Playoffs? St. Louis going for it

Originally Published: March 9, 2004
ESPN.com news services

Blues-Coyotes: St. Louis, fighting to earn its 25th straight playoff berth, acquired veteran forward Brian Savage from Phoenix on Tuesday for future considerations.

Savage, 33, has 12 goals and 13 assists in 61 games this season -- his 11th in the NHL. For his career, Savage has 179 goals and 159 assists in 595 games. He's spent the past three seasons with the Coyotes.

It was the second trade completed by the Coyotes before the deadline. Phoenix also sent forward Chris Gratton, defenseman Ossi Vaananen and a second-round pick in 2005 to Colorado for defensemen Derek Morris and Keith Ballard.

The Blues and Coyotes were trading partners for the second time in a week. On Thursday, St. Louis acquired center Mike Sillinger for goalie Brent Johnson.

St. Louis has won two straight to move into a tie with Los Angeles in the race for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Blues have won just six times in 23 games.

Islanders-Blackhawks: The Islanders acquired defenseman Alexander Karpovtsev from Chicago for a fourth-round pick in the 2005 draft.

The deal, completed shortly before the trade deadline, returns Karpovtsev to New York where he won a Stanley Cup title with the Rangers in his rookie season of 1993-94.

"We're glad to get someone with Karpovtsev's ability and experience," Islanders general manager Mike Milbury said. "He's a quality veteran defenseman who fills a need for us."

It was the second trade in two days for the Islanders, struggling to hold off Buffalo for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

On Monday, the Islanders reacquired tough forward Steve Webb, who spent his first seven NHL seasons with New York, from Pittsburgh for defenseman Alain Nasreddine.

Karpovtsev, 33, can become an unrestricted free agent after the season. He had seven assists and was minus-17 in 24 games with Chicago.

Blue Jackets-Penguins: Columbus traded center Lasse Pirjeta to Pittsburgh for center Brian Holzinger.

Holzinger, a native of Parma, Ohio, won the 1995 Hobey Baker Award at Bowling Green as college hockey's top player.

The deal was announced just minutes before the 3 p.m. ET NHL trade deadline.

Holzinger, 31, has 92 goals and 145 assists in 534 career NHL games with the Penguins, Tampa Bay, and Buffalo. In 61 games with the Penguins this season, he had six goals and 15 assists.

Pirjeta, 29, had two goals and eight assists in 56 games with the Blue Jackets this season, his second in the NHL. He was assigned to club's American Hockey League affiliate in Syracuse on Feb. 26.

Islanders-Penguins: New York added some toughness Monday by reacquiring Steve Webb from Pittsburgh for defenseman Alain Nasreddine.

Webb, who spent his first seven NHL seasons with the Islanders, signed with Philadelphia during the offseason but was claimed off waivers by Pittsburgh shortly after.

Webb, 28, was a fan favorite at Nassau Coliseum for taking on bigger and tougher opponents. He played 30 games this season with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL, recording 11 points and 48 penalty minutes. Webb also played in five games with Pittsburgh, going scoreless with two penalty minutes.

Webb had one goal in 49 games with the Islanders last season. He has five goals, 13 assists and 530 penalty minutes in 316 career NHL games.

Nasreddine, who is 28 and will report to the Penguins' AHL affiliate, played 58 games this season with Bridgeport of the AHL, posting seven points and 70 penalty minutes. He has no points and 54 penalty minutes in 18 NHL games.

Wild-Sabres: Minnesota traded defenseman Brad Brown to Buffalo along with a sixth-round pick in the 2005 draft for the Sabres' fourth-round choice next year.

Brown, one of eight former first-round draft choices on Minnesota's roster, had one assist in 30 games this season. He joined the team as a free agent in 2001.

In 317 career games with Montreal, Chicago, the New York Rangers, and Minnesota, Brown has two goals and 25 assists. He only has one assist in 30 games this season.

Out of playoff contention, the Wild have been ridding themselves of impending free agents to create room for younger players.

Kings-Thrashers: Los Angeles made a minor deal Tuesday at the NHL trade deadline, acquiring Jeff Cowan from Atlanta for Kip Brennan in a swap of left wings.

Cowan, 27, has played 58 games this season, recording career highs with nine goals and 15 assists.

"Jeff is a big, physical winger who forechecks well and is strong around the net," Kings general manager Dave Taylor said. "We like his work ethic and feel he will be a real good fit for our team."

Brennan, a 23-year-old rookie, had one goal and 79 penalty minutes in 18 games with Atlanta. He also played two games with Mancester of the American Hockey League.

The Thrashers also activated J.P. Vigier from injured reserve and announced that Washington claimed defenseman Jean-Luc Grand-Pierre and left wing Bill Lindsay off waivers. Vigier missed the last seven games due to a rib injury sustained at Ottawa on Feb. 19.

Predators-Lightning: The Nashville Predators acquired defenseman Shane Hnidy from the Ottawa Senators and dealt defenseman Stan Neckar to the Tampa Bay Lightning at the NHL trading deadline on Tuesday.

Hnidy had five assists and 72 penalty minutes in 37 games with the Senators this season. He became expendable when Ottawa acquired defenseman Greg de Vries from the New York Rangers earlier Tuesday. Nashville gave Ottawa a third-round pick in the 2004 draft.

Neckar, signed as a free agent in the offseason, struggled with a groin injury and one assist in one game this season with Nashville. He returns to Tampa Bay where he played for more than two seasons in exchange for a sixth-round pick.

Information from The Associated Press and SportsTicker was used in this report.

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