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Posted On Friday, 01.17.2014 / 2:30 PM

By Staff -  / - 2014 NHL Draft blog

Virtanen aces Top Prospect testing

Calgary Hitmen forward Jake Virtanen was the top performer of the 40 skaters at the 2014 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.

According to data released by Sport Testing, Virtanen had the highest overall grade from the on-ice testing, which was performed Tuesday, the day before the Top Prospects Game.

Among the highlights for Virtanen was his top time in the 30-meter forward sprint at 3.92 seconds, as well as the top time in the 30-meter backward sprint, 4.55 seconds.

Virtanen, a 6-foot-0.75, 208-pound right wing, is ranked ninth by NHL Central Scouting in its midterm ranking of North American skaters for the 2014 NHL Draft.

Posted On Friday, 01.17.2014 / 1:14 PM

By Craig Merz - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Blue Jackets may be minus Tyutin against Capitals

COLUMBUS -- The anticipated reunion of five members of the Russian team for the 2014 Sochi Olympics could be minus one if Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Fedor Tyutin is not sufficiently recovered from the flu Friday to play against the Washington Capitals.

"We haven't ruled him out," Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said. "He was feeling better last night. He woke up this morning and wasn't feeling better. We'll take a look at him later. We'll make the call then. It's not looking good that he'll play."

Defenseman Dalton Prout, recalled Thursday from a conditioning reassignment to the Springfield Falcons of the American Hockey League, would replace Tyutin, who has four goals and 15 assists and is minus-1 in 43 games.

"If (Tyutin) isn't playing we're all going to be chipping in and contributing playing against their top guys," Columbus defenseman Jack Johnson said.

Posted On Friday, 01.17.2014 / 12:40 PM

By Staff -  / - NHL Live blog

NHL Live previews clash between Ducks, Blackhawks

The Anaheim Ducks have won eight in a row and 18 out of 19, but they face a challenge Friday night in the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks, and NHL Live at 5 p.m. ET with Steve Mears and Ken Daneyko will get fans ready for a regular-season game that figures to have the atmosphere of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. We'll go out to the United Center on our Arena Cam and welcome in analyst Eddie Olczyk to preview the contest.

NHL Network analyst Barry Melrose will examine the shootout and give out his Mullet of the Week. And St Cloud forward and Los Angeles Kings prospect Nic Dowd will join us for the College Hockey Report.

Posted On Friday, 01.17.2014 / 12:34 PM

By Pete Jensen - Fantasy Insider / - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Ducks' Bonino severely undervalued

The scorching-hot Anaheim Ducks are the talk of the NHL, but Nick Bonino is still being overlooked.

That needs to change.

The Ducks have won 18 of their past 19 games and have yet to lose in regulation in 22 home games this season (20-0-2). Their top-line combo of Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry is currently tied with the Pittsburgh Penguins' duo of Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz for the NHL's most productive point pair (35 common goals).

But as integral as Anaheim's front-liners have been to its historic stretch, the team's depth scoring has made it unbeatable of late, especially at home. That's where Bonino's value truly lies.

Posted On Friday, 01.17.2014 / 3:00 AM

By Kevin Weekes -  NHL Network Analyst / - Weekes on the Web

Rangers, Islanders lead resurgence in Metropolitan

After every Metropolitan Division team except for the Pittsburgh Penguins got off to a tough start, we're seeing a major shift lately. A number of teams in that division have shown some real signs of life, and it could be the New York Rangers who are making the biggest push as we head into the Olympic break.

The Rangers have been a lot better. To me, it all starts with Henrik Lundqvist. Cam Talbot has been amazing and Hank in his last few games has been outstanding. There are parts of his game that he has really built on and he's starting to gain some momentum. If he's able to play like that, it covers some of the mistakes that we've seen from the Rangers.

Staying in the New York area, let's give the New York Islanders some love. How about John Tavares? You want to talk about a guy who has worked and willed himself to become a better player. He's that guy. To me, he's playing on an MVP-type level. Also, Kyle Okposo's game has come a very long way. He's become a top-tier power forward this season. He's put in a lot of work in the offseason and now he's got more of a blend between being a skill player and still being a big-body power forward. Add Thomas Vanek to that line, and you have a trio that people aren't talking about enough.
Posted On Thursday, 01.16.2014 / 11:26 PM - 2013-2014 Situation Room blog

VAN @ PHX - 8:52 of the Third Period

At 8:52 of the third period in the Canucks/Coyotes game, video review confirmed the referee's call on the ice that Henrik Sedin used his glove to direct the puck into the Phoenix net. According to Rule 67.6 "a goal cannot be scored by an attacking player who bats or directs the puck with his hand into the net" . No goal Vancouver.

Posted On Thursday, 01.16.2014 / 11:19 PM - 2013-2014 Situation Room blog

BOS @ DAL - 15:46 of the Third Period

At 15:46 of the third period in the Bruins/Stars game, video review supported the referee's call on the ice that Milan Lucic's stick was at or below the level of the crossbar when it deflected the punk into the Dallas net. According to Rule 38.4 (vi) "The determining factor is where the puck makes contact with the stick in relation to the crossbar. If the puck makes contact with the portion of the stick that is at or below the level of the crossbar and enters the goal, this goal shall be allowed". Good goal Boston.

Posted On Thursday, 01.16.2014 / 9:19 PM - 2013-2014 Situation Room blog

BOS @ DAL - 18:09 of the First Period

At 18:09 of the first period in the Bruins/Stars game, the Situation Room initiated video review because the puck entered the Boston net. The referee informed the Situation Room that he had blown his whistle prior to the puck crossing the goal line, therefore this is not a reviewable play. No goal Dallas.

Posted On Thursday, 01.16.2014 / 8:50 PM - 2013-2014 Situation Room blog

BOS @ DAL - 3:31 of the First Period

At 3:31 of the first period in the Bruins/Stars game, video review determined that Gregory Campbell used a distinct kicking motion to propel the puck into the net. According to Rule 49.2 "A goal cannot be scored by an attacking player who uses a distinct kicking motion to propel the puck into the net.". No goal Boston.

Posted On Thursday, 01.16.2014 / 7:56 PM

By Sean Farrell - Correspondent / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Neil not playing for Senators against Canadiens

Chris Neil
Right Wing - OTT
GOALS: 5 | ASST: 1 | PTS: 6
SOG: 54 | +/-: -5
OTTAWA -- Ottawa Senators right wing Chris Neil was left out of the lineup for the game against the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday.

Ottawa coach Paul MacLean said after the morning skate that Neil would return to the lineup against Montreal. He missed his sixth straight game Thursday; left wing Matt Kassian drew into the lineup.

Neil, 34, has not played since he sustained a lower-body injury on Dec. 30 in a collision with Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals.

Neil, who leads Ottawa with 99 penalty minutes, has five goals and one assist in 42 games.

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— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock on rookie goaltender Garret Sparks, who made 24 saves in his first NHL start, a 3-0 win vs. Oilers
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