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Features

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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Five things to watch when Rangers host Flyers

Wednesday, 11.19.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Philadelphia Flyers coach Craig Berube said he doesn't try to reflect on what happened the last time the Flyers played the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

It was Game 7 of their 2014 Eastern Conference First Round series and the Flyers lost 2-1.

"I don't think about it anymore," Berube said. "I think once it was over it's really over with me. I think the way I look at it is we played good hockey at times but we didn't play very good hockey a lot of times during that series and it cost us. If we had been more consistent we could have beaten them. They're a very good team, not taking anything away from them. We gave them a good battle. In my mind we could play better."

He'll have a chance to see if he's right when the Flyers visit the Rangers in the Wednesday Night Rivalry game (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN).

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Bryan Murray raising awareness through cancer fight

Tuesday, 11.18.2014 / 6:05 PM / Hockey Fights Cancer

Shawn Roarke - Director, Editorial

TORONTO – Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray did not want to share the fight he is waging against Stage 4 colon cancer.

Yet he knew he had to share it to help others.

In one of his first appearances since the advanced stage of his disease became public knowledge, Murray spoke in-depth Tuesday about his battle, which he revealed Friday during an interview with Michael Farber of TSN.

Murray, 71, said he initially wanted to keep his battle as private as possible, but he soon realized he had a platform that could be beneficial to getting the word out about preventative cancer screenings and decided that opportunity trumped a desire for privacy.

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Canadiens, Penguins view game as measuring stick

Tuesday, 11.18.2014 / 2:20 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- The Montreal Canadiens enter games Tuesday as the top team in the NHL, but doubts have swirled all season about their legitimacy in holding that spot.

Just about the only statistic that would suggest the Canadiens are an upper-echelon team is their 14-4-1 record, which is the most important one, but can sometimes be the most misleading as well.

The Canadiens, and the rest of the NHL, should have a better idea of where they stand by the end of this week, starting Tuesday when they put their six-game winning streak on the line at home against the Pittsburgh Penguins (7:30 p.m. ET) in a battle between the two Eastern Conference division leaders.

Montreal then welcomes the St. Louis Blues, the hottest team in the Western Conference, to Bell Centre on Thursday before visiting the rival Boston Bruins on Saturday and the New York Rangers on Sunday.

The Canadiens can erase or confirm the doubts surrounding their strong start to the season by the end of this brutal stretch.

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Fantasy top 100 forwards: Nashville trio breaking mold

Tuesday, 11.18.2014 / 12:00 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.

Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber has been their leading scorer in each of the past two seasons. The Predators haven't had a 60-point producer since J-P Dumont in 2008-09, the longest active drought in the NHL.

But times are changing in the Music City under coach Peter Laviolette, and fantasy owners are cashing in on the Predators' offensive resurgence. Through 17 games, each of Nashville's top-line components, James Neal, Mike Ribeiro and rookie Filip Forsberg, is on pace for more than 60 points.

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Five Questions: Lidstrom discusses life after hockey

Tuesday, 11.18.2014 / 3:00 AM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NHL.com's Q&A feature called "Five Questions With …" runs every Tuesday. We talk to key figures in the game and ask them questions to gain insight into their lives, careers and the latest news.

The latest edition features former Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom:

NEW YORK -- Barely noticed in the crowd, future Hall of Fame defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom went to get a hot dog with his wife Annika after the first period of the Detroit Red Wings game against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 5.

It's not often Lidstrom can walk around without being stopped for an autograph or picture, selfie or otherwise, but there he was with his wife, nobody getting in the way of them and their dinner.

Lidstrom, not surprisingly, was smiling as they walked around like any other couple at the Garden. Of course, they are not any other couple. He is not any other fan.

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Lindros, LeClair enter Flyers Hall as package deal

Monday, 11.17.2014 / 2:26 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Eric Lindros and John LeClair always were together on the ice during their time with the Philadelphia Flyers, so it makes sense that when they are inducted into the Flyers Hall of Fame on Thursday they will be honored together.

The pair combined, along with Mikael Renberg, to create the "Legion of Doom" line that helped the Flyers reach the Eastern Conference Final in 1995 and the Stanley Cup Final in 1997.

"[Flyers president] Paul Holmgren gave me a shout, gave Johnny a shout, in September," Lindros said. "Right away we were both deeply honored to get the call and then we started talking a little bit further and we decided to do it together, which was appropriate. Here we are and we're looking forward to Thursday night."

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Rangers' St. Louis: 'It'll be weird' facing Lightning

Monday, 11.17.2014 / 1:44 PM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- Martin St. Louis knows it's inevitable he'll find himself opposite Steven Stamkos at some point during the game when his New York Rangers play host to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday at Madison Square Garden.

When it happens, it will mark the first time in eight years St. Louis won't be looking to dish Stamkos the puck for a chance at that wicked one-timer from the circle.

"It's definitely going to be weird; I just hope I don't pass him the puck," St. Louis said.

When told of the comment, Stamkos laughed before offering, "I hope he does; it's been a while since I got a pass from him."

Emotions will certainly be high for St. Louis on Monday when he faces the team he spent 13 seasons with for the first time since a blockbuster trade last March sent the Lightning captain to the Rangers in exchange for their captain, Ryan Callahan, and two draft picks.

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Fantasy All-Access: Coyotes' Dubnyk worth pickup

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

Every Monday, NHL.com contributor Matt Sitkoff identifies waiver wire pickups, roster trends, schedule notes and a prospect to watch in fantasy hockey.

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Elmer Ferguson winner Allen first true hockey insider

Monday, 11.17.2014 / 9:22 AM / Hall of Fame

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

TORONTO -- Mario Lemieux does not spend a lot of time speaking to the media, opting to stay in the background as owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins despite being one of the most influential figures for hockey in Pittsburgh and one of the greatest players to ever put on skates.

He is known to confide in a relatively small group of people, so breaking a story involving Lemieux is a little different than with most professional athletes.

Kevin Allen will receive the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award for excellence in hockey journalism Monday, and his plaque is now in the Great Hall at the Hockey Hall of Fame because he has been an important voice for hockey in the United States during his nearly three decades at USA Today. Allen's resume is filled with highlights and awards and attendance at the most important hockey games of the past 25 years.

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Quote of the Day

I remember the first time at Wrigley Field all of us had the long johns, the turtlenecks and the extra equipment because we were afraid of being cold. Halfway through the first period everybody's ripping everything off and we just ended up wearing what we would normally wear for a game at the United Center.

— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp on the 2009 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic