Hockey Today - Mar 27

Hockey Today - Mar 27

Hockey Today

New Jersey at N.Y. Rangers (7 p.m. EDT). The Rangers have beaten the Devils all six times this season.

STARS

-Milan Hejduk and Peter Forsberg, Avalanche. Hejduk scored twice and Forsberg had three assists and Colorado beat Vancouver 6-3.

-Mikko Koivu, Wild, assisted on all three Minnesota goals in a 3-1 win over Edmonton.

-Clay Wilson, Blue Jackets, had a goal and his first assist in his second NHL game to lead Columbus to a 4-0 victory over Chicago.

-Mathieu Schneider, Ducks, scored the deciding goal in the sixth round of the shootout and Anaheim edged Los Angeles 2-1.

SID RETURNING SOON?

Sidney Crosby, sidelined for 28 of Pittsburgh's past 31 games with a sprained right ankle, went through an optional practice Wednesday without problems and plans to play Thursday night against the New York Islanders. Crosby was hurt Jan. 18 against Tampa Bay and didn't play again until facing the Lightning in Tampa on March 4. He played three games that week, but hasn't played since scoring two goals against the Capitals on March 9.

JUST DUCKY

Defending-champion Anaheim clinched a playoff berth for the third straight season by tying Los Angeles after regulation before posting a 2-1 shootout win on Wednesday night. The Ducks have qualified for the postseason six times since coming into the league in 1993.

REVENGE

Minnesota recovered from its loss to Edmonton two nights earlier and leap-frogged Calgary into first place in the Northwest Division after topping the Oilers 3-1 on Wednesday night. ... Columbus damaged Chicago's playoff hopes and avenged two straight blowout losses at home to the Blackhawks with a 4-0 win. The Blackhawks, who won their last two visits to Columbus 7-2 and 6-3, remain six points out of the final playoff spot in the West.

SEVENTH HEAVEN

Colorado broke a seventh-place tie with Vancouver in the tight Western Conference playoff race and handed the Canucks their third straight loss after a 6-3 victory on Wednesday night. Vancouver's lead for the final playoff spot is just two points ahead of Nashville.

SIGNED

Carolina signed first-round draft pick Brandon Sutter to a three-year contract and said he will report to its American Hockey League affiliate in Albany. The 19-year-old Sutter led his junior team, the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League, with 26 goals and 49 points this season.

SPEAKING

``I don't know if I'm back yet. Those weren't the prettiest points, but I'll take them anyway,'' - Colorado's Peter Forsberg after he had three assists in a 6-3 win over Vancouver on Wednesday night. Forsberg doubled his point total since rejoining the Avalanche on March 4.

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Re: Hockey Today - Mar 27

Sidney Crosby set to return to Penguins on Thursday night against Islanders
March 26, 2008

PITTSBURGH (AP) -Sidney Crosby, sidelined for 28 of the Pittsburgh Penguins' past 31 games with a sprained right ankle, went through an optional practice Wednesday without problems and plans to play Thursday night against the New York Islanders.
   
Crosby, who has missed the Penguins' past seven games, accompanied the team on a two-game road trip Monday and Tuesday, but did not play in either game. The Penguins lost to the Islanders 4-1 Monday and clinched a playoff spot after beating the Devils 2-0 Tuesday.

Crosby was hurt Jan. 18 against Tampa Bay and didn't play again until facing the Lightning in Tampa on March 4. He played three games that week, but hasn't played since scoring two goals against the Capitals on March 9.

``I feel strong. I feel a lot better than I did coming back the first time, a lot more confident,'' Crosby said Wednesday.

When he plays Thursday, Crosby will center a line that includes Marian Hossa, the forward acquired from Atlanta at the trading deadline last month. Hossa was out with a knee injury when Crosby made his brief return earlier this month.

Crosby, last season's NHL scoring champion, was leading the league again in scoring when he was hurt in January. He had two goals and two assists in his three games earlier this month, before the ankle began bothering him again.

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Re: Hockey Today - Mar 27

Lightning recall goalie Marc Denis
March 26, 2008

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -The Tampa Bay Lightning recalled goalie Marc Denis from Norfolk of the American Hockey League on Wednesday.

Denis replaces goalie Jonathan Boutin, who was reassigned to Norfolk a day after the Lightning recalled him from the minor league team on an emergency basis because starting goalie Mike Smith has a sprained left ankle.

Smith, who was hurt in practice Monday, is listed day to day.

Denis began the season with the Lightning and was assigned to Norfolk on Dec. 29. He played in 28 games with the Admirals, going 9-15-2 with a 3.02 goals-against average and .905 save percentage.

He has appeared in 348 NHL games with Colorado, Columbus and Tampa Bay.

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Re: Hockey Today - Mar 27

Sabres sign former Bowling Green forward Derek Whitmore
March 26, 2008

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -Forward Derek Whitmore signed a two-year contract with the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday after completing his four-year career at Bowling Green.

An undrafted free agent, Whitmore had a career-high 27 goals and added 10 assists in 38 games as a senior, A native of Rochester, he finished his NCAA career with 103 points (70 goals, 33 assists) in 143 games.

He's the second college player to sign with the Sabres in two days, after Buffalo signed Massachusetts' defenseman Mike Kostka.

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Re: Hockey Today - Mar 27

New Jersey Devils vs. New York Rangers

- The New Jersey Devils and the New York Rangers will both be trying to pick up a win on Thursday when they battle at Madison Square Garden.

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

The Devils were shut out 2-0 by the Penguins as a -155 favorite on Tuesday. The team's played UNDER the posted over/under (5).

Martin Brodeur stopped 18-of-19 shots in a losing effort.

The Rangers fell 2-1 to the Flyers in overtime on Tuesday, as -160 favorites at home. The three goals were UNDER the posted over/under (5.5).

Jaromir Jagr scored the lone goal for the Rangers.

Current streak:
New Jersey has lost 4 straight games.
New York has lost 2 straight games.

Team records:
New Jersey: 42-27-7
New York: 39-26-11

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

New York most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 6-4
Before playing Florida are 7-3
After playing Philadelphia are 6-4
After a loss are 7-3

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of New Jersey's last 6 games when playing NY Rangers
The total has gone UNDER in 11 of New Jersey's last 14 games
The total has gone UNDER in 10 of New Jersey's last 14 games when playing on the road against NY Rangers
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of New Jersey's last 10 games on the road
NY Rangers are 5-0 SU in their last 5 games when playing New Jersey
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of the NY Rangers last 6 games when playing New Jersey
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of the NY Rangers last 9 games
NY Rangers are 6-2 SU in their last 8 games at home

Next up:
New Jersey home to Philadelphia, Friday, March 28
NY Rangers at Pittsburgh, Sunday, March 30

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Re: Hockey Today - Mar 27

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Boston Bruins

- The Toronto Maple Leafs and the Boston Bruins will both be trying to pick up a win on Thursday when they battle at TD Banknorth Garden.

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

The Bruins skated to a 6-2 win over the Maple Leafs in the opener of a home-and-home set on Tuesday, as +130 road underdogs. The eight goals sailed OVER the posted over/under (5.5).

Glen Murray, David Krejci, Marco Sturm, Shawn Thornton, Phil Kessel, and Jeremy Reich scored for the Bruins in that win. Jason Blake and Alexei Ponikarovsky replied for the Maple Leafs.

Team records:
Toronto: 35-32-10
Boston: 38-28-10

Toronto most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 5-4-1
Before playing San Jose are 3-3-2
After playing Boston are 5-5
After a loss are 8-2

Boston most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 4-4-2
Before playing Ottawa are 5-5
After playing Toronto are 7-3
After a win are 5-5

A few trends to consider:
Toronto is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games on the road
Toronto is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Toronto's last 7 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Toronto's last 12 games when playing on the road against Boston
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Boston's last 9 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Boston's last 7 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Boston's last 12 games when playing at home against Toronto
Boston is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games at home

Next up:
Toronto home to Montreal, Saturday, March 29
Boston home to Ottawa, Saturday, March 29

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Re: Hockey Today - Mar 27

New York Islanders vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

- Divisional bragging rights will be on the line on Thursday when the New York Islanders and the Pittsburgh Penguins meet at Mellon Arena.

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

The Islanders took advantage of the Crosby-less Penguins with a 4-1 win last time out, as +175 underdogs at home. The five goals were UNDER the posted over/under (5.5).

Richard Park, Bill Guerin, Sean Bergenheim and Trent Hunter tallied for the Islanders. Wade Dubielewicz made 28 saves in the win.

Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 30 shots for the shutout on Tuesday, and the Penguins pulled out a 2-0 win over the Devils. The Penguins won the game as +135 road underdogs, while the team's played UNDER the posted over/under (5).

Ryan Malone scored on the power play, and Marian Hossa added an empty net marker in the win.

Team records:
New York: 34-36-7
Pittsburgh: 44-26-7

New York most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 3-6-1
Before playing New Jersey are 6-4
After playing Pittsburgh are 8-2
After a win are 5-5

Pittsburgh most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 4-5-1
Before playing Ottawa are 3-7
After playing New Jersey are 7-3
After a win are 5-5

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of the NY Islanders last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 5 of the NY Islanders last 6 games when playing on the road against Pittsburgh
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of the NY Islanders last 6 games on the road
NY Islanders are 2-4 SU in their last 6 games when playing Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Pittsburgh's last 6 games when playing at home against NY Islanders
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Pittsburgh's last 5 games at home
Pittsburgh is 4-1 SU in their last 5 games when playing at home against NY Islanders

Next up:
NY Islanders home to Philadelphia, Saturday, March 29
Pittsburgh home to NY Rangers, Sunday, March 30

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Re: Hockey Today - Mar 27

Atlanta Thrashers vs. Florida Panthers

- The Atlanta Thrashers and the Florida Panthers will meet on the ice at BankAtlantic Center on Thursday in a battle of division rivals.

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

Kari Lehtonen gave up four goals on 44 shots in Atlanta's 5-3 loss to the Washington Capitals on Friday night.

The Caps got the win as -175 road favorites in that contest, while the combined score went OVER the night's posted total (5.5).

The Panthers lost 3-1 to the Lightning on Tuesday, as -130 favorites. The four goals were UNDER the posted over/under (5.5).

David Booth scored the lone Panthers goal.

Current streak:
Atlanta has lost 5 straight games.

Team records:
Atlanta: 31-38-8
Florida: 36-32-9

Atlanta most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 7-3
Before playing NY Rangers are 2-8
After playing Washington are 3-7
After a loss are 2-8

Florida most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 7-3
Before playing NY Rangers are 6-4
After playing Tampa Bay are 4-6
After a loss are 5-5

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

Next up:
Atlanta at Carolina, Friday, March 28
Florida home to Washington, Saturday, March 29

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Atlanta Thrashers vs. Florida Panthers

- The Atlanta Thrashers and the Florida Panthers will meet on the ice at BankAtlantic Center on Thursday in a battle of division rivals.

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

Kari Lehtonen gave up four goals on 44 shots in Atlanta's 5-3 loss to the Washington Capitals on Friday night.

The Caps got the win as -175 road favorites in that contest, while the combined score went OVER the night's posted total (5.5).

The Panthers lost 3-1 to the Lightning on Tuesday, as -130 favorites. The four goals were UNDER the posted over/under (5.5).

David Booth scored the lone Panthers goal.

Current streak:
Atlanta has lost 5 straight games.

Team records:
Atlanta: 31-38-8
Florida: 36-32-9

Atlanta most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 7-3
Before playing NY Rangers are 2-8
After playing Washington are 3-7
After a loss are 2-8

Florida most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 7-3
Before playing NY Rangers are 6-4
After playing Tampa Bay are 4-6
After a loss are 5-5

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

Next up:
Atlanta at Carolina, Friday, March 28
Florida home to Washington, Saturday, March 29

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Re: Hockey Today - Mar 27

Washington Capitals vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

- The Washington Capitals and the Tampa Bay Lightning will meet on the ice at St. Pete Times Forum on Thursday in a battle of division rivals.

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

Viktor Kozlov scored the shootout winner on Tuesday, as the Capitals defeated the Hurricanes 3-2. The Capitals won the game as +105 underdogs, and the combined score fell UNDER the posted over/under (6).

Alexander Semin and Alexander Ovechkin added the regulation markers for the Capitals. Cristobal Huet stopped 25 shots for the win.

The Lightning scored twice in the third period of Tuesday's 3-1 win over the Panthers. The Lightning won the game as +110 underdogs, while the four goals were UNDER the posted over/under (5.5).

Michel Ouellet, Jeff Halpern and Filip Kuba scored for the Lightning. Karri Ramo was outstanding in making 34 saves in the win.

Current streak:
Washington has won 2 straight games.

Team records:
Washington: 38-31-8
Tampa Bay: 30-38-8

Washington most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 1-9
Before playing Calgary are 4-6
After playing Carolina are 4-6
After a win are 6-4

Tampa Bay most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 3-7
Before playing St. Louis are 3-7
After playing Florida are 5-5
After a win are 4-6

A few trends to consider:
Washington is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games
The total has gone UNDER in 11 of Washington's last 15 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Washington's last 7 games on the road
Washington is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Tampa Bay's last 6 games at home
Tampa Bay is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 10 of Tampa Bay's last 14 games when playing Washington
Tampa Bay is 9-4 SU in its last 13 games when playing at home against Washington

Next up:
Washington at Florida, Saturday, March 29
Tampa Bay home to Carolina, Saturday, March 29

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Re: Hockey Today - Mar 27

Buffalo Sabres vs. Ottawa Senators

- The Buffalo Sabres and the Ottawa Senators will both be gunning for a victory on Thursday when they meet at Scotiabank Place.

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

The Senators scored five goals in the third period of Tuesday's 6-3 win over the Sabres. The Sens won that game as +115 underdogs, while the nine goals sailed OVER the posted over/under (6).

Daniel Alfredsson scored a pair for the Senators in that win, while Derek Roy had both goals for the Sabres in a losing cause.

Current streak:
Buffalo has lost 2 straight games.

Team records:
Buffalo: 35-30-11
Ottawa: 42-28-7

Buffalo most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 6-3-1
Before playing Colorado are 6-4
After playing Ottawa are 4-6
After a loss are 4-6

Ottawa most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 7-2-1
Before playing Boston are 7-3
After playing Buffalo are 5-5
After a win are 3-7

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Buffalo's last 6 games
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Buffalo's last 6 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Buffalo's last 5 games when playing on the road against Ottawa
Buffalo is 8-4 SU in its last 12 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Ottawa's last 5 games when playing at home against Buffalo
Ottawa is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing Buffalo
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Ottawa's last 8 games at home
Ottawa is 6-2 SU in its last 8 games when playing at home against Buffalo

Next up:
Buffalo home to Montreal, Friday, March 28
Ottawa at Boston, Saturday, March 29

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Re: Hockey Today - Mar 27

Phoenix Coyotes vs. Los Angeles Kings

- The fans at STAPLES Center will be treated to a game between the Phoenix Coyotes and the Los Angeles Kings when they take their seats on Thursday.

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

Martin Hanzel scored at 3:23 of overtime to help the Coyotes get past the red-hot Sharks 5-4 on Tuesday, as +130 underdogs. The nine goals sailed OVER the posted over/under (5).

Derek Morris, Enver Lisin, Shane Doan and Steve Reinprecht scored in regulation for the Coyotes.

The Kings lost a tough 2-1 game to the Ducks last time out, as +200 underdogs. The combined score fell UNDER the posted over/under (5.5).

Patrick O'Sullivan tallied in regulation for the Kings. Erik Ersberg stopped 39 shots in the loss.

Team records:
Phoenix: 37-34-6
Los Angeles: 30-40-7

Phoenix most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 2-8
Before playing Chicago are 5-5
After playing San Jose are 4-6
After a win are 3-7

Los Angeles most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 2-7-1
Before playing Dallas are 4-6
After playing Anaheim are 2-8
After a loss are 4-6

A few trends to consider:
Phoenix is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games when playing Los Angeles
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Phoenix's last 7 games on the road
Phoenix is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Los Angeles
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Phoenix's last 5 games when playing on the road against Los Angeles
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Los Angeles's last 5 games when playing at home against Phoenix
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Los Angeles's last 10 games when playing Phoenix
Los Angeles is 4-10 SU in its last 14 games
Los Angeles is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Phoenix

Next up:
Phoenix at San Jose, Sunday, March 30
Los Angeles home to Dallas, Saturday, March 29

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Dallas Stars vs. San Jose Sharks

- Divisional bragging rights will be on the line on Thursday when the Dallas Stars and the San Jose Sharks meet at HP Pavilion.

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

Stu Barnes and Brenden Morrow had the markers for Dallas in 4-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.

Los Angeles won as +190 road underdogs as the teams played over the 5.5-goal total set by oddsmakers.

The Sharks came back from four goals down to force overtime, but fell 5-4 to the Coyotes on Tuesday. The Sharks had been favored at -150 in the contest, while the nine goals sailed OVER the posted over/under (5).

Joe Thornton scored three goals in the third and Marc-Edouard Vlasic added another to help the Sharks force OT, before falling to the Coyotes.

Current streak:
Dallas has lost 4 straight games.

Team records:
Dallas: 42-29-5
San Jose: 45-21-10

Dallas most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 6-4
Before playing Los Angeles are 5-5
After playing Los Angeles are 5-5
After a loss are 4-6

San Jose most recently:
When playing on Thursday are 7-2-1
Before playing Toronto are 3-3-2
After playing Phoenix are 5-5
After a loss are 5-5

A few trends to consider:
Dallas is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing on the road against San Jose
Dallas is 8-3 SU in its last 11 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Dallas's last 6 games when playing San Jose
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Dallas's last 6 games on the road
San Jose is 14-2 SU in its last 16 games
San Jose is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 4 of San Jose's last 6 games when playing Dallas
San Jose is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Dallas

Next up:
Dallas at Los Angeles, Saturday, March 29
San Jose at Anaheim, Friday, March 28

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