Hockey Today - Mar 14

Hockey Today - Mar 14

Sabres' D Paetsch out indefinitely with concussion.
March 13, 2008

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -Nathan Paetsch is out indefinitely with a concussion, leaving the Buffalo Sabres' depleted defense down a third player in the midst of their final playoff push.
   
Paetsch will miss ``a pretty good period of time,'' coach Lindy Ruff said Thursday, a day after Paetsch was leveled by a vicious elbow from Pittsburgh's Georges Laraque during Buffalo's 7-3 loss Wednesday night.

Paetsch had just passed the puck from deep in his own zone early in the second period when Laraque skated by and hit him with a raised elbow. Paetsch lay face-first on the ice for several minutes before getting to his knees. He was assisted to the Sabres dressing room.

Laraque drew a five-minute penalty, was ejected from the game, and could face further punishment from the league.

Paetsch was already sore, playing with a stiff neck after he was checked heavily into the boards by New York Rangers' Sean Avery during Buffalo's 3-2 shootout loss on Monday.

In his second full season with Buffalo, Paetsch has a goal and seven assists in 54 games, but had gained additional ice time since the team traded All-Star Brian Campbell to San Jose last month.

The Sabres, 1-4-2 in their past seven games, are stuck in ninth place in the Eastern Conference, four points behind Philadelphia, which holds the final playoff spot. Buffalo has 11 games remaining, starting with a home game against Carolina on Friday.

Without Paetsch, the Sabres are down to five defensemen, including untested rookies Andrej Sekera and Mike Weber, after veterans Jaroslav Spacek (bruised ribs) and Dmitri Kalinin (shoulder) were hurt Monday.

Kalinin is expected to return within two weeks, but Spacek could miss the rest of the regular season.

Spacek told The Associated Press on Thursday he has a severe bruise in the middle of his chest and couldn't provide a timetable for his return because rest is the only rehabilitation for such an injury.

Ruff said the team has not determined whether to stay with five blue-liners or call up a player from the minors. He's also toyed with the possibility of shifting play-making forward Jason Pominville to fill in at defense, although that will depend on whether Tim Connolly can play.

Connolly has been in and out of the lineup for the past two months, nagged by bone spurs in his hip, and was held out against Pittsburgh.

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Re: Hockey Today - Mar 14

Pens' Laraque suspended 3 games
March 13, 2008

TORONTO (AP) -The NHL suspended Pittsburgh Penguins forward Georges Laraque on Thursday for three games, one day after he injured Buffalo defenseman Nathan Paetsch with an elbow to the head.

Paetsch is out indefinitely with a concussion, leaving the Sabres' depleted defense down a third player in the midst of their final playoff push.

Paetsch will miss ``a pretty good period of time,'' Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said Thursday.

The defenseman had just passed the puck from deep in the Buffalo own zone early in the second period of Pittsburgh's 7-3 victory Wednesday when Laraque skated by and hit him with a raised elbow. Paetsch lay face-first on the ice for several minutes before getting to his knees.

He was assisted to the Sabres dressing room.

Laraque drew a five-minute penalty and was ejected from the game. The suspension will cost Laraque $20,855.61 in salary that will go to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

Laraque will sit out against Philadelphia on Sunday, next Tuesday at the New York Rangers, and March 20 when the Penguins face Tampa Bay at home.

He will be eligible to return March 22 against New Jersey.

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Re: Hockey Today - Mar 14

Hockey Today

St. Louis at San Jose (10:30 p.m. EDT). The Sharks go for the first 11-game winning streak in team history.

STARS

-Ilya Kovalchuk and Bobby Holik, Thrashers. Kovalchuk scored three times and set up Holik's tiebreaking tally with 3:47 left and Atlanta rallied to beat Calgary 6-4.

-Pavel Datsyuk, Red Wings, had two goals and an assist to lead Detroit to a 5-3 victory over Dallas.

-Jason Spezza and Martin Gerber, Senators. Spezza scored a pair of power-play goals and Gerber stopped 28 shots to help Ottawa top Montreal 3-0.

-Alexander Frolov, Kings, scored twice in Los Angeles' 4-1 win at Nashville.

-Jamie Langenbrunner, Devils, scored the only goal of the shootout to give New Jersey a 4-3 win at Minnesota.

-Mike Smith, Lightning, stopped 35 shots and Tampa Bay beat Boston 3-1.

THEY'RE IN

Detroit became the first team this season to clinch a playoff berth after beating Dallas 5-3 on Thursday night. It was the fifth straight win for NHL-leading Red Wings, who reached 100 points for an league-record tying eighth-straight season. Montreal had 100-point seasons from 1975-82.

BACK ON TOP

Colorado has won eight of nine, including five straight at home, and took sole possession of first place in the Northwest Division for the first time since Dec. 18 by defeating Edmonton 5-1 on Thursday night. ... New Jersey regained first place in the Eastern Conference standings after outlasting Minnesota 4-3 in a shootout. The Devils upped their point total to 88, one more than idle Pittsburgh.

FLICKERING


Calgary blew leads of 3-0 and 4-2 and lost for the third time in four games, 6-4 at Atlanta on Thursday night. The Flames dropped into a second-place tie in the Northwest Division, two points behind Colorado, which beat Edmonton 5-1 on Thursday.

DOMINATION

Colorado's Peter Budaj improved to 5-0 against Edmonton this season and 9-1-2 in 12 career appearances against the Oilers after a 2-0 win on Thursday night.

INCHING CLOSER

Phoenix moved within three points of Vancouver for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference with Thursday night's 2-0 victory over the Canucks.

ONE-SIDED SERIES


Ottawa beat Montreal for the fifth time in six meetings with its 3-0 victory on Thursday night. Both teams have 87 points with 10 games remaining, but the Senators have one more victory to claim first place in the Northeast Division.

SIDELINED

Nathan Paetsch is out indefinitely with a concussion, leaving Buffalo's depleted defense down a third player in the midst of their final playoff push. He was leveled by a vicious elbow from Pittsburgh's Georges Laraque during the Sabres' 7-3 loss Wednesday night. ... Vancouver defenseman Mattias Ohlund will miss the rest of the regular season after having surgery Thursday to remove bone chips from his left knee. ... Ryan Smyth (concussion) and Peter Forsberg (groin) were both kept out of the Colorado's lineup Thursday night against Edmonton.

SPEAKING

``It could have been very easy to just kind of call it a year and not work hard. We know our playoff chances are over but we want to prove to ourselves and the guys who are going to be here next year we're not going to accept another losing season again.'' - Tampa Bay defenseman Dan Boyle after the Eastern Conference-worst Lightning beat playoff hopeful Boston 3-1 on Thursday night.

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Re: Hockey Today - Mar 14

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Columbus Blue Jackets

- The Chicago Blackhawks and the Columbus Blue Jackets will meet on the ice at Nationwide Arena on Friday in a battle of division rivals.

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

The Blackhawks were shut out 3-0 by the Hurricanes last time out, as -120 favorites at home. The three goals were UNDER the posted over/under (6).

Corey Crawford stopped 29-of-32 shots in a losing effort.

The Blue Jackets defeated Tampa Bay 5-3 as a -160 favorite last time out. The eight goals scored went OVER the posted over/under total (5.5).

Nikolai Zherdev and Rick Nash each had a pair of assists, while Pascal Leclaire made 24 saves in the win.

Current streak:
Chicago has lost 4 straight games.

Team records:
Chicago: 33-31-7
Columbus: 31-28-11

Chicago most recently:
When playing on Friday are 2-7-1
Before playing Edmonton are 5-5
After playing Carolina are 7-3
After a loss are 5-5

Columbus most recently:
When playing on Friday are 3-7
Before playing Detroit are 4-6
After playing Tampa Bay are 3-4
After a win are 4-6

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

Next up:
Chicago home to Calgary, Sunday, March 16
Columbus home to Detroit, Sunday, March 16

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Atlanta Thrashers vs. Washington Capitals

- The division rival Atlanta Thrashers and Washington Capitals are set to renew hostilities on Friday when they meet at Verizon Center.

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

Ilya Kovalchuk netted a hat trick and an assist as the Thrashers upset the Calgary Flames 6-4 on Thursday night.

Atlanta cashed in as +130 home underdogs as the teams played over the 5.5-goal total set by oddsmakers.

Alexander Ovechkin had two goals on the power play including the game-winner in the Capitals 3-2 win over the Flames last time out, at -110 odds. The five goals were UNDER the posted over/under (5.5).

Viktor Kozlov scored the other marker for the Capitals, and Olaf Kolzig stopped 24 shots in the win.

Team records:
Atlanta: 31-33-8
Washington: 33-30-8

Atlanta most recently:
When playing on Friday are 2-5-3
Before playing NY Rangers are 2-8
After playing Calgary are 1-1-1
After a win are 5-5

Washington most recently:
When playing on Friday are 1-8-1
Before playing Calgary are 4-6
After playing Calgary are 4-4-2
After a win are 3-7

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 9 of Atlanta's last 11 games when playing Washington
Atlanta is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing Washington
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Atlanta's last 5 games on the road
Atlanta is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games when playing on the road against Washington
The total has gone UNDER in 9 of Washington's last 11 games when playing Atlanta
The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Washington's last 10 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Washington's last 9 games
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Washington's last 9 games when playing at home against Atlanta

Next up:
Atlanta at Florida, Sunday, March 16
Washington home to Boston, Sunday, March 16

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Carolina Hurricanes vs. Buffalo Sabres

- The Carolina Hurricanes and the Buffalo Sabres will both be trying to pick up a win on Friday when they battle at HSBC Arena.

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

Cam Ward stopped all 25 shots for the shutout on Wednesday, as the Hurricanes defeated the Blackhawks 3-0. The Hurricanes won the game at EVEN odds, and the three goals were UNDER the posted over/under (6).

Eric Staal had a goal and two assists, while Erik Cole and Matt Cullen scored the other goals.

The Sabres were crushed 7-3 by the Penguins last time out, as +135 road underdogs. The 10 goals sailed OVER the posted over/under (6).

Daniel Paille scored twice and Jochen Hecht scored for the Sabres.

Current streak:
Carolina has won 5 straight games.
Buffalo has lost 4 straight games.

Team records:
Carolina: 38-29-5
Buffalo: 32-28-11

Carolina most recently:
When playing on Friday are 5-5
Before playing Boston are 4-6
After playing Chicago are 6-4
After a win are 8-2

Buffalo most recently:
When playing on Friday are 7-3
Before playing Colorado are 6-4
After playing Pittsburgh are 7-3
After a loss are 4-6

A few trends to consider:
Carolina is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Carolina's last 6 games when playing Buffalo
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Carolina's last 9 games on the road
Carolina is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Buffalo's last 6 games when playing Carolina
Buffalo is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing at home against Carolina
The total has gone OVER in 8 of Buffalo's last 10 games
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Buffalo's last 8 games at home

Next up:
Carolina home to Ottawa, Sunday, March 16
Buffalo at Toronto, Saturday, March 15

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New York Rangers vs. Florida Panthers

- The New York Rangers and the Florida Panthers will both be gunning for a victory on Friday when they meet at BankAtlantic Center.

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

Scott Gomez scored the shootout winner to lead the Rangers past the Sabres 3-2 last time out, as +100 underdogs on the road. The Rangers won the game as +100 underdogs, and the combined score fell UNDER the posted over/under (5.5).

Fedor Tyutin and Jaromir Jagr scored in regulation for the Rangers, and Henrik Lundqvist made 19 saves in the win.

The Panthers scored three goals in the third period to claw out a 4-2 victory over the Islanders last time out, as -175 favorites. The six goals made it OVER the posted over/under (5.5).

Kamil Kreps, Stephen Weiss, Karlis Skrastins and Brett McLean scored for the Panthers. Tomas Vokoun stopped 27 shots in the win.

Current streak:
New York has won 3 straight games.
Florida has won 5 straight games.

Team records:
New York: 37-24-9
Florida: 33-31-8

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

Florida most recently:
When playing on Friday are 1-8-1
Before playing NY Rangers are 6-4
After playing NY Islanders are 4-6
After a win are 6-4

A few trends to consider:
NY Rangers are 7-1 SU in their last 8 games
NY Rangers are 4-1 SU in their last 5 games on the road
NY Rangers are 15-6-1 SU in their last 22 games when playing Florida
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of the NY Rangers last 9 games when playing Florida
Florida is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Florida's last 7 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Florida's last 6 games
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Florida's last 9 games when playing NY Rangers

Next up:
NY Rangers at Tampa Bay, Saturday, March 15
Florida home to Atlanta, Sunday, March 16

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St. Louis Blues vs. San Jose Sharks

- The St. Louis Blues and the San Jose Sharks will both be gunning for a victory on Friday when they meet at HP Pavilion.

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

The Blues fell 4-3 to the Oilers last time out, as +135 road underdogs. The combined score made it OVER the posted over/under (5).

Andy McDonald, Lee Stempniak and Brad Boyes answered for the Blues.

Evgeni Nabokov made 26 saves on Tuesday, as the Sharks snuck past the Predators 2-1. The Sharks won the game as -130 favorites, while the three goals were UNDER the posted over/under (5.5).

Joe Pavelski scored on the power play, and Milan Michalek added the other marker for the Sharks.

Current streak:
St. Louis has lost 4 straight games.
San Jose has won 10 straight games.

Team records:
St. Louis: 29-30-11
San Jose: 41-21-8

St. Louis most recently:
When playing on Friday are 8-2
Before playing Tampa Bay are 3-3-1
After playing Edmonton are 2-8
After a loss are 2-8

San Jose most recently:
When playing on Friday are 5-5
Before playing Toronto are 3-3-2
After playing Nashville are 6-4
After a win are 9-1

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of St. Louis's last 10 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of St. Louis's last 6 games when playing San Jose
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of St. Louis's last 9 games when playing on the road against San Jose
St. Louis is 2-7 SU in its last 9 games when playing on the road against San Jose
San Jose is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
San Jose is 8-1 SU in its last 9 games when playing St. Louis
San Jose is 7-2 SU in its last 9 games when playing at home against St. Louis
San Jose is 7-3 SU in its last 10 games at home

Next up:
St. Louis at Anaheim, Saturday, March 15
San Jose home to Edmonton, Sunday, March 16

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