Chicago: 19-18-3

Detroit most recently:
When playing on Sunday are 5-5
Before playing Edmonton are 5-5
After playing Dallas are 8-2
After a win are 7-3

Chicago most recently:
When playing on Sunday are 7-2-1
Before playing Edmonton are 6-4
After playing Anaheim are 4-6
After a loss are 3-7

A few trends to consider:
Detroit is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games on the road
Detroit is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games
Detroit is 15-6 SU in its last 21 games when playing Chicago
Detroit is 7-3 SU in its last 10 games when playing on the road against Chicago
Chicago is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing Detroit
Chicago is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games at home
Chicago is 3-7 SU in its last 10 games when playing at home against Detroit
Chicago is 6-15 SU in its last 21 games when playing Detroit

Next up:
Detroit home to Colorado, Tuesday, January 8
Chicago at Montreal, Tuesday, January 8

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Re: Hockey Today - Jan. 6

Blues activate Jackman off IR

St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - The St. Louis Blues have activated defenseman Barret Jackman off injured reserve.

Jackman suffered a concussion during a December 26 game against Detroit and missed four games.

In 34 games this season, Jackman has one goal and three assists. He is second on the team with 40 penalty minutes and owns a team-worst minus-14 rating.

The Blues sent defenseman Steve Wagner to Peoria of the AHL to open a roster spot. Wagner, recalled when Jackman went on IR, has two goals and six assists in 23 games for St. Louis this season.

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Re: Hockey Today - Jan. 6

Dallas Stars' ailing Zubov returns

Hand injury remains an issue, but veteran ends two-game hiatus

Sergei Zubov's left hand hurt, and Dallas Stars coach Dave Tippett conceded the defenseman wasn't 100 percent. But that didn't keep the 37-year-old from logging a game-high 26:48 of ice time in Saturday's 3-0 loss to Detroit. That's nearly a minute above his season average.

"You play through difficulties every season," Zubov said as he iced his hand after the game. "You try to do what you can do. Stuff like this happens and you keep going."

Zubov's teammates know what a difference it makes when the veteran is in the lineup. He helps contain the opponent's top line, clamps down on the penalty kill and is the quarterback of the Stars' power play.

"He's a big presence back there in every situation," Stars captain Brenden Morrow said. "He calms things down, slows things down. Sometimes it looks like we've pulled the pin on a grenade out there, but it never looks that way when he's handling it. It was some confidence for us to have him back."

Tippett said Zubov will continue to play as the injury on his hand heals. He missed the last two games – at Detroit and Minnesota – and the Stars lost both games by a combined 10-4 score.

"He's so smart back there," defensive partner Matt Niskanen said. "He lets the puck do the work for him."

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Re: Hockey Today - Jan. 6

Flyers win but lose two players

They beat Toronto on Mike Richards' goal. Joffrey Lupul and Sami Kapanen left in the first period.

TORONTO - It's hard to say which was more remarkable - that the Flyers gave up 56 shots and won last night or that they found new ways to lose players to injury.

Already reeling with the losses of Simon Gagne, who is recovering from a concussion, and Scottie Upshall, who sprained his right ankle, the Flyers lost two more wingers at the Air Canada Centre. This time, the injuries came at the hands of their own.

Joffrey Lupul and Sami Kapanen left the ice during the first period of a 3-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. If that wasn't enough, Antero Niittymaki faced a franchise-record 56 shots, breaking the mark of 55 by Montreal on Jan. 3, 1977.

"It's never a bad thing to get a lot of shots," Niittymaki said. "I've got to keep it fair for both sides. It was fun to play. You face a lot of shots and it keeps you warm. They threw the puck to the net. It was a lot of easy saves, too. I'd rather have more than 15 to 20 shots a game."

Mike Richards' power-play rebound at 17 minutes, 9 seconds of the third period won it.

Lupul may have suffered a concussion at the hands of Derian Hatcher. Kapanen suffered lip lacerations that required 25 stitches when he was struck with a puck on an attempted pass from Richards.

The good news? Well, rookie winger Steve Downie, playing in just his fourth career game, scored his first NHL goal.

Lupul was decked in the final 2:07 of the first period during a three-way collision. Hatcher delivered a clean, devastating check to Alex Steen, knocking him one way and sending Hatcher into Lupul, who hit the ice backward, head first.

It was reminiscent of Eric Lindros' collision with teammate Paul Coffey in Vancouver on New Year's Eve in 1996. Lupul has had three previous concussions (two in the NHL).

"Big Hatch got me," he said. "I banged my head on the ice. The big man rolled over me. A little bit of a headache and a little dizzy. Nothing too serious."

He will be reevaluated today.

"They kind of diagnose you on the spot, but you have to wake up tomorrow and see how you feel," he said. "I got a big bruise and a little cut on my head. I feel better now than when I came off the ice."

Niittymaki extended his shutout streak to 129:20 before losing it in the third period on Mats Sundin's power-play goal. Sundin scored twice in the third period, giving him 20 goals for the season.

The Flyers goalie made phenomenal saves against Jason Blake (10 shots), Tomas Kaberle (nine) and Sundin (eight).

"He was unbelievable," coach John Stevens said. "He looked really confident in the net. He held us in there and gave us a chance to win."

Downie's first NHL point came at 10:04 of the opening period, breaking a scoreless tie. Jim Dowd, who cleared waivers last week yet remained on the roster because of injuries, won a face-off against Steen. Jim Vandermeer quickly shot the puck off goalie Andrew Raycroft's left pad. Downie, charging to the net, popped the rebound high over Raycroft.

"It is a childhood dream," Downie said. "I really can't explain it any other way than that. It is just unbelievable."

The Flyers made it 2-0 at 16:28 with their sixth shorthanded goal of the season. Ian White lost control of the puck at the left point to R.J. Umberger. He went two-on-one up the left side with Jeff Carter. Raycroft made the save on Umberger, but Carter deposited the rebound for his 14th goal.

Carter shrugged it off as an easy second chance.

"Umby shot it at the net, and it wound up on my stick," he said.

Loose pucks. The NHL did not impose sanctions for Friday night's incident involving Hatcher, who allegedly bit the glove hand of the New Jersey Devils' Travis Zajac. He put his glove in Hatcher's mouth during a scrum, and it caught on one of Hatcher's incisors, cutting his middle finger. "I reviewed it closely," league disciplinarian Colin Campbell told The Inquirer. "Difficult to determine how and where. Hatcher did not seem to be the aggressor at all, nor involved."

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