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(Page 23 of 117)
Features

Stars should shine when Capitals visit Blackhawks

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- It's a matchup that won't lack for big names when the Chicago Blackhawks and Washington Capitals meet outside on New Year's Day at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., for the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.

Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa top the list of Chicago's elite players. Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Mike Green will headline the roster for the Capitals.

The Capitals and Blackhawks will give fans a preview of that New Year's Day game Friday at United Center (8:30 p.m. ET, NHLN-US). It's the only other time the teams will play this season, so it should be a good primer for the Winter Classic.

"They've obviously got some dangerous players that can hurt you pretty quick," Kane said of the Capitals. "As far as the Winter Classic goes it could be a great matchup with a lot of talent and a lot of players that can do some special things to maybe help get the fans out of their seats."

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Tarasenko, Luongo among hot fantasy topics

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

We've just about reached the point of no return, at least in my book. As I stated a few weeks ago, I tend to give players a 12-15 game trial every season to prove themselves. If they've performed at a high level for those 12-15 games, I have reason to believe they can continue to perform at that level for at least most of the remainder of the season. If they've struggled and disappointed in those 12-15 games, I usually start to think this might not be their season.

Of course, players will prove my benchmark wrong. Claude Giroux's 2013-14 season got off to an abysmal start when he went without a goal in his first 15 games. We all know what happened after that.

There will be Girouxs this season. At some point players like Anze Kopitar, David Backes and Gabriel Landeskog should turn things around. But for lesser-known players, the 12-15 game benchmark usually has worked for me. This is your chance to start gauging what you can expect from a player this season.

St. Louis Blues sensation Vladimir Tarasenko is the perfect example. Tarasenko's been the hottest topic in fantasy hockey this week and is the No. 2 overall fantasy player in Yahoo leagues. Will he remain a top-10 player? Maybe. But he's the type of player that has proved to me he can carry this hot start throughout the season. I'm a believer.

Let's have a look at some other hot topics in fantasy hockey right now.
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Mazanec continues North American adjustment in AHL

Friday, 11.07.2014 / 11:39 AM / AHL Update

Kinsey Janke - Special to NHL.com

Though there's no definite number, Oxford Dictionaries estimates there are over 250,000 words in the English language. That's not including slang, technical or scientific terms. For those who grow up with English as their native tongue, it's often hard to fathom just how vast the language really is, and how so many of the "rules" are broken on a sentence-by-sentence basis.

Marek Mazanec, a sixth-round pick (No. 179) of the Nashville Predators in the 2012 NHL Draft, knew just a handful of those 250,000 -- if that. After three seasons backstopping HC Plzen of the Czech Extraliga, the highest level of hockey in the Czech Republic, Mazanec split the 2013-14 season almost evenly between the Predators and their American Hockey League affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals.

The adjustment was twofold.

"Everything was new for me last year. Different country, language, people, hockey style," Mazanec said. "The hardest part was my bad English. I got lucky [with] the people in the Predators organization. Everyone tried to help me, so they made it little easier for me."

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Super 16: Blues' Tarasenko among elite Russians

Friday, 11.07.2014 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

The St. Louis Blues have won six games in a row despite injuries to forwards Paul Stastny and T.J. Oshie (and a temporary absence for captain David Backes). One of the biggest reasons the Blues have stormed back near the top of the League standings after an uneven start is the play of forward Vladimir Tarasenko.

While Stastny was the headliner among the offseason additions, with forward Jori Lehtera and a full-time roster spot for goaltender Jake Allen probably next in line, one of the best reasons to think St. Louis could improve in 2014-15 was the maturation of Tarasenko and forward Jaden Schwartz. Tarasenko is off to a great start with eight goals and 14 points in 12 games, including the best goal of the season to date Monday at Madison Square Garden and then the lone goal of the game one day later across the Hudson River at Prudential Center.

Tarasenko is already one of the top Russian players in the NHL (in the NHL is an important distinction, because he was not happy with his role on the national team in February). Where does he stack up among the top Russians in the League? Here's a look at the most productive players from his homeland since Tarasenko joined the Blues at the start of the 2012-13 season:

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Better defense not equaling wins for Capitals yet

Friday, 11.07.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Adam Vingan - NHL.com Correspondent

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz hasn't sacrificed his offensive talent for stouter defense through 12 games, as he promised when hired in May.

Washington is averaging 3.08 goals per game and allowing 25.2 shots. Seven times this season, the Capitals have held an opponent to 25 or fewer shots, something they did 12 times in two seasons under former coach Adam Oates. The Capitals are also surrendering about 10 fewer 5-on-5 shot attempts per 60 minutes than they did last season, according to stats.hockeyanalysis.com.

That vast defensive improvement, though, hasn't led to early-season success.

The Capitals enter a preview of the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic against the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday (8:30 p.m. ET, NHLN-US) embroiled in a five-game losing streak.

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Fantasy top 30 goalies: Flames' Hiller early surprise

Thursday, 11.06.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Justin Goldman - NHL.com Correspondent

Every Thursday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey correspondent Justin Goldman, a regional goalie scout for USA Hockey and founder of The Goalie Guild, will provide you with in-depth goalie analysis. From updated weekly top 30 rankings to trending players and more, Goldman will be your go-to guy for fantasy goalie advice all season long.

The Calgary Flames were tied 3-3 late in the third period Tuesday with the Washington Capitals. With only a few seconds remaining in regulation, Flames goalie Jonas Hiller pulled off a beautiful right-toe reaction save on Capitals forward Tom Wilson to earn a point in the standings and plenty of public praise from his coach.

Thanks to Sean Monahan's overtime game-winner, that save also helped Calgary earn a second point.

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Unmasked: Active glove helps Predators' Rinne

Thursday, 11.06.2014 / 3:00 AM / Unmasked

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

Vancouver Canucks forward Zack Kassian circled at the edge of the right faceoff circle and, spotting a crowd forming in front of the Nashville Predators goal, shot the puck along the ice into a thicket of skates.

After a short delay, as everyone, including the referees, waited for the intended scramble, Pekka Rinne finally held up his glove, offering proof it was time to blow the whistle and line up for a faceoff.

The puck, as it so often does, rested safely inside Rinne's glove.

Though there may be debate about the best glove hand in the NHL, there is little argument about who has the most active.

Rinne does a lot more than flash the leather on shots destined for the top left corner. The 32-year-old uses his glove to catch pucks everywhere, reaching across his body to snag them out of the air, down to trap them against his pads, or, as he did against Kassian, scoop them off the ice like a shortstop.

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USNTDP's Greenway using size to his advantage

Thursday, 11.06.2014 / 3:00 AM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Jordan Greenway pulls no punches when it comes to discussing the presence he provides whenever he steps on the ice.

Big, physical, and at times ornery.

"I'm 6-foot-5 so I guess I'm a power forward, right," Greenway said. "I've got some pretty good skill and I like to drive the net a lot, can usually come out of the corners with the puck and can create more space for the skilled guys on the team."

He's a big fan of New York Rangers forward Rick Nash. The 222-pound left wing appreciates players who fight for pucks along the wall and go to the net hard; it's what has given him the attention he deserves as a top prospect for the 2015 NHL Draft.

Greenway, an A-rated prospect on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch list for the draft, has one goal, nine points and 20 penalty minutes in 13 games for the United States National Team Development Program Under-18 team.

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Blues survive wild scramble to escape with win

Thursday, 11.06.2014 / 3:00 AM / Defenders of the Ice

NHL.com

Vladimir Tarasenko's highlight-reel goal grabbed all the attention in the St. Louis Blues' 4-3 shootout win Monday against the New York Rangers, but the hard work and extra effort of Tarasenko's teammates bailed out goalie Brian Elliott early in the third period to eventually help St. Louis escape Madison Square Garden with its fifth straight victory.

Shortly after Rangers center Kevin Hayes missed an open net, Elliott was out of position when all five Blues on the ice crashed the net, blocking shots and scrambling to get the puck out of harm's way. Blues defenseman Carl Gunnarsson made the initial save of Hayes' backhand attempt. Lee Stempniak tried to tap the puck into the open net, but David Backes pushed it away with his skate just before it crossed the goal line. Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk then positioned himself in front of the goal to stop Chris Kreider's shot before Elliott covered the puck to end the wild sequence.

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Back on wing, Rangers' St. Louis finds scoring touch

Thursday, 11.06.2014 / 12:36 AM / NHL Insider

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

NEW YORK -- Given Martin St. Louis' track record, it seemed inevitable that he would eventually start to score in bunches.

The New York Rangers right wing scored for the second straight game Wednesday and assisted on Derick Brassard's overtime goal in a 4-3 win against the Detroit Red Wings at Madison Square Garden.

St. Louis, 39, had a tough start to the season, scoring one goal through New York's first 10 games. Some of that could be attributed to the leg injury No. 1 center Derek Stepan sustained in training camp. The Stepan injury forced Rangers coach Alain Vigneault to ask St. Louis to spend some time at center.

St. Louis went the first five games of the season without a goal before he finally broke through against the San Jose Sharks on Oct. 19. He then went another four games without a goal.

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Quote of the Day

I might have blacked out. I was pretty pumped.

— New Jersey Devils rookie goalie Keith Kinkaid on his first NHL win Friday against the Tampa Bay Lightning
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