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Round 3
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Features

Duclair glad to get chance to play for Canada at WJC

Friday, 12.12.2014 / 9:00 PM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Mike Brophy - NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO – Some young men might be disappointed if their NHL team opted to send them back to junior hockey, even if it meant they were able to play at the World Junior Championship.

Anthony Duclair is not one of them.

The 19-year-old left wing for the New York Rangers, a Montreal native, jumped at the opportunity to join Canada for the 2015 WJC, which will be divided between his hometown and Toronto.

"I'm very happy and very excited to be here," Duclair said Friday at Canada's training camp. "(Rangers coach) Alain Vigneault asked me a couple of days after the roster came out what my thoughts were and I told him I wanted to be part of this tournament. With the tournament being in Canada and in my hometown, I really wanted to be a part of this and I'm happy I'm here."

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Blues' Stastny surging as he sets to face Avalanche

Friday, 12.12.2014 / 4:18 PM / NHL Insider

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- The numbers may not have reflected it earlier in the season, but for St. Louis Blues center Paul Stastny, popping up on the score sheet more often recently is the reason why the Blues invested so heavily in him.

And the offensive numbers have accumulated just in time for Stastny to make his first appearance against the team he spent the first eight seasons of his NHL career with, the Colorado Avalanche.

The Blues play the Avalanche at Pepsi Center on Saturday. Stastny missed the Blues' first game against the Avalanche on Nov. 1 after sustaining a shoulder injury, so this will be his first game against the only teammates he knew for eight years.

"You just want to get that first one out of the way, but I'm excited," said Stastny, who has seven goals and 12 points in 21 games with the Blues this season. "I think I have a lot of friends [in Denver], not just hockey-wise.

"Once the puck drops, it'll just feel like a normal game. Sometimes the anticipation takes longer than normal, but it's part of the business."

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Sharks unveil new jerseys for Stadium Series game

NHL.com

Larger numbers, a new shoulder patch and bolder, streamlined visuals are the highlights of the 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series jerseys unveiled Friday by the San Jose Sharks.

Given the Sharks and Los Angeles Kings will play at Levi's Stadium, a larger venue than typically used for hockey games, Reebok worked with the Sharks to create an amplified version of the hockey jersey with the hopes of looking sharper in the football stadium environment.

San Jose's jersey for the Stadium Series game will feature a horizontal striping look of teal, white and black on the front and all teal on the back. There will be a similar effect on the sleeves.

The numbers on the backs of the jerseys are 13 inches tall instead of the standard 11.5. The numbers on the shoulders are seven inches tall instead of the typical four. The design of the numbers have been simplified to make them easier to see from a distance, and the ones on the shoulders will be higher to help people who are sitting in elevated seats to view them.

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Canadiens prospect Hudon shines in first AHL season

Friday, 12.12.2014 / 12:36 PM / AHL Update

Kinsey Janke - Special to NHL.com

The Montreal Canadiens have made 50 fifth-round draft selections in their franchise history.

Mike Busniuk won a record five Calder Cups playing in the American Hockey League and a sixth as an assistant coach. Bill Nyrop won the Stanley Cup three years in a row during the Canadiens dynasty in the 1970s. Mikhail Grabovski was a member of the Hamilton Bulldogs' 2007 Calder Cup title team who has played more than 450 NHL games. And current Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher has become a rising star in the League.

Charles Hudon joined that impressively productive group as pick No. 122 in the 2012 NHL Draft, and after four seasons in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, he is quickly making a mark as a professional rookie with Hamilton.

"It's tough to really follow [players after they're drafted], especially during the season, other than going on the Internet and see how they're doing. Maybe give their coach a call once in a while," Bulldogs coach Sylvain Lefebvre said. "But I knew of Charles, and I knew what he could do on the ice."

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Hot fantasy topics: Dubinsky, shooting percentages

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Let's get right to it. Here are the five hottest topics in fantasy hockey right now.

1. Brandon Dubinsky expectations

Brandon Dubinsky returned to the Columbus Blue Jackets lineup on Tuesday and finished the game with a power-play assist in 19:09 of ice time. He played 19:31 on Thursday and was a plus-1 with two penalty minutes. Fantasy owners everywhere are wondering what to expect from the 28-year-old power forward. Dubinsky, known for his gritty, get-in-your-face, hard-working style of play, is one of the few players capable of contributing in all fantasy categories.

Brandon Dubinsky
Center - CBJ
GOALS: 0 | ASST: 1 | PTS: 1
SOG: 3 | +/-: 0
Last season Dubinsky had 50 points and 98 penalty minutes, and only Wayne Simmonds, David Backes and Scott Hartnell had more points among players with at least 95 PIMs. He finished the season as the 81st best fantasy player. Why he's only owned in 63 percent of leagues right now points to the fact people forgot about him because of his lengthy absence. It's time to wake up. Dubinsky is capable of being a difference-maker in any league, and while it may take him some time to get reacquainted, his versatility makes him worth starting on a regular basis.
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Canada goalie Fucale eager for second crack at WJC

Friday, 12.12.2014 / 9:18 AM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Mike Brophy - NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO -- Zach is back.

Goaltender Zachary Fucale is hoping to improve on his performance at the World Junior Championship a year ago in Sweden and hopes some of the lessons he learned will benefit his team when Canada hosts the tournament starting Dec. 26.

Canada placed fourth at the 2014 WJC.

"We learned a lot," Fucale said. "It was a tough loss, but now it's a new year and a new team, so we're looking forward to it. For me, there are a lot of things I have changed from last year. I have become better mentally, stronger physically, and technically everything has gotten better. I feel great coming to this event. It is a great opportunity, so I am just looking forward to the whole experience and living the moment."

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Reinhart brings skill, leadership to Canada WJC camp

Friday, 12.12.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Mike Brophy - NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO -- When Sam Reinhart looked around the dressing room at Toronto’s MasterCard Centre on the opening night of the final training camp for the Canada’s National Junior Team, he saw a lot of familiar and friendly faces.

Reinhart is one of seven returnees vying for a spot on the roster that will represent Canada on its home ice in the IIHF World Junior Championship, to be played in Montreal and Toronto beginning Dec. 26.

He said the seven returnees have the benefit of knowing what to expect in such a high-profile event.

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Super 16: Analytics challenge Flames' feel-good story

Friday, 12.12.2014 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

One of the most fascinating stories of the 2014-15 season has been the surprising play of the Calgary Flames.

Thought to be in rebuilding mode, the Flames made a couple of modest additions during the offseason, but nothing that swayed most prognosticators to believe they were ready to compete in the rugged Western Conference. Here they are though, sitting in third place in the Pacific Division and sixth in the West with a 17-10-2 record and maybe most impressively a division-best plus-14 goal differential.

"The preseason predictions that we were going to be in the 'Connor McDavid Derby,' I didn't believe that at all," president Brian Burke said at the NHL Board of Governors meeting in Boca Raton, Fla. "In fact, I called a couple people in the media and complained about it. I thought that we would be better than that.

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Ice truck to arrive at Nationals Park on Monday

NHL.com

The 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic Ice Plant Presented by York will arrive at Nationals Park on Monday to begin the ice-making process for the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.

The 53-foot trailer, the world's largest mobile refrigeration unit, houses the state-of-the-art ice-making and ice-monitoring equipment used to create the sheet of ice which will be used by the Chicago Blackhawks and the Washington Capitals on Jan. 1 (1 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA). It will arrive at the home of Major League Baseball's Washington Nationals at 9:30 a.m. ET.

The truck departed Toronto on Dec. 10 to make the 480-mile journey to Washington, DC.

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Garbutt suspended three games for slew-footing

Thursday, 12.11.2014 / 12:59 PM / Department of Player Safety News

NHL.com

NEW YORKDallas Stars forward Ryan Garbutt has been suspended for three games, without pay, for slew-footing Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien during NHL Game No. 416 in Dallas on Tuesday, Dec. 9, the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety announced today.

The incident occurred at 13:22 of the third period. Garbutt was assessed a minor penalty for tripping.

Garbutt is considered a repeat offender under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and, based on his average annual salary, will forfeit $65,853.66. The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

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Quote of the Day

It's not always going to be pretty, especially against a great goalie [Lundqvist] like that. My goals are never how you draw them up. It's just a matter of grinding it out and trying to create havoc in front and good things happen.

— Capitals forward Jay Beagle on scoring in their Game 3 victory against the Rangers on Monday