NHL News and Notes Saturday, October 19

NHL News and Notes Saturday, October 19

Hockey Today

SCOREBOARD


Sunday, Oct. 19

Carolina at Anaheim (8 p.m EDT). Coming off their first win following an 0-4-0 start, the Ducks are looking to establish their first winning streak of the season.

STARS

Friday

— Michal Handzus, Kings, scored 56 seconds into the game and again at 3:21 of overtime to rally Los Angeles to a 4-3 victory over Carolina.

— Jason Spezza and Jarko Ruutu, Senators, scored two goals apiece in a 6-3 victory over Phoenix.

— Ales Kotalik and Thomas Vanek, Sabres. Kotalik had two goals and Vanek scored his NHL-leading sixth in a 5-2 victory over Vancouver.

— Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Ducks, made 38 saves for his 30th career shutout in a 4-0 victory over San Jose.

— Rick Nash, Blue Jackets, scored twice in a 5-3 victory over Nashville.

FIRST WIN, FIRST LOSS

Anaheim’s 4-0 victory over San Jose on Friday night was the Ducks’ first win of the season after an 0-4 start—avoiding the worst start in franchise history. It was also the Sharks’ first loss after opening with four wins.

STRONG DEBUTS

Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers made 26 saves in his first NHL start to help the Edmonton Oilers improve to 3-0 with a 4-3 victory at Calgary on Friday night. The rookie started in place of Mathieu Garon. … Blue Jackets rookie Nikita Filatov—an 18-year-old playing in his first career NHL game—got his first NHL goal in Columbus’ 5-3 victory over Nashville.

SCORELESS

The Rangers’ Steve Valiquette outdueled the Maple Leafs’ Vesa Toskala in a goalie showdown, and Fredrik Sjostrom scored the deciding goal in a shootout to lift New York to a 1-0 victory over Toronto on Friday night. Valiquette had 21 saves through overtime and Toskala had 32. Valiquette allowed a goal in the tiebreaker to Nikolai Kulemin, but earned his third NHL shutout when Jason Blake hit the post on the final shot of the shootout. Nikolai Zherdev opened the shootout with a goal for the Rangers, who bounced back from their first loss two nights earlier to improve to 6-1.

QUICK RETURN

Daniel Alfredsson returned to Ottawa’s lineup one week after having knee surgery and assisted on two of the Senators’ three first-period goals in a 6-3 victory over Phoenix on Friday night. Alfredsson, who set up goals by linemates Jason Spezza and Dany Heatley 3:08 apart late in the first to put Ottawa up 3-0, missed one game—Saturday’s 4-3 loss to Detroit—after having arthroscopic surgery to remove a bone chip from his right knee.

SUSPENSIONS

Blue Jackets center Michael Peca had his suspension for making contact with an official cut in half to five games by the NHL on Friday. Peca, who met with NHL officials the previous day, was suspended for confronting an official after he thought he’d been slew-footed in the Blue Jackets’ Oct. 10 season-opener at Dallas—subsequently grabbing the official’s arm to argue his case. Originally deemed a Category II penalty which requires a 10-game suspension, it was cut after the league looked at video of the offense. … Coyotes left wing Daniel Carcillo was suspended for two games without pay for a fight during Wednesday’s game against Chicago. Carcillo will forfeit $9,610.22 in salary.

SIGNED

Los Angeles signed defenseman Matt Greene to a five-year extension through the 2013-14 season on Friday. The signing comes six days after the Kings signed center Anze Kopitar to a seven-year extension through 2015-16. The 25-year-old Greene is in his first season with the Kings after spending three years with Edmonton and was named one of the Kings’ assistant captains earlier this month.

SPEAKING

“It’s tough when we’ve got to kill five, six, seven penalties in a row. You ask any team, that’s a tough hill to climb. You give them that many opportunities, they’re going to cash in on a few of them.”—Calgary’s Todd Bertuzzi, after the Flames gave Edmonton five consecutive power plays in the second period Friday night. The Oilers scored three power-play goals during the stretch and went on to a 4-3 victory.

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Re: NHL News and Notes Saturday, October 19

Sunday's best NHL bets
Covers.com

Vancouver at Chicago (-115, 5.5)

Roberto Luongo struggled at the beginning of last season for Vancouver before going on an outstanding run. Now struggling early again this season, the Canucks captain has a chance for a boost in a matchup with the disappointing Chicago Blackhawks.

After getting a game off, Luongo is expected to be back in net on Sunday night when Vancouver visits the Blackhawks in new coach Joel Quenneville's home debut.

Luongo was given the night off in a 5-2 loss to Buffalo on Friday after he allowed 12 goals in his last three starts following a shutout of Calgary in the season opener. Curtis Sanford, Luongo's replacement, didn't fare much better in his first start of the season, giving up three goals in the first 13:10.

"Anytime you spot a team ... a three-goal lead right off the bat, you're obviously not giving yourself a chance to win," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said.

Having dropped two of three after opening a six-game road trip with a win over the Flames, Vancouver (3-2-0) is likely to turn back to Luongo. He went through a similar start last season, going 1-2-0 with a 4.21 goals-against average in his first three games before he went 8-6-1 with a 2.13 GAA in his next 15 contests.

If he starts against Chicago (1-2-2), Luongo will be facing a team arguably in disarray after it fired coach Denis Savard four games into the season.

Luongo is also 7-5-0 with one tie and a 2.14 GAA in 13 career starts against the Blackhawks. He'll also need some offensive support with the Canucks having scored two goals or less in two of their last three games, both losses.

Pick: Under

Carolina at Anaheim (-150, 5.5)

The Ducks look to make it two in a row as they conclude a three-game homestand with a matchup against the struggling Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday.

Anaheim (1-4-0) has reached the playoffs three straight years - winning the Stanley Cup in 2006-07 - and entered this season with similar expectations. But the team lost its first four games to inch closer to the worst start in franchise history - an 0-4-1 stretch to open 2003-04.

The Ducks, though, avoided a five-game slide with a 4-0 home victory over San Jose on Friday. Francois Beauchemin, Chris Pronger, Travis Moen and Samuel Pahlsson each provided a goal, while Rob Niedermayer contributed two assists to back Jean-Sebastien Giguere's 38-save performance.

The goaltender also helped kill off seven penalties for Anaheim, which had surrendered seven power-play goals in 25 chances during the losing streak.

"We got our first win and we're happy with it," Giguere, who gave up 13 goals through the first three contests, told the Ducks' official Web site. "The last game (a 3-2 loss to Edmonton) was a starting point. Now we just have to keep going forward and try to put some good games together."

To pick up back-to-back victories, however, Anaheim must resume its strong play at the Honda Center, where it went 28-9-4 last season for the second-best home record in the league. The Ducks established a franchise-best 10-game winning streak there from Feb. 17-March 26.

Pick: Ducks

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Re: NHL News and Notes Saturday, October 19

Vancouver at Chicago
Vancouver: 67-57 SU Away after 2+ consecutive overs
Chicago: 66-95 SU at home when playing only their 2nd game in 5 days

Carolina at Anaheim
Carolina: 1-10 SU Away in non-conference games
Anaheim: 11-1 SU off a home win scoring 4+ goals


VANCOUVER vs. CHICAGO
Vancouver is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Chicago
Vancouver is 10-2 SU in its last 12 games when playing Chicago
Chicago is 1-5 SU in its last 6 games
Chicago is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games at home


CAROLINA vs. ANAHEIM
Carolina is 15-8 SU in its last 23 games
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Carolina's last 6 games
Anaheim is 14-5 SU in its last 19 games at home
Anaheim is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games at home

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Re: NHL News and Notes Saturday, October 19

Hot teams
-- Canucks are 3-2 in their first five games.

Cold teams
-- Blackhawks lost four of first five games, losing in SO last night vs the Blues in St Louis.
-- Ducks lost four of their first five games. Carolina lost last two games, scoring total of four goals.

Series Records
-- Canucks are 10-2 in last dozen games vs Chicago (5-1 here).

Totals
-- First five Vancouver games all went over the total.
-- Three of first four Carolina games went over the total.

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