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Features

2015 NHL Stadium Series at Levi's Stadium sold out

NHL Public Relations

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ game between the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks at Levi's® Stadium on Saturday, Feb. 21 is sold out, the National Hockey League® announced today.

A crowd in excess of 69,000 fans is expected to fill the stadium for the latest showcase of this Southern California vs. Northern California NHL rivalry. The game will be broadcast live on NBCSN in the U.S. and CBC and TVA2 in Canada beginning at 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET.

Since the NHL established the tradition of hosting regular-season games outdoors, fans across North America have expressed their desire for those celebrations to spread across the hockey landscape. Launched last season by the NHL, the Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ featured four games in 2014, all of which were played in sold-out stadiums.

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2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series by the numbers

NHL Public Relations

SANTA CLARA, CA – A look at the 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ "By the Numbers."

1 Levi's® Stadium is the first home of a professional football team to earn the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Gold certification for new construction, the recognized standard for measuring sustainability for design and construction.

2 Players on the Sharks' active roster who have participated in a regular-season outdoor NHL game: Scott Hannan (2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic as a member of the Washington Capitals) and Tyler Kennedy (2008 and 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins).

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Lightning's Gudlevskis reflects on storybook night

Friday, 02.20.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Jon Lane - NHL.com Staff Writer

A year ago this week, the 2014 Sochi Olympics entered the knockout round. To celebrate, NHL.com looks at three players who used one of hockey's biggest stages to grab the spotlight and parlay their celebrity into the 2014-15 NHL season.

Today, we look at Latvia goalie Kristers Gudlevskis, who went from unheralded backup to Olympic star with his performance against Canada in the quarterfinals.

Not long after upsetting Switzerland in the qualification round of the 2014 Sochi Olympics, Latvia coach Ted Nolan made up his mind.

On tap in the quarterfinals was Canada, the favorite to win the gold medal for the second consecutive Olympic Games. Nolan turned to an unknown goalie named Kristers Gudlevskis, who in his Olympic debut allowed five goals to eventual silver-medal winner Sweden.

Latvia's top goalie was Edgars Masalskis, who made 32 saves in the win that eliminated Switzerland, but Nolan's instincts led him to Gudlevskis. Nolan's reasoning suggested not playing Masalskis in consecutive games of the grueling tournament. His gut told him plainly that it was Gudlevskis' time.

"I told him there would be a big moment for you coming up in the Olympics," said Nolan, coach of the Buffalo Sabres. "We knew we would play him in that game [against Canada] because of his size and athleticism, and youthful enthusiasm. Youthful enthusiasm sometimes overcomes that lack of experience sometimes."

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American hockey has grown up since Miracle on Ice

Friday, 02.20.2015 / 3:00 AM / Hockey Weekend Across America

Evan Sporer - NHL.com Staff Writer

Mike Eruzione and Mark Johnson were quick to mention it, and each continued to stress the point: The Miracle on Ice -- the United States' win against the heavily favored Soviet Union at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics -- may be the defining moment in American hockey history, but without a number of other big moments, the story would be incomplete.

"As great as the Soviet victory was, I think sometimes what gets lost in the shuffle is how important that game was against Sweden, and the game against Czechoslovakia," Eruzione said Monday. "Sometimes a lot of the success of our team gets lost in one game.

"I want people to remember it was a series of events and a series of games."

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Super 16: Maple Leafs have advantages if they rebuild

Friday, 02.20.2015 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Toronto Maple Leafs made a significant trade this week, sending defenseman Cody Franson and forward Mike Santorelli to the Nashville Predators.

There has been plenty of speculation about the direction of the Maple Leafs in the wake of that trade. Although not yet eliminated, Toronto is likely going to miss the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the ninth time in 10 seasons. For the second consecutive season, a collapse has derailed a campaign that began with success in the standings despite analytics suggesting it was unsustainable.

Toronto has a new team president, Brendan Shanahan, and a new, much-publicized analytics department headed by Kyle Dubas. What's unclear is, are the Maple Leafs ready to commence a legitimate, full-scale rebuilding project?

The Maple Leafs do have young talent, and they have been close (again, in the standings) to a playoff spot in recent years. They also have little salary-cap space and a roster that is not a legitimate Stanley Cup contender.

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Ice surface at Levi's Stadium ready for big test

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Dan Craig's ice is ready for its test day.

"It's good that it's time to skate," said Craig, the NHL's Senior Director of Facilities Operations and the person in charge of the rink build for the 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game Saturday at Levi's Stadium between the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings (10 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports 2).

Craig gave his ice a small test Thursday when he was the first person to skate on it around 6 p.m. PT. The media in attendance chipped in for an hour after that when the NHL opened the ice for a media skate. But the real test comes Friday, when the Sharks and Kings each practice.

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Shark Head moves to Levi's Stadium for Sharks-Kings

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The famous Shark Head has arrived at Levi's Stadium. Now it's really a San Jose Sharks home game.

Even though there is no roof at Levi's Stadium, meaning there is no way to drop the Shark Head to the ice to make the famous entry way for the home team as they have at SAP Center, the Sharks still decided the 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday (10 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports 2) couldn't go on without their most recognizable symbol on site.

The Shark Head was transported from SAP Center to Levi's Stadium on Thursday.

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Fantasy top 30 goalies: Don't doubt Bruins' Rask

Thursday, 02.19.2015 / 12:15 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Evan Sporer - NHL.com Staff Writer

Every Thursday during the season, NHL.com's Evan Sporer will provide you with in-depth analysis of goaltenders. From updated weekly top 30 rankings to trending players and more, Sporer will be your go-to guy for advice on fantasy goalies all season long.

For Tuukka Rask, it was a matter of when, not if.

There are many factors out of a goaltender's control that affect his play. A lot needs to happen before a team can generate a scoring chance, and for the most part none of that has to do with a goaltender, down to which of his teammates are on the ice.

It's part of what makes goaltending a bit unpredictable, but as far as repeatability goes Rask has been one of the more consistent and one of the best goalies in all of hockey recently. Rask is quite good at his job, but thanks to some missing co-workers, and a bit of un-Rask-like play, many fantasy owners were scratching their heads when it came to the Boston Bruins goalie early this season.

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Top performer: Ovechkin's goal sparks Capitals

Thursday, 02.19.2015 / 12:00 PM / Top Performer

NHL.com

Alex Ovechkin leads the NHL with 37 goals, many of them the highlight-reel variety. Goal No. 37 Tuesday in the Washington Capitals' 3-1 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins was no different.

Ovechkin beat Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury on a breakaway to spark the Capitals to a win that moved them to within one point of third-place Pittsburgh in the Metropolitan Division.

Ovechkin scored his League-leading 17th power-play goal late in the first period. After a Penguins turnover, Ovechkin gathered the puck, split two Penguins skaters and skated alone toward Fleury. He faked and went to his backhand, depositing the puck just under the crossbar, a goal confirmed by video review.

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Levi's Stadium to evoke Northern California landscape

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

The 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game between the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings at Levi's Stadium on Saturday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports 2) is not only considered a pivotal regular-season showdown, but an event that will resonate with fans and players for quite some time.

Playing a prominent role in that process are Populous and Infinite Scale, the architecture and graphic firms responsible for the many design elements surrounding the rink that will pay tribute to the wide-ranging topography unique to Northern California.

Populous senior associate Bobby Sloan believes this Stadium Series game could surpass anything ever achieved at an NHL outdoor event. Sloan would know, since he has been the lead architect technician for the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic and NHL Stadium Series since the very beginning.

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Quote of the Day

It was a different game in the past, that's for sure. It's not exactly what I was expecting but I think the experience paid off for a lot of our guys that realized what it takes in a Game 7. Realistically the effort we put forward, we might not even had to put 60 [minutes], but we just couldn't get a couple bounces to go our way and we just kept pushing.

— Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby on his team's play in a Game 7 win vs. the Islanders