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Posted On Saturday, 09.26.2015 / 1:03 PM

By Staff -  / - 2015-16 Preseason Blog

Lightning's Drouin trying to mesh with Stamkos

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin has been skating on a line with Steven Stamkos in training camp with the hopes it will form one of the more dynamic 1-2 punches in the NHL this season.

Drouin, the third player selected at the 2013 NHL Draft, scored four goals in 70 games for the Lightning last season and played six games during the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs. But the 20-year-old could take a big step this season if he gets the chance to skate on a line with Stamkos, a four-time 40-goal scorer.

"Stammer is a smart player, and his shooting ability, if you put the puck in a good spot, it's probably going to end up in the back of the net pretty soon," Drouin told the Tampa Tribune. “He skates really well, he sees the play nice, so it’s definitely easy to play with him."

Posted On Saturday, 09.26.2015 / 10:06 AM

By Staff -  / - 2015-16 Preseason Blog

Goalies Allen, Elliott battling for No. 1 job with Blues

The battle for the No. 1 goaltending job with the St. Louis Blues remains an open competition with the season less than two weeks away.

Jake Allen, who finished the season as the Blues' starting goaltender and struggled in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, is vying for the job with Brian Elliott, who started 13 more games than Allen last season but missed a month with a knee injury and was outplayed by Allen down the stretch.

"We're starting clean and fresh," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "We've got two good goalies. If someone goes out and grabs it, we're going to give him the job. We're going to give him that responsibility. If both guys play equal, we're back down the same path. But if one guy does jump and go, we're going to go with him.

"When the season starts, we're going to let whoever takes the job evolve. So we're not going to anoint anybody. We're just going to let it evolve and hopefully somebody grabs it. I don't know that we want to get into where we're creating the sharing. We want the play of the goalies to determine who gets more, who gets less."

Posted On Friday, 09.25.2015 / 4:08 PM

By Staff -  / - 2015-16 Preseason Blog

Red Wings' Datsyuk on schedule in recovery

Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk said Thursday he is on schedule in his recovery from ankle surgery.

"Great News! Had a good doctor visit," Datsyuk wrote on his verified Twitter account. "... See you soon back in Detroit."

Posted On Friday, 09.25.2015 / 1:12 PM

By Staff -  / - 2015-16 Preseason Blog

Predators forward Neal day-to-day: report

Nashville Predators right wing James Neal is day-to-day because of a lower-body injury, the Tennessean reported Friday.

Neal left the game Wednesday against the Tampa Bay Lightning with 6:13 left in the second period and did not play in the third.

Posted On Thursday, 09.24.2015 / 11:12 PM

By Staff -  / - 2015-16 Preseason Blog

Bruins' Chara leaves game with upper-body injury

Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara sustained an upper-body injury in a 4-3 shootout win against the New York Rangers at TD Garden on Thursday.

Chara left the game less than five minutes in after a hit by Rangers forward Ryan Bourque. He had 1:57 of ice time and one shot on goal.

Bruins coach Claude Julien said Chara would be re-evaluated.

Posted On Thursday, 09.24.2015 / 8:20 PM

By Staff -  / - 2015-16 Preseason Blog

Devils forward Elias could miss opener: report

Forward Patrik Elias may not be able to play when the New Jersey Devils open their season against the Winnipeg Jets on Oct. 9 because of a knee injury.

Elias, 39, will not play in the preseason, Devils coach John Hynes told on Thursday.

"That's why it's really up in the air," Hynes said. "We'll probably know more in two or three days where he's going to be at for the beginning of the season, but (for the) preseason he's not going to be available."

Posted On Wednesday, 09.23.2015 / 5:12 PM

By Staff -  / - 2015-16 Preseason Blog

Flyers send three first-round picks back to juniors

The Philadelphia Flyers reassigned defensemen Travis Sanheim and Ivan Provorov and forward Travis Konecny to their respective junior teams Wednesday.

In addition, the Flyers loaned 12 players to their American Hockey League affiliate in Lehigh Valley, including defenseman Samuel Morin, the 11th pick in the 2013 NHL Draft.

Posted On Wednesday, 09.23.2015 / 11:50 AM

By Staff -  / - 2015-16 Preseason Blog

Flames' Brodie broke bone in hand, out 3-6 weeks

Calgary Flames defenseman TJ Brodie sustained a broken bone in his right hand and is week-to-week, general manager Brad Treliving said Wednesday.

Brodie, 25, sustained the injury when he was hit by a shot in the third period of a preseason game Monday against the Edmonton Oilers. He will not need surgery and is likely to miss anywhere from 3-6 weeks.

"The good news, if you can take any, is that he won't need any surgery," Treliving said. "It's not displaced. It will be one that won't require surgery and we'll get him on the mend as soon as possible."

Posted On Wednesday, 09.23.2015 / 12:01 AM

By Staff -  / - 2015-16 Preseason Blog

Penguins left wing Kunitz could get spot on top line

Sidney Crosby might have to get used to a new right wing this season, but it looks like he's going to have a familiar face to his left on the Pittsburgh Penguins' top line.

Crosby's line with new right wing Phil Kessel and mainstay left wing Chris Kunitz combined for seven points in the Penguins' 7-3 victory against the Carolina Hurricanes at Consol Energy Center on Tuesday.

After the game, Penguins coach Mike Johnston said Kunitz is a leading candidate to play on the top line with Crosby and Kessel, who scored two goals in his Penguins debut.

"[Kunitz] worked really well on that line, and what he has to add to that line -- whoever is going to play there and [Kunitz] is probably one of the leading candidates right now -- but I like [Kunitz] when he goes hard to the net, when he plays that straight-ahead game," Johnston told the Penguins website. "… I think [Kunitz] will keep everybody in check there by going to the net hard, by driving through seams, and just creating space for those guys."

Posted On Tuesday, 09.22.2015 / 9:10 PM

By Staff -  / - 2015-16 Preseason Blog

Canucks' Higgins sustains bone fracture in foot

Vancouver Canucks forward Chris Higgins sustained a bone fracture on his right foot during a preseason game against the San Jose Sharks and will be re-evaluated in three weeks, the team announced Tuesday.

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Quote of the Day

[Stamkos] is a great teammate and a great leader, that's why he's got the 'C'. He brings that tremendous work ethic to the rink and he's one of the top players in the game. I know if I put the passes where they are supposed to be, there's a very good chance he's going to put it in the back of the net.

— Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin on linemate Steven Samkos
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