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Doubling back: Projecting 2015 All-Star participants

Monday, 12.22.2014 / 9:45 AM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

The 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game in Columbus is a little more than a month away, so it is time for another round of projections for who might end up in the midseason showcase.

Here is our first projection from November. This time, it will be Arpon Basu, Corey Masisak and Dan Rosen of NHL.com making their picks.

The exercise was pretty simple. All three chose the 42 players (12 forwards, six defensemen and three goalies in each conference) they felt most deserved to be named to the All-Star Game at Nationwide Arena on Jan. 25.

Players who were named on the most lists were part of the team, and because each player was voted in order of priority, a simple tiebreaker was used to determine the final spots if too many players were named to the same number of ballots. The individual ballots are displayed at the bottom of the story.

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Drafted prospects expected to take star turns at WJC

Monday, 12.22.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

NHL fans certainly are interested in the current fortune of their favorite team, but there's always a question of what the future could look like.

That's what makes the annual IIHF World Junior Championship such a popular, entertaining tournament.

The elite under-20 international event is stocked with top prospects and future pros at all positions.

A number of those players already have been drafted, with a few already having the chance to showcase their potential in the NHL. Here are 10 worth keeping an eye on when the 2015 WJC starts Dec. 26 in Montreal and Toronto.

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Around the League notebook for Sunday, Dec. 21

Monday, 12.22.2014 / 1:35 AM / News

NHL Public Relations

RANGERS EXTEND WIN STREAK TO SEASON-HIGH SIX GAMES ...

Ryan McDonagh (1-0-1) scored the game's only goal to lead the New York Rangers to a 1-0 victory against the Carolina Hurricanes. New York's season-high sixth consecutive victory improved its record 17-10-4 (38 points) this season, tying the Rangers with the Washington Capitals for third place in Metropolitan Division standings points. The Rangers have earned at least one point in 10 consecutive games against Metropolitan Division opponents (9-0-1).

* The victory is the eighth shutout of the season for the Rangers. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Rangers have registered eight shutouts in their first 31 games of a season for the first time since 1928-29 (11 shutouts). New York leads the NHL in shutouts this season.

* The Rangers have won 14 of their past 15 games against the Hurricanes (14-1-0), dating to a 4-3 shootout victory on Feb. 22, 2011. The Rangers have won eight consecutive games against the Hurricanes at home, dating to a 2-1 overtime victory on Jan. 5, 2011.

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Canada's McDavid gets assist in return from injury

Sunday, 12.21.2014 / 10:35 PM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Chris Stevenson - NHL.com Correspondent

OTTAWA -- Canada forward Connor McDavid shook off the rust after a five-week layoff in a 5-2 win against Sweden on Sunday in an exhibition game ahead of the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.

McDavid, 17, played for the first time since breaking a bone in his right hand in a fight while playing for the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League on Nov. 11. He had an assist on Canada's fourth goal, scored by Anaheim Ducks prospect Shea Theodore, in front of 13,826 at Canadian Tire Centre.

"Not playing in 40 days, you're about as rusty as you can possible get," McDavid said. "I thought my legs felt pretty good. The game speed was pretty high. Some plays happened pretty quick, but overall I thought it went all right."

Projected to be a top pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, McDavid played on a line with Ottawa Senators forward Curtis Lazar and forward Nick Ritchie, an Anaheim Ducks prospect.

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Peters: Hurricanes' Jordan Staal could return Dec. 29

Sunday, 12.21.2014 / 6:17 PM / News

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- Carolina Hurricanes center Jordan Staal is getting close to being 100 percent and is expected to make his season debut shortly after the holiday break, Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said Sunday.

Staal sustained a broken right fibula during a preseason game Sept. 23 at the Buffalo Sabres. He is on injured reserve and missed his 33rd consecutive game Sunday. He was expected to miss between 3-4 months.

Peters said Staal could make his season debut Dec. 29 against the Montreal Canadiens at PNC Arena, and that Staal definitely would not play Tuesday against the New Jersey Devils or Saturday against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

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Canucks' Hansen expected to play Monday: report

Sunday, 12.21.2014 / 4:36 PM / News

NHL.com

Vancouver Canucks forward Jannik Hansen was held out of practice Sunday as a precautionary measure one day after briefly collapsing on the bench during a game against the Calgary Flames but is expected to play Monday against the Arizona Coyotes.

"Everything is good. He spent the night at the hospital – and it was just precautionary," Canucks coach Willie Desjardins told the Vancouver Sun. "But at the time on the bench, you really didn't know what it was. And that's a problem. He just took a real hard hit and he was having trouble getting his breath and it wasn't more than that. I think Jannik is good to go [Monday]. I don't see any problem with him."

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Ducks' Perry back at practice, unlikely to play Monday

Sunday, 12.21.2014 / 4:27 PM / News

NHL.com

Anaheim Ducks forward Corey Perry returned to practice Sunday two weeks after sustaining a knee sprain, the team announced.

Perry, the NHL's Hart Trophy winner in 2011, was injured Dec. 7 when he was hit by a hip check from Minnesota Wild defenseman Keith Ballard during the Ducks' 5-4 win at Xcel Energy Center and was projected to miss 3-4 weeks.

"It's coming along," Perry told the Ducks website. "I feel good. It's nice to actually skate with other guys and have a goalie to shoot on. It was a long week all by myself, but those are things you have to go through in order to come back. It's good to see everybody."

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McDavid set to return from injury in WJC exhibition

Sunday, 12.21.2014 / 1:42 PM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Chris Stevenson - NHL.com Correspondent

OTTAWA – Connor McDavid and Curtis Lazar can expect to see a lot of each for the next couple of weeks.

The Canadian forwards will be roommates during the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship and will play on a line together Sunday when McDavid, projected to be a top pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, returns to play for the first time since breaking a finger in a fight Nov. 11 while playing for the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League.

Canada plays Sweden on Sunday at the Canadian Tire Centre in an exhibition game leading up to the start of the tournament Dec. 26.

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Around the League notebook for Saturday, Dec. 20

Sunday, 12.21.2014 / 10:25 AM / News

NHL Public Relations

SATURDAY'S RESULTS

Home Team in Caps

LOS ANGELES 4, Arizona 2

Colorado 5, BUFFALO 1

Philadelphia 7, TORONTO 4

MONTREAL 4, Ottawa 1

Washington 4, NEW JERSEY 0

NY ISLANDERS 3, Tampa Bay 1

PITTSBURGH 3, Florida 1

NY Rangers 3, CAROLINA 2 (SO)

COLUMBUS 3, Chicago 2 (SO)

Nashville 6, MINNESOTA 5 (OT)

VANCOUVER 3, Calgary 2 (OT)

SAN JOSE 3, St. Louis 2 (OT)

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

Of the 12 games played Saturday:

* Nine were tied or within one goal to start the third period (ARI-LAK, OTT-MTL, TBL-NYI, FLA-PIT, NYR-CAR, CHI-CBJ, NSH-MIN, CGY-VAN, STL-SJS).

* Two featured a game-tying goal in the final minute of regulation: the San Jose Sharks' Marc-Edouard Vlasic (19:39) and the Minnesota Wild's Thomas Vanek (19:12)

* Five required overtime, including three that were decided in the extra frame (NSH-MIN, CGY-VAN, STL-SJS).

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Sabres turning early struggles into current gains

Sunday, 12.21.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Joe Yerdon - NHL.com Correspondent

BUFFALO -- Expectations can be a funny thing.

Before the season began for the Buffalo Sabres, it was expected by most outside of the organization they would be one of the worst teams in the NHL and a season-long contender to earn the first pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.

Through the first month-and-a-half of the season, the Sabres fit that description perfectly. Buffalo won three of its first 18 games and appeared to be well on the way to having the best shot to select top prospect Connor McDavid.

"We obviously didn't get the start we wanted this season but we stuck with it," Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers said. "We stuck with coming to the rink trying to improve every day. We knew it wasn't going to be a quick fix, we just had to keep doing the right things, the little things, and it's been a lot better of late for sure, but there's always room for improvement."

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Quote of the Day

I remember the first time at Wrigley Field all of us had the long johns, the turtlenecks and the extra equipment because we were afraid of being cold. Halfway through the first period everybody's ripping everything off and we just ended up wearing what we would normally wear for a game at the United Center.

— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp on the 2009 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic