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NHL notebook

| Monday, Dec. 4, 2006

EDMONTON, Alberta - Ryan Smyth of the Edmonton Oilers is out indefinitely with a broken right thumb, sidelining a player who has 16 goals in 24 games.

The forward hurt his thumb during the first period of a 4-0 loss to Columbus on Saturday night.

To fill the roster spot, the Oilers on Sunday recalled left wing Alexei Mikhnov, a 6-foot-5 Ukrainian, from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL.

Mikhnov, the Oilers' first choice in the 2000 entry draft, had three goals and seven assists in 13 games. He has appeared in one NHL game -- Oct. 23.

Goalie suffers injury

Blues goalie Curtis Sanford will be sidelined six to eight weeks with a pulled groin, the team said yesterday.

Jason Bacashihua was recalled from Peoria, Ill., of the AHL.

Sanford, the backup goalie behind Manny Legace, had to be helped off the ice early in the first period in Chicago on Friday after a play that led to the game's first goal. After moving to stop a shot that was wide, Sanford crumpled to the ice and Jeff Hamilton had an easy tap-in with the rebound.

Sanford, the starter in 2005-06 before a season-ending knee injury in March, is 2-5-2 in 12 games with a 2.93 goals-against average. He missed three games in November with a groin strain.

Bacashihua, 24, has appeared in two games with one start. On Nov. 17, he stopped 40 of 44 shots in a 4-2 loss to the Canucks. In eight games with Peoria, Bacashihua is 1-5-1 with a 3.89 goals-against average and .860 save percentage.

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