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Features

Tri-City defenseman Carlo building up offensive game

Thursday, 11.20.2014 / 9:00 AM / Prospects

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

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It was his strong defensive game that earned defenseman Brandon Carlo of the Tri-City Americans of the Western Hockey League an A rating from NHL Central Scouting in its latest players to watch list.

But for Carlo to cement his status as one of the top prospects for the 2015 NHL Draft, he needs to advance the offensive side of his game. The numbers might not show it yet, but Carlo is putting the work in.

In 23 games this season Carlo has one goal and 10 points, putting him ahead of his pace from last season, when he had three goals and 13 points in 71 games.

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College freshmen dot November players to watch list

Thursday, 11.20.2014 / 9:00 AM / NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

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The previous time as many as three college players were selected in the first round of the NHL Draft was almost nine years ago, when freshmen Jonathan Toews, Phil Kessel and Mark Mitera went off the board in short order.

There's a strong chance that will be duplicated at the 2015 NHL Draft at BT&T Center in Sunrise, Fla., on June 26.

NHL Central Scouting on Thursday released its players to watch list for November and identified Boston University center Jack Eichel, Boston College defenseman Noah Hanifin and University of Michigan defenseman Zach Werenski as A-rated skaters considered first-round candidates for the 2015 draft.

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Ducks' Kesler looks forward to return to Vancouver

Thursday, 11.20.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- Ryan Kesler admitted Wednesday it was awkward to walk into Rogers Arena and past the Vancouver Canucks locker room he called home for 10 seasons, continuing down the hall to the visitors' room with his new Anaheim Ducks teammates.

It could get even more uncomfortable Thursday, when the 30-year-old Ducks center skates out in front of Vancouver fans for the first time as the enemy.

"Hopefully they appreciated the 11 years I played here and remember all the good times," said Kesler, who spent one of those years in the minors. "Hopefully a warm reception, but if not it's part of the game."

Kesler isn't sure if it will be cheers or jeers, but he's used to both by now.

"I guess that's my personality," he said. "You love me or you hate me."


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Unmasked: Hurricanes' Ward works to quiet his game

Thursday, 11.20.2014 / 3:00 AM / Unmasked

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward is a decade into a professional hockey career that already includes a Stanley Cup, and still looking for his game. More to the point, Ward is in search of improved technical structure, which he admits has been missing for a while.

At age 30, Ward is only now trying to modernize a game that became outdated. He even updated his equipment to match this summer.

Ward reached out to a former coach from his junior hockey days during the break for the 2014 Sochi Olympics, looking for help finding the game that once landed him on Canada's Olympic shortlist. That task now falls to former Calgary Flames goaltending coach David Marcoux, who was hired by the Hurricanes during the summer.

More than eight years since winning the 2006 Stanley Cup and Conn Smythe Trophy as a rookie, Ward is eager to get back to work. After an .898 save percentage last season, there is a lot to be done.

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Sabres' Moulson denies Sharks' Marleau of goal

Thursday, 11.20.2014 / 3:00 AM / Defenders of the Ice

NHL.com

Up to 6 feet of snow fell in the Buffalo area Tuesday, but the major snowstorm couldn't stop a crowd of nearly 6,200 from showing up to First Niagara Center to watch the Buffalo Sabres defeat the San Jose Sharks 4-1.

Two goals from captain Brian Gionta weren't the only factors in the Sabres (5-13-2) winning consecutive games for the first time since February and their eighth straight against the Sharks. Matt Moulson's extra effort late in the third period preserved Buffalo's two-goal advantage by mere millimeters.

Sharks forward Patrick Marleau played the puck at his own blue line and found Barclay Goodrow at center ice. Goodrow fed it back to Marleau, who knifed through two Sabres defensemen and lifted a backhand shot that went off goalie Jhonas Enroth's arm and into the crease. With the puck rolling on its side and headed toward the goal line, Moulson hustled in to sweep it away at 15:16 of the third. It was initially called a goal, but video review determined that the puck did not completely cross the Sabres goal line.

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EPIX presents two-part, eight-episode series

Free live stream of each episode available to U.S. audiences via EPIX.com, NHL.com

NHL.com

NEW YORKEPIX Presents Road To The NHL Winter Classic™ and EPIX Presents Road To The NHL Stadium Series™, a two-part original series from premium TV network EPIX and the National Hockey League, will bring U.S. viewers onto the ice and behind-the-scenes with the Chicago Blackhawks and Washington Capitals as they prepare to compete in the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®, and the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks on their road to the 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™.

EPIX Presents Road To The NHL Winter Classic will make its U.S. Television Premiere on EPIX December 16 at 10pm ET/PT, 9CT with four weekly episodes following the Blackhawks and the Capitals through regular season games as they get ready to face off in the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® outdoor game at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. on New Year's Day, January 1.


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Fantasy top 60 'D': Habs' Gonchar, Therrien reunite

Wednesday, 11.19.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Brian Metzer - NHL.com Correspondent

Every Wednesday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey correspondent Brian Metzer will provide you with in-depth defensemen analysis. From updated weekly top 60 rankings to trending players and more, Metzer will be your go-to guy for fantasy blue line advice all season long.

It isn't often you have the opportunity to find a difference-making defenseman sitting on the waiver wire a month into the season in a Yahoo Standard League, but that is exactly what you could be getting if you're willing to take a chance on Sergei Gonchar.

The veteran is owned in just five percent of leagues, but his value got a shot in the arm when he was traded from the Dallas Stars to the Montreal Canadiens last week.

Playing in Montreal doesn't change the fact he is 40 years old, a step or two slower and in the twilight of his career, but it does put him back in a situation that helped him have some of the most productive seasons of his career: playing in Michel Therrien's system.

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Lidstrom, Fedorov highlight potential 2015 Hall class

Wednesday, 11.19.2014 / 11:24 AM / Hall of Fame

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

TORONTO -- The Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2014 was a celebration of greatness at the NHL and international levels, and the Class of 2015 could have a similar sentiment.

For the first 44 years of the Hall of Fame, the list of enshrined members was almost exclusively North American-trained players. Vladisav Tretiak went into the Hall in 1989, and Borje Salming followed in 1996 to help start the flow of European-trained players into the sport's museum of excellence.

The Class of 2014, with Rob Blake, Peter Forsberg, Dominik Hasek and Mike Modano, was the first to have players from four different countries, and the first to have three players not from Canada. The Class of 2015 is almost certain to have two more European-trained players, and three is a possibility.

Four candidates, including three NHL players, have a great chance to be elected in their first time on the ballot. There is certain to be advocating for several other players who have yet to earn their place in the Hall of Fame. Here is a look at the top candidates for the Class of 2015:

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Penguins' Fleury continues to clear mental hurdles

Wednesday, 11.19.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- Marc-Andre Fleury is not judged the same as any other goalie in the NHL.

Marc-Andre Fleury
Goalie - PIT
RECORD: 11-3-0
GAA: 1.98 | SVP: .930
The Pittsburgh Penguins' franchise goaltender's history of meltdowns in the Stanley Cup Playoffs will probably stick to him until Fleury personally removes it with an outstanding spring performance, and it will unfortunately taint everything else he does until that happens.

When Fleury was signed to a four-year, $23 million contract extension on Nov. 6, removing his lame-duck status, it was his history in the Stanley Cup Playoffs that became the source of a raging online debate on the wisdom of the move by Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford.

The knee-jerk reaction when it comes to Fleury has been, and will likely remain, "Yeah, but can he do it in the playoffs?"

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Flyers' Del Zotto focused on two points vs. Rangers

Wednesday, 11.19.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

When Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Michael Del Zotto walks into Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, he says his focus will be on two things: the two points at stake when his team plays the New York Rangers (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, SN1, TVA SPORTS).

But in the back of his mind the 24-year-old will be looking to show the Rangers what they gave up when he was traded to the Nashville Predators on Jan. 22.

"I think anytime you get too emotional, too caught up in a certain game or a moment, it seems to get the best of you," Del Zotto said. "I'm sure [Wednesday] when I get there it'll hit me a little bit, bring back some memories."

Prior to coming to Philadelphia, Del Zotto's most recent hockey memories weren't very good.

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Quote of the Day

I was going nuts and I saw [Subban], he was going crazy, and the ref had no idea where to go. [Subban] was skating to me, and I was skating to him and the ref was right in between us and I don't know, I kind of hit him pretty hard, I thought, but those were some emotions and I'm pretty sure he understands that.

— Montreal forward Alex Galchenyuk on the celebration following his OT goal against Ottawa in Game 2