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Posted On Saturday, 02.14.2015 / 1:30 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - 2015 NHL Trade Deadline blog

Maple Leafs' Santorelli prized rental near deadline

MONTREAL -- Mike Santorelli will play the 314th regular-season game of his NHL career Saturday, but he is still waiting to play his first game in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Santorelli will probably get that chance this spring, and it is all but assured that it won’t be with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Santorelli, Daniel Winnik, Cody Franson and perhaps a few others are likely playing their final games of the season for the Maple Leafs. They are three of the most prized rental players available leading up to the NHL Trade Deadline on March 2.

Though it was awkward to discuss the likelihood of playing for another team while standing in the Maple Leafs dressing room at Bell Centre on Saturday, the possibility of making the playoffs for the first time clearly has Santorelli excited as he heads toward unrestricted free agency this summer.

“Absolutely,” Santorelli said. “Everyone wants playoff performers. So if I can get my game up to that level and be in that situation and do well, I think that’s what every player would want to do.”

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Posted On Sunday, 01.25.2015 / 10:08 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game blog

Penguins' Fleury allows seven goals in second period

COLUMBUS -- All goalies arrive at All-Star Weekend ready to look bad.

But Marc-Andre Fleury didn't know quite how bad he would look.

The Pittsburgh Penguins goalie allowed seven goals in 20 minutes of work in the second period of the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game on Sunday, playing a key part in the Team Toews and Team Foligno combining to score an All-Star record 11 goals in the period.

"In the dressing room after the second period I heard on TV that seven goals [allowed] in a period was a record," Fleury said. "It was long, the longest 20 minutes of my career. We're at the game to have fun, but that was starting to get frustrating. Normally I would get pulled long before giving up seven goals. I gave up six goals after only 10 minutes, I was afraid I'd wind up allowing 12."


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Posted On Sunday, 01.25.2015 / 8:08 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game blog

Record set for most goals in All-Star Game

COLUMBUS -- Fittingly, it was the captain who broke the record.

When Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks wheeled in front of the net and put a shot over the shoulder of St. Louis Blues goalie Brian Elliott at 14:21 of the third period, he helped set a record for goals in an All-Star Game. It also left little doubt that Team Toews would win the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game at Nationwide Arena on Sunday.

Toews' goal made the score 16-11 for his team, beating the previous record of 26 goals scored in 2001 when North America beat the World 14-12 at Pepsi Center in Denver.


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Posted On Sunday, 01.25.2015 / 7:14 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game blog

Teams set All-Star record for goals in period

COLUMBUS -- Team Toews and Team Foligno combined to score four goals in the first 2:27 of the second period of the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game on Sunday.

Then a save was made.

After a relative defensive struggle in the first period, Team Toews and Team Foligno scored 11 goals on 34 shots in the second period, with Team Toews entering the third period with an 11-8 lead on the strength of a hat trick for John Tavares of the New York Islanders and two goals from Jakub Voracek of the Philadelphia Flyers.

The 11 goals in the second period set an All-Star Game record for goals in one period.


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Posted On Sunday, 01.25.2015 / 6:17 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game blog

Team Toews, Team Foligno tied 4-4 end of first

COLUMBUS -- The first highlight of the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game on Sunday was, somewhat incredibly, a save.

There weren't too many more saves the rest of the first period. Team Foligno and Team Toews went into the first intermission tied 4-4; the teams combined for 33 shots on goal.

Columbus Blue Jackets forward Ryan Johansen led Team Foligno with two goals, and Radim Vrbata of the Vancouver Canucks and Kevin Shattenkirk of the St. Louis Blues also scored. Team Foligno goalie Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens made 12 saves in his lone period of work.

Ryan Getzlaf of the Anaheim Ducks, Jakub Voracek of the Philadelphia Flyers, Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins and John Tavares of the New York Islanders scored for Team Toews.


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Posted On Saturday, 01.24.2015 / 9:18 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game blog

Weber wins Hardest Shot competition

COLUMBUS -- Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators won the AMP NHL Hardest Shot competition at the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition on Saturday, yet he still managed to come up just short to Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara, who isn't even in Columbus.

Weber's final shot of the competition was clocked at 108.5 miles per hour, beating Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin's speed of 101.4 mph in the first heat to claim the overall hardest shot crown.


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Posted On Saturday, 01.24.2015 / 8:28 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game blog

Kane tops Toews, wins Shooting Accuracy contest

COLUMBUS -- Bragging rights in the Chicago Blackhawks' dressing room belong to Patrick Kane.

Kane and his captain in Chicago, Jonathan Toews, went head-to-head in the DraftKings NHL Accuracy Shooting portion of the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Skills competition Saturday, and Kane came out ahead by nearly three seconds against Toews.

Kane needed six attempts to hit the targets in each corner of the net, taking 13.529 seconds to do so. Toews was on target to match Kane's number of attempts and challenge his time when he hit three targets on his first four attempts, but he then hit the goal post on three straight attempts before hitting the final target and finishing with a time of 16.307 seconds.

Kane also had the fastest overall time, giving the team of captain Nick Foligno four of a possible five points in the competition and a lead of 10-1 overall after three competitions.


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Posted On Saturday, 01.24.2015 / 7:38 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game blog

Team Foligno sweeps Fastest Skater competition

COLUMBUS -- The trade made at the 2015 All-Star Fantasy Draft presented by DraftKings had an impact on All-Star Weekend right from the start.

The first event of the 2015 Honda All-Star Skills Competition on Saturday was the Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater, and the first heat pitted Phil Kessel of the Toronto Maple Leafs against Tyler Seguin of the Dallas Stars.

A night earlier, team captains Nick Foligno and Jonathan Toews orchestrated a trade that sent Kessel to Team Foligno in exchange for Seguin.

The trade was put to the test right off the bat, and Kessel made his captain look good.


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Posted On Friday, 01.23.2015 / 5:12 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game blog

Canucks' Vrbata credits Sedins for first All-Star Game

COLUMBUS -- When Radim Vrbata signed with the Vancouver Canucks as an unrestricted free agent last summer, the hope was that he would be the perfect fit to play with Henrik and Daniel Sedin.

It's safe to say Vrbata has been exactly that, so much so that he is attending the first All-Star weekend of his NHL career.

And the Sedins aren't.

"That's what I said when I was selected, that I just feel I'm the beneficiary of how that line works and how everything went for us as a line," Vrbata said during NHL Media Day presented by DraftKings on Friday. "They could as easily be here instead of me, and nobody would say a word. I don't think it's just my game, it's the whole thing. They deserve lots of credit."

That may be true, but Vrbata's addition in Vancouver has put an end to what was a bit of a revolving door on the right side of the Sedin twins during the previous two seasons.

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Posted On Friday, 01.23.2015 / 1:59 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game blog

Columbus' Johansen voted into Breakaway Challenge

COLUMBUS -- Columbus Blue Jackets forward Ryan Johansen was the winner in fan balloting for one of the spots in the Honda NHL Breakaway Challenge, which will take place Saturday during the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

And he's nervous about it.

"It's actually really hard," Johansen said Friday. "Everybody's watching you trying moves you've never really tried before. To execute them is pretty tough. So when you see guys doing these moves and they pull them off, it's impressive."

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Quote of the Day

He stuck his neck out there for us. I don't know what's wrong with him, but you see he was in pain. But he went back in there. He's a tough guy. You've got to give him credit for helping the boys out.

— Panthers forward Brandon Pirri on goalie Roberto Luongo, who returned to game on Tuesday against Maple Leafs after leaving earlier in the contest with an injury
2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series GigaPixel