Hockey Today April 30

Hockey Today April 30

MONTREAL (52-29-0-11, 115 pts.) at PHILADELPHIA (48-32-0-12, 108 pts.)

There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.

Head-to-Head Series History
MONTREAL is 11-4 (+6.9 Units) against the spread versus PHILADELPHIA over the last 3 seasons
MONTREAL is 11-4-0 straight up against PHILADELPHIA over the last 3 seasons
6 of 12 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons . (Over=-0.4 Units, Under=-0.9 Units)

SAN JOSE (53-27-0-11, 117 pts.) at DALLAS (51-32-0-7, 109 pts.)

There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.

Head-to-Head Series History
DALLAS is 15-11 (+5.6 Units) against the spread versus SAN JOSE over the last 3 seasons
DALLAS is 15-11-0 straight up against SAN JOSE over the last 3 seasons
12 of 22 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons . (Over=+1.4 Units)

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NHL Trend Sheet

Montreal is 12-6 SU in its last 18 games
Montreal is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games
Philadelphia is 2-7 SU in its last 9 games when playing Montreal
Philadelphia is 13-6 SU in its last 19 games

San Jose is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Dallas
San Jose is 1-6 SU in its last 7 games when playing Dallas
Dallas is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games
Dallas is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games at home

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Wednesday's NHL Sheet
By Judd Hall

Do you think that Flyers fan are starting to get a feeling of déjà vu right now?

Philadelphia took an early lead in the first game of each round of this season’s playoffs, only to lose them in excruciating fashion. Then they follow up with two straight victories to take command of the series.

The Stars are also following the same plan they used in the Western Conference Quarterfinals. They went into Anaheim and swept the first two matches. Now Dallas went to the Northern part of California and did the same to the Sharks this time around.

Will history repeat itself for Dallas and the Flyers on Wednesday in their respective Game 4’s?

Montreal Canadiens at Philadelphia Flyers

There are a couple of things we can take away from the Habs’ 3-2 loss in Game 3 in Philadelphia. The first thing being that Carey Price has picked an awful time to look his age. The 20-year old from Vancouver, BC has allowed 10 goals in this Eastern Conference Semifinal and 20 in his past six games total. He only surrendered five scores in his first three postseason starts.

Something else to take away from Game 3 is the Flyers still haven’t learned how to play with a lead it would seem. It was the third time that Derian Hatcher and his blue line mates decided to play back on the Montreal attack, which lead to another high blood pressure moment for Flyer fans.

The Habs must be able to get out of the gate quickly in order to level this series, leading to a high scoring affair. That would lend some credence to the fact that Montreal seeing the ‘over’ go 16-12-1 when playing a game after losing two straight.

It should also be known that Philly is just 23-21 SU at the Wachovia Center this season…not a record that will elicit bettors to throw money your way.

You’d also do well to fade the Flyers on the puck line in this situation as well, seeing as they’ve got a 15-29 record in this category at home.

You can catch this contest on Versus at 7:00 pm EDT.

San Jose Sharks at Dallas Stars

The Stars are arguably the hottest team in hockey right now, first tearing through Pacific Division rival Anaheim and now San Jose.

I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but San Jose is underachieving one more time. And once again, it all has to do with Joe Thornton going into hiding in late April. Sure, he’s got eight points in the playoffs, but isn’t funneling the puck as he is known for from behind the net.

Another sign of alarm for the Sharks is how their defense never touched Brad Richards, Sergei Zubov or Mike Modano in the final period last Sunday as the trio combined for six points. It also doesn’t help when Evgeni Nabokov clearly looks exhausted between the pipes, stopping just 83.7 percent of the shots that are fired his way and a 3.44 GAA to boot.

This contest is getting played fresh off the heels of Game 3 at America Airlines Center. That could play into San Jose’s favor as it boasts a 12-5 record when playing on back-to-back nights, while the Stars are 8-8 in this situation.

The puck drops on this contest at 9:00 pm EDT on Versus.

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Stars poised to sink Sharks

It could be all over for the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday night unless they can strike back and bite the Dallas Stars. The Stars take a 3-0 series lead into Game 4 on Wednesday night and can advance to the Western Conference final with a victory.

Dallas took their big series lead on Tuesday night with a hard-fought 2-1 overtime win. Mattias Norstrom delivered the game-winner in OT for the Stars, while Sergei Zubov got Dallas on the board with his first goal of the playoffs. Patrick Marleau scored a shorthanded goal for San Jose in the loss.

Dallas goaltender Marty Turco made 19 saves to record the win, while Evgeni Nabokov faced more shots, but came up one short with 27 saves. If the Sharks can find a way to win and live to play another day, Game 5 will go back in San Jose on Friday night.

The Montreal Canadiens aren’t facing elimination like San Jose, but they’ll still be in big trouble without a win on Wednesday night. Montreal fell behind 2-1 in their series against Philadelphia after the Flyers took Game 3 by a score of 3-2 on Monday night. Martin Biron was the key for Philadelphia in the win, as he stopped 32 shots for a Flyers squad that was outshot 34-12 by Montreal. At the other end of the ice Montreal rookie Carey Price struggled while surrendering three goals on only 12 shots.

Scoring for the Flyers in the win were Scottie Upshall, Mike Richards and R.J. Umberger. All three of the Flyers goals came in the second period, and thanks to Biron they were able to hold on for the 3-2 win. Montreal received goals from Tomas Plekanec and Saku Koivu.

The big question mark for Montreal is who will be in nets in Game 4? Price finished Game 3 on the bench watching Jaroslav Halak take his place between the pipes, and there’s a chance he could find himself watching the beginning of Game 4 from the bench as well.

Check BetJamaica for the latest odds and lines on NHL Stanley Cup playoffs action.

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Hockey Today

San Jose at Dallas (9 p.m. EDT). The Stars can complete a sweep of the Sharks and advance to the Western Conference finals.


-Evgeni Malkin, Penguins, had two goals and an assist as Pittsburgh took a 3-0 series lead over the Rangers with a 5-3 victory.

-Mattias Norstrom, Stars, scored 4:37 into overtime to give Dallas a 2-1 victory over San Jose and a 3-0 lead in the Western Conference semifinals.


Pittsburgh improved to 7-0 in the postseason following a 5-3 Game 3 victory over the Rangers on Tuesday night, despite being outshot 39-17. The Penguins, who lost all four road meetings with the Rangers this season, can advance to the Eastern Conference finals for the first time since 2001 with a win Thursday at New York.


Defenseman Mattias Norstrom scored at 4:37 of overtime to give Dallas a 2-1 victory over San Jose on Tuesday night and a 3-0 series advantage. The last time the Stars had a 3-0 series lead was in the first round of the 1999 playoffs, when they swept Edmonton and went on to win the Stanley Cup. This is their 16th postseason series since.


The Rangers were 0-for-5 on the power play in their 5-3 loss to Pittsburgh on Tuesday night that left them one game from elimination. New York is 1-for-14 with the man advantage in the second-round Eastern Conference series.


Calgary right wing Jarome Iginla, Pittsburgh center Evgeni Malkin and Washington left wing Alex Ovechkin are the three finalists for the Hart Trophy that is awarded to the NHL's most valuable player. Iginla had 50 goals and 48 assists to rank third in the NHL in both categories. Ovechkin won the scoring title with 112 points and also led the league with 65 goals. Malkin was second in scoring with 106 points.


Ryan Carter, who appeared in 34 games as a rookie this past season, signed a three-year contract with Anaheim on Tuesday. The 24-year-old center had four goals and four assists, with 36 penalty minutes. ... Columbus signed defenseman Jan Hejda to a three-year contract. The 29-year-old had 13 assists in 81 games and set a franchise record with a plus-20 rating. ... Dallas signed 25-year-old center Steve Ott to a two-year contract worth $2.85 million. Ott scored a career-high 11 goals this season and equaled a career-best with 22 points in 73 games.


Colorado lost leading scorer Paul Stastny to a knee injury in the first period of a 4-3 Game 3 loss to Detroit on Tuesday night. Stastny's 71 points during the regular season led the team.


``It's pretty tough to be down 3-0, but they have to win four games. Even such a great team like the Yankees didn't hold a 3-0 lead. They are the best ever. We can make history.'' - Rangers forward Jaromir Jagr after a 5-3 loss to Pittsburgh on Tuesday night left them one game away from elimination.

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Re: Hockey Today April 30

Wednesday's best NHL bets

Montreal vs. Philadelphia -115, 5 1/2

The Flyers could have buried this series. They could have left the Canadiens feeling like they didn’t even want to get back on the ice in Philadelphia for Game 4.

Instead, Philly defenseman Derian Hatcher took the dumbest penalty of the entire playoffs when he hit Francis Bouillon from behind about five minutes into the third period in Game 3. The Flyers watched a 3-0 lead evaporate to 3-2 during the major penalty on Hatcher and Philly ended up hanging on for dear life for the 3-2 win.

Now, Montreal comes into Game 4 thinking it was robbed of a win in Game 3, rather than being soundly defeated. The Hatcher penalty could be just the momentum swing the Habs needed to turn this series back in their favor after being outplayed for most of the first three games.

Pick: Montreal +105

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Rangers forward Sean Avery hospitalized

NEW YORK (AP) -New York Rangers forward Sean Avery was taken to a hospital in cardiac arrest hours after the team lost a playoff game to the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Daily News reported Wednesday on its Web site.

The newspaper reported Avery was unconscious and not breathing when he was taken to St. Vincent's Medical Center. The 28-year-old arrived about 3 a.m. Wednesday, a hospital source told the newspaper.

A person close to the team told the newspaper Avery had been rushed to the hospital.

The Rangers lost 5-3 at home Tuesday night, falling behind 3-0 in their second-round series with the Penguins.

Avery had an assist on the Rangers' second goal in Tuesday night's game.

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