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Thursday, Oct. 15 Hockey Today

October 14, 1987

SCOREBOARD (AP) _ New York Rangers at Pittsburgh (7:35 p.m. EDT). The Rangers and Penguins have battled for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Patrick Division the last two seasons. STATS

In their first three games, the Minnesota North Stars have been outshot 44-20 combined in the first period. ... Pittsburgh’s Mario Lemieux has seven points in three games, all assists. SLAPSHOTS

The New Jersey Devils have recalled goaltender Craig Billington from Utica of the AHL and announced that defenseman Marc Laniel is joining the Canadian Olympic team for a one-month tryout. SHOTS ON GOAL

Of all current goaltenders with at least 80 games played, Bob Froese of the New York Rangers has the best career goals against average at 2.90.

The Pittsburgh Penguins scored four goals on their first 10 shots on Buffalo goaltender Jacques Cloutier Tuesday night en route to an 8-3 victory. SWAPS

The Montreal Canadiens acquired defenseman Larry Trader from the St. Louis Blues Tuesday for defenseman Gaston Gingras. The two teams also agreed to switch third-round draft choices in either the 1988 or 1989 NHL amateur entry draft.

The Buffalo Sabres traded right winger Andy Ristau to the Minnesota North Stars Tuesday in exchange for a conditional 1988 draft choice. Team spokesman Budd Bailey said the Sabres will get a fourth-, fifth- or sixth-round draft choice next year, depending on how many games Ristau plays this season. STATUS

Minnesota defenseman Tom Hirsch has a shoulder injury and is out indefinitely.

Hartford goaltender Mike Luit cannot play for seven to 10 days because of back spasms in his lower back.

Pittsburgh rookie defenseman Zarley Zalapski cannot skate for at least a month because of spondylolisthesis, a condition in which vertebrae break down. He will wear a brace for a month before being re-evaluated. SPEAKING

″This is definitely the best line I’ve been on.″ They’re easy to play with. They both have good hockey sense. We always know where the others are on the ice.″ Pittsburgh’s Mario Lemieux on linemates Craig Simpson and Charlie Simmer. SEASONS

Chicago and Toronto combined to score five times within 1:24 to set the NHL record for the fastest five goals by two teams. The Maple Leafs won the game 10-8.

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