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2010 NHL Face-Off

NHL's first weekend features plenty of excitement

Sunday, 10.10.2010 / 11:00 PM / 2010 NHL Face-Off

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

From the United States to Canada and all the way across the Atlantic to Finland, Sweden and the Czech Republic, the National Hockey League was all over the place this past weekend.

It's only the start, but the opening weekend to the 2010-11 NHL regular season gave us all so much to talk about.

We saw rookies make a statement.

The Rangers' Derek Stepan became the fourth player in League history to record a hat trick in his first game. The Oilers' toe-dragging Jordan Eberle put in his bid for early Goal of the Year honors. The Hurricanes 18-year-old future star Jeff Skinner put on just a silly move for a shootout winner in Helsinki. The Flyers' Sergei Bobrovsky became the youngest goalie (22) in team history to win a season-opening game.
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Panthers finally get to play

Sunday, 10.10.2010 / 1:30 AM / 2010 NHL Face-Off

NHL.com

The NHL season enters its fourth day on Sunday, and the Florida Panthers will finally get to lace up their skates and play.

The Panthers become the last of the 30 teams to open their season when they step onto the ice at Rexall Place for an 8 p.m. ET faceoff, one of three games on the schedule. They face a tough assignment -- the Oilers have had two days off since opening their season with a 4-0 victory over Calgary on Thursday night.
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Hawks and their fans celebrate one last time

Saturday, 10.09.2010 / 10:24 PM / 2010 NHL Face-Off

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO – It was a night they'd been waiting for since that muggy June evening in Philadelphia, when Patrick Kane's overtime goal delivered a Stanley Cup full of excitement to Chicago and finally quenched a 49-year thirst for a hockey title in the Windy City.
 
They raised three championship banners at the United Center on Saturday night, but it was more than just a ceremony for those who filled the building with camera flashes and cheers. They also celebrated the proud history of the Chicago Blackhawks and the official resurrection of an Original Six team that had virtually disappeared from the hockey map.
 
For 30 minutes at least, it didn't matter that almost half of the team was turned over because of the League's salary cap or that the Hawks would play rival Detroit without defenseman Brian Campbell and Patrick Sharp – both out with injuries.
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Ovi, Caps looking to future, starting vs. Thrashers

Friday, 10.08.2010 / 3:06 PM / 2010 NHL Face-Off

John Manasso - NHL.com Correspondent

"Everybody, I think, just can't wait to get the season started today. Everybody's pretty excited. It's going to be a long season." -- Alex Ovechkin

ATLANTA -- Two young Russian forwards named Alexander will wear No. 8 -- both of them at one point high first-round draft picks -- Friday when the Thrashers host the Washington Capitals in the season opener for both teams, but those Alexanders will have far different things on their mind.

The Thrashers' 18-year-old Alexander Burmistrov, who wears No. 8 in honor of Igor Larionov, will make his NHL debut and battle to control his nerves, Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay said.

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A day and night of firsts

Friday, 10.08.2010 / 1:07 AM / 2010 NHL Face-Off

NHL.com

Only time will tell if Guillaume Latendresse will be able to replicate his breakthrough 2009-10 season, in which he scored 25 goals in 55 games after being acquired by the Minnesota Wild, and a career-high 27 overall.

Latendresse got off on the right start on Thursday, when he scored the first goal of the 2010-11 season and opened the scoring in Minnesota's Compuware NHL Premiere game against the Carolina Hurricanes in Helsinki, Finland.

In the end, though, it was Carolina goalie Cam Ward earning the first victory of the season, as he stopped 26 shots in a 4-3 win by the Hurricanes. Brandon Sutter, who scored just one goal in 50 games as a rookie two seasons ago, had a pair of them. Sutter not only tallied Carolina's first goal -- also the first power-play goal scored in the NHL this season -- he added what held up as the game-winner late in the second period.
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Quenneville understands challenge Hawks will face

Thursday, 10.07.2010 / 8:12 PM / 2010 NHL Face-Off

Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent

DENVER -- Joel Quenneville has been here before, been a member of a Stanley Cup championship team that is about to begin the defense of its title.

The Chicago Blackhawks coach was an assistant with the Colorado Avalanche, Thursday night's season-opening opponent at the Pepsi Center, when they won their first Cup in 1996.

So Quenneville, who last season guided the Hawks to their first championship since 1961, knows exactly what to expect from opponents in 2010-11.

"Certainly you're going to be challenged," he said Thursday. "You're going to be more targeted than you were in the past. So we have to be ready ourselves. Coming out of training camp, the last couple days it was a point of emphasis for us, knowing that teams are going to be ready from the outset. We have to welcome that challenge and be at our best."
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Bettman on hand to tout Penguins' new arena

Thursday, 10.07.2010 / 7:05 PM / 2010 NHL Face-Off

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

PITTSBURGH -- As NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman stood behind the podium inside the media room of Consol Energy Center, you could sense a feeling of pride emanating from within.
 
"It's a thrill to be here," Bettman said during a media gathering Thursday evening. "I was on a tour of the building when I was here over the summer for the Winter Classic and this building is every bit as magnificent as everybody has hoped it would be. This is marking the continuation of a great era for the Pittsburgh Penguins and the city of Pittsburgh."
 
The Penguins went unbeaten in three preseason games at their new home that stands directly across the street from their former digs -- Mellon Arena. The club battled its in-state rival, the Philadelphia Flyers, in their regular-season opener on Thursday.
 
"I looked at the Igloo (Mellon Arena) as we were driving by, but not longingly," Bettman said. "The building served this team and the community well, but it was time to move on.
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Hejduk excited to see Avs open against Hawks

Thursday, 10.07.2010 / 6:04 PM / 2010 NHL Face-Off

Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent

DENVER -- He's an elder statesman now, a 34-year-old right wing about to begin his 12th NHL season, but opening night never gets old for the Colorado Avalanche's Milan Hejduk.

"It's always a special game, the anticipation," Hejduk said following Thursday morning's skate at the Pepsi Center in preparation for this evening's regular-season opener against the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks.

"I think it helps that we're playing a really good team right off the bat," Hejduk said. "Last year we (opened with) the Sharks and this year we play the champs. The atmosphere should be great. The '96 Stanley Cup team will be here. We are pumped. We are ready to go. It should be a great night."

The Avalanche's 1996 championship team held a 15-year reunion dinner Wednesday night and will be honored in a pregame ceremony.
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NHL Face-Off gets season started in style

Thursday, 10.07.2010 / 5:47 PM / 2010 NHL Face-Off

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

TORONTO -- The 2010-11 season got off to a raucous start as the NHL Face-Off took over Dundas Square downtown Thursday, giving fans a chance to catch a glimpse of some hockey legends and listen to some great music at the same time.

And although it was a weekday afternoon, there was a throng of autograph-seekers and hockey fanatics on hand to watch as two former Maple Leafs and the father of arguably the greatest hockey player ever took some questions from the fans.

One fan asked former Leafs Jim McKenny and Darryl Sittler who their heroes were growing up, and their answers may have surprised the partisan crowd.
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Six from 2010 Draft class make opening-night cut

Thursday, 10.07.2010 / 5:32 PM / 2010 NHL Face-Off

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

"Certainly based on his skill level and his hockey sense, I would be surprised if he's not here all year."
-- Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford on rookie Jeff Skinner

It's the rare 18-year-old that can play against the best in the world in the National Hockey League, but at the start of the 2010-11 season, six of them have earned the right to measure their skill level in the best hockey League in the world.

Six players from the 2010 Entry Draft were among those listed on the opening-day rosters for the 30 NHL teams.

On that list is Carolina Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner, the seventh pick in the draft. He became the first to play a game when he had two shots in 16:26 of ice time in the Hurricanes' 4-3 win against the Minnesota Wild on Thursday as part of the 2010 Compuware NHL Premiere Series in Helsinki. He didn't register a point, but played well and was robbed by Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom on his best scoring chance.
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Quote of the Day

I think I'm lucky to be here and you definitely don't take very many things for granted, if you take anything for granted. I definitely put my family and my wife and my close family in perspective, that they're the most important thing in the world. I want to do whatever I can to play hockey, but like I said, under the right circumstances.

— Stars forward Rich Peverley to "The Musers" radio show on The Ticket 1310 AM in Dallas