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lobo316



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The Toronto Maple Leafs are finally giving back.
The club is planning the pregame ceremony to end all pregame ceremonies ahead of Saturday's home opener against the Boston Bruins, as the curtain rises in Toronto on the Maple Leafs' centennial season.
Fans are being urged to be in their seats no later than 5:30 p.m. ET, and in order to make that happen, the Maple Leafs will gift those with a ticket a free beer courtesy of Molson Canadian.
The #leafs have grand plans for tomorrow's pre-game ceremony. Details are being kept under lock and key. Expect it to be momentous, though.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) October 14, 2016
For those puckheads heading to the game who are also Toronto Blue Jays fans, the club will be showing Game 2 of the American League Championship Series against the Cleveland Indians, which gets going at 4 p.m. ET on Saturday, according to Sportsnet's Chris Johnston.
The ceremony will be broadcast on "Hockey Night in Canada."

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The Anaheim Ducks locked up Rickard Rakell on Friday, signing the restricted free agent forward to a six-year contract extension, as first reported by TSN's Bob McKenzie.

The club didn't disclose financial details of the deal, but it's worth $22.8 million, according to McKenzie.

Rakell scored 20 goals and 43 points in 72 games last year, establishing career highs across the board. He also led Anaheim in even-strength points rate, contributing 1.90 points per 60 minutes.

With the six-year investment, the Ducks get another accurately valued and very reasonable number on their payroll. Rakell will earn just a shade more than Jakob Silfverberg, another young top-six forward locked up long term who contributed just slightly less offensively.

But the deal almost certainly means another shoe will drop. Anaheim, which works on a budget, still has No. 1 defender Hampus Lindholm as an outstanding restricted free agent, and is currently listed just under the $74-million salary cap, according to General Fanager. Cam Fowler, another member of that talented blue line, is among names linked to a potential deal involving a big-money contract.

Rakell, meanwhile, is still in Sweden and is not expected to be in the lineup for another two weeks as he sorts out visa issues.

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Buffalo Sabres forward Evander Kane is expected to miss weeks with three cracked ribs after taking a nasty spill into the boards during the team's season opener Thursday, head coach Dan Bylsma confirmed.


Kane took the spill late in the second period of Thursday's contest in a race for the puck with Canadiens defenseman Alexei Emelin.

He had to be helped off the ice, and was taken to a nearby hospital.

The news gets worse for the Sabres, who earlier in the day announced that forward Jack Eichel would miss weeks after sustaining a high-ankle sprain in practice on Wednesday.

On the bright side after missing the opener with an ailing knee injury, forward Kyle Okposo will likely dress Sunday when the Sabres tangle with the Edmonton Oilers.

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Auston Matthews made history in his NHL debut on Wednesday night. The Toronto Maple Leafs rookie set a League record with four goals in his first game, including a natural hat-trick on his first three shots.

But now, he’s done something even more extraordinary: He forced NBCSN to add a game to its schedule involving a Canadian franchise!

The U.S. NHL rights-holder announced that the Maple Leafs’ home opener against the Boston Bruins on Saturday night has been added to the schedule, replacing the “Sprint Cup Series: Hollywood Casino 400, Final Practice,” which is apparently what is scheduled on a Saturday night on NBCSN.

The Leafs/Bruins game was originally scheduled to air on NHL Network.

This is … unexpected? Awesome?

Both?

Due to the futility of Canadian teams, some of the best (and most fascinating) young players in the NHL currently reside north of the border: Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews and Johnny Gaudreau. Two of the three are American – NBC made mention in its press release that Matthews is “a native of Scottsdale, Arizona – and the other is inarguably the most hyped young player in hockey since Sidney Crosby.

And yet the combined number of games for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames on the NBC/NBCSN preseason schedule: One. That’s the Leafs’ outdoor game against the Detroit Red Wings on Jan. 1.

Now, thanks to Auston Matthews, make it two.

This concept seems so maddening simple, doesn’t it? Step 1: Take great young player on Canadian team. Step 2: Add ratings-driving U.S. team. Step 3: Offer great product to your audience while exposing them to players and teams beyond the same 8-10 ones that are always on.

But the ratings margins are so minuscule for NBCSN, they don’t book Canadian teams out of necessity. Case in point: The St. Louis Blues vs. Chicago Blackhawks game on Wednesday night had a 0.74 overnight rating, the fourth-best for an NHL game on NBCSN, but slightly down from last season. And less than a million viewers.

So, again, what Matthews as done here is extraordinary: With one performance – that made him a 24-hour trending topic and got him noticed on the “Today” show on NBC – he willed NBCSN to add a Saturday night game featuring a Canadian team.

Now that’s Calder Trophy material …

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Leafs beat the Bruins 4-1. No goals or assists for Auston. Get rid of da bum.

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Chalk up another accolade for Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid. The superstar center was named the NHL's first star of the week Monday, after scoring six points in three games to open the season. McDavid notched two goals, including the game-winner, in the team's season opener against the rival Calgary Flames.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews, the first overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, was named the league's second star of the week. The 19-year-old had a record-breaking debut, scoring four goals in his first NHL game. Matthews notched the fourth tally with three seconds remaining in just the second period.

Florida Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo has been named the NHL's third star of the week. The 37-year-old grabbed a pair of wins to start the season, posting a .957 save percentage through two games. His second win marked the 438th victory of his career, pushing him past Jacques Plante for sixth place on the NHL's all-time wins list.

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It's the end of an era for the Detroit Red Wings.

As the team plays its home opener Monday, it marks the beginning of the final chapter at the iconic Joe Louis Arena - home to the Red Wings since 1979.

The team is set to move into its new home next season, the Little Caesars Arena, but will first bask in the final year at The Joe, the old barn that oversaw the Red Wings become the NHL's model of success.

Under the tutelage of general manager Ken Holland, at the helm since 1997, the Red Wings have established a winning culture, as evidenced by the club's 25 straight postseason berths, including four Stanley Cup wins over that time.

The Joe has also been the only home to team owner Mike Ilitch, who bought the Red Wings in 1982. Under his watch, the Red Wings have missed the postseason on just three occasions.

“It just had a special feeling, that the crowd was going to help you as much as they could,” Scotty Bowman told Gregg Krupa of The Detroit News.

Bowman, of course, is the legendary bench boss who coached the Red Wings to three Stanley Cup championships.

The first Cup, in 1997, ended a 42-year drought for the Red Wings. The next, in 1998, stands as the NHL's most recent back-to-back championship. He won his third with the Red Wings in 2002, and captured a fourth in 2008 as part of Detroit's front office.

In addition to Stanley Cups, Red Wings fans have witnessed many a star grace The Joe over the years, from former captain Steve Yzerman to elite blue-liner Niklas Lidstrom, as well as star forwards Sergei Fedorov and the recently departed Pavel Datsyuk.

On Monday, the Red Wings host the Ottawa Senators in what will be their final home opener at The Joe. No doubt the franchise that defined excellence will look to begin its "Farewell Season" on the right note.

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The Great One sees greatness in Connor McDavid.

Speaking with The Globe and Mail, the NHL's all-time leading score didn't hold back on his adulation.

"I don't think there's any question that Connor's the best 19-year-old hockey player I've ever seen and I saw (Mark) Messier, I saw (Mario) Lemieux, I saw (Guy) Lafleur," Gretzky said. "This kid is special."

Gretzky - who earlier this month was named vice-chair of Oilers Entertainment Group - will now have the opportunity to observe McDavid up close.

"Now, it's going to take time. He's still only 19," Gretzky continued. "But he has everything in place to become the best player in the National Hockey League and go on to win some championships for the Edmonton Oilers."

By scoring six points in the first two games of the season, McDavid became the first Oilers player to do so since 1987. That feat was last accomplished by, of course, Gretzky. And on Monday, McDavid was named the NHL's first star of the week as a result.

It's one of many accolades that Gretzky sees on McDavid's horizon, noting that championships are what separates the greats from the truly elite. Gretzky captained the Oilers to four Stanley Cups and believes McDavid has an exceptional opportunity to return hockey's Holy Grail to Edmonton for the first time since 1990.

"But what I'm saying is if you want to get that elite status where they say you're Bobby Orr or you're Jean Beliveau to me you've got to win a Stanley Cup," Gretzky said. "Winning a Stanley Cup is important and you should never lose sight of that fact."

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500th career NHL goal for Marian Hossa #Blackhawks pic.twitter.com/AHt71RNg5v

— Marina Molnar (@mkmolnar) October 19, 2016
Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa made NHL history Tuesday night, scoring his 500th career goal with a second-period tally versus the Philadelphia Flyers.

Hossa, well on his way to the Hockey Hall of Fame, is the 44th player in league history to accomplish the feat.

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The Los Angeles Kings are preparing to be without Jonathan Quick for the long haul.

General manager Dean Lombardi said Wednesday he expects the goaltender to be out for "about three months," according to Lisa Dillman of The Los Angeles Times.

A Kings' hockey operations staffer told Dillman Quick didn't have surgery, instead opting for a minor procedure Tuesday.

The goalie's timetable is now indefinite - which differs from his original week-to-week timetable - and there are no immediate plans to place him on long-term injured reserve.

Related: 3 goalies the Kings should target in Quick's absence

On Friday, Lombardi said Quick's injury is in the same area as the groin strain he dealt with in 2013.

The 30-year-old was forced to depart in the second period of the season opener last Wednesday.

Jeff Zatkoff has allowed nine goals in two starts since Quick's injury.

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The Pittsburgh Penguins locked up goaltender Matt Murray on a three-year, $11.25-million contract extension Thursday, the team announced.

The 22-year-old inked the deal, which will pay him an annual average of $3.75 million, after proving his worth in his first real taste of the NHL last season.

The club's third-round pick in 2012 made his debut playing in 13 regular season games, posting a 9-2-0 record with a 2.00 goals-against average and .930 save percentage.

However, it's in the postseason where Murray proved he could be the Penguins' goalie of the future. The Thunder Bay, Ontario, native carried Pittsburgh to a Stanley Cup win thanks to a 15-6 record with a 2.08 goals-against average and .923 save percentage.

Murray, who's recovering from a broken hand suffered while backstopping Team North America at the World Cup of Hockey, had his first practice with the team since going down with the injury on Wednesday, and, according to TSN's Bob McKenzie, should be in game shape within the next couple of weeks.

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"Laine's better!"

The chants reverberated true at MTS Centre on Wednesday night.

Patrik Laine outshone Auston Matthews in the first meeting between the top two selections from last summer's draft, completing a hat trick in overtime with a bullet shot over the shoulder of Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen.

You're going to want to hear this. pic.twitter.com/3CKO0xeRMf

— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) October 20, 2016
Factoring in Matthews' miss on a breakaway literally seconds prior, this highlight will live on reels throughout the season. But there was much more in Laine's performance on the big stage, on a night when Winnipeg erased a four-goal deficit for the first time in franchise history.

The No. 2 pick, suddenly tight-lipped after telling everyone he was the better prospect throughout the draft process, had fans taunting Matthews after his first goal on a tremendous turnaround snipe one minute into the third period. Then after Mark Scheifele brought the Jets to within one in a final frame dominated by the Jets, Laine clapped in the game-tying goal on the power play with 55 seconds left.

With his hat trick, Laine has tied Matthews, who has one assist since scoring four times in his NHL debut, in both goals and points in the rookie scoring race, making certain his name is included when raving about the immense talent taking over the NHL.

"Both of those players are special," Scheifele told Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun. "I guess it was Laine's turn today."

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The wait is over.

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price will make his season debut Thursday against the Arizona Coyotes as he returns after a lengthy battle with the flu, head coach Michel Therrien announced.

Price missed the club's first three games of the season after a flu bug left him quarantined in his own home and caused him to lose between seven and eight pounds.

The former Vezina Trophy winner returned to practice on Wednesday where Therrien admitted he couldn't wait to have Price back in the net.

Al Montoya took on the starting roll in Price's absence and fared admirably posting a 2-0-1 record with a 1.3 goals-against average, a .962 save percentage, and one shutout.

Price's start will mark his first with the Canadiens since Nov. 25 of last year after he suffered a devastating MCL sprain that caused him to miss the rest of the season.

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After exiting Friday's contest following a hard collision with the goal post, Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk will miss "about a month," head coach Joel Quenneville announced.

The 25-year-old was reportedly seen wearing a sling on his arm, and the Blackhawks are calling it an upper-body injury.

TvR right arm injury pic.twitter.com/ng8R8gCpiH

— Stephanie (@myregularface) October 22, 2016
Van Riemsdyk has suited up in only two of Chicago's five games so far this season, yet to find the scoresheet.

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CHICAGO - Jonathan Toews and Artemi Panarin scored in the shootout to give the Blackhawks a 5-4 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night after Chicago came back with two late goals to force overtime.

Artem Anisimov scored his second goal of the game on a rebound with 2:28 left to cut it to 4-3, then Richard Panik knocked in a loose puck in front of the goal 60 seconds later.

Anisimov connected as Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling was heading to the bench for an extra attacker. Darling was on the bench when Panik tied it.

Toronto rookie William Nylander scored twice for his first multi-goal game, with his second goal putting the Maple Leafs ahead 4-2 early in the third. But Toronto blew a lead in the final period for the third straight game and failed again to win at Chicago for the first time since February 2003.

James van Riemsdyk scored a tie-breaking goal late in the second period and Tyler Bozak also connected for Toronto. Rookie Auston Matthews, the NHL's top 2016 draft pick, set up both of Nylander's goals and had the lone Toronto goal in the shootout.

Rookie Tyler Motte also scored for Chicago. Motte connected for the second straight game after getting his first NHL goal in a 3-2 loss at Columbus on Friday.

Chicago's Brian Campbell had three assists.

Toronto's Frederik Andersen made 31 saves through overtime. Darling blocked 30 shots.

Chicago forward Marian Hossa returned to the lineup after missing Friday's game. He scored his 500th NHL goal in a 7-4 win over Philadelphia on Tuesday, but left in the third period after blocking a shot.

Anisimov opened the scoring 3:36 in, completing a 2-on-1 break created when Panarin beat Nazem Kadri with a nifty move after entering the Toronto zone. Panarin drew several Leafs defenders to him, then dished to Anisimov who one-timed a shot from the right circle.

Bozak tied it 1-1 with 14 seconds left in the first on a deflection from the slot despite being covered. Jake Gardiner's low shot ticked off Bozak's stick.

Nylander's power-play goal at 9:28 second put Toronto ahead 2-1.

Motte tied it 2-all 1:40 later. Andersen stopped Motte's initial deflection of Campbell's shot, but Motte batted in the rebound.

Van Riemsdyk made it 3-2 with 1:44 left in the second when he swept in a loose rebound from the edge of the crease.

Nylander connected again 4:46 into the third period, firing into a half-open net from the slot after taking Matthews' slick feed to make it 4-2.

NOTES: Blackhawks D Trevor van Riemsdyk, James' brother, will miss about a month with an upper-body injury, coach Joel Quenneville said before the game. The defenseman left Friday's game in Columbus in the second period, holding his right arm after crashing into the net. He appeared in 82 games last season, but van Riemsdyk was a healthy scratch for three games following Chicago's season opener and returned to the lineup against the Blue Jackets. ... Quenneville said there's no change in F Andrew Desjardins' (lower-body) status and doesn't know when he'll resume skating. ... Toronto D Martin Marincin (lower body) missed his second game.

UP NEXT

Maple Leafs: Return home to face Tampa Bay on Tuesday.

Blackhawks: Face Calgary at home on Monday.

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The Boston Bruins have recalled goalie Malcolm Subban on an emergency basis, the team announced Monday.

Starting goaltender Tuukka Rask did not participate in practice Monday, while backup Anton Khudobin reportedly left practice with an arm injury.

Malcolm Subban is at Bruins practice today with Anton Khudobin. No Rask.

— Ty Anderson (@_TyAnderson) October 24, 2016
Bruins now w/ only one goalie, Subban, on ice. Khudobin off w/ apparent arm/wrist something or other.

— Kevin Paul Dupont (@GlobeKPD) October 24, 2016
Subban has appeared in four games with the AHL's Providence Bruins this season, posting a 0-3-1 record and .846 save percentage.

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The Toronto Maple Leafs have placed veteran winger Milan Michalek on waivers, according to Sportsnet's Chris Johnston.

Michalek has appeared in all five Leafs games this season, recording a goal and an assist. The 31-year-old carries a $4-million cap hit.

The Maple Leafs also claimed forward Ben Smith on waivers Monday.

Smith has appeared in four games with the Colorado Avalanche this season. He split time last year between the Maple Leafs and their AHL affiliate, the Toronto Marlies.

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Frederik Andersen is the talk of the town, but for all the wrong reasons.

The Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender allowed seven goals on 23 shots against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday, dropping his save percentage to .850 through five appearances to start the season.

To his credit, he's not shying away from his poor performance.

Andersen: "I've got to be better."

— James Mirtle (@mirtle) October 26, 2016
"You just got to challenge yourself to work harder, that's the only (way) to get out of it," Andersen added, per Mark Masters of TSN, while maintaining he's still adjusting to the new environment and his new teammates.

Earlier Tuesday, head coach Mike Babcock was forced to answer questions about Andersen's shoddy numbers, brushing them off due to the season being young and because the criticism was coming from Don Cherry, host of Coach's Corner.

Following the 7-3 loss to the Lightning, Babcock admitted it was a tough night for the goalie, adding that he kept Andersen in net to battle through it.

Still, Babcock believes better days are ahead.

"Obviously we talked about it earlier today and it hasn't gone as good as he would like it to go," Babcock said. "We're very confident in his ability. We do a lot of work in advance to know what he's capable of doing, he's done it for three years straight. It hasn't gone very good for him. Tonight would be, I think, a point for him where he'd want to regroup from.

"He's a proud guy and it's very important that we support him, but he's got to get to work too and do his part. It's all part of being on a team. You've got to pick one another up. It didn't bounce his way tonight for sure. He's not feeling as good about himself as he should be. In order to do that you've got to earn the right to feel good by doing good work."

Andersen signed a five-year, $25-million extension with the Maple Leafs upon being acquired from the Anaheim Ducks, with whom he recorded a .918 save percentage in 125 appearances.

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David Backes is going to need a little longer to heal.

The Boston Bruins forward had a minor elbow procedure performed Monday and his condition will be updated after this weekend, the club announced Wednesday.

That means, in all likelihood, the veteran will miss Wednesday's game against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden and Saturday's contest in Detroit against the Red Wings.

Austin Czarnik was recalled from the Bruins' AHL affiliate in Providence in a corresponding move.

Backes didn't play Tuesday night due to what the club would only refer to as a "minor issue" at the time. He has two goals and two assists in five games with the Bruins, with whom he signed a five-year, $30-million deal on July 1.

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Hampus Lindholm's holdout is over.

The Anaheim Ducks agreed to a six-year contract extension with the defenseman, the club announced Thursday.

The deal will carry an annual cap hit of $5.25 million, TSN's Bob McKenzie reports.

Lindholm reportedly needs to obtain a work visa, which could take as long as two weeks. He's now signed through 2021-22, but the Ducks need to make a move to get under the salary cap.

Here's how the contract breaks down, according to Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register:

SEASON         CAP HIT ($M)


2016-17                 3


2017-18                 6


2018-19                 6.75


2019-20                 5.25


2020-21                 3.75


2021-22                 6.75



The 22-year-old became a restricted free agent this summer and hasn't played a game this season.

McKenzie reported earlier in October that the club wanted to sign Lindholm to a six-year deal at less than $5.4 million per season (Rasmus Ristolainen's deal with the Buffalo Sabres) and the blue-liner wanted more.

In his third season with Anaheim, Lindholm ranked second behind Cam Fowler among Ducks skaters in average time on ice, collecting 28 points in 80 games.

The Ducks selected Lindholm sixth overall in 2012.

Last edited on Thu Oct 27th, 2016 09:16 pm by lobo316

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lobo316 wrote: Hampus Lindholm's holdout is over.

The Anaheim Ducks agreed to a six-year contract extension with the defenseman, the club announced Thursday.

The deal will carry an annual cap hit of $5.25 million, TSN's Bob McKenzie reports.

Lindholm reportedly needs to obtain a work visa, which could take as long as two weeks. He's now signed through 2021-22, but the Ducks need to make a move to get under the salary cap.

Here's how the contract breaks down, according to Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register:

SEASON         CAP HIT ($M)


2016-17                 3


2017-18                 6


2018-19                 6.75


2019-20                 5.25


2020-21                 3.75


2021-22                 6.75



The 22-year-old became a restricted free agent this summer and hasn't played a game this season.

McKenzie reported earlier in October that the club wanted to sign Lindholm to a six-year deal at less than $5.4 million per season (Rasmus Ristolainen's deal with the Buffalo Sabres) and the blue-liner wanted more.

In his third season with Anaheim, Lindholm ranked second behind Cam Fowler among Ducks skaters in average time on ice, collecting 28 points in 80 games.

The Ducks selected Lindholm sixth overall in 2012.

Wonder on who they will trade.

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No St. Louis Blues player will ever wear No. 5 again.
Bob Plager's number will be retired in a pregame ceremony before the Blues host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Feb. 2, the club announced Friday.
The 73-year-old has been with the franchise since its inception in 1967; first as a player until 1975-76, and then in various other roles, including head coach, director of pro scouting, and director of player development.
His number was previously raised to the rafters when the Blues honored him for his franchise-long commitment and service, but it was never officially retired, and was worn most recently by defenseman Barret Jackman.
The most recent (and final) No. 5 congratulates the original No. 5. #Blues50 #stlbluespic.twitter.com/Oqvp4AhhxZ
— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) October 28, 2016
Plager will become the seventh player in franchise history to have his number retired. Here are the others:

NO.     PLAYER
2       Al MacInnis
3       Bob Gassoff
8       Barclay Plager
11      Brian Sutter
16      Brett Hull
24      Bernie Federko

He and his brother, Barclay, will join Maurice and Henri Richard as the only brothers in NHL history to have their numbers retired by the same team.

Last edited on Sat Oct 29th, 2016 12:50 am by lobo316

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I'm a little surprised the Blues haven't retired Garry Unger's number 7.

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New York Islanders general manager Garth Snow may have a resolution to the team's three-headed goalie situation.

After NHL agent Allan Walsh called out the Islanders for their handling of netminders Jaroslav Halak and Jean-Francois Berube - both represented by Walsh - the team has made it known they're willing to deal Halak, according to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman.

Hard to figure out NY Islanders using 3 goalie system for 2nd year. Biggest issue is goalies don't get enough practice time to stay sharp.

— Allan Walsh (@walsha) October 29, 2016
Starting goalie for NY Islanders last game had only 1 quality practice in last 5 days before Penguins game. Going on 2 years of this now.

— Allan Walsh (@walsha) October 29, 2016
The Islanders also have Thomas Greiss, meaning the team is carrying three goaltenders. There is simply not enough crease time to go around, with Greiss appearing in three games, Halak playing five, and Berube yet to take the ice.

The Islanders do not want to send Berube to the team's AHL affiliate in Bridgeport, as he would need to clear waivers and they're not confident that would happen, considering the number of goalie injuries league-wide.

One example is the Los Angeles Kings, who lost starter Jonathan Quick for three months due to a groin injury. Interestingly enough, the Islanders claimed Berube off waivers from the Kings last season.

Berube posted a 3-2-0 record and .914 save percentage with the Islanders in 2015-16.

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PHILADELPHIA - Evgeni Malkin scored twice, including the tiebreaker in the third period, and Sidney Crosby also had two goals to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 5-4 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night.

Matt Cullen also scored for the Penguins, who scored three times in a 55-second span in the first period while opening a four-game road trip with their fourth win in the last five. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 38 shots while making his ninth straight start (6-2-1).

Malkin's game-winner was his 300th career goal.

Jakub Voracek scored twice for the Flyers, and Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds each had one for Philadelphia. Steve Mason started and gave up three goals on 13 shots in the first period. Michal Neuvirth replaced him to start the second and finished with 12 saves on 14 shots.

Matt Murray, who led the Penguins to the Stanley Cup last season, was available as Fleury's backup. Murray, recovering from a broken hand, hasn't played this season.

Malkin put the Penguins ahead for good at 8:33 of the third with his milestone goal. Olli Maatta threw the puck toward the net. It bounced off the leg of Philadelphia's Brandon Manning and to the back post, where a wide-open Malkin shot past Neuvirth.

Crosby, who missed the first six games due to a concussion, has four goals and five points in three games since returning.

Trailing 2-0, the Penguins scored three goals during an electrifying 55 seconds late in the first period.

Crosby beat Mason short side from a bad angle with a top shelf wrist shot with 4:16 left in the period. Forty-three seconds later, Crosby netted a power-play goal after one-timing a pass from Patric Hornqvist in the slot that whizzed by Mason. And Cullen ended the onslaught with a wraparound tally with 3:21 remaining.

The only other time Philadelphia allowed three goals in 55 seconds or less was Nov. 23, 1991, when the Devils tallied three in 42 seconds in the second period of a 5-5 tie.

Pittsburgh capitalized on a turnover by Sean Couturier to take a 4-2 lead on Malkin's goal midway through the second period.

The Flyers got back within one goal on Giroux's power-play tally with 6:44 remaining in the period. Radko Gudas made a stellar play to keep the puck in the offensive zone before Wayne Simmonds fed Giroux for a one-timer from the slot that beat Fleury on the glove side.

The play was upheld after a lengthy review to determine whether Philadelphia was offside on the play.

And the Flyers tied it 2:12 later on Voracek's penalty shot, which was awarded after the Flyers' right wing was pulled down by Brian Dumoulin on a breakaway attempt.

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The Ottawa Senators will carry three goalies on their roster, allowing Craig Anderson the flexibility to be with the team, but more importantly with his wife Nicholle, who was recently diagnosed with cancer.

As for the immediate future, Anderson is in the process of rejoining Ottawa. Elliotte Friedman reported on Hockey Night in Canada's "Saturday Headlines" that Nicholle suggested Craig travel for Sunday's game in Edmonton with Andrew Hammond unavailable due to injury.

Hammond will be out at least a week with his groin problem. Chris Driedger and Matt O'Connor will be with the Senators until he's fit to return.

It's unknown if Anderson will start versus Edmonton.

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Craig Anderson went back to work, and did his job to the very best of his abilities.

The end result was a 2-0 win for the Ottawa Senators over the Edmonton Oilers in Anderson's first start since rejoining the club following the announcement of his wife's cancer diagnosis.

Anderson stopped 37 shots to earn his 35th career shutout, and was mobbed by his teammates in an emotional celebration at the final buzzer. He was named the game's first star, and came back out on the ice to a raucous ovation from the knowing Oilers faithful.

The win also marked Anderson's second straight shutout after he stopped all 22 shots against in Vancouver on Oct. 25.

Anderson missed the Senators previous game - a loss in Calgary on Oct. 28 - having traveled back to Ottawa to be with his family.

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Second sources of income across the NHL may be lost as soon as Monday, as the parent company for equipment manufacturer Bauer prepares to file for bankruptcy protection, TSN's Rick Westhead reports.

Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, and Auston Matthews are among athletes who have signed endorsement deals with Bauer.

Westhead reports Performance Sports Group Ltd. expects a $424-million debt by the end of 2016. In addition, its shareholders filed a lawsuit against the company, accusing it of inflating revenue and sales reports and deceiving the market.

NHL players could lose deals valued at upwards of $500,000.

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A Toronto Maple Leafs forward has been named the NHL's rookie of the month for October, but not the one who scored four goals on opening night.

The distinction instead goes to William Nylander, whose four goals and seven assists in nine games topped the six goals and four assists recorded by teammate Auston Matthews in the same span.

Nylander leads all rookies in assists and total points, and his 31 shots on goal rank second only to Matthews. Only Matthews, Patrik Laine, and Jimmy Vesey have recorded more goals.

Drafted eighth overall by Toronto in 2014, Nylander scored six goals and added seven assists in 22 games for the Maple Leafs last season.

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Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid, Montreal Canadiens defenseman Shea Weber, and Florida Panthers forward Jonathan Marchessault were named the NHL's three stars for the month of October on Tuesday.

McDavid leads the NHL in total points through the first few weeks of the season, recording five goals and seven assists for an Oilers team that sits first in the Western Conference and second overall in the league standings.

Weber made a good impression with his new club by leading all defensemen with 10 points (four goals, six assists) in nine games while helping the Canadiens get off to a first-place start with a record of 8-0-1.

The surprising name here, of course, is third star Marchessault, who shares the league lead with six goals and is tied for third overall with 11 points through nine games with the Panthers.

Marchessault recorded a career-high 18 points in 45 games with Tampa Bay last season.

Not bad for a player making only $750,000 this season.

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Ales Hemsky may not play for the rest of the regular season.

The Dallas Stars forward will miss five-to-six months after having surgery to repair a labral tear in his hip Monday morning, Stars general manager Jim Nill announced.

Hemsky suffered the injury at the World Cup of Hockey and only played in one of the Stars' first eight games.

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Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews can downplay it all they want, but their first career NHL showdown carries plenty of swagger with it.

The two 19-year-olds were linemates for Team North America at the World Cup of Hockey in September, so you'd better believe there will be plenty of pride on the line when the last two first-overall draft picks go head to head on Tuesday night as McDavid's Edmonton Oilers meet Matthews' Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre.

"Oh, 100 percent there will be,'' their World Cup linemate, Mark Scheifele, told ESPN.com on Saturday. "You could even tell what happened with Patrik Laine and Matthews when they played. You see them both downplay it -- 'It's just a regular hockey game' -- but at the end of the day, both of them want to prove to everyone that they're the big shot. Obviously it's not the No. 1 thing on their mind, but all pro athletes have that extra gear. They want to be that clutch player who comes through in the crunch. There will be more on the line for them Tuesday.''

Scheifele seems to be in the middle of it all these days. He rode shotgun with Matthews and McDavid on Team North America and now has the sensational Finnish rookie Laine on his wing in Winnipeg.

"I've played with all of them. I've got the dirt on all of them,'' joked the talented Winnipeg Jets center during a phone conversation.

"It is a weird feeling. I'm 23 years old, and I feel like I have to take care of the kids,'' Scheifele added with a laugh.

Laine, 18, electrified the Winnipeg crowd with a hat trick in that Oct. 19 win over Matthews and the Toronto Maple Leafs -- the opening NHL chapter in what will be a forever debate between the top two picks of last June's draft. The Calder Trophy likely will have one of their names engraved on it next June.

The McDavid-Matthews narrative will also continue to have juice. Both are franchise centers for whom organizations tried to move mountains, just for the chance to land them in the lottery. The Leafs fell short of doing so in the spring of 2015 and lost out on McDavid before hitting the jackpot last spring to claim the top draft spot and the right to choose Matthews. So it's understandable that the two players will always be compared with one another.

Scheifele showed his own moxie by meshing very well with both franchise players in September.

"Connor can pretty much do it all. He can score, he can set guys up, he's got unbelievable speed, he plays good D in the D-zone," Scheifele said. "Auston is a great guy down low, holds on to the puck really well. He's a very methodical player. I'm a pretty simple guy. I get pucks in, I hold the puck down low, I get to open areas and try to be a consistent player every night. I think that's why I was able to play with those guys because they knew what they were getting out of me each and every night. With guys of that skill level, it makes it easy to find open hole, you're going to get chances. It was really exciting to play to play with those two guys.''

At one point last week, Matthews' 10 points led the NHL in scoring. He has gone three consecutive games since then without a point, but you know that's not going to last. Now McDavid has taken the NHL scoring lead, with 12 points in nine games (he's tied with Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers).

"The most exciting to me is just how much better they get every single night," Scheifele said of McDavid and Matthews. "They're pretty special, but they're getting better every night, which is the scary thing.''

Scheifele faced McDavid in the Heritage Classic on Oct. 23, so he has already played against both of his World Cup linemates.

"I gave Connor a cross-check after one draw, because he beat me. He skated by me and said, 'Scheif, that hurt,''' chuckled Scheifele, who knows McDavid well, as they both work out together during the summer in the Toronto area. "I only took one or two draws against Auston. I didn't get to play against him as much. But they were both awesome to play against. You watch the skill level, it's pretty crazy just to see what they're doing now.''

Scheifele figured those McDavid-Matthews draws on Tuesday night will be entertaining.

"I'm sure they'll be ribbing each other at some faceoffs," Scheifele said. "It'll be a fun game to watch for sure.''

It has been that kind of early season for the NHL, as the next wave of generational stars -- McDavid, Matthews, Laine, Johnny Gaudreau, Dylan Larkin et al. -- puts its stamp on the game. It's a heady time for franchise-altering youth in the NHL.


"It's crazy the amount of young guys coming into the league doing unbelievable things," said Scheifele, who is playing in his fourth NHL season. "It just shows where the game of hockey is going. I know Connor works on his game more than anyone. He's the guy shooting pucks at his house, on the ice doing extra things, working on faceoffs, whatever it is, he's a guy trying to get better and better each and every day. That's what makes all these young kids so special. They all want to get better. They don't care about the fact they made the NHL already. They want to be the best player. They want to be that next Sidney Crosby.

"I think that's why these kids are all making those waves.''

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ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota Wild center Zac Dalpe will miss the next four to six weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery to repair a lateral meniscus tear in his right knee.

Dalpe was hurt Saturday in Minnesota's 4-0 win over Dallas. The Wild placed Dalpe on long-term injured reserve on Tuesday after what the team called a successful operation, performed by Dr. Joel Boyd. Dalpe, who turned 27 on Tuesday, has one goal and two assists in nine games.

The Wild recalled forwards Christoph Bertschy, Tyler Graovac and Jordan Schroeder from their AHL affiliate in Iowa before hosting Buffalo on Tuesday.

Bertschy and Graovac played on Saturday against Dallas before being sent back briefly. Schroeder will make his season debut. He's played in 51 games for the Wild over the last two years.

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The Ottawa Senators have acquired goalie Mike Condon from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for a fifth-round draft pick in 2017, Ottawa confirmed Wednesday.

As a rookie last season, the undrafted Condon filled the cratering void left by Carey Price when the Montreal Canadiens superstar went down with injury.

He made 51 starts for Montreal, authoring a .903 save percentage.

Condon's only appearance for Pittsburgh came in relief of Marc-Andre Fleury. He stopped all seven shots he faced, and didn't factor in the decision in a loss to the Nashville Predators.

The Senators' goaltending situation remains fluid with Andrew Hammond out with a lower-body injury and starter Craig Anderson needing the flexibility to be with his wife, who last week was diagnosed with cancer.

Condon provides the club with capable insurance, and likely means they'll continue carrying three goaltenders.

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Auston Matthews' popularity is second to none.

More people bought the Toronto Maple Leafs' rookie sensation's jersey than that of any other player in the month of October, the NHL announced Tuesday night.

Here's the full list:

RANK     PLAYER


1          Auston Matthews
2          Sidney Crosby
3          Connor McDavid
4          Patrick Kane
5         Jonathan Toews
6         Henrik Lundqvist
7         Claude Giroux
8         P.K. Subban
9         Alex Ovechkin
10       Anze Kopitar


Matthews' feat is especially impressive considering his jersey wasn't even available for two whole days after his historic four-goal NHL debut Oct. 12 against the Ottawa Senators.

Last edited on Thu Nov 3rd, 2016 01:10 am by lobo316

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Scoring is suddenly a lost art for the Vancouver Canucks.

The Ottawa Senators defeated Willie Desjardins' club 1-0 on Thursday night, handing the Canucks their seventh consecutive loss.

It was the fourth time in the last five games and second time in as many nights that Vancouver failed to register a single goal.

The Canucks lost 3-0 to the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night, following a 5-2 defeat at the hands of the Washington Capitals last Saturday. The scorless drought began with losses to the Senators and the Edmonton Oilers last week.

Vancouver became the first team in NHL history to open a season with three straight wins while never leading in regulation.

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Wow- was watching my Dead Wings lose another one, this time vs. the Jets, when I heard the out of town scoreboard- 8-0 Columbus beating Montreal....WOW, I went to my computer this morning to find the final was 10-0!!

I feel bad for that backup Montoya, looks like he didn't get any support at all!

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chrob61 wrote: Wow- was watching my Dead Wings lose another one, this time vs. the Jets, when I heard the out of town scoreboard- 8-0 Columbus beating Montreal....WOW, I went to my computer this morning to find the final was 10-0!!

I feel bad for that backup Montoya, looks like he didn't get any support at all!
Was watching my Jets beat your Dead Wings(odd goals in that game) and was periodically flipping back and forth between that and the Habs game and stopped after the first few goals as it just looked awful.

Saw the highlights(or lowlights if you will, afterwards) and from what I saw and read on a Habs discussion board the players should be ashamed for basically abandoning Montoya like that.   I get that the Habs have a back to back and Price will play tonight at home but at the very least Montoya should have been pulled for the third period.  He'll be damaged goods for the next while and if something happens to Price again the Habs will be fucked.  

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Angelic Assassin wrote: chrob61 wrote: Wow- was watching my Dead Wings lose another one, this time vs. the Jets, when I heard the out of town scoreboard- 8-0 Columbus beating Montreal....WOW, I went to my computer this morning to find the final was 10-0!!

I feel bad for that backup Montoya, looks like he didn't get any support at all!
Was watching my Jets beat your Dead Wings(odd goals in that game) and was periodically flipping back and forth between that and the Habs game and stopped after the first few goals as it just looked awful.

Saw the highlights(or lowlights if you will, afterwards) and from what I saw and read on a Habs discussion board the players should be ashamed for basically abandoning Montoya like that.   I get that the Habs have a back to back and Price will play tonight at home but at the very least Montoya should have been pulled for the third period.  He'll be damaged goods for the next while and if something happens to Price again the Habs will be fucked.  

I'm thinking back to that final Patrick Roy game with the Habs vs. the Red Wings, how they left him hang out to dry.....

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chrob61 wrote: Angelic Assassin wrote: chrob61 wrote: Wow- was watching my Dead Wings lose another one, this time vs. the Jets, when I heard the out of town scoreboard- 8-0 Columbus beating Montreal....WOW, I went to my computer this morning to find the final was 10-0!!

I feel bad for that backup Montoya, looks like he didn't get any support at all!
Was watching my Jets beat your Dead Wings(odd goals in that game) and was periodically flipping back and forth between that and the Habs game and stopped after the first few goals as it just looked awful.

Saw the highlights(or lowlights if you will, afterwards) and from what I saw and read on a Habs discussion board the players should be ashamed for basically abandoning Montoya like that.   I get that the Habs have a back to back and Price will play tonight at home but at the very least Montoya should have been pulled for the third period.  He'll be damaged goods for the next while and if something happens to Price again the Habs will be fucked.  

I'm thinking back to that final Patrick Roy game with the Habs vs. the Red Wings, how they left him hang out to dry.....
I loved Patrick Roy as a Habs G. but admittedly he was a head case and it was only a matter of time for that to happen.  I swear sometimes teams just plan this shit.  Maybe Montoya's banging some teammates wife.

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Troubles continue to mount in Brooklyn.

The New York Islanders will now be without defenseman Travis Hamonic for the next four-to-six weeks with an upper-body injury, the team announced Sunday.

Hamonic, who leads the Islanders in average ice time per contest over the last two seasons, was injured in the first period of Saturday's 4-3 shootout loss to the Edmonton Oilers.

New York will have to file some paperwork to dress a complete roster Monday night versus the Vancouver Canucks, as the club has only been carrying six healthy defensemen.

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The Calgary Flames are probably never going to beat the Ducks in Anaheim again.

With a 4-1 loss in SoCal, the Flames set a record they didn't want to set:

PUT IT IN THE RECORD BOOKS! The #NHLDucks beat Calgary for the 24th consecutive time on home ice, breaking the @NHL record! #LetsGoDucks

— Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) November 7, 2016
The Flames' last win in Anaheim was in 2004.

The Flames previously shared the record with the Penguins who lost 23 straight in Philadelphia from Feb. 17, 1980 until Jan. 29, 1987

— Seth Rorabaugh (@SethRorabaugh) November 7, 2016
Calgary wraps up its four-game road trip with a 1-3 record, and was outscored 18-5.

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The stalemate is over.

The Winnipeg Jets have re-signed defenseman Jacob Trouba to a two-year, $6-million deal. The contract carries base salaries of $2.5 million this season and $3.5 million in 2017-18.

The two sides met Nov. 4 in Detroit, with Trouba's agent - Kurt Overhardt - calling the scenario "status quo" as recently as Monday.

Trouba, who'd requested a trade prior to the start of the regular season, had until Dec. 1 to agree to terms on a new contract, lest he be forced to sit out the entire NHL season.

His issue was a lack of opportunity on his natural right side, a position that has opened up - for the time being, at least - due to an injury to Tyler Myers that recently landed him on injured reserve.

At the same time, however, there exists the possibility of a sign-and-trade, with the prorated first year of Trouba's new deal serving as an enticingly low cap hit for a player of his potential.

Important to remember -- Jacob Trouba is now eligible to sign an extension on this contract as soon as July 1.

— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) November 7, 2016
For Trouba, he's now able to take the ice, where he belongs.

In 81 games for the Jets last season, he recorded six goals and 15 assists while averaging over 22 minutes per night.

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The Columbus Blue Jackets will be without defenseman Seth Jones for three weeks after he suffered a hairline fracture in his foot during Saturday's game at St. Louis, general manager Jarmo Kekalainen has announced.

The details of the injury are not for the faint of heart.

Berglund's skate blade cut through Jones' skate - the laces and tongue - and cut his foot, fractured a bone. #CBJ #StLBlues

— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) November 7, 2016
Jones did not remove his skate for fear of his foot swelling so bad he couldn't put it back in. #hockeyplayers #CBJ

— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) November 7, 2016
By end of game, #CBJ Jones said there was blood seeping through his laces.

— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) November 7, 2016
Jones, 22, has been solid for the Blue Jackets so far this season, recording three goals, three assists, and 15 shots through 10 games while leading the team in ice time (17th in NHL).

The injury comes with the Blue Jackets having posted a winning record of 5-3-2, and sitting one point back of a wild-card spot with the fewest games played league-wide.

Based on the three-week timeline, Jones is likely to miss the next ten games.

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The Vancouver Canucks exploded for another two goals Monday night in Brooklyn, but they weren't enough to end a losing streak that's now hit nine games.

The good news: Vancouver's scored five goals over its last two games. When you're averaging 1.69 goals a game, 2.50 is something to call home about.

The bad news: Vancouver's in Manhattan on Tuesday to face the New York Rangers, who score at a rate the Canucks can't even dream about.

Here are the Rangers' goal totals over their past five games:

5


5


5


5


6




Math is hard, but that's 26 Rangers goals. The Canucks have scored 22 times all season, in 13 games, and only 12 times during their nine-game slide. Vancouver's co-leading scorers Henrik Sedin, Jannik Hansen (injured), and Brandon Sutter have six points. New York boasts 14 players with six points or more.

It isn't easy being Willie Desjardins right now. The Canucks head coach has it rough, and even after a power-play goal Monday, the team has only converted four of 41 chances.

It gets even worse: Vancouver's winless away from home at 0-4-2, while the Rangers are 8-1 at Madison Square Garden.

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The Calgary Flames are in a familiar position: at the bottom of the table, having allowed the most goals in the NHL.

It's been 14 games, and with only five wins to show for them, president Brian Burke is running out of patience. Especially after a 1-3 road trip.

Burke explained what's dogging his team Monday on Sportsnet960 The Fan, and, after bringing up turnovers and special teams (Calgary ranks 28th on the power play and 29th on the penalty kill), he went in on Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan - two players who recently signed massive extensions.

"Our top players aren't getting it done," Burke said. "I'm not one for calling players out or naming names, but our top guys are not playing up to their level - it's that simple."

Gaudreau has two goals and six assists in 14 games, and while his eight points are second on the team, he's a team-worst minus-11. Monahan's got four goals and one assist in 14 games, and checks in at minus-10.

Brian Elliott's struggled in goal, too, with an .887 save percentage in nine games, but Burke refuses to blame his goalies, who are battling in the crease but getting no help.

He made a point of saying that what ails the Flames isn't a lack of effort. He's been around the block, and knows the mental hurdles that come with big-money extensions for young players.

"We believe in these guys," Burke said. But he's tired of the excuses.

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Skating in the dark #Leafs pic.twitter.com/Jr5cbOmqrV

— David Alter (@dalter) November 9, 2016
It's always news when a Toronto Maple Leafs team is put through its paces after an embarrassing outing. But for circumstances out of his control, the punishing workout Mike Babcock conducted Wednesday afternoon took on added surveillance.

When the power went out at the arena during the sweat, the Maple Leafs coach continued sprinting his skaters up and down the ice to atone for the 7-0 beatdown they were handed from the Los Angeles Kings the previous night.

so spooky pic.twitter.com/3xm0wKxO1a

— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) November 9, 2016
After catching his breath in the locker room, Jake Gardiner admitted he thought the power outage had brought the Maple Leafs reprieve.

"I was thinking, thank goodness we're getting off the ice," he said, according to TSN's Kristen Shilton.

"Babs had different ideas."

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Buffalo Sabres forward Tyler Ennis will be out several weeks after undergoing groin surgery, the team announced.

Ennis reportedly suffered the injury during Monday's contest against the Boston Bruins, and John Vogl of BuffaloNews.com said he could miss two-to-three weeks

The 27-year-old has struggled out of the gate this season, posting just one goal and one assist through the team's first 12 games.

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The Arizona Coyotes are keeping rookie forward Lawson Crouse around for the balance of the regular season and will pay a premium for it.

Head coach Dave Tippett has confirmed Crouse will remain with the team past the nine-game trial period afforded to junior-eligible players, according to Craig Morgan of Arizona Sports.

The implications of this decision are two-fold.

The first year of Crouse's entry-level contract will officially come into effect.
Once Crouse appears in his 10th game, the conditional draft pick sent to the Florida Panthers will become a second-rounder in 2018.
Crouse was selected 11th overall by the Panthers in 2015, and was traded to the Coyotes along with Dave Bolland for a pair of draft picks, including a third-round selection in 2017.

In nine games with the Coyotes, Crouse has recorded one goal on 11 shots in an average of 10:41 a night.

Crouse joins Jacob Chychrun as a junior-eligible player sticking with the club, while a decision on Dylan Strome has yet to be made.

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The Vancouver Canucks announced Thursday that Jannik Hansen will be sidelined for the next four to six weeks with a fractured rib.

The injury stems from a devastating hit by Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Morgan Rielly in a heated Saturday night contest.

Following the hit, Hansen jumped Maple Leafs forward Nazem Kadri for a blindside hit on Canucks forward Daniel Sedin.

Hansen has six points in 12 games, good for fourth among Canucks players.

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NEW YORK -- The New York Rangers acquired defenseman Steven Kampfer and a conditional draft pick from the Florida Panthers in exchange for defenseman Dylan McIlrath, the teams announced Tuesday.

Kampfer, 28, has 134 games of NHL experience and will add depth to the Rangers' defensive core. He played 47 games for the Panthers last season but only one this season.

McIlrath, 24, played 38 games for the Rangers over parts of four seasons. He scored two goals and added two assists for four points. He has had 84 penalty minutes.

The 6-foot-5, 236-pounder was originally selected by the Rangers in the first round (10th overall) in the 2010 NHL entry draft.

"He's a great kid. He's a guy that deserves a chance to play in the league," Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton said of McIlrath. "[Florida] has been calling me for a while about him and it's a fresh start for him. At the same time, we've had Kampfer before and we like his speed, we like his skill level and we think he's someone who can help us along the way here."

Kampfer will report to the Rangers' AHL affiliate, the Hartford Wolf Pack. It hasn't been announced yet whether McIlrath will report to the Panthers or the AHL.

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Ryan Getzlaf now sits alone atop the Anaheim Ducks record books.

With a helper on Ryan Kesler's empty net goal versus the Carolina Hurricanes, the captain moved into first place on the all-time Ducks assist list, passing Teemu Selanne.

MILESTONE: With an assist on Kesler's goal, Ryan Getzlaf (532) is now the franchise leader in assists! pic.twitter.com/2XzUjD0aeH

— Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) November 11, 2016
The playmaking pivot now has 12 assists on the season.

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The Montreal Canadiens are the NHL's hottest team, and now they're etching their names in the record books.

Thursday night's 4-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings was significant for several reasons.

The Canadiens improved to 12-1-1, winning 12 of their first 14 games to start a season for the first time in their 99-year history.

They also equaled a franchise record with their ninth consecutive home victory to begin a season, accomplishing the feat for the first time since 1953-54, according to TSN.

Carey Price improved to 9-0-0 in 2016-17, and he now boasts a 1.56 GAA and a .953 save percentage.

Carey Price is 19-2-0 the last two seasons. 24-2-0 if you count the World Cup.

— Andrew Berkshire (@AndrewBerkshire) November 11, 2016
It's still very early, but the 2015 Hart and Vezina Trophy winner might be putting himself in position to add some more hardware.

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The Carolina Hurricanes announced Friday that forward Bryan Bickell has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Bickell released this statement via the team's official website.

Since the 2015 playoffs, I've been struggling to understand what was going on with my body. Again during the past few weeks, it felt like something wasn't right. Obviously this is a bit of shock for my family and me, but I am hopeful I will be able to return to the ice and continue playing the game that I love.

Hurricanes general manager Ron Francis and Chicago Blackhawks president John McDonough also sent along their best wishes in statements of their own.

Francis requested privacy for the Bickell family as the 30-year-old focuses on his long-term health, and McDonough emphasized how many lasting friendships Bickell has made in Chicago.

Bickell won three Stanley Cups as a member of the Blackhawks after being drafted by the organization 41st overall in 2004. He was dealt to Carolina prior to the start of this season and has appeared in seven games.

Near the end of Bickell's tenure with Chicago, it was reported he was dealing with vertigo. Bickell's agent later dispelled that notion, saying his client was suffering from the effects of an ocular issue.

Multiple sclerosis is a degenerative disease that affects the central nervous system. It can cause inflammation of the protective sheath of nerves, resulting in fatigue and weakness, as well as disruption of coordination, sensation, and cognition.

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The four-member 2016 Hockey Hall of Fame class was given its due Friday night in Toronto.

Eric Lindros, Sergei Makarov, Rogie Vachon, and the family of the late Pat Quinn were honored before the Toronto Maple Leafs' game against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Air Canada Centre.

Ed Belfour, Lanny McDonald, and other Hall of Famers with ties to the Leafs were on hand for the ceremony.

The 2016 class will be inducted Monday night.

Pregame festivities also included a tribute to military veterans, a Remembrance Day tradition in Toronto.

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lobo316 wrote: The four-member 2016 Hockey Hall of Fame class was given its due Friday night in Toronto.

Eric Lindros, Sergei Makarov, Rogie Vachon, and the family of the late Pat Quinn were honored before the Toronto Maple Leafs' game against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Air Canada Centre.

Ed Belfour, Lanny McDonald, and other Hall of Famers with ties to the Leafs were on hand for the ceremony.

The 2016 class will be inducted Monday night.

Pregame festivities also included a tribute to military veterans, a Remembrance Day tradition in Toronto.

2 former Flyers in the Hall. It took WAY too long for the Big E to get in.

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Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson settled with six of his eight creditors in bankruptcy court Friday, according to Aaron Portzline of Columbus Dispatch.

The agreement will reportedly see Johnson liquidate two homes and a Ferrari, and forfeit nearly all of his earnings over this season and next - a total of $10 million minus a sum of $246,000 per season for "living expenses." As one creditor noted, according to Portzline, the deal will make Johnson "the lowest-paid player in the NHL for the next two seasons."

After his seven-year, $30.5-million contract expires at the end of the 2017-18 season, he'll be allowed to keep $277,050.50 of any contract he signs until his debts are paid off.

The two remaining creditors - owed a combined $2 million - have still not reached an agreement with Johnson.

The 29-year-old applied for bankruptcy protection two years ago after learning that his parents, Jack Sr. and Tina, who had control of his finances, took out nearly 20 high-interest loans in his name, and defaulted on some - all allegedly without Johnson's knowledge.

According to Portzline, his debts were believed to total $10 million when he first filed for bankruptcy protection, while others close to him suggest that number may be higher.

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The Florida Panthers have claimed Seth Griffith on waivers from the Toronto Maple Leafs, according to Sportsnet's Chris Johnston.

Griffth was placed on the waivers with Josh Leivo and Matt Hunwick due to return from conditioning loan and injured reserve, respectively.

The right-shot forward, who arrived in Toronto earlier this season via waivers from the Boston Bruins, was pointless in three games for the Maple Leafs.

He should find a greater opportunity to contribute with the Panthers, who have dealt with a variety of injuries so far this season.

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TORONTO - Eric Lindros had just received his Hockey Hall of Fame ring and was feeling particularly buoyant.

''Check it out!'' he said, raising his left hand and shiny new ring to show to the television camera. ''Check it out!''

Lindros' long Hall of Fame wait is over.

Passed over six times for entry into the shrine, the now 43-year-old will finally get his plaque, honored along with Rogie Vachon, Sergei Makarov and the late Pat Quinn.

''It's just an honor,'' Lindros said Friday. ''Look at the names on the plaques. Just being in here. Jeez, it's the cream of the crop. It's a real honor to be part of this.''

Living in the Toronto area with his wife and three kids, Lindros said he'd driven by the Hall numerous times and visited occasionally for charity events. But he'd yet to take a serious walk through the place. He will now, and what he'll see is his face right there among the greats.

For years after his career ended in 2007, the argument against Lindros entering the Hall was two-fold. For one, he played only 760 regular- season games in a career cut short from concussions. He also failed to win a Stanley Cup, swept in the 1997 final by the Detroit Red Wings while still a member of the Philadelphia Flyers.

When healthy he was a truly dominant force, a rare combination of size, skill, and power. He was the kind of player the game had never seen and probably hasn't since. Lindros finished with 372 goals and 865 points, tucked inside the top 20 in points per-game (1.14). He also was a six-time All-Star and won the Hart Trophy as league MVP as a 22-year-old in 1995 after posting 29 goals and 70 points in 46 games.

Lindros was the No. 1 overall pick of the Quebec Nordiques in 1991, but refused to play there. He was eventually dealt to the Flyers in a swap that included another future Hall of Famer, Peter Forsberg.

Lindros said he was well aware of the Hall of Fame's annual summer selection date for inductees, each year passing by without entry. Earlier this past summer he heard from a former New York Rangers staffer who wondered whether he'd heard anything yet from the Hall about the class of 2016.

''No,'' Lindros replied.

He did get the call from Hall chairman Lanny McDonald a short while later while driving north on Highway 11 in Ontario with his family.

''It truly is an honor,'' he said.

It also took a while for Vachon, Makarov, and Quinn to take their places in the Hall.

A three-time Cup-winning goalie with the Montreal Canadiens who later starred for Los Angeles, Vachon last played in the NHL in 1982. Makarov's last NHL game came with the San Jose Sharks in 1997. He enjoyed his best years in Russia, leading the Soviet league in scoring for nine seasons.

Quinn, who died two years ago, last coached in the NHL with the Edmonton Oilers in 2010, one of his five stints as an NHL head coach. Perhaps his most notable hockey achievement came outside the league, guiding Canada's men's hockey team in 2002 to their first Olympic gold medal in 50 years.

When McDonald called Vachon to tell him was finally in this past summer, Vachon replied: ''I'm in what?''

''It doesn't get any better than this,'' Vachon said Friday.

The long wait was over for all.

''Take whatever path you want,'' Lindros said. ''We're here forever. All of us.''

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The Montreal Canadiens' assault on the record books continued unabated Saturday night.

Montreal achieved a trio of notable feats in a 5-0 victory over the Detroit Red Wings:

The Canadiens won their 10th straight home game to start a season for the first time in their 99-year NHL history.
Montreal is the third team in league history to win its first 10 home games in a season, joining the 1925-26 Ottawa Senators (10-0-0) and the 1963-64 Chicago Black Hawks (11-0-0).
Carey Price became the first goaltender in NHL history to win each of his first 10 games to begin a campaign.
Michel Therrien said it's getting difficult to come up with new ways to explain Price's dominance.

"It's hard to describe his performances because we're constantly repeating ourselves," the Canadiens head coach told reporters postgame, according to NHL.com's Arpon Basu.

Carey Price wins his 13th straight NHL start, is 23-2-0 in his past 25 NHL regular season starts, 28-2-0 including World Cup.

— Аrpon Basu (@ArponBasu) November 13, 2016
The Canadiens won their fourth consecutive game and improved to 13-1-1 with the shutout win.

Montreal matched the franchise record for consecutive home wins to start a season in Thursday's 4-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings.

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The New Jersey Devils have acquired forward Petr Straka from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for a conditional seventh-round pick in 2017 or 2018, the team announced Saturday.

Straka was drafted 55th overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2010. He signed as a free agent with the Flyers in 2013.

Straka has not appeared in a game this season. He recorded 19 goals and 18 assists in 64 games last season with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, the Flyers' AHL affiliate.

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The Arizona Coyotes reportedly have a specific price tag in any trade discussions about Martin Hanzal.

"What I'm told they're saying to people is, 'Unless we get a young player who can play right now, preferably a center, we're not going to do it,'" Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reported on Saturday's "Headlines" segment.

Hanzal said he'd prefer to shut down contract negotiations with the Coyotes when asked about his future in Arizona last month.

The 29-year-old is a pending unrestricted free agent who's played more than 64 games only once in the last five 82-game campaigns.

He's currently injured and has four points in nine contests this season.

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Sidney Crosby has never started a season like this.

The Pittsburgh Penguins star missed the first five games of the season with a concussion, but has been basically unstoppable since making his season debut on Oct. 25.

Sidney Crosby notched his 10th goal of 2016-17 (9 GP), the most he has scored through nine games in his 12-season NHL career. @EliasSports pic.twitter.com/eKm7v4PNkv

— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) November 13, 2016
Crosby has scored at least a goal in eight of 10 games played, with three two-goal games to his credit. Meanwhile, the Penguins have lost only twice since his return, and one of those came in overtime.

Crosby has also added three assists, putting him atop the NHL leaderboard with an average of 1.44 points per game.

Sure, Crosby is unlikely to maintain a 28.6 percent shooting percentage, and his success rate will eventually revert closer to his career average of 14.6. No one's expecting him to maintain an 84-goal pace.

If he remains healthy, however, it seems very possible that he'll score 50 for only the second time in his career.

Remember, this time last year, we were asking if he was on the decline.

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Trevor Linden isn't going to give up on the Vancouver Canucks.

The team's president of hockey operations and alternate governor told Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman that he has no plans to resign amid a slow start.

Friedman relayed their conversation in Saturday's edition of "Headlines" on Hockey Night in Canada.

"I did ask him (Saturday), I said, 'Is any of this true?', and he said, 'Look, I came into this job with my eyes wide open. I knew there was a chance we were going to go through a difficult time. I accept that, I get the criticism and the scrutiny,' but ... he says he's not going anywhere. He is staying in his current role."

The Canucks are 5-9-1 through 15 games, and only the Calgary Flames have a worse goal differential than Vancouver's minus-16 mark.

Linden was hired by the Canucks in his dual role back in April 2014.

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Five players have reached double-digit goals this season. One of those players is Michael Grabner.

Scoring a pair of goals versus the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday, Grabner picked up his ninth and tenth markers of the season. He now stands among Patrik Laine, Mark Scheifele, David Pastrnak, and Sidney Crosby as players who have found the back of the net 10 or more times this season.

One of these players is not like the others.

What's more? All 10 of Grabner's goals have come at even strength. He leads the NHL in that category. This isn't a player with inflated production thanks to a strong power play.

Grabner is perhaps best known for his blazing speed - in 2011, a time of 14.061 seconds won the fastest skater challenge at the NHL skills competition.

The knock on Grabner has been that his hands don't match his feet; he hasn't been able to put it all together.

A former first round pick of the Vancouver Canucks, Grabner was later flipped to the Florida Panthers before being claimed on waivers by the New York Islanders in 2010. He had a breakout season that year, scoring a team-leading 34 goals. League wide, just seven players outscored the Austrian winger.

But it wasn't sustainable. Through his next three seasons on Long Island, Grabner's totals fell from 20 to 16 to 12 tallies. Then, in 2014-15, he appeared in just 34 games and his production fell to eight goals.

It was time for new surroundings, as Grabner moved on to the Toronto Maple Leafs, a rebuilding team who hoped to recreate the one-time scorer into a trade-worthy asset. But it never happened, as Grabner finished last season with just nine goals.

He's already surpassed that number this year, and he's on pace for a career-high 51 goals. Of course, it's early, and, with a shooting percentage of nearly 28 percent, things are likely to take a dip. Still, Grabner and fans of the Broadway Blueshirts will enjoy the ride while it lasts.

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Michal Neuvirth will be out of action for at least a month with what the Philadelphia Flyers are calling a "lower-body injury."

The Flyers' backup goaltender was injured Saturday night in Philadelphia's victory over the Minnesota Wild.

He was forced to leave the contest after the opening period with what CSN Philadelphia's Tim Panaccio reported as a sprained knee and not a groin injury.

Steve Mason will take on a heavier workload in Neuvirth's absence. Mason stopped 19 of 20 shots in relief Saturday, one night after allowing six goals in a loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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Gary Bettman didn't mince words when asked about the city of Seattle's pursuit of a new multi-sport arena.

"We're not paying a lot of attention to Seattle," the NHL commissioner said Monday at the PrimeTime Sports & Entertainment Conference in Toronto, according to NHL.com's Dan Rosen.

"If they ever put a shovel in the ground and actually build a building instead of just talking about one, we might pay attention. But it's not something we're monitoring. We're not focusing on future expansion at this point and we're not focusing on Seattle over anywhere else."

Related: Russell Wilson partners with NBA, NHL arena group in Seattle

Despite Bettman's talk, deputy commissioner Bill Daly stressed that expansion to Seattle isn't completely off the table.

"I certainly wouldn't rule out the possibility of further expansion at some point in the future, but it's certainly not on the radar screen today," he said.

"Our primary focus on the expansion front is making sure Las Vegas gets in successfully and that everything we've put into place for them to enter the league progresses the way it was intended to progress."

Las Vegas was the only city awarded an NHL expansion franchise in June. Quebec City's bid was accepted but ultimately deferred, while Seattle's did not make the final stage of the bidding process.

Last month, Chris Hansen and his group of investors offered to privately finance their proposed arena project that would bring a new single-venue NHL and NBA facility to Seattle's SoDo neighborhood.

Mayor Ed Murray told local TV station King 5 News that he's targeting early spring for a decision on whether to approve Hansen's plan or potentially entertain another option, such as renovating KeyArena, the former home of the NBA's SuperSonics.

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The NHL implemented some much-needed excitement into extra time by introducing 3-on-3 overtime last season, and now changes to the shootout process could be on the horizon.

During the general manager meetings in Toronto on Tuesday, Doug Armstrong of the St. Louis Blues suggested the NHL look into switching to international shootout rules, reports ESPN's Pierre LeBrun.

IIHF rules permit a team to cycle through any player they wish after their first three shooters, a la T.J. Oshie scoring four times on six attempts for Team USA at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, which Armstrong used as an example for his pitch, says LeBrun.

The NHL doesn't permit a player to record multiple attempts until every skater gets a chance, and this idea could allow more time for the league's superstars in the spotlight, ideally making shootouts shorter and more exciting.

The discussion will pick up again when general managers reconvene in March, according to LeBrun.

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The NHL and the players' association have confirmed the list of players who will not be available to Las Vegas at next year's expansion draft, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told TSN's Pierre LeBrun.

The players exempt from the list will be up for grabs to Las Vegas general manager George McPhee. Las Vegas will select one player from each of the 30 NHL teams.

These are mostly players with full no-move clauses. I believe this list contains between 65-70 players

— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) November 15, 2016
Teams can protect seven forwards, three defensemen, and a goaltender, or eight skaters (any combination of forwards and defensemen) and a goaltender.

Las Vegas will announce its selections on June 21.

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lobo316 wrote: The NHL and the players' association have confirmed the list of players who will not be available to Las Vegas at next year's expansion draft, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told TSN's Pierre LeBrun.

The players exempt from the list will be up for grabs to Las Vegas general manager George McPhee. Las Vegas will select one player from each of the 30 NHL teams.

These are mostly players with full no-move clauses. I believe this list contains between 65-70 players

— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) November 15, 2016
Teams can protect seven forwards, three defensemen, and a goaltender, or eight skaters (any combination of forwards and defensemen) and a goaltender.

Las Vegas will announce its selections on June 21.

I thought this was common knowledge already?

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The Tampa Bay Lightning will be hoping for the best after Steven Stamkos exited Tuesday's game in Detroit with an apparent knee injury.

Stamkos fell awkwardly after an innocent-looking collision along the boards, and could be seen clutching his right knee.

After Stamkos did not return to the bench for the second period, the Lightning announced that he exited with what they referred to as a "lower-body injury."

Stamkos had recorded his ninth goal of the season earlier in the game, moving into a tie for first in the NHL with 20 points.

Teammate Nikita Kucherov's three-point game put him one ahead of Stamkos by the end of the night.

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One doesn't expect Robby Fabbri to drop the gloves when the St. Louis Bluestake to the ice, but that's exactly what he did Tuesday against the Buffalo Sabres.
The combatant? A somewhat reluctant Josh Gorges, as it turns out.
Fabbri: "I asked him, and the funny part was I went up to him again and he was like, 'Are you serious?' I'm like, 'Well yeah, kind of."
— Lou Korac (@lkorac10) November 16, 2016
"I don't know what got into me there, but I just felt like I wanted to be that guy," Fabbri added.


For the record, the fight was Gorges' ninth, while Fabbri dropped the gloves for only the second time in his young career.
If Blues teammate Ryan Reaves has his way, it'll be Fabbri's last:
Talking to Fabbri, he's talking about stepping up to fight. Reaves in the background, "Don't do it again!" #stlblues
— Lou Korac (@lkorac10) November 16, 2016
Fabbri, who was making his return to the lineup after being made a healthy scratch, also scored a goal in the win, and it's safe to say he made a good impression following the benching.




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New Jersey Devils forward Taylor Hall will miss three-to-four weeks with a left knee injury, the team announced after he underwent surgery Wednesday.

The 25-year-old has appeared in 14 games this season, scoring five goals and seven assists. He is tied with defenseman Damon Severson for the team lead in scoring.

The Devils sit third place in the Metropolitan Division with a 9-3-3 record through 15 games.

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lobo316 wrote: The Tampa Bay Lightning will be hoping for the best after Steven Stamkos exited Tuesday's game in Detroit with an apparent knee injury.

Stamkos fell awkwardly after an innocent-looking collision along the boards, and could be seen clutching his right knee.

After Stamkos did not return to the bench for the second period, the Lightning announced that he exited with what they referred to as a "lower-body injury."

Stamkos had recorded his ninth goal of the season earlier in the game, moving into a tie for first in the NHL with 20 points.

Teammate Nikita Kucherov's three-point game put him one ahead of Stamkos by the end of the night.




The Tampa Bay Lightning will be without Steven Stamkos for an indefinite period of time after he suffered a lateral meniscus tear in his right knee, general manager Steve Yzerman announced Wednesday.
The injury was suffered during Tuesday's game in Detroit, after which Stamkos flew home for tests.
"Our understanding is that this issue can be repaired and he can get back to full speed. It just takes some time," Yzerman said, per Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times. "Obviously he's disappointed. He's going to work his rear end off and he'll be back as good as ever."
#tblightning should have better idea in coming days the best route to take w Stamkos (repair/rehab). Then they'll have clearer timeline
— Joe Smith (@TBTimes_JSmith) November 16, 2016
Stamkos signed an eight-year, $68-million contract extension with the club this past summer. He started the season in fine form, recording nine goals and 11 assists in 17 games, sitting one point back of the NHL lead.
The knee injury comes after Stamkos suffered a broken tibia that kept him out for most of the 2013-14 season, and a blood clot that forced him to miss all but one playoff game in 2016.

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Dang it all!!! Helm is out again for the next several weeks- that guy is so dainty he'd fall down if a feather hit him!

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It's not all bad news for the Tampa Bay Lightning on the injury front.

After TSN's Bob McKenzie reported Thursday that Steven Stamkos is likely to miss at least four months with a meniscus tear, head coach Jon Cooper confirmed that forward Jonathan Drouin will return to the lineup when the club takes on the Buffalo Sabres, according to Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times.

Related: Lightning can manage in Stamkos' absence, for however long it is

Drouin had missed the past seven games with what the team deemed an upper-body injury.

The 21-year-old should help alleviate some of the offense lost in Stamkos' absence, as the club's captain sits just a single point behind Mark Scheifele and teammate Nikita Kucherov for the league lead.

That being said, Drouin will enter the lineup having gone pointless in six of his last seven games after starting the season with a three-game point streak.

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After a career cut short by multiple head injuries, former Boston Bruins forward Marc Savard plans to have his brain posthumously donated to science to benefit concussion research.

Savard opened up to The Boston Globe's Stan Grossfeld in a lengthy interview published Thursday, in which he recounted his final concussion, talked about life after the NHL, and expressed disappointment about his career's premature end.

"I'm 39," he said. "I still should be playing, right? I miss it. I was an intense player when I played. I just miss the competition."

Savard decided to donate his brain so it can be studied for possible effects of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a disease that's been found in former NFL and NHL players, as well as wrestlers - all of whom endured repeated head trauma.

He was limited to 25 regular season games in his final season of 2010-11, and didn't appear in a 2011 playoff game for the Bruins, who went on to win the Stanley Cup.

"Just not to be able to be on the ice with the guys, knowing that I could contribute, was probably the toughest thing," he said.

The sixth and final concussive blow to Savard's head came on a hit by then-Colorado Avalanche defenseman Matt Hunwick.

"I got down on my knees there and I just saw pitch black with my eyes open, and I can remember (trainer) Donny (DelNegro) coming out," he recalled. "I said, 'Donny, I don't know what's wrong here, but I'm dying. I can't see anything.' And my eyes were open, so I was quite scared there."

Savard spent parts of 14 seasons in the NHL with the New York Rangers, Calgary Flames, Atlanta Thrashers, and Bruins.

He's now coaching minor hockey in Peterborough, Ontario, and while he wishes he could still be playing, he appears satisfied teaching the game to others.

"The good thing is that I'm helping kids today - earlier than I should have - get better at the game that gave me everything I have."

Savard is still under contract with the New Jersey Devils, who acquired his rights from the Florida Panthers in June, but if and when he officially hangs up the skates, he knows which organization he'll do it with.

"I'd love to retire a Bruin," he said.

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An injury to captain Steven Stamkos doesn't have general manager Steve Yzerman scrambling to make a deal.

The team confirmed on Thursday that Stamkos will miss approximately four months with a torn meniscus and while the team could open up a large amount of cap space if they decide to place Stamkos on long-term injured reserve, general manager Steve Yzerman doesn't feel bringing in a high-end player to replace Stamkos is quite feasible.

"At this time, it's not realistic to think I can go out and acquire (someone)," Yzerman said, according to Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times. "Even if I could acquire a player with a significant cap number, I'd have to be scrambling when Stammer came back. So let's wait and see for time being.

"I'm certainly open to exploring anything."

In the meantime, Yzerman admits that he would rather weather the storm with the team he has and give other players a chance to prove themselves in a bigger role.

"We're significantly a better team with Stammer in the lineup than without," Yzerman said. "But in the past we've been able to overcome injuries to various players and still remain competitive and reached the playoffs. We've been fortunate players have stepped in and given an increased role, regardless of who's been out, and have done the job for us. We expect and hope that the guys who are in the lineup can handle the added workload."

This is not unfamiliar territory for the Lightning. During the 2013-14 season Stamkos was limited to just 37 games after breaking his tibia. In his absence the Lightning still managed to finish second in the Atlantic Division with 101 points. Last season, the Lightning reached Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final with Stamkos MIA for much of the season while suffering from blood clots.

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The Carolina Hurricanes are reportedly trying to trade a defenseman they once drafted in the first round.

Ryan Murphy is being actively shopped by the club and he'll likely be on the move, according to TSN's Darren Dreger.

Murphy has one point in four games, and only Klas Dahlbeck has been given less average ice time (12:13) than Murphy (13:06) among Hurricanes defensemen this season.

The 12th overall pick in 2011 is under contract for $750,000 in 2016-17 and $825,000 next season.

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A broken finger will keep Bobby Ryan out of the Ottawa Senators' lineup when they take on the Florida Panthers Saturday night, head coach Guy Boucher announced.

Ryan suffered the injury during the club's 5-1 loss at the hands of the Nashville Predators on Thursday night. He's struggled out of the gate this season, with just three goals and three assists in 17 games.

To make matters worse for Ottawa, forward Mike Hoffman is dealing with an undisclosed injury and is also "less than likely" to suit up against the Panthers, according to Boucher.

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New York Rangers forward Mika Zibanejad will be out six-to-eight weeks after suffering a broken fibula Sunday versus the Florida Panthers, head coach Alain Vigneault confirmed.
Zibanejad got tangled with Panthers forward Reilly Smith and crashed awkwardly into the end boards behind the Rangers goal.


It's a serious blow to the Rangers and Zibanejad, who joined the Blueshirts in a trade over the summer.
In 18 games this season the 23-year-old has recorded 14 points for the league's best attack, including five on the powerplay.














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The NHL All-Star Fan Vote will be back, but with several stipulations that could prevent the next John Scott from becoming an international hero.

The league announced new requirements Monday, pertaining to the 2017 All-Star voting rules.

Once again, fans will select one player from each division (without regard for position), and each winner will be named an All-Star captain.

But, here's what's different this time around:

Eligible players must be on an NHL club's active roster as of Nov. 1. Any player who's not - due to injury or special circumstances - can be added to the ballot if/when he returns.
If a player is assigned or loaned to the American Hockey League (AHL) or any other minor-league team between Nov. 1 and 5 p.m. ET on Jan. 26, the player is ineligible. However, if the minor-league assignment/loan is due to conditioning reasons, the player remains eligible.
If a vote leader is disqualified due to a minor-league assignment or loan (or other reason) after voting closes on Jan. 2, the player with the second-most votes in that division will be named captain.
The new guidelines were clearly a response to Scott's unlikely election to the game last winter, following an online movement that culminated in the enforcer captaining the Pacific Division, while scoring twice and being named MVP in Nashville.

All-Star weekend is scheduled for Jan. 28 and 29, 2017 in Los Angeles. Fans can begin voting Dec. 1.

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Florida Panthers defenseman Alex Petrovic was placed on injured reserve and is expected to be out for eight weeks with an ankle ailment, the club announced Monday.

Petrovic was hurt blocking a shot against the Montreal Canadiens last Tuesday, according to George Richards of the Miami Herald.

The announcement comes on the same day Panthers forward Nick Bjugstad was cleared to make his season debut Tuesday against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Petrovic has five points in 16 games, logging an average ice time of 17:55.

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The Carolina Hurricanes have placed Eddie Lack on injured reserve after the netminder suffered a concussion Monday at practice.

Carolina has tapped Michael Leighton to fill the void with an emergency recall from Charlotte of the American Hockey League.

Cam Ward's resurgence has limited Lack's opportunities this season. He owns a forgettable .856 save percentage in five appearances, winning once.

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The San Jose Sharks and stud defenseman Brent Burns have made serious progress on a contract extension, reports TSN's Pierre LeBrun.

Still some details that need ironing out that will decide if the deal ultimately gets done or not but certainly lots of progress, I'm told

— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) November 22, 2016
Burns was a key cog in San Jose's run to the Stanley Cup Final last year. He paced the team's blue line, appearing in all 82 regular-season games while posting 75 points, before adding another 24 points in 24 playoff contests. This season, he's recorded 16 points in 19 games.

A pending unrestricted free agent, Burns currently carries a cap hit of $5.76 million.

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As compromised positions shift.
Ryan Ellis victimized J.T. Brown with hard, highly illegal blindside contact late in Monday's game in Nashville. But when he sprung off the contact and crashed awkwardly into the boards, a vengeful Brown happened to land on top, and delivered a series of unanswered blows from the top as retribution.
Brown wasn't the only Lightning forward that was hot. Afterward, Brian Boylecalled Ellis' hit "extremely dirty," according to Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times, adding, "that shouldn't happen."
Nashville ended up winning 3-1 on P.K. Subban's first multi-goal game with the Predators.










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Arizona State has scored a magnificent addition.

Austin Lemieux, son of former NHL superstar Mario, will join the NCAA's Arizona State Sun Devils next season, reports Craig Morgan of Arizona Sports, citing sources.

Mario Lemieux and @SunDevilHockey assistant coach Alex Hicks played together with the @penguins in the 1996-97 NHL season.

— Craig Morgan (@craigsmorgan) November 23, 2016
The 20-year-old currently plays for the Islanders Hockey Club of the U.S. Premier Hockey League. He spent last season with the USHL's Omaha Lancers, scoring 14 points in 57 games, and has previously participated in Pittsburgh Penguins prospect camp.

Not a bad way for Austin Lemieux and Mario to spend their Father's Day!

📸: @penguins pic.twitter.com/a5lqiPNy2B

— Omaha Lancers (@OmahaLancers) June 19, 2016
Austin will join many NHL bloodlines who make their hockey life in the Grand Canyon State, with Max Domi, Ryan MacInnis, and Henrik Samuelsson - all sons of former NHLers - all part of the nearby Arizona Coyotes organization.

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Mike Babcock is expecting his team to bounce back with haste.

Following Tuesday's loss on home ice to the Carolina Hurricanes, the Toronto Maple Leafs head coach believes his team has to beat the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday.

"I expect us to find a way to win (Wednesday). The bottom line is we have to," Babcock said. "I think we have 19 points if I'm not mistaken and you've got to keep yourself in the hunt, or else you get in trouble fast in this league. It's important to bounce back. We haven't won on a back-to-back this year, it's time we win in a back-to-back and go from there."

Through 19 games, the Maple Leafs have indeed amassed 19 points by posting a record of 8-8-3. It's still early, but Toronto sits four points behind Ottawa for third place in the Atlantic Division, and three points behind Boston in the race for the second wild-card spot.

A mid-week loss to the Devils on the second half of a back-to-back in November would not be disastrous, per se, but Babcock is correct in asserting every point matters.

His plan?

"We'll get on the plane and we'll watch the game. We'll get up tomorrow and get ready for the next game. Where we play next or any of that doesn't concern me much. It's how we play and how we prepare and so we'll have to flush this and get ready for tomorrow."

Wednesday will be Toronto's first game against New Jersey this season; the Devils have two more points than the Maple Leafs with one fewer game played.

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Philadelphia Flyers forward Sean Couturier will be sidelined four-to-six weeks with a lower-body injury, general manager Ron Hextall announced Wednesday. CSN Philly's Tim Panaccio reports the injury is a sprained knee.

Couturier suffered the injury Tuesday versus the Florida Panthers, leaving after just seven minutes of ice time.

The 23-year-old has appeared in all 20 games this season, scoring five goals and collecting three assists.

It's a familiar injury for the Flyers. Earlier in November, the team announced that injured goaltender Michal Neuvirth would miss four-to-six weeks, which Panaccio also reported was due to a sprained knee. Neuvirth has missed the last four games.

The Flyers sit sixth in the Metropolitan Division with a 9-8-3 record through 20 games.

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Alex Ovechkin continues to prove he's one of the greatest goal scorers of all time.

The Washington Capitals' superstar winger recorded a hat trick against the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday, marking the 16th three-goal game of his career.

The 16 hat tricks puts Ovechkin one ahead of Jaromir Jagr among active NHL players, according to Hockey Reference.

Here's a look at the goal that caused the hats to rain down from the stands.

Ovi! Hat trick! Unbelievable shot!pic.twitter.com/SM4Vu8xndh

— NHL (@NHL) November 24, 2016
The NHL record for hat tricks is held by Wayne Gretzky, who recorded 50. While that won't be touched, Ovechkin has a good shot at setting a new benchmark for Capitals players.

That's Ovechkin's 16th career hat trick. He's three shy of Bondra's franchise record. #CapsBlues

— Mike Vogel (@VogsCaps) November 24, 2016

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lobo316 wrote: Philadelphia Flyers forward Sean Couturier will be sidelined four-to-six weeks with a lower-body injury, general manager Ron Hextall announced Wednesday. CSN Philly's Tim Panaccio reports the injury is a sprained knee.

Couturier suffered the injury Tuesday versus the Florida Panthers, leaving after just seven minutes of ice time.

The 23-year-old has appeared in all 20 games this season, scoring five goals and collecting three assists.

It's a familiar injury for the Flyers. Earlier in November, the team announced that injured goaltender Michal Neuvirth would miss four-to-six weeks, which Panaccio also reported was due to a sprained knee. Neuvirth has missed the last four games.

The Flyers sit sixth in the Metropolitan Division with a 9-8-3 record through 20 games.

No big loss.

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The Vancouver Canucks have re-signed defenseman Ben Hutton to a two-year, $5.6-million deal, the team announced Thursday.

"Ben is developing into one of our young, emerging core players and is an important part of our future," Canucks general manager Jim Benning said in a statement. "We're excited to see him further elevate his game and help this team compete for years to come."

Hutton has scored four points in 20 games with the Canucks this season.

The 23-year-old made his NHL debut last season, appearing in 75 games and scoring 25 points. The Canucks selected Hutton in the fifth round of the 2012 draft.

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A slow start has cost head coach Gerard Gallant his job.

The Florida Panthers fired Gallant after Sunday's 3-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, reports Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos.

General manager Tom Rowe will take over behind the bench, according to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman. Assistant head coach Mike Kelly was also let go, according to TSN's Bob McKenzie.

Gallant was given extension last season, but this year he and front office disagreed on direction of the team. Things brewing behind scenes.

— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) November 28, 2016
The Panthers are 11-10-1 after Sunday's loss, and have struggled to score. Special teams have been an issue and injuries have taken their toll, as well, as Jonathan Huberdeau's yet to suit up this season, while Nick Bjugstad's played only two games.

Related: Twitter reacts to surprising Gallant firing

Aleksander Barkov has only two goals in 22 games, while Jaromir Jagr has only two. The club's leading scorer is Jonathan Marchessault.

The firing comes as a shocking move after Gallant led the Panthers to their best ever season in 2015-16, the club finishing with 103 points and atop the Atlantic Division. He was a finalist for the Jack Adams Award, finishing second to Barry Trotz.

Related: Look: Gallant awaits cab after being fired

Florida lost in the first round of the playoffs to the New York Islanders in six games.

Not that it ultimately matters in terms of decision, but safe to say FLA players largely disappointed/unhappy at Gallant being fired.

— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) November 28, 2016
The Panthers are owned by billionaire West Point graduate Vinnie Viola, and have made numerous front-office changes over the past few months. The club has taken both a Wall Street-style and military-style approach to building a team, and Gallant's firing will no doubt feed into what many believe is a far too unorthodox method of management.

Gallant leaves Florida with an impressive 96-64-25 record in three seasons.

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Garret Sparks was suspended by the Toronto Maple Leafs for violating team policy, the AHL's Toronto Marlies confirmed to The Canadian Press on Saturday.

The organization would not confirm the length of the suspension, nor the reason for it, but Sparks did use violent, sexist language in a Facebook thread earlier in the week.

Not a good look for Garret Sparks. pic.twitter.com/UYL7alZnz4

— Scott Wheeler (@scottcwheeler) November 22, 2016
“(Garret) was sent home for some team-policy reasons when we were on the road trip there (in New York),” Marlies head coach Sheldon Keefe told TSN's Kristen Shilton after Saturday’s win over the Utica Comets.

“I’m familiar with the circumstances, but we’re not going to comment any further from there. Management handled the situation.”

Sparks didn't dress for the Marlies on Friday or Saturday.

The online comments apparently came in a Facebook group created for goaltenders for which Sparks is an administrator, and the 23-year-old lashed out at one of the users for mocking a disabled person.

Keefe didn't have a timetable for when Sparks would be welcomed back, but told Shilton that the netminder's status would be reevaluated in the coming week.

Sparks has been limited to four games for the Marlies this season due to injury. He appeared in 17 contests with the Maple Leafs in 2015-16.

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lobo316 wrote: A slow start has cost head coach Gerard Gallant his job.

The Florida Panthers fired Gallant after Sunday's 3-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, reports Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos.

General manager Tom Rowe will take over behind the bench, according to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman. Assistant head coach Mike Kelly was also let go, according to TSN's Bob McKenzie.

Gallant was given extension last season, but this year he and front office disagreed on direction of the team. Things brewing behind scenes.

— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) November 28, 2016
The Panthers are 11-10-1 after Sunday's loss, and have struggled to score. Special teams have been an issue and injuries have taken their toll, as well, as Jonathan Huberdeau's yet to suit up this season, while Nick Bjugstad's played only two games.

Related: Twitter reacts to surprising Gallant firing

Aleksander Barkov has only two goals in 22 games, while Jaromir Jagr has only two. The club's leading scorer is Jonathan Marchessault.

The firing comes as a shocking move after Gallant led the Panthers to their best ever season in 2015-16, the club finishing with 103 points and atop the Atlantic Division. He was a finalist for the Jack Adams Award, finishing second to Barry Trotz.

Related: Look: Gallant awaits cab after being fired

Florida lost in the first round of the playoffs to the New York Islanders in six games.

Not that it ultimately matters in terms of decision, but safe to say FLA players largely disappointed/unhappy at Gallant being fired.

— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) November 28, 2016
The Panthers are owned by billionaire West Point graduate Vinnie Viola, and have made numerous front-office changes over the past few months. The club has taken both a Wall Street-style and military-style approach to building a team, and Gallant's firing will no doubt feed into what many believe is a far too unorthodox method of management.

Gallant leaves Florida with an impressive 96-64-25 record in three seasons.

And that's why they are the Panthers.....

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The news is not good for Vancouver Canucks defenseman Alex Edler.

The 30-year-old will undergo surgery to repair a fractured left index finger, and will miss four-to-six weeks, the team announced Monday.

Edler suffered the injury after blocking a shot in the first period of Saturday's game against the Colorado Avalanche.

In 21 games this season, Edler has chipped in with one goal and two assists, and sits ninth in the league with 48 blocked shots.

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The Carolina Hurricanes will be without their No. 1 center for the time being.

Jordan Staal has been diagnosed with a concussion, general manager Ron Francis said, according to Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News and Observer.

Staal's recovery timeline isn't yet known, but the club placed him on injured reserve Monday, calling up Phil Di Giuseppe from the AHL in a corresponding move.

The veteran forward suffered the injury during Sunday's contest against the Florida Panthers, leaving the game after playing less than three minutes.

The concussion came with Staal in the midst of a seven-game pointless skid. In 21 contests this season, Staal has five goals and nine points to his name.

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The Buffalo Sabres are welcoming Jack Eichel back to the lineup.

The 2015 second overall pick will make his season debut Tuesday against the Ottawa Senators. Eichel has missed all 21 of Buffalo's games after injuring his ankle the day before opening night.

Jack's back.
Eichel makes it official he is playing tonight for Sabres versus Senators. pic.twitter.com/KV10YuGu7d

— John Vogl (@BuffNewsVogl) November 29, 2016
Eichel has been practicing on the team's second line with Sam Reinhart and Evander Kane in advance of his first game action.

In 81 games as a rookie, Eichel recorded 24 goals and 32 assists with 238 shots. In his absence, the Sabres have scored a league-low 39 goals, and sit six points out of a wild-card playoff spot.

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Round 2 between Auston Matthews and Connor McDavid goes Tuesday night, and here's hoping for a little more intrigue this time around.
The first battle between the two most recent No. 1 picks was overshadowed by Nazem Kadri, who potted two goals for the Maple Leafs while the 19-year-old phenoms were held off the scoresheet.
The Oilers captain currently paces the NHL in points, while Matthews sits one point back of the rookie lead, 21 games into his inaugural campaign.
As the two rising stars collide for the last time this season - barring an incredibly unlikely meeting in the Stanley Cup Final - here's a look at their production rates through 21 games in their respective careers.


Advantage McDavid, who was sidelined 13 games into his rookie season with a broken collarbone, but returned with something to prove.
He netted 13 points in his next eight games, including a career-high five-point effort Feb. 11 versus - that's right - Toronto.




PLAYER      GP   G   A    P     MULTI-POINT GAMES
McDavid     21   9  16   25           6

Matthews   21   9    7   16           4

Last edited on Tue Nov 29th, 2016 10:02 pm by lobo316

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It looks like Peter Holland's time in Toronto is coming to a close.

The Maple Leafs forward didn't accompany the team on their three-game road trip this week, and his agent met with general manager Lou Lamoriello, who will try to trade the 25-year-old:

Agent, Joe Resnick re: Holland. "Peter and Lou met this weekend. At this time, it appears that Peter's future with the club is limited"....

— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) November 29, 2016
Resnick continued..."and, Lou will do his best to trade him. Lou also stated that Peter not go on the road trip during this time frame."

— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) November 29, 2016
Holland has struggled to earn ice time this season, only appearing in eight games in which he's recorded a lone assist.

The Maple Leafs acquired Holland in 2013-14, and he's recorded 70 points in 203 NHL contests.

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If Milan Michalek could go back in time, he would do things a lot differently.

Last February - then a member of the Ottawa Senators - Michalek made the tough decision to waive his no-trade clause, accepting a trade to the Toronto Maple Leafs in a deal that saw Dion Phaneuf sent the other way.

Fast forward nearly nine months and Michalek now finds himself playing with the Maple Leafs' American Hockey League affiliate, the Marlies - while the Maple Leafs dress multiple first-year players - wishing things could have worked out differently.

"Looking back now it probably was the wrong decision," Michalek told Dave Alter of The Athletic. "But I’m only looking forward right now."

Michalek made the Maple Leafs' roster out of training camp, contributing a goal and an assist in five games, but has not played with the big club since Oct. 22, following the Maple Leafs waiver pickup of Ben Smith.

Despite his misfortune, he continues to compete at the AHL level, contributing a goal and four points in eight games, while trying his best not to be a distraction in the dressing room.

"I don’t want to be the guy that’s going to be pissed and bringing the guys down; I don’t want to be that guy," Michalek said. "I’m making the best out of what I can do here and help the young guys if I can. I’m also lucky that the minors are in the same town, so I don’t have to move my family, so thankfully that wasn’t an issue."

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The Boston Bruins will be without John-Michael Liles indefinitely as the team announced Tuesday that the defenseman has been sidelined with a concussion.

Liles has appeared in 22 games this season, scoring five points and averaging 16:15 in ice time.

The Bruins acquired Liles from the Carolina Hurricanes at last year's trade deadline.

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Brian Burke is not a happy man.

The Calgary Flames president has addressed rumors that his team is making defenseman Dougie Hamilton available on the trade market, blaming "an army of leakers" who jumped into the fray after the Toronto Maple Leafs were mentioned as a potential suitor.

Related - Flames GM: Rumors of shopping Dougie Hamilton are 'completely false'

Here are his comments from an appearance on TSN 1050 on Wednesday:

Let's step back. This is one where it's very frustrating when you have to deal with leaks. Soon as one of the teams that's in the mix in the leaks is the Toronto Maple Leafs, now it's an army of leakers, an army of people who have no goddamn idea what they are talking about who will happily go on and say 'The Toronto Maple Leafs are doing this, and they're in on that'.

This is one where we think we can trace the leak. We got a call, our GM got a call, Brad Treliving is the GM. (Tre) got a call from a team, who shall remain nameless, at least for now - if this goes on much further I'm probably not going to remain nameless - and said 'Would you move Dougie Hamilton?' and Tre said no ...

So we told this team - and by the way, the offer they made was insulting. we told the team, 'No we're not moving him, and next time you have an idea that stupid, just save the quarter, don't go to the payphone.' That team started telling teams, 'Yeah, we made an offer on Hamilton.' Now it's a rumour, it's got legs. Someone's like, 'Well, they must be moving him.'

Burke added the Flames haven't offered Hamilton to any team, nor do they intend to trade him. They like Hamilton, they like his game, and they gave up significant assets to acquire him from the Boston Bruins.

Nothing, however, is out of the realm of possibility.

"If you've got the right offer, if someone offers us 20 first-round picks, are we making that deal? Probably. Wayne Gretzky got traded. But the difference between listening, listening attentively, and shopping are different things. Would we listen? Yes, it's our job to listen. Is he a guy we intend to move? Not a chance. Is that a guy we think will move? Not a chance."

Consider this case closed. For the time being, at least.

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You just knew the Edmonton Oilers' Connor McDavid and Toronto Maple Leafs' Auston Matthews would rise to the occasion in their second career game against each other. Matthews scored his 10th goal of the season in the Maple Leafs 4-2 victory Tuesday night, giving him four goals and one assist in the past three games. It was obvious he was jacked to face McDavid again because he celebrated his goal like he had just won the Stanley Cup. Matthews is locked in. At the opposite end of the ice, it's amazing to see McDavid's off-the-charts speed wreak havoc on opponents. He had a goal and an assist Tuesday, extending his own point-scoring streak to six games (six goals and six assists), and has 11 goals and 20 assists for 31 points in 24 games this season. It shouldn't go unnoticed that he's enjoying this type of success with big Milan Lucic as a linemate. It was a brilliant move by Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli to sign Lucic as a free agent during the offseason to protect the organization's top asset. His presence adds an entirely different aspect -- much-needed space -- to McDavid's game.

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The NHLPA will say no thanks to the NHL's offer to extend the current collective bargaining agreement in exchange for NHL player participation at the 2018 Olympics, reports TSN's Darren Dreger.

NHLPA executive director Don Fehr is expected to reject the informal proposal next Wednesday, ahead of December's meeting of the NHL Board of Governors.

The CBA expires in 2022, with an opt-out clause for 2020, which must be triggered the year prior. The NHL can opt out of the CBA at that time, but should it choose not to do so, that right then goes to the players' association.

It's believed that escrow payments remain a major sticking point from the players standpoint ahead of the next round of CBA negotiations.

Should the NHL forgo the 2018 Games, that won't stop Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin, who has said he will go to Pyeongchang, even without the participation or permission of the NHL.

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The New Jersey Devils' offense will get a major boost in time for their game against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Taylor Hall will return to the lineup for Thursday's contest, head coach John Hynes confirmed to Andrew Gross of The Record.

The dynamic forward missed eight games with a knee injury he suffered last month.

He's back ahead of schedule, beating the original recovery timetable of three-to-four weeks from Nov. 16, when he had surgery on his left knee.

Hall collected five goals and 12 points in 14 games before sustaining the injury.

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Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski was named rookie of the month for November, the NHL announced Thursday.

The 19-year-old leads all rookie blue-liners and all Blue Jackets rearguards with 16 points in 21 games.

Werenski notched 10 of those points in 14 games last month.

He ranks second in average time on ice among rookies (22:06) behind Boston Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo (22:19).

Werenski is the fourth player in Blue Jackets history to be named rookie of the month, joining goaltender Steve Mason (Nov. and Dec. 2008), center Derick Brassard (Oct. 2008), and winger Rick Nash (Nov. 2002).

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The Detroit Red Wings are experiencing more than their fair share of injuries this season.

The latest victim is Justin Abdelkader, who will miss two-to-four weeks with a slight MCL sprain, Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press reported Friday.

He joins the following players who have already been placed on injured reserve:

G Jimmy Howard - Groin
D Brendan Smith - Knee
D Alexey Marchenko - Upper body
F Darren Helm - Shoulder
F Andreas Athanasiou - Knee
F Tyler Bertuzzi - Foot

Heading into the month of December - prior to the injury Abdelkader suffered Thursday - Detroit had already experienced the most man games lost due to injury in 2016-17 so far.

Abdelkader, who's in the first season of a seven-year, $29.75-million contract, has recorded four goals and four assists in 22 games.

Last edited on Fri Dec 2nd, 2016 11:58 pm by lobo316

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Jaromir Jagr continues to scale.

The ageless, mullet-wearing winger with the Florida Panthers suited up in his 1,653rd career game Thursday night at Joe Louis Arena, passing Mark Recchi for fourth all time.

Gordie Howe, Mark Messier, and Ron Francis are the only players with more.

Jagr sits 114 games behind Howe for the most games played in NHL history. If he hangs around for one more year, and remains healthy and able past the age of 46, Jagr has a chance to finish his career with the most all time.

As for his next rung that he'll take, Jagr requires eights points to surpass Mark Messier for the second-most behind Wayne Gretzky. He entered his 1,653rd game with 1,880 points for his career.

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Jonathan Toews will be off skates for a few days.

Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville said Sunday that Toews' back injury is "not getting better," reports the Chicago Tribune's Chris Hine.

Toews will miss his sixth straight game Sunday, and the Blackhawks will assess his status in the middle of next week.

The Blackhawks can afford to be patient with Toews, as the club is playing solid hockey, leading the Central Division with 35 points.

No. 19 has clearly been slowed by the injury, with only four goals and 12 points in 21 games. He's shooting 7.4 percent, and that's notable because Toews has never shot lower than 12.4 percent, and has scored 20 or more goals in each season of his remarkable career.

Chicago is home to Arizona, the Rangers, and Dallas next week, so Toews will be rehabbing at home.
Chicago is home to Arizona, the Rangers, and Dallas next week, so Toews will be rehabbing at home.

Last edited on Mon Dec 5th, 2016 03:56 am by lobo316

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Buffalo Sabres defenseman Josh Gorges will be out of the lineup for the long term.

He's out "weeks" with a non-displaced fracture in his foot, head coach Dan Bylsma told reporters Sunday.

Gorges was hurt blocking a shot in Thursday's win over the New York Rangers, and missed Saturday's loss to the Boston Bruins.

The veteran ranks fifth on the Sabres in average time on ice, and has just a single point in 23 games.

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Anders Nilsson is a lot more than a Buffalo Sabres goaltender.

The 26-year-old is enjoying a strong season - he has a .934 save percentage in eight games and seven starts - but he's making headlines for sporting a pride flag in support of the LGBT community on the back of his helmet.

Nilsson spoke about the flag with The Buffalo News' John Vogl, saying gay friends and witnessing their struggle was the impetus behind the decision.

"Life hasn't been easy for them growing up," Nilsson said. "It's time that hockey starts to pay some attention to that.

"This summer, I thought, why not be the first goalie to put (the pride flag) on the helmet and raise some awareness?"

anders nilsson has a pride flag on his mask :,) pic.twitter.com/iQ6Ma7nuY1

— destiny (@mqrner) December 4, 2016
Nilsson was the recipient of very high praise from Wade Davis, a former NFL player who came out after his playing career was over and who now serves as director of the You Can Play organization.

"Anders Nilsson is courageous beyond the understanding of many," Davis said. "He is taking a risk on multiple fronts and is standing up for something that he believes in, knowing the backlash that could come his way. He's my hero."

Nilsson said a lot's been done by You Can Play, hockey, and by the sports world in recent years, but much work needs to be done. With the flag on his helmet, he's doing his small part to keep progress moving forward.

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Henrik Zetterberg's recent roll has carried him beyond Pavel Datsyuk.

While extending his goal streak to three games in a win over the New York Islanders on Sunday, Zetterberg passed his long-time teammate on the Detroit Red Wings' all-time goal-scoring list with the 315th of this career.

He now ranks alone in seventh on the all-time list after entering the season tied with Brendan Shanahan for eighth.

Somewhat surprisingly, Zetterberg surpassed Datsyuk in fewer games, though the two late-round steals that epitomize what made the Red Wings great for so many years share a near-identical per-game scoring rate.

Zetterberg is 63 points behind the recent NHL retiree on the club's all-time points list. He made his debut with the Red Wings one season after Datsyuk's arrival.

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Connor McDavid wasn't pleased about missing part of Sunday's overtime loss to the Minnesota Wild.

After the Edmonton Oilers center tripped over a stick and banged his face on the ice, he was pulled from the contest after the designated concussion spotter deemed it necessary to put him through the head injury assessment test.


"I was pretty shocked, to be honest," he told reporters after the game. "I hit my mouth on the ice. You reach up and grab your mouth when you get hit in the mouth. It's a pretty normal thing. Obviously the spotter thought he knew how I was feeling and pulled me off.

"Sh--ty time of the game too, I guess, where it's little bit a partial five-on-three and going into a power play after late in the second period where if you capitalize it could change the game."

He added that the concussion spotter was simply doing his job looking out for the players' well-being according to league guidelines. The test took about 20 minutes, and McDavid, still clearly frustrated with the night's events, said the it was "a bit of a process and inconvenient."

He was able to return in the third period and was denied a great chance to give his team the lead late in regulation, finishing the game with four shots in 20:38 of ice time.

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The Toronto Maple Leafs appear to be in search of a new backup goalie.

Jhonas Enroth has been placed on waivers, and head coach Mike Babcock cited poor performance as the impetus for the decision.

Babcock on Enroth: "Lou met with him today. Obviously, wasn't going good enough. We're just in a situation where we're making a change."

— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) December 5, 2016
Enroth appeared in six games and made four starts for the Maple Leafs, posting a record of 0-3-1 with a save percentage of .872. He signed a one-year, $750,000 deal with the club in the offseason.

There's no word yet on who will serve as Frederik Andersen's backup for Wednesday's game against Minnesota. Karri Ramo has been practicing with the team, while Antoine Bibeau has been carrying the load at the AHL level.

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Alex Galchenyuk will be out indefinitely after undergoing tests on a lower-body injury suffered during Sunday's game in Los Angeles, the Montreal Canadiens have announced.

The initial tests took place in St. Louis, and Galchenyuk will be further evaluated in Montreal on Wednesday, at which time his status will be updated.

Galchenyuk leads the Canadiens in goals (nine) and total points (23) despite ranking fourth in ice time among forwards, and has emerged as a key piece for a club sitting first in the Atlantic Division.

Montreal next plays Tuesday against St. Louis, meaning Galchenyuk will miss one game, at the very least.

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Former NHL forward Marek Svatos' death has been ruled a drug overdose by a Colorado coroner's office.

From Tom McGhee of the Denver Post:

Former Colorado Avalanche winger Marek Svatos had codeine, morphine, and an anti-anxiety medication in his system when he died of combined drug intoxication last month, the Douglas County Coroner’s Office said Monday.

He had a history of heroin use and had gone through drug rehabilitation, according to the coroner’s report. He also had suspected depression, prior suicidal ideation, and “recent life stressors.”

“Drug paraphernalia was found at the scene,” the report said.

The Slovakia native was found dead at age 34 on Nov. 5 in a community outside Denver.

Svatos appeared in 344 career NHL games with the Colorado Avalanche, Nashville Predators, and Ottawa Senators, recording 100 goals and 172 points.

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The Vancouver Canucks are apparently establishing new lows when it comes to ticket demand on the secondary market.

"I didn't think it would get any lower than the Mike Keenan years - that's when they moved Trevor (Linden) out and brought in (Mark) Messier," Kingsley Bailey, the manager of local broker Vancouver Ticket, told Postmedia's Stephanie Ip.

Bailey said demand for resale Canucks tickets this season is at an "all-time low," or the lowest it's been since the late 1990s.

"It's got to the point where some ticket holders - they don't even want to go but they don't want to lose their priority number," he said. "So some of my season-ticket holders who were selling partial seasons are now selling me full seasons."

Canucks COO Jeff Stipec told Yip that the season-ticket renewal rate for 2016-17 plummeted to just over 80 percent, down from 97 percent in 2011.

Vancouver sits second-last in the paltry Pacific Division, and the Canucks have the fifth-worst record in the league at 11-12-2 through 25 games.

Things seemed similarly grim in the fall of 2014, when Bailey said there was "no demand" for Canucks resale tickets. The club missed the postseason in 2013-14 after five consecutive playoff runs, which included a Stanley Cup Final appearance in 2011.

After being eliminated by the Calgary Flames in the first round of the 2015 playoffs, Vancouver missed the postseason again last spring and doesn't appear likely to be playoff-bound in 2017.

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Vancouver Canucks forward Derek Dorsett will undergo cervical fusion surgery to repair disc degeneration in his neck, general manager Jim Benning announced Monday.

The club isn't providing a timeline due to the nature of the procedure, but TSN's Darren Dreger reports Dorsett won't be back this season.

The Canucks expect him to recover fully and eventually resume playing, however.

He's been dealing with the condition for "five or six years," according to head coach Willie Desjardins.

"The decision to perform surgery was made after a thorough review of our options, including non-surgical treatment and rehabilitation," Benning said.

"Derek, our Canucks medical team, and Dr. (Robert) Watkins believe that surgery offers the best outcome both for his career and long-term health. Derek is an important member of our team and we are optimistic for a full recovery."

Dorsett, who hasn't played since Nov. 17, ended the Canucks' goalless streak of just under 160 minutes when he scored against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Nov. 5.

He's collected four points and racked up 33 penalty minutes in 14 games.

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Forgive Jack Eichel for feeling a lot older than 20.

The focal point of the Buffalo Sabres' offense tweaked his ankle Monday night, and while that's expected after his high ankle sprain, it was revealed Tuesday morning that the forward's also nursing a sore hip, according to Sportsnet's John Shannon.

"I'm fine," Eichel said of his ankle, The Buffalo News' John Vogl reports. "I'm good. Going through an injury like this, you know it's going to come back and bother you at times, but it's fine now."

Eichel will be in the lineup Tuesday night against Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers, and he downplayed the hype around the top two picks in the 2015 draft meeting for the second time in their careers.

"You guys are obviously going to make it look like it's Eichel-McDavid, that whole thing, but it's a team game," he said. "It's always been a team game."

Eichel's got three goals and one assist in four games this season, and has scored in every game he's played against the Oilers. (He's played one game.)

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Curtis Lazar suffered an upper-body injury in Monday's loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins and is out indefinitely, according to Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen.

Appearing in just his ninth game of the season after failing to make the club out of training camp, Lazar logged just under four minutes before exiting after a collision with Brian Dumoulin.

He hasn't registered a point this season.

Warren notes that Ottawa will have to recall a forward from Binghamton before its game Wednesday versus the San Jose Sharks.

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The Boston Bruins will be without winger Matt Beleskey for the next six weeks due to a right knee injury, the team announced after their overtime victory over the Florida Panthers on Monday night.

Beleskey exited late in Saturday's win versus the Buffalo Sabres following a collision with Taylor Fedun.

It's been a struggle offensively this season for the second-year Bruin, who has just two goals and three assists.

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Logan Couture needed a little adjustment.

The San Jose Sharks center underwent a minor procedure Saturday to remove a bothersome screw from the repair work he had on his ankle last October.

"It was irritating when I put my skate on," Couture told Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area. "It wasn't anything structural, it was just from having the skate on that area and irritation was building up. (I) figured we had a little break here and could take it out, and hopefully it feels better."

Couture has appeared in all 25 games this season and hopes to be in the lineup Wednesday when the Sharks take on the Ottawa Senators.

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Weird stat I saw today in my yahoo-

Taking out overtime losses from the mix, the entire Eastern Conference is .500 or better. That's Bettman's new NHL for ya!

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P.K. Subban is flourishing in his new digs.

With his seventh goal of the year Tuesday - a patented point-shot blast - the Nashville Predators blue-liner surpassed last season's total output with the Montreal Canadiens - in just 25 games.

Despite the career low in goals, Subban still recorded an ultra-productive 51 points in 68 games last year with the Habs.

Subban now sits at 17 points on the season, putting him in a tie for seventh among all defensemen.

His seven goals rank third among all rearguards, and one behind his blockbuster trade counterpart Shea Weber.

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The Montreal Canadiens were dealt a serious blow Wednesday evening.

Forwards Alex Galchenyuk - the team's leading scorer - and David Desharnais will be out six-to-eight weeks with knee injuries, the club announced.

Desharnais, who has three goals and six assists in 25 games, was hurt Tuesday - and was being called upon to replace Galchenyuk's spot on the top line.

Galchenyuk, while playing only 16:10 per game, has nine goals and 14 assists in 25 games, and was in the midst of a breakout season, finding instant chemistry with Alexander Radulov. After a career-high 56 points last season, the 22-year-old was blossoming into the star center Montreal hoped he would become when he was drafted third overall in 2012.

Montreal, tied for the league lead in points with 37, is about to be seriously tested. It's not looking good down the middle right now:

Habs depth chart down the middle right now. Pick your own order:
Tomas Plekanec
Torrey Mitchell
Phillip Danault
Andrew Shaw
Briian Flynn

— Аrpon Basu (@ArponBasu) December 7, 2016
An injury to Carey Price derailed a great start for Montreal last season, and while Price is thankfully healthy, it will be interesting to see if general manager Marc Bergevin looks to the trade market to fill some holes in the short term.

As it stands, no pressure, Tomas Plekanec.

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It could have been worse.

The results of Rick Nash's MRI on his groin are in and the forward is expected to miss a week, the New York Rangers announced Wednesday evening.

Nash was hurt Tuesday in Brooklyn, and was forced from his team's loss to the Islanders.

The former first overall pick - way back in 2002 - is enjoying a bounce-back season. He scored only 15 goals in 2015-16, finishing with a career-low 36 points in 60 games. This season, Nash has 11 goals and seven assists in 27 games, shooting 14.1 percent.

The Rangers boast the NHL's top offense with 97 goals.

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Jonathan Toews is giving back to the place that helped him become one of the NHL's brightest stars.

The Chicago Blackhawks captain donated $1 million to the Dakota Community Centre in his hometown of Winnipeg, the facility announced in a release Wednesday.

Toews' gift is the largest-ever private donation to a community center in Manitoba. It will be put toward the "Dakota Futures Capital" campaign, an initiative that will support the construction of a new 60,000-square foot field house and future development on the center's campus.

He'll also serve as the campaign's honorary chair.

The center's primary facility was named the Jonathan Toews Sportsplex in 2010 after the Blackhawks center won his first Stanley Cup championship.

"From my earliest days playing hockey, Dakota Community Centre has always played a pivotal role in my upbringing and my career", Toews said.

"Today, I continue to be honored to have my name associated with the sportsplex on the Dakota campus. My parents have instilled in me the importance of giving back, and I believe that in supporting Dakota, we will see endless possibilities for the community center's future and transformation in the lives of our community members."

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The Toronto Maple Leafs have secured a win off the ice.

The club has reportedly won its arbitration case with defenseman Jared Cowen, whose contract will remain bought out, according to TSN's Bob McKenzie.

The argument on Cowen's end was that the one year remaining on his deal could not be bought out due to his ongoing recovery from hip surgery, technically rendering him injured.

This allegation appears to have been deemed unfounded.

Basically, arbitrator ruled there was no evidence Cowen was unfit when TOR bought him out

— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) December 7, 2016
Now, the contract is void, meaning Cowen is a free agent and the Maple Leafs will hold onto the cap credit instead of having to pay the $4.5 million in actual salary that would have remained on the deal.

with #Leafs winning Arb case vs Cowen, they will continue to receive $650K cap credit this season & have $750K against their cap next season https://t.co/uQpkqvfYWe

— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) December 7, 2016
The 25-year-old defenseman was acquired by the Maple Leafs in the trade that sent former captain Dion Phaneuf to Ottawa. Cowen played 37 games for the Senators last season before the swap, recording four assists. He did not make an appearance with Toronto due to the hip injury.

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It was a formality.

With a goal and two assists against the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday, Erik Karlsson made Senators history, surpassing Wade Redden for the most points by an Ottawa defender.

DEFENSEMAN   POINTS   GP


Karlsson             412    506


Redden             410     838


Chris Phillips     288   1179


Zdeno Chara    146      299


Jason York       124      380


Karlsson's goal was his seventh of the season and 107th of his career - the lifelong Senator leads all Ottawa defensemen in goals, too.

Only 26, Karlsson's far from finished. He's a marvel, and he's now fourth all time on the Senators in scoring, at any position.

Last edited on Thu Dec 8th, 2016 06:13 pm by lobo316

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Mike Babcock - not a happy man.

Toronto's head coach watched his club drop a 3-2 decision to the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday night, leaving the Maple Leafs in the basement of the Eastern Conference - and behind the pace he set out for his young group.

Babcock's goal is 6 pts every 5 games; so far:

1-5 - 5
6-10 - 4
11-15 - 6
16-20 - 5
21-25 - 5

5 points behind desired pace

— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) December 8, 2016
Babcock hates losing. It eats at him, and he called out William Nylander - one of his top young players, who began the night centering the fourth line - after the game.

"The reality is, for (Nylander) to play center in the NHL he's going to have to get way better defensively, way more competitive," Babcock said, according to TSN's Mark Masters.

Nylander was moved up with Toronto down a goal, as Babcock searched for offense.

"It's just a situation where we were behind and he's a guy who can shoot the puck in the net. Nikita (Soshnikov) did nothing wrong, Sosh plays hard," Babcock added.

After a scorching start to the season, Nylander's slowed down. He had 11 points in nine October games, but only two goals and three assists across 13 contests in November.

At 6-feet and 190 pounds, Nylander's not the biggest kid, but Babcock clearly wants more out of him.

"We've done lots of good things," Babcock said, "we just got to be better. I want to be better. We got to find a way to win every night."

Toronto outshot Minnesota 37-20, including a combined 27-12 in periods two and three, which may have frustrated Babcock even more.

"We pushed for lots of the game, but it's one thing to push when you're behind, you got to push all the time."

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While Connor McDavid is well on his way to earning the Art Ross trophy - currently leading the NHL with 36 points - and possibly more this season, he hasn't earned the moniker of NHL's best player. Not to Wayne Gretzky, at least.

Gretzky believes the title still belongs to Sidney Crosby, who's tied for the league lead in goals, and is fourth league-wide in points with only 20 games played.

"Sid is still the best player in hockey. That's a mantle you earn over time," Gretzky told Craig Custance of ESPN. "It's one of those things where you have to earn that title."

Of course, Crosby is 10 years McDavid's senior, and while the Oilers phenom seems poised to take over, Sid's accolades seal it for The Great One.

"Is Connor a great player? Absolutely. Does Connor have an opportunity to be the next Crosby? Absolutely," Gretzky said. "Right now, Sidney deserves to be known as the best player in the game. He's been the best player consistently in his career. He's won Stanley Cups and he's won gold medals. Until somebody takes that mantle away from him, he's still going to hold the crown."

As Crosby reaches the peak of his prime, and McDavid enters his, a passing of the torch may feel inevitable, but coming from the player no superstar - past or present - can usurp on hockey's totem pole, Gretzky's view has to be taken as valid.

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A player for a pick.

That's the asking price when it comes to Toronto Maple Leafs forward Peter Holland, reports TSN's Darren Dreger.

"(General manager Lou) Lamoriello wants a draft pick. He doesn't want a contract," Dreger told TSN 1050. "Because of the fact that Holland makes $1.3 million, he's not an easy fit with most organizations."

NHL clubs are limited to 50 contracts, while the Maple Leafs currently sit at 48, including Holland.

Holland has recorded just one point in eight games this season. He has been sent home by the club while it attempts to work out a trade.

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It appears Max Pacioretty's slow start can be attributed to more than a dip in performance, or questionable usage from Michel Therrien.

Sportsnet's Eric Engels reported on air Thursday that the Montreal Canadiens captain played with a broken foot through most of November. Engels added that Pacioretty was reluctant to admit that he was skating on a broken foot, as he didn't want to use it as an excuse.

Engels later tweeted that Pacioretty's foot has fully healed.

It's unknown when the injury was suffered, or when it healed, but Pacioretty was limited to three goals and five assists in 14 games through the month of November.

Montreal went 8-5-1 over that span.

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The Peter Holland chapter in Toronto is finally over.

The Toronto Maple Leafs dealt the center to the Arizona Coyotes on Friday in exchange for a conditional draft pick in 2018, the Coyotes confirmed.

Holland struggled to make it into the lineup with Toronto this season, only doing so on eight occasions, with his last outing coming Nov. 26.

The 25-year-old and his agent met last month with Maple Leafs general manager Lou Lamoriello, who agreed to try to trade him.

Holland concludes his time with the Maple Leafs having registered 23 goals and 63 points over 174 games.

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A frustrating season for the New York Islanders has improved on the ice, but Garth Snow isn't doing his club any favors from the front office.

The general manager made the latest in a string of questionable moves Friday, signing Cal Clutterbuck to a five-year contract extension worth a reported $17.5 million.

The yearly dollar amount isn't the issue. Clutterbuck is already making $3.5 million in salary this season despite his $2.75-million cap figure. The controversial part is the term - more specifically, giving a fourth-liner five more years, ensuring he's under contract until age 34.

Clutterbuck certainly isn't useless, particularly when it comes to the penalty kill and his penchant to serve as a net-front presence, but much of his value is intangible, and therefore, it's difficult to justify this move.

He does do one quantifiable thing well, ranking fifth in the NHL among qualified skaters with 3.6 hits per game, but racking up hits simply means you don't have the puck.

Cal Clutterbuck is credited with 89 hits this season. 12 of them have caused the opponent to lose the puck.

— Andrew Berkshire 📎 (@AndrewBerkshire) December 9, 2016
Though Snow is an experienced GM, this is hardly his first misstep.

He signed 30-year-old forward Andrew Ladd to a seven-year, $38.5-million deal on July 1, in a clear effort to offset the departures of Kyle Okposo and Frans Nielsen, who agreed to significant contracts elsewhere. Ladd has three goals and six points in his first 26 games with the Islanders.

Snow also seems to have his own sort of seven-year itch. He inked defensemen Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuk to deals of that length in February and March 2015, respectively. Leddy's pact was for the same amount as that of Ladd, and Boychuk is earning $42 million.

Then there was the Casey Cizikas contract. Snow gave Clutterbuck's fellow fourth-liner a five-year extension of his own in June.

The Islanders now have only two pending unrestricted free agents (veteran blue-liner Dennis Seidenberg and backup goaltender Thomas Greiss), but they've also committed about $30 million to six players for 2018-19, when John Tavares is scheduled to become a free agent.

Clutterbuck and Tavares were OHL teammates and the captain likely appreciates having his de facto bodyguard locked in, but that might not matter if the Islanders are too hamstrung by Snow's ill-advised long-term commitments to pay Tavares what he wants when that time comes.

The Clutterbuck deal is just the latest example of how Snow is hurting the Islanders' long-term flexibility by giving non-superstars too many years.

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While recent trade rumors have the Toronto Maple Leafs linked to an upgrade on defense, the club certainly has its parameters set in regards to pending transactions.

Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan spoke with Sportsnet's Chris Johnston and explained that while the team is not immune to making trades to better itself, they will not jeopardize themselves by dealing part of their future core.

"Our vision’s not going to change, but the day-to-day blueprint has to change every day," Shanahan said. "Things happen to your team, things happen around the league, you have to be ready. So there really is no one way we’ve outlined we’re going to do this thing. If we have an opportunity to make ourselves better and it fits into what our vision is (we’ll do it). Our vision isn’t going to change. Our vision is to build a team that can sustain success over a long period of time.

"So does that mean we’re not going to make any trades? No, it doesn’t mean that. Does that mean we’re going to get a little taste of success and sacrifice years and years of our future to get something for today? No."

While the Maple Leafs currently hold down the all-too-familiar position of last place in the Eastern Conference for the time being, there is no question the team is in a better place than it was one season ago.

Rookies Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, William Nylander, and Nikita Zaitsev among others have reshaped the complexion of the club and produced a much more exciting on-ice product.

"I’m excited about the progress, but I think for all of us - players included - we know that this is just really the beginning of the work," said Shanahan.

Despite the long road ahead, a plan is clearly coming together, one the president feels will make the club a contender in time.

"We’re thinking about going out and trying to win every game we play," said Shanahan. "Wherever we are in our development, we're going to be constantly trying to, as a group, get better. I think what we try to do is really just focus on the process and focus on improving. We’re confident that we’ll be in the right place at the right time."

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The Arizona Coyotes will be without forward Max Domi for the foreseeable future.

The 21-year-old has been placed on the injured reserve and is considered week to week with an upper-body injury, head coach Dave Tippett confirmed to AZCentral Sports' Sarah McLellan.

Domi was forced from Thursday's contest against the Calgary Flames after being left bloodied following a heated bout with Flames forward Garnet Hathaway.

Domi sits second on the team with 16 points through 26 games this season.

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What goes around comes around, they say.

On Nov. 4, the Montreal Canadiens were the laughing stock of the NHL following a 10-0 drubbing at the hands of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Just over a month later, the Habs are on the other end of the spectrum thanks to a 10-1 shellacking of the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night.

The Facts

The Canadiens are the first team since the 2005-06 Buffalo Sabres to allow 10 and score 10 in the same season.
The last time Montreal scored nine goals at home was 1994.
10 goals is a new Bell Centre record.
Montreal scored six goals in a period for the first time since Dec. 17, 1992, versus the ... Quebec Nordiques.
The Canadiens started with five goals in the opening 8:41, the last time Montreal scored five goals in the first 10 minutes of a game was Feb. 14, 1990.
Carl Soderberg and Mikhail Grigorenko were the only Colorado players that weren't a minus, in a combined 1:12 of ice time.

The Numbers

5: The amount of points for captain Max Pacioretty, including a career-high four goals.

28: The number of scoring chances Montreal created.

.625: Semyon Varlamov's save percentage after allowing six goals on 16 shots.

9: Even-strength goals for the Canadiens.

- 40: Colorado's combined plus-minus on the night.

Last edited on Sun Dec 11th, 2016 08:17 am by lobo316

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Sidney Crosby was called to the NHL's quiet room.

Facing the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday, the Pittsburgh Penguins center was forced to undergo the NHL's newly mandated concussion protocol after a hit into the boards by Lightning defenseman Luke Witkowski, reports Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

But it wasn't all bad for Crosby, who later returned to the game and grabbed a pair of goals to recapture the NHL lead with 20 tallies on the season.

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Darnell Nurse underwent surgery to repair an ankle ligament as well as bone damage and will miss up to 12 weeks, Edmonton Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli announced Monday.

The imposing defender has already been out six games.

Matthew Benning and Dillon Simpson have rotated in as the bottom pairing in Nurse's absence, since Mark Fayne and Eric Gryba are also listed on injured reserve.

With the exception of a short absence for Kris Russell, the Oilers' top four has stayed relatively healthy, but will be under tremendous pressure with now very little depth support.

The club is, however, expecting Brandon Davidson back soon.

Nurse, a former seventh overall draft pick, had three goals, five points, and 17 penalty minutes in 25 games before his injury.

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Brayden Schenn is at it again.

After netting a hat trick in Saturday's win over the Stars, Schenn delivered the overtime winner on a beautiful effort Sunday to extend Philadelphia's winning ways.

Now at nine games, the Flyers own the longest winning streak in the NHL this season.

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Minnesota's 3-1 win over the Blues was particularly special for Eric Staal.

The veteran pivot recorded his 800th NHL point Sunday, banking an assist on Mikael Granlund's empty netter.

Congratulations to #mnwild's Eric Staal on his 800th @NHL point with an assistant on Granlund's goal! pic.twitter.com/vQIxdGgIhx

— Minnesota Wild (@mnwild) December 12, 2016
Staal has enjoyed a rebirth of sorts in his first year in Minnesota, scoring a team-leading 19 points so far this season.

The 32-year-old, drafted second overall in 2003, is the only player from his class to reach the milestone.

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What a year.

The Pittsburgh Penguins celebrated the one-year anniversary of Mike Sullivan becoming head coach by doing what they've done a lot of over the past 365 days - winning.

Pittsburgh dusted Arizona 7-0 on Monday, an expected result considering the Coyotes' last-place standing in the NHL, making for a combined score of 13-0 for the Penguins over Arizona in 2016.

Related: Watch: Crosby bats puck out of mid-air to score NHL-leading 21st

Sullivan was hired on Dec. 12, 2015, replacing Mike Johnston, and Pittsburgh has been a force ever since.

Monday night was regular-season game No. 83 for Sullivan behind the black and gold bench, and his record is stellar:

Once Sullivan took over, the Penguins became what they are today: one of the league's fastest outfits, which can score goals in bunches. It helps when you have Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Phil Kessel - each player went into Monday's game with over 30 points, while Crosby is averaging almost an absurd goal per game.

Kris Letang anchors the defense, and Patric Hornqvist and Conor Sheary are producing as well. When controversy hit the crease after Marc-Andre Fleury was hurt last season, Matt Murray stepped up admirably, and he's undoubtedly the new No. 1 in goal.

There are 16 wins not accounted for in the table above. They came in 24 games during the 2016 playoffs, as the Penguins marched to their fourth Stanley Cup.

It's fair to say that the honeymoon stage between Sullivan and Pittsburgh is far from over.

Isn't love beautiful?

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The Philadelphia Flyers announced Monday they'll be without defenseman Mark Streit for two weeks due to an upper-body injury.

Streit's had a productive season, as his 16 points (five goals, 11 assists) are good for fifth on the club in scoring (he's tied with Shayne Gostisbehere). Streit'saveraging just under 20 minutes of ice time per game, and has a 51.33 Corsi For rating, according to Corsica Hockey.

It's a shoulder injury, according to The Inquirer's Sam Carchidi.

The Swiss defender turned 39 on Sunday, and is only seven points shy of the 23 he had last season in 62 games.

Philly has won nine in a row and will try and make it 10 on Wednesday.

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Arizona Coyotes forward Max Domi is out indefinitely after undergoing hand surgery, general manager John Chayka announced Tuesday.

Domi was roughed up in a Dec. 8 fight versus the Calgary Flames and was originally considered week-to-week with an upper-body injury.

Chayka didn't outline a comeback plan, but said the Coyotes expect Domi to make a full recovery and return to the lineup later this season.

In 26 games this campaign, the 21-year-old ranks second on the club with 16 points.

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The puck had to get by at some point.

Antti Raanta's shutout streak came to an end Tuesday thanks to a goal by Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk at the 5:18 mark of the second period.

A quality finish by @TvanRiemsdyk6 and an apple for the #BreadMan in the Big Apple pic.twitter.com/DntO4GoOVi

— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) December 14, 2016
The New York Rangers netminder hadn't allowed a goal since the second period of a Dec. 8 game, keeping the opposition from scoring for almost nine periods.

Trevor van Riemsdyk ends Antti Raanta's shutout streak at 176:22 #Blackhawks #NYR

— Jon Lane (@JonLaneNHL) December 14, 2016
The strong performance of late has given Raanta a leg up on the team's starting job, relegating Henrik Lundqvist to the bench, for the time being at least.

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Anze Kopitar is on the board for the first time in nearly three weeks.

The Los Angeles Kings captain cruised in from the neutral zone, blew past Buffalo Sabres forward Ryan O'Reilly, and shoveled a dribbler past goaltender Robin Lehner to end a 16-game goal drought Tuesday night.

Kopitar hadn't scored since Oct. 25, when he tallied in a win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Tuesday's goal was his third of the season and his 246th in a Kings' uniform, tying Wayne Gretzky for sixth on the franchise's all-time list.

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Alan Thicke clearly made an indelible impression on the hockey community.

The Canadian actor and passionate fan of the game died Tuesday at the age of 69, Thicke's publicist confirmed to Christopher Watson from ABC News.

Thicke died in hospital after suffering a heart attack playing hockey with his son, TMZ reported

Players, clubs, and the league itself offered heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the late "Growing Pains" star:

I almost believe it's not real. The hockey word lost a great ambassador and I a good friend. Thoughts are with your family @Alan_Thicke

— George Parros (@GeorgeParros) December 14, 2016
I can't believe my friend Alan Thicke passed away. 😓 such a sad day! pic.twitter.com/QfSUFteCHd

— Bailey LA Kings (@BaileyLAKings) December 14, 2016
RIP Alan Thicke. :( https://t.co/EtFX6NswNK

— #LAKings (@LAKings) December 14, 2016
RIP to one of the great ones, Alan Thicke. pic.twitter.com/LvlU13s23h

— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) December 14, 2016
The NHL family is sad to learn of the passing of longtime hockey fan Alan Thicke. Our thoughts are with his family and friends. pic.twitter.com/5ADyWRksuf

— NHL (@NHL) December 14, 2016
Very sad to hear the passing of Alan Thicke. Always was pleasure to be around. Thoughts are prayers for his family

— Matt Beleskey (@Matt_Beleskey) December 14, 2016
sad to hear that Alan Thicke Died played many celebrity hockey games with him he loved the game hope he scored one last goal RIP my winger

— MIKE ERUZIONE (@MERUZIONE) December 14, 2016
The master of ceremonies for the very first #TBLightning game to ever be played at Expo Hall.

Rest in peace, Mr. Thicke. https://t.co/ZwRx8CUqH2

— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) December 14, 2016
So sad our friend Alan Thicke is gone. Loved that guy.

— Brett Hull (@HOFBlues16) December 14, 2016
1/2 My wife and I are devastated over the news that #AllanThicke just passed away today.

— Larry Robinson (@19LarryRobinson) December 14, 2016
2/2 I got to know him during my time in LA. He will be truly missed. Prayers go out to his entire family. RIP fellow Canadian.

— Larry Robinson (@19LarryRobinson) December 14, 2016
Awww man. Not Alan Thicke. One of the nicest men I've ever met. This makes me sad. Tough loss.#RIPpal

— Sheldon Souray (@SSouray) December 14, 2016
Thicke's connection to hockey ran deep, from his longtime friendship with Wayne Gretzky to numerous appearances at NHL events and even writing and performing "Hockey Sock Rock" with former NHL stars Phil Esposito, Ron Duguay, Pat Hickey, Dave Maloney, and John Davidson.

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EDMONTON, Alberta - Sam Gagner had a goal and an assist, and the streaking Columbus Blue Jackets won their seventh straight game by beating the Edmonton Oilers 3-1 on Tuesday night.

Cam Atkinson and Matt Calvert also scored to help the Blue Jackets (18-5-4) improve to 8-0-1 in their last nine games.

Tyler Pitlick had the goal for the Oilers (15-12-5), who have lost five of six.

Edmonton got on the scoreboard first, just past the midpoint of the opening period as a hard-charging Pitlick got to a rebound in the blue paint and chipped it over Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky.

The Oilers appeared to add another with 4 minutes left in the first, but officials determined forward Zack Kassian interfered with the goalie on the play.

Columbus tied the game on a power play 8 minutes into the second period when Gagner came back to hurt his old team. The puck went off the toe of his skate and past Edmonton goalie Cam Talbot for Gagner's fourth goal in the last four games and 12th of the season.

The Blue Jackets made it 2-1 at 7:10 of the third as a pass deflected to Atkinson and he hammered his 11th of the season past Talbot.

Columbus added to its lead 1:36 later when Calvert took advantage of a sloppy Oilers line change and rifled a shot off Talbot's arm and into the net.

The Blue Jackets completely took over in the third and were outshooting Edmonton 12-0 midway through the period.

NOTES: It was the first of two meetings between the teams this season. The other one is Jan. 3 in Columbus. ... Oilers D Brandon Davidson played his first game since injuring his shoulder in the season opener Oct. 12 against Calgary. It was good news for Edmonton, which announced that fellow defenseman Darnell Nurse could miss up to three months following ankle surgery. ... Columbus captain Nick Foligno returned to the lineup after missing two games with the flu.

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Former NHL coach Ron Wilson is in rehabilitation after suffering a stroke, reports Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times.

Wilson, 61, last coached in the NHL in 2012 as the bench boss of the Toronto Maple Leafs. He spent four seasons in Toronto after previous stints with the San Jose Sharks, Washington Capitals, and Anaheim Ducks. His 648 career wins ranks 10th all time.

Wilson most recently coached Team USA at the 2016 World Junior Championships in Finland.

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Jonathan Quick's timeline has been pushed back.

The Los Angeles Kings' No. 1 goaltender isn't expected to return until mid-February, general manager Dean Lombardi clarified Wednesday with Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times.

Quick was initially expected to miss about three months with a groin injury suffered on opening night after having a minor procedure in lieu of major surgery.

Lombardi added that he's not currently willing to "throw the kitchen sink" at the team's goaltending issues to find a solution.

The Kings are currently tied for the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference despite owning the league's second-worst team save percentage at .896.

Peter Budaj's performance while spelling Quick in the Kings' cage has dipped after a hot start in his return to the NHL, having authored a save rate of just .859 over four December starts.

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DENVER - Roman Lyubimov and Brayden Schenn scored 1:46 apart in the third period to help the Philadelphia Flyers to their 10th straight victory, 4-3 over the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday.

The Flyers have their longest winning streak since a franchise-best 13-game run in 1985.

Off a Colorado turnover in its own zone, Lyubimov slapped the go-ahead goal past Calvin Pickard 3:30 into the third. Schenn added to the lead with his fifth goal in his last three games.

Wayne Simmonds and Michael Del Zotto also scored, and Steve Mason stopped 26 shots.

Pickard, starting in place of injured Semyon Varlamov, made 21 saves. Matt Duchene had two goals and Rene Bourque also scored for the Avalanche. They have lost five straight at home and eight of their last 10 overall.

Duchene scored his second goal of the night to make 4-3 with 4:45 remaining. Mason denied the equalizer despite an aggressive Colorado attack after Pickard was pulled with 1:31 left.

Earlier, Duchene put back a rebound off Mason to give Colorado a 2-1 lead 16:34 into second, but Simmonds tied it 23 seconds later with his 16th goal of the season, fourth-most in the league.

The Flyers appeared to score again 78 seconds after that, but Pierre-Edouard Bellemare's goal was overturned after video replay deemed that he tipped in the goal with a high stick.

Things got chippy after that. Gabriel Landeskog laid out Michael Raffl with a big hit, causing Landeskog and Jakub Voracek to drop the gloves. Both got in a few shots before Voracek fell to the ice.

The Flyers got on the board first with Del Zotto's goal 4:01 into the second. Del Zotto took a crossing pass from Giroux but Pickard slid across the crease to deny his initial chance. The puck fluttered into the air and dropped back into the crease before Del Zotto swiped in his own rebound into the back of the net for his fourth goal of the season. Bourque tied it 12:14 into the second with his ninth goal of the year.

Note: The Avalanche recalled goalie Spencer Martin from San Antonio to serve as backup while Varlamov is day-to-day with a groin injury. ... Philadelphia D Shayne Gostisbehere returned after missing one game with a swollen right hand, while fellow defenseman Mark Streit is expected to be out two weeks with a shoulder injury.

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The Pittsburgh Penguins have sure treated their fans, haven't they?

With their 4-3 triumph over the Boston Bruins in overtime on Wednesday night, the Penguins fashioned a winning streak of at least seven games for the 10th consecutive season, according to NHL Public Relations.

They are the first franchise in history to accomplish the feat, according to Jason Kay via the Elias Sports Bureau.

Sidney Crosby was a second-year professional, and Evgeni Malkin a rookie, back in 2006-07 - the last time the Penguins failed to go on a seven-game run.

They would, however, have two six-game win streaks in the month of January alone that season, collecting points in 16 straight games.

Pittsburgh will aim for eight in a row, and match its longest win streak from last year, with a victory Friday over the Los Angeles Kings.

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Auston Matthews had this one circled for a while.

The centerpiece of the Toronto Maple Leafs' future will get a taste of home on Thursday night, as his childhood-favorite Arizona Coyotes roll into town.

"It definitely means a lot," Matthews said, according to Sportsnet's Chris Johnston. "It's where I grew up, it's the team I watched."

Matthews hails from Scottsdale, Ariz., and while he's just 28 games into his NHL career, the 19-year-old is easily the biggest name to come out the area - traditionally considered the opposite of a hockey hotbed.

Despite the small market and the continuous organizational turmoil, however, it was always the Coyotes for Matthews.

"(When I was a kid) it was everything - mini-sticks, jerseys and everything,” he said. “I’ve still got some in my closet. I played for the Jr. Coyotes program growing up a little bit so I have a couple of those old jerseys and stuff hanging around.”

Matthews was first introduced to hockey upon the Coyotes' 1996 arrival in Phoenix, one year before he was born. And as he quickly grows into one of the NHL's brightest stars, it's easy to believe Matthews' presence will continue to grow the game in Southwest USA.

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Alain Vigneault is calling on the league to discipline Cody Eakin.
The New York Rangers head coach said the NHL "better do something" about the Dallas Stars forward's hit on Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, according to the New York Post's Brett Cyrgalis, adding it's exactly what "they" want to take out of the game.
Eakin delivered a blow to Lundqvist's head in the first period Thursday night, forcing the veteran netminder to briefly exit the game in favor of Antti Raanta, who'd started and won each of the previous four contests.
Lundqvist said he didn't see Eakin coming on the hit, but didn't have any problem going through concussion protocol, according to NHL.com's Sean Shapiro.
Eakin was given a charging major and ejected from the game. Lundqvist returned and posted a 27-save clean sheet that the club announced afterward as the first shared shutout in franchise history.
Lundqvist also moved to within two wins of Dominik Hasek's 389 career victories, the most by a European netminder.














Last edited on Fri Dec 16th, 2016 06:46 pm by lobo316

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The Toronto Maple Leafs will be without Martin Marincin for four-to-six weeks as the defenseman has been sidelined with a lower-body injury, the team announced Friday.

Marincin has been out of the lineup the last three games as the team awaited his diagnosis. He sustained the injury in Saturday's victory over the Boston Bruins.

Marincin has appeared in 16 games with the Maple Leafs this season, tallying one goal and four assists. He sits fourth among Toronto defensemen, averaging 18:02 in ice time.

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Dallas Stars forward Cody Eakin has been suspended four games for charging Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist, the NHL's Department of Player Safety announced Friday.

Eakin was assessed a five-minute major and was ejected for the collision in the first period Thursday.

The league stated Eakin didn't make a distinct effort to avoid contact, resulting in the decision.

Lundqvist wasn't injured on the play.

It's the first suspension of Eakin's career, and he's eligible to return Dec. 29 versus Colorado.

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DALLAS - Adam Cracknell scored the tiebreaking goal early in the third period to lead the Dallas Stars to a 3-1 victory over Philadelphia on Saturday, ending the Flyers' 10-game winning streak.

Radek Faksa and Jordie Benn also scored for the Stars and Antti Niemi stopped 31 shots, including three during a Flyers power play in the closing minutes.

Cracknell broke a 1-1 tie at 2:27 of the third. Flyers goalie Steve Mason stopped a shot by John Klingberg, but the puck rebounded to Cracknell's feet and he put it on his stick and sent a wrist shot into the net.

Benn, whose penalty gave Philadelphia its only power play with 2:58 left, scored into an empty net with 18 seconds to go.

Dallas' Ivan Provorov also hit a goalpost for the second time in the third period.

Taylor Leier scored his first NHL goal in the first period for the Flyers, and Mason finished with 25 saves to end a personal eight-game winning streak.

Niemi improved to 7-2-1 at home this season, and 5-1 against Philadelphia in his career.

Each team had good scoring chances in the first period. The Flyers struck first with 3:16 left. Nick Cousins fired a wrist shot at Niemi from the top of the right faceoff. The goalie made the save but the puck went out to Leier, who wristed it in from just outside the paint.

Philadelphia outshot Dallas 10-7 in a first period without a penalty.

The first penalties came 1:53 into the second when the Stars' Jason Spezza and Flyers' Brandon Manning went off for fighting.

Dallas tied it at 4:48 of the second. Antoine Roussel shot from the left faceoff dot. Mason made the save, but the puck rebounded to Faksa in the slot and he buried a wrist shot.

The Stars applied more pressure and outshot Philadelphia 14-7 in the period. In a 4-second span with 5 1/2 minutes remaining, the Stars' Brett Ritchie had two shots saved by Mason and a third sent wide of the net.

The Flyers killed the only power play during the second, holding Dallas without a shot.

NOTES: Dallas C Cody Eakin served the first game of a four-game suspension for charging Rangers G Henrik Lundqvist on Thursday. ... LW Curtis McKenzie returning after missing two games with an upper-body injury.... Leier's goal came in his 11th NHL game. He had his first assist on Wednesday at Colorado. ... The Flyers' winning streak was their longest since a team-record 13-game streak from Oct. 19 to Nov. 11 in 1985.

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Gregory Campbell has played his last game as a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Columbus placed the enforcer on waivers Saturday with the purpose of terminating his contract, the team confirmed.

The veteran of over 800 games has not suited up for the Blue Jackets or the team's American Hockey League affiliate - the Cleveland Monsters - this season, but the club remains on the hook for his $1.7-million salary.

Campbell has amassed 71 goals, 186 points, and 696 penalty minutes over his 12 seasons in the league.

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Well, isn't this interesting.

The Columbus Blue Jackets won again Friday, because that's what they do now. It was their eighth win in a row, a 4-1 decision over the Calgary Flames.

#CBJ win 8th-straight game to improve to 19-5-4 (42 points). Win streak tied for 2nd longest in club history (Jan. 6-23, 2014).

— CBJ Public Relations (@BlueJacketsPR) December 17, 2016
As the club racks up Ws, so too does head coach John Tortorella, now sitting on 499 career victories. And Columbus' next stop on its three-game Canadian road trip is Vancouver - where Tortorella used to coach - on Sunday.

Tortorella spent one season behind the Canucks' bench, in 2013-14, and was fired after a playoffs-less 36-35-11 season. He signed a five-year, $10-million contract when he joined the club. As Sportsnet's John Shannon pointed out on the Canucks' broadcast Friday night, Vancouver's still paying half his salary.

On Sunday, the Blue Jackets will aim to tie their club record with a nine-game win streak. And they'll be no doubt doing it for their coach, who would certainly love nothing more than earning win No. 500 against the team that fired him.

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Vancouver Canucks blue-liner Erik Gudbranson will undergo wrist surgery in order to repair ligament damage, the team announced Sunday.

A timeline on Gudbranson's recovery will be provided following the surgery.

"Erik suffered ligament damage to his wrist this season that has affected his wrist function," Canucks general manager Jim Benning said in a statement. "Erik's leadership qualities and strong physical presence will be missed but this is a decision that best supports a long, productive, and healthy career."

Gudbranson has appeared in 30 games this season, scoring one goal and five assists.

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Carey Price is in rarefied air thanks to yet another victory.

The Montreal Canadiens goaltender stopped 20-of-21 shots in a 2-1 win over the Washington Capitals on Saturday night, becoming the fourth netminder in Canadiens history to collect 250 wins in his NHL career.

GOALTENDER        WIN TOTAL


Jacques Plante          314


Patrick Roy               289


Ken Dryden              258


Carey Price              250


Price also tied Johnny Bower and Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne for 50th on the all-time list.

He downplayed the accomplishment after the game, telling reporters it was "just another win for me," and adding that he doesn't "really care a whole bunch about milestones that much," according to NHL.com's Katie Brown.

Price improved to 17-4-2 with a 1.90 GAA and a .936 save percentage in 23 appearances, putting Friday's uncomfortable exit behind him, but not before being asked about the stare-down seen 'round the world.

Carey Price on last night: "I was just pissed."

— Arash Madani (@ArashMadani) December 18, 2016
If he plays like this when he's angry, opponents might hope to face a more peaceful Price in the future.

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Victor Hedman is already the Tampa Bay Lightning's most productive defenseman ever.

The 26-year-old picked up an assist on Jonathan Drouin's second-period goal Saturday, and in doing so, he passed Dan Boyle to become the leading point producer among defensemen in franchise history.

Hedman also moved into sole possession of ninth on the team's points list among all skaters, inching to within five points of Chris Gratton for eighth.

It was his 254th career point in his 502nd game. Boyle recorded 253 points in 394 games with Tampa Bay from 2001-08.

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Florida Panthers owner Vincent Viola has been nominated by United States President-elect Donald Trump to serve as Secretary of the Army, the team announced Monday.

The nomination is still subject to Senate confirmation and approval from the NHL.

Viola would continue to own the Panthers, but he's asked Doug Cifu, vice chairman and alternate governor, to step into his role as chairman and governor of Sunrise Sports and Entertainment.

Viola graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1977, and has a long history in the Army.

He purchased the Panthers in 2013.

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It's been a rough year for Dallas Stars goaltending.

Antti Niemi and Kari Lehtonen man the crease for the Stars, splitting games consistently as neither have been able to win the starting job through 33 contests.

But it's not just this season that netminding has been the issue in Dallas, all of 2016 was troublesome.

36 goalies faced at least 1,000 shots in the 2016 calendar year.
Of them, DAL's Niemi (.897) and Lehtonen (.899) only ones under .905 SV%

— Rob Vollman (@robvollmanNHL) December 19, 2016
It's especially alarming when you consider that Niemi and Lehtonen are the highest-paid goalie tandem in the NHL, with $4.5M and $5.9M cap hits, respectively.

Last season, the Stars won a talented Central Division and advanced to the second round of the playoffs. But, predictably, their season ended in a 6-1 blowout upon Lehtonen allowing three goals on eight shots.

Dallas ranks toward the middle of the pack in shots allowed per game (30.2), yet are 26th in the NHL in averaging 3.06 goals against.

The Stars have a talented roster featuring the likes of Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn, but the offense has regressed from last season. They're currently two points out of a wild-card spot in the West, and unless Niemi and Lehtonen can erase a horrendous 2016 come the New Year, Dallas will have a big hole to climb out of.

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John Tortorella said it didn't matter. His team didn't care.

The Columbus Blue Jackets got their head coach the 500th win of his NHL career Sunday, winning their ninth straight, and captain Nick Foligno was happy to be a part of it.

"He says it doesn't mean (expletive), but that's a lot of wins," Foligno said, writes The Columbus Dispatch's Aaron Portzline. "He's gone through a roller coaster in his career ... but we're happy to have him at the helm here."

Known for his emotion and the outbursts that stem from it, Tortorella appears more mellow behind the bench this season, less of his firecracker self.

Chalk it up to age, says the 58-year-old.

"I'm trying to enjoy it more. I'm on the back nine. That's just the way it is," Tortorella, a Stanley Cup winner in 2004, said. "I'm fortunate enough to be in the league a long time. I know it's not going to be forever, so I do want to try and enjoy it."

The wins - Columbus has won 20 of 29 games - certainly help, too.

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Randy Carlyle was apparently on a need-to-know basis with the Toronto Maple Leafs. And when he was fired by the club on Jan. 5, 2015, he wasn't told why management thought he was no longer up to the task.

Carlyle returns to Toronto for the first time as an NHL coach Monday, bringing with him his new old club, the Anaheim Ducks.

"I'd leave those questions to the people that were above me," Carlyle said Sunday, according to NHL.com's Dave McCarthy, when asked why he was let go when his Maple Leafs had a 21-16-3 record and held down a wild-card playoff spot. "If they don't want to answer them, they never told me any reason."

Carlyle took over for Ron Wilson in 2013, after Wilson was fired with 18 games to go in the 2012-13 season. In the shortened 2013-14 season, Toronto made the playoffs for the first time since the lockout cost the NHL the 2004-05 campaign. The Maple Leafs were up 4-1 on the Boston Bruins in the third period of Game 7 of their first-round series, only to collapse like no other team has collapsed before.

Toronto lost 5-4 in overtime after shockingly, amazingly blowing their lead. Carlyle never called a timeout.

A native of Sudbury, Ont., Carlyle has had this one circled on his calendar since rejoining the Ducks, the team he coached to a Stanley Cup in 2006-07.

"It'd be crazy to say that it's not special but again it's not about me, it's about our hockey club going out and playing against the Maple Leafs," Carlyle said.

Though Carlyle left Toronto with a winning record as Maple Leafs head coach (91-78-19), advanced stats show his teams in blue and white were a disaster. From 2012-13 through 2014-15, Toronto was the second-worst club in the league with respect to possession, coming in at a ghastly 44.47 percent, according to Corsica Hockey.

Under Carlyle, the Maple Leafs simply never had the puck. A career season from goaltender James Reimer - a .924 save percentage and four shutouts in 31 starts - got the club into the postseason in 2013, where it was thoroughly dominated by the Bruins, who were the deserving series winners, even though it took a modern miracle.

Carlyle drove a portion of Maple Leafs fans crazy with his lineup decisions. He played enforcers Colton Orr and Frazer McLaren on his fourth line regularly in 2013, and had the backing of Brian Burke in management to dress a team focused on physical play, while the league moved towards more skill and speed.

This season, Carlyle has a skilled Ducks team at his disposal, but the club ranks 18th in possession at 49.10 percent. Last season, under Bruce Boudreau, the club finished fifth at 52.36 percent.

Much of the criticism leveled at Carlyle when he left Toronto was that he wasn't willing to adapt to a changing game.

Monday, meanwhile, will also mark the first start for Toronto goalie Frederik Andersen against his former team. Andersen was traded to the Maple Leafs in the offseason, signing a five-year deal to be the No. 1.

Andersen will be motivated to show Anaheim it picked the wrong goalie between him and John Gibson. And Carlyle is, no doubt, hoping to prove to Toronto that he wasn't the problem.

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The Columbus Blue Jackets may not lose again this year.

John Tortorella's club won its ninth straight Sunday, a 4-3 overtime decision over the Canucks in Vancouver. The win was Tortorella's 500th of his NHL career, coming against the team that fired him one year into a five-year contract.

Tortorella is the first American-born head coach to reach the milestone, and the 24th overall.

The victory was earned by Columbus. The Blue Jackets blew a 2-0 lead before going up 3-2 with under five minutes to play in the third. Vancouver then tied it up with 1:09 to play. The Canucks' three third-period goals were the first three allowed by the Blue Jackets in the final period this month.

#CBJ captain Nick Foligno presented Tortorella the puck and whole club applauded for him room, celebrating win No. 500.

— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) December 18, 2016
Columbus' nine straight victories matches a club record it set in 2015. The Blue Jackets look to make history Tuesday at home against the Los Angeles Kings.

NINE STRAIGHT. @BlueJacketsNHL 👀#AllForOhio

— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) December 18, 2016
In more record-setting news: Blue Jackets blue-liner Zach Werenski equaled the club record for most points in a season by a rookie defenseman, picking up an assist to give him 21 points in 29 games.

It's been that kind of year in Ohio.

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The Carolina Hurricanes and Detroit Red Wings will have to wait to take to the ice.

Scheduled to begin play at 7 p.m. ET at PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C., the game has been delayed due to an issue with the cooling system.

At least one player has heard the delay will be significant.

According to an interview with Ron Hainsey, the #Canes initial estimate is that the delay could be at least one hour. #DETvsCAR

— Carolina Hurricanes (@NHLCanes) December 19, 2016
That timeline was corroborated by the Red Wings' Twitter account.

According to Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press, there's a limit as to how long Detroit can wait, as the Red Wings are set to play Tuesday in Tampa Bay.

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Artemi Panarin, Henrik Lundqvist, and Eric Staal are the NHL's three stars of the week.

Panarin received first-star honors after collecting 10 points in four games, including back-to-back three-point outings over the New York Islanders and St. Louis Blues. The Chicago Blackhawks forward has helped power his team to five straight victories to sit atop the NHL standings.

Lundqvist was named the second star of the week following three straight victories in which he allowed just three combined goals. He also teamed with backup netminder Antti Raanta to record the first shared shutout in New York Rangers history in a 2-0 win over the Dallas Stars.

Staal earned the week's third star after registering five points in three games, including four goals. The veteran forward has enjoyed a resurgence in his first season with the Minnesota Wild, tallying 24 points in 30 games and helping his team to its current seven-game winning streak.

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Connor McDavid evidently doesn't do slumps.

In likely his final shift left to escape establishing a new career high of three consecutive games without recording a point, McDavid found Ryan Nugent-Hopkins drifting into a scoring area to convert the overtime winner Monday night versus the St. Louis Blues.

McDavid's timely feed gave him a league-best 40 points for the season, and a 60th assist through 79 games across his first two years in the NHL.

He also has 28 goals to make it 88 points over that span, a fruitful total portfolio that's quickly closing in on a complete aggregated NHL campaign. McDavid's averaged 1.11 points per outing since his debut, which is comparable to a top-25 rate all time.

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Edmonton mayor Don Iveson is pushing to name the Edmonton Coliseum after Wayne Gretzky, according to The Canadian Press.

The Coliseum was the home of the Oilers up until this season, when the team opened the brand-new, $600-million Rogers Place in the city's downtown core.

The old arena, which resides on Wayne Gretzky Drive, is in the process of being transformed into a sports complex for the public.

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Jaromir Jagr tied Mark Messier on Tuesday for second on the NHL's all-time points list with 1,887.

SECOND ALL-TIME: Jaromir Jagr (755-1,132—1,887) has tied Mark Messier (694-1,193—1,887) for second on the NHL’s all-time points list. pic.twitter.com/1ca18togra

— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) December 21, 2016
The feat was achieved via a trio of assists Tuesday against the Buffalo Sabres, with the milestone assist coming on Nick Bjugstad's first goal of the season.

Jagr also needed 94 fewer games than Messier to hit the milestone.

One hundred and three of Jagr's career points have come as a member of the Florida Panthers, and the rest recorded with the Pittsburgh Penguins (1,079), New York Rangers (319), Washington Capitals (201), New Jersey Devils (96), Philadelphia Flyers (54), Dallas Stars (26), and Boston Bruins (nine).

Jagr still sits well behind Wayne Gretzky's 2,857 points, but is one away from sole possession of second place.

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ST. PAUL, Minn. - Devan Dubnyk made 18 saves for his NHL-leading fifth shutout this season and the Minnesota Wild beat the Colorado Avalanche 2-0 on Tuesday night for their eighth straight victory.

Charlie Coyle scored his team-leading 11th goal and Mikko Koivu added his eighth for the Wild, who have outscored their past five opponents 19-5. Minnesota has allowed a league-low 58 goals in 31 games.

Colorado's Semyon Varlamov returned after missing four games with a groin injury and stopped 31 of 33 shots. The Avalanche have lost four consecutive games and 11 of 13 while being outscored 49-26.

Dubnyk entered leading the league in goals-against average (1.62) and save percentage (.947) and tied with Boston's Tuukka Rask for the lead in shutouts.

Dubnyk wasn't enough for Minnesota in the first two games between the Central Division rivals. Colorado had won the first two meetings, giving Minnesota two of its eight regulation losses this season.

The last game on Nov. 19 was a comeback from two goals down in the third period for the Avalanche. Minnesota has lost just once in regulation in 14 games since then. Varlamov didn't play in the first two games.

Coyle scored in the first period on the power play. Varlamov stopped a penalty shot from Eric Staal in the second period, but Koivu poked home a perfect cross-ice pass from Matthew Dumba into a wide-open net for the second tally.

NOTES: Minnesota F Pat Cannone made his NHL debut at 30 years old after parts of seven seasons in the minors. Cannone had four goals and 12 assists in 29 games with AHL Iowa this season. ... The Wild recalled F Jordan Schroeder from Iowa during the game for an upcoming road trip. C Erik Haula missed Tuesday's game with a lower-body injury. ... Colorado F Joe Colborne returned to the lineup after missing two games with a lower-body injury and then being scratched in the previous game. F Andreas Martinsen was scratched for the first time this season. ... Minnesota's win streak is one behind the franchise best, a nine-game streak set in 2007.

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Andrew Cogliano's impressive run of durability reached a new level Tuesday night.

The Anaheim Ducks forward appeared in his 738th consecutive game when he stepped on the ice against the Montreal Canadiens, passing St. Louis Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester to move into sole possession of fifth on the all-time list.

Cogliano now owns the longest active ironman streak in the NHL, although he has a long way to go to catch the all-time leader.

Andrew Cogliano is playing his 738th consecutive game tonight, surpassing Jay
Bouwmeester for the fifth-longest such streak in NHL history. pic.twitter.com/8vQOC64nbW

— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) December 21, 2016
Cogliano also made an impact on Tuesday's game, opening the scoring less than six minutes in.

Remarkably, he has yet to miss a game in his 10-year NHL career. He spent his first four seasons with the Edmonton Oilers and is now in his sixth with the Ducks.

Bouwmeester's run extended from March 6, 2004 to Nov. 22, 2014, according to NHL.com.

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Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop will miss three-to-four weeks with a lower-body injury, the club announced Wednesday.

The news comes after Bishop was forced to leave Tuesday's game against the Detroit Red Wings, after he stretched out to make a pad save in the first period.

In wake of the news the club has recalled goaltender Krister Gudlevskis from the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League, who is likely to backup Andrei Vasilevskiy.

Related: Vasilevskiy ready to step up if Bishop out long term

In 22 games this season, Bishop has a 9-10-2 record, with a 2.79 GAA and a .907 save percentage.

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It seems as if the Toronto Maple Leafs are willing to trade forward James van Riemsdyk. At the right price, of course.

Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman writes in his "30 Thoughts" column:

A year ago, teams asked about James van Riemsdyk and were told he was not available. Now they're being told, "If you're serious, ante up." What it comes down to is this: van Riemsdyk is an unrestricted free agent after next season, and can be extended July 1. At some point, the Maple Leafs will decide if they are going to meet his price.

Van Riemsdyk's under contract at $4.25 million against the cap through 2017-18. He'll be 28 in May, and is having another solid season, with 12 goals and 22 points in 31 games. And now that Toronto boasts more offense thanks to rookies Auston Matthews, William Nylander, and Mitch Marner, his ice time is down from 17:46 a game last season to 16:01.

As Friedman notes, Van Riemsdyk is one of the better goal-scorers in the NHL, and will be paid handsomely, by Toronto or another team. The Maple Leafs' weakness is on its blue line, hence the change in approach from last year, when Toronto wasn't interested in discussing JvR with other teams.

Van Riemsdyk has a modified no-trade clause, according to Cap Friendly, and can submit a list of 10 teams he won't accept a trade to.

Acquired in exchange for Luke Schenn from the Philadelphia Flyers in a very one-sided trade, Van Riemsdyk has 101 goals and 200 points in 281 games with the Maple Leafs.

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The St. Louis Blues have placed forward Paul Stastny on injured reserve with an upper-body injury, general manager Doug Armstrong announced Thursday.

In a corresponding move, the Blues have recalled forward Wade Megan from the AHL's Chicago Wolves.

Stastny has suited up in all 34 of the Blues' contests this season, scoring seven goals and 10 assists.

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The first player ever drafted by the Nashville Predators has called it a day.

David Legwand, who was selected second overall by the Predators in 1998, announced his retirement from professional hockey Thursday after 16 seasons.

Legwand appeared in a franchise-high 956 games with the Predators, and also holds team records in goals (210), assists (356), and total points (566).

In 2014, he was traded to the Detroit Red Wings, before signing a contract with the Ottawa Senators as a free agent that summer. Legwand was subsequently traded to the Buffalo Sabres - with whom he played his final NHL season in 2015-16 - after one year in Ottawa,

"What a great ride this was," Legwand said, "especially having the chance to play nearly 1,000 games for my drafting club in Nashville and seeing the growth of the game there; to fulfilling a dream of playing for my hometown Red Wings; to experiencing the positive vibe of playing in Canada’s capital of Ottawa; and to end with the talented players of the Buffalo Sabres in my final season."

Altogether, Legwand appeared in 1,136 NHL games, with 228 goals, 390 assists, and 618 points to his name.

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Well that escalated quickly.

Entering the third period with a 3-1 advantage over the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Columbus Blue Jackets did all they could to put the Metropolitan Division showdown out of reach with three goals in 51 seconds.

Here's who did the damage:

Scott Hartnell (2:44)
Brandon Saad (3:01)
Boone Jenner (3:35)


Jenner's goal chased Matt Murray from the net after the rookie goalie allowed six goals on 23 shots, but Saad's goal was the nicest of the three.


The Blue Jackets entered the game one point back of the reigning Stanley Cup champions, and now sit in a tie for first overall with the Chicago Blackhawks after an eventual 7-1 win.

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Jesus H Christ, 11 wins in a row for Columbus.
Torts coach of the year ?

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Remember when Auston Matthews was in a scoring slump?

It seems like forever ago, as the Toronto Maple Leafs stud has been on a goal-scoring terror over the last month. With his 16th goal of the year Thursday against the Colorado Avalanche, the 19-year-old now has 10 goals since Nov. 23.

BTW, Leafs are up 1-0 thanks to Auston Matthews.#TMLtalk pic.twitter.com/Y5djOWwEeH

— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) December 23, 2016
To add to the offensive madness, Matthews hasn't gone goalless in consecutive games since Nov. 19 and 23 - the final two games of his 13-game goalless skid.

After it looked like Patrik Laine would walk away with the rookie scoring title, Matthews is just two goals and four points behind the Winnipeg Jets winger, with three games in hand.

You could say the kid is alright.

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Jaromir Jagr made a little more history Thursday, recording the 1,888th point - an assist - of his remarkable career to pass legend Mark Messier for second on the NHL's all-time points list.

Two months shy of his 45th birthday, Jagr's assist vaulted him into second place, after No. 68 had three assists Tuesday to tie Messier.


It wasn't the prettiest assist of Jagr's career, but one of the most important. HisFlorida Panthers down 2-0 in the third period, Jagr was parked in front of theBoston Bruins net and took a Michael Matheson slapshot off his leg. The rebound off No. 68 bounced directly to Aleksander Barkov, who potted the goal to give Jagr the point he was looking for.
Jagr was saluted by the home crowd in Florida, and his Panthers teammates, and was given a gold stick to commemorate the historical moment.
"It hit my ass," Jagr said as the game was stopped for an immediate interview with the legend. Off his bottom or not, it'll go down as the 1,133rd assist of Jagr's career.
Up next: Wayne Gretzky and his otherwordly 2,857 points.

Last edited on Fri Dec 23rd, 2016 07:30 am by lobo316

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Mitch Marner has the same amount of pts as Matthews now as well.

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DENVER - Nazem Kadri scored twice, Frederik Andersen stopped 38 shots for his first shutout this season and the Toronto Maple Leafs routed the last-place Colorado Avalanche 6-0 on Thursday night.

Auston Matthews scored his team-leading 16th goal to get the Maple Leafs started in the first period. James van Riemsdyk had a goal and an assist, and Connor Brown and Frederik Gauthier also scored for Toronto.

Andersen earned his seventh career shutout, and it was an easy one for the NHL veteran. The Maple Leafs scored five goals in 21:29 spanning the first and second periods, starting with Matthews' goal at 7:13 of the first.

Gauthier's first goal of the season at 8:42 of the second ended Semyon Varlamov's night. The Colorado goalie allowed five goals on 18 shots and was replaced by Calvin Pickard.

Pickard made 12 saves for the Avalanche, who are 0-7-1 in their last eight home games. They have lost five straight overall.

Kadri scored a power-play goal in the third, his 13th.

NOTES: Maple Leafs C Byron Froese made his season debut after being recalled from the Toronto Marlies of the AHL on Wednesday. ... The Avalanche failed to score in six power-play chances, including a combined 2:01 of 5-on-3 action. They are 1 for 23 on the power play in the last five games. ... Toronto loaned G Jhonas Enroth to the Marlies.

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Bruce Boudreau has a way with words.

The Minnesota Wild head coach was asked how he felt about his team tying a franchise record with its ninth straight win, and his answer was something.

"Tying is like kissing your sister," Boudreau said, according to the Star Tribune's Michael Russo. "Getting it is the nice thing. Our job's not done."

The Wild will go for 10 on Friday in Manhattan, when they visit the New York Rangers. They'll once again be without Zach Parise, Boudreau confirmed, as the winger's dealing with an illness that cost him Thursday's game, as well.

Devan Dubnyk was exceptional again Thursday, but backup Darcy Kuemper should get the call in the second half of a back-to-back.

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Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard has been sidelined 4-to-6 weeks with a sprained knee, general manager Ken Holland told Brendan Savage of MLive.com.

Earlier this week, the Red Wings placed Howard on the injured reserve and recalled Jared Coreau from Grand Rapids (AHL).

Howard has appeared in 17 games with the Red Wings this season, posting a 5-7-1 record, alongside a .934 save percentage.

The Red Wings sit in last place of the Atlantic Division, posting a 14-15-4 record, good for 32 points on the season.

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The Edmonton Oilers will be without forward Tyler Pitlick for the remainder of the season with a torn ACL in his left knee, the team announced Friday.

Pitlick suffered the injury in Monday's overtime win against the St. Louis Blues.

The oft-injured winger was beginning to prove himself to be a valuable part of the future in Edmonton, but will now have to overcome another setback to truly make his mark.

Pitlick suffered a lacerated spleen two years ago, and other injuries contributed to him dressing in just 37 games - all in the minor leagues - last season.

This season he scored eight goals and amassed 11 points, seeing some time on Connor McDavid's wing, before suffering the injury.

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Captain Coyote is about to join an exclusive group.

When the Arizona Coyotes and their leader Shane Doan take on the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday, it will mark the 1,500th game of Doan's long-tenured career, one in which he has spent entirely with the same franchise.

With the feat, Doan will become just the sixth player in NHL history to play as many games with one organization:

PLAYER                  TEAM    GAMES


Gordie Howe         Detroit    1687


Nicklas Lidstrom    Detroit   1564


Alex Delvecchio    Detroit    1549


Ray Bourque        Boston   1518


Steve Yzerman     Detroit  1514


Shane Doan        Arizona  1500



Doan also becomes just the 17th player to reach 1,500 games all together.

It won't be the only mark that Doan could hit Friday. The wily veteran sits one goal shy of 400 for his career, and has the chance to achieve the feat versus Arizona-born Auston Matthews.

"Anyone that gets to 400, I've definitely taken the longest," a humble Doan told reporters. "Anyone that's played this long should have had 400 a long time ago."

Drafted seventh overall by the original Winnipeg Jets in 1995, Doan stayed with the club when it left the Manitoba capital for Phoenix the following year.

Ever since, he's claimed every record in franchise history, as Doan holds the top slot in the team's all-time goals, assists, and points categories, scoring 954 points over the course of his career.

Last edited on Sat Dec 24th, 2016 02:12 am by lobo316

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All is well in the State of Hockey.

With a 7-4 win over the New York Rangers on Friday, the Minnesota Wild extended their current win streak to 10 games, setting a new franchise record.

The streak has helped solidify the Wild's hold on second place in the Central Division, sitting two points behind the Chicago Blackhawks with three games in hand.

Suffice to say the hiring of Bruce Boudreau as head coach is paying off quite nicely so far.

Via @EliasSports: Bruce Boudreau is first head coach in NHL history to lead 3 different teams to win streaks of 10+ games (MIN, ANA & WSH). pic.twitter.com/2BK8aYUZRD

— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) December 24, 2016

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The good news for the Boston Bruins is Tuukka Rask is playing some of the best hockey of his career.

The bad news?

All three goalies that have stepped in as backup have to this point failed miserably.

The latest example was Friday's 3-2 overtime loss to the Carolina Hurricanes wherein Anton Khudobin saw an early two-goal lead evaporate around him.

Signed to a two-year, $2.4-million deal this past summer, Khudobin has not been able to effectively backstop the Bruins in relief of Rask, while rookies Malcolm Subban and Zane McIntyre did not impress in brief stints earlier this season.

One potential silver lining for the Bruins is McIntrye's play at the AHL level. In 12 games, he's posted a record of 8-0-0 with a .956 save percentage. He could be called upon to jump up to the big club if need be, but there's still the matter of what to do with Khudobin and his contract.

With a record of 18-14-4 following the loss to Carolina, the Bruins remain in third place in the Atlantic. If they don't solve this particular problem, though, a third straight year out of the playoffs could very well be on the horizon.

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Who ends the streak ?




COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Columbus Blue Jackets made it 12 straight wins Friday night, defeating the Montreal Canadiens 2-1 to maintain the best record in the NHL.

Columbus, improved to 23-5-4 - its best start in franchise history - and has not lost since Nov. 26. Montreal, which outshot Columbus 37-24, fell to 21-9-4.

The win was a league-leading 20th for goalie Sergei Bobvrosky, who kept Columbus in the game despite an apathetic third period in which the Blue Jackets took just five shots.

Sam Gagner put Columbus on the board at 17:50 of the first period, 16 seconds into a Canadiens bench minor for too many men on the ice. It was his 15th goal on the season and sixth on the power play.

The Jackets made it 2-0 with Brandon Saad's 13th goal of the season, just 1:22 into the second period.

The Canadians dominated the puck in the third period, and made it 2-1 with Jeff Petry's goal at 9:08.

Notes: Both Columbus and Montreal were playing the second of two games in consecutive nights. ... The Blue Jackets signed RW Vitaly Abramov to a three-year entry-level contract. Abramov was the Jackets' third-round selection, 65th overall, in the 2016 NHL Draft. ... With his assist in the first period, Cam Atkinson became the fourth player in Columbus history to score 200 points. ... Seth Jones left the game at 1:12 of the first period after taking a puck to the mouth. ... Atkinson continued his career-high nine-game point streak. He currently leads the team in goals (15).

UP NEXT:

The Canadiens play Wednesday at Tampa Bay.

The Blue Jackets are off until Tuesday when they host Boston,

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Auston Matthews gave his hometown crowd something to cheer about early into his Arizona debut Friday.

The Toronto Maple Leafs rookie made a slick play to keep the puck onside in the Coyotes' end before setting up Connor Brown who promptly beat Mike Smith with a wrist shot short side.

The goal gives Brown goals in two straight games, while Matthews now has 26 points on the year.

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TORONTO - Former NHL forward Steve Downie went on a lengthy Twitter rant Friday night, taking aim at hockey commentator Don Cherry and the Arizona Coyotes.

Downie, who played parts of eight seasons in the NHL, criticized the culture of violence that he believes Cherry perpetuates through his ''Rock 'Em Sock 'Em'' series of videos.

In response to some of his tweets, a fan tweeted an animated gif of Downie bodychecking Pittsburgh Penguins forward Dean McAmmond in 2007, a play that left McAmmond concussed and Downie suspended for 20 games. Downie retweeted the gif and then spoke about his regrets from the play.

''That hit is what happens when you watch don cherry rock em sock em videos from age 5 to 18. Nothing good comes from those vids,'' Downie said from his verified account. ''I just did what I had to do to play. I still think about what I did to Dean macomond and what I caused him to go through with his family.

''But again, I did what don cherry said to do every Saturday night. Just ... disgusted when I look back. Wish I never played.''

Downie then added another tweet, criticizing Cherry for his stance against visors.

''Sorry Don, but you called me a (coward) for wearing a visor and trying to protect my eyes. Sad thing is I listened to you,'' Downie said.

Downie was drafted 29th overall by Philadelphia in 2005. He played for the Flyers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Colorado Avalanche and Pittsburgh Penguins, as well as 26 games with the Coyotes last season. He had 76 goals, 120 assists and 1,057 penalty minutes.

The 29-year-old Downie started with a series of tweets about the Coyotes' handling of various players' injuries and the treatment of veteran enforcer John Scott, who was voted into the NHL All-Star tournament last season by fans but was traded by Arizona to the Montreal Canadiens and was briefly left out of the showcase by the NHL. Downie also said the Ontario Hockey League's Peterborough Petes are a better-run organization than the Coyotes.

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The Arizona faithful love their Auston Matthews and he loves them back.

Following the Toronto Maple Leafs forward's first game at his hometown arena, the 19-year-old - along with Coyotes forward Max Domi - stuck around to sign autographs for local youth hockey players on the ice.

Auston Matthews on the ice with Max Domi for a post-game picture with local youth hockey players. pic.twitter.com/zWzXzGzXFx

— Sarah McLellan (@azc_mclellan) December 24, 2016
In all upwards of 500 thrilled fans stuck around to meet two of the city's biggest stars, according to NHL.com's Dan Rosen.

The present and the future. #AllAZ pic.twitter.com/roVLIr2BsJ

— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) December 24, 2016
Matthews finished the game with an assist and three shots as his club skated away with a 4-1 victory.

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Mike Sullivan got some security for Christmas.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed their head coach to a three-year contract extension through the 2019-20 season, vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford announced Monday.

Sullivan took over the Penguins' job last season with the club outside the playoff picture, and guided Pittsburgh to a 33-16-5 finish, topped with a Stanley Cup victory after a dominant playoff run.

"Mike did the best coaching job in the NHL last season," Rutherford said. "He continues to be a terrific coach and we are happy to give him a well-deserved extension."

Since Sullivan arrived, he's gotten the most out of his best player, Sidney Crosby, who's erased any prior doubts of his production, scoring 104 points in 81 games under Sullivan.

This season, Sullivan's Penguins sit second in the NHL with 49 points, with a 22-8-5 record through 35 games.

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The NHL's No. 1 star of the week is exactly who you thought it would be.

Florida Panthers forward and all-time NHL legend Jaromir Jagr took home this week's honors, after recording five assists in three games, propelling him past Mark Messier and into second place on the league's all-time scoring list with 1,889 points. The 44-year-old is second on the Panthers with 21 points in 31 games.

Jeff Carter's scoring tear earned him the second star, as the Los Angeles Kings center scored five goals in three games, resulting in two wins. Carter leads the Kings in points (29) and is tied for second in the NHL with 19 goals this season. His prominence in Los Angeles' attack is a major reason they're holding on to a wild-card position in the west.

Lastly, Edmonton Oilers netminder Cam Talbot is the third star this week after achieving a 2-0-1 record with a 2.26 goals against average and .926 save percentage. Talbot leads all goalies with 32 starts this season.

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Things are not looking up for the Vancouver Canucks.

Head coach Willie Desjardins announced forward Jannik Hansen is out with a knee injury and will be sidelined for the next four-to-six weeks.

Hansen has recorded five goals and four assists in 18 games, and will be missed on a roster that's already struggling to create offense.

The injury is believed to have been suffered during a game against Winnipeg on Dec. 22.

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Winning is good for business.

The Columbus Blue Jackets are evidence of this lately, especially in terms of television rights holders.


According to Fox Sports Ohio, Columbus' 7-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday was viewed in about 38,000 homes in the region. In the final 30 minutes of the broadcast, the number of viewing households jumped to 55,000.

The game's 4.1 household rating, or the percent of total households that tuned in to the game, was the highest regular-season rating the club has drawn in seven years, per Evan Weese of Columbus Business First.

The Blue Jackets have not generated those kind of viewing numbers since clinching their first playoff berth in a game against Chicago back in 2009.

Columbus vaulted into a tie with the Blackhawks for first in the overall standings with the win in front of a sellout crowd of 19,113, and will host the Montreal Canadiens on Friday.

For the time being, many eyes are on this suddenly successful team.

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Buffalo Sabres center Ryan O'Reilly is out indefinitely after undergoing an appendectomy over the holiday break, the team announced.

The procedure reportedly took place Dec. 25, according to Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News.

The injury isn't without precedent, as a few players suffered the same malady in recent memory. Max Pacioretty missed four games in 2013 following an appendectomy, while Jamie Benn was forced to sit five games in 2012.

More recently, Corey Crawford was sidelined for over three weeks.

O'Reilly's absence, therefore, may not be long term.

Bylsma said 10-14 days for ROR to get past the procedure and then start a return to play schedule. So probably a 3-week issue. #Sabres

— Mike Harrington (@ByMHarrington) December 27, 2016
In 25 games, he recorded seven goals and 11 assists as arguably one of Buffalo's most important players.

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Columbus BJ's beat the Bruins 4-3 tonight.
13 in a row. Torts & the players can do no wrong.

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Another day, another goal for Sidney Crosby.

The Pittsburgh Penguins captain reached the quarter-century mark on Tuesday, collecting the game-winner as the Penguins swept past the New Jersey Devils, 5-2.

For Crosby, the goal extended his current goal-scoring streak to four games and his point streak to five - nothing new there.

But what would be new is if Crosby were able to keep up such a streak for the remainder of the regular season. Crosby is currently on pace to hit 63 goals this season which would be far and away the highest total of his career.

Crosby's highest goal total is 51 which he collected during the 2009-10 season, meaning the 29-year-old is on pace to eclipse his previous career best by 12 goals.

Should Crosby hit that figure, it would be the highest total since Alex Ovechkin netted 65 goals in 2008. It would also mark the best single-season tally for the Penguins since Mario Lemieux put up 69 during the 1995-96 campaign.

Crosby is playing out of his mind this season, and if he keeps it up he'll even outdo himself.

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The Nashville Predators will be without defenseman P.K. Subban for at least the next two games.

Subban was unable to skate Wednesday due to an upper-body injury that's sidelined him for the past five games, and he'll therefore miss Thursday's home game against Chicago and Friday's date in St. Louis.

Nashville's next game after that is Jan. 3 at home to Montreal, one that has been circled on the calendar since this past summer's Shea Weber trade.

Speaking to 102.5 FM in Nashville on Tuesday, general manager David Poile neither confirmed nor denied a report from Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman that Subban is dealing with a herniated disc.

"We do everything we can to protect the player," Poile said, per NHL.com. "I say almost every team just announces their injuries as either an upper- or lower-body injury. That's because when a player comes back, he's not always 100 percent, and if you knew exactly what was wrong with the player, a player on another team might go after that body part to see if they could re-injure it."

Poile added Subban was scheduled to meet with doctors Tuesday to evaluate the situation.

Subban has not played since Dec. 15 after recording seven goals and 10 assists in his first 29 games with the Predators.

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The Chicago Blackhawks have agreed to a contract extension with forward Artemi Panarin, according to multiple reports and as first reported by Scott Powers of The Athletic.

According to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman, the deal is for two years and will pay Panarin an annual average of $6 million.

The 25-year-old is in the final year of his two-year deal and was set to become an unrestricted free agent at season's end. He currently holds a $3.5-million cap hit.

Since joining the league last season, Panarin has quickly become a core piece on the Blackhawks' roster. He captured the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie last season after putting up 30 goals and 77 points in 80 games and has the fourth-most points league-wide since his inception last season.

Early this campaign he is on pace to eclipse last year's totals, having amassed 15 goals and 37 points in 37 games.

The contract could impose some more cap juggling by management, but in the meantime, Stan Bowman and company have secured an important part of their team going forward.

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The Pittsburgh Penguins' defensive depth will be tested yet again.

Brian Dumoulin will miss four-to-six weeks after undergoing surgery for a broken jaw, the club announced Wednesday.

Dumoulin was hit by an errant shot during Tuesday's win over New Jersey.

He joins Kris Letang (lower body), Trevor Daley (upper body), and Olli Maatta (illness) on the Penguins' injured list, with Justin Schultz and Ian Cole left to lead the charge.

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The Los Angeles Kings will continue to trek on without forward Tyler Toffoli in the lineup.

The 24-year-old - who has missed the team's last two games with a lower-body injury - was placed on the injured reserve on Wednesday, the team announced.

The news is not good for the Kings who are already deprived of goals, having averaged the 20th most in the league at just 2.53 per game. In fact, besides Jeff Carter's 19 goals, no other Kings player has more than Toffoli's eight.

The Kings cling to the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference with the Dallas Stars, Winnipeg Jets, and Nashville Predators - all within two points.

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At last, a level playing field.

After a concussion sidelined Sidney Crosby for the first six games of the season, his assumed successor for the "greatest player in the world" title, Connor McDavid, begun his ascension to the top of the NHL's points race.

Now, just before the calendar turns to 2017, the two are deadlocked at the top.

Before Crosby had played a game, McDavid had jumped out to a nine-point cushion. That's quickly evaporated, largely in part to No. 87's scorching goal production.

Crosby is on pace for 64 goals, easily a career high, and the highest total in the NHL since Alex Ovechkin netted 65 in 2007-08.

McDavid, meanwhile, has been the catalyst for most of Edmonton's offense, but has slowed down a touch. After scoring 19 points in November, McDavid has just 11 points in 12 December games.

So, that said, who do you pick?

If both Crosby and McDavid play every remaining game on their respective schedules, at their current paces, the totals favor No. 87.

Crosby's league-leading points-per-game rate (1.35) projects him to score 102 points over 76 games, while McDavid's (1.17) puts him on pace for just under 96 in 82 contests.

Keep in mind, the 90-point threshold has been surpassed only twice in the past three seasons. This season's stretch run is shaping up to be an entertaining one.

With more than half the season still to play, streaks and projections will trend toward both ends of the spectrum. But as long as both Crosby and McDavid - the sport's two biggest names - are healthy and competing, NHL fans are in for a treat.

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Believe it or not, the Toronto Maple Leafs may have found a goalie. Finally.

After failing to employ a consistent No. 1 since the days of Ed Belfour, the Maple Leafs orchestrated a trade over the summer to acquire Frederik Andersen from the Anaheim Ducks, and quickly tabbed him as their go-to with a five-year, $25-million extension.

But, like the Andrew Raycrofts and Vesa Toskalas before him, Andersen's start in Toronto was a nightmare. Through his first five games, the 27-year-old owned an ugly .848 save percentage, allowing 22 goals along the way.

However, unlike those before him, Andersen bounced back in grand fashion.

In 24 games since a seven-goal shellacking versus Tampa Bay, Andersen boasts a .939 save percentage, a 2.07 goals-against average, and a 14-7-3 record. Pretty good.

The more you shrink it down, the better it gets.

Frederik Andersen has a .946 save percentage in his last 16 games. Only Dubnyk is better: .947.

— James Mirtle (@mirtle) December 29, 2016
Andersen has been busy, as the Leafs allow 32.8 shots per game, third highest in the NHL. For the season, though, he ranks seventh among all goalies in save percentage (.927).

For a young, high-scoring team like the Maple Leafs, improved goaltending was a necessity. Lately, Andersen has given Toronto a chance every night, and it's resulted in three straight wins and a move up the Eastern Conference standings.

The spotlight in Toronto has mostly been directed toward Auston Matthews and the Leafs' array of rookie talents, but without the play of Andersen, none of it would matter.

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The St. Louis Blues have signed defenseman Robert Bortuzzo to a two-year contract extension, the club announced Thursday.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the contract secures the 27-year-old through the 2018-19 season.

In 11 games with the Blues this year, Bortuzzo has two points, whileaveraging over 13 minutes per contest.

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Things aren't getting any easier for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Having battled injuries to key forwards all season long, the latest to hit the shelf is rookie Brayden Point, who will miss four-to-six weeks with an upper-body injury, the team announced Thursday.

Cooper: "Right when you think you're taking steps to get healthier, we take two steps back. Point was really coming into his own."

— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) December 29, 2016
Point, 20, has been a pleasant addition to the Lightning forward corps this season, chipping in 15 points in 36 games as a rookie.

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Michel Therrien was not the least bit satisfied on Wednesday night, as the Montreal Canadiens bench boss blasted his squad's effort following a 4-3 overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

"We were guilty. A lack of effort. A lack of desperation," Therrien told reporters following the loss. "It's unacceptable as far as I'm concerned."

The Canadiens carried a 3-1 lead into the final frame, after getting goals from Alexander Radulov, Shea Weber, and Chris Terry. But the Lightning grabbed a pair of goals in the third period, sending the game to extra time.

Tampa Bay forward Tyler Johnson sealed the victory 1:36 into the 3-on-3 overtime, beating Canadiens netminder Carey Price, who made 26 saves in the loss.

The Canadiens have now dropped three straight games, with losses to the Lightning, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Minnesota Wild.

Montreal won't have to wait long for its chance to get back into the win column, as the Canadiens head to Sunrise on Thursday to take on the Florida Panthers.

The Canadiens sit atop the Atlantic with a 21-9-5 record, good for 47 points.

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The Florida Panthers will head into 2017 without Aleksander Barkov.

The forward is out indefinitely with a lower-body injury, head coach Tom Rowe said Thursday. He offered no further update.

Rowe said Wednesday that Barkov would be "out a few days" after the 21-year-old left that night's game early, but the injury appears more significant than initially thought.

Nick Bjugstad slides up to center Florida's new top line of Jaromir Jagr and Seth Griffith. Two-thirds of line now on the shelf.

— George Richards (@GeorgeRichards) December 29, 2016
Barkov was scheduled to undergo an MRI on Thursday, but there's no word on the results.

In his fourth season, Barkov has nine goals and 18 assists in 36 games, and was heating up after a slow start.

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Connor McDavid isn't quite there yet.

Likely to reach Sidney Crosby's level sooner than later, even the Edmonton Oilers star recognizes where any conversation about the best in the game begins and ends.

McDavid on Crosby tying him in scoring race "He's the greatest player in the world..."

— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) December 29, 2016
Crosby has indeed drawn level with McDavid atop the NHL's scoring leaderboard, as both have recorded 42 points this season.

Related: Gear up for the Crosby vs. McDavid points race

The Pittsburgh Penguins superstar, however, has scored 26 goals in 31 games, and has the advantage when it comes to points per game after missing time early on with a concussion.

Crosby and McDavid are set to go head to head on March 10 in Edmonton.

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14 & counting


The Columbus Blue Jackets extended their franchise record for consecutive wins to 14 games Thursday night with a 5-3 result over the Winnipeg Jets.

Alexander Wennberg had his first multi-goal game and Nick Foligno racked up three points, leading the Blue Jackets to a victory that earned them a share of the third-longest win streak in NHL history.

They also moved back ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins for the top spot in the overall standings.

The Blue Jackets will meet the Minnesota Wild, winners of 12 straight games themselves, in a New Year's Eve clash between early-season titans.

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almost as hot as Columbus



ST. PAUL, Minn. - Erik Haula scored midway through the third period to help the Minnesota Wild hold off the New York Islanders 6-4 on Thursday night for their 12th victory in a row.

Marco Scandella, Chris Stewart, Jared Spurgeon, Jordan Schroeder, and Mikael Granlund also scored for Minnesota, which had a franchise-record three goals in 80 seconds in the second period.

The Wild's Devan Dubnyk allowed more than three goals for the first time this season but made 23 saves to win his 10th straight start.

Haula put Minnesota ahead 5-4 with his sixth goal after Nino Niederreiter's shot deflected off Haula's leg. New York's Brock Nelson scored twice in 42 seconds early in the period to tie it.

The win sets up a showdown on New Year's Eve against the Columbus Blue Jackets, who have won 14 straight games. It's the first game in NHL history featuring two teams on such long winning streaks.

Jason Chimera and Nick Leddy also scored for the Islanders, who had won three in a row. Jean-Francois Berube stopped 10 of 11 shots for New York after taking over for Jaroslav Halak.

Nelson's quick trigger negated Minnesota's flurry in the second.

After Leddy had given the Islanders a 2-1 lead in the second, Stewart scored from beside the goal, banking it off Halak's shoulder into the net. Spurgeon scored 35 seconds later and Schroeder capped the franchise's fastest stretch of three goals with his second of the season.

The Wild's previous record for fastest three goals was 1:41 in 2004.

The outburst ended Halak's night. He was pulled early for the second time this season after giving up four goals on 24 shots. Berube played just his fourth game of the season and second in relief.

NOTES: The Wild reassigned F Kurtis Gabriel to Iowa of the AHL prior to the game. Gabriel has one assist and 24 penalty minutes in 10 games with Minnesota this season. ... G Thomas Greiss was scratched for the second time since Nov. 18 as the Islanders have rostered three goaltenders all season. ... New York's 6-3 win earlier this season is the only time Minnesota has lost a game by more than one goal. ... The Wild have outscored teams 44-22 in the second period this season.

UP NEXT

Islanders: A four-game road trip continues in Winnipeg on Saturday.

Wild: The two hottest teams in the NHL meet as Minnesota hosts the Columbus on Saturday.

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With two points against the Nashville Predators, Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane reached the 700-point plateau Thursday.

After picking up an assist on Jonathan Toews' sixth goal of the season, Kane ripped home his 11th to reach the milestone, becoming just the sixth player in franchise history to reach the mark.

The goal would also hold up as the game-winner as the Blackhawks snapped a three-game losing skid.

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Bestowing an honor not previously awarded in the modern era of the franchise, the Ottawa Senators retired the number of the greatest player in their history, raising Daniel Alfredsson's No. 11 to the rafters Thursday night at Canadian Tire Centre.

The @Senators retired former captain Daniel Alfredsson’s No. 11 in a pre-game ceremony at Canadian Tire Centre. #Celebrate11 pic.twitter.com/VmehiTl8Cz

— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) December 30, 2016
Alfredsson spent 17 of his 18 seasons with Ottawa, serving the role of captain for 13 years. Over that span, he scored 426 goals, 682 assists, and 1,108 points - all franchise records.

He was responsible for many of the greatest moments in franchise history. At the top of that list, he scored the overtime winner to send the Senators to the Stanley Cup Final in 2007.

The ceremony came just prior to puck drop versus the Detroit Red Wings, who Alfredsson spent his final season with chasing the Stanley Cup that eluded him in his career.

Initially, Alfredsson's decision to join the Red Wings strained ties with the Senators, leading some to question whether this day would come. However, soon after Alfredsson announced his retirement, the relationship was mended, and he returned to the franchise in an executive role.

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The New York Islanders have placed goaltender Jaroslav Halak on waivers, the club announced Friday.

After a strong showing for Team Europe at the World Cup in September, Halak has struggled throughout the regular season in Brooklyn, compiling a 6-8-5 record with a 3.23 goals against average and .904 save percentage.

Halak was pulled in his latest outing, after allowing four goals on 24 shots Thursday versus Minnesota.

The 31-year-old has been mostly reliable over his career, but a $4.5-million cap hit this season and next could affect where he lands, be it with a team in need of goaltending help, or the AHL.

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Auston Matthews is doing things no Toronto Maple Leafs rookie has done before.

But you knew that.

More specifically, after Thursday's contest, he's the first Maple Leafs rookie to score 18 goals in his first 35 games, according to NHL Public Relations.

Per @EliasSports: Auston Matthews is first @MapleLeafs player in modern era (since 1943-44) to score 18 goals in first 35 career NHL games. pic.twitter.com/PsOfys2mmO

— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) December 30, 2016
He's pulled ahead of the historical field, but Matthews is still one goal behind Patrik Laine in the rookie race. That said, with 12 goals over his last 16 games, he's actually now producing at a fractionally greater rate by virtue of games in hand.

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Sidney Crosby remains the best player in hockey for yet another year.

The Pittsburgh Penguins' superstar center finished 2016 with 53 goals and 47 assists for a tidy total of 100 points in 76 regular season games, leading all players in scoring over the course of the past 12 months.

This despite being held without a point in Saturday's overtime win over Montreal.

Related: Sidney Crosby, NHL Person of the Year

The 100 points puts him 13 clear of second-place Patrick Kane, who needed 82 games to record 87 points (34 goals, 53 assists).

Crosby's 53 goals were also the most scored by any player in 2016, with Alex Ovechkin finishing second with 46.

He also contributed six goals and 13 assists in 24 playoff games en route to a Stanley Cup championship and Conn Smythe Trophy as the poststeason's most valuable player.

So far this season, he leads all players with 1.35 points per game, and appears set to square off with Connor McDavid and teammate Evgeni Malkin in the race for the Art Ross Trophy.

McDavid recently conceded Crosby is the greatest player in the world, and there's no reason to believe otherwise as 2017 begins.

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All hail The King.

With a win over Colorado on Saturday, New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist recorded the 390th victory of his career and passed Dominik Hasek on the NHL's all-time list.

This is significant considering their respective birth certificates.

Henrik is now the all-time leader in wins by a European-born goalie in @NHL history and is in 12th place on the NHL’s all-time wins list. pic.twitter.com/jcInvYNco9

— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) January 1, 2017
The 11 goalies ahead of Lundqvist all hail from Canada, with Chris Osgood (401), Grant Fuhr (403), and Glen Hall (407) next to be passed.

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The Nashville Predators and P.K. Subban are set to discuss the next steps in his recovery from what is being referred to as an upper-body injury.

Sportnet's Elliotte Friedman shed some light on the situation during the "Headlines" segment of Hockey Night in Canada - and later on Twitter - suggesting a pair of options in terms of treating what's believed to be a herniated disc.

From Friedman:

P.K. Subban has not played since Dec. 15 and the word is he has a herniated disc, which the Predators have not confirmed or denied. He skated (Friday), didn't go well. He skated again (Saturday), word is it didn't go well again.

So what we understand is the Predators, their doctors, and P.K. Subban will meet Sunday and decide a course of action.

One choice is to just wait it out and see if he can come back to health that way. The other is potentially surgery and that could knock him out for a long time, which nobody wants to see. So there is obvious concern about his future for this season.

In the meantime, it doesn't seem likely that Subban will be able to suit up for Nasvhville's next game, a date with the Montreal Canadiens on Jan. 3.

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The Buffalo Sabres received some bad news Saturday, as coach Dan Bylsma announced forward Johan Larsson will be out 'weeks' with a dislocated wrist.

Larsson left early in the first period of Saturday's game versus the Boston Bruins after taking a heavy hit from Bruins blue-liner Adam McQuaid.

Larsson has recorded 11 points in 36 games this season.

Sabres defenseman Josh Gorges also left the game with a hip pointer injury; however, no further update was provided.

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The Boston Bruins announced Saturday that center David Backes is out indefinitely after suffering a concussion.

Backes sustained the injury in Thursday's 4-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres.

The 32-year-old has appeared in 33 games this season, scoring nine goals and 10 assists.

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Make that 15 straight wins for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Ohio hockey club defeated the Minnesota Wild on Saturday, coming away with a 4-2 victory, and extending their winning streak to 15 consecutive games.

The loss snaps a 12-game win streak for Minnesota and marks their first loss since Nov. 29, a 5-4 defeat to the Vancouver Canucks.

The Blue Jackets haven't dropped a game since a 2-1 shootout loss to the Florida Panthers on Nov. 26. The team's last regulation loss came on Nov. 23, falling 2-0 to the Calgary Flames.

In all, the Blue Jackets have just five regulation losses on the season, three of which came in the team's first six games.

The 15-game stretch has seen the Blue Jackets outpace their opponents by 61 to 26 goals.

With the victory, the Blue Jackets tied the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins for the second-longest win streaks in NHL history. The Penguins also hold the top seed, a record-long 17 games.


Facing Minnesota, Columbus' offense got off to an early start, as forward Cam Atkinson opened the scoring 10:05 into the initial frame. Atkinson tallied again in the second period, marking his 17th goal of the season. Only five players league-wide have scored more goals than Atkinson.

Defensemen Jack Johnson and Seth Jones also tallied for the Blue Jackets, while forwards Mikael Granlund and Jason Zucker replied for the Wild.

With the loss, Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk allowed more than three goals for just the second time this season, after he also allowed four Thursday versus the Islanders.

The Blue Jackets will have a chance to push their win streak to 16 when they face the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday.




RANK WINS         TEAM                   DATE


1         17     Penguins March -      April 1993


T2       15     Blue Jackets Nov -     Dec 2016


T2       15     Islanders                  Jan - Feb 1982


T2       15     Penguins                   March 2013


T3       14     Bruins                       Dec 1929 - Jan 1930


T3       14    Capitals                      Jan - Feb 2010

Last edited on Sun Jan 1st, 2017 08:55 am by lobo316

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The goals are good for so many reasons.

Auston Matthews scored another two - including the overtime winner - Sunday at the Centennial Classic in Toronto, giving him 20 on the season. That's the most among rookies, second-most in the NHL, and tops on the Maple Leafs.

Twenty's a nice round number, especially after only 36 games, but it's significant for another reason, too:

20 goals on the season for Auston Matthews qualifies for A bonus and will earn the Leafs rookie an extra $212,500.

— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) January 1, 2017
You're not dreaming, Maple Leafs fans. Matthews is real. This is actually happening. And there's still more than half a season's worth of games to go in the kid's fairy-tale season.

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Those fond of some good ol' fashioned pond hockey will get their fix once again next season.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman spoke with reporters ahead of Sunday's Centennial Classic where he noted that there is likely to be three outdoor games next season, according to ESPN's Pierre LeBrun.

As per LeBrun, the games are expected to be a go regardless of the impending Olympic decision.

Speaking of that, Bettman insisted that no progress has been made.

On possible Olympic involvement - "nothing has changed, not a whole lot of sentiment by the clubs to go"- Gary Bettman

— Gino Reda (@GinoRedaTSN) January 1, 2017
"We're not the ones setting the clock on the deadline," Bettman added, according to TSN's Frank Seravalli.

As for the outdoor games, Bettman was also quick to point out that none of the games are set in stone as of yet, according to Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun.

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It's going to be real dusty at the Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday night.

Shea Weber, who spent 11 years - six as captain - patrolling the blue line for the Nashville Predators, returns to the city as a member of the Montreal Canadiens, and it's going to be bittersweet and emotional.

"You know Shea meant everything to this franchise," general manager David Poile, who traded Weber to the Habs in the summer for P.K. Subban, told reporters Monday. "I think it's going to be emotional for so many people including myself to have him back in our building."

Weber's been honest about the emotion that came with a life-altering trade over the summer. The shock's worn off, and he's settling into life as a Canadien, and is fifth on the first-place team in scoring, with nine goals and 12 assists. The 31-year-old's also been honest.

"I wanted to be in Nashville my whole career," Weber told The Tennessean's Adam Vingan. "Especially a team where you're drafted and you spend so much time, you want to bring the Stanley Cup to that city. That's your goal ... That didn't happen."

The Predators will honor Weber on Tuesday, and there will be cheers and tears.

"When I think of the Nashville Predators, (Weber's) right at the top of the list for me," Poile told Vingan. "I think this franchise would've been in a lot of trouble if not for Shea Weber. It all started with Shea. Shea could do it all."

Weber's chapter as a Predator will officially come to an end Tuesday. Closure, for everyone but Subban, who will make his return to Montreal on March 2.

"I'm not going to lie - there's probably going to be a lot of emotion. I'm human," Weber said. "I spent a lot of time (in Nashville). I put a lot of hard work and effort into everything I did there."

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Alex Burmistrov is heading from the new Winnipeg Jets to the old.

The Arizona Coyotes claimed the forward off waivers, the club announced Monday.

He likely won't play for his new club until Friday's road game against the Anaheim Ducks due to work visa issues, according to the team. That means he probably won't be cleared in time for Wednesday's game in Vancouver versus the Canucks.

Burmistrov was placed on the wire by Winnipeg on Sunday. He managed only two points in 23 games with the Jets this season.

The 25-year-old never lived up to his potential with the Jets/Atlanta Thrashers franchise after being selected eighth overall by Atlanta in 2010.

He left the Jets for a two-year KHL stint from 2013-15, returning to play for Winnipeg last season. However, he hasn't managed more than his 2011-12 output of 13 goals and 28 points at the NHL level.

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The Montreal Canadiens signed goaltender Al Montoya to a two-year contract extension that will run through the 2018-19 season, general manager Marc Bergevin announced Monday.

The deal is reportedlyworth $2.13 million over the two-year term, thereby carrying a cap hit of $1.065 million, according to Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.

With Habs signing Al Montoya to a two-year extension they have a goalie not named Carey Price eligible to be exposed in expansion draft

— Аrpon Basu (@ArponBasu) January 2, 2017
In 11 games with the Canadiens this season, Montoya has posted a record of 4-4-2 with a .909 save percentage, which is dragged down by Montreal's infamous 10-0 loss to Columbus in November.

That save percentage is on par with Montoya's career number, accumulated over 147 regular-season appearances since being drafted sixth overall in 2004.

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From dead last to the postseason? One of the Toronto Maple Leafs' brightest young stars isn't ruling it out.

"We all want to make the playoffs and obviously go far in them," Mitch Marner told reporters including The Athletic's James Mirtle after a thrilling overtime victory over the Detroit Red Wings in the Centennial Classic at BMO Field on Sunday.

Watch: Matthews wins Centennial Classic for Maple Leafs in OT

What once seemed like a pipe dream isn't too far fetched. After earning their fifth straight win Sunday, the Leafs are three points behind the third-place Boston Bruins in the Atlantic Division with three games in hand.

Leafs head coach Mike Babcock believes the club can get there eventually, but doesn't think it's ready to be a perennial contender just yet.

"We're finding players every day as we watch them grow, and we have aspirations to be a really good team in the National Hockey League, one that in the summer you know you're going to make the playoffs," Babcock said Sunday, according to ESPN's Pierre LeBrun.

"That's not where we're at right now, but we're a work in progress. We like the direction we're going.''

Buoyed by the instant impact of Auston Matthews and Marner, the steady play of Frederik Andersen, and the continued development of William Nylander, Zach Hyman, Connor Brown, and Morgan Rielly, the Leafs appear poised to put last season's last-place finish behind them.

Toronto has certainly exceeded expectations in the first half of the season, but with eight rookies, 46 games remaining, and a couple of playoff-tested clubs in its way, it'll be an uphill battle to qualify for the playoffs.

Still, Babcock - who's no stranger to the postseason - liked what he saw in a resilient victory Sunday, as the Leafs rallied to win in the extra frame after coughing up a 4-1 lead and allowing the tying goal with just over a second remaining in regulation.

"At playoff time in the National Hockey League, you're either up one or down one," he said. "It's the same every night. You've got to love the duress. You've got to love the grind. You've got to love digging in and knowing you're going to get it done, so that was a good opportunity for our team because we haven't had those kind of opportunities, so I thought that was good.''

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Toronto Maple Leafs star rookie Auston Matthews has been named the NHL's first star of the week, followed by Chris Kreider of the New York Rangers and Marc-Andre Fleury of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Matthews led all players with four goals and two assists for six points in three games, with his marquee performance coming during the Centennial Classic on New Year's Day in which he recorded two goals, including the overtime winner.

Related: Matthews says outdoor experience one of his 'best moments in hockey'

Matthews now leads all rookies in goals and points, and sits second only to Sidney Crosby in goals scored among all players.

Kreider also scored four goals - including his second career hat trick - and added an assist for five points in three games.

Fleury won three games for the Penguins, stopping 77 of the 82 shots against for a save percentage of .939. He'll be relied upon heavily with in the coming weeks with Matt Murray sidelined with an injury.

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TORONTO -- At almost the halfway mark, Auston Matthews is on pace to finish with one of the best rookie seasons in NHL history.

The Toronto Maple Leafs' 19-year-old star scored twice, including the overtime winner, in Sunday's Centennial Classic and leads all first-year players with 20 goals and 32 points through 36 games.

The No. 1 pick of the 2016 draft is on pace for 46 goals, a mark reached by only six rookies in NHL history -- Alex Ovechkin the most recent in a mostly Hall of Fame group that includes Teemu Selanne (76), Mike Bossy (53), Wayne Gretzky (51), Joe Nieuwendyk (51) and Blair MacDonald, who was 26 years old when he tallied 46 for Edmonton.

Matthews accomplishing the feat might be more impressive.

Everyone on that group, save Gretzky, was older than Matthews as a rookie.

And Matthews is performing in an era when the goalies are much better and scoring is down substantially.

When Selanne tallied 76 goals for the Winnipeg Jets, for example, teams were averaging 3.63 goals per game with an average save percentage of .885.

Now, the average is 2.73 goals per game with an average save percentage of .914.

Matthews isn't doing most of the scoring on the power play as Ovechkin did with Washington, when power-play opportunities rose substantially amid rule changes following the 2004-05 lockout.

The Russian winger scored 21 of his 52 goals with the man advantage, while adding 28 at even strength.

Ovechkin finished with more than 450 minutes of power-play time. Matthews is on pace for just over 220 with clubs averaging almost three fewer power plays per game.

Matthews is on track for the second-most prolific rookie scoring season at even strength.

He's on pace for 39 even-strength goals, which would trail only Selanne's 52. The Great One had 37.

Eric Lindros, also age 19 for Philadelphia in the `92-93 season, scored 32 goals at even strength in only 61 games, but did so in a league with more offense and power plays and poorer goaltending.

For Matthews to reach these stats in this era at this age, again, makes his potential feats all the more striking.

"I don't think I'm surprised anymore," Zach Hyman, Matthews' season-long linemate, said. "When you have a shot like he does and his skillset, where he's able to get open, and when you take as many shots as he does -- it's hard to get that many shots and he's able to generate tons of shots.

"With his shot, he's going to score a lot of goals."

Matthews, to that point, is again heading toward mostly uncharted waters in terms of the number of shots, averaging 3.7 per game and on pace for more than 300.

Only four rookies in NHL history have had that many shots in a season: Ovechkin with a record 425, Selanne at 387, Dale Hawerchuk at 339 and Brian Leetch at 308.

Matthews doesn't seem to be overly lucky either. He's scoring on 15 percent of his shots, a fairly sustainable number.

"He's got a skillset that allows him to do things that a lot of other people can't do," defenseman Morgan Rielly said. "But on top of that he's got a good brain, he works hard and he's been playing with good teammates."

Perhaps seeking to calm the growing hype, Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock noted that how a Matthews-led line struggled Sunday at points against Detroit's top unit.

Henrik Zetterberg's line struck for three goals when Matthews was on the ice, including the game-tying tally from Anthony Mantha with 1.1 seconds remaining in regulation.

Despite that, Matthews finished at almost 50 percent puck possession.

The Arizona-born center is struggling in the faceoff circle, among the league's worst at 44.2 percent, following a 41 percent performance against the Wings.


Still, Babcock has started matching Matthews against top lines in recent weeks, an uptick in his responsibility for the Leafs.

Babcock protected Matthews in the early months this season by starting him in the offensive zone as much as possible, often against lesser lines and defensive pairings, but that's stopped of late.

Matthews had a 17 percent offensive zone start percentage against the Wings.

"I don't look after him at all anymore," Babcock said.

Beyond the potentially prolific NHL marks, Matthews is also consequently on track to shatter the Leafs rookie records for goals and points; Wendel Clark had 34 goals in `85-86, Peter Ihnacak had 66 points in `82-83.

"He's just going to get better," Babcock said. "He's going to get quicker through the neutral zone. He's going to play with more pace. He's going to understand more. He's just going to get better."

KGB

 

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I'm trying not to let myself get carried away with Matthews's play the past month, 14 goals in 17 games is pretty damn impressive, and impressively consistent, for a rookie, but the season's not even halfway done.  At some point he'll go off the boil and his stats will look a little more "normal".  But I can only imagine the numbers he'd be putting up had he been a rookie in the high-flying 80's, or in 1992-93, when 21 players managed at least 100 points.  But all Leafs fans are still pinching ourselves that Matthews is actually wearing our jersey.  To think that the insanely talented Mitch Marner is only our second best rookie??   Six of the top 17 rookie scorers right now are Maple Leafs, including numbers 1, 3, and 4.  Is this actually going to happen?  Will the bandwagon swell to unimaginable size?  Will fans of the other Canadian teams once again focus their hatred like a white-hot laser on Hogtown? 

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The fans have spoken.

After a month-long vote, hockey fanatics have called on Connor McDavid, P.K. Subban, Sidney Crosby, and Carey Price to captain the four divisional squads at the NHL All-Star game.

The game takes place Jan. 29 at Staples Center, home of the Los Angeles Kings.

The All-Star game will be played in the 3-on-3 format, as introduced last season, made up of three games. The two divisions of each conference will face off in a semifinal before the winner of each moves on to the final round.

Each All-Star squad will include six forwards, three defensemen, and two goaltenders.

Full rosters will be announced at a later date.

The All-Star festivities kick off on Jan. 28 with the skills competition. The events include: the hardest shot, fastest skater, breakaway challenge, skills challenge relay, accuracy shooting, and the elimination shootout.

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The two biggest winning streaks in the NHL have helped two goaltenders earn player of the month honors.

Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky was named December's first star on Tuesday. Bobrovsky went a perfect 12-0-0 while posting an incredible 1.75 goals-against average and a .939 save percentage as the Blue Jackets went a perfect 14-0-0 on the month and pushed their franchise-high winning-streak to 15 games.

Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin took home second star honors after posting a league-high 21 points. Malkin netted seven goals and 14 assists, including eight multi-point games, while also collecting his 800th career point, becoming just the fourth Penguins player in history to reach the mark.

Minnesota Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk was named the third star of December after going nearly perfect with a 10-1-1 record while putting up a 1.88 goals-against average and a .934 save percentage.

Dubnyk was detrimental in the Wild constructing a franchise-high 12-game winning streak, which was ultimately brought to an end by the Blue Jackets.

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The accolades continue to roll in for Auston Matthews.

A day after being named the first star of the week, the Toronto Maple Leafs forward was named Rookie of the Month, the league announced Tuesday.

Matthews led all rookies in scoring with eight goals and four assists in 12 games in December. The 19-year-old edged out Winnipeg Jets sniper Patrik Laine, Calgary Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk, Carolina Hurricanes winger Sebastian Aho, and Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Matt Murray for the honor.

Matthews becomes the third winner of the award this year, joining teammate William Nylander and Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski.

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The Columbus Blue Jackets have not been squeaking by.

Winners of 16 straight following a 3-1 win Tuesday over Edmonton, John Tortorella's team continued to pile up goals and hold the opposition at bay in a way that leaves no doubt in regards to how good this team really is.

Since the win streak began Nov. 29, Columbus has scored 62 goals, second only to Pittsburgh (67). At the other end of the ice, the Blue Jackets have allowed only 27 goals against in the 16 games, five fewer than any team.

That amounts to a goal differential of 35, meaning an average of 2.2 goals per game over the course of the streak.

A big part of that has been the play of goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, who's started 14 of the 16 games and held down the fort with sparkling numbers.

Bobrovsky stretched win streak to 14 games w/ .941 SV% and 1.64 GAA. It's tied for 2nd-longest win streak in #NHL history (6th time). #CBJ

— CBJ Public Relations (@BlueJacketsPR) January 4, 2017
Offensively, the team is getting at or near point-per-game production from a handful of players.


Scott Hartnell and Seth Jones have provided double-digit point totals, with the young defenseman continuing to prove his worth to the club.

#CBJ are now 27-4-0 all-time when Seth Jones records a point. He had a power play assist tonight.

— Kristyn Repke (@kristynrepke) January 4, 2017
In short, everything is clicking in Columbus these days, and the first-place Blue Jackets can tie an NHL record with their 17th win in a row Thursday against Washington.

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An OT winner from @ovi8 completes the comeback and puts him five points shy of 1,000. pic.twitter.com/C5tEkj4lq4

— NHL (@NHL) January 4, 2017
Alex Ovechkin scored his 19th career regular-season overtime goal in Tuesday's comeback win over Toronto, tying Jaromir Jagr for the most in NHL history.

The Washington Capitals superstar captain now has 995 career points, and continues to demonstrate a penchant for coming up big.

Alex Ovechkin scored his 94th career GWG to pass Bucyk, Fedorov and Nieuwendyk (93) and tie Yzerman for 12th on the all-time list. #TORvsWSH pic.twitter.com/2BawmBMzlC

— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) January 4, 2017

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The kids are more than alright. Try exceptional.

The Toronto Maple Leafs rookies have produced the most offense of any club's first-year group this season.

Following their 37th game of the campaign Tuesday - a 6-5 loss in Washington - Maple Leafs' rookies have been involved in 91 of the team's 112 goals, an astounding 81 percent.

The caveat to the impressive statistic is the Leafs boast more rookies than any other team, as eight skaters have suited up and recorded a point for Mike Babcock this season.

Either way, the breakdown is eye-opening:

PLAYER                      G    A     P


Auston Matthews        20  14   34


Mitch Marner              10  19  29


William Nylander          8  18  26


Connor Brown              8   9  17


Zach Hyman                5  12  17


Nikita Zaitsev               1 14 16


Nikita Soshnikov           1  3  4


Frederik Gauthier          2  1   3


That's a grand total of 145 points, which is more than the next three teams' first-year outputs - the Jets (48), Rangers (45), and Blue Jackets (41) - combined.

It's safe to say the youth movement is working.

Last edited on Wed Jan 4th, 2017 06:18 pm by lobo316

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COLUMBUS, Ohio - Cam Atkinson and William Karlsson scored powerplay goals and the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Edmonton Oilers 3-1 on Tuesday night to extend their winning streak to 16 games - one away from the longest ever in the NHL.

Nick Foligno also scored for the Blue Jackets, who can tie the 1992-93 Pittsburgh Penguins with a victory Thursday night at Washington. The near-sellout crowd chanted ''We want 16!'' as the clock ticked down.

Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 21 shots for Columbus, which started the new year on the right note after winning all 14 games in December. The Blue Jackets haven't lost since Nov. 26 thanks in part to the league's best powerplay unit.

Oscar Klefbom scored for Edmonton, which was limited throughout by Columbus' hard-pressing defense. Cam Talbot had 32 saves for the Oilers.

The Blue Jackets got on the board 12:32 into the first period when Atkinson's shot ricocheted in off the skate of the Oilers' Andrej Sekera. Atkinson added to his team-leading totals of 18 goals and 38 points, and Zach Werenski and Alexander Wennberg got the assists.

"That was a nice bounce," said Atkinson, who has 17 points (10 goals, seven assists) in his past 13 games.

Edmonton managed just four shots on goal against a hustling defense in the opening period.

Klefbom evened it 5:39 into the second period with a shot from the slot on an Oilers rush. Shortly afterward, the Blue Jackets' Brandon Dubinsky and the Oilers' Patrick Maroon - who got an assist on Klefbom's goal - slugged each other briefly and went to the box for fighting after Maroon threw a high elbow.

Karlsson, skating for Dubinsky during the fighting penalty, put Columbus ahead 2-1 on another power play 10:43 into the second when he ripped a shot from the middle of the left circle past Talbot. Brandon Saad, who fed Karlsson with a perfect pass, got the assist, along with Seth Jones.

Foligno put Columbus up by two 2:45 into the third period with an unassisted goal after stepping in front of a pass as the Oilers were trying to get out of their zone.

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Auston Matthews: not just a goal scorer.
The Toronto Maple Leafs phenom has 14 tallies in his last 17 games, but his playmaking abilities stole the show in the second period versus WashingtonTuesday night.
Matthews evaded a check from Nicklas Backstrom, then deked past Brooks Orpik, before reversing his direction and finding Leo Komarov in front for a tap in, and his second assist of the game.






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Pacioretty goes five-hole in overtime as @CanadiensMTL win in Dallas @SUBWAYCanada #GoHabsGo pic.twitter.com/HaKmHekMQM

— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) January 5, 2017
Eight goals.

In the 100-plus-year history of the Montreal Canadiens, no player has scored more than seven overtime winners through his time with the Habs.

Until captain Max Pacioretty did so Wednesday, pocketing the game winner in extra time as the Canadiens toppled the Dallas Stars 4-3.

The goal was Pacioretty's sixth game-winning tally on the campaign, and not just his second overtime winner this season, but his second in as many nights - he also scored one Tuesday versus the Nashville Predators.

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Laine's got the rookie lead back with #21. #WPGvsFLA pic.twitter.com/wjw6LCvXr3

— NHL (@NHL) January 5, 2017
Auston Matthews' lead in the rookie points race was fleeting.

Off a turnover and feed from Bryan Little, Patrik Laine made it goals in back-to-back nights Wednesday when he put the Winnipeg Jets up 2-0 in Florida.

It was the 21st goal and 35th point for the Jets sniper, moving him back ahead of Matthews in both departments.

Of course, the Maple leafs star will have four games in hand at the conclusion of Wednesday's action.

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WASHINGTON - The Columbus Blue Jackets will look to tie the NHL record for consecutive wins when they face Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals on Thursday night at Verizon Center.

Columbus goes for its 17th straight win in a game featuring the first- and fourth-place teams in the Metropolitan Division. In a bit of scheduling irony, Washington will be trying to stop Columbus from tying the mark set by the 1992-93 Pittsburgh Penguins - the Capitals' bitter rivals.

The Blue Jackets (27-5-4) rattled off their 16th consecutive victory with a 3-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday in Columbus.

"I'm proud of the team. They deserve it," Columbus coach John Tortorella told NHL.com. "I'm really happy how they've handled the past three games with all the talk and all that. It's a good test for them."

Sergei Bobrovsky made 21 saves and extended his win streak to 14 games, three behind the record set by Boston's Gillies Gilbert in 1975-76. He has allowed just 23 goals in the 14 games.

Columbus is allowing two goals per game, tops in the NHL, and Washington is third at 2.10.

The Blue Jackets' power play continues to thrive, producing the first goal Tuesday night and 13 in the last 11 games. They're converting a league-best 28.3 percent of their chances.

"The power play, you can almost sense it when they go out there that they are going to score," Tortorella told NHL.com. "The bench feels that."

Capitals coach Barry Trotz said, "They have a good plan and they're executing their plan. I think their ability not only to get pucks in the area, but they also find ... off the original chance they turn that into a second and third chance and eventually a goal."

The Caps (23-9-5), meanwhile, has provided opponents 20 power plays in its last three games, though they've surrendered only two power-play goals while winning three straight.

"Obviously, the penalties are mounting up and they're hard minutes," Trotz said. "We're going to correct that."

Tuesday's 5-4 overtime win over the Toronto Maple Leafs was an uncharacteristic Capitals affair. They were forced to rally from a 4-2 deficit before Ovechkin scored the winner.

Goalie Braden Holtby was pulled after allowing three first-period goals when the Capitals had allowed only 14 first-period scores all season.

"Certainly, I think we just kind of willed out way to that win," Justin Williams told The Washington Post after he notched a goal and two assists to give him eight goals and seven assists in his last 14 games. "It was fun and exciting for everybody."

Thursday's atmosphere should be exciting as well.

"Guys recognize that you're under a bigger spotlight, so it's probably like a rivalry game," Trotz said. "It's got a little more ... I'll say a little more zip to it, a little more emotion than some other games."

Columbus won the first two matchups between the teams - one in overtime - and leads Washington by seven points in the Metropolitan Division.

"Everyone in the division, everyone's winning," Blue Jackets winger Cam Atkinson said. "It's going to be a huge game. It's obviously fun to play those game because you know you're going to their A effort on the other side and we're going to bring it as well, so looking forward to it."

Atkinson has three goals in his last two games. Nick Foligno has three goals and five assists in his last five, and Brandon Saad and Alexander Wennberg have two goals and four assists each in the last five.

Against the Capitals, Atkinson has eight goals and five assists in 13 games, Saad has five and three in eight games, and Foligno has seven and 13 in 28 games.

Tortorella has his own long history against Washington. As the coach of the New York Rangers, his teams were eliminated twice in the playoffs by Washington and twice sent the Capitals packing. He was suspended for one game after an altercation with a fan in the 2009 playoffs.

Ovechkin has four goals and two assists in his last six games and is five points from 1,000. In 17 games against Columbus, he has 14 goals and three assists. Williams has nine and 11 in 32 games, and T.J. Oshie has eight and 13 in 30.

Holtby is 8-3-2 with a 2.83 goals-against average and a .900 save percentage against Columbus, and Bobrovsky is 6-5-3 with a 2.64 GAA and a .908 save percentage against Washington.

The Capitals will be looking to deal the Blue Jackets their first loss since Nov. 26 - the day before Thanksgiving - when they fell to the Florida Panthers 3-2 in overtime.

"They recognize Columbus is obviously the class of the league right now and they're coming into our building," Trotz said of his players, "and we'll give them a good match."

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Matt Nieto has a new home.

The winger was plucked off the waiver wire by the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday after being placed there by the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday.

Nieto managed only two points in 16 games with the Sharks this season after posting eight goals and 17 points for the club in 2015-16.

He was a second-round pick of the Sharks in 2011.

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A 16-game winning streak and some bulletin-board material.

The Columbus Blue Jackets and their second-best streak of all time hit D.C. on Thursday night, and the Washington Capitals are looking forward to it, thank you very much.

After beating the Toronto Maple Leafs in overtime Tuesday, the team was watching the end of the Blue Jackets' game against the Edmonton Oilers - a 3-1 Columbus win.

"If anyone says they weren't (paying attention), they're lying, because we had it on in the changing room," Brooks Orpik said, according to The Washington Post's Isabelle Khurshudyan.

On Thursday morning, Andre Burakovsky did Orpik even better:

Andre Burakovsky on Columbus win streak: "It's going to be a really fun moment for us to end it."

— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) January 5, 2017
The Capitals are 0-1-1 against the Blue Jackets this season, losing 2-1 in overtime on Nov. 15 and 3-2 on Nov. 20, before Columbus went on its magical run.

Washington has its work cut out for it:

From @ESPNStatsInfo on the Blue Jackets' winning streak. pic.twitter.com/1gdGuCLgHR

— Adam Vingan (@AdamVingan) January 5, 2017
After Thursday, the teams will meet again on March 23 and April 2.

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Brendan Gallagher is dealing with another significant hand injury.

The Montreal Canadiens forward will likely be out for a minimum of eight weeks after having surgery on his fractured left hand Thursday night in Montreal, the club announced Friday.

Gallagher was struck by teammate Shea Weber's shot in a win over the Dallas Stars on Wednesday night. He returned to Montreal to be evaluated after the game.

The winger missed six weeks last season after breaking two fingers on the same hand.

Gallagher's injury is obviously devastating for the Canadiens, and the announcement of his diagnosis comes one day after the club revealed both Alex Galchenyuk and Andrei Markov are nearing returns from their respective ailments.

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Craig Cunningham's life changed on Nov. 19, when he suffered an acute cardiac arrest ventricular fibrillation that came very close to ending his life.

The incident occurred moments before Cunningham was to play in a game for the Tucson Roadrunners, the AHL affiliate of the Arizona Coyotes. Trainers and firefighters - who were at the game to play the national anthem using bagpipes - literally saved his life.

The 26-year-old's hockey career is over, but he's alive, and thankful, and revealed to ESPN's Craig Custance that his recovery included having part of his left leg amputated.

Custance writes:

On Dec. 24, fearful that an infection would complicate Cunningham's recovery, doctors amputated part of his left leg. He still has most of his leg, and he fully expects to function normally once he's fitted with prosthetics after the healing is done. But he has come to so completely trust the doctors who have cared for him that he didn't question the decision.

They said it was best to remove it. So they removed it.

Cunningham is focusing on the positives, Custance writes, mainly that he is alive, even if it means part of his left leg is gone, and that his playing days are done.

"If I have to sacrifice playing hockey to be alive - and it's a tough pill to swallow for sure, it's been my whole life since I was four years old - it's time for me to move on," Cunningham said.

Cunningham requested that Custance not make the partial amputation the focus of his piece, and Custance obliged, as Cunningham looks to focus on the positives of an incredibly difficult situation.

After 63 games in the NHL over three seasons, Cunningham is choosing to look forward, focusing on the people that helped him stay alive, and his family, who he's never been closer to.

"I'm really appreciating life," he said. "Before, you don't think about how precious it really is. (Expletive), man, in an instant, everything can be taken from you."

Cunningham is hoping to be discharged from intensive care next week, and faces intense rehab in the near future. And that future includes, hopefully, a career working for an NHL team, instead of playing for one.

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Oshie has himself a beauty, and Nicklas Backstrom has career assist #500. pic.twitter.com/rUvxBcuOvg

— NHL (@NHL) January 8, 2017
It's already a milestone night for Nicklas Backstrom.

The silky smooth Washington Capitals pivot feathered a backhand pass into T.J. Oshie's wheelhouse for his 500th career assist just 1:38 into Saturday's contest versus the Ottawa Senators.

Backstrom stands as one of the NHL's elite playmakers, achieving the impressive feat in his 691st career game.

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This one's (partly) on coach.

Mike Babcock conceded he was culpable after the Toronto Maple Leafs' 5-3 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday, saying it was a mistake to start Frederik Andersen again on the second night of a back-to-back.

"Obviously I didn't make the right decision there," Babcock said after the game. "In saying that, the last time we did it we thought it was the right decision. This time it wasn't the right decision. It's amazing how winning and losing goes into those things."

Andersen was wobbly early on, and allowed two goals on the first four shots he faced, but stayed in for the full 60 minutes despite not ever looking settled. The Leafs quickly erased their two-goal deficit, which likely factored into the decision to keep Andersen in goal.

Toronto's 13th consecutive loss versus the Canadiens snapped a seven-game point streak. The club is now 12 points back of division-leading Montreal, and fell out of the Atlantic Division's top three seeds.

The Maple Leafs are 2-6-1 on the second half of a back-to-back this season.

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Winnipeg Jets rookie forward Patrik Laine has been diagnosed with a concussion following a hit delivered by Buffalo's Jake McCabe on Saturday, head coach Paul Maurice announced.
No timetable has been set for Laine's return to the lineup.
The hit, seen below, occurred in open ice and sparked a line brawl between the Jets and Sabres.


The 2016 second overall draft pick leads all rookies with 37 points through 42 games, and is tied with Auston Matthews in rookie goals with 21 - the third-highest total among all players this season.
The Jets, meanwhile, sit three points back of a Western Conference playoff spot, with four games on the schedule in the coming week.








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Expect to see a lot more of Frederik Andersen.

The Toronto Maple Leafs netminder has carried a heavy workload this season, and that's likely to continue with the team "not actively" seeking an upgrade to its backup goaltender position, reports TSN's Darren Dreger.

In his first season with the Maple Leafs, Andersen has been frequently called upon by Toronto bench boss Mike Babcock, already appearing in 33 games this season, including a stretch of 10-straight starts and playing 11 of the team's past 12 games.

The 27-year-old netminder handled back-to-back games over the weekend, coming away with a win Friday against the New Jersey Devils, but didn't look as sharp a night later, in which he allowed five goals on 31 shots as the Maple Leafs fell to the Montreal Canadiens. Following the game, Babcock called his decision to play Andersen a "mistake."

Don't blame Andersen if fatigue is starting to take its toll. Andersen, who spent the last three seasons with the Anaheim Ducks, has never appeared in more than 54 games, a record he is sure to shatter this season. But a big reason for his heavy workload this season has been the performance of the team's second string netminders.

The Maple Leafs started the season with Jhonas Enroth as their No. 2 option, but that plan was quickly averted after Enroth went winless in four appearances and was shuttled to the Toronto Marlies (AHL). In the interim, the Maple Leafs recalled 22-year-old netminder Antoine Bibeau, who has put up solid numbers through two games, but is likely in line for more AHL seasoning.

Toronto also hoped to cash in on goalie Karri Ramo, who trained with the team after not returning to the Calgary Flames, where he spent last season. Although Ramo did not land an NHL contract with the Maple Leafs, he was given a trial run with the Marlies, but the bout did not go as planned, with Ramo coming up winless in three outings.

Still, despite the need for a quality backup, and maybe a rest for Andersen, the Maple Leafs don't appear to be prioritizing an upgrade in the crease. The team recently passed on Boston Bruins backup Anton Khudobin, who is 1-5-1 this season with an .885 save percentage, after he was placed on waivers. But could the Maple Leafs take a look at Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Curtis McElhinney?

The veteran netminder was waived Monday in somewhat of a curious move. The 33-year-old sports a winning record at 2-1-2 and a strong save percentage at .924, in addition to a cheap hit on the salary cap, costing just $800,000.

It will be worth following if the Maple Leafs, or another club in need of more depth in the crease, takes a shot on McElhinney.

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New York Rangers forward Michael Grabner, Edmonton Oilers forward Patrick Maroon, and Washington Capitals netminder Braden Holtby were named the Three Stars of the Week, the league announced on Monday.

Grabner claimed first-star honors after pacing the league with five goals and seven points in three games. Grabner enjoyed three-point and four-point efforts against the Philadelphia Flyers and Columbus Blue Jackets, respectively.

He also collected his fourth career hat trick against the Blue Jackets thanks to a timely scoring change on Monday morning.

Maroon was named the league's second star after matching Grabner with five goals on the week to go along with one assist in four games. Maroon - also like Grabner - collected a hat trick last week, netting three against the Boston Bruins for his first career hat trick.

With his strong week, Maroon now leads the Oilers with 16 goals on the year.

Holtby earned third-star honors, despite being pulled against the Toronto Maple Leafs after allowing three goals on eight shots in just 20 minutes early in the week.

He ultimately righted the ship by going perfect the rest of the week, collecting back-to-back shutouts for the first time in his career. Holtby now has five goose eggs on the year, which gives him a share of the league-lead next to Devan Dubnyk and Tuukka Rask.

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Say so long to third jerseys.

Next season teams will be restricted to just one home and one away jersey, eliminating all third jerseys, multiple sources have told the Star Tribune, according to Michael Russo.

The report sites the reason for the change is that Adidas will be taking over from Reebok as the official jersey provider for the NHL and the elimination of third jerseys is to help ease the transition.

According to Russo, the Minnesota Wild are deciding on what direction to go with their jerseys for next year. The team could decide to either use their red jerseys or their green ones - currently used as their third option - as their home decor.

Russo suggests the club is likely to elect to go with the green and that such a decision could also mean a slight redesign of their current third jersey.

Elsewhere in the league, Newsday's Arthur Staple backed the report, adding that the change will mean that the New York Islanders will no longer don their black and white uniforms and will keep the classic blue and orange sweater as their home jersey.

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Brent Burns is a wizard, but you knew that, just look at that beard.

All joking aside, the San Jose Sharks defenseman has quickly staked his name as one of the premiere blue-liners in the league, and this season he is on pace to hit a milestone that very few in his position have ever eclipsed.

With 15 goals in 40 games, Burns is on pace to hit 30 goals this season, a mark that is nearly unheard of for a defenseman.

Just how rare is the feat? Well, in the history of the league the 30-goal mark has only been achieved by defenders on 18 occasions and by only nine different individuals: Bobby Orr, Paul Coffey, Dit Clapper, Doug Wilson, Kevin Hatcher, Ray Bourque, Mike Green, Phil Housely, and Denis Potvin.

Green was the latest player to tally 30 when he netted 31 during the 2008-09 season as a member of the Washington Capitals and before him was Hatcher, who did so in 1993.

So, if Burns is able to keep the same pace, or even accelerate it, he could join some elite company. Of course, this isn't exactly unprecedented for the 31-year-old, given that the next highest single-season total in goals by a defenseman since Green's 30 was posted by Burns last season when he scored 27.

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The Toronto Maple Leafs have found a backup to Frederik Andersen.

The club claimed Curtis McElhinney on waivers a day after he was waived by the Columbus Blue Jackets, according to Sportsnet's Chris Johnston.

McElhinney was placed on waivers by the Blue Jackets on Monday, two days after the 33-year-old turned in his worst performance of the season, allowing five goals on 34 shots in a 5-4 loss to the New York Rangers.

Outside of the blunder, McElhinney has been a model of consistency for the Blue Jackets this season, going 2-1-2 in seven games while posting a 2.39 goals-against average and .924 save percentage.

As for the Maple Leafs, the team acquires a more experienced and reliable backup for Andersen a day after it was reported that the club wasn't actively seeking a backup goalie.

Andersen has dressed in 33 of the Maple Leafs 39 games this season, going 17-9-7 with a 2.69 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage.

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Roberto Luongo has crunched the numbers and, according to his calculations, there is no way he can hit Martin Brodeur's mark of 691 wins.

Related: Luongo passes Sawchuk for 5th on all-time wins list

The Florida Panthers netminder took to Twitter to thank everyone for the kind words after he surpassed Terry Sawchuck for fifth place on the all-time wins list Monday night.

Unfortunately, the 37-year-old doesn't feel he can move much further up the list.

First off I'd like to thank everyone for all the kind messages since last night. Very appreciated! And secondly.....

— Strombone (@strombone1) January 10, 2017
After doing the math.... If I play another 28 years I will still fall about 5-6 wins shy of tying Marty's record!

— Strombone (@strombone1) January 10, 2017
If Luongo were to play for another 28 years it would take just over eight wins a season to reach Brodeur's mark. It's certainly doable, plus teammate Jaromir Jagr will probably still be playing then as well.

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Roberto Luongo stands alone in fifth place on the NHL's all-time goaltending wins list.

The 37-year-old veteran won his 448th career game on Monday - a 3-0 decision for the Florida Panthers over the New Jersey Devils - breaking a tie with Hall of Famer Terry Sawchuk.

It took Luongo 953 games, while Sawchuk needed 971.

The shutout was Luongo's 73rd of his career.

Luongo won't be in fifth for long. Up next, just six wins ahead, is Curtis Joseph.


Only 11 goalies in history have won 400 or more games, with Henrik Lundqvist needing just eight more to join the club.

The majority of Luongo's wins - 252 over eight seasons - came as a member of the Vancouver Canucks. Monday was his 189th win as a Panther, in his second go-round with the club.

Luongo also won seven games as a member of the New York Islanders, who drafted him fourth overall in 1997.




RANK               GOALIE          WINS


1                Martin Brodeur      691


2               Patrick Roy            551


3               Ed Belfour             484


4                   Joseph             454


5                   Luongo            448

Last edited on Tue Jan 10th, 2017 10:04 pm by lobo316

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Jaromir Jagr's feeling excellent, thanks for asking.

The 44-year-old's playing future is a topic of discussion wherever the Florida Panthers go on the road, especially to a place Jagr's played before as a member of the home team. That was the case Monday in New Jersey, where Jagr said he's still got 10 years to go.

"I go to 55," Jagr said, writes The Record's Andrew Gross. "I just changed. Fifty-five. I feel good so I go to 55."

Jagr has never said he'll play until a certain age, though 50 has been bandied about. The point is: he'll tell us when he's done.

No. 68 didn't register a point in his team's 3-0 shutout of the Devils, but played 18:54, third-most on the team. His 25 points are tied for second on the club.

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Rookie sensations Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine each earned their first career All-Star selection on Tuesday - with rare distinction.

It's only the third time in NHL history that two rookies drafted No. 1 and No. 2 overall have been selected to play in the All-Star Game in the season immediately following, according to ESPN Stats and Info.

The only previous duos were Mario Lemieux and Kirk Muller in 1984-85, and Gil Perreault and Dale Tallon in 1970-71.

Here's a look at Matthews' and Laine's production so far:

PLAYER        GP    G    A     P


Matthews     39   21  14   35


Laine           42   21  16   37



All-Star weekend kicks off Jan. 28 with the Skills Competition in Los Angeles.

Last edited on Wed Jan 11th, 2017 02:36 am by lobo316

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The Jhonas Enroth experiment in Toronto is over.

The Maple Leafs traded the backup goaltender to the Anaheim Ducks late Tuesday night for a 2018 seventh-round draft pick, the clubs announced.

Enroth, 28, will report to Anaheim's AHL team in San Diego.

Enroth trade is about goaltending depth right now as Gulls main man Dustin Tokarski apparently suffered an injury down there.

— Eric Stephens (@icemancometh) January 11, 2017
Earlier on Tuesday, Toronto added Curtis McElhinney to its roster off waivers from the Columbus Blue Jackets, paving the way for this deal. McElhinney will take over the backup duties behind No. 1 Frederik Andersen, who's played a lot through the first half of the season.

Enroth was awful in six games and four starts for Toronto, ending his short Maple Leafs career with no wins and an .872 save percentage.

The 28-year-old was signed in the offseason to a one-year, $750,000 contract, but was sent to the minors after his early-season struggles, with Antoine Bibeau playing two games as Toronto's backup.

The deal continues a trend of Toronto and Anaheim trading goalies. Andersen joined Toronto in a trade with the Ducks last June as he was approaching restricted free agency, and was immediately signed to a five-year contract extension. In early July, Toronto dealt Jonathan Bernier to Anaheim, where he now serves as John Gibson's backup.

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LOS ANGELES - The NHL All-Star Game's 3-on-3, four-team tournament format put an intriguing spin on a staid exercise when it was introduced last season.

The format also essentially guaranteed a few glaring snubs when the All-Star teams are chosen.

All four teams must have six forwards, three defensemen and two goalies apiece from each NHL division, and every franchise in the league must be represented at least once. Those restrictions essentially guarantee an elite forward or defenseman in each division will be a victim of the numbers game.

Especially when veteran stars such as Jonathan Toews can't figure out why they're going.

In perhaps the most curious choice in Tuesday's selections, Toews was chosen over teammates Artemi Panarin, Marian Hossa and Artem Anisimov, who have all outscored the Blackhawks' captain this season. Sure, Toews is one of the NHL's elite centers, but he scored only 20 points in 34 games.

''Most of the time, I guess I'd say it's an honor,'' Toews told reporters in Chicago. ''This time, it's a little bittersweet, I think. I've just got to completely admit that there's a handful of guys on this team that are definitely more deserving, especially this year. ... Why I got picked ahead of those guys, based on performance, I'm not sure.''

Panarin is a particularly baffling omission: The rising Russian star known as the Bread Man had a whopping 41 points in 43 games, ranking sixth in the NHL scoring race. Even defenseman Brent Seabrook, who wasn't among Chicago's NHL-high four All-Stars, has outscored Toews this year.

Perhaps Toews was invited because of an ulterior motive: The NHL will unveil its choice of the top 100 players in league history on Jan. 27 in Los Angeles, two days before the All-Star Game at Staples Center. Toews, the three-time Stanley Cup champion and the youngest player to make the Triple Gold Club, could be a part of those festivities.

The rest of the All-Star rosters are an appropriate mix of talented veterans and young stars from the first half of a surprising season in which 19-year-old Connor McDavid is the NHL scoring leader, several Canadian teams are in playoff contention after the Great White North was shut out in 2016 and the overall NHL standings are topped by the Columbus Blue Jackets - a franchise with zero playoff series victories in its first 15 NHL seasons.

But the All-Star snubs are numerous, too.

How about Columbus' Cam Atkinson, who began Tuesday in a tie for eighth in the NHL scoring race with 39 points? He has scored plenty of big goals during the Blue Jackets' impressive rise, but wasn't invited to join defenseman Seth Jones and goalie Sergei Bobrovsky.

''With Jonesey and with Bob, it's well-deserved,'' Columbus coach John Tortorella said. ''There's a few other guys there that probably had a couple looks. You look at Cam and some of the things he's done. But to get a couple guys on the team, it's great.''

Or how about Montreal's Max Pacioretty (34 points) and Alexander Radulov (31 points), the Canadiens' top two scorers during their outstanding season? They were beaten out in the Atlantic Division by Detroit's Frans Nielsen (22 points), Buffalo's Kyle Okposo (27 points) and Florida's Vincent Trocheck (24 points), the only representatives from their three respective teams.

Edmonton goalie Cam Talbot has already won 20 games for the surging Oilers, but was beaten out by San Jose's Martin Jones and Arizona's Mike Smith.

Buffalo's Rasmus Ristolainen, Boston's David Pastrnak, Minnesota's Eric Staal, Winnipeg's Mark Scheifele, Pittsburgh's Phil Kessel, Philadelphia's Jakub Voracek and Columbus rookie Zach Werenski also made strong cases in the first half of the season - and they're still not entirely out of the picture.

Injuries sometimes factor into the NHL's initial All-Star decisions, with teams quietly letting the league know when players have a nagging issue that could endanger their All-Star availability. Additional injury dropouts in the ensuing two weeks could allow the NHL to make up some of the omissions.

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New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal is in a familiar, unfavorable position.

Staal, who missed the club's past two games with an unspecified upper-body injury, is reportedly dealing with post-concussion symptoms, according to Larry Brooks of the New York Post.

The 29-year-old has missed time with two separate concussions over the course of his career, and his timeline for a return is unclear at this point, reports Brooks.

Staal has suited up in 40 games for the Blueshirts this season, notching three goals and three assists, while averaging 19:33 in ice time.

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It took about half the season, but the Washington Capitals are making their move.

A 5-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night - one that was historic in multiple ways for captain Alex Ovechkin - gave the Capitals their seventh consecutive win and their eighth in the last 10 games.

Watch: Ovi adds patented one-timer goal to historic night

Washington now sits one point back of the first-place Columbus Blue Jackets in the ultra-competitive Metropolitan Division.

The Capitals defeated the Blue Jackets last Thursday, ending Columbus' 16-game win streak and derailing their bid to tie the longest such run in NHL history.

Washington now has the same number of ROW (regulation or overtime wins, which serve as a major playoff seed tiebreaker) as their Ohio-based counterparts, but the Blue Jackets have a game in hand and an 11-goal edge in goal differential at plus-45, which leads the NHL.

Still, the Capitals are making a push to overtake Columbus and claim the best record in the league, a distinction that earned the Capitals the Presidents' Trophy over the 82-game schedule last season.

Wednesday's win gave Washington the second-best record in the NHL - considering the number of games each team has played - behind Columbus.

The Capitals have quelled some respectable opponents during their current seven-game run, defeating the Penguins, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators (twice), the Blue Jackets, and the surprising Toronto Maple Leafs in addition to their victory over the struggling New Jersey Devils.

Getting an eighth consecutive win won't be easy for No. 8 and company. Washington hosts the Chicago Blackhawks, owners of the highest point total in the Western Conference, on Friday.

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Alex Ovechkin needed just one shift to take care of his latest milestone.

The Washington Capitals star scored 35 seconds into Wednesday's game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, snapping home his 20th goal of the season and registering his 1,000th career point in the process.

By hitting quadruple digits in his 880th career game, Ovechkin became the second-fastest active player to accomplish the feat behind Florida Panthers forward Jaromir Jagr, who reached the milestone in 763 contests.

Ovechkino became the 24th-fastest player, the first Washington Capital ever, the 37th with a single franchise, and the 84th player in NHL history to reach the 1,000-point mark.

As if that wasn't enough, the goal was also the 545th of his career, moving him past Maurice Richard into sole possession of 29th all time. He tied the Montreal Canadiens legend with a goal at the Bell Centre on Monday night.

He added another highlight-reel goal later in Wednesday's game, going top shelf with one of his patented one-timers on the power play.

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Carey Price wanted to finish the game he started, despite it not going the way he envisioned.

The Montreal Canadiens were rocked 7-1 by an excellent Minnesota Wild team Thursday night, and the game was essentially over after 40 minutes, with Minnesota up by four. But Price had no plans to leave the crease, and made sure his head coach Michel Therrien knew that.

Therrien via RDS in Minnesota: he talked to Price in second intermission, Price said he wanted to stay, he respected the decision

— Аrpon Basu (@ArponBasu) January 13, 2017
"Nobody else has the opportunity to get pulled during a game," Price said, according to TSN's Dan Robertson, clearly recognizing his teammates' effort, while acknowledging that sometimes the puck simply doesn't bounce your way. "I'd rather just stick it out."

The Canadiens have been involved in some wacky, high-scoring games this season, including Thursday's 7-1 affair. Price was in net for Montreal's 10-1 laugher over the Colorado Avalanche, and Al Montoya and the Habs made headlines when Montreal was rocked 10-0 by Columbus, with Montoya allowing all 10 goals. The Canadiens had a game the next night, so Montoya was left to flounder.

Price is struggling after a brilliant start to the season, allowing three or more goals in six of his last seven starts.

Montreal hosts the New York Rangers on Saturday.

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The Pittsburgh Penguins are officially in a slump.

A 4-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Thursday means Mike Sullivan's crew has dropped back-to-back games in regulation for the first time since losing four straight from Dec. 14 through Dec. 19, 2015.

Those were, in fact, the first four games of Mike Sullivan's tenure as head coach. And the Penguins probably laughed about them during one of their many Stanley Cup parties over the summer.

The Penguins went into the new year on a four-game win streak, their bye week beginning on Jan. 1. They were back in action on Sunday, a 6-2 win over Tampa Bay, but lost 5-2 to Washington on Wednesday before Thursday's defeat.

Mike Condon was strong for Ottawa, making 29 saves on 30 shots. Matt Murray made his first start for Pittsburgh since Dec. 20, and made 29 stops on 33 shots.

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Despite what your natural inclination may lead you to believe, there wasn't a proud papa in the seats when Max Domi traded fists with Calgary Flames fourth-line forward Garnet Hathaway in December.

"I didn't have to say too much to Max. He knows," Tie Domi told Sportsnet's Luke Fox. "You learn from experiences and try to take a positive out of it. It's early in his career.

"It's OK to play with an edge, but fighting isn't part of the game."

That is, not a part of his son's game.

"I don't like it. I did enough fighting. I did it the most," he added. "So I did enough for our family and many more. He'll just take the positive learning experience out of it. He's just got to realize that he can't put himself in that situation."

The consequence, this time, was a broken hand suffered in the punch-up.

Max has already missed more than a month after having surgery to repair the damage.

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The Colorado Avalanche are beginning to sell.

The Avalanche announced Friday that the team has dealt forward Cody McLeod to the Nashville Predators in exchange for forward Felix Girard.

McLeod has appeared in 28 games with the Avalanche this season, scoring one goal. He has one year remaining on his contract, owning a $1.33 million cap hit.

FYI the Avs retain 40 percent of McLoed's salary/cap hit. He has another year on his deal next season at $1.33 M cap hit https://t.co/MqK2m0WJLf

— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) January 13, 2017
Girard has spent the season with Milwaukee, the Predators' AHL affiliate. The 22-year-old has appeared in 35 games, tallying three goals and five assists. The Predators selected Girard 95th overall in 2013.

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WASHINGTON - Justin Williams and Matt Niskanen each scored two goals and Philipp Grubauer stopped all 24 shots he faced and the Washington Capitals extended their winning streak to nine in authoritative fashion by crushing the Philadelphia Flyers 5-0 on Sunday.

The Capitals lead the NHL with 63 points.

Despite a sluggish start, the Capitals came alive with four goals on seven shots in the first seven minutes of the third period to turn the game into a laugher.

Washington has outscored its opponents 40-11 during the streak and passed the Columbus Blue Jackets for first place in the Metropolitan Division, Eastern Conference, and the league.

Andre Burakovsky also scored a power-play goal for the Capitals, who haven't allowed an even-strength goal in six games.

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Include St. Louis Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock in with the list that believes the NHL would have a better product without the "loser point."

Hitchcock admits that in the final stages of tight games, the mindset shifts from pursuing the full freight, to ensuring his team secures at least one point to avoid losing ground.

"I like when you are playing all out, all the way," Hitchcock told Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe. "But I've got to tell you as a coach, if there's five minutes left in the game, and it's tied, I'm not necessarily thinking about winning it. I want at least a point.

"A lot of coaches think like that. We have to think like that. Because to get zero points in a tie game with 10 minutes left is devastating."

This counterproductive feedback loop is arguably killing the NHL. The more overtimes and shootouts, the tighter teams remain bunched in the standings. Meanwhile, because nearly every team is in contention, they must continue to err on the side of caution, as more often than not coming away with nothing will result in a slip in the standings.

Many believe there's an easy fix to this conundrum. If regulation wins become valued at three points, suddenly the payoff obscures the consequence. For this reason, teams would be much more willing to attack.

The Blues included.

"If you can put more value in (a regulation win), I am all for it," Hitchcock said. "But to me, right now when there's 10 minutes left in a hockey game I want that one point, at least.

"I've got to have it. That's how you get in the playoffs."

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To say Eric Staal has found his game in Minnesota would be an understatement.

After agreeing to a three-year deal with the Wild, Staal headed to St. Paul in search of a fresh start after a few stale seasons in Carolina and a flop on Broadway following a late-season trade to the New York Rangers.

Wild coach Bruce Boudreau, also in his first season in Minnesota, raised the eyebrows of many with his offseason proclamation that Staal was due for a rebound with his new club.

"Maybe I'm out in left field, but I think Eric is going to have a great year," Boudreau said in August. "I think there's been circumstances for the last two years that haven't been well, but I am pretty sure that he is really excited about coming to Minny, and he is really excited about playing."

As it turns out, Boudreau was exactly right.

With an assist against the Dallas Stars on Saturday, Staal tallied his 39th point on the season - the same production as a year ago, except he did it 42 games earlier.

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OTTAWA, Ontario - Nazem Kadri scored twice and Curtis McElhinney made 35 saves, leading the Toronto Maple Leafs past the Ottawa Senators 4-2 on Saturday night.

It was McElhinney's first start with the Leafs after being picked up off waivers earlier in the week from the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Tyler Bozak and Connor Brown also scored for the Maple Leafs, who moved into a tie with the Senators for third in the Atlantic Division at the halfway point of the season.

Dion Phaneuf and Kyle Turris had goals for Ottawa, and Mike Condon made 23 saves.

Kadri's second goal of the game gave the Leafs a 3-2 lead just 2:31 into the third period.

The Senators got their first power play of the game when Frederik Gauthier went off for tripping at 4:01. Ottawa looked to have the equalizer, but McElhinney made a sprawling save to deny Mike Hoffman on his one-timer.

Minutes later, Erik Karlsson hit the post behind McElhinney and, within seconds of that, Brown gave the Leafs a 4-2 lead with a quick shot after Auston Matthews won a faceoff in Ottawa's zone.

The teams were tied at two through 40 minutes after the Leafs had jumped out to a 2-0 lead.

Kadri opened the scoring on the power play when he tucked a rebound underneath Condon at 6:26 of the opening period.

Bozak gave the Leafs a 2-0 advantage just 1:07 into the second when he intercepted a clearing attempt from Bobby Ryan, moved in on the Ottawa goal and waited for Condon to make a move before beating the netminder.

The Leafs were carrying the momentum through the period, but that changed when Phaneuf got the Senators on the board at 9:15 of the second. His point shot hit Leafs defenseman Jake Gardiner before eluding McElhinney.

The Senators tied it at 18:50 when Turris beat McElhinney with a shot far side to the top corner.

NOTES: Fredrik Claesson was scratched for Ottawa. Josh Leivo and Garret Sparks were scratches for the Maple Leafs. ... Chris Wideman became the 100th player to play in 100 games for the Senators when he suited up against the Leafs. It was also the 100th game of his NHL career. ... Senators F Mark Stone remains one assist shy of 100 for his career.

UP NEXT: Senators: play their next three games on the road, starting with the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday.

Maple Leafs: host the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday.

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The Tampa Bay Lightning aren't planning to have Ryan Callahan back in the lineup until mid-February.

The veteran forward will be out for about another month with what the Lightning are calling a lower-body injury, the club announced Sunday.

Callahan hasn't played since Jan. 7, and he's only appeared in 18 of Tampa Bay's 44 games this season.

He underwent hip surgery in June that prevented him from representing the United States at the World Cup of Hockey.

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CHICAGO - Jason Pominville scored in the third period, Devan Dubnyk made 33 saves, and the Minnesota Wild beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 on Sunday night to grab sole possession of the top spot in the Western Conference.

Nino Niederreiter and Chris Stewart also scored as Minnesota earned its fourth straight win and improved to 17-1-1 since Dec. 4. The Wild also beat the Blackhawks for the eighth straight time.

Minnesota (28-9-5) jumped in front for good when Marco Scandella shot the puck behind the net and it caromed right to Pominville standing all alone on the right side of the crease. He knocked it into the open net for his sixth of the season at 5:08.

Minnesota defenseman Ryan Suter was sent off for tripping with 22.4 seconds left, but Chicago was unable to get a good look at the goal even with the 6-on-4 advantage.

Patrick Kane scored twice for the Blackhawks (27-14-5), who were coming off an ugly 6-0 loss at Washington on Friday night. Artem Anisimov, battling an illness, had two assists, and Corey Crawford made 29 stops.

Chicago coach Joel Quenneville called Friday night's performance against the Capitals a failure ''across the board,'' and he went with seven defensemen for the Blackhawks' first game of the season against Minnesota. He also leaned heavily on Kane, who has six goals and 12 assists in his last 14 games.

The reigning NHL MVP beat Dubnyk on the stick side at 4:33 of the first, and then added his 14th of the season in the second. The winger dug the puck out of the faceoff circle and snapped it over Dubnyk's left shoulder for a 2-0 lead at 4:16.

Minnesota got one back after Anisimov was sent off for tripping at 5:04 of the second. Jonas Brodin's long shot went off Wild center Mikael Granlund in front and dropped to the ice near Niederreiter, who slammed it in for his 12th.

Stewart tied it at 2 when he beat Crawford on the short side from the left circle with 9 minutes left. Stewart also scored in Minnesota's 5-4 victory at Dallas on Saturday night.

NOTES: It was Kane's first multi-goal game of the season. ... The Blackhawks scratched forwards Andrew Desjardins and Jordin Tootoo. ... D Nate Prosser and RW Kurtis Gabriel were inactive for Minnesota.

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More accolades for Nicklas Backstrom, the Washington Capitals set-up man who bagged his 500th career assist last week.

Backstrom was named the NHL's weekly first star with three goals and 10 points as the Capitals won all four of their games. He moved into the top 10 in league scoring with 42 points.

Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand also vaulted into the top production tier, scoring four goals and eight points. He matched a career-high with five points in his 500th career game Saturday.

Finally, Brock McGinn of the Carolina Hurricanes was recognized as the NHL's third star. He had four goals and three assists, helping the Hurricanes to three wins in as many outings. He has 12 points total on the season.

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The New York Rangers announced Monday that backup goaltender Antti Raanta will be sidelined 7-to-10 days with a lower-body injury.

Raanta suffered the injury Saturday versus the Montreal Canadiens, with starter Henrik Lundqvist entering the game in relief after the first period.

Raanta has been impressive for the Blueshirts this season, posting a 10-4-0 record through 18 games, alongside a .923 save percentage.

In a related move, the Rangers recalled netminder Magnus Hellberg from the Hartford Wolfpack, the club's AHL affiliate.

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Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang is officially week to week with a lower-body injury suffered Saturday versus the Detroit Red Wings, head coach Mike Sullivan announced Monday.

It's believed he suffered a left knee injury while being tangled up with Thomas Vanek.

Letang exited the ice in distress, unable to bear weight on his leg. He took one short shift a little later on, but did not return after that.

Staying healthy has been a challenge for Letang throughout his career. He's made 70-plus starts once in the last five 82-game campaigns, and has wound up on injured reserve twice already this season.

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Never say never.

That appears to be Shane Doan's stance in advance of the NHL's upcoming trade deadline, and in response to a recent report from Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman suggesting the longtime Arizona Coyotes captain would be open to being moved to a Stanley Cup contender.

Doan was made aware of the report and has validated it, but with major caveats.

"People have texted and talked to me about it," he told Tim Campbell of NHL.com. "I never said I wouldn't go anywhere. I've always wanted to stay here. If there was ever an opportunity, the Coyotes have always been incredible to me and respectful to me in every way.

"I'd talk about (possible trade) with my family and make a decision on that if it was to come up but it would have to be so perfect and so right that it's pretty hard for it to all line up perfectly. It would have to be exactly perfect and that just doesn't happen too often in our sport."

Doan, who recently turned 40 and who's on a one-year deal with the Coyotes, has a no-move clause built into his contract, meaning he'd have to approve any trade attempted by John Chayka, and a move likely wouldn't even be considered by the Coyotes without Doan's knowledge and permission.

For his part, Doan let it be known the report didn't originate from his side of things, even with the Coyotes languishing near the bottom of the standings.

"It wasn't me saying it," he said. "I've been frustrated with the year, with us not winning and stuff, that's always tough. I haven't said it to them, to management, or said anything to them, but I've also never said I wouldn't (agree to be traded)

"If it comes to that point, we'll sit down and talk about it. It's happened in the past, it's just that no one's ever heard about it. We've had the discussion and said yes or no and for the most part it's been no."

Doan added it's difficult to assess a clear-cut contender in the NHL this year, meaning there's no guarantee a trade would pay off with a championship.

The No. 7 pick at the 1995 NHL Draft when the team was known as the Winnipeg Jets, Doan has played his entire career with the organization, and he's the team's all-time leader games played, goals, assists, and total points.

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The Toronto Maple Leafs have been showered with praise in recent weeks, particularly since defeating New York and Ottawa in consecutive nights over the weekend.

So, in an effort to manage expectations and alleviate pressure from his rookie-laden team, head coach Mike Babcock worked to pacify the excitement swelling around his club when he met with media Monday afternoon.

"Just chill," he said, according to Sportsnet's Chris Johnston.

Babcock added that plenty can change from one half season to the next, saying, "Let's not get carried away here."

Alas, it might be too late.

The thinking has shifted from progress to postseason-or-bust for many people who follow the Maple Leafs closely. The numbers that support them as a viable top-three team in the Atlantic Division are too strong to ignore.

This is a club on an 8-1-1 stretch, and which now has the 12th-best points percentage in the NHL and rising. Toronto has outscored the competition 40-26 over that span.

And, the Leafs have displayed positive signs over course of the season: Just one of their 20 wins has come in the shootout. They're one of seven teams averaging more than three goals each night. Six teams have a better goal differential in the East. Two teams average more shots in the NHL. They're a top-10 score-adjusted possession team. And only the Capitals and Blue Jackets have held the lead for longer.

These are positive signs worth talking about for the Maple Leafs.

Just keep it down around Babcock.

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Game of the year. Season, too.

The Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Capitals 8-7 in overtime Monday, ending Washington's nine-game winning streak in what can only be described as a throwback game to a bygone era.

I'm watching this pens-caps 7-7 game in the fetal position.......

— Strombone (@strombone1) January 17, 2017
Here's what you need to know about a game that saw the teams score a combined 13 goals in the final 40 minutes and 34 seconds:

Evgeni Malkin registered his 11th career hat trick, all three of his goals coming in the zany second period.
Sidney Crosby finished with a goal and three assists, reaching the half-century mark in points as he continues to chase Connor McDavid for the NHL scoring lead.
The Pens have points in 13 straight games at home (12-0-1) and have won six in a row at PPG Paints Arena.
Last time the Capitals scored 7 goals, didn't win was against Penguins on Oct. 11, 1988. They lost to the Penguins, 8-7 (Lemieux hat trick)

— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 17, 2017
Strangely enough, in a game in which 15 goals were scored, Alex Ovechkin didn't find the back of the net. He finished with two assists.
That Pens-Caps game singlehandedly raised the NHL's goals per game average this year... from 5.387 to 5.40. Woo?

— James Mirtle (@mirtle) January 17, 2017
Capitals goalie Braden Holtby was pulled after allowing five goals on 26 shots.
Matt Murray went into this game with a .925 SV%, good enough for 5th in the league. He's now sitting at .916 SV%, which drops him to 24th

— Mike Commito (@mikecommito) January 17, 2017
Washington went into the game not having allowed an even-strength goal in over 320 minutes played at five-on-five. Pittsburgh scored seven goals at even strength.
This game will be the third time in the last 20 years that a team will score seven goals in a game and lose.

— Down Goes Brown (@DownGoesBrown) January 17, 2017
It was the final meeting of the season between the two Metropolitan Division rivals - until, hopefully, the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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The New York Islanders have relieved head coach Jack Capuano of his duties and appointed Doug Weight as interim head coach, the team announced Tuesday.

Islanders general manager Garth Snow thanked Capuano for his contributions to the organization via the team's official website:

The New York Islanders would like to thank Jack for his tireless work throughout his seven seasons with the organization as Head Coach. His leadership guided the team to the playoffs in three of the past four years, which included two straight 100-point seasons. He is a great coach and an even better person. We wish him nothing but the best moving forward.

Appointed head coach after serving as the interim boss for most of the 2010-11 season, Capuano was the fourth-longest tenured head coach at the time of his dismissal Tuesday.

He won 227 games in seven seasons behind the Islanders' bench, second only to franchise legend Al Arbour.

Capuano led the Islanders to their first postseason series victory in 23 years last spring. However, the team has shown significant regression this season after consecutive 100-point campaigns, sitting last in the Eastern Conference with 17 wins from 42 games.

Capuano had these parting words:

It's an honor to have served this historic franchise and its passionate fans. I'd like to thank Garth and our ownership group for the opportunity to be the Head Coach of the Islanders. I'd also like to recognize our coaching staff, training staff and players for all of their hard work.

Snow explained in a conference call that Capuano, who had no term remaining on his deal, was not going to be extended an offer to remain at his post. He said the timing of the move will allow the Islanders to get a head start on their search for a replacement.

With new ownership, it's expected that the entire organization - including Snow - will come under scrutiny.

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It's never a good day when you're being compared to the Atlanta Thrashers.

If the Colorado Avalanche lose to the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday, it will mark their third straight defeat, and continue a historically bad season.

Just how gruesome have things gotten in Colorado?

With 27 points through 41 games, the Avs are on pace for 54 points - a number that would drop to 53 with a loss to the Blackhawks. Last year, the Toronto Maple Leafs finished in the NHL's basement while still managing to put up 69.

In fact, only 14 teams have finished with less than 60 points since the Thrashers joined the NHL in 1999-00 - a stretch of 16 full seasons.

Meanwhile, just three clubs - the 2013-14 Buffalo Sabres, the 2000-01 New York Islanders, and those same Thrashers - were worse than Colorado's current pace.

If life in Denver is bad now, how ugly will things get if Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog are wearing different colors following the March 1 trade deadline?

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The Pittsburgh Penguins will be without Matt Cullen for 3-to-4 weeks, as the forward has been sidelined with a foot injury, reports Sam Werner of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Cullen sustained the ailment in Monday's 8-7 overtime victory over the Washington Capitals after he took a shot to the foot.

The 40-year-old hasn't missed any games to date this season, recording 17 points in 43 matches.

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Vancouver Canucks defenseman Ben Hutton will miss three-to-six weeks with a small fracture in his hand, the team announced Tuesday.

Hutton exited Vancouver's Jan. 6 win over the Calgary Flames after blocking a shot with his left hand. It wasn't believed to be serious, and Hutton actually warmed up the following night but has not been available since.

The 23-year-old has been relied upon heavily on Vancouver's back end. He logged more ice time than any player before suffering the injury, at over 20 minutes per night.

Vancouver also announced that Anton Rodin will undergo a period of rest after revealing his surgically repaired knee has not returned to "the same level of fitness." He's scheduled for an MRI.

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Brad Marchand believes in the power of a hockey family.

In an interview with ESPN's Joe McDonald, the Boston Bruins forward opened up about who he is away from the rink, and said when a professional hockey player does come out as gay, he'll be accepted by his teammates, "no question."

"Guys would accept that," Marchand told McDonald. "We're a team in the (dressing) room and a family. It doesn't matter what different beliefs guys have, or where they come from, or whatever the case may be. Guys would accept it."

The NHL in recent years has been spreading a message of inclusivity, partnering with the "You Can Play Project" in showing that the game is an accepting place, for anyone and everyone.

"Again, in the room we're a family," Marchand said. "That's the way it is on a hockey team, and that's the way it will always be."

Marchand's been vocal about his support for the LGBT community, and takes pride in it.

"I have friends who are in gay relationships, and I don't think it's right for people to be against that," he said.

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For many years, the idea of LeBron James putting on the pads, snapping on a chinstrap, and rescuing the Cleveland Browns from their destitution has existed as fantasy for sports fans in Ohio, and around the sports world.

There's been no such speculation, however, about James - in many ways the ultimate athlete - taking his schoolyard talent to the rink and helping another Ohio team, the Columbus Blue Jackets, experience postseason success.

But the topic finally came up Wednesday (because talk radio), and Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella playfully snuffed out the notion that James could make a crossover to the NHL.

"Not a chance," Tortorella told 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland, according to show producer Keith Britton.

"He can't skate. He's too damn big, he can't skate. And you can tell him I said that, I challenge him. Tell him to get his ass out here and come on the ice with us. I want to see him skate."

Though you can never quite tell with the often-fiery bench boss, who seems to be mellowing with age (and success), Tortorella's comments were made in jest, as Britton reiterated.

That said, we're sure the challenge stands as issued.

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Connor McDavid has put himself in fine company.

The Edmonton Oilers superstar recorded the 100th point of his career upon assisting on a Zack Kassian goal against Florida.

Only three active players have reached that mark in fewer career games.

Fewest GP to reach 100 NHL points among active players (@EliasSports):
77: Alex Ovechkin
80: Sidney Crosby
89: Evgeni Malkin
92: @cmcdavid97

— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) January 19, 2017
McDavid, of course, is in the thick of the NHL's scoring race, with both Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin hot on his heels.

Crosby, Malkin, and Alex Ovechkin are arguably the three greatest players of the past decade, and can be named among some of the best of all time. If McDavid keeps it up - and there's no reason to believe he won't - he'll be right up there when all is said and done.

McDavid, by the way, added point No. 101 with a second assist later in the first period.

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The Nashville Predators announced defenseman P.K. Subban will be back in the lineup Friday versus the Edmonton Oilers after he missed 16 games with an upper-body injury.

Subban scored seven goals and tallied 10 assists in 29 games before being forced from the lineup for more than a month.

With Roman Josi's injury overlapping Subban's absence, the Predators have been stretched on defense this past week. Ryan Ellis logged more than 27 minutes Thursday versus the Calgary Flames, helping the Predators achieve a 2-1 win without their top two defenders.

Now on the second half of a back-to-back, All-Star captain Subban could be thrust into big minutes in his return.

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The Toronto Maple Leafs have claimed forward Seth Griffith back off of waivers from the Florida Panthers, Sportsnet's Chris Johnston reports.

Toronto claimed the former minor-league standout from the Boston Bruins back in October. He was picked up by Florida on waivers after three appearances for the blue and white.

Griffith had five assists in 21 games in Florida.

The Maple Leafs are sending Griffith straight to the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League, according to Johnston.

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The Boston Bruins will welcome winger Matt Beleskey back for Friday night's crucial contest versus the Chicago Blackhawks.

Claude Julien on Matt Beleskey returning from injury: "We'll give him a shot tonight."

— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) January 20, 2017
Beleskey was sidelined for the past six weeks with a knee injury.

The Bruins - losers of four of their last six games - will hope for a spike in production upon Beleskey's return, as the 28-year-old has only amassed two goals and three assists in 23 contests this season.

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Say what you want about this season, but they don't call Henrik Lundqvist the King for nothing.

The 34-year-old turned away all 21 shots he faced in Sunday's 1-0 overtime win over the Detroit Red Wings to pick up his 20th win of the season.

In doing so, Lundqvist became the first goalie in NHL history to begin his career with 12 straight 20-win seasons.

Lundqvist’s 12 consecutive 20-win seasons are tied for the most in @NHL history!

— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) January 22, 2017
After a trio of shaky contests over the last week and a half that saw him give up at least four goals per game and 16 overall against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, and Dallas Stars, the New York Rangers goalie appears to be settling back in.

He has now posted back-to-back wins, stopping 44-of-46 shots in those games. The King's next milestone will be his 400th career win, which he will achieve with just six more victories.

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Filip Forsberg's recent clutch performance has bumped a familiar face out of the Nashville Predators record book.

Filip Forsberg's 5 GWG in January are a Predators record for a calendar month. The previous record of 4 was originally set by...Martin Erat.

— Adam Vingan (@AdamVingan) January 23, 2017
More impressively, three of Forsberg's game-winning goals in January came in one-goal decisions, with the latest recorded as the third goal in a game where the fourth was scored into an empty net.

Forsberg was acquired by the Predators from the Washington Capitals in exchange for Martin Erat and Michael Latta prior to the 2013 NHL trade deadline.

Erat was at one time a consistent scorer for the Predators, but fizzled out soon after the trade.

Forsberg, meanwhile, is coming around after a slow start to the season. He's recorded five of his 14 goals over the past six games, including the record-breaking game-winner against Minnesota on Jan. 22.

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Not many teams go into Minnesota and beat the Wild. Add the Nashville Predators to the list.

The Preds erased a 2-0 deficit Sunday, eventually winning 4-2, as Filip Forsberg scored his fourth game-winning goal in six games.

The Swede is as hot as his team, which is playing the best hockey of its season, winners of six of seven. And Sunday's victory gave head coach Peter Laviolette the 500th victory of his career. He's the 25th head coach in history to reach the milestone.

It'll be a joyous return for the team to Nashville, on its way home after a stellar road trip through Denver, Western Canada, and Minnesota:


The Preds are now ahead of St. Louis by two points, and third in the Central Division. They've made up ground as goaltending has derailed the Blues' season.

It's the opposite in Nashville. The Predators have allowed only 12 goals in their past seven games, winning five tight one-goal decisions.

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Jack Capuano may not be unemployed for long.

The former New York Islanders bench boss, who was fired by the club Tuesday, has piqued the interest of at least one NHL club, Arthur Staple of Newsday reports.

While the inquiring team is unknown, only two clubs are currently without a head coach - the incoming Vegas Golden Knights, who will join the NHL next season as an expansion club, and the Florida Panthers, where general manager Tom Rowe doubles as interim head coach after the firing of Gerard Gallant.

Interested suitors require the Islanders' permission to speak with Capuano, given he is still under contract until the end of the 2016-17 campaign. It is unknown whether Capuano has been contacted regarding a head coaching position or an assistant role.

Capuano manned the Islanders' bench since 2010-11, posting a 227-192-64 record through his time in New York. Last spring, he guided the Islanders to their first playoff series win since 1993.

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The Metropolitan Division continues to shine.

Pittsburgh Penguins winger Conor Sheary, New York Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss, and Washington Capitals right wing T.J. Oshie have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week of Jan. 16-22.

Here's a look at what they accomplished over the past seven days.

Sheary led the NHL with six goals and nine points in four games. His 34 points through 39 games is more than triple his output as a rookie last season (10 points in 44 games).
Greiss went 2-0-1 with a 0.98 goals-against average, .971 save percentage, and two shutouts (over Dallas and Boston). The run propelled the Islanders out of last place in the Eastern Conference and back into the playoff picture.
Oshie recorded three goals and three assists in three games for the first-place Capitals.

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Kevin Hayes is set to miss at least a few games after suffering an injury in Sunday's win over Detroit.

OFFICIAL: #NYR Kevin Hayes had an MRI this morning and will be sidelined for 2 to 3 weeks with a lower body injury.

— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) January 23, 2017
Hayes ranks third in scoring on the New York Rangers, recording 13 goals and 22 assists for 35 points through 47 games.

Should he be out the full three weeks, he would miss New York's next eight games.

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The Tampa Bay Lightning desperately miss Steven Stamkos.

It should come as no surprise that a team would struggle without its captain and highest-paid player, but we're talking about a team that pushed the Pittsburgh Penguins to seven games in the Eastern Conference Final largely without Stamkos, and that seemed built for sustained success even if he'd decided to sign elsewhere as a free agent this past offseason.

Now, in a season where Stamkos has missed 31 of 48 games with a knee injury, the apparent Stanley Cup hopefuls find themselves at the bottom of the conference standings with a 21-22-5 record.

General manager Steve Yzerman has assembled a wealth of talent, but there's no question the Lightning's offense has diminished since Stamkos succumbed to injury.

This can't all be pinned on Stamkos' absence, of course - other key players have also suffered injuries, with Ryan Callahan and Ben Bishop missing the most time.

The fact Yzerman hasn't added to the roster with Stamkos out suggests he trusts the remaining players to get to the postseason, but at least one of them believes the effort isn't quite there.

"It starts with us," said star defenseman Victor Hedman, according to Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times. "We've got to lead the way out there. Obviously, the leaders on this team have to step up and play better, and that goes with everyone, from goalies to forwards. We're all in this together."

Tampa Bay has posted a record of 11-16-4 without Stamkos, and owns the conference's lowest point percentage as a result. Rebounding back into the playoff picture may be too much to ask, giving Yzerman reason to pause and consider the makeup of his team.

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For the second time in as many seasons, the Washington Capitals are rolling through the Eastern Conference with reckless abandon, setting themselves up for another league-leading finish, and perhaps more.

The Caps have looked especially dominant as of late, racking up 12 wins over their past 14 games - with the only two losses over that span coming in extra time.

That blazing run gave Washington 26 points over the past month of play, taking its season total to 70 points - tops in the NHL.

With over half the campaign in the books, the Capitals are separating themselves from the Presidents' Trophy herd once again, sitting a handful of points above similarly hot teams in Columbus, Minnesota, and Pittsburgh, and a mile above the more pedestrian clubs.

But considering their current trajectory, the Caps might be on track for something more illustrious than their second consecutive regular-season crown.

With 70 points through 47 games, the club is on track to hit 122 points by season's end. That mark would be good enough to clear both of their previous league-leading seasons - 121 points back in 2009-10 and 120 points last season.

In fact, it would rank as the best regular-season showing in Capitals history.

Washington would require a monstrous finish to reach that historic mark - 52 points over the final 35 contests - but considering the way the club has been cruising past the competition, it might not be out of the question.

The Caps have put up four goals or more 22 times in 2016-17, 11 of which have come in the past month. Meanwhile, they're allowing the fewest goals per game of any NHL club, with 2016 Vezina Trophy winner Braden Holtby putting together another strong season.

Of course, the true test for Washington will come after its 82 games are done, as the Capitals' sights are likely set higher than another sterling regular season.

At this point, it's all about becoming a team that can take down any playoff opponent put in front of it. Considering the numbers the Caps are putting up right now, that doesn't seem too far-fetched.

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It didn't take very long for Patrick Marleau to record his fifth career hat trick.

The San Jose Sharks forward needed a stretch of just 7:42 in the third period to put three pucks past Colorado Avalanche goalie Spencer Martin.

Randy Hahn's call of Patrick Marleau's hat trick: "A natty hatty for Patty" pic.twitter.com/fDz7qc7rsN

— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) January 24, 2017
For Marleau, the bushel of goals brought his recent slump to an abrupt end. Prior to Monday's game the former Sharks captain had not scored a goal in seven straight contests.

Marleau wasn't done there, adding a fourth - for the first time in his career - before the period was up.

WHAT A NIGHT!

Four goals. One period. One player...Patrick Marleau everyone. #SJSvsCOL pic.twitter.com/LHXnNcAINS

— NHL (@NHL) January 24, 2017
Marleau is the first player since Mario Lemieux to score four goals in one period.

Patrick Marleau became the 12th player in NHL history to score 4 goals in a period & the first since Mario Lemieux on Jan. 26, 1997 at MTL. pic.twitter.com/JnMHzKKxEO

— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) January 24, 2017

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With Patrik Laine shelved and teammate Auston Matthews cooling, Mitch Marner has his nose out front in the rookie scoring race.

Marner scored his 11th of the season, and later added his 28th assist on Nazem Kadri's 20th goal, leapfrogging Matthews to take top spot in team and rookie scoring in Monday's 4-0 win over the Calgary Flames.

With 39 points through 45 games, Marner is on pace for 71 in his freshman campaign - which has been about a top-15 finish in the NHL scoring races over the past few seasons.

Marner is still outside the top 20 in league scoring, but with a lighter, more sheltered workload, he continues to creep up into elite company in terms of all-situations points rate.

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The Ottawa Senators have locked up Zack Smith, signing the forward to a four-year, $13-million contract extension, the club announced Monday.

Smith, who was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, will earn $3.25 million in annual salary for the next four seasons. It's a healthy pay bump from the $1.88 million he's earned annually on his current deal - also a four-year pact.

Smith will have some protection with a limited no-trade clause, ESPN's Pierre LeBrun reports.

Coming off his career-best 25-goal season last year, Smith, 28, has hit double-digit totals in goals and assists through 43 games this season, scoring 11 times and racking up 22 points.

A middle-six contributor, Smith has had a reasonably effective impact on total shot attempts throughout his last four seasons in Ottawa, as he's toggled between functions.

In a conference call shortly after the announcement, Smith said the Senators' direction was one of the greater selling points.

"I'm very happy to get this done, and I'm looking forward to the future here in Ottawa," he said.

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After a snake-bitten 2015-16 saw Nazem Kadri post the NHL's 12th-most shots (260) and finish with only 17 goals, the young Toronto Maple Leafs pivot seems to finally be getting his due.

The 26-year-old has flipped the script in 2016-17, piling up goals at every turn after a year of seemingly doing everything right and finding little reward.

Through 45 games this season, Kadri has already bested last year's total with 20 goals - 11th-most in the league, and just a pair off elite snipers like Alex Ovechkin.

Barring anything unforeseen, Kadri will finish 2016-17 with a career-best goal total, as his 20 tallies through half a season have already matched his previous career high, set in 2013-14.

It's no surprise the young centreman is making waves on the goal-scoring scene. Especially after his performance in 2015-16, when he found a new gear and emerged as one of the game's most prolific shooters with an astounding 260 shots - adding 84 chances on net to his previous best sum.

And yet, that promising season saw Kadri's shooting percentage plummet to a career-worst 6.5 percent. He finished as the only NHL shooter with over 250 chances on net and fewer than 20 goals, watching veteran teammates like P.A. Parenteau and Leo Komarov tally more goals in fewer games.

This time around, Kadri's putting pucks in the net at a much-improved rate of 14.2 percent, while still on pace for roughly the same number of shots - returning to the promising offensive level he showed early in his career, even as he's emerged as a savvy two-way force in Toronto.

If his pace holds up, Kadri will finish the year with 36 goals and 60 points - career highs by a mile, and just the type of elite effort the Leafs faithful have been waiting for from the 2009 first-round pick.

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The Toronto Maple Leafs could be looking for a more reliable option down the middle of the ice.

While the club surely can't knock the play of centers Tyler Bozak, Nazem Kadri, and Auston Matthews to date - it appears they could use an upgrade on the fourth line.

The team is reportedly looking for a depth center, someone who could provide some more insurance with Ben Smith out with an injury and rookie Frederik Gauthier currently manning the spot, according to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman.

While Smith and Gauthier have not contributed much on the offensive side of things - each with three points on the season - they have been among the club's best faceoff men with 53.24 percent and 52.49 percent efficiency rates respectively.

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The Ottawa Senators have acquired forward Tommy Wingels from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for forwards Buddy Robinson and Zack Stortini, along with a seventh-round draft pick in 2017.

"Tommy has been a valuable member of our franchise for many years, a phenomenal teammate and a true role model on and off the ice for our organization and the NHL," Sharks general manager Doug Wilson wrote in a statement. "As a team evolves and younger players push for roster spots, unfortunately tough decisions have to be made. We wish Tommy and his wife, Molly, nothing but success in the future."

Wingels, 28, has recorded five goals and three assists in 37 games while largely serving as the Sharks' fourth-line center this season. He's under contract through the end of this season at a cap hit of $2.45 million, and as part of the deal, San Jose will retain 30 percent of his salary.

Drafted in the sixth round back in 2008, all of Wingels' 337 regular-season games and 45 playoff appearances have come with the Sharks.

The trade bolsters Ottawa's forward ranks for a potential playoff push in light of Clarke MacArthur's inability to play this season. The Sharks, meanwhile, are able to open a roster spot for younger talent while adding size, depth, and a draft pick to their system.

Wingels is expected to join the Senators on Wednesday and could be in the lineup as early as Thursday against Calgary.

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The Los Angeles Kings have pushed back the expected return date for goaltender Jonathan Quick.

The initial target for Quick's recovery from a groin injury was mid-February, but he isn't likely to step back into the crease until early March at best, general manager Dean Lombardi told Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider on Tuesday.

Quick isn't skating again yet, and Rosen writes that Lombardi "acknowledged that there was a big difference between Quick getting onto the ice to test his injured groin in a limited step forward, and actually getting onto the ice and facing shots in a more structured setting."

Losers of four straight, the Kings have been relying primarily on Peter Budaj in net, with the odd start coming from Jeff Zatkoff. Los Angeles sits outside the Western Conference playoff picture, but goaltending hasn't really been a big issue, as the Kings ranks seventh in goals against per game (2.49) and 22nd in average goals for (2.47).

Whether the Kings make a move to bolster the offense and the backup goalie position remains to be seen, but if Quick is able to return shortly after the March 1 trade deadline, that could serve as a huge addition for the stretch run in and of itself.

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For a while there, it seemed the 2016-17 season was going to be the David Pastrnak show. But the young Boston Bruins winger's cold streak has turned into a genuine step back, returning him to the middle of the pack.

The 20-year-old Czech started the new season as hot as one can be, tearing through the league at a blistering pace. By early December, Pastrnak was up to 18 goals in just 23 games - tied with Sidney Crosby for the league's scoring lead.

Pastrnak posted 15 goals in 2015-16, and it took him 51 games to reach that sum. Suffice to say, his strong start was a crucial step forward, establishing himself as one of the game's new goal-scoring kings.

And then it all came tumbling down.

Injuries threw his sterling 2016-17 effort into disarray, as the young winger was forced out of the lineup for a pair of games in mid-December to get treatment on his elbow.

Since returning to the Bruins' lineup, Pastrnak's previously indomitable scoring touch has all but dried up. Following his 18-goal romp through the first 23 games of the year, he's registered just one tally in the past 20 contests, and none in his past 17.

The young Bruin has actually been shooting slightly more often during his cold streak than he was when he was terrorizing goaltenders on a nightly basis. He's averaged 3.5 shots per game over the past 20 contests, up from 3.4 during the earlier 23-game span.

Unfortunately, Pastrnak's luck seems to have deserted him, as all but one of his past 70 shots have failed to find the back of the net. A regrettable reality for the Bruins, who are desperate for success after sliding down the standings and temporarily out of a playoff spot.

Head coach Claude Julien is certainly giving his young star all the opportunity needed to get back on track, as Pastrnak is seeing more ice now than he did early in the year. Through December and January, he's averaged nearly a full minute more per game than he did through October and November.

And yet, the floodgates remain firmly closed. As it currently stands, Pastrnak still ranks 15th in the league's goal-scoring race thanks to his scorching start. But unless he can start adding to that total again some time soon, it won't mean much for the quickly falling Bruins.

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Evgeni Malkin will miss at least one regular season game and Sunday's NHL All-Star Game due to a lower-body injury, Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan announced on Wednesday.

Malkin saw 18:27 of ice time in Tuesday's loss to St. Louis and fired four shots on goal, but will be unavailable for Thursday's date in Boston as a result of the ailment.

The center sits tied with teammate Sidney Crosby for second in the NHL with 54 points after recording 22 goals and 32 assists in 47 games. He'll be replaced on the Metropolitan Division roster for the weekend's All-Star festivities in Los Angeles.

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The Colorado Avalanche are eschewing the morning skate in the second half of the season.

With a schedule that has the club playing almost every other night through the conclusion of the regular season, the team made the decision to go with optional morning skates on game days, in addition to team meetings and video sessions.

"Our schedule has been strange," said first-year head coach Jared Bednar, who asserted the decision was a result of conversation between staff and players. "That's the best way I can put it. You look at the two big breaks at the start of the year, then Christmas break, then the bye week, and we seem to have (had) a lot of space in between games."

Bednar added that his team has had a lot of practice time through the first half of the season, even though it's not showing, as Colorado sits dead last in the NHL in points, with only 28 through 45 games, in what is a lost season.

With a busy schedule the rest of the way, Bednar wants to make sure the players have ample time to rest.

Colorado will have more than a day off between games only twice next month, between Feb. 1 and 4, and Feb. 25 and 28. The rest of the way, it's a game every other night, with five stretches of three games in four nights.

The decision also means practices will be more intense, with the players expected to work hard.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The numbers of women affected by abuse, sexual assault or domestic violence staggered Sean Henry, president and CEO of the Nashville Predators, the first time he heard them.

Then he talked to his wife, mother and other women in his life who told him the numbers didn't surprise them. That shocked, and scared, him even more.

Now the Nashville Predators are launching a public service announcement to ''Unsilence the Violence'' that features players like All-Star defenseman P.K. Subban and captain Mike Fisher. The franchise also pledged $500,000 over five years from its foundation to the YWCA's MEND program designed to teach men and boys how to help end violence against women and children.

''The best part of what we do as a franchise, we get to leverage the passion our teams have for our team, our logo and turn that into something better, and I can't think of a better cause to be behind than stopping violence against women in our community,'' Henry said at a news conference Wednesday.

The Predators have supported the MEND program since soon after its inception four years ago, including hosting program sessions at the Bridgestone Arena. The Ohio Valley Conference, headquartered just south of Nashville, also has been a longtime supporter, with Tennessee State men's basketball coach Dana Ford appearing in the new ad.

With the money from the Predators and a $200,000 commitment from the All-State Foundation, the YWCA will help fund billboards and expansion of the MEND program beyond the 10 clubs and schools in the Nashville area.

The program is run by Shan Foster, Vanderbilt's all-time leading scorer, and works to teach boys and young men how to talk to women and to have healthier relationships. Foster said hearing those lessons from coaches, administrators and pro athletes makes the message more powerful.

Henry said violence against women is a man's problem.

''Men need to step in and stop this,'' Henry said. ''We need to turn those numbers around, and it starts with every individual.''

Sharon K. Roberson, president and CEO of the YWCA of Nashville and Middle Tennessee, said one in four women will be abused in her lifetime, one in five will be sexually assaulted in college and 15.5 million children witness domestic violence each year. She also said Nashville police respond to a domestic violence call every 20 minutes.

Henry said those numbers are worsening, making it more imperative to act. The Predators official said he's had some people tell him they won't end violence against women.

''Even if we fall short of that goal, if we change that one in four to one in 54, the lives we're changing we're changing forever breaking the cycle,'' Henry said.

The Predators are hosting MEND Night at their arena Thursday night during their game against Columbus to raise awareness and more money for the program, offering discounted tickets and making a donation to the YWCA.

Henry said the NHL is looking at the issue of violence against women and how to get involved. But he said he's more focused with what the Predators are doing right now and hoping other sports franchises follow their lead. The new ad is designed to give boys role models who speak up, whether it's a sexist joke or someone being harassed.

''We need to get our 12-, 13-, 14-, 15-year-old boys better examples,'' Henry said. ''Examples they can say: 'Wait a minute. P.K. Subban says this isn't OK. He's standing up to this. I should too.'''

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The Columbus Blue Jackets will be well represented in Los Angeles.

Cam Atkinson is set to take the All-Star spot vacated by injured Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin, according to Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Post Dispatch.

Atkinson will join two teammates and his head coach on the Metropolitan Divisio roster.

#CBJ now will have four representatives in Los Angeles this wknd: RW Cam Atkinson, D Seth Jones, G Sergei Bobrovsky, coach John Tortorella.

— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) January 26, 2017
The All-Star nod is well deserved for Atkinson, who sits in a tie for second with Jeff Carter with 24 goals this season, four behind leading scorer Sidney Crosby. On top of that, only seven players have more points than Atkinson's 46 this season.

This will mark Atkinson's first All-Star Game appearance.

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Indispensable.

Is there any other way to describe Frederik Andersen's performance this year?

The Toronto Maple Leafs starter earned consecutive shutouts for the first time in his career Wednesday, making 22 saves in a 4-0 win over the Red Wings in Detroit.

He steered aside 26 shots in a 4-0 win over the Calgary Flames on Monday.

Andersen's consecutive shutouts are also the first by a Maple Leafs netminder in nearly four years. Ben Scrivens stopped 34 and 37 shots versus the Ottawa Senators and Florida Panthers in two perfect performances in succession back in February of 2013.

Andersen's been largely spectacular all season for the Maple Leafs, steadying himself after a distressing first five starts with the franchise.

His .930 save percentage since Nov. 1 - a span in which he's seen more rubber than any other netminder - trails only Braden Holtby and Devan Dubnyk among undisputed starters.

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The Toronto Maple Leafs are providing a new challenge for one of hockey's most experienced front office executives.

The rapid emergence of rookie forwards Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, and William Nylander - all of whom rank within the top five in team scoring - has put the club in playoff contention perhaps a year or two earlier than expected.

Teams being carried by first-year players is a phenomenon that has emerged late in Lamoriello's 30-year career.

"I don’t think your rookies would have been better than the players you had," Lamoriello told Craig Custance of ESPN, referring to the state of the NHL during his tenure with the New Jersey Devils. "That’s the difference. I don’t think 10 years ago, 12 years ago, rookies came in and were able to take the jobs the way they are right now. The young player is so much better as far as quantity than it’s been in the past. It’s just the way the development of the game and the programs, and the focus of 12 months of training.

"It’s a different game today. It’s a different philosophy, it’s a different approach," he added. "I have certainly not experienced it."

The question, then, becomes where to go from here. Do the Maple Leafs continue with a patient, build-from-within approach, or do they take advantage of the fact three of their best players are on entry-level contracts and try to surround them with veteran talent in order to become legitimate Stanley Cup contenders in the near future?

It's a conversation that will no doubt be had more than once prior to the NHL's March 1 trade deadline, as well as through the offseason.

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When the New York Islanders cut head coach Jack Capuano loose, the club sat dead last in the Eastern Conference. Just five games later, the Isles have overtaken five Eastern teams and are one mediocre win streak away from a playoff spot.

That stark turnaround isn't simply the result of new bench boss Doug Weight's inspiring leadership - though the Islanders have gone 4-1 since he took over. It's just the reality of the situation for teams in the East this season, where the battle for the last few playoff spots is nowhere near finished.

Heading into the home stretch of 2016-17, the seven clubs at the bottom of the standings remain just three points apart, and all are within reach of a wild-card spot.

Four teams (the Carolina Hurricanes, Buffalo Sabres, New Jersey Devils, and Detroit Red Wings) are tied for last at 49 points. The next tier is only a mild step above, as the Islanders, Florida Panthers, and Tampa Bay Lightning all sit between 50-52 points.

After triumphantly closing the gap on the backs of their elite rookie stars, the Toronto Maple Leafs have temporarily dropped out of a postseason position. Yet they remain just one point behind the Philadelphia Flyers for the second wild-card slot, and the Leafs have played three fewer games than Philly.

Needless to say, it's still anyone's year in the East.

Perhaps the only clubs sure to remain in their current spots are the Metropolitan Division leaders, where the Washington Capitals, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Pittsburgh Penguins have been rolling over the rest of the league all season. All three have cleared 65 points and don't look likely to fall too far before the year is through.

The Atlantic Division-leading Montreal Canadiens appear to be a sure thing as well, sitting with a seven-point lead over the second-place Ottawa Senators.

Past that, the rest of the conference is an all-out mess. This time last season, the bottom three teams in the East were already well behind the middle-of-the-pack clubs by a full 10 points or more, their playoff hopes all but dashed.

But the basement dwellers are hanging around this time, which should mean plenty of heated conference rivalry tilts once the All-Star break concludes.

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Columbus Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella revealed Thursday that he won't be going to Los Angeles to lead the Metropolitan Division at the All-Star Game, citing a family matter.

After an outpouring of well-wishes from his peers, Tortorella wanted to clarify that he wasn't dealing with an emergency - instead, one of his dogs is sick, he told Aaron Portzline of The Columbus Dispatch.

"I appreciate so much the number of messages I have received since the announcement," Tortorella said. "But this absolutely is not an emergency. I want to clear that up.

"I needed a few days during the All-Star break - not having to go to the All-Star Game - to take care of something very important to my family and my son."

In response to missing All-Star festivities, the NHL - just like they do with players who can't make it - made Tortorella miss a game, so he did not coach Thursday against Nashville.

The 58-year-old owns five dogs, and it's his son Nick's 10-year-old pitbull, Emma, that is in ill health. Nick, a U.S. Army Ranger, is stationed abroad.

This would have been the second All-Star Game of Tortorella's career.

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As if being shut out to the 29th-place Arizona Coyotes isn't bad enough, the Vancouver Canucks did so Thursday in historically bad fashion.

It took Vancouver 28:12 to register its first shot on goal, the longest a team has gone since the NHL started tracking play-by-play in 2003, according to Sportsnet Stats.

Here's a look at the unbelievable performance - for all the wrong reasons - in chart form:

It's even funnier in chart form #TheCanucksAreActuallyAwful pic.twitter.com/ZR5HvaUp3T

— Jeff Veillette (@JeffVeillette) January 27, 2017
Vancouver ultimately amassed 19 shots (to Arizona's 31), as the loss bumped the Canucks out of a wild-card position in the West. Not ideal.

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One year removed from barely sneaking into the playoffs as a wild-card club, the Minnesota Wild now rank first in the Western Conference heading into the All-Star break.

A number of possible causes for their turnaround have been offered - the astute coaching of new leader Bruce Boudreau, the Vezina-worthy play of Devan Dubnyk, or maybe the resurgence of veteran Eric Staal.

And yet few are talking about one of the most pivotal storylines unfolding in Minnesota - the newly elite play of 24-year-old Mikael Granlund.

In the midst of his fourth full NHL season, Granlund has graduated to full-fledged stardom for the Wild. The 2010 ninth overall pick has found a new gear in 2016-17, leading his team in scoring with 42 points through 48 games.


That's a career-high scoring pace by a mile, as Granlund is just two points away from topping his personal best of 44, set last season over a full 82-game campaign. He's also just one goal away from matching his former top mark of 13.

Should Granlund continue to put up numbers at his current pace, he'll finish with 21 goals and 72 points. The Wild haven't seen any of their skaters top 70 points since Mikko Koivu in 2010.

Considering how well Granlund has been playing of late, it wouldn't be a surprise to see him push forward all the way to that 70-point plateau.

With a goal and an assist in Thursday's victory over St. Louis, Granlund has racked up 28 points over his past 24 games. He's riding a nine-game point streak, during which he's put up 11 points.

The Finnish star has flown under the radar through his first trio of NHL campaigns. It's taken time to notice Granlund, but he's proven he's more than a depth piece in Minnesota, and looks poised to lead the Wild on a march through the postseason come playoff time.

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On the eve of the NHL's unveiling of the top 100 players of all time, a man who ranks among them has cast his ballot.

Hall of Fame defenseman Bobby Orr spoke to reporters prior to Friday's event, stating that no one was better than Gordie Howe.

"Gordie in my mind is the best to ever play the game," Orr said, according to ESPN's Pierre LeBrun.

Of course, a few other greats agreed.

Gretzky, Orr and Lemieux agreeinh Gordie Howe was the best player of all time

— Michael Russo (@Russostrib) January 28, 2017
Mario Lemieux, above all, marveled at Howe's ability to play until he was 51 years old.

"That's pretty rare these days," Lemieux said, according to Puck Daddy's Greg Wyshynski. "Well, except for my buddy (Jaromir) Jagr."

Howe was named among the initial 33 names of the NHL's 100 greatest players ahead of the Centennial Classic between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings on Jan. 1.

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They'd be unbeatable.

Three of the greatest players to lace up skates spoke as part of the All-Star Game festivities in Los Angeles on Friday.

Alongside Bobby Orr and Mario Lemieux, Wayne Gretzky summarized the three greats with the perfect one liner.

"The three of us would have been pretty good at 3-on-3," Gretzky joked.

The trio are arguably the best to take the ice in the 100-year history of the NHL, with a host of combined accolades: Eight Stanley Cups, 18 Art Ross Trophies, 15 Hart Trophy wins, 10 Lester B. Pearson awards, and six Conn Smythes.

Three of the Greatest. #NHL100 pic.twitter.com/Zin5BAcok9

— NHL (@NHL) January 28, 2017

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As expected, Connor McDavid won the fastest skater at the NHL All-Star Skills Competition in Los Angeles, winning his head-to-head matchup with Nathan MacKinnon with a time of 13.02.

McDavid was given the opportunity to break the record held by Dylan Larkin moments after his race, but came up just short.

Nevertheless, the Edmonton Oilers superstar bagged two points for the Pacific, which matched the two earned by the Atlantic with Nikita Kucherov and Vincent Trocheck defeating Cam Atkinson and Wayne Simmonds, respectively.

Patrik Laine earned one point for the Central in a photo finish with Bo Horvat.

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Shea Weber's slap shot will not be matched.

The Montreal Canadiens defenseman delivered a shot registering at 102.8 mph to win the hardest shot competition for the third straight season.

102.8 🔥 #NHLAllStar #GoHabsGo pic.twitter.com/lNns5HCD6s

— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) January 29, 2017
Despite the win, the shot was Weber's lowest winning mark and the lowest speed to win the event since Zdeno Chara won in 2007 with a shot that hit 100.4 mph.

Weber secures two points for the Atlantic Division, winning his heat over Alex Ovechkin and with the top overall shot.

The Metropolitan scored a point with Seth Jones beating Victor Hedman. The Central earned one point on the back of Patrik Laine who scored the second-fastest shot at 101.7 mph, while Drew Doughty bested Nathan MacKinnon to grab a point for the Pacific.

That @PatrikLaine29 blast clocks in at 101.7 MPH. #NHLAllStar pic.twitter.com/pyPBdqYxug

— NHL (@NHL) January 29, 2017

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It's a skills competition, and Sidney Crosby has them.

After helping the Metropolitan Division win the night's first event - the skills relay - Crosby went 4-for-5 in the accuracy shooting competition, breaking the quartet of targets in a winning time of 10.73 seconds.

Sid sure can snipe. #NHLAllStar pic.twitter.com/dnST411O05

— NHL (@NHL) January 29, 2017

The Metro picked up two points in the event, with Crosby winning his heat against Auston Matthews and also posting the fastest time overall.

The Atlantic scored a single point with Kyle Okposo winning over John Tavares. The Pacific scored two with Connor McDavid and Jeff Carter each topping Patrik Laine and Patrick Kane in their respective heats.

No player went a perfect 4-for-4.

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The NHL will not be putting advertisements on jerseys anytime soon.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman held a state-of-the-league press conference on Saturday afternoon - ahead of the All-Star Skills Competition - where he noted, barring something unforeseen, ads on jerseys would not happen.

"It would take an unusual circumstance for us to even think about it," Bettman said, according to CSN Chicago's Tracey Myers.

That "unusual circumstance" sounds like it could be money and a lot of it.

#NHL commish Gary Bettman on sweater ads: It would take "an amount of money that I'm having trouble even comprehending" to even consider.

— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) January 28, 2017
When Bettman was asked about the NBA and its plan to introduce ads to jerseys starting in the 2017-18 season, he insisted that the NHL does not plan to follow in its path.

The league experimented with ads on jerseys during the World Cup of Hockey, but, according to Bettman, the difference there is that NHL jerseys are more sacred.

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If the painfully dull Skills Competition left you yearning for any bit of excitement out of Los Angeles this weekend, don't worry, the Metropolitan Division's 3-on-3 roster will save you.

Why, you ask? Mainly because the two greatest players of a generation will be playing alongside each other.

Yes that's right, fans will be treated to Sidney Crosby - one of the finest point producers we've ever seen - and Alex Ovechkin - the purest scorer the game has to offer - on the same team, at last, with extra ice at their disposal.

Pitted against each other as "rivals" in both the NHL and on the international scale, Sid the Kid and Ovi are looking forward to joining forces.

"Obviously it's going to be fun," Ovechkin told Lisa Dillman of NHL.com.

"Listen, I've seen him enough," Crosby said. "And I see the way he shoots the puck, so you've got to make sure you find him anywhere over the blue line and it's got a chance to go in. It's tough playing against him, but you try to take advantage of playing with him."

The duo has overwhelming potential to dominate the tournament, and hopefully head coach - and fellow NHL 100 member - Wayne Gretzky keeps the two side by side all day long.

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The New York Islanders are apparently being evicted from their Brooklyn home.

Barclays Center officials have decided that it's no longer in their best interest to house the NHL franchise, Bloomberg's Scott Soshnick reported Monday, citing people familiar with the facility's finances.

It's believed they have decided that the arena can generate more money staging concerts and other events in addition to Brooklyn Nets basketball.

Barclays Center pays the Islanders an average of $53.5 million annually for control of business operations, according to Soshnick.

The Islanders are in their second season in the Brooklyn barn, and since their arrival, there have been complaints from players and fans about ice quality and obstructed views.

The club has the NHL's third-worst average attendance behind the Arizona Coyotes and Carolina Hurricanes, with 81.1 percent of their seats sold, according to ESPN. In their final season at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, the Islanders had almost 95 percent attendance.

Soshnick notes that either side can cancel the current deal. If the Barclays Center chooses that route, the Islanders would need a new home after the 2018-19 season.

The Islanders have not commented on the report, according to Arthur Staple of Newsday.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said this about the Islanders' future at Barclays Center at NHL All-Star weekend in Los Angeles, according to ESPN's Craig Custance:

Well, the owners are committed to the franchise. They're committed to New York and the great fan base that has followed the Islanders. There are some issues about playing in Barclays. It may be fundamental to the system, and that's not something that can be fixed in the short terms. I think as is prudent, Scott Malkin and Jon Ledecky are reviewing the situation and looking very seriously at what their options are.

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Wayne's world.

Metropolitan Division and Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds was named MVP of the All-Star Game on Sunday, after his team was victorious over the Pacific in the final, 4-3.

Simmonds' third goal of the day, and his only one in the final, ended up the tournament-winner.

A first-time All-Star, Simmonds flies under the radar as a do-it-all guy for the Flyers, but he'll be more of a household name after his solid weekend in Los Angeles. And he's got a new truck, a Honda Ridgeline, to show for his efforts.

Fittingly enough, Simmonds began his career as a member of the Kings, so there's some symmetry in his first All-Star appearance - and first three All-Star goals - coming in L.A.

Simmonds has a team-leading 21 goals for the Flyers, and ranks third on the team in points with 38, while also accumulating the club's most penalty minutes (76).

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The accolades keep coming for Wayne Simmonds.

The Philadelphia Flyers forward was dubbed the NHL's first star of the week following his MVP performance in this past weekend's All-Star tournament, the league announced Monday.

San Jose Sharks forward Patrick Marleau and Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen were named second and third star of the week, respectively.

Simmonds scored twice for the Metropolitan Division squad in their semifinal win over the Atlantic Division, then notched the tournament winner in the final against the Pacific Division. He also scored two goals in the two games prior to the break for the Flyers.

Marleau notched six points in three games for the Sharks last week, tying an NHL record with four goals in a single period in a victory over the Colorado Avalanche last Monday night, becoming the first player since Mario Lemieux in 1997 to accomplish the feat.

Andersen earned shutouts in both of his appearances last week, turning aside all 48 shots he faced.

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Michel Therrien, fortune teller.

The Montreal Canadiens head coach is predicting big things for the Toronto Maple Leafs in the years to come.

"I believe this is the team of the future," he told reporters Sunday, according to Sportsnet's Chris Johnston, at the NHL All-Star festivities in Los Angeles, where Therrien guided the Atlantic Division squad.

The central piece of the Leafs' rebuild, Auston Matthews, was center stage Sunday, scoring his first All-Star goal for Therrien's team in a semifinal loss to the Metropolitan Division.

Therrien's assessment isn't exactly a stretch, considering the wealth of young talent in Toronto including Matthews, Mitch Marner, William Nylander, Connor Brown, and Zach Hyman.

The Leafs sit one point out of a playoff spot at the All-Star break with three games in hand on the Philadelphia Flyers for the second and final Eastern Conference wild-card berth.

Montreal leads the Atlantic Division with a record of 29-14-7.

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The New York Rangers have reportedly signed head coach Alain Vigneault to a two-year extension, running his contract with the organization through 2019-20, according to Larry Brooks of the New York Post.

Vigneault, whose deal was set to expire at the end of next year, is expected to earn a pay increase on his current $2-million annual salary, as Brooks notes.

The Rangers are expected to announce the extended pact Tuesday.

He signed a five-year deal to coach New York after being fired by the Vancouver Canucks at the end of the 2012-13 season. The Rangers have won at least 45 games in each season under Vigneault, and are currently on pace to exceed 50 with the NHL's second-highest scoring attack.

Vigneault has led the Rangers into the postseason in each of his three completed campaigns. They lost in the Stanley Cup Final in 2014, the conference final in 2015, and were ousted in five games last season by the Pittsburgh Penguins.

He coached the Canucks to within a win of a championship in 2011, and has led his teams into the postseason in eight consecutive seasons.

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There's no debate in Phil Kessel's mind.

The omission of Pittsburgh Penguins teammate Evgeni Malkin from the 100 Greatest NHL Players list was a glaring mistake, Kessel asserted Monday.

"He should be there, obviously," Kessel said, per Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "I’m pretty sure he’s one of the top 100 players of all time. It is what it is. In my book, he is."

A quick look at Malkin's accomplishments suggests Kessel is definitely on to something:

Stanley Cup: 2009, 2016
Art Ross Trophy: 2009, 2012
Hart Memorial Trophy: 2012
Calder Memorial Trophy: 2007
Conn Smythe Trophy: 2009
Ted Lindsay Award: 2012
NHL First All-Star Team: 2008, 2009, 2012


Malkin, who sits third in the NHL with 54 points so far this season, could be adding to that list in the not-too-distant future.

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Joe Thornton is predictably at peace with the NHL's decision to omit him from its list of 100 Greatest Players.

"At the start, I was like, 'Ah, maybe I could be on there.' But once it came out, I live my life, or try to live, with no stress," Thornton told Curtis Pashelka of the San Jose Mercury News on Monday.

"So as soon as it came out, it was like, 'Oh, you're not on it. OK, don't worry about it.'"

Of course, this is consistent for Thornton, unbothered and unwound, ostensibly with age, or at least since he began growing the stringy beard that matches his on-ice legend.

Thornton is 24th all time in points, and is on pace to crack the top 20 in history this season; he will exceed the 1,000-assist threshold this spring, a milestone only 12 others have accomplished; and he won the Hart Trophy in 2006 after the most productive season in the post-lockout era.

What Thornton doesn't have is a Stanley Cup, which, rightly or wrongly, clearly did factor in the selection process.

But he'll leave the speculation to those upset by the snub.

"For me, personally, it was just, 'Wow,' what a list it was. You read all of the names, and you're like, 'Wow, those are some powerful names.'

"But, no worries."

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The New York Islanders have signed goaltender Thomas Greiss to a three-year contract extension, the team announced Monday.

Greiss will reportedly earn $10 million throughout the life of the deal, according to ESPN's Pierre LeBrun.

Since arriving in Brooklyn last season, Greiss has wrested the starter's role from Jaroslav Halak, who is currently earning his $4.5-million annual salary with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League.

Greiss, 31, sports a .926 save percentage in 66 appearances dating back to last season, which is tops among all regular contributors league-wide over that span.

He has 37 wins from 62 starts, including 14 of the club's 21 victories this season.

Greiss is working on a $1.5-million salary, with his performance putting him in line for a hefty raise in unrestricted free agency at the end of the year.

Halak still has one more season left on his current deal, while current backup J.F. Berube will be a restricted free agent in a few months.

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Mika Zibanejad, a Swede of Iranian descent, is one of the countless U.S. and world citizens affected by Donald Trump's executive order barring travelers from seven countries from entering the United States.

Zibanejad's father lives in the U.S. with a green card. They have many family members, including Zibanejad's grandmother and eight cousins, living in Iran, one of the seven Muslim-majority countries identified.

He spoke to Justin Tasch of the New York Daily News about the travel ban and how it affects his family.

It hasn't been easy for them to come here, and this certainly doesn't make it easier, or even possible at this point. It's hard to kind of comment on. I don't want to get in too deep, but it seems like it's very straightforward and they have very straight lines of what the deal is, but I find still they're confused about it, still a lot of confusion about what's wrong and what's not. I guess when a change like this comes very, not from nowhere, but when it comes down like it did, I feel like there was maybe not a whole lot of thought about how to work it out. It seems very straightforward but very confusing about how they deal with it.

Zibanejad admitted that he did have concern, but re-entered the United States without a problem following a vacation for All-Star weekend.

Right now, that seems like an impossibility for many of his relatives.

Obviously being here now and living here doesn't make it easier. That sucks, but I can't comment more of how things are. Right now it just sucks. The more further this goes and we see what kind of solution we come to, then it's easier to kind of comment on.

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No John Scott effect required.

NBC saw its rating spike for its broadcast of the NHL's 2017 All-Star three-on-three tournament, with a 42 percent viewership increase from last year's event in Nashville, the network announced via a press release.

The NBC-only broadcast averaged 2.262 million viewers, which increased to more than 2.5 million for the Metropolitan Division's victory over the Pacific in the tournament finale.

Pittsburgh and Buffalo were the two top scoring markets.

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The NHL referred to former players as 'mere puppets' in documents connected to its ongoing lawsuit regarding the handling of head injuries, according to TSN Senior Correspondent Rick Westhead.

The league took issue with former players involved in the concussion lawsuit who wrote op-ed pieces on the subject for news publications. Such was the case with Reed Larson, formerly of the Detroit Red Wings, who penned a 2015 piece for The Detroit News on the subject.

Wrote Westhead on the league's request:

According to a decision in the case that was unsealed late Monday, the league wrote in court documents that former NHL players like Larson who are suing the league are "mere puppets" who "certainly would not have had the mental faculties to write lucid and sophisticated op-eds for publications."

The NHL asked a judge for help obtaining correspondence between those former players and CLS Strategies, a Washington-based public relations firm that has given communications advice to the lawyers who represent a group of more than 100 former NHL players suing the league.

Judge Susan Nelson denied the league's request, as it was revealed during the deposition of Larson, Bernie Nicholls, and David Christian that while the three hadn't initiated the original drafts of their published pieces, they reviewed their articles before publication and believed they represented their own words.

"The deposition transcripts, in full context, demonstrate that the named plaintiffs were interviewed for certain publications, their own words were used, and they had authority to edit and approve the op-ed pieces bearing their names," Nelson wrote in her 2016 judgment.

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Toronto Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri has once again been asked to comment on happenings south of the border.

A rare player of Muslim descent to make the NHL, Kadri was asked Tuesday about U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order banning citizens of seven primarily Muslim nations from entering the United States.

Kadri offered the following response, per Sportsnet:

Obviously it's unfortunate. I'm obviously proud to be Canadian and happy it doesn't affect me a whole lot. But, you know, banning some people from coming back into the country - and some smart people that really could make a difference - I really feel bad for those kind of people and their families, and just not being able to come back to America and do what they want to do.

Back in December 2015, Kadri - born to Lebanese parents in London, Ont. - called Trump 'pretty delusional' after the then-presidential candidate made it known he planned to restrict Muslims from entering America.

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The greatest player in hockey and one of his likely successors boast the NHL's top-selling jerseys so far this season.

Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby ranks first - and deservedly so - while Toronto Maple Leafs rookie Auston Matthews sits in the second spot.

Here's a look at the top 15, according to the NHL Shop.

Sidney Crosby, Penguins
Auston Matthews, Maple Leafs
Patrick Kane, Blackhawks
Jonathan Toews, Blackhawks
Connor McDavid, Oilers
Henrik Lundqvist, Rangers
Alexander Ovechkin, Capitals
Vladimir Tarasenko, Blues
Claude Giroux, Flyers
Shayne Gostisbehere, Flyers
Dylan Larkin, Red Wings
Carey Price, Canadiens
Rick Nash, Rangers
Patrice Bergeron, Bruins
Ryan McDonagh, Rangers


The sales figures were tabulated based on the first three months of the 2016-17 regular season.

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Mike Yeo was always next in line, but he's taking over sooner than originally planned.

The St. Louis Blues have dismissed head coach Ken Hitchcock and named Yeo his immediate replacement, general manager Doug Armstrong announced Wednesday.

When Yeo was hired as associate coach last summer, Armstrong initially said the former Minnesota Wild head coach would succeed Hitchcock as Blues bench boss after this season and "for three years after that."

However, the move was made now with St. Louis having lost five of six games and sitting last in the NHL with a team save percentage of .887, according to Corsica Hockey.


Hitchcock led the Blues to the playoffs in each of his five previous seasons behind the bench, but their run to the Western Conference Final last spring was the furthest he'd take them.

The 65-year-old ranks fourth on the NHL's all-time wins list with 781 - only a single victory behind Al Arbour - in 1,453 regular-season games.

Prior to his Blues tenure, Hitchcock spent parts of four seasons with the Columbus Blue Jackets, parts of four campaigns with the Philadelphia Flyers, and seven seasons with the Dallas Stars, leading them to a Stanley Cup championship in 1999.

He was named Blues head coach following the firing of Davis Payne early in the 2011-12 campaign.

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It was a difficult day for Ken Hitchcock, but Doug Armstrong didn't have an easy one, either.

The St. Louis Blues general manager fought back tears during his opening remarks Wednesday at the first press conference of the Mike Yeo era, after Armstrong named the former Blues associate coach Hitchcock's replacement earlier than initially planned.

Blues GM Doug Armstrong visibly shaken, overcome with emotion during Ken Hitchcock replacement news conference #stlblues pic.twitter.com/PxrEZntwcb

— Norm Sanders (@NormSanders) February 1, 2017
Yeo also expressed regret that his early promotion had to come at the expense of Hitchcock.

"I learned a great deal from him and I'm very appreciative," Yeo said. "I feel extremely bad that I'm sitting up here today."

Armstrong said he spoke to Hitchcock after Tuesday night's loss to the Winnipeg Jets, adding that the decision was especially tough because the veteran coach is "probably my best friend."

The GM gave an unprompted and topical comparison in reference to his outpouring of emotion Wednesday.

"As a Canadian citizen, I gave you my best impression of (U.S. Senator) Chuck Schumer," the GM quipped. Schumer teared up over the weekend discussing President Donald Trump's controversial immigration and travel ban.

The Blues have struggled mightily over the last two months or so, and are now clinging to the second and final Western Conference wild-card spot after losing five of their last six games.

Related: Jake Allen key to Ken Hitchcock's early dismissal

"It's my responsibility why we're off track, and it's my responsibility to get them back on track," Armstrong said.

Yeo wasn't supposed to take over for Hitchcock until next season, as initially dictated by Armstrong when Yeo was brought on as associate coach last summer.

Armstrong also announced Wednesday that goaltending coach Jim Corsi was fired, and that both assistant general manager Martin Brodeur and former NHL netminder Ty Conklin will share goalie coach duties for the rest of the season.

As for Hitchcock, the GM summed up his conflicting emotions in one sentence.

"I'm disappointed for a friend, but excited about the future."

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The situation behind St. Louis' bench this season was a bit odd to begin with.

Early in the offseason, the Blues added Mike Yeo - former head coach of the Minnesota Wild - to serve as an assistant to longtime bench boss Ken Hitchcock. There was nothing odd about that, except for the fact it was concurrently announced that Yeo would take over for Hitchcock at the end of 2016-17.

The best laid plans often go awry, as they say, and on Wednesday the club decided to expedite the succession process, relieving Hitchcock of his duties and promoting Yeo to the head coach position effective immediately.

And so ends a successful run for one of the NHL's most experienced head coaches.

Over 6 seasons Ken Hitchcock led the Blues to a 248-124-41 regular season record and ranks second on the Blues' all-time wins list

— SiriusXM NHL Network (@SiriusXMNHL) February 1, 2017
The move comes with the Blues sitting in the Western Conference's second wild-card spot, albeit with a record of 24-21-5 and a minus-16 goal differential with 32 games remaining on the schedule. This after St. Louis finished third in the league last season with 107 points before advancing to the Western Conference Final, where they lost to San Jose in six games.

So what went wrong?

It doesn't take too much digging to see one of the major issues that plagued Hitchcock this season, and that Yeo will now have to contend with.

Last season, #stlblues led #NHL with .919 save percentage. This season, dead last at .887.

— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) February 1, 2017
Following the trade of Brian Elliott to Calgary, the goaltending duties were handed to Jake Allen, with Carter Hutton brought in to serve as backup. The results to date have been disastrous.

These numbers come in a season where the Blues are allowing the fifth-fewest shots per game (27.6), but also the third-most goals per game (3.12). Looking a bit deeper, they rank fifth with a Corsi rating of 51.68 in five-on-five play, and 28th in save percentage (90.67) in the same situation.

In other words, they're regularly recording more shot attempts than the opposition, but simply unable to keep the puck out of their own net.

That imbalance - in conjunction with a slightly above average 11th-ranked offense in terms of goals per game - is enough to make even the best of coaches want to tear their hair out.

This falls largely on Allen, to whom general manager Doug Armstrong handed a six-year contract extension worth $17.4 million based on the belief he could carry the load as a bona fide starting goalie. It wasn't without merit, as Allen started 44 games for the Blues last season, posting a .920 save percentage.

The 26-year-old, however, has taken a big step back, costing Hitchcock his job and leaving Yeo hoping he can turn things around, and fast.

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It's Mitch Marner's turn.

The Toronto Maple Leafs center has been named the NHL’s Rookie of the Month for January after recording four goals and 11 assists for 15 points in 13 games.

Marner joins teammates William Nylander (October) and Auston Matthews (December) to earn the honor during the current campaign, making the Maple Leafs the first NHL team with three different Rookie of the month honorees in a single season.

As a result of his productive month, Marner sits in a tie with Winnipeg's Patrik Laine for first in rookie scoring with 41 points. Matthews ranks second (39), while Nylander is in a tie for third (31).

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Pittsburgh Penguins forward Conor Sheary will miss at least a month with what head coach Mike Sullivan would only describe as an "upper-body" injury.

Sheary ranks third on the Penguins in goals (17) and fourth in points (35). He'd been clicking with Sidney Crosby and Bryan Rust since being bumped up to Pittsburgh's top line earlier in the season.

The 24-year-old had scored nine goals in nine games before collecting just a single point over his last three contests.

Sheary is in his second NHL season, both with the Penguins who signed him after he went undrafted out of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

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It's time for the captain to rally the troops.

St. Louis Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, who was selected to wear the 'C' following the departure of David Backes this past offseason, addressed the firing of head coach Ken Hitchcock after practice Wednesday, saying it's time the team pulls itself together.

Related: Emotional Armstrong laments firing 'best friend' Hitchcock

Pietrangelo: "This is a wake up call for a lot of us. It's time to work together as a group and play a system like it needs to be played."

— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) February 1, 2017
Fellow blue-liner Kevin Shattenkirk added the Blues need to add some shake to that wake.

Shattenkirk: "It's not an easy day. You never want to see that happen to anyone, but it seems like we need to shake things up a bit."

— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) February 1, 2017
Certainly it's on the back end where new bench boss Mike Yeo needs to focus, as the Blues have allowed 157 goals against to date, the fifth-highest total among all teams.


Pietrangelo and the Blues will get their first crack at righting the ship Thursday against Toronto.

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Jarome Iginla wants out.

In an interview with Puck Daddy before the Colorado Avalanche were shut out by the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday, Iginla confirmed that he hopes to be dealt to a postseason contender before the March 1 trade deadline.

"I would like to, at the deadline, go somewhere," Iginla, 39, said. "I would like to be in the playoffs. I would hope that there is some opportunity to go and play in the playoffs.

"Those are the best games, the most fun for sure, and you have a chance to win. So no, I haven't given up on that chance to win."

Iginla has briefly functioned as a rental commodity, pursuing the championship that has eluded him since his rookie season in 1996-97 with two short stints with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins in 2013 and 2014 following his 16 seasons with the Calgary Flames.

He chose stability over the chase in the summer of 2014, signing a three-year, $16-million contract with the Avalanche, a deal set to expire this summer.

Iginla said he hasn't approached management with a formal request to be dealt, but suggested that it's implied based on his age, contract status, and the direction of the last-place Avs.

"I have enjoyed it (in Colorado) and there are lots of great young guys here, and I think it's going to be a promising future. But yeah, my window is not the same as the other guys for sure."

The Avalanche are one of a few obvious sellers with the deadline now less than a month away. The club will likely have to retain a considerable portion of Iginla's $5.33-million salary to facilitate a deal.

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Alex Ovechkin is at a fun stage in his career. It seems every goal carries with it some historical significance.

The generational sniper scored a go-ahead power-play marker in Washington's 5-3 win Wednesday over the Boston Bruins, and in the process eclipsed two Top 100 brethren.

Ovechkin's goal was the 550th of his career, which moved him passed Ron Francis for 27th all time. And because it came from his common home on the power play, he exceeded Wayne Gretzky on the all-time goals list when on the man advantage.

His 205th career power-play goal moved him into a tie with Joe Sakic for 14th all time, and 69 back of the NHL record held by Dave Andreychuk.

If he reaches the 40-goal plateau this year (he's at 25 through 50 games), he will exceed John Bucyk, Guy Lafleur, Mike Modano, Joe Nieuwendyk, and Mats Sundin, and improve to 22nd in NHL history.

He's 251 goals behind Gordie Howe for second all time, and 344 behind Gretzky's record of 894 goals.

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The reeling Colorado Avalanche have dipped into the waiver pool for help on the blue line.

The club claimed defenseman Mark Barberio, who was waived Wednesday by the Montreal Canadiens.

The 26-year-old was drafted 152nd overall by the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2008, and has spent more time in the AHL than in the NHL since that time.

When given a chance, first by Tampa Bay and then by Montreal, Barberio has proven to be a positive possession player, and clearly Colorado liked what they saw from the left-hand shot, who has averaged 0.66 points per game in the minors.

Reminder: Barberio does have one more year on his contract (750K)...Good for the Avalanche.

— Eric Engels (@EricEngels) February 2, 2017
The Canadiens also have a bit more cap space to work with down the stretch.

With Barberio's remaining cap hit off the books, #Habs now have $894,336 in projected cap space, equivalent to a $4M cap hit at the deadline

— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) February 2, 2017
In a corresponding move, the Avalanche waived defenseman Eric Gelinas.

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Well, this is a whale of an idea.

Connecticut governor Dannel Malloy is presenting an interesting option amid the New York Islanders' uncertainty surrounding their present and future home.

Malloy offered up Hartford's XL Center as an option for "interim use" in a letter sent to Islanders owners John Ledecky, Scott Malkin, and Charles Wang on Friday.

The governor then took it one step further, implying that the arena could be NHL-worthy for a longer period of time with a few adjustments.

"Of course, as we pursue the transformation of the building into today's NHL standards, we would suggest the building as a long-term solution to your needs as well," Malloy writes.

Bloomberg reported earlier this week that officials associated with the Barclays Center, the Islanders' current home, have concluded it's no longer worth housing the franchise.

If Barclays Center does opt out, the NHL club would need a new home for after the 2018-19 season.

Malloy's letter, obtained by TV station WFSB, touts Hartford as an NHL market and also attempts to sell the owners on the city's corporate community and the proximity of many affluent residents to the arena.

It also points out that the Islanders' AHL affiliate is not far from Hartford in Bridgeport, Conn.

Malloy ends his pitch by offering to meet with the Islanders' brass.

Hartford has been without an NHL team since the Whalers left for Raleigh, N.C. and became the Carolina Hurricanes in 1997.

The AHL's Hartford Wolf Pack play at the XL Center, which seats just under 15,000 people.

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The Nashville Predators placed forward Mike Ribeiro on waivers Friday, according to Sportsnet's Chris Johnston.

The move comes after the 36-year-old reportedly requested a trade from the team, according to ESPN's Pierre LeBrun. Ribeiro has been a healthy scratch the past three games and five of the last 11.

"Mike didn't want to keep being a scratch, so he asked for a trade. We put him on waivers to see if there's a match." Laviolette on Ribeiro

— Thomas Willis (@TomAWillis) February 3, 2017
Ribeiro's production is down from last year, but only slightly. He has four goals and 25 points in 46 games this season after tallying seven goals and 50 points one year ago.

He's in the final season of a two-year, $7-million contract with a cap hit of $3.5 million.

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It could be a week. It could be two. It could be even longer.

The point is: Jason Spezza's going to be out of the Dallas Stars' lineup for the foreseeable future.

Ruff said Spezza could be out a week or two, maybe longer. Upper body, not a concussion.

— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) February 3, 2017
Spezza was hurt in the Stars' 4-3 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday, during which he saw only 11:49 of ice time. It's probable he was hurt on this play, when Adam Lowry hit Spezza at the blue line.

The 33-year-old was riding a three-game point streak before being hurt, and has eight goals and 23 assists in 51 games. His loss is big for Dallas, which is trying to work itself back into playoff position in the Western Conference.

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The Toronto Maple Leafs set their longest regulation losing streak of the season Thursday night, thanks to a 5-1 shelling from the St. Louis Blues.

With the loss, the team has now dropped three consecutive games in regulation, the team's longest stretch without a point this season.

The club remains confident in itself, but as defenseman Morgan Rielly insists, the team has little to hang their hat on of late.

"The confidence is there. We have lots of confidence in our group, we don't have a lot to be proud of right now," Rielly said postgame. "We have two outings that didn't go our way and we're not very happy with so, if anything, we have that much more motivation going into a big game against a team within the division. There's no reason to start getting concerned, it's just a matter of trying to get our focus back and make sure we know what to think. Just get playing our game again."

The Maple Leafs fell 2-1 to the Philadelphia Flyers just prior to the All-Star break, but it's been their first two games coming out of the time off that have been the most troubling.

The team fell 6-3 to the Dallas Stars on Tuesday. A game that saw the Maple Leafs surrender five first-period goals and followed it up with Thursday's miserable display. The club has now given up 11 goals in their last two games.

As far as James van Riemsdyk is concerned, the team is better than how they have looked in their last few games, and getting back on track shouldn't take much mending.

"I'm sure everyone realizes where we're at in the standings and what part of the season we're at," said van Riemsdyk. "We know we've got more to give, we've got better hockey we're capable of playing, and it's just a matter of going out there, executing, working, and doing the things we know how to do."

The Maple Leafs will need to put that all together starting Saturday night. Toronto will play their most meaningful game in some time when they take on the Boston Bruins who sit three points ahead of the team and who have played five more games than them.

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The Nashville Predators have acquired forward Vernon Fiddler from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for a fourth-round pick in the 2017 draft.

Fiddler has appeared in 39 games with the Devils this season, recording three points and a minus-10 rating.

The 36-year-old is a pending unrestricted free agent, carrying a $1.25-million cap hit.

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Frank Corrado might finally be freed.

The Toronto Maple Leafs placed the seldom-used defenseman on waivers Saturday and claimed blue-liner Alexey Marchenko off the wire from the Detroit Red Wings, according to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman and Chris Johnston.

Corrado never managed to carve out consistent playing time since the Leafs claimed him off waivers last season. He appeared in only two games for Toronto this year after getting a 39-game look in 2015-16.

The 25-year-old Marchenko recorded six points in 30 games this season for the Red Wings, who drafted him in the seventh round in 2011.

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The St. Louis Blues will be without Robby Fabbri for the remainder of the season.

The 21-year-old forward suffered an ACL injury in his left knee and has been ruled out of action until training camp in September.

Fabbri was hit in front of the Blues' bench by Pittsburgh's Carter Rowney on Saturday. He collided with the boards and was unable to leave the ice without assistance.

Hit on the side boards forced Robby Fabbri to leave the game, hopefully he's alright. pic.twitter.com/h2yCaURmND

— NHL Daily 365 (@NHLDaily365) February 5, 2017
In 59 games this season, Fabbri had recorded 11 goals and 15 assists, ranking sixth among his teammates with 29 points. His absence is sure to be felt by a Blues club currently sitting outside the playoff picture.

As a result of the injury, St. Louis recalled forwards Kenny Agostino and Magnus Paajarvi from the AHL's Chicago Wolves.

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Washington Capitals fans are in for a cardboard treat.

Prior to Sunday's game against Los Angeles, the club will honor captain Alex Ovechkin for recently recording his 1,000th NHL point, and every fan in attendance will receive a cutout of the superstar winger's face.

That's a lot of #Ovech1Kin heads! More on today's pre-game ceremony: https://t.co/G8dkeoiMkw
And the @ovi8 Snapcode: https://t.co/Mht2IOLwIC pic.twitter.com/MiMGkYHo2A

— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) February 5, 2017
As an added bonus, a code is printed on each cutout that allows fans to unlock a commemorative #Ovech1Kin Snapchat geofilter.

What will they think of next?

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For another Monday, the NHL has named the three stars of the week that was.

It was a banner seven-day stretch for Sebastian Aho, who was named the league's first star. The Carolina Hurricanes rookie recorded his first career hat trick, totaled four goals, and chipped in one assist, helping his team sweep its three-game schedule.

The hottest scorer over the last two months in the NHL, Minnesota Wild center Mikael Granlund, was named the second star. He recorded his first hat trick Saturday versus the Canucks, and finished with a league-high six points.

Finally, with two shutouts to claim the league lead in that category, Peter Budaj earned third-star honors. The netminder won three games, helping extend the club's win streak to five before his loss Sunday to the Capitals.

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The Buffalo Sabres have retained defender Justin Falk for the 2017-18 season, signing him to a one-year, $650,000 deal, the club announced Monday.

Falk, 28, has provided quality - though relatively sheltered - minutes in his first season with the Sabres, as he's among just a handful of players landing on the positive side of possession.

He's without a goal, and has chipped in three assists.

Falk will be eligible for the expansion draft if he appears in another five games this season.

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Few things remain constant in the NHL. But if there's one aspect of the game that seems a given each year, it's Washington Capitals sniper Alex Ovechkin reaching the 50-goal plateau.

After all, Ovechkin has topped the half-century mark in each of the past three seasons, and has done so a total of seven times throughout his career. The only other two players to boast seven 50-goal campaigns? Hall of Famers Mike Bossy and Wayne Gretzky.

But the Russian phenomenon isn't currently firing at the same clip he has in recent years.

Through 52 games, Ovechkin's posted 25 goals, leaving him with the second-lowest goals-per-game pace of his career (0.48).

He's scored at a similar rate twice before in his career, finishing with 32 and 38 goals in the two seasons when that was the case (2010-11 and 2011-12). Those rank as the only two years in which Ovechkin failed to top 45 tallies while still playing roughly a full season (he appeared in more than 78 games in both instances).

And after dominating for three consecutive campaigns, the 31-year-old appears headed for that range once again.

With exactly 30 games remaining in Washington's season, and Ovechkin only halfway to the coveted plateau, he'd have to score 25 goals in 30 games to reach his usual mark. Certainly not an easy task.

Interestingly, there is one player who did post 25 goals through 30 games this season - the Russian's longtime rival, Sidney Crosby.

If there's one other player who can put pucks in the net at that absurd pace, it's The Great Eight. And with Crosby cruising en route to this year's Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy, he'll likely have all the motivation he needs to step his game up over the home stretch.

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Former Blues coach Ken Hitchcock has said nothing since being fired by the club less than a week ago and replaced by Mike Yeo — until Monday.

Hitchcock declined interview requests but released a statement to the Post-Dispatch:

"When I reflect on my time in St. Louis, I remember it as some of the best years of my career. I would like to thank Tom Stillman and the entire ownership group, Doug (Armstrong) and the rest of the Blues management for giving me the opportunity to be part of such a storied franchise.

"I am very proud of our record on the ice over my time in St. Louis and would like to thank all of the coaches that I have had the pleasure of sharing the bench with: Gary Agnew, Ray Bennett, Danny Brooks, Jim Corsi, Sean Ferrell, Corey Hirsch, Scott Masters, Scott Mellanby, Kirk Muller, Brad Shaw, Steve Thomas and Rick Wilson and the Blues' equipment and medical staffs for all of their support during my tenure. Without their hard work and dedication, we could not have had the success we achieved. A special thanks and good luck also goes to Mike Yeo. Mike was a true professional and an incredible source of knowledge and support as an associate coach. The Blues are in good and capable hands going forward with Mike.

"I was very fortunate to coach many wonderful players during my tenure and I truly appreciate your dedication over the years as we tried to make our goal a reality. I have made some special friends with many of you and I know our paths will cross again soon.

"I also want to recognize the front office staff in St. Louis. Their commitment and passion for connecting the team with the community is inspiring and did not go unnoticed. They continue to play an important role in keeping the organization moving in a positive direction.

"Finally, to the St. Louis Blues fans, I want to thank you for your unwavering support. I have received countless notes of appreciation over the last few days and it truly means the world to me. St. Louis is an amazing sports town with some of the most knowledgeable fans in the world. I am eternally grateful to have been part of the Blues organization and to have made St. Louis my home over the last six years. The friendships I've developed and the memories I have made here will last me a lifetime."

- Ken Hitchcock

Last edited on Tue Feb 7th, 2017 02:54 am by lobo316

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Pittsburgh Penguins burner Carl Hagelin has been diagnosed with a concussion and is working through the league's mandated protocol, head coach Mike Sullivan announced Monday.

Hagelin suffered the injury in Saturday's 4-1 win over the St. Louis Blues. He skated on his own before Monday's practice.

Hagelin has bounced around the lineup in his first full year with the Penguins, contributing six goals and 19 points.

Pittsburgh's top-ranked offense has been stretched a little thin with top-six forwards Evgeni Malkin and Conor Sheary also out. Malkin is making progress, but apparently won't be ready for Tuesday's game versus the Calgary Flames.

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The Boston Bruins have severed their partnership with the longest-tenured head coach in the NHL, firing Claude Julien on Tuesday, the club announced.

Bruce Cassidy, an assistant under Julien this season, has been named the interim boss.

In his 10th year at the helm, Julien led the Bruins to a playoff appearance in his first seven seasons, winning the Stanley Cup in 2011. The Bruins have missed the postseason in the last two campaigns under his watch, and have slipped to 20th in points percentage this season.

Though the results have eluded Boston this season, many believe Julien's structure isn't what's failing the organization. The Bruins are the league's top possession team, controlling shot attempts at 55.86 percent, according to Corsica.

He's Boston's all-time leader in wins and postseason victories, and finished his tenure with a .614 winning percentage. He won the Jack Adams Award as the NHL's best coach in 2008-09.

Cassidy spent the previous five seasons with the Bruins' minor-league affiliate in Providence. His only previous head coaching in the top flight came with the Washington Capitals in 2002, and he was fired 25 games into his second year in charge.

Julien had another season beyond this year remaining on his terminated deal. He'll continue earning his current $2.5-million salary, as well as $3 million next season, according to ESPN's Pierre LeBrun.

Julien is the fourth NHL coach to be fired this season, joining Gerard Gallant, Jack Capuano, and Ken Hitchcock. Each should receive consideration for the vacant post with the Vegas Golden Knights.

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PITTSBURGH - It's not a stretch to think that Pittsburgh center Sidney Crosby might rack up at least three points on Tuesday night when the Calgary Flames visit PPG Paints Arena.

After all, he had two goals and an assist on Saturday at St. Louis.

If Crosby get three points against the Flames, he will reach 1,000 career points in front of his home fans. The Penguins play their subsequent two games on the road.

"At home would be really nice, but hockey is the way it is," Crosby said Monday. "I'll try my best to get it (Tuesday) night. You want to win the game ultimately, but if you can get a few points at home and get it, that would be great."

If his 1,000th point comes Tuesday, it will be in Crosby's 753rd game, 12th fastest in NHL history.

Crosby already has won two Stanley Cups, two Hart and two Art Ross trophies, one Conn Smythe Trophy and one Rocket Richard Trophy. Hindsight will give Crosby proper perspective on 1,000 points, but approaching such a milestone has already prompted him to consider that number.

"You want to get it over with because you're close. You don't want to stew over it for a few games," he said. "But I definitely appreciate it.

"I think you just kind of reflect a bit on all the teams you've been a part of, all the guys you've played with and how quickly it goes by."

Crosby, 29, surely would have reached 1,000 a season or more ago if not for time lost to injuries. Specifically, he played in just 63 games combined in the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons because of much-chronicled concussion symptoms.

"My mind didn't even venture to point totals or anything like that at that point," he said. "You just want to play the game, and you want to get back to the level that you can play at and feel healthy. As that comes back and you start to feel better, your goals change."

Crosby this season leads Pittsburgh with 59 points and leads the league with 30 goals.

"Creativity is one element to his game, but he has so many facets to his game," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "That's what separates him from other players, in my opinion.

"He can beat you so many different ways. He can play a power game. He can play a finesse game and a speed game and a creative game. He can beat you off the rush. He can beat you in the grind game underneath the hash marks. He's so versatile as a player offensively. That's what separates him."

Pittsburgh (33-13-5), which has won two games in a row, will be short-handed among forwards against Calgary.

Crosby's regular left winger, Conor Sheary, is out with a lower-body injury, as is fellow star center Evgeni Malkin, who practiced Monday for the first time but has not been cleared for contact. The latest injury is to left winger Carl Hagelin, who has a concussion sustained Saturday.

The Flames (27-25-3) had won two straight before falling to the Rangers 4-3 on Sunday. Tuesday marks end of three-game road trip and sends them into a five-day break.

Calgary is clawing to hold onto a wild-card spot in the West.

"We can feel pretty good about our game," winger Troy Brouwer said of the loss to New York, "but in our current situation pretty good doesn't get us points. We've got to learn from it, for sure, but we're in a tough stretch right now playing really good hockey teams - and we're playing really good hockey ourselves.

"We go into a very tough building in Pittsburgh, and we need to find ways to keep pace with everybody else."

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Another wild one involving the Toronto Maple Leafs.

This time in Brooklyn, eventually a 6-5 loss in overtime to the New York Islanders. And there's a lot to unpack, after Toronto's rookies again shined, but the club's poor defensive play and poor goaltending cost it a point.

More than one-third of #leafs games this season have seen at least one of the teams score five goals (19/51).

— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) February 7, 2017
Let's go point by point:

Toronto rookies scored all five goals on the night, marking the first time in club history five freshmen tallied in a single game. In order: Nikita Soshnikov, Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, Zach Hyman, and William Nylander.
The last time four different Toronto rookies scored in a game: 1948.
The Islanders deserve some credit, erasing 2-1, 4-2, and 5-4 Maple Leafs leads, the latter with only 90 seconds left in the game.
Meanwhile, Toronto remains one of the worst teams with a lead. Any lead.
Maple Leafs rookies can't stop scoring, but Toronto's allowing goals in bushels right now. Monday's loss was Toronto's third in four games, and Mike Babcock's crew has allowed at least five goals in all of those contests.
Frederik Andersen's struggles continue. After posting back-to-back shutouts on Jan. 23 and 25, he's been absolutely lit up. He stopped five-of-eight shots against Dallas last Tuesday, before being pulled; he gave up five goals to the Blues on Thursday, and another five to the Bruins in a wild 6-5 Toronto win Saturday.
Andersen stopped 28-of-34 shots Monday, marking the fourth straight game he's ended with a save percentage below .880.
Frederik Andersen has an .888 save percentage since the start of January. That's the other side of firewagon hockey.

— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) February 7, 2017
With games almost every other night the rest of the way, Toronto's got no choice but to give Andersen some rest, likely beginning Tuesday when Dallas visits the Air Canada Centre. Expect Curtis McElhinney to get the start.
Brock Nelson had two goals - including the OT winner - and an assist for New York, while Andrew Ladd scored his fourth goal in five games.

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Yet another Toronto Maple Leafs rookie is out there making his mark.

Zach Hyman recorded his third shorthanded goal of the season Monday in Brooklyn. In so doing, he tied the league high and, more importantly, made team history

Zach Hyman has established a new @MapleLeafs record for shorthanded goals scored by a rookie in one season (3).

— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) February 7, 2017
Hyman has eight goals in 51 games, with almost half coming on the penalty kill. Only fellow rookie Connor Brown and veteran Leo Komarov (one apiece) have hit the score sheet for Toronto while shorthanded.

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Philadelphia Flyers forward Travis Konecny will miss the next four-to-six weeks after suffering a lower-body injury against the St. Louis Blues on Monday night, the team announced.

The injury was suffered in the second period of Philadelphia's 2-0 loss when Konecny took an awkward spill into the end boards.

Konecny has put forth a respectable first season in the NHL, posting seven goals and 22 points in 51 games, good for fifth in team scoring and tied for 13th among all first-year players.

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The Winnipeg Jets will wait longer for the return of Tyler Myers.

The towering defender underwent surgery Monday to repair a lower-body injury, which will reportedly cost him another six-to-eight weeks of action, according to TSN's Sara Orlesky.

At the earliest, this puts Myers on track to return with only a few weeks left in the regular season. He's already been absent from the Jets' lineup for nearly three months after suffering the injury in a loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Nov. 11.

He's missed 39 games.

Orlesky notes that Monday's procedure was unrelated to the one Myers had done last year.

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Hours after Claude Julien - the longest-tenured head coach in the NHL until Tuesday morning - was fired by the Boston Bruins, another bench boss of an Original Six team recorded a milestone win.

While it wasn't pretty, Alain Vigneault won his 600th regular-season game after the New York Rangers beat the Anaheim Ducks 4-1, despite being outshot 44-20.


Vigneault becomes only the 15th coach to reach the 600-win milestone, according to the NHL, after coaching the Montreal Canadiens for four years, the Vancouver Canucks for seven, and the Rangers for four.

Vigneault won a Jack Adams Award as coach of the year in 2007, with the Canucks. He's come close to winning the Stanley Cup twice, his Canucks losing the final in seven games to the Boston Bruins in 2011 - to Julien, interestingly enough - and his Rangers losing the 2014 final to the Los Angeles Kings in five games.

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Veteran NHL forward Martin Havlat announced his retirement Wednesday.

The Czech winger had stints with six clubs in his decorated career, including a five-year run with the Ottawa Senators. He appeared in two games with the St. Louis Blues last season, scoring one goal.

Through 790 career games, Havlat tallied 242 goals and 352 assists, making two All-Star Game appearances (2007 and 2011).

Drafted 26th overall by the Senators in 1999, he's the fourth-highest scorer among his draft class, behind only Daniel and Henrik Sedin, and Henrik Zetterberg.

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Tom Rowe isn't looking to give up his spot as head coach of the Florida Panthers.

The team's interim head coach - who took over for Gerard Gallant - is 30 games into his first NHL coaching stint and enjoying the new job.

"I would be lying if I said I didn't," Rowe said, according to George Richards of the Miami Herald.

Love it as he may, with Claude Julien now on the market after the Boston Bruins fired him Tuesday, the Panthers present a potential landing spot.

Rowe confirmed Thursday that the team hasn't asked permission to speak to Julien yet, but a Panthers source told Richards that the team will do so at the end of the regular season.

"It will be a group decision," Rowe said of whether or not he would return as coach next season.

In February, Panthers owner Doug Cifu said Rowe would remain the team's head coach through the rest of the regular season and "then we'll see how things shake out."

Of course, all this speculation depends on Julien remaining unemployed by season's end, which might not be the case given his track record.

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Mike Babcock is doing his best to avoid starting another goalie controversy in Toronto.

Despite the fact goaltender Frederik Andersen has given up 19 goals in his last four starts - including one that saw him pulled after 11 minutes - and Curtis McElhinney was nearly perfect in the team's 3-1 win over the Dallas Stars on Tuesday, the Maple Leafs bench boss will turn to his No. 1 on Thursday night against the St. Louis Blues.

"It hasn't been good enough. But there are times in the year when you have little dips and you just have to make sure you work hard every day and those dips are shorter and they don't happen as often and that's the challenge for him," Babcock said, according to TSN's Kristen Shilton. "He was in a situation last year where I think he played around 42 games last year. We want him to play a lot more, so the challenge for him is to be able to handle that.

"(McElhinney) did a really good job for us last game. Freddie goes tonight with an opportunity to bounce back. Our team was no good against St. Louis, we weren't competitive, so this should be a better opportunity for Freddie because our team will play better, and now he has to do his start."

Exactly a week ago Thursday, the Blues demolished the Maple Leafs 5-1 in St. Louis' first game since Ken Hitchcock's firing, with Andersen giving up all five goals on 31 shots.

Andersen started the regular season by allowing 22 goals in his first five games, but followed that up with one of the most consistent stretches of quality performances from any goalie this season, allowing two or fewer goals in 18 of his next 24 games.

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The Coyotes are committed to Arizona.

That was the message from co-owner Anthony LeBlanc, who also serves as team president and CEO, on Thursday.

LeBlanc was responding to a local report that team officials had recently scouted Seattle's KeyArena and Portland's Moda Center, foreshadowing a relocation to the Pacific Northwest.

"It couldn't be farther from the truth. It is 100 percent false," LeBlanc told the "Doug and Wolf" show on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. "There is absolutely no facts whatsoever in that story."

The Coyotes' search for a new arena was back on the front burner Friday after Arizona State University announced it would not go forward with a proposal to build a new facility at its Tempe campus.

But the Coyotes aren't without other opportunities for a new home in the Valley of the Sun.

"The good news for us, as we've said over the past year, is we have a number of options. (Phoenix) mayor Greg Stanton has been incredibly forthright in his statements that he'd like to see us downtown, and that's something we're very interested in," added LeBlanc, who also described a site in nearby Mesa as "intriguing."

In the meantime, the Coyotes believe their current home in Glendale is only a short-term option.

"The decision to build the facility in Glendale was prior to our ownership group. The honest answer is it was a mistake. It was the wrong location for this franchise," LeBlanc said. "We're OK staying in Glendale if we know that there is certainty of a new facility coming online and shovels in the ground."

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The Washington Capitals announced Friday that forward Andre Burakovsky will be out of the lineup until at least mid-March after he suffered a hand injury.

Burakovsky sustained the injury Thursday against the Detroit Red Wings.

The Austrian-born forward has been a key cog for the Capitals this season, recording 11 goals and 18 assists in 52 games.

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Say it ain't so, Ovi.

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin was held without a shot on goal in Thursday's win in Detroit, an incredible rarity.

In fact, it hasn't happened in nearly four years, dating back to March 12, 2013, according to Isabelle Khurshudyan of The Washington Post.

Ovechkin had just one shot attempt, per hockeystats.ca, and saw his lowest ice-time total of the season at 13:54.

Not to worry, though, the Capitals still earned their 11th straight win on home ice, and sit comfortably atop the Metropolitan Division with one more game before their league-mandated bye.

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Don't discount the Ducks.

Not often named among Stanley Cup contenders, Anaheim has been one of the most consistent clubs this season.

With a 29-17-10 showing through 56 games, the Ducks sit second in the Pacific and just two points back of the division-leading San Jose Sharks. They also rank among the best in nearly all statistical categories.

It starts on the blue line, where Anaheim boasts one of the league's most impressive units. Veteran Kevin Bieksa is the lone rearguard older than 25, with a young core of Hampus Lindholm, Cam Fowler, and Sami Vatanen leading the way. The next wave, including Shea Theodore and Brandon Montour, has also made critical contributions.

The team's commitment to a strong defensive game has been key to its success this season, and it's paid off for netminders John Gibson and Jonathan Bernier, who have allowed just 141 goals - sixth-lowest league-wide.

That dominance extends to special teams. The St. Louis Blues and Calgary Flames are the only teams in the West firing better on the man advantage than Anaheim, which is converting at a 20.8 percent clip. It also sits seventh on the penalty kill, negating 84 percent of its calls against.

Anaheim's only true weakness is its trouble finding the back of the net. Seven skaters have double-digit goal totals, but the trio of Rickard Rakell, Ryan Kesler, and Jakob Silfverberg have combined for more than one-third of the tallies. With just 147 goals this year, Anaheim sits 19th league-wide, but still sports a plus-six goal differential, thanks to its strong defensive game.

With the trade deadline less than three weeks out, it may be worthwhile for the Ducks to dip into their depth of riches on the blue line to build up their scoring arsenal. Boosting the offensive touch of a team that sits third-best since the turn of the calendar could set them up for a return to the winner's circle.

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What may have cost Ken Hitchcock his job is now making Mike Yeo look like a genius.

After a tailspin down the standings that forced general manager Doug Armstrong to take action, the St. Louis Blues' goaltenders have pulled the chutes and helped the club go 4-1-0 in five games since Hitchcock was dismissed.

The Blues' offense has also awoken after a stretch of five games that saw the team average 2.6 goals per game while going 1-4-0 prior to Yeo's promotion. Since then, the team has put an average of 3.2 goals past opposing netminders.

The biggest change in the team's play, though, has clearly been on the other side of the puck, where - compared to the five games that preceded Hitchcock's firing, which saw the Blues give up 4.4 goals per game - the goalies have allowed just 1.2 per game.

Jake Allen and Carter Hutton have been stellar. Other than a 4-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, the club hasn't allowed more than a single goal per game, shutting out the Philadelphia Flyers and Ottawa Senators.

The stretch of strong play has helped the Blue not only pump the breaks on their previous skid, but also edge out the Nashville Predators for third spot in the Central Division.

Allen holds a 2.69 goals-against average and a .903 save percentage, while Hutton has posted 2.65 and .902 marks, which both need to improve going forward. But if the goalies can continue to kick out pucks at a similar clip, the Blues, who give up the fifth-fewest shots against per game and boast a top-10 offense, might not be in trouble after all.

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Cody Franson will move to the sidelines.

The Buffalo Sabres defenseman suffered a bone bruise that will keep him out of the lineup for the next two-to-three weeks, coach Dan Bylsma announced Saturday, according to John Vogl of The Buffalo News.

Franson has appeared in 51 games with Buffalo this season, scoring three goals and earning 13 assists.

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Jere Lehtinen's name will hang among the greats.
The Dallas Stars announced Saturday that the club will retire the Finnish winger's No. 26 prior to a game next season.
The ceremony will be part of 25th anniversary celebrations for the Stars, who arrived in Texas when the Minnesota North Stars relocated in 1993.
Lehtinen played his entire career with Dallas, making his NHL debut in 1995 and appearing in his final game in 2010. He captured three Selke Trophies over his career and won the Stanley Cup in 1999.
Lehtinen joins four former players who starred with the franchise:

NUMBER   PLAYERS                       CAREER
7          Neal Broten             North Stars (80-93) & Stars (93-97)
8          Bill Goldsworthy       North Stars (67-77)
9          Mike Modano           North Stars (88-93) & Stars (93-10)
19        Bill Masterton           North Stars (67-68)

Last edited on Sun Feb 12th, 2017 04:53 am by lobo316

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This isn't how Andrew Hammond wanted to celebrate his birthday.

The Senators goaltender was placed on waivers Saturday, a move Ottawa made in response to starter Craig Anderson rejoining the team following a leave of absence to be with his ill wife.

In Anderson's absence, the Senators acquired Mike Condon from the Pittsburgh Penguins, who recently appeared in his 27th straight game.

Hammond has played in six contests with the Senators this season, going winless while recording an .837 save percentage and 4.08 goals-against average.

The 29-year-old was a hero in Ottawa during the 2014-15 season, when he posted a miraculous 20-1-2 record and pushed the Senators into the playoffs. That performance earned him a three-year contract, which expires at the end of the 2017-18 campaign.

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Your eyes aren't playing tricks on you.
That really is Eric Lindros wearing a Quebec Nordiques jersey - the same iconic sweater he refused to pull on when the franchise, which later moved to Colorado, drafted him first overall in 1991.
Fast forward 26 years, as Lindros appeared on CBC Radio-Canada's "Tout le monde en parle" program to preview a documentary about his controversial past - titled "Lindros revisité" - that will air Sunday on RDS in Quebec.
The Big E's NHL career got off to a rocky start when he made it known he wouldn't play for Quebec, but that didn't stop the Nordiques from making the pick.
The standout junior player and perceived "Next One" - Lindros scored 149 points in 57 games in his final full season with the Oshawa Generals - refused to report to Quebec, later saying he didn't want to play for owner Marcel Aubut.
As a result, Lindros spent most of the 1991-92 season with the Canadian national team.
More drama followed at the 1992 draft, when the Nordiques agreed to two separate deals involving Lindros, trading him to both the Philadelphia Flyers andNew York Rangers. Eleven days later, an arbitrator ruled in favor of the Flyers, noting Philadelphia had a deal with Quebec 80 minutes prior to its agreement with New York.
Lindros made his long-awaited debut with the Flyers the following season, recording 75 points in 61 games. He retired in 2007 and was recently named one of the NHL's 100 greatest players of all time.
Eric Lindros dons a Nordiques jersey on Sunday's TLMEP. Right. pic.twitter.com/HKTM6wmYix
— Domenic Fazioli (@DomenicFazioli) February 11, 2017






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New York Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist became the 12th goalie in NHL history to earn 400 career wins on Saturday, making 31 saves in a 4-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche.

Lundqvist, 34, is the fastest goalie to reach the feat (727 games) and just the second to do it with one franchise, joining all-time wins leader Martin Brodeur.

King Henrik is also the winningest European-born goalie in NHL history, passing Dominik Hasek with win No. 390 in December.

Lundqvist currently ranks 12th all time in victories, but by season's end, can move up to ninth, passing Chris Osgood (401), Grant Fuhr (403), and Glenn Hall (407).

Throughout his career, Lundqvist has been a model of consistency, winning at least 30 games in every full season he's played. He owns a career save percentage of .920, and a GAA of 2.31.

With four seasons remaining on his contract, Lundqvist certainly has plenty of time to further climb the ranks before he retires, and each win from here helps cement his case as one of the all-time greats.

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Bill Foley isn't ruling out the possibility of officially closing the expansion fee process by the end of the month, but it doesn't sound likely.

The Vegas Golden Knights owner says that while the $500 million he owes the league will be ready before the March 1 trade deadline, some sticking points remain that could prevent the club from making deals.

“It’s going to be complicated for us to do it by (Feb.) 28th because of all the legal documents that we’re doing with the NHL that still have to be completed,” Foley told Steve Carp of the Las Vegas Review-Journal for a story published Saturday.

“We’re still negotiating a few points. But the money will be ready around the 25th or 26th, so if we can get all the legal paperwork finished, we may be able to move it up.”

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly confirmed last week that Golden Knights general manager George McPhee and his staff will be allowed to begin making roster moves with some parameters once the transaction is complete.

Foley told Carp that the final payment will most likely go through in the first week in March, which would be in time for the general managers' meetings in Florida (March 6-8) and in time to sign college free agents, but not before the final opportunity for clubs to make trades on March 1 at 3 p.m. ET.

McPhee is ready to start making moves, but whether he'll be able to pull the trigger on trades before time runs out remains to be seen.

"We’d like to participate as soon as we can and see what’s out there," the GM said.

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Maybe reaching the 1,000-point mark is harder than it looks.

After notching No. 998 versus Calgary earlier in the week, Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby looked poised to reach the millennium mark by week's end. Not so fast.

Instead of accomplishing the milestone, Crosby, for the first time in nearly a full calendar year, has been held without a point in consecutive games, dating back to Feb. 27, 2016, a span of 68 games per TSN's Frank Seravalli.

In those 68 games, Crosby scorched his opponents, recording 41 goals and 48 assists for 89 points. Pretty good.

The so-called slump comes as a bit of shock, given that the two opponents Crosby was blanked against were the Arizona Coyotes and Colorado Avalanche, currently in 29th and 30th place in the NHL, respectively.

Fear not, though, Crosby is still Crosby. Sid is just one point behind Connor McDavid for the league lead in points this season with 60 in 47 games, and will have another chance to reach 1,000 on Tuesday versus Vancouver.

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Unless his production falls off a cliff between now and the final game of the regular season, Auston Matthews will finish as one of the most prolific teenage snipers in NHL history.

Through 54 games this season, the rookie Toronto Maple Leafs centerman has racked up 25 goals - tops among his fellow first-years and tied for eighth-best among all NHL skaters. Matthews' ranking among this season's best is impressive enough, but his current trajectory has him in line to flirt with a much loftier crowd.

If he continues to score at his current pace, Matthews will amass 38 goals by season's end, a sum that would tie Ilya Kovalchuk as the 10th-most ever posted by a 19-year-old NHLer.

That would put the new Leaf in some elite company - here's the list of history's top 10 goal-scorers at Matthews' age:

NAME                     SEASON                         GOALS
Jimmy Carson         1987‑88                              55
Wayne Gretzky       1980‑81                              55
Steven Stamkos     2009‑10                              51
Mario Lemieux       1984‑85                               43
Owen Nolan           1991‑92                              42
Brian Bellows         1983‑84                              41
Eric Lindros            1992‑93                             41
Rick Nash               2003‑04                            41
Dale Hawerchuk     1982‑83                             40
Ilya Kovalchuk       2002‑03                             38

Considering the context of who he would pass and who he's outshone lately - none of the past seven No.1 draft picks managed to alter this top-10 list at age 19 - climbing up those ranks would be a noteworthy achievement for the young pivot.

Adding in the 18-year-old crowd, Matthews' production still projects to rank among the best. Only five players managed to post 39 goals or more at that age. Two are on the list above (Gretzky and Hawerchuk), with the others being Sylvain Turgeon (40 goals), Sidney Crosby (39 goals), and Steve Yzerman (39 goals).
Matthews' end-of-season production isn't easy to pin down, though.
If there's one thing the rookie star has made clear this season, it's that he's got a flair for the dramatic. Four goals in his debut, a thrilling overtime winner to clinch the Centennial Classic - he does his best work when the spotlight's bright and his back is against the wall.

That's going to be the Leafs' reality for the rest of 2016-17, as Toronto is caught in a tooth-and-nail battle for a playoff spot that won't be resolved any time soon.
Currently holding onto a wild-card position - just a point away from a top-three divisional ranking and in fact tied with the top playoff outsider trying to get back in - the Leafs are going to need every bit of Matthews' goal-scoring talent down the stretch.
His efforts thus far suggest he'll deliver. And if he does, the American sniper could find himself flirting with the 40-goal range by game 82, and likely a spot among history's most impressive teenage performances.

Last edited on Mon Feb 13th, 2017 06:12 am by lobo316

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The Montreal Canadiens have some soul searching to do during their bye week.

So says goaltender Carey Price, who lamented the team's recent struggles following a 4-0 loss to the Boston Bruins.

"We seem to have lost our identity," Price said, according to Amanda Stein of TSN 690.

Since starting the season with a record of 13-1-1, the Canadiens have gone 18-18-7, and things have been quite dire over the past month or so.

Habs are 6-10-2 since Jan 7 and have a minus-15 goal differential in those 18 games, allowing 3.1 goals per game and scoring 2.3 per game.

— Аrpon Basu (@ArponBasu) February 13, 2017
The shutout loss to the Bruins - Tuukka Rask's first regular-season home win over Montreal - marked the third time the Canadiens have been held off the scoresheet in the past five games.

Price, meanwhile, hasn't been his usual self, allowing four goals against in each of his past three starts, two of which came against lowly Arizona and Colorado.

The Canadiens remain atop the Atlantic Division, but their cushion has shrunk to six points, with both Boston and Ottawa looking to overtake them, and Toronto lurking further down the standings with games in hand.

Montreal is off until Feb. 18, giving the team ample time in which to try and figure out what's gone wrong.

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Hear that? It's the New York Islanders. They're coming.

The Brooklynites on Sunday won their eighth game in 12 since Doug Weight took over behind the bench, spanking the Colorado Avalanche by a score of 5-1. The Isles are 8-2-2 since Jack Capuano was fired, and Weight may have this whole coaching thing figured out.

Weight's crew will go to bed Sunday night one point out of a playoff spot, trailing the Maple Leafs for the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. Toronto's got 61 points and a plus-4 goal differential in 54 games, while New York's got 60 points and is plus-3. And the two teams will play Tuesday in Toronto, a Valentine's Day affair with a lot on the line.

The Islanders' playoff chances shot up eight percent after Sunday's win, according to Sports Club Stats, and their odds to make the postseason now sit at 45.7 percent.

There is some bad news: While the Islanders improved their home record to an impressive 18-8-6 after beating Colorado, the rest of the schedule isn't kind. New York will play 19 of their final 28 games on the road, and so far have only seven wins in 22 games away from home.

More bad news: The Islanders have a nine-game road trip commencing on Feb. 21, taking them to: Detroit, Montreal, Columbus, Dallas, Chicago, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, and St. Louis. The journey will be broken up by the club's bye week, which begins on Feb. 26. But that's a brutal trip and will undoubtedly define the Isles' season.

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The Buffalo Sabres came up with a loss for the sixth time in nine games Sunday night, dropping a 4-2 decision to the Vancouver Canucks.

And according to Mike Harrington of The Buffalo News, goaltender Robin Lehner wasn't having any of it.

The 25-year-old sounded off on his team's performance after the game.

"We haven't done anything," Lehner told Harrington after the loss. "We win one game and we think we're Chicago ... We haven't done anything in this league. (Gionta) has won a Cup. All respect to him, he's done something. The rest of us haven't."

Lehner pointed specifically to the Sabres' lack of structure throughout, going so far as to call his mates "disrespectful" for ignoring the coaching staff's game plan.

More Lehner on not playing system: "Let's do another deke, let's do another play. .Get out of our zone? No, let's do the fancy thing."

— Mike Harrington (@ByMHarrington) February 13, 2017
Yikes.

Buffalo's performance against Vancouver certainly left more to be desired. The Sabres gifted the Canucks with six power-play opportunities, trading goals with the Canadian club before going dry for the final two periods. Canucks winger Alexandre Burrows scored the eventual game-winner early in the second frame.

Lehner finished the night with 27 saves on 31 shots, and his 16th loss of the season. The Sabres remain five points out of a playoff spot heading into the home stretch.

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An unselfish Jason Pominville captured the first star in the latest weekly honors.

The Minnesota Wild forward was named the top star of the week after leading all players with six assists and eight points, helping his club go 3-0-1 in four games.

Pominville's week was highlighted by a two-goal, two-assist night against the Winnipeg Jets. The 34-year-old now has points in 11 of his last 12 games and 17 points over that span.

St. Louis Blues goaltender Jake Allen earned the league's second star. Allen was perfect in three games with a 1.00 goals-against average, a .967 save percentage, and one shutout.

Allen has helped the Blues bounce back after the firing of Ken Hitchcock, having gone 4-1-0 with a .953 save percentage in those games.

Nashville Predators forward Viktor Arvidsson was named the third star after matching a league-high with five goals and finishing second with seven points in four games.

Arvidsson's week included two three-point games, including his first career hat trick in a 7-4 loss to the Florida Panthers on Friday night. The 23-year-old now leads the Predators with 18 goals and is one point back of Ryan Johansen's 40 for the team lead.

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Nick Foligno claims a mountain has been made out of a molehill.

A report from Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos and Elliotte Friedman during "Hockey Night in Canada" on Saturday stated Columbus Blue Jackets players held a private meeting with head coach John Tortorella in which it was requested he be more positive while the team muddles through a rough patch - their recent record is 8-9-1.

Team captain Foligno acknowledged the meeting did take place, but downplayed the affair.

"This whole story is blown out of proportion," Foligno told Tom Reed of the Columbus Dispatch via text. "We talked about a lot of things in the meeting. Meetings happen all the time, and I'm not sure why this one was turned into something way more than what it was."

Tortorella, of course, has a reputation as a fiery and demanding coach, a style that he is believed to have reverted to since things haven't been going all that smoothly following the team's 16-game win streak.

"The feeling amongst the players is maybe some of that old style of Tortorella had crept in on the bench," Kypreos reported. "We were told that there was a closed-door meeting amongst the players and Tortorella.

"Usually it’s the coach giving it to the players but in this instance I think they were looking for Tortorella to go back and find a few more positive things to find the last few games.”

Overall, Tortorella remains leading candidate for the Jack Adams Trophy as the NHL's coach of the year as a result of Columbus' successful season to date, and a couple wins in a row should make it easier to focus on the positives once again.

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A good cause finally brought some champions together.
For the first time since Pittsburgh's trio of Phil KesselCarl Hagelin, and Nick Bonino was dubbed the 'HBK' line during the run to the 2016 Stanley Cup, thePenguins forwards met former WWE Champion Shawn Michaels, the Heartbreak Kid himself.
Unbelievably thrilled to have finally got to meet the#HBKLine tonight !! Already a great night!!#ShearDaBeard pic.twitter.com/pKk1RfBMXR
— Shawn Michaels (@ShawnMichaels) February 14, 2017
The foursome gathered at a fundraiser for the Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh, with the main event being the shaving of former Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel's beard.
The Penguins players took the opportunity to don the team's new Stadium Series jerseys.
#ShearedDaBeard pic.twitter.com/JupTrb8tNC
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) February 14, 2017
The trio also signed a special jersey, which was auctioned off at the event.
This authentic, one of a kind #HBK jersey signed by@CarlHagelin @NickBonino and @PKessel81 is AWESOME! Available only at #ShearDaBeardpic.twitter.com/O9MDGhLy4t
— Brett Keisel (@bkeisel99) February 7, 2017
Meeting Michaels at a beard-shaving event gave a whole new meaning to "sweet chin music."








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There are limits to what Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion is willing to do prior to the NHL trade deadline.

Speaking on TSN 1200 on Monday, Dorion acknowledged he's spoken to his counterpart in Colorado, and while he didn't refer to the likes of Gabriel Landeskog or Matt Duchene by name, it's clear the Senators won't meet the asking price being set by Avalanche GM Joe Sakic for either.

"Joe (Sakic) and I talked and, at this point in time, I can’t see us going in that direction. It wouldn’t make sense," Dorion said, according to Bruce Garrioch of Postmedia.

"We want to do something to try to improve the team and making deals is very difficult to do," Dorion continued. "But I can’t see us mortgaging everything in the future and some stuff in the present to get one or two or whatever players that are out there. I think we have to be realistic that we want to improve but to give up three, four, or five assets would be something that would be very difficult to do."

Dorion recently pulled off a deal with San Jose that saw Tommy Wingels find a new home in Ottawa, and a similar depth deal - whether up front or on the blue line - is probably more in line with what the Senators might do in advance of the March 1 trade deadline.

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The Montreal Canadiens have named Claude Julien as their new head coach after relieving Michel Therrien of his duties Tuesday afternoon.

"I would like to sincerely thank Michel for his relentless work with the Montreal Canadiens over his eight seasons behind the bench, including the last five seasons when we worked together," general manager Marc Bergevin wrote in a statement. "The decision to remove Michel from his coaching duties was a difficult one because I have lots of respect for him.

"I came to the conclusion that our team needed a new energy, a new voice, a new direction," he continued. "Claude Julien is an experienced and well respected coach with a good knowledge of the Montreal market. Claude has been very successful as an NHL coach and he won the Stanley Cup. Today we hired the best available coach, and one of the league's best. I am convinced that he has the capabilities to get our team back on the winning track."

Julien, of course, was let go by the rival Boston Bruins on Feb. 7. This will be his second tour of duty as head coach of the Canadiens, a post he held from 2003-06.

During his tenure with the Bruins, Julien amassed a record of 419-246-94 in 759 regular season games, leading the club to a Stanley Cup in 2011, another appearance in the final in 2013, and the 2013-14 Presidents' Trophy. He also won the Jack Adams in 2008-09, and became the winningest coach in Bruins' history.

Therrien, meanwhile, led the Canadiens to an Eastern Conference Finals appearance in 2014. While Montreal got off to a 13-1-1 start this season, a recent swoon - and, more importantly, Julien's sudden availability - appears to have prompted a change behind the bench.

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Anaheim Ducks forward Antoine Vermette, based on NHL rules regarding physical contact with an official, is facing an automatic 10-game suspension after slashing a linesman Tuesday night versus Minnesota, Sportsnet's John Shannon reports.

Here's the play:

@Russostrib crazy pic.twitter.com/49iP9PyQw8

— Filterus Russosaurus (@RussosFilter) February 15, 2017
Vermette was consequently given a misconduct, ejecting him from the game during the third period. He will have the right to appeal the ruling, Shannon reports.

This season, Vermette tallied eight goals and 14 assists, while winning 62.4 percent of faceoffs in 58 games.

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The rookie goal-scoring race appears set to go down to the wire.
Winnipeg Jets winger Patrik Laine recorded his third hat trick of the season in a win over the Dallas Stars, while Auston Matthews added a pair of his own in thwarting the New York Islanders' attempts to leapfrog his Toronto Maple Leafsin the standings.
Both players showed off their skills in the process.
Matthews' second of the night came off a brilliant takeaway, a testament to his already strong two-way game.
Hey. Auston Matthews has 27 goals and is three back of the League lead. pic.twitter.com/sEzN7anNmL
— NHL (@NHL) February 15, 2017
Laine, for his part, showed off his pure shooting skills on his second goal, creating a chance when there appeared to be no room to do so.
Matthews now has a one-goal advantage over Laine, with the latter holding an ever so slightly better scoring rate after having missed a few games due to injury.

PLAYER                GAMES    GOALS     G/GP
Auston Matthews    55            27        0.49
Patirk Laine           51            26        0.51

While the first and second overall picks at the 2016 NHL Draft have the market cornered in terms of goal scoring among first-year players, they'll have to contend with Toronto's Mitch Marner in the overall points race.

Last edited on Wed Feb 15th, 2017 10:14 pm by lobo316

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The Washington Capitals have acquired defenseman Tom Gilbert from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for a conditional fifth-round pick, the Kings announced Wednesday.

The Capitals will send the fifth-round selection to Los Angeles if Gilbert plays in half of Washington's playoff games and if the team advances beyond the second round, according to the Stephen Whyno of the Associated Press.

Gilbert is a pending unrestricted free agent and carries a $1.4-million cap hit, with the Kings retaining 20 percent in the deal, according to ESPN's Pierre LeBrun.

Gilbert has split the season between the Kings and the team's AHL affiliate, the Ontario Reign, collecting a goal and four assists in 18 games with Los Angeles.

Glbert, 34, has 655 games of NHL experience under his belt in a career that's also included stints with the Edmonton Oilers, Minnesota Wild, Florida Panthers, and Montreal Canadiens.

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Detroit Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist has been suspended six games for high-sticking Minnesota Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon, the NHL's Department of Player Safety announced Wednesday.
Gustav Nyquist's six-game suspension will cost him $158,333.33 in salary.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) February 15, 2017
As the video below shows, Spurgeon knocked Nyquist to the ground with a cross check during a battle for the puck along the boards, and upon getting to his feet, Nyquist jabbed his stick into the defenseman's cheek.
The act was defined as a high stick, and not accidental. Nyquist, however, insisted he was trying to get his stick around Spurgeon in order to deliver a cross check.
But while it was ruled Nyquist didn't intend to catch Spurgeon in the face with his stick, he is still being held accountable for doing so.


The fact that there was no serious injury on the play, and that it was Nyquist's first offense also factored into the decision.
Nyquist will be eligible to return to the Red Wings lineup on March 4.






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Nyquist just bein' nasty!
I wish he could fuel some of that fire into scoring some goals for us!!!

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Career point #1,900 for @68Jagr. #FLAvsSJS pic.twitter.com/6nzdOq6yW2

— NHL (@NHL) February 16, 2017
Happy birthday, Jaromir.

With an assist on Aleksander Barkov's late third period goal in Wednesday's game against the San Jose Sharks, Florida Panthers forward Jaromir Jagr became just the second player in NHL history to record 1,900 career points.

Related: Happy birthday, Jaromir: Jagr's best in each NHL sweater he's worn

Jagr joins Wayne Gretzky as the only other player to hit the 1,900-point plateau.

With the game coming on Jagr's 45th birthday, he also became just the fifth player and third skater in NHL history to suit up for an NHL game following his 45th birthday, joining the likes of Gordie Howe, Chris Chelios, Moe Roberts, and Johnny Bower.

Unfortunately for the birthday boy, he still remains 957 points behind Gretzky for first place on the all-time points list.

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The news just keeps getting worse for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Justin Schultz has been diagnosed with a concussion and is going through the league's head-injury protocol, head coach Mike Sullivan told reporters Friday.

The defenseman was forced to leave Thursday's win over the Winnipeg Jets and didn't return after being hit hard into the boards by Dustin Byfuglien.

Schultz was enjoying the best season of his career from a production standpoint with 39 points in 56 games.

He's in his first full season with the Penguins after being acquired from the Edmonton Oilers for a third-round pick before last year's trade deadline.

Earlier Friday, the Penguins announced fellow blue-liner Olli Maatta - who was also hurt Thursday - is expected to miss six weeks with a left hand injury.

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Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta underwent surgery on his hand and is expected to be absent from the lineup for six weeks, the team announced Friday.

He exited Thursday's overtime victory over the Winnipeg Jets after a heavy collision with Adam Lowry.

Maatta's been healthy this season, missing just two games. His offensive totals are down in his fourth season, as he's contributed just a goal and six assists in over 18 minutes a night.

Pittsburgh also lost Justin Schultz in the win, complicating matters with less than two weeks remaining before the trade deadline. It's been rumored that the Penguins are interested in adding an impact forward, but it's hard to imagine the framework of the deal not having to include a section of their now much-needed depth on the back end.

That said, if he remains on LTIR through the end of the regular season, the Penguins could conceivably spend his $4-million cap hit on other assets and then include him on the playoff roster without overage penalty.

For now, the six-week timetable for Maatta's return puts him in line to return before the Penguins begin their postseason title defense.

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1,000 points. 757 games.

Well done, 87. #Crosby1000 pic.twitter.com/7Og5bPzxOV

— NHL (@NHL) February 17, 2017
Sidney Crosby has reached the 1,000-point mark.

The Pittsburgh Penguins center assisted on a first-period goal by Chris Kunitz against Connor Hellebuyck of the Winnipeg Jets.

Sidney Crosby becomes the 86th player in NHL history to reach 1,000 points. Way to go, Sid! What an achievement. #Crosby1000 pic.twitter.com/P8Ehkfj6M0

— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) February 17, 2017
Crosby is the 86th player in NHL history to reach the milestone and the fastest active player to do it, in six fewer games than Jaromir Jagr.

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Mitch Marner was absent from practice Friday morning, but the Toronto Maple Leafs rookie seems to have avoided a serious injury after crashing into the boards Tuesday versus the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Leafs head coach Mike Babcock told reporters that he's day to day, and his availability for Saturday's seismic clash versus the Ottawa Senators will be determined later by the medical team.

Marner briefly returned to Tuesday's game, testing out the apparent shoulder injury, but ultimately exited not long after the fall.

It's believed that he underwent an MRI on Thursday.

Marner was the NHL's rookie scoring leader with 15 goals and 48 points at the time of the injury. Patick Laine has since matched Marner, scoring four goals in his last two games.

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EDMONTON, Alberta - Connor McDavid had a goal and two assists to regain the NHL scoring lead, and the Edmonton Oilers beat the Philadelphia Flyers 6-3 on Thursday night.

Matt Hendricks, Leon Draisaitl, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Oscar Klefbom also scored for the Oilers, who have won two straight and three of four. Edmonton moved into a tie with Anaheim for second place in the Pacific Division.

Pittsburgh star Sidney Crosby took over the scoring lead for a brief moment earlier in the night with his own three-point performance. McDavid has 66 points and Crosby has 64.

Radko Gudas, Wayne Simmonds and Brayden Schenn scored for the Flyers, who have lost two in a row and four of their last five games.

Cam Talbot stopped 33 shots for Edmonton, and Michal Neuvirth saved 19 of 25 shots for Philadelphia.

Edmonton struck 2:14 into the first period when Hendricks elected to shoot on a 2-on-1, scoring his second goal in two games.

The Oilers made it 2-0 with five minutes left in the opening frame when Matt Benning made a beautiful feed in front to allow Draisaitl to direct in his 22nd goal of the season.

The Flyers cut into the lead just 31 seconds into the second period when Sean Couturier's pass hit Gudas in front and trickled past Talbot.

Edmonton regained its cushion seven minutes into the second when Eberle cashed in on the rebound from McDavid's backhand for his first goal in nine games.

It was 4-1 just over a minute later when Eric Gryba's shot struck Nugent-Hopkins in front and got past Neuvirth.

Midway through the second period, Edmonton's Patrick Maroon took it to Philadelphia's Brandon Manning in a spirited bout. Manning had been embroiled in a war of words with McDavid since injuring the Oilers captain during his rookie season last year.

Edmonton took a four-goal lead with just over three minutes left in the middle period when Klefbom unleashed a cannon of a shot for the Oilers' fifth goal on 17 shots. McDavid picked up another assist to move him back into the scoring lead.

Philadelphia got one back with 45 seconds left in the second when Simmonds was left alone in front to score his 24th.

The Flyers made it 5-3 seven minutes into the third on Schenn's power-play goal, but McDavid put the game away for good with his 19th goal of the season with five minutes to play.

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MONTREAL - Patrik Laine and Mathieu Perreault each had a goal and an assist, and the Winnipeg Jets spoiled Claude Julien's return to Montreal with a 3-1 victory over the Canadiens on Saturday.

Joel Armia also scored for Winnipeg (27-29-5), and Connor Hellebuyck stopped 19 shots. The Jets had dropped five of six.

The Canadiens fired coach Michel Therrien on Tuesday and hired Julien in hopes of getting their season back on track. Julien also coached Montreal from 2003-2006.

But Julien's first game back was more of the same for the first-place Canadiens (31-20-8), who have lost three in a row and seven of eight.

Perreault made it 2-1 just 1:16 into the third period. He sent a backhand shot over Carey Price's shoulder after a nifty one-handed pass from Dustin Byfuglien.

Laine added an empty-netter at 18:43. The rookie has five goals in his last three games and 28 on the year.

Andrei Markov scored for Montreal, and Price had 31 saves.

The Canadiens were sloppy in their first game back following their bye week, and it cost the home side on Winnipeg's first goal.

With Montreal on the power play in the second period, defenseman Nathan Beaulieu skated out of his own zone, and then tried to dangle the puck around Armia in the neutral zone.

The Jets winger easily stole the puck, skated in on Price and scored Winnipeg's sixth short-handed goal of the season at 4:52. Montreal had 18 giveaways in the game.

In one of his first coaching decisions since rejoining the Canadiens, Julien put Alex Galchenyuk on the first line with Alexander Radulov and captain Max Pacioretty.

That move paid instant dividends on Montreal's first goal on a rarely seen pinch by defenseman Markov.

The Russian's forecheck on Blake Wheeler forced a giveaway in Winnipeg's zone, with the puck falling right to Galchenyuk. The center then found Pacioretty, who gave it back to Markov in the crease for the easy tap-in at 11:04 of the first.

Pacioretty has seven points in his last four games.

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Wendel Clark, Frank Mahovlich, Red Kelly, and Charlie Conacher will soon be immortalized by the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The club announced the quartet as additions to its "Legends Row" in a pregame ceremony Saturday.

The four new statues will be unveiled in the fall and will join 10 others already unveiled outside Air Canada Centre including the likenesses of Mats Sundin, Dave Keon, Darryl Sittler, and Johnny Bower.

Clark is one of the most popular players to suit up for the Leafs in their history. He played parts of 13 seasons with the club in three separate stints, setting the franchise rookie record with 34 goals in 1985-86, and wore the 'C' as team captain from 1991 to 1994.

Mahovlich spent parts of 12 seasons in the blue and white, winning four of his six Stanley Cup championships with the Leafs and capturing the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie in 1958. The Hockey Hall of Famer is tied for sixth on the franchise's all-time goals list and ranks seventh in points.

Kelly won the Cup eight times in his career, and four of those titles came with Toronto. He has the most championships of any player to never play for the Montreal Canadiens, and he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1969.

Conacher led the NHL in scoring five times and was inducted into the Hall in 1961.

The four players' numbers were retired by the Leafs along with 12 other previously honored players in a pregame ceremony back in October.

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The Toronto Maple Leafs have acquired center Sergey Kalinin from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for defenseman Viktor Loov, the club announced Saturday.

Kalinin, 25, has played in 43 games this season, scoring two goals and two assists for the Devils. He'll report to the AHL's Toronto Marlies.

Loov, meanwhile, has spent his entire season with the Marlies, recording six points in 41 games.

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With just 24 games remaining in their season, the Edmonton Oilers rank second in the Pacific Division, just four points back of first place.

It's been a long, difficult wait in Edmonton, but the club is finally poised to make its playoff return after a decade on the sidelines. What the Oilers do beyond that, however, depends on whether or not they can find a solid backup netminder at the trade deadline.

That's not a knock on starting goalie Cam Talbot, as the Oilers' gamble on Talbot has clearly paid off. The former New York Rangers backup has been exceptional for Connor McDavid and Co. Among netminders who have made at least 40 appearances, Talbot's .920 save percentage is tied for fifth-best in the league.

Carrying the load

The only problem is the fact that the Oilers are leaning heavily on Talbot, seemingly without a viable contingency plan should his situation change.

The Oilers have played 58 games this season, and Talbot has started 52 of them - the biggest workload of any NHL netminder this season. Behind him, Jonas Gustavsson has suited up for just seven games and Laurent Brossoit has seen action in only three.

Neither backup has earned more than one win in that span. Brossoit boasts a strong save percentage of .919 - but only within a very limited sample size - while Gustavsson has struggled with his slightly bigger workload, posting a save percentage of .878.

Chiarelli's gamble

That leaves the Oilers in a bind, for two reasons.

Firstly, if Talbot goes down with an injury over the home stretch or during the playoffs - or sees his play drop off in any way - the Oilers will find themselves significantly limited.

Edmonton is all too familiar with having a strong offensive group with little to offer on the back end, and it's unlikely the team would last long without Talbot - even with McDavid doing work up front.

Secondly, the Oilers are risking overworking their starter. If nothing changes and they continue to start Talbot as much as they have thus far, he'll play 21 of those remaining 24 games, taking his season total to 73.

No netminder topped 70 appearances last season. Jonathan Quick and Braden Holtby are the only ones to do so in the past four seasons, both topping that mark in 2014-15.

Talbot's performance thus far suggests he can handle the increased workload, but leaving the club without a backup plan is a risky move for general manager Peter Chiarelli.

Plenty of options

Luckily, it wouldn't be too difficult to find one.

There are plenty of potential names to choose from at the moment, and while there's no merit in selling anything crucial to the team's future success to shore up their goaltending situation, there may be a lesser deal to be made.

Taking another look at Jaroslav Halak could be worthwhile, especially if the New York Islanders are willing to take a hefty contract back in return. Former Oiler Anders Nilsson is another option - he's found his game in Buffalo, is headed to unrestricted free agency, and likely isn't stealing the starting job from Robin Lehner. New Jersey Devils backup Keith Kinkaid is another option worth a look.

The potential is there, and with McDavid carrying the Oilers anyway, the club can afford to trim down elsewhere in the lineup to beef up the goaltending.

Might as well, because at this point it's one of the last remaining weaknesses for the quickly rising Oilers.

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The New York Rangers plan to pay tribute to a legendary former Blueshirt.

Jean Ratelle's iconic No. 19 will be lifted to the rafters of Madison Square Garden next season, the club announced Saturday.

The 76-year-old was named to the NHL's list of its 100 greatest players and took part in the All-Star festivities in Los Angeles last month.

Ratelle ranks second in franchise history with 336 goals, and third with 817 points.

His 491 career goals combined with the Rangers and the Boston Bruins rank 47th on the NHL's all-time list.

Ratelle was a two-time Lady Byng Trophy winner who spent parts of 16 seasons with the Rangers.

He was also a member of Canada's victorious 1972 Summit Series squad and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1985.

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The Toronto Maple Leafs have money to spend if they want to be buyers at the trade deadline.

The club reportedly placed injured players Nathan Horton, Joffrey Lupul, and Stephane Robidas on long-term injured reserve earlier this season, which wasn't reported, according to The Athletic's James Mirtle and Sportsnet's Chris Johnston.

The three haven't played a game this season, with Horton and Robidas all but officially retired. The moves provide Toronto with $13,387,834 in cap relief, according to Cap Friendly, meaning the club has a lot to work with ahead of March 1.

As Mirtle notes, though, the situation is complex due to potential overages Toronto will have to pay some of its star rookies. He writes:

The reason all these rookie bonuses are an issue is that they can’t roll into LTIR space. And any bonuses that exceed the cap (up to a maximum of $5.475 million) get rolled over into next season.

Toronto has a few pending unrestricted free agents it could trade at the deadline in order to free up some more money: Matt Hunwick, Roman Polak, and Ben Smith.

But with the club exceeding expectations and eyeing a playoff spot, it's more likely the Leafs stand pat or add to their team.

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BROSSARD, Quebec - The Montreal Canadiens skated hard, battled and worked, and that's just how new coach Claude Julien wants the practices to be.

Julien finally got to put the Canadiens through a full workout with no distractions on Monday. It was aimed mostly at convincing his struggling team that tighter defense will lead to more scoring chances on attack.

''He wanted it to be 40 minutes of high pace, high intensity, so when it comes to game time it's second nature,'' said defenseman Jeff Petry.

Julien, who replaced Michel Therrien last week, will be seeking his first victory since returning to Montreal when the Canadiens face the Rangers in New York on Tuesday night.

His debut saw the club fall 3-1 at home to the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday.

He had only one practice with the team before his first game and it was something of a circus, with fans jammed into the viewing areas at the team's suburban training center and two all-sports TV stations covering the event live.

Another practice Sunday at the Bell Centre was a promotional event in front of 10,000 shrieking kids.

It added to the challenge for Julien to put into effect the changes he hopes will snap the Canadiens out of a 1-6-1 slump in which they have scored only 10 goals, four of them by captain Max Pacioretty and another two from his linemate Alexander Radulov.

Julien wants his team to spend less time in its own zone and more time harrying opposition goaltenders. That starts with getting the puck more quickly on defense and holding onto it longer in the opponent's end.

''What we want to try to do, and what we did today, is to try to be better defensively for goals against and chances against,'' he said. ''But more than that, if we're better defensively we can (get) the puck quickly.

''I want us to play with the puck, not without it. I'm looking for puck possession time. It's not necessarily about analytics, it's that if we have the puck more, our chances are much better of winning.''

It's a formula that worked for most of the 10 seasons Julien spent with the Boston Bruins before he was replaced by Bruce Cassidy two weeks ago.

Boston won a Stanley Cup and reached another final during his time there, although they fell short of the playoffs the past two seasons.

The Canadiens started the season 13-1-1 and maintained a decent record despite a run of injuries through December and January, but they've hit a wall of late.

That prompted general manager Marc Bergevin to fire fifth-year coach Therrien and bring in Julien, whose first NHL coaching job was with the Canadiens from 2003 to 2006.

There is much that needs fixing. The Canadiens have got no goals and not even many scoring chances or sustained offensive zone pressure from their second, third or fourth lines in the past eight games.

They've also been lax defensively and at times had spotty goaltending, although Carey Price was sharp against the Jets.

''We've got enough skill here, (the offense) will come back,'' said Julien. ''I'm not worried about it.

''We have enough players on this team that can score goals, but we've got to start in the right place and that's when we get the puck back quickly. It remains to be seen, but that's my belief.''

What he hasn't had enough time for yet is to work on line combinations.

Mostly, he has used the units Therrien had in place. He moved Alex Galchenyuk to center on the first line to start against Winnipeg, but had Phillip Danault back in that spot by the third period.

Now Galchenyuk is back to the second line with Brendan Gallagher and Paul Byron.

''I know he's a very talented player; my job is to make him better,'' Julien said of Galchenyuk. ''Now I want to work with him on the little aspects of the game that will make him even better.''

The slump has narrowed the Canadiens' lead in the Atlantic Division to only two points ahead of Ottawa, which has two games in hand.

''It's what happens when you don't win games,'' said Gallagher. ''Everyone else in the league seems to be winning except for us and they're gaining ground.

''If we get back to playing winning hockey, playing our style and doing all the little things Claude and his staff are trying to get across, then we'll be where we want to be.''

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The Ottawa Senators announced a one-year, one-way contract extension for defenseman Fredrik Claesson on Monday.

The 24-year-old will earn $650,000 next season.

Claesson has five assists in 19 games this season for Guy Boucher's squad. He was drafted in the fifth round, 126th overall, in 2011, and has seven career assists in 35 NHL games.

The Stockholm, Sweden native spent the majority of four seasons in the AHL with the Binghamton Senators, accumulating 13 goals and 57 assists in 285 games.

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On the strength of five goals and eight points over four games, Winnipeg Jets star rookie Patrik Laine has earned first star of the week, the NHL announced Monday.

Laine recorded his third hat trick of the season Tuesday versus Dallas, becoming the first rookie since 1992-93 to accomplish the feat, and helped push the Jets within a single point of a wild-card seed.

Second star honors were designated to Toronto Maple Leafs pivot Nazem Kadri, who scored four goals and added two assists in four games. Kadri earned his fifth multi-goal game of the season against Columbus, and has established a new career high with 24 tallies so far this season.

Lastly, Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid was named third star, boosting his quest for the Art Ross trophy with six points (2G, 4A) in three consecutive wins. The 20-year-old leads the NHL with 47 assists and 67 points this season.

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The results are in, and it's not good news for the Ottawa Senators.

After a weekend full of injuries to key forwards, the Senators provided some updates Tuesday after the morning skate.

Per TSN's Darren Dreger:

Forward Mark Stone is out with a neck injury, with no timetable at this point.
Bobby Ryan will miss four-to-six weeks with a broken finger.
Mike Hoffman has a groin injury, and won't play Tuesday versus New Jersey.
Stone was the victim of a high hit from Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba, who earned a two-game suspension for the collision. The silver lining is there is no concussion for the 24-year-old, who's dealt with them in the past.

Ryan, meanwhile, took a shot of the hand Saturday versus Toronto. Hoffman was injured Sunday, and head coach Guy Boucher didn't provide an immediate timeline.

The injury wave comes at a crucial time for Ottawa, who just pulled within two points of Montreal for the Atlantic Division lead.



Replacing the missing offense won't be easy:

Sens goals: 152
1. Stone: 22
2. Hoffman: 19
3. Turris: 19
4. Smith: 14
5. Ryan: 12


Ryan, Hoffman, Stone account for 34.9% of Sens goals

— Brent Wallace (@tsn_wally) February 21, 2017
Tuesday's game versus the Devils is the start of a four-game road trip, which will also feature games versus the Hurricanes, Panthers, and Lightning.

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Patrik Laine wasn't the only rookie setting franchise marks on Tuesday.

With an assist on Leo Komarov's second-period goal against the Winnipeg Jets, Auston Matthews set a Toronto Maple Leafs record for the most points in a season by a rookie teenager.


Matthews picked up his 50th point on the play to pass Ted Kennedy's previous mark of 49, which had stood since the 1943-44 season. Matthews would go on to pad that total, picking up another assist on William Nylander's 17th goal of the season, then adding his third helper of the night on Jake Gardiner's overtime winner for point No. 52 on the campaign.

Of course, with Mitch Marner sitting on 48 points, it's virtually a given he will pass Kennedy's point total as a teen as well.

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Welcome to the club Patrik.

With his goal in the final seconds of the second period against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night, Patrik Laine becomes just the fourth player in the last 20 seasons to score 30 goals in the first season after his draft.

Laine also passes Ilya Kovalchuck for the most goals by a Jets/Thrashers rookie in a single season.


That goal sets a new franchise record for goals in a season by a rookie! Congrats @PatrikLaine29! pic.twitter.com/OzXGQXs6rE

— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) February 22, 2017
The 18-year-old has surely enjoyed playing the Maple Leafs early in his career. After collecting a hat trick in the clubs' first matchup earlier in the year, Laine now has five goals in two games against the Maple Leafs.

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The Toronto Maple Leafs are in a position to qualify for the postseason for the time being, but they might not be there much longer if their starting goaltender can't find his groove.

Frederik Andersen was the netminder of record in an overtime victory against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night, but he wasn't on his game from start to finish.

"Early (on), we were good and (Andersen) wasn't and then he made some good saves down the stretch and we won the game," Leafs head coach Mike Babcock told reporters including The Athletic's James Mirtle afterwards.

"Some nights, Freddy picks us up," Babcock added. "Tonight, we picked him up."

It wasn't just the one game. Andersen has struggled to find his rhythm over the last month or so.

Since notching his second straight shutout on Jan. 25, Andersen is 3-3-2 with a 3.67 GAA and a .878 save percentage. He allowed at least four goals in five of those nine games, at least five goals in three of them, and he gave up six in a loss the New York Islanders on Feb. 6.

Sure, there are other issues. Toronto is the NHL's seventh-youngest team, and while it is one of the league's most exciting squads, that youth often makes things a little more difficult for Andersen.

The Leafs have the best power play in the league and boast the sixth-most productive offense in terms of goals per game (3.14), but they also allow the third-most shots per contest in all situations (32.5), and that's a big reason they're giving up the eighth-most goals per game (2.9).

Not all of that is on Andersen, but the Leafs need him to be better than he's been lately if they hope to avoid being knocked out of the playoff picture for good.

Tuesday's win bumped their postseason chances up to 64.5 percent, according to Sports Club Stats, but their grip on a potential playoff berth is by no means secure.

The Florida Panthers now sit one point behind them with a game in hand, and both the Boston Bruins and the Islanders are also a point back of the Leafs with equally resurgent clubs since making in-season coaching changes.

It won't get any easier for Andersen and the Leafs, either. They host the New York Rangers on Thursday, the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday, then embark on a three-game Pacific road swing that begins against the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday.

Leafs management has a well documented long-term vision and this season's results aren't of the utmost importance, but the No. 1 goaltender needs to rediscover his form if the club's short-term goal involves giving this exciting, young group its first taste of playoff experience.

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Hit em with the 4 like Auston Matthews




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t's unlikely the Vegas Golden Knights will be active before the March 1 trade deadline.

The team can begin making deals - not involving current roster players - as soon as the final payment is submitted to the league, but, as owner Bill Foley explains, getting the final paperwork in on time will be a daunting task.

"We’ve been shooting for the 28th," Foley said, according to Steve Carp of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "Originally, the final payment wasn’t due until April 5. But then we moved it up to early March so (general manager) George (McPhee) can attend the general manager meetings in Florida the first week of March. Now, we’re trying to move it up even earlier to be involved in the trade deadline and I’m not sure we’re going to be able to make it.

"The money’s not the problem. We have the money. It’s signing off on everything and I don’t know if we’re going to make it or not. There’s a stack of documents I have to sign to get this done that is unbelievable."

In the mean time, Foley confirmed that McPhee has been having talks with fellow GMs and, due to the potential inability to be involved in transactions at the deadline, the GM meetings are what the team is more interested in.

"George has had informal conversations with several teams but I don’t think George is not going to be too anxious to do a transaction and give up our flexibility in selecting players," Foley said. "It’s going to have to be an improvement over what we otherwise would have.

"But we want him at the GM meetings because that’s where policy changes get made and we want a seat at the table when that happens."

Even if Foley and company were to get the final payment in before the deadline, as NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly also noted to Carp, there's very little the team can do trade-wise.

"The trade deadline is virtually irrelevant to the Vegas franchise at this point because they won’t be able to make trades involving real players under contract," Daly said. "They have no player assets to offer and they can’t acquire any in the form of real players. So every trade and transaction Las Vegas would be able to make before the trade deadline, they will be able to make after the trade deadline."

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The New York Islanders will be without Casey Cizikas for the next month.

The 25-year-old will miss four weeks with an upper-body injury, a source told Arthur Staple of Newsday.

Cizikas suffered the injury during Tuesday's contest against the Detroit Red Wings and was forced from the game. Cizikas has had an underwhelming year offensively, after agreeing to a four-year, $16.75-million contract extension last June, contributing just seven goals and 23 points in 53 games.

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The last time the Maple Leafs defeated the Canadiens, 11 players on their current roster had yet to make their NHL debut.

The date was Jan. 18, 2014, when Randy Carlyle manned the bench and Brendan Shanahan had yet to take the reins as Leafs president and alternate governor. Thirteen games have been played between the two teams since, with the Habs skating to wins in each of those contests.

The Leafs will hope to end the long-standing drought in the Original Six rivalry with a win on home ice this Saturday, and the matchup will be the league’s most expensive game this week. On TicketIQ, a leading search engine pooling ticket data from over 90 percent of the resale market, Maple Leafs versus Canadiens tickets are averaging $495.

Barring a playoff berth, Saturday’s game will be the most expensive game remaining at Air Canada Centre this season. The cheapest tickets currently fetch for $157 each.

This weekend’s matchup will be the third priciest between the two teams in Toronto since 2010, when TicketIQ began tracking resale ticket data. Only a February 2012 game ($530 average) and last month's game ($553 average) owned a higher average price.

Saturdays game comes at a pivotal point in the season for both teams. The Leafs sit third in the Atlantic Division in a crowded Eastern Conference playoff picture. The Canadiens own the fifth seed in the conference, though are very much on the postseason bubble as five teams trail by six points or less.

For the best deals on all NHL tickets this season, make sure to download the TicketIQ app. Offering fans the most transparent buying experience in the marketplace, the TicketIQ app also helps save up to 10 percent on all IQ Certified listings. Download the TicketIQ app and start saving on tickets today!

TicketIQ is a leading event ticket search engine with one simple goal: providing consumers with the most transparent and affordable buying experience. We aggregate listings from hundreds of certified sellers across every major sporting, music, and theater event - including deals from Ticketmaster's Official Exchanges and our Low Price Guarantee listings. Start discovering and saving now.

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The Carolina Hurricanes have traded defenseman Ron Hainsey to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a second-round pick in this year's draft and farmhand Danny Kristo, the Penguins announced Thursday.

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Another defenseman down.

The Pittsburgh Penguins will be without Trevor Daley for six weeks after he underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, the team announced.

The injury was suffered during Tuesday's game in Carolina.

The Penguins are already playing without Olli Maatta and Justin Schultz, both of whom are injured.

Help is on the way, however, as Pittsburgh acquired defenseman Ron Hainsey from the Hurricanes in exchange for a second-round pick in 2017 and farmhand Danny Kristo.

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The date was Dec. 23, and in their final game before the NHL's holiday break, the New York Islanders beat the Buffalo Sabres 5-1, bringing them level with the defeated at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings at 32 points.

Exactly two months later, the Islanders awake to find themselves occupying the second wild-card spot, courtesy of regulation losses suffered Wednesday by the Florida Panthers and Boston Bruins.

Here's two reasons why the drastic turn of events may have occurred:

Coaching change

A lot has happened in Brooklyn over the past two months, not the least of which being the decision to fire head coach Jack Capuano and hand the reins to assistant Doug Weight on Jan. 17.

Including the Dec. 23 win over Buffalo, the Islanders have a 16-7-4 record, tying two teams (San Jose and Toronto) for the third-highest point total over that span (36).

Capuano was behind the bench for 10 of those games, guiding the club to a 5-3-2 record. Under Weight, however, the wins have been more regular; in 17 games, the Islanders have a 11-4-2 record, accumulating a league-high 24 points since he took over as head coach.

Players stepping up

On top of the coaching change, goaltender Jaroslav Halak was placed on waivers and sent down to the AHL on Dec. 31, giving Thomas Greiss the opportunity to secure the starting job once and for all. In 19 starts in 2017, Greiss' record stands at 10-6-3 with a .915 save percentage.

It also helps that certain veteran forwards have picked up their games of late. High-priced free-agent signing Andrew Ladd has eight goals in 14 games to lead the Islanders since Weight took over, the same amount he had in 41 games prior.

And Jason Chimera, also signed last summer, has scored seven goals in 17 games after managing eight in 42 games to start the season.

John Tavares, of course, remains the straw that stirs the Islanders offensive drink, and he's been averaging a point per game over the past two months after an uncharacteristically slow start to the season.

Weight's team will play the second game of an eight-date road trip Thursday in Montreal, and the Islanders will return home March 13 with a much better idea of where they stand after this tough stretch in the schedule.

There's still plenty of hockey to be played, but the Islanders' turnaround should not go unnoticed.

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Drew Miller is hoping his stay in the AHL is brief.

Sent to the minors by the Detroit Red Wings earlier in February, the 33-year-old forward would like the opportunity to play elsewhere.

"Hopefully, I get traded," he told MLive. "I want to be in the NHL - everyone wants to be there - so we'll see how it goes."

The NHL's trade deadline is set for March 1, and Miller expects action to pick up on the market, hopefully involving a ticket out of Grand Rapids for himself.

"That's what (the Red Wings have) been trying to do is just wait to see what teams may be looking to add and have a good fit," Miller said. "No one's really making a move yet, but I would think that will change as we get closer."

Miller, who has his name on the Stanley Cup as a member of the 2007 Anaheim Ducks, is on a one-year deal that carries a cap hit of $1.025 million. He scored five goals and added an assist in 35 games with Detroit this season.

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It's been quite some time since an Edmonton Oilers defenseman filled the net at a clip similar to Oscar Klefbom.

The 23-year-old unloaded his 11th of the season past Florida Panthers netminder James Reimer on Wednesday night and in doing so has now put himself on pace to have one of the most productive seasons by an Oilers defenseman in almost a decade.

At his current pace, Klefbom should conclude the year with 14 goals, which would be the highest total for an Oilers defenseman since Sheldon Souray posted 23 during the 2008-09 season.

In fact, over the last 17 seasons only eight defensemen have finished the season with as many or more goals than Klefbom currently has.

YEAR      PLAYERS                  GOALS
08-09   Sheldon Souray            23
05-06   Marc-Andre Bergeron    15
07-08   Tom Gilbert                  13
05-06   Chris Pronger               12
00-01   Tom Poti                      12
00-01   Janne Niinimaa            12
16-17   Oscar Klefbom             11
13-14   Justin Schultz              11


At his current pace, Klefbom would finish with the third-highest such total since the 1999-2000 season.

The Oilers have certainly set out to be tougher on the back end this season, but added offense from their blueliners will always be a welcomed sight and Klefbom is doing his part.

Last edited on Thu Feb 23rd, 2017 08:08 pm by lobo316

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Bryan Bickell is on the road back to NHL action.

His first stop will be Charlotte, where he can be assigned to the AHL's Checkers once he clears waivers, the Carolina Hurricanes announced.

Bickell has missed 48 games after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. He last played on Oct. 30, and recorded one goal in seven games to begin the season.

Acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks - with whom he won three Stanley Cups - in 2016, Bickell is in the final year of his contract and can become an unrestricted free agent at season's end.

If he does indeed clear waivers, he can be down in the AHL for more than the standard two weeks afforded for conditioning stints, reports Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet.

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The Pittsburgh Penguins may not be done dealing following Thursday's acquisition of veteran defenseman Ron Hainsey.

Justin Schultz appears set to return to the lineup from a concussion, but Olli Maatta and Trevor Daley will be out weeks due to injury, and, to make matters potentially far worse, Kris Letang is currently listed as day to day with an upper-body injury.

The Penguins don't play again until Saturday's Stadium Series event, giving general manager Jim Rutherford time to assess the situation.

Rutherford said in the next 24 hours they'll determine a final answer on whether to add another D man into the mix.

— Jason Mackey (@JMackeyPG) February 23, 2017
Rutherford also maintained he'd prefer to keep goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury for what's hoped to be another lengthy playoff run, ensuring Matt Murray has more than sufficient backup.

"I'm going to have some communication with (Fleury) between now and the deadline and see exactly where he sits and how he feels," Rutherford said, per Sam Kasan of Pens Inside Scoop. "That'll play a part in the final decision. I won't get too far ahead of myself. He very well could be a part of our team going down the stretch."

The upcoming expansion draft complicates the issue somewhat, and much can happen prior to the March 1st trade deadline, but the GM seems content with his defending Stanley Cup champion roster.

Rutherford on the state of the team as we inch closer to the playoffs: "I feel very confident. This is a good team."

— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) February 23, 2017
Rutherford, however, added, "We'll stay in the mix right up to the deadline and see what happens."

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Dennis Wideman is open to a move prior to the trade deadline.

The Calgary Flames defenseman would waive his no-move clause should a suitor come calling on or before March 1.

"If that's something that (the Flames) want to do, then they can call and I definitely would be open to it," Wideman told Wes Gilbertson of the Calgary Herald. "I think, as a player, you don't want to be anywhere that you're not wanted. So if they want to move you and someone wants to take you, then it's nice to go somewhere like that if that's the case."

Whether another club is willing to take on a 33-year-old defenseman who carries a $5.25-million cap hit is the bigger question, but Wideman - who's been bumped down the depth chart by the arrivals of Matt Bartkowski and Michael Stone - certainly wants to play.

"I just want to help this team as much as I can, for when I'm here, so I just have to be ready to play," he said. "And if it's somewhere else, then I'll cross that bridge when it gets there ... But my concentration right now is helping the Flames make the playoffs."

Wideman has recorded three goals, 13 assists, and 79 shots while averaging 20:38 of ice time through 52 games.

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The elusive sign-and-trade deal in the NHL nearly came to pass.

The St. Louis Blues had reportedly agreed to the framework on a seven-year, $42-million sign-and-trade agreement with defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk six weeks ago, but the prized puck mover nixed the deal, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Jeremy Rutherford.

Rutherford suggests that the Tampa Bay Lightning was the team involved in the sign-and-trade negotiation, and the return assets included in the proposed deal remain unknown.

He also notes that since the deal fell through, Blues general manager Doug Armstrong has shifted his focus to moving Shattenkirk to a buyer whose interest doesn't hinge on the defenseman signing long term.

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The Dallas Stars have traded forward Patrick Eaves to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for a conditional second-round draft pick in 2017, the Stars announced.

As per the Stars the condition of the trade is as follows:

Based on draft position, Dallas will receive the middle pick of Ottawa, San Jose, or Toronto's second-round selections in 2017 per the conditions in which Anaheim acquired the pick from Toronto in a previous trade. Should Anaheim advance to the third round of the postseason and Eaves plays in 50 percent or more of their games in the first two rounds, the selection becomes the Ducks first-round selection in the 2017 NHL Draft.

Eaves immediately gives the Ducks the offensive boost they've been craving. The Ducks have boasted the 20th-ranked offense this season, scoring at a clip of just 2.56 goals per game.

Meanwhile, Eaves joins the Ducks having already set a career high with 21 goals through 59 games this season. In fact, his 21 tallies are more than every Ducks players sans forward Rickard Rackell, who's posted 24.

The 32-year-old will serve as a rental with his $1-million contract expiring at season's end.

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Bad news at the wrong time for the Vancouver Canucks.

Defenseman Troy Stecher has been diagnosed with mumps, and four other players - Mike Chaput, Markus Granlund, Chris Tanev, and Nikita Tryamkin - are showing symptoms, the club announced.

Here's more from the release:

In keeping with BC Centre of Disease Control and Vancouver Coastal Health guidelines, players presenting symptoms are immediately being tested and quarantined in isolation for a five-day period from the onset of symptoms or until test results prove negative. Vaccines are also being administered to minimize further risk of contraction along with universal preventative hygiene measures as recommended by Vancouver Coastal Health including disinfecting all dressing room areas.

Additional team members will be screened Friday, the club added.

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The St. Louis Blues signed forward Patrik Berglund to a five-year, $19.25-million contract extension, the club announced Friday.

Berglund was a pending unrestricted free agent carrying a cap hit of $3.7 million. His new deal is incredibly team friendly, with an average annual value of only $3.85 million.

The extension includes a partial no-trade clause, according to ESPN's Pierre LeBrun.

The Blues were able to ink the 28-year-old to a long-term deal with just a marginal raise despite the fact he ranks second on the club behind Vladimir Tarasenko with 17 goals.

Kevin Shattenkirk and Scottie Upshall are now the Blues' only remaining pending UFAs.

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The Detroit Red Wings have traded forward Tomas Jurco to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for a third-round pick in this year's draft, the Red Wings announced.

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The Detroit Red Wings have traded forward Tomas Jurco to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for a third-round pick in this year's draft, the Red Wings announced.
The deal was announced shortly after the Dallas Stars announced the trade ofPatrick Eaves to the Anaheim Ducks for a conditional second-round pick in the coming draft, as the market establishes itself ahead of the March 1 trade deadline.
With the postseason looking less and less likely for teams like Detroit and Dallas, the sale - at least in those two cities - has begun.
It was no secret Jurco was looking for a fresh start away from Detroit, as the 24-year-old has been held pointless in 16 games this season.
A second-round pick, 35th overall, in 2011, Jurco's career high in goals is only eight, established in his rookie season in 2013-14. Twice a 30-goal scorer in junior hockey, Jurco had 32 points in 32 games in the AHL in 2013-14, resulting in his call up that season. But that's as good as it ever got.
The Slovakian was averaging only 10:02 in ice time this season and will be a restricted free agent on July 1.
"Things haven't worked out," said Red Wings general manager Ken Holland, according to the Detroit Free Press' Helene St. James. "He wanted to be elsewhere."
Wish granted. And there aren't too many better places to play than Chicago, once a fierce rival of the Red Wings.

Last edited on Sat Feb 25th, 2017 05:09 am by lobo316

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A big night for the Montreal Canadiens held added significance for Carey Price.

Making 32 saves to keep the Canadiens five points ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs in an overtime victory on Saturday night, Price moved past legend Ken Dryden on the franchise's all-time wins list with the 259th of his career.

Afterwards, Price didn't speak out about how special the achievement was, but instead about how special of a man Dryden is.

He called Dryden a "life changer," telling Dan Robertson of TSN 690:

"Ken is the first Hab I met. I was around eight. ... I met him in Williams Lake. I got his autograph on a piece of paper I still have today," he said.

"When I was going through a tough time at about 21, Ken called me and we had a good talk. I have a lot of respect for what he did in the NHL and what he's done after.

"He's a very special human being."

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It's the first of presumably many 30-goal campaigns for Toronto Maple Leafs wunderkind Auston Matthews.

Matthews hit the benchmark with his second goal of the night versus Carey Price and the Montreal Canadiens with a cutting deflection on the edge of the crease on a turn-around feed from Zach Hyman.

Matthews is the first Maple Leafs rookie to hit 30 goals since Daniel Marois reached the threshold 28 years ago.

He's within four goals of Wendel Clark's franchise record, as well as the current league-lead held by Sidney Crosby.

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The Tampa Bay Lightning have dealt netminder Ben Bishop to the Los Angeles Kings.

In exchange, the Lightning will receive defensive prospect Erik Cernak, veteran netminder Peter Budaj, a seventh-round draft pick, and a conditional selection in 2017 NHL Draft.

The Kings will receive a fifth-round pick with Bishop, and Tampa Bay will retain 20 percent of his salary to facilitate the deal.

Bishop's acquisition comes one day after Jonathan Quick returned to the Los Angeles crease after missing more than two-thirds of the season with a groin injury.

Budaj buoyed the Kings in the Western Conference chase throughout Quick's absence, recording 27 wins and seven shutouts in 51 starts. His .917 save percentage in spot relief was directly in line with the save rate Quick's had over the previous three seasons.

Bishop's value has diminished after his brilliant 2015-16 campaign, in which he led the NHL in goals-against average. He has stopped pucks at a .911 clip in 31 appearances, and has now officially been supplanted by Andrei Vasilevskiy.

With Bishop and Quick working in tandem down the stretch, the Kings should, at least in theory, maintain a certain performance standard in goal each night as they navigate a busy schedule down the stretch.

Los Angeles has more than $10 million tied up in its goaltenders, even with Tampa Bay taking on a portion of Bishop's salary.

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Martin Hanzal is headed to the Minnesota Wild.

The Arizona Coyotes dealt the veteran forward to the Wild on Sunday in exchange for Minnesota's first-round pick in 2017, second-round selection in 2018, and conditional pick in 2019, reports Craig Custance of ESPN.

According to TSN's Bob McKenzie, the conditional pick in 2019 is a fourth-rounder, and becomes a third-round pick if the Wild win one playoff round. It becomes a second-round pick if the Wild win two rounds.

The Wild also acquired winger Ryan White and Arizona's 2017 fourth-round pick in the deal, according to McKenzie, while Minnesota farmhand Grayson Downing is also headed to Arizona.

As part of the deal, the Coyotes will retain 50 percent of Hanzal's contract.

Hanzal has appeared in 51 games with the Coyotes this season, recording 16 goals and 10 assists.

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Filip Forsberg was named the NHL's first star of the week Monday after becoming the first player in Nashville Predators history to score eight goals in a span of four consecutive games.

Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews and Calgary Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau were named second and third star of the week, respectively.

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The writing was on the wall when Andrei Vasilevskiy was signed to a three-year contract extension last summer.

That decision was made with the knowledge that Ben Bishop was set to become an unrestricted free agent in 2017, and that the Tampa Bay Lightning would likely be unable to re-sign the goalie who's been key to their success in recent years.

Thus, Bishop was dealt to the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday, with veteran Peter Budaj coming back in return as a cheaper but still very effective option in net.


"(Bishop's) been a major part of the success we've had in the last three years and helping us go on long playoff runs, as important to our team as any other player," Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said, according to the team's website.

"In the business now in hockey, you have to make some decisions based on the salary cap."

Budaj posted a record of 27-20-3 with a .917 save percentage while filling in for Jonathan Quick this season. The 34-year-old is playing on a one-year deal, but could be retained on the cheap if all goes well.

"In moving Ben, we needed a good backup - somebody to help out Vasilevskiy. (Budaj's) done a great job filling in for Quick," Yzerman said. "We want somebody experienced playing with Vasilevskiy, but we also wanted to bring in somebody that can help us win games and get us into the playoffs."

Tampa Bay was also able to add defensive prospect Erik Cernak in the deal, as well as a seventh-round pick and a conditional pick (both in the 2017 draft).

Altogether, not a bad haul for a player who would have left via free agency or the expansion draft at season's end.

Yzerman can now focus on helping the team get back to the playoffs while also having to contend with soon-to-be restricted free-agent forwards Jonathan Drouin, Tyler Johnson, and Ondrej Palat.

Bishop, meanwhile, will try to keep his stock high while splitting time with Quick, keeping a view on winning a Stanley Cup in Los Angeles and signing a lucrative contract in the offseason.

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The Tampa Bay Lightning have traded Brian Boyle to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for Byron Froese and a second-round draft pick in 2017.

The #TBLightning get the highest of #leafs three 2017 2nds: TOR, SJ or OTT.

— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) February 27, 2017
Boyle, 32, made two consecutive appearances in the finals as a member of the New York Rangers (2014) and Lightning (2015). Boyle has recorded 13 goals and nine assists in 54 games this season.

Froese was drafted 119th overall by Chicago in 2009. He's appeared in 58 games at the NHL level, with two goals and three assists to his name. In 195 AHL games, he has recorded 49 goals and 52 assists.

The deal marks a startling turnaround from the beginning of the season, where the Maple Leafs entered as last year's last-place team while the Lightning came to within one win of the Stanley Cup Final.

Since 2011, nobody has more playoff experience (100 GP) than Brian Boyle

(Per @TSNResearch) pic.twitter.com/8W8zGGuAtY

— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) February 27, 2017
The games are played on the ice, however, and Toronto is currently in a playoff spot and looking to add the kind of veteran savvy needed in the postseason.

In total, Boyle has appeared in 100 playoff games, scoring 15 goals.

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The Ottawa Senators have acquired veteran winger Alex Burrows from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for forward prospect Jonathan Dahlen, the clubs confirmed Monday.

Burrows surrendered his no-trade protection with the Canucks to facilitate the deal, but also apparently forfeited his opportunity to test the open market in unrestricted free agency this summer.

Sportsnet's Dan Murphy reports that Burrows has agreed to a two-year, $5-million extension to remain with Ottawa beyond the stretch drive.

Dahlen, a 19-year-old pivot, was chosen in the second round, 42nd overall by the Senators last summer. His stock as been on the rise while scoring at close to a point-per-game pace with Timra IK of Sweden's second division.

Burrows, who turns 36 in April, has been with the Canucks organization for the last 14 seasons, and debuted for the club in 2006.

He racked up 193 goals, 384 points, and 1,066 penalty minutes in 822 games, which ranks sixth on the franchise's all-time list. He scored another 34 points in 70 career postseason games.

Burrows can slot up and down the lineup, and function in many capacities for Senators coach Guy Boucher.

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The Montreal Canadiens have acquired defenseman Jordie Benn from the Dallas Stars in exchange for defenseman Greg Pateryn and a fourth-round pick in 2017, the Canadiens announced.

Benn joins the Canadiens after spending his first six years in the league with the Stars. As for Pateryn, his availability was made known after it was reported that the Canadiens had sent a league-wide memo to NHL clubs last week.

Nill said the possibility of losing Jordie Benn in the expansion draft was a factor in making the deal.

— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) February 27, 2017
For the Canadiens, the club gets a more stable depth option on the back end, while the Stars helped to settle a potential expansion issue regarding which defensemen to protect, with John Klingberg and Dan Hamhuis - who owns a modified no-trade clause - sure things to be protected.

As for Benn, he remains under contract for the next two-seasons at a cap-friendly $1.1-million per season, while Pateryn has one year and $800,000 remaining on his deal.

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The Detroit Red Wings have traded defenseman Brendan Smith to the New York Rangers, the club announced Tuesday.

In exchange for Smith, 28, the Red Wings will receive a 2018 second-round pick and a 2017 third-rounder.

The Rangers were reportedly in the mix for Kevin Shattenkirk, who was dealt to the Capitals on Monday, but in Smith, the Blueshirts receive a viable consolation prize to shore up a back-end in need of more mobility.

Smith carries a cap hit of $2.75 million, and will be an unrestricted free agent July 1. In 33 games this season, he has just two goals and three assists, but was one of few possession drivers on a struggling Red Wings team.

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The Washington Capitals acquired the top rental asset on the open market Monday night, landing talented puck-moving defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk in a seismic trade with the St. Louis Blues, the teams have confirmed.

In exchange, the Blues acquired Washington's first-round pick this summer, a complex conditional selection in the 2019 NHL Draft, along with forwards Zach Sanford and Brad Malone.

Washington will also re-acquire 25-year-old goaltender Phoenix Copley as part of the agreement.

St. Louis reportedly retained 39 percent of Shattenkirk's $4.25-million salary to complete the transaction, according to TSN's Darren Dreger.

The Capitals are already, in many ways, the NHL's most complete team, and their current configuration on defense has been the league's stingiest unit this season. But with the mobile Shattenkirk, they have added a completely new dimension to their back line.

The 28-year-old is one of the league's premier transition facilitators, and a power-play specialist. He owns the fourth-highest points rate among blue-liners in all situations, meaning just three of his peers have been more productive with their minutes this season.

Shattenkirk is in the final year of his incredibly team-friendly deal. He stands to fetch a lucrative long-term agreement as the most sought after free agent this summer.

The acquisition made two days before the March 1 deadline also prevents the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers - two Metropolitan Division heavyweights with similar aspirations and apparent interest in Shattenkirk - from bolstering their respective lineups with the ice-tiling rearguard.

Copley's inclusion in the deal acts as protection for the Capitals should backup Philipp Grubauer be chosen in the expansion draft.

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Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty hit the 30-goal plateau with the first of his two goals on Monday, and joined an elite group of Montreal greats in the process.

Pacioretty has now hit the milestone in four consecutive seasons, becoming just the fifth player in franchise history to do so, joining Steve Shutt, Guy Lafleur, Maurice Richard, and Yvan Cournoyer.

Pacioretty also scored his 31st of the year later in the game, putting him alone in second place league-wide in goals, just three behind Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby.

Montreal would go on to defeat New Jersey 4-3 in overtime.

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The New York Rangers will be without defenseman Dan Girardi for 10-14 days as a result of an ankle injury, the club announced Tuesday.

Dan Girardi out 2 weeks, AV says. Open wound in ankle from earlier blocked shot isn't healing properly. Steven Kampfer is being recalled.

— Dan Rosen (@drosennhl) February 28, 2017
Girardi is averaging almost 19 minutes per game this season, with four goals, eight assists, and 52 shots.

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The Ottawa Senators have acquired winger Viktor Stalberg from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for a third-round pick in the 2017 draft, the clubs announced Tuesday.

In Stalberg, the Senators add more forward depth, which was also addressed Monday when general manager Pierre Dorion traded for longtime Canucks winger Alex Burrows.

The Hurricanes, meanwhile, are well outside the playoff picture, but with the extra draft selection have now accrued an astounding seven picks in the first three rounds of the 2017 draft.

In 57 games this season, Stalberg's recorded 12 points. He'll be an unrestricted free agent July 1.

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The Toronto Maple Leafs earned Brian Boyle.

The veteran center - who's played a ton of playoff hockey over the past few years - was acquired by Toronto in a trade with Tampa Bay on Monday, and the players he's joining can consider Boyle a reward for their strong play through three quarters of the season.

Babcock said Lamoriello wanted to reward the Leafs players with more help given the season they've had.

— James Mirtle (@mirtle) February 28, 2017
"It goes to show they have a lot of faith in the group here," winger James van Riemsdyk said of the trade, according to The Athletic's James Mirtle.

The plan is for Boyle to center Toronto's fourth line with Matt Martin and - for the time being - Josh Leivo, while he'll also see duty on the penalty kill and in front of the net on the power play, according to head coach Mike Babcock.

The Leafs are hopeful that Boyle - flying out west from Tampa Bay - will be in their lineup Tuesday night in San Jose.

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The Colorado Avalanche and Los Angeles Kings are finalizing a trade involving Jarome Iginla, according to ESPN's Pierre LeBrun.

Los Angeles will give Colorado a conditional draft pick, TSN's Darren Dreger reports.

TSN's Bob McKenzie reported earlier Wednesday that the Kings were showing interest in the 39-year-old forward, who has a full no-movement clause.

Iginla is a pending unrestricted free agent carrying a cap hit of $5.33 million this season.

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The Florida Panthers are loading up at the forward position.

The club has acquired Thomas Vanek from the Detroit Red Wings for a 2017 third-round draft pick, according to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet.

TSN's Bob McKenzie added another piece to the trade puzzle.

FLA gives up Dylan McIlrath and a third round pick to DET for Thomas Vanek. DET retains 50 per cent of salary.

— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) March 1, 2017
Here's some more info on that third-round pick.

The 3rd-round pick in Vanek deal goes from Panthers 3rd to Arizona's 3rd if the Panthers make the playoffs.

— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) March 1, 2017
Vanek was playing in Detroit on a one-year contract, $2.6-million and can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

He boosted his value with Detroit to the tune of 15 goals and 23 assists in 48 games, and will now bring that production to a Panthers squad looking to climb back into a playoff spot.

McIlrath was drafted 10th overall by the New York Rangers in 2010. In 43 career games, the 24-year-old defenseman has recorded three goals and two assists.

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The Montreal Canadiens have announced the acquisition of forward Dwight King from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for a conditional 2018 fourth-round pick.

If King - who is set to become an unrestricted free agent at season's end - signs with the Canadiens, the fourth-round pick will become a third-round selection, according to TVA's Renaud Lavoie.

It adds to a recurring theme, in that the Canadiens have added another depth forward.

King had spent his entire seven-year career with the Kings, who drafted him in the fourth round in 2007.

The 27-year-old has 69 games of playoff experience and has eight goals and 15 points in 63 games this season.

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The Vancouver Canucks claimed forward Joseph Cramarossa off waivers from the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday, according to multiple reports.

The 24-year-old has four goals and six assists in 49 games, and averaged 9:49 of ice time in Anaheim.

Cramarossa, claimed by the Canucks for reasons best known to themselves, has unfathomably bad numbers given his deployment. pic.twitter.com/3aE4fLYqA0

— Micah Blake McCurdy (@IneffectiveMath) March 1, 2017
Cramarossa was drafted 65th overall in the third round by the Ducks in 2011.

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The Montreal Canadiens acquired forward Steve Ott from the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for a sixth-round pick in 2018, the team announced late Tuesday night.

Ott, 34, appeared in 42 games with the Red Wings this season, recording six points and 63 penalty minutes.

Ott said he valued the opportunity to wear the Red Wings jersey...is excited about going to Montreal...blamed injuries for Wings' season

— Ted Kulfan (@tkulfan) March 1, 2017
The veteran is a pending unrestricted free agent and carries a $800,000 cap hit.

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Jannik Hansen is headed to San Jose.

The Vancouver Canucks traded the forward to the Sharks late Tuesday, the team announced. The Canucks acquired forward prospect Nikolay Goldobin and a conditional fourth-round 2017 pick in exchange.

If SJ wins the Cup, the conditional fourth round pick becomes a first-round pick for the Canucks. 4th round or 1st round, no in between.

— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) March 1, 2017
Goldobin will join the Canucks on Wednesday in San Jose, Vancouver general manager Jim Benning said. The former first-round pick in 2014 has 15 goals and 41 points in 46 games in the AHL this season.

Hansen appeared in 28 games with the Canucks this season, recording six goals and seven assists. The 30-year-old is signed through next season and carries a $2.5-million cap hit.

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NEW YORK - Marcus Johansson had two goals and an assist to help Washington beat the New York Rangers 4-1 on Tuesday night in Kevin Shattenkirk's first game with the Capitals.

Brett Connolly and Nicklas Backstrom also scored and Braden Holtby stopped 29 shots as the NHL-best Capitals gave Barry Trotz his 700th career victory. Evgeny Kuznetzov and Matt Niskanen had two assists each.

Shattenkirk, acquired from St. Louis on Monday night, had four shots on goal in 17:57 of ice time.

Brady Skjei scored in the first period and Henrik Lundqvist finished with 34 saves as the Rangers lost for the second time in three days on home ice after going 5-0-1 in their previous six at Madison Square Garden.

After stepping up their play in the latter stages of the first period, the Capitals were in control in the second as they scored twice and outshot the Rangers 18-9.

Johansson tied it at 1 on a rush about 7 1/2 minutes into the middle period when he knocked in the rebound of a shot by Dmitry Orlov for his 20th.

Michael Grabner appeared to give the Rangers the lead with less than eight minutes remaining as the puck deflected up off Kuznetsov's leg and Holtby's helmet and dropped on the goal line before the Rangers forward knocked it in. However, Trotz challenged for offside on the Rangers entering the zone, and the goal was waved off after a lengthy video review.

Washington took the lead later when Lars Eller sent a pass that went off Niskanen's stick to Connolly, who put it in for his 13th with 3:34 to go in the period.

Johansson made it 3-1 at 1:15 of the third, deflecting a shot by Kuznetsov over Lundqvist's right shoulder for his 21st.

Backstrom scored a power-play goal that deflected up off Skjei's stick and over Lundqvist and in for his 19th with 2:03 left. John Carlson got his 200th career assist on the play.

The Rangers controlled the pace for much of the opening period, outshooting the Capitals 11-5 over the first 16 1/2 minutes before Washington had the final three shots of the first.

Washington's Tom Wilson hit Derek Stepan into the boards about 5 1/2 minutes in and the Rangers' center slowly skated to the bench.

Skjei put the Rangers up 1-0 when he tipped a pass from Adam Clendening past Holtby for his third at 5:08 of the first period. It gave the rookie 30 points for the season, including his two goals and 13 points in the last 18 games.

Skjei also hit a post with a slap shot with about seven minutes left in the first, and Jimmy Vesey's backhander in close was denied by Holtby less than 10 seconds later.

NOTES: Trotz is sixth on the NHL coaching wins list. ... Washington's Karl Alzner played in his 571st regular season game, breaking a tie with Ken Klee for ninth on the franchise list for defensemen. ... The Capitals improved to 7-8-3 when giving up the first goal and 32-1-1 when leading after two periods. ... The Rangers won the first two meetings with the Capitals, 4-2 at Washington on Oct. 22 and 2-1 at home Feb. 19. The teams conclude the season series at Washington on April 5. ... The Rangers acquired D Brendan Smith from Detroit for two draft picks and swapped minor league players with Buffalo. ... New York, without D Kevin Klein (back spasms) for the fourth straight game, announced D Dan Girardi will miss 10-14 days due to an ankle injury. D Steven Kampfer was recalled from Hartford of the AHL and rookie F Pavel Buchnevich was assigned to the Wolf Pack. ... The Rangers are now 25-9-1 when scoring first.

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Wrong team, but check out this nasty one-timer by Jets rookie Patrik Laine. The @mnwild are live on #FOXSportsGO: https://t.co/bhhh0wmh0d pic.twitter.com/8mUbLYwZ6k

— FOX Sports North (@fsnorth) March 1, 2017
The race is on.

Winnipeg Jets rookie forward Patrik Laine netted his 31st goal of the season Tuesday, beating Minnesota Wild netminder Darcy Kuemper just 1:02 into the contest.

The marker puts Laine one ahead of Toronto's Auston Matthews for the lead among rookie skaters.

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The Montreal Canadiens traded forward David Desharnais to the Edmonton Oilers for defenseman Brandon Davidson, the Habs announced Tuesday night.

Habs retain 20 percent salary/cap hit of Desharnais in Oilers trade

— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) March 1, 2017
Desharnais, 30, has only known the Canadiens in the NHL, having spent the first eight years of his career in Montreal. He had a career-high 52 points in 2013-14, but after posting only 29 last season he's carried over those struggles to 2016-17. The pivot heads west with only four goals and six assists in 31 games.

"I would like to thank David for all his years as a Montreal Canadien," general manager Marc Bergevin said in a release. "He developed and matured within our organization providing valuable services. We wish him the utmost success with the continuation of his career."

Peter Chiarelli on Desharnais: "I know he's undersized, but he's strong on the puck".

— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) March 1, 2017
The Canadiens were thought to be in the market for a center, so trading one will undoubtedly increase speculation that another move is on the horizon, as Bergevin continues to tinker with Montreal's roster.

The Oilers were looking for a center, too, and get one with a positive possession rating in Desharnais. He's at 51.39 percent this season, according to Corsica Hockey.


Davidson, 25, joins Nikita Nesterov and Jordie Benn as defensive additions to Montreal since late January. There's no denying the club boasts impressive depth on the blue line.

A sixth-round pick in 2010, Davidson's been limited to 28 games this season by injury, and has only one assist. He played 91 games for Edmonton over the past three campaigns, scoring five goals and adding eight assists.

Edmonton was expected to lose Davidson in the coming expansion draft, and instead get a pending unrestricted free agent in Desharnais, who's playing out the final year of his contract, which pays him $3.5 million.

Davidson will be a restricted free agent after the 2017-18 season, and is on the books for $1.425 million.

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The sale in Dallas continues.

The Stars traded defenseman Johnny Oduya to the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night, the Blackhawks announced. Dallas retains half of Oduya's salary, according to ESPN's Pierre LeBrun.

The return is 24-year-old forward Mark McNeill and a conditional fourth-round draft pick in 2018.

If CHI wins two rounds and Oduya plays in 50 per cent or more of CHI games, fourth-round pick becomes a third-round pick to DAL.

— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) March 1, 2017
The Blackhawks are familiar with Oduya - the 35-year-old played 219 games for Chicago over four seasons from 2012-15. A pending unrestricted free agent, he's playing out the final season of a contract that pays him $3.75 million.

Injury has limited Oduya to only 37 games this season, and he's got a goal and six assists, averaging 18:10 in ice time per game. He has a 48.49 Corsi For rating, according to Corsica Hockey.

McNeill was a first-round pick, 18th overall, in 2011, but played in only one game for the Blackhawks. He's scored 20-plus goals in a season twice in the AHL, and has six goals and 22 assists in 58 games in the minors this season.

Oduya won two Stanley Cups with Chicago, and adds depth to the defense corps as the Blackhawks prep for what they hope will be another long playoff run.

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The Toronto Maple Leafs have acquired forward Eric Fehr, defenceman Steve Oleksy and a fourth-round pick from the Pittsburgh Penguins for defenceman Frank Corrado.

Fehr, who cleared waivers earlier in the day, has six goals and 11 points in 52 games this season. The 31-year-old is signed through the 2017-18 campaign, earning $2 million per season.


A 12-year NHL veteran, Fehr brings size and playoff experience to Toronto. The six-foot-four, 212-lb. winger has played in 60 career post-season games, including 23 last season when he won a Stanley Cup with the Penguins.

He’ll join forward Brian Boyle, who Toronto acquired this week to help with its push for a playoff berth.

Oleksy, 31, is in his fourth season in the NHL. He appeared in 11 games for Pittsburgh this season and has just 62 career games under his belt (three goals, 19 points, plus-15).

The 23-year-old Corrado played just two games for the Maple Leafs this season and 39 in the 2015-16 campaign. The Toronto native was drafted in the fifth round (150th overall) by the Vancouver Canucks in the 2011 draft and was claimed off waivers by the Maple Leafs in October 2015.

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The Tampa Bay Lightning have sent defenseman Mark Streit to the Pittsburgh Penguins shortly after acquiring him from the Philadelphia Flyers, the clubs announced.

Tampa Bay gets a fourth-round pick in 2018 in return for the defenseman.

The Lightning will retain 50 percent of Streit's salary over the remainder of the season, LeBrun reports.

Mike Streit's salary now being paid like so: PHI (4.7%) TB (50%) PIT (45.3%)

— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) March 1, 2017
Streit spent the past four seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers, and had five goals and 16 assists in 49 games this season.

The 39-year-old, who brings added skill and depth to a banged-up Pittsburgh blue line, will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.

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The Calgary Flames have acquired forward Curtis Lazar from the Ottawa Senators for defenseman Jyrki Jokipakka and a second-round pick in 2017.

Defenseman Michael Kostka will also go to Calgary.

Lazar has been mentioned in trade talks for some time now, based mostly on the fact he's mustered one assist in 33 games this season.

"He really fits into our age group," Flames general manager Brad Treliving said of Lazar. "To start a new chapter, to get back out west, he's really excited."

The 22-year-old was fighting a bout of mononucleosis during training camp, and never seemed to find his stride under new head coach Guy Boucher, who gave Lazar only 8:49 ice time on average.

Curtis Lazar: "If I didn't have mono, we probably aren't standing here right now."

— Ian Mendes (@ian_mendes) March 1, 2017
He was selected 17th overall by the Senators in 2013, and the Flames seem to believe this season is a bump on the road, albeit a large one.

Jokipakka, by the way, has recorded three goals and 25 assists in 147 career games at the NHL level after being drafted with the 195th pick in 2011.

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The Vegas Golden Knights can now officially wheel and deal with their NHL counterparts.

While 30 franchises were occupied by Wednesday's trade deadline, the NHL's 31st team submitted its final league payment, and as a result, can start making deals, according to TSN's Bob McKenzie.

"On behalf of the Board of Governors, I am delighted to officially welcome the Vegas Golden Knights to the NHL," Commissioner Gary Bettman said. "Congratulations to Bill Foley, the Foley family, the Maloof family, the city of Las Vegas and the Golden Knights’ fans as the team embarks on its exciting journey."

Of course, the Golden Knights can't trade for any roster players, given they'll have nowhere to play, but Vegas can begin to make pre-expansion trades for prospects, as well as sign college free agents.

The official expansion draft is set for June 21.

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Michael Raffl's season is likely over.

The Philadelphia Flyers winger suffered a lower-body injury Tuesday, and it was announced Wednesday that he's out six-to-eight weeks.

Raffl likely out for rest of season, per Hexy,

— Sam Carchidi (@BroadStBull) March 1, 2017
It's been a nightmare season for Raffl, who departs with only eight goals and three assists in 52 games.

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The Calgary Flames have acquired forward Curtis Lazar from the Ottawa Senators for defenseman Jyrki Jokipakka and a second-round pick in 2017.

Defenseman Michael Kostka will also go to Calgary.

Lazar has been mentioned in trade talks for some time now, based mostly on the fact he's mustered one assist in 33 games this season.

"He really fits into our age group," Flames general manager Brad Treliving said of Lazar. "To start a new chapter, to get back out west, he's really excited."

The 22-year-old was fighting a bout of mononucleosis during training camp, and never seemed to find his stride under new head coach Guy Boucher, who gave Lazar only 8:49 ice time on average.

Curtis Lazar: "If I didn't have mono, we probably aren't standing here right now."

— Ian Mendes (@ian_mendes) March 1, 2017
He was selected 17th overall by the Senators in 2013, and the Flames seem to believe this season is a bump on the road, albeit a large one.

Jokipakka, by the way, has recorded three goals and 25 assists in 147 career games at the NHL level after being drafted with the 195th pick in 2011.

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The Tampa Bay Lightning have acquired defenseman Mark Streit from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for forward Valtteri Filppula, a fourth-round draft pick in 2017, and a conditional seventh-round selection in 2017, the Flyers announced.

However, the condition attached to the seventh-round pick was if the Lightning traded Streit - which they did, immediately dealing him to the Pittsburgh Penguins - so that pick becomes strictly a seventh-rounder, according to Stephen Whyno of the Associated Press.

Streit is a veteran of 765 regular-season games and has 428 career points.

Meanwhile, the Lightning free up some cap space for next season. While Streit holds a more expensive cap hit at $5.25 million - compared to Filppula's $5 million - the blue-liner will become an unrestricted free agent at season's end, while Filppula remains under contract for one more season.

#Flyers now inherit Filppula's NMC & will be required to protect him in the upcoming Expansion draft. #Tampa on the other hand gains a spot.

— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) March 1, 2017
The deal comes shortly after Filppula reportedly vetoed a trade to join the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Streit has chipped in five goals and 21 points this season, while Filppula has been slightly more productive with seven goals and 34 points in 59 games.

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The New Jersey Devils have traded forward P.A. Parenteau to the Nashville Predators for a sixth-round draft pick, the Predators announced.

Nashville is Parenteau's third team this season, after signing with the Islanders in the summer, before surprisingly being waived and consequently claimed by the Devils.

Parenteau can slot in the wing in Nashville's top or bottom six, as well as on the power play.

P.A. Parenteau says finger not broken, should be ready to play in about six days. Excited for chance to play in playoffs w/Preds.

— Andrew Gross (@AGrossRecord) March 1, 2017
In 59 games with the Devils this season, Parenteau, 33, has recorded 13 goals and added 14 assists.

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lobo316 wrote: The Tampa Bay Lightning have acquired defenseman Mark Streit from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for forward Valtteri Filppula, a fourth-round draft pick in 2017, and a conditional seventh-round selection in 2017, the Flyers announced.

However, the condition attached to the seventh-round pick was if the Lightning traded Streit - which they did, immediately dealing him to the Pittsburgh Penguins - so that pick becomes strictly a seventh-rounder, according to Stephen Whyno of the Associated Press.

Streit is a veteran of 765 regular-season games and has 428 career points.

Meanwhile, the Lightning free up some cap space for next season. While Streit holds a more expensive cap hit at $5.25 million - compared to Filppula's $5 million - the blue-liner will become an unrestricted free agent at season's end, while Filppula remains under contract for one more season.

#Flyers now inherit Filppula's NMC & will be required to protect him in the upcoming Expansion draft. #Tampa on the other hand gains a spot.

— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) March 1, 2017
The deal comes shortly after Filppula reportedly vetoed a trade to join the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Streit has chipped in five goals and 21 points this season, while Filppula has been slightly more productive with seven goals and 34 points in 59 games.




The Tampa Bay Lightning have sent defenseman Mark Streit to the Pittsburgh Penguins shortly after acquiring him from the Philadelphia Flyers, the clubsannounced.
Tampa Bay gets a fourth-round pick in 2018 in return for the defenseman.
The Lightning will retain 50 percent of Streit's salary over the remainder of the season, LeBrun reports.
Mike Streit's salary now being paid like so: PHI (4.7%) TB (50%) PIT (45.3%)
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) March 1, 2017
Streit spent the past four seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers, and had five goals and 16 assists in 49 games this season.
The 39-year-old, who brings added skill and depth to a banged-up Pittsburgh blue line, will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.

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The Winnipeg Jets have traded winger Drew Stafford to the Boston Bruins in exchange for a 2018 conditional sixth-round pick, the Bruins announced Wednesday.

Jets 6th round pick becomes a 5th if Boston makes the playoffs, a 4th if they get to the 2nd round. Stafford has to play in 50% of games.

— Sean Reynolds (@snseanreynolds) March 1, 2017
Before head coach Bruce Cassidy took over for Claude Julien on Feb. 7, the Bruins were unfathomably snakebitten in terms of scoring goals, and adding Stafford provides some depth to the roster.

Stafford will likely serve as a rental, as he becomes an unrestricted free agent July 1.

The 32-year-old has missed time with injuries this season, and is experiencing a down year in terms of production, only recording four goals and nine assists in 40 games.

Still, Stafford has reached the 20-goal mark four times in his career, with a personal best of 31 coming in 2010-11 as a Buffalo Sabre.

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The Dallas Stars have announced the trade of forward Lauri Korpikoski to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for defenseman Dillon Heatherington.

In Korpikoski, the Blue Jackets add a winger capable of providing some depth scoring, while the Stars add a budding young defenseman.

Korpikoski was in his first season with the Stars where he had eight goals and 20 points in 60 games. As for Heatherington, he's spent the year with the AHL's Cleveland Monsters where - in his second professional season - he has one goals and six points.

The 30-year-old Korpikoski will become an unrestricted free agent in July, while Heatherington remains under contract through next season.

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Patrick Sharp will end the season as a member of the Dallas Stars.

The forward wasn't dealt before the NHL's 3 p.m. ET trade deadline Wednesday, and that's due to the fact he's battling an undisclosed injury that will require season-ending surgery, general manager Jim Nill announced. The ailment prevented a trade.

Sharp's been playing through the injury and will continue to do so, Nill said, which is why the Stars won't disclose it.

The 35-year-old is playing out the final season of his contract, earning $5.9 million, and will be free to sign with any team on July 1.

Injuries have derailed Sharp's season. He has only seven goals and eight assists in 37 games.

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The trade deadline didn't go as planned for Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray.

Murray entered the day with two potential rental defensemen in Dmitry Kulikov and Cody Franson - who will both become unrestricted free agents at season's end - but after 3 p.m. ET, they remained members of the Sabres.

"I'm a little bit surprised," he said, according to John Vogl of The Buffalo News. "We didn't have a ton of UFAs, as you know. We had two on the back end that I thought would create some interest. I had some calls on them. Price-wise I was very open."

The Sabres GM expressed his dissatisfaction with the day as a whole.

"Am I disappointed? Of course I'm disappointed," Murray said. "We still have two players here who are here, so I don't want to sit here and just say I couldn't get anything for them. I don't want them to walk in tomorrow with their tail between their legs here."

He added that he received calls on Brian Gionta and Evander Kane, but wasn't interested in the potential deals.

With the Sabres now six points outside the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and five teams to jump, they're likely destined for an early spring.

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lobo316 wrote: The trade deadline didn't go as planned for Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray.

But don't worry, his 20 year rebuilding plan is right on schedule. Maybe he'll talk about his player's penises some more. 
Meanwhile, the team is in the bottom third in attendance and six years with no playoffs. People used to get so upset when I would say 2-3 years ago that Pegula is lost in space as an owner. And no, building a facility with the world's largest Tim Hortons is NOT being a good team owner as it's meant nothing to wins and losses.

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The NHL officially became a 31-team league Wednesday, with the Vegas Golden Knights making their final expansion payment. Bill Foley's in business.

As general manager George McPhee looks to make his first official transaction, Foley, the team's owner, has big plans for his team. His practice facility is being built, his scouts are doing work over in Europe, a uniform is on the way, and now he's shifting his sights to broadcast deals.

"My goal is to make our team the team of the Rockies," Foley told ESPN's Arash Markazi. "We want to be the team that broadcasts in Boise, Reno, Salt Lake City, St. George, Utah, all through Montana and into Fresno, which is a shared territory, and San Francisco.

"It's the Vegas Golden Knights, but we're really going to be the Rocky Mountain Golden Knights," he said. "We're going to be everywhere."

McPhee will be at the general managers meetings next week in Florida, and it's only a matter of time before Vegas has its first player.

Excited, yet?

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MONTREAL - P.K. Subban made a big splash in the flashy defenseman's return to face the Montreal Canadiens.

The Nashville Predators star received a medal from the governor general of Canada for his charity work and then met the media Wednesday at a packed news conference at Bell Centre.

''It's a privilege to play in the NHL and it's a privilege to be a player who is traded out of Montreal and still have this type of support,'' Subban said. ''Talk to a lot of guys who have been traded, I don't think they would be standing up here doing a press conference when they come back. So, I'm very honored and happy to know that, in the Mecca of hockey, fans still support me and are behind me.''

How much they remain on Subban's side will be seen Thursday night when Subban plays his first game against the team he played for from 2009 to last June 29, when he was dealt to Nashville for Shea Weber in a straight-up trade of All-Star defensemen.

Canadiens who are traded away are often booed on their return, but it might be different for Subban.

''I don't think it's fair to try to anticipate how you're going to feel,'' Subban said. ''You wait for the moment and take it in.

''My focus will be on the two points, but obviously I look forward to playing in a building and in front of fans that I played in for so long. Some big games and some fun games. Probably the thing I look forward to most is hopefully seeing Madame Beliveau there."

Subban is a favorite of Elise Beliveau, the widow of Canadiens great Jean Beliveau.

The trade was a stunning move by general manager Marc Bergevin, who was looking to change up a team that collapsed after goalie Carey Price was injured early in the 2015-16 season.

Subban was already a fan favorite for his skill and flair on the ice and his bubbly personality, but his popularity went through the roof in September 2015 when he made a pledge to raise $10 million over seven years for the Montreal Children's Hospital, mainly for a program called P.K.'s Helping Hand to support families of sick kids.

It was believed to be the biggest charitable commitment ever made by a Canadian athlete and it was the reason Gov. Gen. David Johnston was in the hospital's packed P.K. Subban Atrium to pin the Meritorious Service Cross on the player's chest. Subban's parents and two sisters, as well as many friends and fans, were on hand to share the moment.

''It was pretty spectacular,'' Subban said. ''It was the highest honor I've ever had in my life, so it's pretty special.''

This from a member of Canada's 2014 Olympic gold medal team and the 2013 winner of the Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defenseman. He also was the Canadiens' highest-paid player, having been given an eight-year, $72-million deal ahead of the 2014-15 season.

Subban took the high road on all the controversy surrounding the trade. He had kind words for former coach Michel Therrien, who some felt stifled his free-wheeling style with an overly defensive system of play and benched him when risky moves went awry.

But he also had praise for Predators coach Peter Laviolette, who told Subban in their first phone call to be himself on and off the ice.

''When you're in the top two defense pairings and you're one of the highest-paid players you always feel you should get some sort of leash to do the things that make you the player that you are,'' he said. ''Ultimately, you have to play within a system, but there's a reason I made it to the NHL.

''There's a certain thing that I bring to the game that allows me to be the player I am, so you can't lose that. That's the thing about a good coach. You have 22 guys and you have to understand that there's 22 different people and you have to allow them to excel within their skill set. I think Lavvy has a really positive attitude.''

The trade is still hotly debated among Montreal fans, some who feel the team will regret losing the younger, quicker Subban and others glad to get the bigger and well-respected Weber.

Subban missed the first meeting with Montreal on Jan. 3 in Nashville with an upper-body injury. Weber scored a goal before his former home fans in the Canadiens' 2-1 win, which was mainly marked by the booing of former Predator Alexander Radulov on his return.

So far, the 31-year-old Weber holds a slight edge with 14 goals, 37 points and a plus-9 rating in 64 games for Montreal, while 27-year-old Subban has eight goals, 30 points, and is minus-6 in 47 games as a Predator. But Subban only got his game going after returning from his injury in late January. He has 12 points in the last 10 games.

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It wasn't just an ordinary game for P.K. Subban.

The charismatic blue-liner, playing in the Bell Centre for the first time in Nashville Predators colors, was the story all night long, and was put front and center prior to Thursday's puck drop with a touching video tribute.

In the months since the Montreal Canadiens shipped him of town, speculation's swirled as to why Subban, clearly a fan favorite, didn't fit in the their future plans. Still, despite his shocking exit, Subban was moved by his so-called homecoming.

"It's a first-class organization, so I'd expect nothing less," Subban told reporters postgame.

He was visibly overcome with emotion after the tribute, shedding tears while saluting his former home crowd.

"All those memories come back, whether it's stuff to do with the hospital or kids, family, teammates, whatever it is," Subban said. "I felt that I shared that with all the fans and the community here, I guess that's how it all came out."

Subban managed an assist on the Predators' lone goal in the 2-1 loss.






Last edited on Fri Mar 3rd, 2017 06:22 pm by lobo316

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Bill Peters has found his scapegoat.

The Carolina Hurricanes head coach went on a long rant about backup goaltender Eddie Lack - who stopped only 12 of 16 shots in a loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday - when prompted by reporters Friday.

"Well, you’ve got to push,” Peters said, according to The News & Observer's Chip Alexander. “One guy has played 10 games. Eddie has played 10 games and was poor in his last outing, let’s not kid ourselves, right? There were 16 shots, four went in. Not good enough. You look at his numbers in the league, they’re not good enough."

Peters' comments came in response to a question about how the Hurricanes' final 22 games would be split between Lack and starter Cam Ward.

“So I don’t think it’s much of a competition," Peters added. "We’ve got a guy who’s well ahead of the other guy. That’s what I see and the numbers back that up. So when he gets in another game, you better play. You better earn some respect from your teammates. Your teammates are out there working their bag off. You better get some saves and a timely save at the right time wouldn’t hurt."

The head coach had a moment of self-realization before continuing to criticize his No. 2 netminder.

“That’s a little bit honest, eh? I just looked it up. You look up any goalie who has played 10 games in the National Hockey League and the top 60 in save percentage, I know who’s 60. There’s 30 teams. Not good enough."

He then punctuated the media session with a stern ultimatum, according to Alexander:

Peters ended the media scrum by glancing down the hallway, in the direction of Lack’s locker stall, and saying, 'Make a save.' Or something like that. There was another word in there but the point already had been made: the coach was not happy with the player.

Lack is three appearances removed from a shutout victory over the Ottawa Senators, but he gave up five goals in a loss to the Washington Capitals two games before that.

The veteran goalie missed three months earlier in the season with a concussion, and while consistency has eluded him in 2016-17, the opportunities for redemption have been few and far between.

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Olli Jokinen is apparently riding off into the sunset with the right team.

The former NHL star will retire as a Florida Panther before Tuesday's game against the New York Rangers, according to George Richards of the Miami Herald.

The Star Tribune's Michael Russo clarified that Jokinen will be officially retiring Saturday prior to Tuesday's ceremony.

Jokinen hasn't played in the NHL since 2014-15, but he enjoyed his best years in the Sunshine State, notching at least 34 goals in four of his seven seasons with Florida.

The 38-year-old posted a career-high 39 goals and 91 points with the Panthers in 2006-07.

He'll hang up the skates with 321 goals, 750 points, and 1,231 career games played in 17 seasons with 10 different teams.

Jokinen ranks third all time in goals among Finnish-born NHLers behind Teemu Selanne and Jari Kurri, and fourth in points behind Selanne, Kurri and Saku Koivu.

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Antoine Roussel probably won't play again until the fall.

The Dallas Stars announced Friday the forward will miss the next six-to-eight weeks with a hand ailment, and head coach Lindy Ruff confirmed he's likely done for the season.

Roussel was hurt in Thursday night's loss to the New York Islanders.

He was two points away from tying a career high of 29 set in 2013-14 and equaled in 2015-16. His 12 goals were also only two back of his career-best mark set three years ago.

Roussel notched his first career hat trick Feb. 18 in a win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

He appeared in at least 80 games in each of the previous three seasons, and he's in his fifth campaign with the Stars, who signed him out of the AHL in 2012 after he went undrafted in 2010.

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Braden Holtby is up to his old tricks.

The Washington Capitals netminder picked up his league-leading eighth shutout of the season in a 1-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night to continue his latest streak of red-hot performances.

With his goose egg Thursday, Holtby has gone 4-0-0 in his last four starts, giving up just three goals in that span with an inhuman .976 save percentage.

Rewind a little further and it's clear that not only has Holtby been hot in the short term, he's been nearly perfect in the new year.

Since Jan. 1, Holtby has gone 18-0-1 in 21 starts, picking up five of his eight shutouts while posting a 1.75 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage.

Overall, the streak has pushed Holtby into contention for his second straight Vezina Trophy win. He currently sits second league-wide in wins (33), third in save percentage (.930), and first in goals-against average (1.95), as well as first in shutouts.

With the Capitals' latest win, the team is now 7-2-1 in its last 10 games and remains undefeated on home ice in 2017. The Capitals can thank Holtby for that.

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Asked on Friday how he plans to fix his team's defensive miscues, Winnipeg Jets bench boss Paul Maurice didn't pass up the opportunity to take a dig at a coaching colleague.

"We've had players come in that didn't get here because they have those great sticks, great reads naturally. That has to be developed, and it's going to take time to develop that," Maurice told reporters. "The mistakes that I made, I did just a horrible job in relation to my colleague (Toronto Maple Leafs coach) Mike Babcock in selling our age and the mistakes.

"When (the Maple Leafs) have lost a game, it's just a wonderful learning experience, and they win and it's a triumph of character. We have the opposite thing going on here. But that's my choice, because I don't ever want to walk into a season and say we're not here to win the Stanley Cup."

According to NHLNumbers.com, the Maple Leafs are the league's eighth-youngest club (26.8 years old on average), while the Jets are the second-youngest, at 25.8.

The Jets and Maple Leafs have been linked by rookie sensations Patrik Laine and Auston Matthews, with the Jets freshman outpacing Matthews by a single point. Last month, Babcock noted Laine has the added bonus of playing with center Mark Scheifele, who has put up 65 points this season, while Matthews has been lined up with "two kids."

The teams split their season series one game apiece, with Winnipeg grabbing a 5-4 overtime win on Oct. 19, and Toronto winning by the same outcome Feb. 21. They won't meet again this season.

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CALGARY, Alberta - Sean Monahan had a goal and an assist and the Calgary Flames beat the New York Islanders 5-2 on Sunday for their seventh straight victory.

Brian Elliott made 33 saves for his sixth straight win. Elliott is 7-0-1 since his last regulation loss on Feb. 5 when he made 28 saves during a 4-3 loss in New York to the Rangers.

Michael Frolik, T.J. Brodie, Micheal Ferland and Kris Versteeg also scored for the Flames.

John Tavares and Jason Chimera scored for the Islanders. They are 3-2-1 on a nine-game trip.

Thomas Greiss started in net for the I