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Hockey Today

May 19, 2006

Edmonton at Anaheim (9 p.m. EDT). The Oilers are in the Western Conference finals for the first time since 1992, while the Ducks are in their second conference final in three years.


Edmonton has won 16 of the last 20 meetings with Anaheim, including a sweep this season when the Oilers came back to win all four games after they were tied or trailing after two periods. The teams open the Western Conference finals on Friday.


Sabres center Adam Mair took a step closer toward returning from a concussion when he was cleared for contact on Thursday. Mair, who has been out since early April, still needs to pass concussion-related tests before he can play in Buffalo’s Eastern Conference final series against Carolina.


The Nashville Predators re-signed center Vernon Fiddler to a one-year contact Thursday. The 26-year-old Fiddler is coming off a season in which he set career-highs with 40 games played, eight goals and four assists.


``It goes in cycles, sometimes you get hot and sometimes you get a little cooler. He’s not backing off. And against the Hurricanes, he’ll be able to use that speed even more. Oh yeah, we’re not worried about him.″ _ Buffalo’s Daniel Briere on teammate Maxim Afinogenov. Afinogenov led the Sabres with 73 points during the regular season, but has struggled during the playoffs, managing just three goals and six points in 11 games.

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