Hockey Today - Feb 8

Hockey Today - Feb 8

Friday's NHL Card
By Judd Hall

Friday is a light night in the NHL with just four contests set to go off. However, all four tilts give intriguing looks into how the postseason party will shape up in both the Eastern and Western Conferences.

Carolina at Washington

The Hurricanes were holding onto the Southeast Division lead with nothing more than Elmer’s wood glue and glitter for much of the season. However, Carolina has been knocked out of its rickety perch after losing two straight matches. The ‘Canes came away a 1-0 loser at Nashville on Feb. 5. Carolina had ample chances with three power plays, but came away empty. On a plus side, the Hurricanes have watched the ‘under’ go 5-1 in their last six matches.

Washington, on the other hand, has been hard charging towards the ‘Canes since the beginning of the New Year by going 11-5 on the ice. During that time, the Capitals surged from the basement of the Southeast to now holding a one-point advantage over Carolina. The Caps have gone 3-1 in their last four tilts with the ‘over’ posting a similar mark.

The Capitals have gone 3-2 in their last five head-to-head meetings with Carolina at the Verizon Center. The Hurricanes have are 3-5 in their past eight road contests, while watching the ‘under’ go 5-2-1. Washington is 6-2 in its previous eight home games, with the ‘over’ going 4-3-1.

Anaheim at New Jersey

When blueliner Scott Niedermayer decided to come back to the Ducks, his teammates were elated to get some help on defense. Now winger Teemu Selanne has decided that staying in Finland just wasn’t his bag and returned to the ice just a few days ago, scoring an assist in Anaheim’s 3-0 win at the Islanders to snap a six-game losing skid. The “Quack Attack” has seen the ‘under’ go 5-2 in their last seven contests.

No word yet if Gordie Howe, will be 80 this year, is ready to accept an offer from Anaheim…but the season is always young in his eyes.

New Jersey has been in a slump recently, losing four of its past six matches, while seeing the ‘over’ go 4-1-1. The Devils also haven’t been that dominant at home as evidenced by their 3-5 record at the Prudential Center since Jan. 16.

Anaheim is playing the Rangers tonight, which could tire them out. The Ducks are 4-6-1 when playing on back-to-back nights. The Devils are 15-10-3 when getting a day off between tilts.

Boston at Buffalo

The Bruins are clinging to the final playoff position in the Eastern Conference after dropping their past two contests. The most recent defeat for Boston came at home against the Sabres, 4-2, on Feb. 5. The B’s have seen the ‘under’ go 3-1 in their last four contests.

Buffalo has come on strong right recently, winning five of its last six contests. The Sabres have seen the ‘under’ go 3-2-1 in that stretch. The result of their good fortunes is that they are just a mere two points out of the eighth and final spot in the East.

The Sabres are 4-1-1 against Boston in their last six meetings in Western New York.

Columbus at San Jose

The Blue Jackets have never been this close to a playoff spot in their short history, but now the stretch of the season that will determine if they’ll make the Top 8 in the Western Conference. Columbus will be playing 10 of its next 13 games away from Nationwide Arena. Currently, the Jackets are mired in a four-game losing streak as the ‘over’ has gone 4-1 during this stretch.

San Jose is still in the hunt for the Pacific Division championship, but losing two of its last three matches will not exactly help its cause. The Sharks have seen the ‘under’ be moderately successful, going 3-2-5 in their last 10 home games.

The Jackets are playing in Phoenix on Thursday and are 3-3-2 in games on back-to-back nights. Meanwhile, the Sharks have won their last five home tilts with Columbus.

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Blake goes on Kings IR list
February 7, 2008

LOS ANGELES (AP) -The Kings placed defenseman Rob Blake on injured reserve with an ankle injury Thursday, and recalled goaltender Dan Cloutier from the Manchester Monarchs of the AHL.

The 38-year-old Blake is expected to be sidelined for about two weeks. Tests last Friday revealed he had a non-displaced fracture of the left ankle, and he returned to Los Angeles from the Kings' eight-game road trip for treatment. The team said he was injured blocking a shot in a game Jan. 15. He played the next six games before the injury was diagnosed.

Blake, the team captain, has five goals and 21 assists in 53 games. He has appeared in more games (787), scored more goals (157), has more assists (332) and collected more points (489) than any other defenseman in franchise history.

He has 219 goals and 478 assists in 1,109 career games with the Kings and Colorado.

The 31-year-old Cloutier was 4-9 with a 3.50 goals-against average in 14 games with the Monarchs this season. He has a 137-138-36 record and a 2.75 goals-against average in 342 NHL games with the Kings, Vancouver, Tampa Bay and the New York Rangers.

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Anaheim Ducks vs. New Jersey Devils

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

Jean-Sebastien Giguere stopped 32 shots to help the Ducks defeat the Rangers 4-1 last time out, at -105 odds. The five goals were a PUSH against the posted over/under (5).

Mathieu Schneider, Corey Perry and Todd Bertuzzi scored at even strength, while Chris Kunitz tallied on the power play for the Ducks.

Mike Mottau and Karel Rachunek scored for the Devils in their 3-2 shootout loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday night.

The Sabres cashed as +110 home underdogs as the game pushed the 5-goal total set by sportsbooks.

Current streak:
Anaheim has won 2 straight games.

Team records:
Anaheim: 29-22-7
New Jersey: 30-20-4

Anaheim most recently:
When playing on Friday are 2-8
Before playing Detroit are 6-4
After playing NY Rangers are 5-5-2
After a win are 7-3

New Jersey most recently:
When playing on Friday are 6-4
Before playing Buffalo are 9-1
After playing Buffalo are 6-4
After a loss are 7-3

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Anaheim's last 7 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Anaheim's last 6 games on the road
Anaheim is 2-5 SU in its last 7 games on the road
Anaheim is 5-13-1 SU in its last 19 games when playing New Jersey
New Jersey is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Anaheim
The total has gone OVER in 4 of New Jersey's last 5 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 5 of New Jersey's last 7 games
New Jersey is 13-5-1 SU in its last 19 games when playing Anaheim

Next up:
Anaheim at Detroit, Sunday, February 10
New Jersey home to Carolina, Saturday, February 9

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Carolina Hurricanes vs. Washington Capitals

- The Carolina Hurricanes and the Washington Capitals will both be gunning for a victory on Friday when they meet at Verizon Center.

The Hurricanes were shut out 1-0 by the Predators last time out, as +125 road underdogs. The lone goal fell UNDER the posted over/under (5.5).

Cam Ward stopped 33 shots in a losing effort.

Alexander Ovechkin goal proved to be the winner as the Capitals defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3 on Wednesday night.

The Caps cashed in as +160 road underdogs as the game played over the 6-goal total set by oddsmakers.

Current streak:
Carolina has lost 2 straight games.
Washington has won 2 straight games.

Team records:
Carolina: 26-26-4
Washington: 26-24-5

Carolina most recently:
When playing on Friday are 5-5
Before playing Boston are 5-5
After playing Nashville are 5-5-4
After a loss are 4-6

Washington most recently:
When playing on Friday are 5-5
Before playing Calgary are 5-5
After playing Philadelphia are 3-7
After a win are 5-5

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Carolina's last 6 games
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Carolina's last 9 games when playing Washington
Carolina is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games when playing Washington
Carolina is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Washington
Washington is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games at home
Washington is 8-3 SU in its last 11 games
Washington is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games when playing at home against Carolina
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Washington's last 9 games when playing Carolina

Next up:
Carolina at New Jersey, Saturday, February 9
Washington home to NY Rangers, Sunday, February 10

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Boston Bruins vs. Buffalo Sabres

- The Boston Bruins and the Buffalo Sabres will both be gunning for a victory on Friday when they meet at HSBC Arena.

The Bruins were doubled 4-2 by the Sabres last time out, as -120 favorites at home. The six goals made it OVER the posted over/under (5.5).

P.J. Axelson and Mark Stuart scored for the Bruins.

Drew Stafford and Henrik Tallinder scored in the shootout to lift the Sabres to a 3-2 win over the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday night.

The Sabres cashed as +110 home underdogs as the game pushed the 5-goal total set by sportsbooks.

Current streak:
Boston has lost 2 straight games.
Buffalo has won 2 straight games.

Team records:
Boston: 27-21-5
Buffalo: 25-21-7

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

Buffalo most recently:
When playing on Friday are 5-5
Before playing Colorado are 6-4
After playing New Jersey are 4-6
After a win are 7-3

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Boston's last 6 games when playing Buffalo
Boston is 6-15 SU in its last 21 games when playing Buffalo
Boston is 2-8 SU in its last 10 games when playing on the road against Buffalo
Buffalo is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games
Buffalo is 8-2 SU in its last 10 games when playing at home against Boston
Buffalo is 15-6 SU in its last 21 games when playing Boston
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Buffalo's last 6 games when playing Boston

Next up:
Boston home to Florida, Saturday, February 9
Buffalo home to Florida, Sunday, February 10

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Columbus Blue Jackets vs. San Jose Sharks

- The fans at HP Pavilion will be treated to a game between the Columbus Blue Jackets and the San Jose Sharks when they take their seats on Friday.

The Blue Jackets snapped a four-game skid with a 2-1 victory over the Coyotes on Thursday, as +125 road underdogs. The three goals fell UNDER the night's posted over/under (5).

Jason Chimera scored shorthanded for the Blue Jackets, and Nikolai Zherdev potted a power play goal for the winner.

Patrick Marleau marked the lone goal for the Sharks in their 3-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night.

The Avs cashed as +178 road underdogs as the game played under the 5.5-goal total posted by sportsbooks.

Team records:
Columbus: 26-23-7
San Jose: 29-17-7

Columbus most recently:
When playing on Friday are 5-5
Before playing Los Angeles are 3-7
After playing Phoenix are 5-5
After a win are 5-5

San Jose most recently:
When playing on Friday are 6-4
Before playing Toronto are 3-3-2
After playing Colorado are 10-0
After a loss are 5-5

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Columbus's last 7 games when playing San Jose
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Columbus's last 6 games on the road
Columbus is 7-15 SU in its last 22 games on the road
Columbus is 7-17 SU in its last 24 games when playing San Jose
San Jose is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Columbus
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of San Jose's last 7 games when playing Columbus
San Jose is 17-7 SU in its last 24 games when playing Columbus
San Jose is 6-3 SU in its last 9 games at home

Next up:
Columbus home to Los Angeles, Sunday, February 10
San Jose home to Nashville, Saturday, February 9

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