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Devils forward Stephen Gionta fined for spearing

Friday, 10.23.2015 / 2:59 PM / Department of Player Safety News

NHL Public Relations

NEW YORKNew Jersey Devils forward Stephen Gionta has been fined $2,284.95, the maximum allowable under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, for spearing Ottawa Senators defenseman Mark Borowiecki during NHL Game No. 94 in Ottawa on Thursday, October 22, the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety announced today.

The incident occurred at 18:18 of the second period. Gionta was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct for spearing.

The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

Coyotes rookie Domi becoming must-watch player

Friday, 10.23.2015 / 9:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- Oliver Ekman-Larsson's phone was buzzing with text messages from friends and family members in his hometown of Karlskrona, Sweden. They all wanted to know about No. 16 for the Arizona Coyotes and what's up with that ridiculous backhanded shot?

That's Max Domi, Arizona's 20-year-old rookie forward, Ekman-Larsson told them, and that backhand is only one of the weapons in his arsenal.

"Everybody is talking about him back home," Ekman-Larsson said. "He's got a lot of speed, some sick hands and that shot. His backhanded shot is probably one of the best in this League. Unbelievable. So hard. He's got a lot of good things going on."

Fantasy Friday: Krejci, Jones off to fast starts

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

We've seen 16 days of NHL action to this point.

At this time last season it was the Anaheim Ducks' duo of Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf dominating the NHL. Perry was leading the League with eight goals, including two hat tricks, while Getzlaf was leading the League with eight assists. Each player had an NHL-high 10 points through seven games (tied with John Tavares of the New York Islanders and Tyler Seguin of the Dallas Stars).

Perry, Getzlaf, Tavares and Seguin weren't surprises in fantasy hockey though. They were all top-level talents likely selected in the early rounds of their fantasy drafts. They were performing how their owners had hoped.

Cup Final rematch possible for Blackhawks, Lightning

Friday, 10.23.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

The budding rivalry between the Chicago Blackhawks and Tampa Bay Lightning, born out of a Stanley Cup Final matchup last season, has a chance to be the new version of the old rivalry between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings.

The Penguins and Red Wings played each other in the Stanley Cup Final in 2008 and again in 2009. The veteran Red Wings won the Stanley Cup in a six-game series against the inexperienced Penguins in 2008, but the following season saw the playoff-savvy Penguins defeat the still-veteran but obviously vulnerable Red Wings in a seven-game series.

Fast forward to 2015 and the same sequence of events has a chance to repeat with the Blackhawks and Lightning, who play each other for the first time since the Cup Final on Saturday at United Center (8:30 p.m. ET; NHLN-US, SN1, SUN, WGN).

The comparisons make this too rich of a prospect to ignore, even if it requires conceding that the same two teams will meet in the Cup Final again (2008-09 was the first time it happened since 1983-84) and that the Blackhawks could lose in a Cup Final (they haven't in three trips since 2010).

Canadiens chasing record with some former Sabres

Friday, 10.23.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- The Montreal Canadiens are pursuing the record for the best start to an NHL season. To have a chance, they will have to defeat the two teams who hold it.

The unbeaten Canadiens play the Buffalo Sabres on Friday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, RDS, CITY, MSG-B, BELL TV) and the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.

If the Canadiens (7-0-0) can sweep those games, they will be in a position to tie the NHL record of 10-0-0 when they visit the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday.

The 1993-94 Maple Leafs and 2006-07 Sabres each won 10 straight to start a season.

Two former Sabres have integral roles for the Canadiens and will play their first game in Buffalo since they came to Montreal at the 2015 NHL Trade Deadline.

Oilers' Davidson details comeback from cancer

Friday, 10.23.2015 / 3:00 AM / Hockey Fights Cancer

Derek Van Diest - NHL.com Correspondent

EDMONTON -- Brandon Davidson was preparing to fight for a spot with the Edmonton Oilers' American Hockey League affiliate in Oklahoma City when a bigger battle was presented to him.

Heading into his first year of professional hockey, the defenseman was diagnosed with testicular cancer, putting his career in jeopardy.

"I was diagnosed Oct. 1, 2012," Davidson said prior to the Oilers hosting Hockey Fights Cancer night Friday against the Washington Capitals. "I felt some symptoms come on, and basically through the physicals that we do as a team every year, we were able to identify it. Within two days of Oct. 1 I was on the operating table."

Super 16: Naming the All-Calder team

Friday, 10.23.2015 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

All the talk about the top-flight rookie class this season has led to early season debates about whether Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid or Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel can be caught by a trailing pack of contenders for the Calder Trophy.

But why debate the Calder Trophy race now? Why not do a more constructive exercise, such as trying to figure out what the lineup would look like if you could have a team of rookies this season?

Doesn't that seem like more fun than a trophy debate that won't be decided until June? Yes, yes it does. So let's do that instead before getting into this week's rankings, which are flooded with rookie influence.

Unmasked: Bobrovsky should be fine under Tortorella

Thursday, 10.22.2015 / 12:00 PM / Unmasked

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky admits he has no confidence after a terrible start to the season.

Bobrovsky has a 5.07 goals-against average and .835 save percentage, and he was in goal for five of the Blue Jackets' season-opening seven-game losing streak that led to the firing of coach Todd Richards on Wednesday.

The question now is how the 2013 Vezina Trophy winner will fare under new coach John Tortorella and a collapsing, shot-blocking style of defense. Assuming Tortorella insists on the same defensive posture that defined his past two coaching jobs, with the Vancouver Canucks and New York Rangers, it will be interesting to see what adjustments, if any, the struggling Bobrovsky will have to make behind it.

Fantasy top 30 goalies: Varlamov's play concerning

Thursday, 10.22.2015 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

David Satriano - NHL.com Staff Writer

Every Thursday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey staff writer David Satriano provides in-depth goalie analysis. From updated weekly top-30 rankings to trending players and more, Satriano is your go-to guy for fantasy goalie advice all season long.

The Colorado Avalanche were hoping last season, when they finished last in the Central Division, wouldn't repeat itself. But they're 2-3-1 following their 1-0 overtime loss to the Carolina Hurricanes and are allowing 2.83 goals per game. Some of that falls on goaltender Semyon Varlamov.

Varlamov was 41-14-6 with a 2.41 goals-against average and a .927 save percentage and was a Vezina Trophy finalist in 2013-14. Though he regressed last season, the numbers still were good: 28-20-8 with five shutouts, 2.56 GAA, .921 save percentage.

By the Numbers: Stats back Canadiens' start

Thursday, 10.22.2015 / 3:00 AM / Behind the Numbers

Rob Vollman - NHL.com Correspondent

The Montreal Canadiens have won seven straight games, a season-starting streak never before accomplished in the history of the team.

They have scored at least three goals in each game and have not allowed more than two, leading to an impressive 23-7 goals differential.

With its hot start, Montreal has established itself as the team to beat, with more than just its one well-known weapon: goaltender Carey Price.

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