IN THE NET, IN THE BAG: How much does a 1-0 lead in a hockey game mean? A lot more than you'd think. Through the first 329 games this season, teams that scored first won 206 times and tied 39. That's a .626 winning percentage and a .685 percentage of points earned. Last season, teams that scored first won 497 games (.591) and had a .651 percentage of points earned.
Only two teams -- Quebec and Toronto, 20th and 21st in the overall standings -- are under .500 when they score first. One team, the Los Angeles Kings, has yet to lose when scoring first -- the Kings got the first goal in 17 of their first 29 games, winning 13 and tying four.
The Penguins got C Jiri Hrdina from the Flames for D Jim Kyte. Hrdina, 32, joined the Flames in March 1988 after representing Czechoslovakia at the Olympics. He has 36 goals and 58 assists. Kyte, 26, was called up this week from the Penguins' minor-league club in Muskegon, Mich.
The Canadiens, unsure of Patrick Roy's injured knees, recalled G Andre Racicot from Fredericton of the American Hockey League. Roy, winner of the Vezina Trophy the last two years, left Wednesday's game against the Maple Leafs after D Petr Svoboda fell on him. He was replaced by rookie Jean-Claude Bergeron. Doctors feared Roy suffered ligament damage. He was to be examined late yesterday. . . .
The Blues recalled RW Steve Tuttle from Peoria of the IHL, where he had 15 goals and 21 assists in 26 games. . . . The North Stars assigned C Mike Craig to Canada's Junior National Team and recalled D Pat MacLeod from IHL's Kalamazoo, Mich.
FREE, NOT EASY:
Boston's Bob Sweeney scored on a penalty shot against Hartford on Wednesday, becoming the first Bruins player to connect on a penalty shot since Rick Middleton in 1979.
St. Louis's Brett Hull leads all vote-getters in balloting for the Campbell Conference all-star team. Other leaders include Calgary G Mike Vernon and D Al MacInnis, Chicago D Chris Chelios and Los Angeles C Wayne Gretzky and LW Luc Robitaille.
The Ottawa Senators, who join the NHL in 1992-93, have asked for permission to discuss an unspecified job with Scotty Bowman, Penguins' director of player development and recruitment.