Hockey Today - Mar 7

Hockey Today - Mar 7

Panthers suspend missing winger Chad Kilger

The Panthers have suspended winger Chad Kilger indefinitely without pay.

Panthers spokesman Justin Copertino said Coach/General Manager Jacques Martin would not comment on the suspension today.

Kilger was acquired on the trade deadline, Feb. 26, from the Maple Leafs for a third-round pick in this year's draft. He was granted a leave of absence for personal reasons by the Panthers, but he has yet to report to his new team.

The Panthers hoped Kilger would have the potential to replace injured winger Richard Zednik, who will miss the rest of the season.

sun-sentinel.com

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Lidstrom still on target for Sunday return
The Detroit News

DETROIT -- Defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom appears set to return Sunday to the Red Wings' lineup.

After another good workout at Wednesday's morning skate, Lidstrom said he's closer to a return. Coach Mike Babcock agreed that Lidstrom (sprained right knee) is ready.

"Nick is going to go Sunday (against Nashville)," Babcock said, adding that defenseman Brian Rafalski, who has been out with a groin injury, will play tonight against St. Louis.

"We're optimistic we've had our injury time now, and maybe we can be healthy at playoff time for the first time in a while," Babcock said.

Lidstrom threw a cautionary note about his Sunday return.

"I still may need a few practices under my belt," Lidstrom said. "I hope Sunday is the day I come back."

Lidstrom was injured Feb. 18 against Colorado and will miss his sixth consecutive game Wednesday.

Chris Chelios (chipped right fibula) was hurt Feb. 22 in Calgary, and it appears a return isn't possible until next week.

"I skated hard today and we'll see how it feels later," Chelios said Wednesday. "I'm not close right now. I'm just waiting for it to loosen up and feel better. But right now, it's staying the same."

Babcock said Jonathan Ericsson, the impressive call-up from Grand Rapids, will be in the lineup Wednesday, while Derek Meech will be a healthy scratch.

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Re: Hockey Today - Mar 7

On the Ice -- Friday
By Judd Hall

There are only five games on the schedule for Friday in the NHL. That doesn’t mean we can find something nice to bet on in each of the matchups though. Let’s take a look, shall we?

Edmonton at Columbus

This match has lost a little of its luster as the Blue Jackets continue to slide down the standings as the season comes to a close. They got rid of Sergei Fedorov and Adam Foote at the trade deadline and have responded by losing three of their past four contests.

One of those defeats came in Edmonton last Sunday, 4-3, in a shootout. It’s hard to fault the Jackets’ performance, they out shot the Oilers, 38-29. And they pulled even with a late third-period goal. The main issue for Columbus was going zero for four on the power play. In fact, the Blue Jackets have not lit the lamp on special teams since Feb. 15, a total of 27 one-man advantages.
   
The Oilers appear to have the edge in this contest as its gone 3-1-1 in its last five road tilts at Columbus, with the ‘under’ going 3-2.

Edmonton has watched the ‘over’ go on a 7-1 run recently. Meanwhile, the Blue Jackets have seen the ‘over’ post a 6-2-2 mark at Nationwide Arena since Dec. 31.

Columbus is 11-15 this season when playing a team that defeated them in the previous contest.

Tampa Bay at New Jersey

Before the season started, Tampa Bay was a safe pick for making a run at the Southeast Division title. Then the first puck dropped and nothing seemed to mesh for the Lightning. Now Brad Richards is reinvigorating the Dallas offense, while Mike Smith is charged with trying to shore up Tampa Bay’s goaltending. So far, Smith has been more reliable than Johan Holmqvist or Marc Denis between the pipes, posting a 2.75 GAA in his four starts.

Regardless of the stability Smith has provided in goal, the ‘Ning have still dropped seven of their past eight tilts this season. Bettors have been able to rely on the ‘under’ hitting consistently during this time frame, going 5-2-1.

The Devils are stuck in a dogfight with Pittsburgh for the lead in not only the Atlantic Division, but the Eastern Conference as well. New Jersey just broke a three-game losing streak with a 4-1 win on the road against the Maple Leafs last Tuesday. Zach Parise lit the lamp twice in versus Toronto. It was the first time he’s scored a goal since Feb. 23.

New Jersey has seen the ‘under’ go on a 4-0-1 run in its last five contests.

The Lightning haven’t fared too well against New Jersey as of late, going 1-4 in their last five head-to-head matches. And the ‘under’ has done well for this showdown as it’s posted a 3-1-1 mark during that stretch.

Tampa Bay is playing Thursday at the Flyers. The ‘Ning are 4-6 when playing on back-to-back nights this year.

Minnesota at Atlanta

The Wild know they’ll be in the playoffs, but it’s becoming a matter of whether they’ll have home-ice for the first round or not. Minnesota is in a dead heat for the Northwest Division lead with the Flames right now. Unfortunately, the Wild just had their three win streak snapped at three games when Chicago came to town to beat them, 4-2, on March 4. That was also the first time in seven tilts for Minnesota that the ‘over’ cashed tickets.

While Minnesota is battling for post season positioning, the Thrashers are wondering what pick they’ll end up with in the upcoming draft. Atlanta has fallen in eight straight matches right now. What’s worse for the Thrashers is they’ve been out shot in each of those tilts, making Kari Lehtonen’s life a living hell.

The odds are good that Atlanta will be losing its ninth consecutive tilt since it is 0-5 the last five times against the Wild.

San Jose at Chicago

There was a time last month when we all thought the Sharks were down for the count. They lost five straight at one point, three of defeats coming on the road. Now San Jose has rebounded to the tune of seven consecutive victories, while seeing the ‘under’ go 5-2 during this streak.

Chicago also looked like it was down for the count for the past month or two, but it’s a long season. The Blackhawks have won six of their last eight matches with the ‘over’ going 4-3-1 in that time. Now the ‘Hawks are just four points out of the eighth and final spot in the Western Conference playoffs.

Recent history shows that San Jose will have its way in the “Windy City” on Friday. The Sharks have won their last four games in Chicago by a combined score of 13-6. In fact, they’ve won 10 straight head-to-head scuffles with the Blackhawks.

Nashville at Calgary

The last game on the schedule also has the most riding on it for both clubs. Nashville will be coming off of a huge contest with the Canucks on Thursday to determine who’ll claim the eighth seed in the West. The Predators have been hitting the high scores lately as the ‘over’ has gone 5-1-1 in their last seven tilts.

The Flames are neck and neck with Minnesota in the Northwest Division, making every win that much more important. Calgary has won six of its last eight fixtures this season as the ‘under’ hit in seven of those games.

Calgary has won three of the last four matches they’ve played versus the Preds.

Nashville is a strong play on back-to-back nights with a 6-2-2 record when taking to the ice with no rest.

vegasinsider.com

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Edmonton Oilers vs. Columbus Blue Jackets

- The Edmonton Oilers and the Columbus Blue Jackets will both be gunning for a victory on Friday when they meet at Nationwide Arena.

Odds aren't yet posted for this game, so check back later for the opening line and total.

The Oilers were trounced 5-1 by the Predators last time out, at -110 odds. The six goals made it OVER the posted over/under (5.5).

Tom Gilbert scored the lone goal for the Oilers.

The Blue Jackets were shut out 1-0 by the Flames last time out, as +160 underdogs. The team's played UNDER the posted over/under (5).

Pascal Leclaire stopped 18-of-19 shots in a losing effort.

Current streak:
Columbus has lost 2 straight games.

Team records:
Edmonton: 31-31-5
Columbus: 30-28-10

Edmonton most recently:
When playing on Friday are 3-7
Before playing Detroit are 8-2
After playing Nashville are 3-7
After a loss are 5-5

Columbus most recently:
When playing on Friday are 4-6
Before playing Tampa Bay are 3-4
After playing Calgary are 5-5
After a loss are 4-6

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 7 of Edmonton's last 8 games
The total has gone OVER in 9 of Edmonton's last 11 games on the road
Edmonton is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing Columbus
Edmonton is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Columbus's last 6 games at home
Columbus is 5-12 SU in its last 17 games
Columbus is 4-14-3 SU in its last 21 games when playing Edmonton
Columbus is 2-6-3 SU in its last 11 games when playing at home against Edmonton

Next up:
Edmonton at Chicago, Sunday, March 9
Columbus home to Tampa Bay, Sunday, March 9

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Tampa Bay Lightning vs. New Jersey Devils

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

Odds aren't yet posted for this game, so check back later for the opening line and total.

The Lightning were edged 3-2 by the Flyers last time out, as +135 road underdogs. The five goals were UNDER the posted over/under (6).

Jussi Jokinen and Michel Ouellet had the Lightning goals.

Zach Parise scored twice on Tuesday night to guide the Devils to a 4-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Devils cruised to the win as -120 road favorites in that contest, while the combined score was a PUSH against the posted total (5).

Current streak:
Tampa Bay has lost 3 straight games.

Team records:
Tampa Bay: 26-34-7
New Jersey: 38-23-6

Tampa Bay most recently:
When playing on Friday are 6-4
Before playing St. Louis are 3-7
After playing Philadelphia are 5-5
After a loss are 4-6

New Jersey most recently:
When playing on Friday are 5-5
Before playing Buffalo are 9-1
After playing Toronto are 6-4
After a win are 6-4

A few trends to consider:
Tampa Bay is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games when playing New Jersey
Tampa Bay is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games on the road
Tampa Bay is 1-8 SU in its last 9 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of New Jersey's last 5 games
New Jersey is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing Tampa Bay
New Jersey is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games at home
New Jersey is 6-3 SU in its last 9 games

Next up:
Tampa Bay at Columbus, Sunday, March 9
New Jersey at Toronto, Saturday, March 8

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Minnesota Wild vs. Atlanta Thrashers

- The fans at Philips Arena will be treated to a game between the Minnesota Wild and the Atlanta Thrashers when they take their seats on Friday.

Odds aren't yet posted for this game, so check back later for the opening line and total.

The Wild were edged 3-2 by the Hurricanes last time out, as -120 favorites on the road. The five goals were UNDER the posted over/under (5.5).

Pavol Demitra and Mikko Koivu scored for the Wild, and Josh Harding made 25 saves in the loss.

Ilya Kovalchuk had a goal and an assist for Atlanta in its 6-3 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday night.

Carolina won as -135 road favorites as the game played over the 6-goal total set by oddsmakers.

Current streak:
Minnesota has lost 2 straight games.
Atlanta has lost 8 straight games.

Team records:
Minnesota: 37-26-5
Atlanta: 29-32-7

Minnesota most recently:
When playing on Friday are 4-6
Before playing Florida are 3-3-2
After playing Carolina are 3-4
After a loss are 5-5

Atlanta most recently:
When playing on Friday are 5-5
Before playing NY Rangers are 2-8
After playing Carolina are 7-3
After a loss are 2-8

A few trends to consider:
Minnesota is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing Atlanta
Minnesota is 3-6 SU in its last 9 games
The total has gone UNDER in 9 of Atlanta's last 13 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 12 of Atlanta's last 18 games
Atlanta is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games at home
Atlanta is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games when playing Minnesota

Next up:
Minnesota home to San Jose, Sunday, March 9
Atlanta at Florida, Saturday, March 8

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San Jose Sharks vs. Chicago Blackhawks

- The San Jose Sharks and the Chicago Blackhawks will both be gunning for a victory on Friday when they meet at United Center.

Odds aren't yet posted for this game, so check back later for the opening line and total.

Patrick Marleau scored two goals, including the winner in overtime, to lift the Sharks to a 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night.

San Jose cashed as -140 home favorites as the teams played under the 5.5-goal total set by oddsmakers.

Dustin Byfuglien and Cam Barker had a goal and an assist each to lead the Blackhawks to a 3-0 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday night.

Chicago cashed as +135 home underdogs as the game played under the 5.5-goal total set by oddsmakers.

Current streak:
San Jose has won 7 straight games.
Chicago has won 3 straight games.

Team records:
San Jose: 38-21-8
Chicago: 33-28-6

San Jose most recently:
When playing on Friday are 5-5
Before playing Toronto are 3-3-2
After playing Ottawa are 4-4-2
After a win are 7-3

Chicago most recently:
When playing on Friday are 4-6
Before playing Edmonton are 6-4
After playing Anaheim are 4-6
After a win are 5-5

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

Next up:
San Jose at Minnesota, Sunday, March 9
Chicago home to Edmonton, Sunday, March 9

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Nashville Predators vs. Calgary Flames

- The Nashville Predators and the Calgary Flames will both be gunning for a victory on Friday when they meet at Pengrowth Saddledome.

Odds aren't yet posted for this game, so check back later for the opening line and total.

The Predators were gobbled up 6-2 by the Canucks on Thursday, as +120 underdogs. The eight goals sailed OVER the posted over/under (5).

Vernon Fiddler and Greg de Vries scored for the Predators.

Miikka Kiprusoff stopped all 39 shots Tuesday, as the Flames shut down the Blue Jackets 1-0. The Flames won the game as -180 favorites, while the team's played UNDER the posted over/under (5).

Craig Conroy scored the only goal in the win.

Current streak:
Calgary has won 2 straight games.

Team records:
Nashville: 34-26-8
Calgary: 35-23-9

Nashville most recently:
When playing on Friday are 4-6
Before playing Minnesota are 7-3
After playing Vancouver are 6-4
After a loss are 6-4

Calgary most recently:
When playing on Friday are 5-5
Before playing Los Angeles are 5-5
After playing Columbus are 5-5
After a win are 6-4

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Nashville's last 9 games when playing on the road against Calgary
Nashville is 9-3 SU in its last 12 games when playing Calgary
Nashville is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Calgary
Nashville is 3-6 SU in its last 9 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Calgary's last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Calgary's last 5 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Calgary's last 9 games when playing at home against Nashville
Calgary is 6-2 SU in its last 8 games

Next up:
Nashville at Detroit, Sunday, March 9
Calgary home to St. Louis, Monday, March 10

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Re: Hockey Today - Mar 7

Today's NHL analysis

Hot Teams
-- Oilers won four of their last five games.
-- Devils won six of their last eight games.
-- Chicago won three in row, nine of last 12 games. Sharks won last seven games, allowing twelve goals.
-- Flames won six of their last eight games.

Cold Teams
-- Columbus lost three of its last four games.
-- Lightning lost three in row, eight of last nine games.
-- Thrashers lost last eight games, allowing 34 goals. Wild lost six of its last nine games.
-- Predators lost six of last nine road games.

Series Records
-- Oilers won four of last five games vs Columbus.
-- Lightning lost five of last six vs New Jersey.
-- Thrashers lost 5-1 in Minnesota LY, in last meeting.
-- Sharks won last ten games against Chicago.
-- Flames won three of their last four vs Nashville.

Totals
-- Seven of last eight Edmonton games went over the total.
-- Under is 4-0-1 in last five Tampa Bay games.
-- Seven of last eight Minnesota games stayed under.
-- Under is 3-1-1 in San Jose's last five road games.
-- Last seven Calgary games stayed under the total.

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Re: Hockey Today - Mar 7

Edmonton at Columbus, 7:05 EST
Edmonton: 6-0 SU after allowing 3 goals or more 4 straight games
Columbus: 11-15 SU as a favorite

Tampa Bay at New Jersey, 7:05 EST
Tampa Bay: 0-6 SU in road games revenging 2 straight losses where opponent scored 3 or more
New Jersey: 8-1 SU after having lost 3 of their last 4

Minnesota at Atlanta, 7:35 EST
Minnesota: 7-2 SU in road games after 2 or more consecutive losses
Atlanta: 1-6 SU in home games in non-conference games

San Jose at Chicago, 8:35 EST
San Jose: 14-3 SU on the road when the money line is -100 to -150
Chicago: 27-44 SU in home games on Friday

Nashville at Calgary, 9:35 EST
Nashville: 11-3 SU after allowing 5 goals or more
Calgary: 11-17 SU when playing only their 2nd game in 5 days

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