Hockey Today - Mar 22

Hockey Today - Mar 22

Hockey Today

New Jersey at Pittsburgh (7:30 p.m. EDT). The Devils and Penguins are fighting for first place in both the Atlantic Division and the Eastern Conference.

STARS

-Nicklas Backstrom and Alexander Ovechkin, Capitals. Backstrom scored two goals 32 seconds apart in the closing minutes and Ovechkin added two goals, including his 60th, to lead Washington to a 5-3 win at Atlanta.

-Kyle Okposo, Islanders, snapped a tie with 2:35 remaining by scoring his first NHL goal, and New York beat New Jersey 3-1.

-Vesa Toskala, Maple Leafs, stopped 35 shots to help Toronto defeat Buffalo 4-1.

-Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, Flyers, each scored in the shootout and Richards had a goal in regulation to lead Philadelphia to a 4-3 win over the New York Rangers.

-Niklas Backstrom, Wild, made 30 saves in Minnesota's 2-1 victory at Vancouver.

ALEXANDER THE GREAT

Alex Ovechkin became the NHL's first 60-goal scorer in 12 years by netting two Friday night in Washington's 5-3 victory over Atlanta. No one in the NHL had hit the mark since the 1995-96 season when Pittsburgh's Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr both did it. Ovechkin's 60th goal also tied the Capitals' club mark set by Dennis Maruk in the 1981-82 season.

BREATHING ROOM

Minnesota has recorded a point in seven straight games (3-0-4) and moved three points ahead of Vancouver and Calgary for the lead in the Northwest Division after outlasting the Canucks 2-1 on Friday night. ... San Jose won for the 14th time in 15 games and increased its lead in the Pacific Division to seven points over Anaheim after beating the Ducks 2-1.

MILESTONES

New York Rangers forward Jaromir Jagr had two points in Friday night's 4-3 shootout loss at Philadelphia and tied Phil Esposito for ninth place on the career list at 1,590. The goal was the 640th of his career, tying him with Dave Andreychuk for 12th all-time. ... Jeremy Roenick scored his second goal in as many games to give him 508 for his career, passing Jean Beliveau for 36th place on the all-time list. His latest tally was the difference in San Jose's 2-1 win over Anaheim. ... New York Islanders captain Bill Guerin played in his 1,100th career game against New Jersey on Friday night. Guerin's first NHL game was with the Devils in 1992.

LATE PLAYOFF PUSH

Toronto won for the fourth time in five games and moved within five points of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with its 4-1 win over Buffalo on Friday night. The Maple Leafs also won their fifth straight road game, the team's best string since closing the 2003-04 season with a similar run. The Sabres' playoff push took a hit. In having a three-game winning streak snapped, Buffalo lost ground, dropping to 10th, a point behind Washington after the Capitals beat Atlanta on Friday.

NEW YUCH, NEW YUCH

New Jersey dropped to 1-12 against the two New York teams in the NHL after a 3-1 loss to the Islanders on Friday night. The Devils failed to take over first place in the Eastern Conference and remain tied with Pittsburgh atop the Atlantic Division.

BLANKED

Anaheim was held without a shot on goal in a period for the second time in team history Friday night, going without one over the final 20 minutes en route to a 2-1 loss to San Jose. It first happened during the first period of a 3-1 loss at Dallas on Dec. 27, 2000.

STRAIGHT SHOOTERS

Philadelphia won for just the second time in seven shootouts and jumped past Boston into seventh place in the Eastern Conference with a 4-3 win over the New York Rangers on Friday night.

SURGERIES

Buffalo center Tim Connolly will miss the rest of the regular season after the team decided Friday he'll have surgery to remove bone chips in his hip. ... New York Rangers forward Blair Betts had foot surgery Friday and will be out two to three weeks.

SPEAKING

``Scoring a game-winning goal against one of the best goalies in history, that's not bad at all,'' - New York Islanders rookie Kyle Okposo on victimizing Martin Brodeur for his first NHL goal, the game winner with 2:35 left that gave his team a 3-1 victory over New Jersey on Friday night.

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Re: Hockey Today - Mar 22

Los Angeles Kings vs. Dallas Stars

- The Los Angeles Kings and the Dallas Stars will meet on the ice at American Airlines Center on Saturday in a battle of division rivals.

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

Patrick O'Sullivan scored the shootout winner on Thursday, as the Kings defeated the Coyotes 6-5. The Kings won the game as +150 road underdogs, and the combined score sailed OVER the posted over/under (5.5).

Tom Preissing scored twice for the Kings, while singles came from Dustin Brown, Raitis Ivanans and Peter Harrold.

The Stars gave up a goal in the last 30 seconds and fell 2-1 to the Ducks last time out, as -130 favorites at home. The three goals were UNDER the posted over/under (5).

Brenden Morrow scored his 28th of the season shorthanded in the loss.

Current streak:
Dallas has lost 3 straight games.

Team records:
Los Angeles: 29-40-6
Dallas: 42-28-5

Los Angeles most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 2-7-1
Before playing Dallas are 4-6
After playing Phoenix are 7-3
After a win are 1-9

Dallas most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 7-3
Before playing Los Angeles are 5-5
After playing Anaheim are 8-2
After a loss are 5-5

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Los Angeles's last 5 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Los Angeles's last 5 games
Los Angeles is 3-9 SU in its last 12 games
Los Angeles is 2-7 SU in its last 9 games on the road
Dallas is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Los Angeles
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Dallas's last 5 games at home
Dallas is 11-3 SU in its last 14 games when playing Los Angeles
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Dallas's last 7 games

Next up:
Los Angeles at Anaheim, Wednesday, March 26
Dallas at San Jose, Thursday, March 27

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Re: Hockey Today - Mar 22

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Nashville Predators

- The division rival Chicago Blackhawks and Nashville Predators are set to renew hostilities on Saturday when they meet at Sommet Center.

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

Nikolai Khabibulin made 25 saves for the shutout on Wednesday, as the Blackhawks defeated the Capitals 5-0. The Blackhawks won the game as -130 favorites, and the five goals were UNDER the posted over/under (5.5).

Jason Williams, Jonathan Toews, Yanic Perreault, Patrick Sharp and Rene Bourque scored for the Blackhawks.

The Predators were doubled 6-3 by the Red Wings last time out, as +110 underdogs at home. The nine goals sailed OVER the posted over/under (5.5).

Alexander Radulov, J.P. Dumont and Martin Erat replied in the loss.

Current streak:
Nashville has lost 2 straight games.

Team records:
Chicago: 35-32-7
Nashville: 36-31-8

Chicago most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 5-5
Before playing Edmonton are 5-5
After playing Washington are 4-4-2
After a win are 5-5

Nashville most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 4-5-1
Before playing Minnesota are 7-3
After playing Detroit are 3-7
After a loss are 5-5

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

Next up:
Chicago home to St. Louis, Sunday, March 23
Nashville home to Columbus, Tuesday, March 25

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Re: Hockey Today - Mar 22

Colorado Avalanche vs. Edmonton Oilers

- The Colorado Avalanche and the Edmonton Oilers will meet on the ice at Rexall Place on Saturday 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 Avalanche were defeated 2-1 by the Flames last time out, as +110 underdogs. The three goals were UNDER the posted over/under (5.5).

Ben Guite scored the lone goal for the Avalanche, who managed just 16 shots in the contest.

The Oilers lost 4-1 to the Canucks last time out, as +110 underdogs at home. The five goals were a PUSH against the posted over/under (5).

Tom Gilbert scored the lone goal in the loss.

Current streak:
Colorado has lost 3 straight games.

Team records:
Colorado: 39-30-6
Edmonton: 37-33-5

Colorado most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 5-5
Before playing Buffalo are 8-8-1
After playing Calgary are 7-3
After a loss are 4-6

Edmonton most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 4-6
Before playing Detroit are 8-2
After playing Vancouver are 4-6
After a loss are 7-3

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Colorado's last 7 games on the road
Colorado is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing Edmonton
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Colorado's last 8 games when playing Edmonton
Colorado is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games when playing on the road against Edmonton
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Edmonton's last 7 games at home
Edmonton is 9-2 SU in its last 11 games at home
Edmonton is 10-3 SU in its last 13 games
The total has gone OVER in 9 of Edmonton's last 12 games

Next up:
Colorado home to Calgary, Monday, March 24
Edmonton home to Minnesota, Monday, March 24

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Re: Hockey Today - Mar 22

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Florida Panthers

- The division rival Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers are set to renew hostilities on Saturday when they meet at BankAtlantic Center.

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

The Lightning were doubled 4-2 by the Penguins last time out, as +190 underdogs. The six goals made it OVER the posted over/under (6).

Vincent Lecavalier and Filip Kuba scored power play goals in the loss.

The Panthers fell 2-1 to the Hurricanes in a shootout on Thursday, as -160 favorites at home. The combined score fell UNDER the posted over/under (5.5).

Stephen Weiss scored for the Panthers, while Tomas Vokoun made 41 saves in the loss.

Current streak:
Tampa Bay has lost 2 straight games.

Team records:
Tampa Bay: 29-37-8
Florida: 35-31-9

Tampa Bay most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 7-3
Before playing St. Louis are 3-7
After playing Pittsburgh are 6-4
After a loss are 2-8

Florida most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 5-5
Before playing NY Rangers are 6-4
After playing Carolina are 4-6
After a loss are 5-5

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

Next up:
Florida at Tampa Bay, Tuesday, March 25

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Re: Hockey Today - Mar 22

Boston Bruins vs. Montreal Canadiens

- The Boston Bruins and the Montreal Canadiens will both be trying to pick up a win on Saturday when they battle at Bell Centre.

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

Mark Stuart and Dennis Wideman scored the Bruins goals, and Tim Thomas made 26 saves in the loss. The Bruins were +100 underdogs in the contest.

Alexei Kovalev scored two goals on Thursday, as the Canadiens doubled the Bruins 4-2 in the opener of a home-and-home set. The Canadiens won the game as -120 underdogs, and the six goals made it OVER the posted over/under (5.5).

Michael Ryder scored the game-winning goal and Andrei Kostitsyn had the other marker in the win.

Current streak:
Boston has lost 2 straight games.

Team records:
Boston: 37-28-9
Montreal: 41-24-10

Boston most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 3-7
Before playing Ottawa are 5-5
After playing Montreal are 7-3
After a loss are 4-6

Montreal most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 9-1
Before playing Ottawa are 8-2
After playing Boston are 4-6
After a win are 5-5

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Boston's last 5 games when playing Montreal
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Boston's last 7 games
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Boston's last 8 games when playing on the road against Montreal
Boston is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games on the road
Montreal is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing Boston
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Montreal's last 5 games when playing Boston
Montreal is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Boston
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Montreal's last 5 games at home

Next up:
Boston at Toronto, Tuesday, March 25
Montreal home to Ottawa, Monday, March 24

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Re: Hockey Today - Mar 22

Detroit Red Wings vs. Columbus Blue Jackets

- The fans at Nationwide Arena will be treated to a game between the Detroit Red Wings and the Columbus Blue Jackets when they take their seats on Saturday.

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

Pavel Datsyuk scored two goals in the third period to help the Red Wings double the Predators 6-3 on Thursday, as -120 favorites on the road. The nine goals sailed OVER the posted over/under (5.5).

Niklas Kronwall, Chris Chelios, Brian Rafalski and Johan Franzen scored singles in the win.

The Blue Jackets lost 3-1 to the Red Wings last time out, as +250 underdogs. The four goals were UNDER the posted over/under (5.5).

Manny Malhotra scored the lone goal for the Blue Jackets, and Fredrik Norrena made 24 saves in the loss.

Current streak:
Detroit has won 2 straight games.

Team records:
Detroit: 49-20-6
Columbus: 33-30-11

Detroit most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 5-5
Before playing Edmonton are 5-5
After playing Nashville are 4-6
After a win are 7-3

Columbus most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 4-6
Before playing Nashville are 5-5
After playing Detroit are 4-6
After a loss are 5-5

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Detroit's last 5 games on the road
Detroit is 7-2 SU in its last 9 games
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Detroit's last 10 games when playing Columbus
Detroit is 9-4 SU in its last 13 games when playing on the road against Columbus
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Columbus's last 7 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Columbus's last 10 games when playing Detroit
Columbus is 8-15 SU in its last 23 games
Columbus is 7-15 SU in its last 22 games when playing Detroit

Next up:
Detroit at St. Louis, Tuesday, March 25
Columbus at Nashville, Tuesday, March 25

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Re: Hockey Today - Mar 22

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Ottawa Senators

- The Toronto Maple Leafs and the Ottawa Senators will meet on the ice at Scotiabank Place on Saturday in a battle of division rivals.

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

Vesa Toskala made 35 saves on Friday night as the Maple Leafs got past the Buffalo Sabres by a final score of 4-1.

The Leafs were winners as +165 road underdogs in that contest, while the combined score fell UNDER the night's posted total (6).

The Senators won their fourth game in five outings on Thursday, as they slipped past the Blues 3-2 at home. The Senators won the game as -240 favorites, but the five goals were UNDER the posted over/under (5.5).

Antoine Vermette, Christoph Schubert and Jason Spezza scored for the Senators. Martin Gerber stopped 23 shots for the victory.

Current streak:
Toronto has won 2 straight games.

Team records:
Toronto: 34-31-10
Ottawa: 41-26-7

Toronto most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 3-7
Before playing San Jose are 3-3-2
After playing Buffalo are 7-3
After a win are 5-5

Ottawa most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 5-5
Before playing Boston are 7-3
After playing St. Louis are 7-3
After a win are 4-6

A few trends to consider:
Toronto is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Toronto's last 6 games on the road
Toronto is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Toronto's last 5 games when playing on the road against Ottawa
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Ottawa's last 7 games at home
Ottawa is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Ottawa's last 5 games when playing at home against Toronto
Ottawa is 10-3 SU in its last 13 games when playing at home against Toronto

Next up:
Toronto home to Boston, Tuesday, March 25
Ottawa at Montreal, Monday, March 24

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Re: Hockey Today - Mar 22

New Jersey Devils vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

- The fans at Mellon Arena will be treated to a game between the New Jersey Devils and the Pittsburgh Penguins when they take their seats on Saturday.

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

Travis Zajac had the lone New Jersey goal in their 3-1 loss to the New York Islanders on Friday night.

The Islanders were winners as +230 road underdogs in that contest, while the combined score fell UNDER the night's posted total (5).

Evgeni Malkin scored a goal and added an assist in the Penguins 4-2 win over the Lightning last time out, as -240 favorites. The six goals made it OVER the posted over/under (6).

Jarkko Ruutu, Jordan Staal and Petr Sykora added the other goals for the Penguins.

Current streak:
New Jersey has lost 2 straight games.

Team records:
New Jersey: 42-25-7
Pittsburgh: 42-25-7

New Jersey most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 6-4
Before playing Buffalo are 9-1
After playing NY Islanders are 6-4
After a loss are 5-5

Pittsburgh most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 4-6
Before playing Ottawa are 3-7
After playing Tampa Bay are 1-9
After a win are 5-5

A few trends to consider:
New Jersey is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Pittsburgh
The total has gone UNDER in 10 of New Jersey's last 12 games
New Jersey is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of New Jersey's last 9 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Pittsburgh's last 6 games
Pittsburgh is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
Pittsburgh is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Pittsburgh's last 6 games at home

Next up:
Pittsburgh at NY Islanders, Monday, March 24

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Re: Hockey Today - Mar 22

Minnesota Wild vs. Calgary Flames

- The fans at Pengrowth Saddledome will be treated to a game between the Minnesota Wild and the Calgary Flames when they take their seats on Saturday.

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

Niklas Backstrom made 30 saves on Friday as the Wild held on for a 2-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks.

The Wild had been listed at -110 on the road in that contest, while the combined score fell UNDER the night's posted total (5).

The Flames scored twice in the first period and held on for a 2-1 victory over the Avalanche on Thursday, as -130 favorites. The three goals were UNDER the posted over/under (5.5).

aymond Langkow and Craig Conroy scored for the Flames.

Team records:
Minnesota: 40-26-9
Calgary: 38-26-10

Minnesota most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 4-6
Before playing Florida are 3-3-2
After playing Vancouver are 5-5
After a win are 5-5

Calgary most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 5-5
Before playing Los Angeles are 5-5
After playing Colorado are 2-8
After a win are 5-5

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Minnesota's last 8 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 11 of Minnesota's last 15 games
Minnesota is 3-6 SU in its last 9 games
Minnesota is 1-7 SU in its last 8 games when playing Calgary
Calgary is 10-1 SU in its last 11 games when playing at home against Minnesota
Calgary is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games when playing Minnesota
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Calgary's last 6 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 10 of Calgary's last 13 games

Next up:
Minnesota at Edmonton, Monday, March 24
Calgary at Colorado, Monday, March 24

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Re: Hockey Today - Mar 22

Anaheim Ducks vs. Phoenix Coyotes

- The fans at Jobing.com Arena will be treated to a game between the Anaheim Ducks and the Phoenix Coyotes when they take their seats on Saturday.

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

Todd Marchant supplied the lone Anaheim goal in their 2-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Friday night.

The Sharks were winners as -150 home favorites in that contest, while the combined score fell UNDER the night's posted total (5).

The Coyotes fell 6-5 to the Kings in a shootout on Thursday, as -170 favorites. The combined score sailed OVER the posted over/under (5.5).

Keith Yandle, Steve Reinprecht, Enver Lisin, Shane Doan and Keith Ballard scored for the Coyotes.

Current streak:
Phoenix has lost 4 straight games.

Team records:
Anaheim: 42-26-8
Phoenix: 36-33-6

Anaheim most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 6-4
Before playing Los Angeles are 7-3
After playing San Jose are 6-4
After a loss are 4-6

Phoenix most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 6-3-1
Before playing Chicago are 5-5
After playing Los Angeles are 6-4
After a loss are 5-5

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Anaheim's last 6 games on the road
Anaheim is 15-5 SU in its last 20 games
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Anaheim's last 10 games
Anaheim is 15-8 SU in its last 23 games when playing Phoenix
Phoenix is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games when playing Anaheim
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Phoenix's last 6 games at home
Phoenix is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games when playing at home against Anaheim
Phoenix is 8-16-1 SU in its last 25 games when playing Anaheim

Next up:
Anaheim home to Los Angeles, Wednesday, March 26
Phoenix home to San Jose, Tuesday, March 25

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Re: Hockey Today - Mar 22

Sabres C Connolly to have season-ending hip surgery
March 21, 2008

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -Sabres center Tim Connolly will miss the rest of the regular season after the team decided Friday he'll have surgery to remove bone chips in his hip.

Sabres general manager Darcy Regier said Connolly is scheduled to have surgery on Monday in Colorado. It's unclear whether Connolly be able to return should the Sabres qualify for the playoffs, which open in three weeks.

Regier was scheduled to provide an update later in the evening during the first intermission of Buffalo's home game against Toronto.

The hip injury has bothered Connolly for much of the past three months, and he had hoped to complete the season before having surgery.

He missed 13 straight games from Jan. 10 to Feb. 8, before returning to the lineup. The play-making center played in 14 of the next 16 games, before aggravating the injury when he crashed heavily into the boards during a 3-2 shootout loss to the New York Rangers on March 10.

Connolly has not played since, missing the past four games.

With 40 points (seven goals, 33 assists) in 48 games, he still ranks sixth on the Sabres in scoring this season.

The injury was the latest setback for Connolly, who missed all but two regular season games last year because of a neck injury and post-concussion symptoms. He also missed the entire 2003-04 season because of a concussion.

Connolly has one year left on a three-year, $8.7 million contract, and scheduled to make $3.5 million next season.

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Re: Hockey Today - Mar 22

Rangers' Blair Betts to miss 2-to-3 weeks after foot surgery.
March 21, 2008

NEW YORK (AP) -Rangers forward Blair Betts had foot surgery Friday and will be out two to three weeks.

The operation in New York took place hours before the Rangers played the Flyers in Philadelphia.

Betts, a checking forward, has two goals and five assists this season while playing on the fourth line. He is one of seven players to have suited up for each of the Rangers' first 74 games.

His absence could open a spot for Petr Prucha, who has missed the previous 15 games - six because of a shoulder injury Feb. 10 at Washington.

If Rangers coach Tom Renney decides to go another way, Ryan Hollweg could reclaim his spot on the checking line. Hollweg has been benched the previous eight games after last month's acquisition of Fredrik Sjostrom from Phoenix at the trade deadline created a logjam at forward.

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Re: Hockey Today - Mar 22

Why the Avs are a good under bet right now
Covers.com

I was at the game in Minneapolis on Monday night to see the Avs take on the Wild. A few things stuck out to me about Colorado in its 3-1 defeat.

One: Jose Shut-de-door is playing great between the pipes. He kicked out 26 saves, making all the ones he should have and even a few he shouldn’t have.

Minnesota scored one on the power play in the first period and it was a beauty on a tipped shot in the second period by Stephane Veillieux. The third goal was an empty netter. In short, the Avs aren’t losing any games because of Theodore right now.

Two: Colorado’s power play stinks. Man, it stinks.

The Avs had a 5-on-3 early in the game and they didn’t generate a decent scoring chance out of it. They looked totally confused about where to put the puck, the defense were indecisive when they got the biscuit at the point and Peter Forsberg looks like he can’t remember what system they’re playing.

I realize the box scores will tell you that the Avs have five power play goals in their last four games (prior to Thursday's game vs. Calgary), but this is one of those situations where the stats lie.

Joe Sakic scored on one of his classic zinger wrist shots on the PP in the second, but other than that, it wasn’t hard to see why the Avs have the worst power play in the league at 13.3 percent.

Three: Forsberg is struggling. He had trouble keeping up with the play and didn’t generate much other than one shift when he came flying down the ice, made a gorgeous backhand pass across the net on his off wing and made a couple of huge hits. It looked like one of those what-got-into-that-guy shifts and Colorado needs more of that from him.

Forsberg likely isn’t in game shape yet and he is struggling with that groin problem. The Wild were also all over him every chance they got. After the game, you had to question his nearly 20 minutes of ice time.

When you add up all those factors, I have to like the under for the next little while if Avs totals reach 5 ½ or higher – especially if they’re playing defensive-minded teams like the Wild or Thursday's opponent, the Flames.

Colorado, Calgary, Minnesota and Vancouver are all fighting tooth-and-nail for top spot in the Northwest and none of them can afford defensive lapses right now. You could see the playoff intensity in Monday’s matchup and you can expect that to continue with only about 10 games left in the season.

Saturday the Avs take on Edmonton and oddsmakers have yet to set a line for this matchup, as of late Friday.

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Re: Hockey Today - Mar 22

NHL -– Trend Sheet

CHICAGO vs. NASHVILLE
The total has gone OVER in 8 of Chicago's last 9 games on the road
Chicago is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing Nashville
Nashville is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games when playing Chicago
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Nashville's last 6 games when playing Chicago


COLORADO vs. EDMONTON
Colorado is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing Edmonton
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Colorado's last 8 games when playing Edmonton
Edmonton is 2-5 SU in its last 7 games when playing at home against Colorado
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Edmonton's last 7 games when playing at home against Colorado


LOS ANGELES vs. DALLAS
Los Angeles is 3-11 SU in its last 14 games when playing Dallas
Los Angeles is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Dallas
Dallas is 1-6 SU in its last 7 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Dallas's last 7 games


BOSTON vs. MONTREAL
Boston is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Boston's last 7 games
Montreal is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing Boston
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Montreal's last 5 games when playing Boston


DETROIT vs. COLUMBUS
Detroit is 3-7 SU in its last 10 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Detroit's last 5 games on the road
Columbus is 5-13-1 SU in its last 19 games when playing at home against Detroit
Columbus is 7-15 SU in its last 22 games when playing Detroit


TAMPA BAY vs. FLORIDA
Tampa Bay is 3-6 SU in its last 9 games when playing Florida
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Tampa Bay's last 9 games when playing Florida
Florida is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Florida's last 5 games at home


TORONTO vs. OTTAWA
Toronto is 7-15 SU in its last 22 games when playing Ottawa
Toronto is 3-10 SU in its last 13 games when playing on the road against Ottawa
Ottawa is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Ottawa's last 7 games at home


NEW JERSEY vs. PITTSBURGH
New Jersey is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of New Jersey's last 9 games on the road
Pittsburgh is 5-12 SU in its last 17 games when playing New Jersey
Pittsburgh is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against New Jersey


ANAHEIM vs. PHOENIX
Anaheim is 15-5 SU in its last 20 games
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Anaheim's last 10 games
Phoenix is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games when playing Anaheim
Phoenix is 8-16-1 SU in its last 25 games when playing Anaheim


MINNESOTA vs. CALGARY
Minnesota is 1-7 SU in its last 8 games when playing Calgary
Minnesota is 1-11-1 SU in its last 13 games when playing on the road against Calgary
Calgary is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Calgary's last 6 games at home

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