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Features

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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Unmasked: New technique helped Dubnyk rebound

Thursday, 02.19.2015 / 9:00 AM / Unmasked

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

Minnesota Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk has answered a lot of questions about how he turned his career around this season.

How exactly did he go from being out of the NHL at the end of last season to one of the League’s hottest goalies in February, helping turn the Wild's season around since a mid-January trade from the Arizona Coyotes with a 11-2-1 run?

For the most part, the answers have focused on Arizona giving him a chance as a free agent to start the season, and Coyotes goalie coach Sean Burke restoring his confidence. There were also some small tweaks and a better understanding about managing depth in his crease from Burke, but for the most part Dubnyk said he hasn't made any radical style alterations since transitioning his game to the NHL under then-Edmonton Oilers goalie coach Frederic Chabot.

There was, however, one significant change this summer.

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Stadium Series return to roots for wrestler Young

Evan Sporer - NHL.com Staff Writer

Eric Young may be famous for his prowess in a wrestling ring, but long before he won the Total Nonstop Action Wrestling world heavyweight championship, he was a kid growing up in Canada with a passion for hockey.

"We played as much hockey as everything; that was the only thing to do," Young, who grew up in Florence, Ontario, told NHL.com. "You play road hockey in the summer, and when it gets cold enough and the river freezes and floods the field you play pond hockey."

Even though Young traded in his skates for wrestling boots, he said he still roots for his childhood team, the Toronto Maple Leafs. After moving to Nashville in 2004, he also became a Nashville Predators fan.

On Saturday, Young will be one of about 70,000 expected at Levi's Stadium for the 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series when the San Jose Sharks take on the Los Angeles Kings (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports 2).

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Meier emerging as star in second season with Halifax

Thursday, 02.19.2015 / 3:00 AM / 2015 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Timo Meier knew the importance of becoming a stronger and faster skater entering his second season with the Halifax Mooseheads in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

He's had no other alternative but to perform at higher level ever since making his way from Switzerland to North America after being selected in the first round (No. 12) by the Mooseheads in the 2013 Canadian Hockey League import draft.

As a rookie in Halifax, he sometimes found himself alongside current Tampa Bay Lightning rookie and former Mooseheads forward Jonathan Drouin. This season he's become a regular with Nikolaj Ehlers, a 2014 first-round pick (No. 9) of the Winnipeg Jets.

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Crosby surprises Little Penguins by joining practice

Wednesday, 02.18.2015 / 3:20 PM / NHL Insider

Wes Crosby - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby did not practice on Wednesday, at least not in the conventional sense.

Crosby, along with Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, forwards Nick Spaling and Zach Sill, and defenseman Robert Bortuzzo, surprised 40 children involved with the Little Penguins by taking the ice during a unique practice that took place after the NHL players had their turn.

Crosby, the Penguins, Dick's Sporting Goods and Reebok fund the Little Penguins, a youth hockey program that provides free head-to-toe equipment to 1,000 young players each year.

The Penguins captain did not participate in Pittsburgh's Wednesday practice because of a maintenance day, Penguins coach Mike Johnston said, but decided to show for the kids.

"It's a great program," Crosby said. "Obviously, there are a lot of volunteers who help out, but it's nice to get a few players out here today and these kids were hopefully enjoying themselves, getting the opportunity to play, like all of us did, at the same age. So it was a nice little time here and hopefully they had fun."

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Celebration for the 2015 NHL Stadium Series at Levi's Stadium will begin at Spectator Plaza on game day

Pregame fan festival to offer attractions for ticketed fans of all ages

Wednesday, 02.18.2015 / 12:30 PM / 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series - Kings vs. Sharks

NHL Public Relations

NEW YORK – The National Hockey League (NHL®), in conjunction with the city of Santa Clara, Calif., will celebrate the 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ – the much anticipated regular-season outdoor game between the Los Angeles Kings® and San Jose Sharks® on Feb. 21 – with Spectator Plaza, a hockey-themed festival for ticketed fans located just outside of Levi's® Stadium on game day.

WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 21 from 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. PT

WHERE: Levi's® Stadium, between Gates A and C

WHAT: A pre-game celebration of hockey with live musical performances; interactive, family friendly games and attractions; prizes and giveaways; food and beverages; retail tents with an extensive selection of officially licensed 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ merchandise and collectibles; and more. A 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ game ticket is required for entry.

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Fantasy top 60 'D': Injury void of Ducks' Vatanen

Wednesday, 02.18.2015 / 12:14 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Brian Metzer - NHL.com Correspondent

Every Wednesday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey correspondent Brian Metzer will provide you with in-depth defensemen analysis. From updated weekly top 60 rankings to trending players and more, Metzer will be your go-to guy for fantasy blue line advice all season long.

Anaheim Ducks defenseman Sami Vatanen first tantalized fantasy owners last season when he averaged .44 points over 48 games as a rookie. He improved upon that this season by averaging .60 points over 57 games.

Unfortunately, he left during the first period of the Ducks' 5-3 loss to the Washington Capitals on Sunday with a lower-body injury that is expected to keep him out of action for 4-6 weeks.

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Quote of the Day

That was something I've been dreaming of, something I've told myself before the third period I was going to do ... It was an amazing feeling. It's hard to describe. I didn't believe it went in at first but when I saw all the reaction and all the fans going crazy and my teammates going crazy, it's just an unbelievable feeling. I didn't know what to do. I didn't know whether to jump or just skate and do a Theo Fleury. I don't think I'm the same caliber player he is so I couldn't do it.

— Flames forward Mikael Backlund on scoring the overtime winner against the Ducks in Gm. 3