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NHL Notebook: Montreal loses Gionta; Vokoun in goal for Pens

The SportsXchange

Montreal Canadiens forward Brian Gionta has a torn left biceps and will miss the remainder of the playoffs, the team announced Wednesday. Gionta will have surgery on Friday to repair the damage. He underwent the same procedure on his right biceps last year.

The 34-year-old Gionta played in only two of four games against the Ottawa Senators in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs and contributed one assist. The Canadiens trail 3-1 in the best-of-seven series after a 3-2 loss on Tuesday night.

Injuries have taken a toll on the Canadiens in the playoffs this year. Forward Lars Eller was hurt in Game 1, and defenseman Alexei Emelin, winger Ryan White, goalie Carey Price and forward Brandon Prust also are injured.

--The Pittsburgh Penguins will turn to Tomas Vokoun as their starting goaltender in place of struggling Marc-Andre Fleury for Game 5 on Thursday night against the New York Islanders.

Fleury gave up six goals in the Penguins' loss to the Islanders on Tuesday night. That performance came after he allowed five and four goals in Games 2 and 3.

The 36-year-old Vokoun has not played in the postseeason since the 2007 season with the Nashville Predators. But this year against the Islanders during the regular season, he was 3-0-0 with a 0.90 goals-against average and a .970 saves precentage.

Pittsburgh, the top seed in the Eastern Conference, and the Islanders are tied 2-2 in the first-round series.

--Goaltenders Sergei Bobrovsky of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers and Antti Niemi of the San Jose Sharks were named finalists for the Vezina Trophy on Wednesday

The award is given annually to the top goalie in the NHL. Voting is done by general managers from the 30 NHL teams. The winner will be announced during the Stanley Cup Finals.

For the first time, all three finailists are European natives.

Bobrovsky, 24, helped the Blue Jackets to the brink of the playoffs in his first season with the team. The Russian native went 18-5-3 in his final 26 games and finished the season 21-11-6.

No Russian-born goalie has won the Vezina.

Lundqvist, 31, won the award last year and is a finalist for the fifth time. He tied for Niemi for the league lead in wins this season with 24.

Niemi, 29, tied for second in shutouts during the regular season with four. If he wins, he would become the second Finnish-born goalie to receive the honor (Miikka Kiprusoff, 2006).
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