SUN Hockey Pool

Bell expects ringing after missing hat-trick chance

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 8:58 AM ET

Everybody kept their hats on their heads Sunday in Chicago because Blackhawk forward Mark Bell couldn't hit the empty net.

The St. Pauls native picked up his third two-goal game of his career in a victory over Edmonton but hit the post from in close and missed the net from his own zone for what would have been his first NHL hat trick.

"The puck was kind of following me around," he told the Associated Press. "But I'm laughing at myself right now. Friends are going to be calling me because this game was on TV in Canada. I'm not going to look at the video (of the missed chances), only the two goals."

Despite playing bang-on hockey lately with linemates Kyle Calder and Rene Bourque, Bell is quite banged up, nursing a sore back and, just this week, adding a sore groin to the mix. He's still planning on playing in Calgary tomorrow.

"You don't want injuries that nag," he said. "I feel confident in my game right now. There is more flow now and I'm better on both sides of the puck."

New York a plus for Rucchin

Who knew Steve Rucchin would have to go to New York for another shot at the playoffs?

The plus-minus statistic may not seem to mean as much as it did a few years ago, but the former Western Mustang is plus-six through 20 games with the Rangers after four straight minus seasons (a combined minus-36) with Anaheim.

The 34-year-old's career best was plus-26 in 1996-97 with the Mighty Ducks.

In the sticks

Former London Knight Chris Taylor, now a top gun for Buffalo's American Hockey League affiliate in Rochester, had a scary experience last week when what he thought was a routine charleyhorse turned into a massively swollen left thigh.

At dinner, Taylor's wife Lisa demanded he go to the hospital and her common sense likely saved his leg. He was diagnosed with compartment syndrome and required emergency surgery to alleviate the pressure in his thigh.

"This is the worst pain I've ever felt in hockey," Taylor told the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. "I cried through the whole thing."

Taylor won't be back with the Americans until after Christmas, but he'll have a lot of blessings to count during the holiday season.

"I'm just happy I have a leg," he said.

Snap shots

Tillsonburg native Gregory Campbell scored his first NHL goal on a tip-in during Florida's overtime loss to Montreal on Tuesday night . . . Ex-Knight Corey Perry recorded an assist in his first game back from concussion in a Ducks loss to Phoenix on Saturday . . . Dennis Wideman picked up his first NHL point in St. Louis' 3-1 loss to Nashville on Saturday. The

ex-Knight, however, took two penalties in the third period and the Predators picked up the insurance goal on one of the power plays . . . In his first bit of big-league action last Friday, Tampa Bay Lightning's Gerald Coleman at least surrendered his first NHL goal to a skilled scorer -- Atlanta's Marian Hossa.


Videos

Photos