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Six reasons for Predators' fast start under Laviolette

Thursday, 10.23.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Peter Laviolette understandably wants to take things slow in the first month of his first regular season as coach of the Nashville Predators. He wants to ease his foot onto the gas pedal so to speak, but with the mindset that points are already at a premium in the Central Division.

"The points are so important," Laviolette said following Nashville's 4-3 shootout win against the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday. "In your division you've got to keep winning, got to keep collecting points."

The Predators have been, to the tune of a 4-0-2 record through six games. They've got a chance to collect two more points Thursday against a Central Division rival, the Chicago Blackhawks, at Bridgestone Arena.

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Right place, right time for Rangers' Hunwick

Thursday, 10.23.2014 / 3:00 AM / Defenders of the Ice

NHL.com

Henrik Lundqvist's 51st shutout would not have been possible without the extra effort of defenseman Matt Hunwick.

Goals from Martin St. Louis and Rick Nash four seconds apart in the closing minutes of the second period, and 33 saves by Lundqvist, sparked the New York Rangers to a 4-0 win against the San Jose Sharks on Sunday.

But the shutout, which extended Lundqvist's franchise record, also was contingent on the alert play of Hunwick at 6:18 of the first period, which prevented the Sharks from scoring the game's first goal and changed the course of the game.

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Around the League notebook for Wednesday, Oct. 22

Thursday, 10.23.2014 / 2:20 AM / News

NHL Public Relations

WEDNESDAY RESULTS

Home Team in CAPS

Toronto, OTTAWA - PPD

Philadelphia 5, PITTSBURGH 3

EDMONTON 3, Washington 2

ANAHEIM 4, Buffalo 1

ANDERSEN, PERRY HELP DUCKS SOAR PAST SABRES

Frederik Andersen stopped 22 of 23 shots and Corey Perry netted his second hat trick of the season (WATCH ) and Anaheim defeated Buffalo 4-1 for its sixth straight victory. At 6-1-0, the Ducks have matched the franchise’s best start to a season by wins (6-1-0, 2013-14) and by points (12; also 2013-14, 2006-07).

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McDavid showcases his skills in Sabres' home rink

Wednesday, 10.22.2014 / 10:45 PM / Prospects

Joe Yerdon - NHL.com Correspondent

BUFFALO -- Being in the spotlight is something Connor McDavid has gotten used to already in his career. But playing in a NHL arena in front of NHL fans is something new.

The 17-year-old Erie Otters center is one of the most anticipated prospects in years and may wind up being the first selection in the 2015 NHL Draft. McDavid's Otters defeated the Niagara IceDogs 8-4 Wednesday in an Ontario Hockey League game at First Niagara Center and he knows the attention on him is growing.

"It's a little different," McDavid said. "But I guess I've had a little bit experience in the last two years kind of growing up, [learning how] to act. It started pretty crazy in my 15-year-old year, when everyone was kind of first taking notice. So I have a little bit of experience. Obviously, this year is a little bit ramped up. Nothing really changes."

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Coyle agrees to contract extension with Wild

Wednesday, 10.22.2014 / 5:27 PM / News

MinnesotaWild.com

The Wild has agreed to terms with forward Charlie Coyle on a five-year contract extension.

"We're very excited to get Charlie Coyle signed through the 2019-20 season," said Fletcher. "Charlie's size, overall skill set, and character give him a chance to emerge as a top power forward in the game and we're happy he will be doing that in the State of Hockey for years to come."

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Incoming Islanders owners to continue Wang's vision

Wednesday, 10.22.2014 / 5:04 PM / News

John Kreiser - NHL.com Managing Editor

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Scott Malkin and Jon Ledecky will spend the next two years getting a hands-on course on how to run the New York Islanders. Their teacher: current owner Charles Wang.

Malkin and Ledecky were introduced Wednesday as the incoming owners of the Islanders. They will hold a minority interest in the team for two seasons before taking over as majority owners, with Wang retaining a minority interest.

"Life has its moments of opportunity, and you have to decide whether you're going to step forward," Malkin said when asked why he and Ledecky wanted to buy a franchise that has made the Stanley Cup Playoffs once since 2007 and hasn't won a series since 1993. "Charles gave us that opportunity. For us, we saw this as a moment that we could embrace things that we believed in and embrace the Islanders and what they stand for.

"The vision that Charles has created of the team, the new arena, the strength on which to build, those were very important to us."

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Capitals defenseman Erskine out after neck surgery

Wednesday, 10.22.2014 / 4:51 PM / News

NHL.com

Washington Capitals defenseman John Erskine underwent surgery Wednesday at Bethesda Surgical Center in Bethesda, Md. to repair a disc in his neck, the Capitals said.

Erskine is scheduled to begin what the Capitals categorized as an "intensive rehab program" within the next few weeks. There was no timetable listed for his return.

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Maple Leafs at Senators game postponed

Wednesday, 10.22.2014 / 3:12 PM / News

NHL.com

The game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday was postponed by the NHL after a series of shootings in and around Parliament Hill in downtown Ottawa.

The shootings resulted in the death of a Canadian soldier who was stationed at the National War Memorial and a gunman at Parliament Hill's Centre Block, according to Ottawa police officials.

"The National Hockey League wishes to express its sympathy to all affected by the tragic events that took place this morning in downtown Ottawa," the League said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.

The game, scheduled at Canadian Tire Center in nearby Kanata, Ontario, will be played at a later date. Until a date is determined, the Senators ask ticket holders to hold on to their tickets. Also, any ticket holders who need to redeem tickets will be given the option to do so. These details will be provided as part of the announcement of the rescheduled game, according to the Senators.

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Blues' Pietrangelo shaves head to support niece

Wednesday, 10.22.2014 / 2:41 PM / Hockey Fights Cancer

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- With a throng of reporters around his locker stall Tuesday, St. Louis Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo was a more than willing participant for the topic of conversation that unfolded.

Pietrangelo was sporting a new, clean-shaved head, something he admitted he's never done before. And he did it for a special girl close to his heart.

Pietrangelo and his girlfriend Jayne's 5-year-old niece Ellie (the daughter of Jayne's sister) was diagnosed in August with Wilms' tumor, a form of cancer that develops in the kidneys of children.

Ellie is recovering well two months after surgery. She has a website set up to help off-set expenses and it's already raised a little less than $19,000 as of Wednesday afternoon. But Ellie was given the honor of shaving Uncle Alex's head Monday in support of Ellie's cause.

"Everyone around me was laughing," Pietrangelo said. "I didn't know what it looked like at first. She did a pretty junky job at first ... I won't lie. It's pretty funny. I had bunches of hair. I had a rat tail and everything going on. The sister-in-law cleaned it up a bit. She didn't do this herself at 5 years old. We kept the guard on when she had the razor in her hand. I was scared about the eyebrows. That's what I was scared about. ... It was getting close.

"I never shaved my head. I think my mother was terrified when I sent her a picture. ... I kept the beard, so that makes it for an easier transition."

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Canadiens' Fucale tops QMJHL Super Series roster

Wednesday, 10.22.2014 / 1:59 PM / News

NHL.com

Zachary Fucale, who started in goal for Canada at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship, was named to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League team for the 2014 Subway Super Series, the Canadian Hockey League announced Wednesday.

The final two games of the Super Series will be played Nov. 18 in Bathurst, New Brunswick, and Nov. 20 in Rimouski, Quebec.

Fucale, a Montreal Canadiens prospect taken in the second round (No. 36) of the 2013 NHL Draft, went 2-2-0 with a 2.42 goals-against average and .902 save percentage in five games. He stopped 19 of 20 shots in a 4-1 win against Switzerland in the quarterfinals but allowed four goals on 22 shots in a 5-1 loss to Finland in the semifinals.

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Quote of the Day

There's no discouragement in that room. There's no issues there at all to be honest with you. It's more about, 'Hey, it's opportunities for players.' And if we become that bad of a team because of one player, it's not a real good sign for our hockey club. So this is part of sports. It's part of hockey.

— Bruins coach Claude Julien on the loss of Zdeno Chara to injury
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