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Stanley Cup Final
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Features

Canadiens shine spotlight on Beliveau's seat

Wednesday, 12.10.2014 / 12:18 AM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- The Montreal Canadiens have sold out Bell Centre for 422 consecutive games.

All 383 regular-season games and 39 games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs dating to Jan. 8, 2004 were officially listed as a sellout, a streak that is one month short of 11 years.

The streak was snapped Tuesday.

The official attendance for the Canadiens' 3-1 win against the Vancouver Canucks was listed as 21,286, one short of capacity, to account for the empty aisle seat in Row EE in Section 102, three rows behind the Montreal bench.

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Lightning's Stamkos humble scoring 250th goal

Tuesday, 12.09.2014 / 10:33 PM / NHL Insider

Corey Long - NHL.com Correspondent

TAMPA -- Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos didn't want to make a big deal about closing in on his 250th NHL goal.

Truth be told, he doesn't think it's much of a milestone.

"It's kind of cool to think about when you are getting close to something like that, but I never really thought something-and-50 was a milestone," Stamkos said before scoring that goal against the Washington Capitals on Tuesday. "I think when you get to 200, 300, 400 … I mean it's halfway to 500, but if we're at 499 one day you can ask me if I'm thinking about the next goal. Not that I am taking it for granted, it's always fun to score goals, but I want to help this team."

Stamkos scored 47 seconds into the second period at Amalie Arena. It tied the game 2-2, but the Lightning lost 5-3.

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Blue Jackets unveil events leading up to All-Star Game

Tuesday, 12.09.2014 / 3:52 PM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

Craig Merz - NHL.com Correspondent

COLUMBUS -- The Columbus Blue Jackets want everyone to know that the 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend is more than just the game at Nationwide Arena on Jan. 25.

In fact, there will be plenty of events not in the arena or held exclusively on the final weekend of the month, Blue Jackets officials announced Tuesday:

* The Columbus Blue Jackets All-Star Winter Park across the street from Nationwide Arena will have an NHL-sized rink with 500 bleacher seats, skate rental and four heated locker rooms. The park will be open Jan. 16-25.

There will be more than 50 hours of public skating plus private events and youth hockey games, said Larry Hoepfner, Blue Jackets executive vice president of business operations.

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Cameron took scenic route to Senators coaching job

Tuesday, 12.09.2014 / 3:32 PM / NHL Insider

Chris Stevenson - NHL.com Correspondent

OTTAWA -- Dave Cameron apparently doesn't do anything too quickly.

The new coach of the Ottawa Senators jokingly said he holds the record for taking the longest to get an undergraduate degree at University of Prince Edward Island, at 10 years.

"I enrolled in '76, graduated with the class of '86," said the 56-year-old, who became the Senators' 10th coach when Paul MacLean was fired Monday.

Cameron was pursuing his career as a hockey player during that 10-year span, which included three NHL seasons with the Colorado Rockies and the New Jersey Devils.

It's taken him a long time on a long road, but he has his first job as an NHL coach.

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Sabres' Girgensons expands lead as top vote-getter in 2015 NHL All-Star Fan Vote presented by SiriusXM

Blackhawks teammates Kane and Toews round out Top 3

Tuesday, 12.09.2014 / 2:00 PM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

NHL.com

NEW YORK -- Buffalo Sabres center Zemgus Girgensons remains the top vote-getter after three weeks of voting in the 2015 NHL All-Star Fan Vote presented by SiriusXM with 803,805 total votes. The Latvian-born forward added more than 400,000 votes in one week with nearly 82 percent of his total votes tallied from his native country and 80 percent from Sabres fans. Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane moved into the second spot in the overall leaderboard, with 375,758 votes, while his teammate Jonathan Toews occupied the third sport overall with 367,962 votes. More than 14 million votes from 182 countries have been cast to date, up 65 percent from last week.

If voting ended today, Girgensons, Kane, Toews; defensemen Duncan Keith (361,830) of the Blackhawks and P.K. Subban (351,726) of the Montreal Canadiens; and goaltender Corey Crawford (311,166) of the Blackhawks would earn spots in the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game.

The leaderboard of the top vote-getters is available at NHL.com/vote. Fans can join the conversation by using the official hashtag #NHLAllStar.

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Fantasy top 100 forwards: Five disappointing groups

Tuesday, 12.09.2014 / 12:05 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Every Tuesday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey insider Pete Jensen will provide you with in-depth forward analysis. From updated weekly top 100 rankings to trending players and more, Jensen will be your go-to guy for fantasy forward advice all season long.

Fantasy performance is based on individual statistics, but team success or failure can also make or break a player's value.

Just look at how the early-season success stories of the Nashville Predators, Calgary Flames, New York Islanders and Vancouver Canucks have infiltrated fantasy rosters. From reliable goaltending (e.g. Pekka Rinne, Jaroslav Halak, Ryan Miller) to offensive defensemen (e.g. Mark Giordano) to standout rookies (e.g. Filip Forsberg, Johnny Gaudreau) to steals up front (e.g. Radim Vrbata, Brock Nelson), these developments have led to a positive fantasy ripple effect.

But remember, it's a two-way street. The unpredictability of hockey can turn a seemingly complete roster on paper into shambles over the course of a season.

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Wild finding ways to survive loss of key defensemen

Tuesday, 12.09.2014 / 11:58 AM / NHL Insider

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -- NHL players are conditioned to play through adversity. Injuries or illness are expected to be brushed aside as best as possible.

The Minnesota Wild have a strong hockey team, maybe one of the best in the NHL this season. They've also been dealing with a lot of key players missing from the lineup at various points because of adversity. What makes their situation a little out of the ordinary is the nature of why players are not available.

Five members of the Wild defense corps have contracted the mumps. No. 1 defenseman Ryan Suter is the most recent of the group, missing the past two games.

"It is bizarre," Wild captain Zach Parise said last week. "It is 2014, and who knew the mumps were still around, right? It's weird, and hopefully we don't see it around anymore."

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Non-playoff teams in West have turned things around

Tuesday, 12.09.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

The current Western Conference standings provide a study for how fleeting success is in the NHL and how quickly teams on the bottom can rise toward the top.

There are pros, like the Winnipeg Jets' defense and puck possession, which can be looked at as one in the same. There are cons, like the Dallas Stars' defense and puck possession, to the point where they have allowed the most goals in the NHL.

Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne has played like a Vezina Trophy candidate, so that's a pro. Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov has not, so that's a con.

The Vancouver Canucks have reestablished their offensive game and overall consistency, a big pro. The San Jose Sharks appear to have lost a bit of each, definitely a con.

The Calgary Flames have found ways to win, particularly with six third-period comeback victories. That's a pro. The Minnesota Wild have been weighed down by their struggling power play, a con all season long.

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Five Questions: Hartley on Giordano, Flames' success

Tuesday, 12.09.2014 / 3:00 AM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Calgary Flames coach Bob Hartley has fun joking around about his team giving him heart palpitations and gray hairs this season because of their slow starts and strong finishes in games. He doesn't joke about his expectations.

"We're on a mission here," Hartley told NHL.com.

The Flames' mission is to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They're carving out their path.

Calgary, picked by many to jostle with the Edmonton Oilers between sixth and seventh place in the Pacific Division, is third in the division with 36 points through 28 games entering their game Tuesday against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre.

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MacLean not consistent enough with young Senators

Monday, 12.08.2014 / 10:48 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

Paul MacLean lost faith in the Ottawa Senators.

Not the organization, but the players wearing the uniform.

He admitted as much, even if he was joking, when he said that he was scared to death of who he was putting in his own lineup during a session with reporters in Pittsburgh on Saturday.

But even before MacLean uttered those ultimately fateful words, his lack of faith was clear.

No Senators player this season, with the exceptions of captain Erik Karlsson and top forwards Kyle Turris and Clarke MacArthur, had a clearly defined role. As was suggested by general manager Bryan Murray in explaining his decision to fire MacLean on Monday, this lack of consistency in usage was most striking among the Senators' young players.

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Quote of the Day

If you want to prove people wrong, you've just got to go out and do it. Yeah, we blew 3-2 series leads the last two years, but no one is going remember that if we go out there on Saturday night and beat these guys and go play in the Stanley Cup Final. We need to get back to work and we'll start to do that tomorrow.

— Ducks forward Kyle Palmieri following a loss to the Blackhawks in Game 6 on Wednesday