Hockey Today April 5

Hockey Today April 5

Hockey Today

Florida at Washington (7 p.m. EDT). The Capitals need at least one point in their season finale to clinch the Southeast Division and the final playoff spot in the East or else they will be eliminated.

STARS

-Daniel Carcillo, Coyotes, had three goals for his first career hat trick to lead Phoenix to a 4-2 win at Dallas.

-Richard Park, Islanders, scored a short-handed goal in the second period and then added the decisive tally in the shootout for a 4-3 win over the Rangers.

-Patrick Kane, Blackhawks, had a goal and an assist in Chicago's 3-1 win over Nashville.

-Nathan Horton, Panthers, had a goal and an assist and Florida beat Carolina 4-3.

ONE SPOT LEFT

Philadelphia, Ottawa and Boston all clinched playoff spots in the Eastern Conference Friday night, leaving Carolina and Washington to battle for the Southeast Division crown and final postseason berth. The Flyers made it with their 3-0 win over New Jersey on Friday, coupled with the Hurricanes' loss to Florida. The Senators clinched a playoff spot with Carolina's loss, while the Bruins used that and their 2-1 win over Ottawa to wrap up a berth.

GO FOURTH


Defending-champion Anaheim will finish fourth in the Western Conference and gain home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs after Dallas lost to Phoenix on Friday night.

SEEING RED

Nashville, which clinched a playoff spot on Thursday, is locked into eighth place and the last playoff spot in the Western Conference after losing to Chicago 3-1 on Friday night. The Predators, who lost for the first time in regulation following a 5-0-1 stretch, will face league-leading Detroit in the opening postseason round. Nashville was 3-3-2 against the Red Wings in regular-season play.

NO DOUBTING THOMAS

Boston's Tim Thomas came within 8:14 of recording his third straight shutout against Ottawa, but still hung on for a 2-1 win on Friday night. Antoine Vermette, who scored his first career hat trick one night earlier, scored 11:46 into the third, ending Thomas' shutout streak against Ottawa at 180 minutes, 10 seconds. Thomas stopped 17 shots, improving to 4-0-1 in his last five starts against the Senators.

NO DANNY

Danny Briere was scratched from Philadelphia's game against New Jersey on Friday night with the Flyers needing wins in their final two games to make the playoffs. Briere, who has 31 goals and 72 points, injured his knee in a collision during Wednesday's 4-2 loss in Pittsburgh.

SURGERY

Dallas defenseman Sergei Zubov had surgery this week in Berlin on a sports hernia injury, leaving his status unclear as the team prepares to face Anaheim in the playoffs. Zubov has been out since Jan. 19 with a variety of ailments. The hernia dates to last year's playoffs, and an attempt to play through a foot injury this season created a groin strain.

SPEAKING

``It feels disgusting. We just needed to win two of our last four, and we go 1-3. How we lost this one, not only is it frustrating and it hurts, (but) you hate to sit back and hope you're going to get help. ... We've got to hope (the Panthers) do the same job tomorrow night as they (did against Carolina). I doubt they will. Washington's taking care of their business like it means something, and it's just frustrating that we let this one slip away.'' - Ray Whitney after Carolina failed to clinch the Southeast Division with a 4-3 loss to Florida on Friday night despite holding a 46-17 advantage in shots while going penalty free. The Hurricanes and Capitals are tied atop the division, but Washington has one more game left and will eliminate Carolina if it gets at least one point against the Panthers on Saturday.

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Re: Hockey Today April 5

Anaheim Ducks vs. Los Angeles Kings

- The fans at STAPLES Center will be treated to a game between the Anaheim Ducks and the Los Angeles Kings 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.

The Ducks defeated Dallas 3-2 in a shootout as a -160 favorite last time out. The five goals scored caused this game to be a PUSH on the posted over/under total (5).

Mathieu Schneider scored a pair of goals for Anaheim, while Ryan Getzlaf collected two assists in the win.

The Kings pulled off a 4-2 upset victory over the Sharks on Thursday, as +125 underdogs. The six goals made it OVER the posted over/under (5.5).

Anze Kopitar scored twice, while Brian Willsie and Raitis Ivanans scored for the Kings. Erik Ersberg stopped 32 shots in the win.

Team records:
Anaheim: 45-27-8
Los Angeles: 32-42-7

Anaheim most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 4-6
Before playing Phoenix are 4-6
After playing Dallas are 4-6
After a win are 6-4

Los Angeles most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 5-5
Before playing Dallas are 5-5
After playing San Jose are 4-6
After a win are 2-8

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Anaheim's last 7 games on the road
Anaheim is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing Los Angeles
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Anaheim's last 6 games
Anaheim is 6-2 SU in its last 8 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Los Angeles's last 7 games when playing Anaheim
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Los Angeles's last 7 games
Los Angeles is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games at home
Los Angeles is 6-12 SU in its last 18 games

Next up:
Anaheim home to Phoenix, Sunday, April 6

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Re: Hockey Today April 5

Columbus Blue Jackets vs. St. Louis Blues

- Divisional bragging rights will be on the line on Saturday when the Columbus Blue Jackets and the St. Louis Blues meet at Scottrade Center.

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

The Blue Jackets lost 3-2 to the Red Wings last time out, as +220 road underdogs. The five goals fell UNDER the night's posted over/under (5.5).

Ron Hainsey and Aaron Rome scored for the Blue Jackets. Pascal Leclaire stopped 36 shots in a losing effort.

The Blues lost 3-2 to the Predators last time out, as +220 road underdogs. The five goals fell UNDER the posted over/under (5.5).

Jay McClement and David Backes scored for the Blues. Hannu Toivonen stopped 27-of-30 shots in the loss.

Current streak:
Columbus has lost 3 straight games.
St. Louis has lost 3 straight games.

Team records:
Columbus: 34-34-12
St. Louis: 31-36-13

Columbus most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 6-4
Before playing St. Louis are 5-5
After playing Detroit are 3-7
After a loss are 4-6

St. Louis most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 3-7
Before playing Tampa Bay are 3-3-1
After playing Nashville are 4-6
After a loss are 2-8

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Columbus's last 8 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Columbus's last 5 games on the road
Columbus is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games when playing on the road against St. Louis
Columbus is 1-6 SU in its last 7 games
St. Louis is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Columbus
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of St. Louis's last 7 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 9 of St. Louis's last 13 games
St. Louis is 1-6 SU in its last 7 games at home

Next up:
St. Louis at Columbus, Sunday, April 6

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Re: Hockey Today April 5

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Atlanta Thrashers

- The Tampa Bay Lightning and the Atlanta Thrashers will both be trying to pick up a win on Saturday when they battle at Philips Arena.

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

The Lightning lost 4-1 to the red-hot Capitals last time ut, as +250 underdogs. The four goals fell UNDER the posted over/under (5.5).

Filip Kuba scored the lone goal for the Lightning, and Karri Ramo made 36 saves in the loss.

Jordan LaVallee had a goal and an assist for Atlanta in its 3-2 loss to the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night.

Florida cashed in as -135 road favorites as the game played under the 5.5-goal total listed by oddsmakers.

Current streak:
Tampa Bay has lost 3 straight games.

Team records:
Tampa Bay: 31-41-9
Atlanta: 33-40-8

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

Atlanta most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 3-7
Before playing NY Rangers are 2-8
After playing Florida are 6-4
After a loss are 4-6

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

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Re: Hockey Today April 5

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Montreal Canadiens

- The Toronto Maple Leafs 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.

The Maple Leafs were blown away 8-2 by the Senators last time out, as +150 underdogs at home. The combined score sailed OVER the posted over/under (6).

Mark Bell and Dominic Moore scored for the Maple Leafs, and Darcy Tucker added assists on both goals.

Carey Price stopped 26 shots and Brian Smolinski scored two goals on Thursday, as the Canadiens defeated the Sabres 3-1. The Canadiens won the game as -160 favorites, but the four goals fell UNDER the posted over/under (6).

Christopher Higgins scored the other marker in the victory.

Current streak:
Toronto has lost 2 straight games.
Montreal has won 2 straight games.

Team records:
Toronto: 36-34-11
Montreal: 46-25-10

Toronto most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 5-5
Before playing San Jose are 3-3-2
After playing Ottawa are 6-4
After a loss are 7-3

Montreal most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 7-3

After playing Buffalo are 6-4
After a win are 5-5

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

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Re: Hockey Today April 5

Buffalo Sabres vs. Boston Bruins

- The division rival Buffalo Sabres and Boston Bruins are set to renew hostilities on Saturday when they meet at TD Banknorth Garden.

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

The Sabres fell 3-1 to the Canadiens last time out, as +140 road underdogs. The four goals fell UNDER the posted over/under (6).

Ales Kotalik scored the only goal for the Sabres, and Ryan Miller made 22 saves in the loss.

The Bruins defeated the Senators 2-1 on Friday and clinched a playoff berth. The Bruins won the game as +130 underdogs, while the three goals fell UNDER the posted over/under (5.5).

Zdeno Chara and Phil Kessel scored for the Bruins, while Tim Thomas stopped 17-of-18 shots in the win.

Team records:
Buffalo: 38-31-12
Boston: 41-28-12

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

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

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Buffalo's last 7 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Buffalo's last 6 games when playing Boston
The total has gone OVER in 15 of Buffalo's last 20 games
Buffalo is 16-7 SU in its last 23 games when playing Boston
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Boston's last 6 games when playing Buffalo
The total has gone UNDER in 10 of Boston's last 14 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Boston's last 6 games at home
Boston is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games at home

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Re: Hockey Today April 5

Florida Panthers vs. Washington Capitals

- The Florida Panthers and the Washington Capitals will both be trying to pick up a win on Saturday when they battle at Verizon Center.

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

The Panthers held on for a 4-3 win over the Hurricanes last time out, as +230 underdogs. The seven goals made it OVER the posted over/under (6).

Jay Bouwmeester, Steve Montador, Nathan Horton and Radek Dvorak scored for the Panthers. Craig Anderson made 26 saves and Tomas Vokoun stopped 17 in splitting the netminding duties.

The Capitals ran their win streak to six games on Thursday, and they kept their playoff hopes alive with a 4-1 win over the Lightning. The Capitals won the game as -300 favorites, but the four goals fell UNDER the posted over/under (5.5).

Alexander Ovechkin scored twice to run his goal total to 65 on the season, while singles came from Matt Cooke and Boyd Gordon.

Current streak:
Florida has won 2 straight games.
Washington has won 6 straight games.

Team records:
Florida: 38-34-9
Washington: 42-31-8

Florida most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 4-6
Before playing NY Rangers are 6-4
After playing Carolina are 4-6
After a win are 7-3

Washington most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 6-4
Before playing Calgary are 4-6
After playing Tampa Bay are 2-8
After a win are 8-2

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Florida's last 8 games on the road
Florida is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Florida's last 5 games
Florida is 9-3 SU in its last 12 games when playing on the road against Washington
Washington is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Washington's last 5 games at home
Washington is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Washington's last 5 games

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Re: Hockey Today April 5

Calgary Flames vs. Vancouver Canucks

- The fans at General Motors Place will be treated to a game between the Calgary Flames and the Vancouver Canucks 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.

The Flames lost 3-1 to the Wild last time out, as +130 underdogs. The four goals went UNDER the posted over/under (5).

Daymond Langkow replied in the loss.

The Canucks fell 2-1 to the Oilers last time out, as -210 favorites. The three goals fell UNDER the posted over/under (5.5).

Alex Burrows scored the only goal for the Canucks, and Roberto Luongo made 19 saves in the loss.

Current streak:
Vancouver has lost 2 straight games.

Team records:
Calgary: 41-30-10
Vancouver: 39-32-10

Calgary most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 5-5
Before playing Los Angeles are 5-5
After playing Minnesota are 6-4
After a loss are 7-3

Vancouver most recently:
When playing on Saturday are 5-5
Before playing San Jose are 5-5
After playing Edmonton are 6-4
After a loss are 3-7

A few trends to consider:
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Calgary's last 5 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 14 of Calgary's last 20 games
Calgary is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games
Calgary is 2-5 SU in its last 7 games when playing Vancouver
Vancouver is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing at home against Calgary
Vancouver is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games when playing Calgary
Vancouver is 1-6 SU in its last 7 games

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Re: Hockey Today April 5

Fearless Stanley Cup Prediction
By Scott Rickenbach
VegasInsider.com

Early April is a time for bold predictions as MLB gets underway and spring brings hope eternal. In the NHL it can be seen much the same way as there will soon be 16 teams battling it out and all believing that they are the ones destined to hoist the Cup. That said, it's time to jump right into the predictions!

Look for the San Jose Sharks to win it all this season and look for their goaltender, Evgeni Nabokov, to win the Conn Smythe trophy as he leads the way for them! What the Sharks did on the road this season was simply amazing (27-8-4 with two games remaining).

The Sharks’ ability to win on the road is critical to a team being able to advance deep into the Stanley Cup playoffs. Not only is Nabokov a fantastic goalie but the San Jose system limits the number of shots on goal. Of all the teams in the league, only Detroit allowed less shots on goal than San Jose did this past season.

San Jose is also one of the top penalty killing teams in the league and its power play efficiency is also solid. The Sharks are also a disciplined team as their penalty minutes ranks them as one of the lesser penalized teams in the league. Jonathan Cheechoo has come on strong late in the season as he was recovering from off season double hernia surgery earlier in the year. The pick-up of defenseman Brian Campbell from Buffalo has also proven to be a big addition. The Sharks are 16-0-1 with him in the lineup.

Overall, the Sharks are on a 19 game points streak (18-0-1) heading into their final two games of the season. This amazing run is indicative of how strong this team can be! They also have a good mix of young talent and solid veteran leadership and with one of the best goalies in the game, this team has it all.

Look for Montreal to come out of the Eastern Conference and challenge the Sharks in the NHL Stanley Cup Finals before falling short. Yes, Carey Price is a 20-year old goalie but we've seen other young goalies come in and lead their teams on surprising postseason runs. Again, they will fall short of winning it all but the Habs can definitely get to the Finals this season.

Price posted a 7-3-0 record with one shutout, a 2.67 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage during the month of March. He could have folded under the pressure but, instead, Price has taken the full-time starter's job in stride after the Montreal let Cristobal Huet go to the Capitals.

The Canadiens are the highest scoring team in the league and their power play efficiency ranks them at the top of the league as well. Defensively and on the penalty kill they may only rank in the middle of the pack but between Price and a stellar offense this team can make a run all the way to the Finals.

Just as with San Jose, the stellar road play of the Habs will also play a role in their advancement through the playoffs. Montreal's 25-12-4 record on the road this season was tops in the Eastern Conference and, in terms of the entire league, the Canadiens road record was second only to the Sharks. They will meet San Jose in the finals and the Sharks will win it with Nabokov taking home the Conn Smythe. Much can change that can impact this over the next few months but as of very early April, this is one viewpoint of how things could quite possibly play out in the Quest for the Cup!

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