Hockey Today April 2

Hockey Today April 2

Hurricanes activate Williams, Whitney from IR, send down Jensen
By ASSOCIATED PRESS

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -The Carolina Hurricanes activated forwards Ray Whitney and Justin Williams from injured reserve on Tuesday and sent forward Joe Jensen back to their American Hockey League affiliate in Albany.

Williams and Whitney were eligible to play Tuesday night at Washington. Williams missed 43 games after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament Dec. 20 at Florida. He had nine goals and 21 assists in 36 games before the injury.

Whitney was out for 12 games after having surgery March 15 to replace a damaged bursa in his leg, and has 25 goals and 34 assists.

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Wednesday NHL Gameday

The Philadelphia Flyers will be looking to improve their position in the Eastern standings when they play in Pittsburgh against the Pens on Wednesday. Here's your NHL Gameday …

Boston Bruins at New Jersey Devils

The Bruins have showed some improvement over the past week; after losing most of their games over the first three weeks of March they have now picked up points in each of their past five outings. Boston is coming off a 2-1 overtime loss versus the Sabres on Sunday, with David Krejci scoring the team's only marker. Alex Auld stopped 28 shots.

New Jersey has been in a bit of a tailspin over the past couple of weeks, which allowed the Penguins to surge past them and take control of top spot in the Atlantic Division. The Devils are coming off a win against the Islanders on Tuesday night, and they last battled the Bruins way back on January 5. Boston held on for a 4-3 victory in that game.

Tampa Bay Lightning at Carolina Hurricanes

The only positive thing the Lightning can do in the last week of the regular season is improve their chances in the draft lottery - they're 'battling' the Thrashers and the Kings for last place overall in the NHL. Tampa Bay picked up yet another loss on Monday night, as they fell 2-0 at home to Atlanta. Mike Smith stopped 22 of 23 shots in that game.

A great month of March should've clinched the Southeast Division for the Hurricanes, but instead the hot play of the Capitals kept that divisional race alive into the final week of the regular season. Carolina fell 2-1 to the lowly Bolts when they met back on March 29, and they're coming off a disappointing 4-1 loss in their big game against Washington on Tuesday.

Philadelphia Flyers at Pittsburgh Penguins

The Flyers still aren't too comfortable in the Top 8 of the Eastern Conference standings, but they could do themselves a big favor by knocking off the rival Penguins on Wednesday night. Philadelphia is coming off a 4-3 win over the Islanders on Saturday, and they've picked up points in each of their past six games as they gun for the playoffs.

The Penguins now have Sidney Crosby back in the lineup, and they're battling the Canadiens for first place overall in the Eastern Conference. Pittsburgh last played Philadelphia on March 16, with Evgeni Malkin and Petr Sykora each scoring two goals in an easy 7-1 win. The Penguins are coming off a 2-1 loss to the Rangers on Monday.

Detroit Red Wings at Chicago Blackhawks

The Red Wings had no trouble at all winning the Central Division this season, and now they're just trying to stay healthy for next week's launch of the postseason. Detroit lost just three times in the month of March (once in overtime), and they're coming off a 1-0 blanking of the Predators on Sunday. Dominik Hasek picked up 22 saves in that victory.

The Blackhawks have managed to pick up points in five of their past six games (going 4-1-1 over that span), but that wasn't enough to push them into playoff contention in the last week of the regular season. Chicago got past Columbus 5-4 on Sunday, with Nikolai Khabibulin saving 31 of 35 shots and Patrick Kane scoring the shootout winner.

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Hockey Today

Philadelphia at Pittsburgh (7:30 p.m. EDT). The Penguins can clinch their first division title in 10 years with a victory.

STARS

-Carey Price, Canadiens, made 32 saves and Montreal blanked Ottawa 3-0.

-Zach Parise, Devils, deflected in the game-winning goal 29 seconds into overtime to give New Jersey a 2-1 win over the New York Islanders.

-Maxim Afinogenov, Sabres, scored the winning goal in the shootout, lifting Buffalo to a 4-3 victory at Toronto.

-Rich Peverley, Predators, scored 1:43 into overtime and Nashville rallied for a 4-3 win at St. Louis.

-Owen Nolan, Flames, scored the winning goal with 3:44 left in regulation to help Calgary beat Edmonton 3-2.

CLINCHINGS

Montreal wrapped up its first division title in 16 years by beating Ottawa 3-0 on Tuesday night. The Canadiens also reached 100 points for the 16th time overall and first since 1992-93, when they finished third in their division with 103 before going on to win their 24th Stanley Cup, their 23rd as a member of the NHL. ... New Jersey clinched a playoff spot with its 2-1 overtime win over the New York Islanders. The Devils trail Pittsburgh by five points, but have a two-point edge over the fifth-place New York Rangers in the chase for home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs. ... Colorado became the sixth Western Conference team to claim a playoff spot with its 4-2 win at Vancouver.

ALL-TIME HIGH


San Jose earned its 108th point with Tuesday night's 5-2 victory over Los Angeles, surpassing last season's franchise record of 107 with two games to play.

CAPITAL GAIN


Washington tied Carolina for first place in the Southeast Division after beating the Hurricanes 4-1 on Tuesday night. The Capitals are on their first five-game winning streak since March 2001 and have also won nine of 10. Both Washington and Carolina have 90 points with two games to go in the regular season, but the Hurricanes hold the tiebreaker with one more victory.

SATISFYING WIN

Calgary eliminated division-rival Edmonton from the Western Conference playoff chase after edging the Oilers 3-2 on Tuesday night. Calgary moved into sixth place in the West and needs just a point in its last two games, or a loss by Nashville or Vancouver, to make the playoffs.

FANTASTIC FOUR


San Jose's Evgeni Nabokov recorded his 46th win of the season after making 16 saves in a 5-2 win over Los Angeles on Tuesday night. Nabokov is fourth in NHL history behind Martin Brodeur's 48 victories of last season and the 47 compiled by Philadelphia's Bernie Parent (1973-74) - who did it before shootouts - and Vancouver's Roberto Luongo (2006-07).

FINALLY


Peter Forsberg scored his first goal of the season to help Colorado defeat Vancouver 4-2 on Tuesday night. Forsberg had 10 assists in his first seven games with the Avalanche since signing with the team in late February.

STUNNING COMEBACK

Nashville overcame a 3-0 first-period deficit and jumped a point ahead of Vancouver into the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference with a 4-3 overtime win at St. Louis.

STILL ALIVE


Buffalo kept its slim playoff hopes alive with Tuesday night's 4-3 shootout win at Toronto. The Sabres are three points behind Philadelphia and Boston with two games remaining - at Montreal on Thursday and at the Bruins on Saturday.

WELCOME BACK

Buffalo defenseman Teppo Numminen was activated from the injury-suspended list and cleared to play Tuesday, more than six months after the 39-year-old had open-heart surgery. Numminen did not play against the Maple Leafs on Tuesday night, but has not been ruled out from playing in either of the Sabres' final two regular-season games.

SPEAKING

``It's nice to have that 'X' by your team in the standings.'' - New Jersey coach Brent Sutter after the Devils clinched a playoff berth with Tuesday night's 2-1 overtime win over the New York Islanders.

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Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Carolina Hurricanes

- The division rival Tampa Bay Lightning and Carolina Hurricanes are set to renew hostilities on Wednesday when they meet at RBC Center.

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

Mike Smith made 22 saves for Tampa Bay in its 2-0 loss to the Atlanta Thrashers on Monday night.

Atlanta upset Tampa Bay as +145 road underdogs as the game played under the 5.5-goal total listed by sportsbooks.

Scott Walker marked the only goal for Carolina in its 4-1 loss to the Washington Capitals on Tuesday night.

Washington won as -160 home favorites as the game played under the 6-goal total listed by oddsmakers.

Current streak:
Carolina has lost 2 straight games.

Team records:
Tampa Bay: 31-39-9
Carolina: 42-32-6

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

Carolina most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 3-7
Before playing Boston are 4-6
After playing Washington are 4-6
After a loss are 7-3

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Tampa Bay's last 5 games on the road
Tampa Bay is 8-3 SU in its last 11 games when playing Carolina
Tampa Bay is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Carolina
Tampa Bay is 8-12-5 SU in its last 25 games when playing on the road against Carolina
Carolina is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games at home
Carolina is 12-5 SU in its last 17 games
Carolina is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games when playing at home against Tampa Bay
Carolina is 3-8 SU in its last 11 games when playing Tampa Bay

Next up:
Tampa Bay at Washington, Thursday, April 3
Carolina home to Florida, Friday, April 4

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Boston Bruins vs. New Jersey Devils

- The Boston Bruins and the New Jersey Devils will both be trying to pick up a win on Wednesday 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 Bruins lost to Buffalo 2-1 in overtime as a +150 underdog last time out. The three goals scored fell UNDER the posted over/under total (5.5).

David Krejci scored the Bruins lone goal shorthanded and Alex Auld stopped 28-of-30 shots in the loss.

Zach Parise scored the winner in overtime to lift the Devils to a 2-1 win over the New York Islanders on Tuesday night.

New Jersey won as -200 road favorites as the teams played under the 5-goal total listed by sportsbooks.

Current streak:
New Jersey has won 2 straight games.

Team records:
Boston: 40-28-11
New Jersey: 44-28-7

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

New Jersey most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 6-4
Before playing Buffalo are 9-1
After playing NY Islanders are 6-4
After a win are 7-3

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Boston's last 6 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 9 of Boston's last 12 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Boston's last 6 games when playing on the road against New Jersey
Boston is 5-10 SU in its last 15 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of New Jersey's last 6 games at home
New Jersey is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Boston
New Jersey is 8-3 SU in its last 11 games when playing Boston
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of New Jersey's last 6 games when playing at home against Boston

Next up:
Boston at Ottawa, Friday, April 4
New Jersey at Philadelphia, Friday, April 4

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Philadelphia Flyers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

- The Philadelphia Flyers and the Pittsburgh Penguins will meet on the ice at Mellon Arena on Wednesday in a battle of division rivals.

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

Daniel Briere scored the shootout winner and added one in regulation on Saturday, as the Flyers defeated the Islanders 4-3. The Flyers won the game as -165 favorites, while the combined score made it OVER the posted over/under (5.5).

Joffrey Lupul and Mike Richards had the other Flyers markers.

Maxime Talbot scored the lone marker for Pittsbugh in its 2-1 overtime loss to the New York Rangers on Monday night.

New York won as -140 home favorites as the game played under the 5.5-goal total posted by oddsmakers.

Team records:
Philadelphia: 40-28-11
Pittsburgh: 46-26-8

Philadelphia most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 4-6
Before playing Tampa Bay are 4-6
After playing NY Islanders are 6-4
After a win are 6-4

Pittsburgh most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 4-5-1
Before playing Ottawa are 3-7
After playing NY Rangers are 3-7
After a loss are 7-3

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

Next up:
Philadelphia home to New Jersey, Friday, April 4
Pittsburgh at Philadelphia, Sunday, April 6

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Detroit Red Wings vs. Chicago Blackhawks

- The fans at United Center will be treated to a game between the Detroit Red Wings and the Chicago Blackhawks when they take their seats on Wednesday.

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

The Red Wings defeated Nashville 1-0 in overtime as a -190 favorite last time out. The one goal scored fell UNDER the posted over/under total (5.5).

Johan Franzen scored in overtime for Detroit, while Dominik Hasek stopped 22 shots to earn the shutout.

The Blackhawks defeated Columbus 5-4 in a shootout as a -150 favorite last time out. The nine goals scored went OVER the posted over/under total (5.5).

Jonathan Toews and Jason Williams each had a goal and an assist for Chicago, while Brent Seabrook had a pair of assists.

Current streak:
Chicago has won 2 straight games.

Team records:
Detroit: 52-20-7
Chicago: 38-33-8

Detroit most recently:
When playing on Wednesday are 9-1
Before playing Edmonton are 5-5
After playing Nashville are 4-6
After a win are 7-3

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

A few trends to consider:
Detroit is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games
Detroit is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Detroit's last 5 games when playing Chicago
Detroit is 17-6 SU in its last 23 games when playing Chicago
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Chicago's last 5 games when playing Detroit
Chicago is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games when playing Detroit
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Chicago's last 6 games at home
Chicago is 8-4 SU in its last 12 games at home

Next up:
Detroit home to Columbus, Thursday, April 3
Chicago home to Nashville, Friday, April 4

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