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2014 NHL Draft
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(Page 172 of 173)
Features

Stars focused on strong finish entering Olympic break

Friday, 01.31.2014 / 12:41 PM / NHL Insider

Steve Hunt - NHL.com Correspondent

DALLAS -- With just four games remaining prior to the Olympic break, the Dallas Stars are well aware of how important it is to enter it on a positive note.

Dallas begins a three-game road trip Saturday at the Anaheim Ducks, then faces the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday and the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday before returning home for another game against the Coyotes next Saturday, their final game before the League breaks for the 2014 Sochi Olympics beginning Feb. 9.

No one better realizes how crucial this four-game stretch is than Dallas coach Lindy Ruff.

"When we tried to set some goals, we talked about trying to win three out of four," Ruff said. "If we can have a good finish before the break here it sets us up. And it's really a must because otherwise you're chasing it too much."

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Super 16: Calder Cup winners boost Wings, Lightning

Friday, 01.31.2014 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

Tomas Tatar and Riley Sheahan each had a goal and an assist in a 5-4 come-from-ahead loss Saturday the Detroit Red Wings probably would like to forget.

The night before Tyler Johnson netted the first hat trick of his NHL career to help the Tampa Bay Lightning to a comfortable victory the rookie forward will remember for a long time.

Why are these seemingly random events connected? Tatar and Sheahan were part of a Grand Rapids Griffins team that defeated Johnson and the Syracuse Crunch in six games last season to capture the Calder Cup in the American Hockey League.

The Red Wings and the Lightning affiliates have won the Calder Cup the past two seasons, as Tampa Bay’s players won with the Norfolk Admirals in 2012 before the organization switched affiliates.

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Predators seeing Ellis move forward in development

Friday, 01.31.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

John Manasso - NHL.com Correspondent

When the Nashville Predators elected to trade No. 3 defenseman Kevin Klein last week to the New York Rangers, management made the decision in no small part because of the improved play of Ryan Ellis.

It caught the eye of general manager David Poile that Ellis and the rest of the defense corps played well without Klein, a veteran of 403 games with Nashville, when he missed two games with the flu. In the three games preceding the trade Ellis totaled two goals and two assists.

"We've always felt highly about Ellis' future," Poile said of the 11th pick in the 2009 NHL Draft. "We just haven't been able to put him in that position to make a contribution that he's making recently. But it's interesting that in at least two of those games Kevin Klein didn't play."

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Daily Primer Jan. 31: Stadium Series rematch

Friday, 01.31.2014 / 2:52 AM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

Two nights after the New York Rangers and New York Islanders took their rivalry outdoors, they'll meet again indoors.

The Rangers will be looking for a sweep of their local rival when they host the Islanders on Friday (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US). The Rangers edged the Islanders 2-1 at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday in the first outdoor meeting between the teams. That victory gave the Rangers a sweep of their two games in the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series; they beat their other Metropolitan area rival, the New Jersey Devils, 7-3 on Sunday.

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

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Positive memories for Scuderi in Los Angeles return

Thursday, 01.30.2014 / 12:46 PM / NHL Insider

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- When the Pittsburgh Penguins took the ice at the Los Angeles Kings' practice facility, some of Rob Scuderi's teammates asked him about the enlarged photo that hangs on the wall between the benches.

It's the team photo taken after Scuderi and the Kings won the 2012 Stanley Cup, and Craig Adams seemed to be giving Scuderi a hard time about his inconspicuousness because Scuderi is barely visible in the back.

"I think they were asking me why I wasn't a little closer to the Cup," Scuderi said. "I'm more of a back-row guy so I was kind of tucked away in the back. I'm still in there."

That really sums up Scuderi's four-season stint in Los Angeles, where his stability and leadership weren't necessarily front and center but absolutely were integral to the Kings capturing the first Cup in franchise history.

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In the Cage: Wild's Kuemper commanding attention

Thursday, 01.30.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Justin Goldman - NHL.com Correspondent

After a 4-2 win against the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday, Minnesota Wild goaltender Darcy Kuemper has emerged as a solid fantasy acquisition for the remainder of the season.

Kuemper has shattered the previous club record for consecutive starts by a rookie (four) with eight in a row, going 5-2-1 with a 1.97 goals-against average and .935 save percentage during this stretch. For rookies that have played at least 10 games this season, Kuemper is currently fourth in GAA (2.26) and save percentage (.924), and tied with the Washington Capitals' Philipp Grubauer for sixth overall in wins (six).

While it's easy to look at Minnesota as a whole this season and label Kuemper as the beneficiary of strong team play, the statistics in January tell a different story.

Not only have the Wild been outshot by a considerable margin, but the team is being dominated in puck possession categories. Kuemper has faced 286 shots in nine games this month, while Minnesota only has 211 shots on goal. That means he's facing 57.5-percent of the total shots produced.

Corsi numbers also heavily favor Minnesota's opponents in January. Kuemper has faced 566 total Corsi events this month, or an average of 62.9 events per game. Minnesota has only tallied 408 Corsi events during Kuemper's time on ice, or an average of 45.3 per game. That means Kuemper has faced a hefty 58.1-percent of the Corsi events in January.

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Record-setting night for Oilers goalie Scrivens

Thursday, 01.30.2014 / 11:30 AM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Ben Scrivens has been looking for the opportunity to prove himself as a No. 1-caliber goaltender in the NHL.

It didn't happen with the Toronto Maple Leafs or with the Los Angeles Kings. But Wednesday, in his fourth game with the Edmonton Oilers, Scrivens made himself noticed in a major way.

Scrivens stopped all 59 shots the San Jose Sharks poured on him in a 3-0 shutout. It's the most saves by a goalie in a regular-season shutout in the expansion era. The previous record was 54 saves by the Phoenix Coyotes' Mike Smith on April 3, 2012.

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Prospector Files: BC pair ready for Beanpot tradition

Thursday, 01.30.2014 / 3:00 AM / Prospector Files

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Beanpot Tournament has become a tradition like no other on the first two Monday nights in February each season.

The annual event in which Boston College, Boston University, Harvard and Northeastern battle for Boston's hockey bragging rights, opens Monday with a doubleheader at TD Garden.

New Jersey Devils forward Stephen Gionta, who played in four Beanpot tournaments as a member of Boston College, is very familiar with the excitement surrounding the games. Boston College has won the past four Beanpot tournaments.

"In Boston, that's almost bigger than the national championship, especially around that area and the four schools playing in it," Gionta said. "It's a lot of fun to be a part of; I was lucky enough to win one as a sophomore [in 2003-04]."

In addition to the 17,000-plus fans who will witness the games, the tournament will also give a few 2014 draft-eligible players an opportunity to make an impact and open some eyes in a pressure-packed event.

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Virtanen prepared for next draft day

Thursday, 01.30.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 NHL Draft - Philadelphia - June 27-28, 2014

Aaron Vickers - NHL.com Correspondent

CALGARY -- Jake Virtanen knows a little something about the whole draft process. He’s been through it once before.

The Calgary Hitmen made Virtanen, NHL Central Scouting’s ninth-ranked North American skater in its midterm rankings of players for the 2014 NHL Draft, the No. 1 pick of the 2011 Western Hockey League bantam draft.

Virtanen said he feels that experience will help him navigate his way to the 2014 NHL Draft in June.

"Obviously the Western Hockey League draft helped me out a lot," Virtanen said. "You had a lot of scouts and media just because I was the first pick. It's something you go through in hockey. Just doing interviews after games and with scouts too. It's nothing really new.

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Rangers glad to get 4 points in Stadium Series sweep

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- One stadium, two games, three teams, more than 100,000 fans in attendance. But there was one figure the New York Rangers were most concerned with after defeating the New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders at Yankee Stadium in a two-game set making up part of the Coors Light NHL Stadium Series: Four points.

The Rangers were coming off consecutive home losses to the Islanders and St. Louis Blues before the games in the Bronx, and they were determined to create separation in the standings against divisional rivals. In the end, they got four big points in a tight Metropolitan Division where a prolonged losing streak can potentially tip the balance.

"I think our group realized we need the points and these are tough opponents and tough division games," defenseman Ryan McDonagh said. "It's going to be tight the whole way in the East, especially in our division. I thought our group played it well."


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Quote of the Day

I kept refreshing the page on the NHL website after the second round and I was shocked he lasted that long. I'm sure the Coyotes were pretty happy to get him. He's such a good player and he plays big in big games.

— Arizona forward Henrik Samuelsson on prospect Edgars Kulda being drafted by the Coyotes