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Penguins' Neal fined $5,000 for cross-checking

Friday, 03.21.2014 / 3:27 PM / Department of Player Safety News

NHL.com

NEW YORKPittsburgh Penguins forward James Neal has been fined $5,000 for cross-checking Detroit Red Wings forward Luke Glendening in NHL Game No. 1046 in Detroit on Thursday, March 20, the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety announced today.

The incident occurred at 5:19 of the second period. Neal was assessed a minor penalty for cross-checking.

The fine money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

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Red Wings' Legwand fined $5,000 for butt-ending

Friday, 03.21.2014 / 3:27 PM / Department of Player Safety News

NEW YORKDetroit Red Wings forward David Legwand has been fined $5,000 for butt-ending Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin in NHL Game No. 1046 in Detroit on Thursday, March 20, the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety announced today.

The incident occurred at 16:14 of the third period. Legwand was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct for butt-ending.

The fine money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

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Jets prospect Kichton ready to kick-start career

Friday, 03.21.2014 / 10:56 AM / AHL Update

Alyssa Dombrowski - Special to NHL.com

Brenden Kichton knows a thing or two about being a leader.

The 21-year-old spent the past five seasons with the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League, serving as team captain and winning the Bill Hunter Trophy as the league's top defenseman with 85 points (22 goals, 63 assists) in 71 games during his final season.

This year, he's taken up the role of learner, as he continues to develop in his first professional season with the St. John's IceCaps of the American Hockey League.

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Clinching scenarios: Bruins can secure first berth

Friday, 03.21.2014 / 10:52 AM / Drive to the Playoffs

NHL.com

The Boston Bruins would become the first team to clinch a berth in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs if they defeat the Colorado Avalanche in any fashion OR if they get one point against the Avalanche AND the New York Rangers lose in regulation to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

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Daily Primer March 21: Bruins go for 11 in a row

Friday, 03.21.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

The hottest team in the NHL goes for its 11th straight victory Friday, and possibly a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. To get it, the Boston Bruins will have to beat one of the best in the NHL.

The Bruins bring a 10-game winning streak into their game against the Colorado Avalanche in Denver. It's the first of a back-to-back set for Boston, which had a couple of days off after a 4-2 road win against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday.

Boston also has a chance to be the first team to clinch a playoff spot Friday. They can do so if they beat the Avalanche in any form, or if they get one point against the Avalanche and the New York Rangers lose in regulation to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Bruins have outscored their opponents 41-15 during their win streak and have won seven of the 10 games by three or more goals. They lead the Eastern Conference with 99 points.

Colorado is home after going 1-1-1 on a three-game swing through Canada that ended with a 5-4 overtime loss against the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday. The Avalanche have 94 points, putting them seventh in the overall standings but third in the Central Division behind the St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks.

Here's a look at all of the action Friday:

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Super 16: Career year marks crossroad for Okposo

Friday, 03.21.2014 / 2:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

This has been a lost season for the New York Islanders, one that began with hope of building off a return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2013, but is ending with losses piling up and more question marks about the lineup built around superstar John Tavares than when the campaign commenced.

There has been one potentially big development for the future of the Islanders in 2013-14, and that is the play of Kyle Okposo. Long considered a gifted but inconsistent forward with potential, Okposo has put together the best season of his career with 69 points in 69 games.

Though he has spent a lot of his career with the Islanders on the second line, he moved into the spot next to Tavares and either Matt Moulson or Thomas Vanek, and that trio proved to be one of the most productive in the NHL. The question moving forward is simple: Will 2013-14 be remembered as a breakout season for Okposo, or a career year?

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Wild gain confidence earning point in comeback

Thursday, 03.20.2014 / 11:16 PM / NHL Insider

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- The Minnesota Wild trailed the New Jersey Devils by two goals in the third period, and it looked like they were certain to lose for the sixth time in eight games and score one goal or fewer for the third time in four.

But a comeback forced overtime, earned a point in the standings for a 4-3 loss, and gave the Wild a little swagger in their march toward the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"The points are important. We had an opportunity to get two," Wild forward Zach Parise said. "But I think given the way we came back a couple of times, this one could be important."

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Rangers' Nash back in Columbus battling for playoffs

Thursday, 03.20.2014 / 4:39 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Even though Rick Nash has maintained his home in Columbus, the New York Rangers forward is staying in the team hotel for his first trip back to the city where he grew up as a hockey player.

"Just like a regular road trip," Nash told reporters in Columbus after practice Thursday.

Nash may be saying that as a way to convince himself, or to deflect the nerves and emotions he's feeling leading up to his first game as a visitor in Nationwide Arena, but this road trip to face the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday is anything but regular for him.

Nash figured that out Thursday when he walked into the arena he called home for 10 years and saw familiar faces everywhere, including security guards and some members of the Blue Jackets training staff who tend to the visitors dressing room.

He has faced his former team twice this season at Madison Square Garden, scoring two goals on Jan. 6, but this is Nash's first game in Columbus since he was traded in the summer of 2012. The Rangers didn't make the trip last season and he was out with a concussion when they were there Nov. 7.

"It's tough to describe," Nash said when asked how he felt about his return. "Obviously it's the first time being here since the trade, and there's a lot of excitement for me coming back to play in front of the fans I played in front of for 10 years. There are a lot of good memories here, a lot of friends made."
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Stars meet young fan who knows Peverley's plight

Thursday, 03.20.2014 / 3:19 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

PHILADELPHIA -- When Dallas Stars forward Rich Peverley collapsed on the bench during a game March 10 against the Columbus Blue Jackets, 9-year-old Philadelphia Flyers fan T.J. Ramos understood more than most exactly what was happening.

Ramos, a Philadelphia resident, was walking to baseball practice Sept. 12, 2013, when he collapsed. Doctors later said T.J. went into cardiac arrest because of a genetic condition called CPVT, the same condition that caused Peverley to go through his cardiac episode.

T.J.'s father Carlos said T.J. saw what happened on the news the morning after Peverley collapsed, and after they read stories online, T.J. immediately became concerned.

"He saw it and said, 'Oh my God, he had a cardiac arrest just like I did,'" Carlos said. "I said I don't know the whole story so let's just see what happens. Ever since he's been looking into it. He was a [Boston Bruins] fan and he knew [Peverley] played for Boston. He asked if he was going to be OK, does he need surgery like I needed surgery? Is he going to play hockey again? I feel bad for him. I said I don't know the condition, but we can follow the story."

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In the Cage: A deeper look at this year's rookie class

Thursday, 03.20.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Justin Goldman - NHL.com Correspondent

As of Thursday, a total of 88 goaltenders have made at least one NHL appearance this season.

To put that number in perspective, it's the highest total since the 2011-12, 2008-09, and 2007-08 seasons, when 89 goalies appeared in an NHL game. But that doesn't trump the 2005-06 season, when a whopping total of 91 goalies were used.

Of this season's 88 goalies, 19 of them comprise the rookie class. Eddie Lack's shutout in a 2-0 win over Nashville on Wednesday pushed their record to 88-62-23, a solid .575 point percentage. The rookie class also has a cumulative .914 save percentage, stopping 4,690 of 5,133 total shots on goal.

Last season, the rookie class of 14 goalies went 32-32-7 with a .906 cumulative save percentage. In the 2011-12 season, 20 rookies combined for a 63-72-16 record with a .913 save percentage.

With so much emerging goalie talent being used so often this season, we wanted to provide you with a top-10 keeper league ranking. This will not only help you pinpoint some of the best long-term goalies to own in a keeper league, but it will show you just how deep the talent pool has become.

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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