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Features

Hockey Fights Cancer campaign begins Oct. 20

Monday, 10.20.2014 / 4:45 PM / Hockey Fights Cancer

NHL.com

NEW YORK / TORONTO -- Fans are asked to help the hockey family fight cancer as part of the National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA), and the National Hockey League's (NHL®) annual Hockey Fights Cancer™ initiative, taking place from Oct. 20 – Nov. 17, 2014. Since its inception in 1998, the joint charitable initiative has been dedicated to raising awareness for national and local organizations involved in cancer care and research. Together, the NHLPA and NHL will distribute more than $200,000 in grants to national and local cancer organizations in all 30 NHL markets.

"Over the years, our hockey family – fans, players, Club personnel, broadcast partners – has continuously shown their relentless spirit in helping one another in the fight against cancer," said Ken Martin Jr., NHL Vice President of Cause Marketing. "The NHL is proud to join forces with its hockey community to help give back and support those who need it most."

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Fantasy All-Access: Surprise starts around League

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

The Colorado Avalanche were the surprise team last season. They rose triumphant in the Central Division behind an MVP season by goaltender Semyon Varlamov and the coaching of Jack Adams winner Patrick Roy. Flash forward to this season and in six games they have already started three different goalies thanks to injuries, averaging only 1.50 goals per game and being outscored 5-2 in the third period.

All-Access is here to tell you to pull your hand off the panic button and realize this season is a marathon, not a sprint. Reigning Calder Trophy winner Nathan MacKinnon does have three points in the first six games and Varlamov could be returning by the end of the week from his groin injury. The Avalanche won’t be the team to beat in the Central this season, but that doesn’t mean their players can't be assets to your fantasy team.

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Hagelin uses speed to his advantage in Rangers' win

Sunday, 10.19.2014 / 9:14 PM / NHL Insider

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

Carl Hagelin
Left Wing - NYR
GOALS: 1 | ASST: 0 | PTS: 1
SOG: 13 | +/-: -4
NEW YORK -- In the process of adjusting to a new role, Carl Hagelin relied on his greatest asset Sunday to help the New York Rangers defeat the San Jose Sharks.

After five games to the start the season without a point, Hagelin scored at 13:01 of the first period, the opening salvo in a 4-0 victory for the Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

The play began in a familiar place for Hagelin this season, with a faceoff in the defensive zone. After Dominic Moore won the draw to the left of goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, defenseman John Moore sent an outlet pass to Hagelin beyond the blue line in the neutral zone.

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Sunday Long Read: Babcock tree seeded by chances

Sunday, 10.19.2014 / 3:00 AM / Sunday Long Read

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Bill Peters didn't know what to think when he saw Mike Babcock frenetically walking toward his table at the 2014 NHL Draft.

Peters, named coach of the Carolina Hurricanes eight days before, worked the three previous seasons on Babcock's staff with the Detroit Red Wings.

"He came over and said, 'Come here for a minute,'" Peters said. "I didn't know what was going on, but he was moving around like he was in a house on fire."

Peters knew better than to stay put. When coach summons you, you respond. Something meaningful is likely happening.

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Avalanche shrug off doubters, slow start to season

Saturday, 10.18.2014 / 3:07 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- The Colorado Avalanche came into this season with many in the hockey world doubting their ability to build off their surprising performance in 2013-14.

The percentages simply didn't add up to long-term success.

So when the Avalanche came out of the gates with back-to-back losses by a combined score of 8-0 to the Minnesota Wild, the team that eliminated them from the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the Western Conference First Round, it appeared as though those predictions of regression were not so off base.

Those whispers were heard by the Avalanche in the offseason, and they're still being heard now. But the only affect it has had on Colorado is to strengthen the resolve to prove those people wrong.

"We certainly know that there are doubters out there. They're always going to be there," Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog said Saturday prior to facing the Montreal Canadiens (7 p.m. ET, TVA, CITY) to close out a four-game Atlantic Division road trip. "As long as we in this group, in this room, believe in ourselves, we know what we can do, we know that we can accomplish a lot of good things. Sometimes, that only motivates you when people start doubting you, saying last year was a fluke and all those things. But we know what we can do in this room, that's what's most important."

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Shattenkirk's defensive gem paid off for Blues

Saturday, 10.18.2014 / 3:00 AM / Defenders of the Ice

NHL.com

The St. Louis Blues lost to the Los Angeles Kings 1-0 in a shootout Thursday at Staples Center.

They can thank defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk for the one point they got out of the game against the defending Stanley Cup champions. It was Shattenkirk’s extra effort late in the second period that kept the game scoreless.

Shattenkirk, who’s in his fifth NHL season, denied Kings forward Jeff Carter on a prime scoring chance with less than a minute left in the second period.

Carter moved in behind Shattenkirk after Kings defenseman Alec Martinez stripped the defenseman of the puck near the blue line in the St. Louis zone.

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Devils take mostly positives from four-game road trip

Friday, 10.17.2014 / 4:08 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- When the 2014-15 schedule came out in June, New Jersey Devils coach Peter DeBoer immediately noticed a major challenge his team would have to overcome.

DeBoer looked down the schedule to mid-December and counted 21 road games in 17 buildings. He counted 11 games at Prudential Center.

He knew right then that if the Devils were going to give themselves a fighting chance to break a two-year Stanley Cup Playoff drought, the longest the franchise has had in 27 years, they were going to have to pick up points in a lot of unfriendly buildings, including 11 in the Eastern Conference, in the first two-plus months of the season.

They're off to a good start.

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Demers, Sharks shake off first loss, key in on Devils

Friday, 10.17.2014 / 3:18 PM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- There's no better tonic for a loss than to get right back on the ice in an attempt to make amends.

At least that's how San Jose Sharks defenseman Jason Demers views the situation when asked about his team's demeanor 24 hours after losing its first game of the season, 4-3 to the New York Islanders in a shootout Thursday.

The Sharks (3-0-1) will play the New Jersey Devils (3-1-0) at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., on Saturday.

"We did some good things and maybe they out-skated us a little bit in certain areas," Demers told NHL.com during an off-day visit to The NHL Powered by Reebok Store. "You know as a team the odds of going 82-0 are pretty tough, so eventually you might drop a few, but it's how you bounce back.

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Panthers' Ekblad, Sabres' Reinhart focused on future

Friday, 10.17.2014 / 2:58 PM / NHL Insider

Joe Yerdon - NHL.com Correspondent

BUFFALO -- When the Florida Panthers visit the Buffalo Sabres on Friday, the highlight of the matchup involves the top two players selected in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad, selected first, and Sabres forward Sam Reinhart, selected second, will face off against each other for the first time in their pro careers. While they are good friends and were roommates while trying out for Canada at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup, they're focused on what lies ahead in their careers.

"I come into every single game with just an attitude that I want to come out, be positive, work hard and be enthusiastic about the game every shift," Ekblad said. "And that's kind of the mentality I have going into every game. I don't really think about who I'm playing against. You can't cheat against everyone; you have to play in this League because everyone is so good."

The top two picks in the draft haven't played against each other this early in a season since Oct. 11, 1997, when top pick Joe Thornton, then of the Boston Bruins, faced second pick and future teammate Patrick Marleau of the San Jose Sharks.

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Capitals defense prospect Carrick has bright future

Friday, 10.17.2014 / 1:14 PM / AHL Update

Kinsey Janke - Special to NHL.com

While Connor Carrick was waiting to hear his name called at the 2012 NHL Draft, his younger brother, Hunter, was sitting beside him, listening to hundreds of names he didn't recognize.

Joining in with the spirited crowd in Pittsburgh, Hunter began playfully booing each team that was called, eliciting a warning from his older brother that he'd better not boo when a team took him.

Five rounds later, Carrick was shaking hands with George McPhee, then the general manager of the Washington Capitals, and letting his new team in on a secret.

"I ratted my brother out," Carrick said. "I let them know, 'Hey, this kid was booing your staff.' He was as red as a goal light."

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Quote of the Day

My focus is always just to play as well as I can and do my job, no matter where the faceoff is.

— New York Rangers forward Carl Hagelin on using his speed to his advantage
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