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NHL Insider

Fitting Crosby in for surging Penguins not a problem

Thursday, 03.15.2012 / 2:23 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

"Everyone wants to get Sidney Crosby back in our lineup. Everyone wants to get Sidney Crosby back on our power play. There is going to be some adjustment in lines and playing time and the power play will look different, but there is a significant amount of time to (make) some of those adjustments."
-- Dan Bylsma

NEW YORK -- The question seems so ludicrous, even borderline insane to ask.

How difficult will it be for Penguins coach Dan Bylsma to work Sidney Crosby back into the lineup of a team that has won nine in a row?

"I've laughed pretty hard over some of the speculation and asking that question, how do you fit him in?" Bylsma said Thursday morning from Madison Square Garden, hours before Crosby was set to make his second celebrated return to the Penguins lineup this season. "Everyone wants to get Sidney Crosby back in our lineup. Everyone wants to get Sidney Crosby back on our power play. There is going to be some adjustment in lines and playing time and the power play will look different, but there is a significant amount of time to (make) some of those adjustments.

In return, Sid will make rare appearance on PP point

Thursday, 03.15.2012 / 2:20 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- Sidney Crosby hasn't played the point on the power play since he was with Rimouski Oceanic in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. That will change Thursday night against the New York Rangers, provided the Pittsburgh Penguins get a power-play opportunity at Madison Square Garden.
Crosby has been working on the strong-side point of the Penguins first power-play unit for the past few practices. He is playing opposite Kris Letang with Evgeni Malkin on the strong-side wall, James Neal down low, and Steve Sullivan on the weak-side wall.
"I played point in juniors so the comfort level is there," Crosby said. "As far as seeing the things you want to see and getting little habits that you get used to (when you're) playing a certain spot, that's going to take time. But, I have a comfort level there."

Calder candidates Henrique, Landeskog prove mettle

Thursday, 03.15.2012 / 10:45 AM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- There's no denying that Adam Henrique of the New Jersey Devils and Gabriel Landeskog of the Colorado Avalanche are frontrunners in the Calder Trophy race for NHL rookie of the year.
Even though Henrique has played 10 fewer games, he is tied with Landeskog atop the rookie scoring race with 46 points apiece. On Wednesday, Landeskog scored once to overtake Philadelphia's Matt Read for the NHL rookie lead in goals with 20 -- five more than Henrique.
They'll meet for the second time this season on Thursday when the Avs pay a visit to the Prudential Center. Each player notched an assist in the Nov. 30 matchup won by Colorado, 6-1.
Landeskog has proven to be quite the physical specimen, doling out a team-leading 198 hits. Henrique is certainly no stranger to contact, with 74 hits and 50 blocked shots -- two more than Landeskog.

New York is fitting spot for Crosby to return

Wednesday, 03.14.2012 / 4:35 PM / NHL Insider

Alan Robinson - Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby always seems to enjoy the big stage, the bright lights and the pressure that goes with playing important games, no matter the time or the season.
So how is this venue for his long-awaited return Thursday: Madison Square Garden, with Crosby's super-hot Penguins chasing the first-place New York Rangers?

Sidney Crosby on Broadway -- how fitting.
Crosby's second comeback game of the season would have drawn considerable attention no matter where or when it was played. But the circumstances -- virtually a must-win game for the Penguins if they are to catch the Rangers in the Eastern Conference -- make it bigger still.

Five GMs return to entertaining stretch drives

Wednesday, 03.14.2012 / 2:41 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- The National Hockey League General Managers' meetings wrapped up just before noon Wednesday as the managers departed the Boca Raton Beach Club to catch flights taking them back to their respective teams.
Many of them were returning to a Stanley Cup Playoff race. Here are thoughts from five GMs with teams and players in the news these days:

Rangers enjoying start to seven-game homestand

Wednesday, 03.14.2012 / 11:08 AM / NHL Insider

Dave Lozo - Staff Writer

The comforts of home never have been so necessary for the New York Rangers.

In the midst of a three-game losing streak that was capped with a third-period collapse against the Blackhawks in Chicago, the Rangers started a seven-game homestand Sunday that has helped them get back on track. They have taken the first two games at Madison Square Garden, including a 4-2 victory Tuesday against the Carolina Hurricanes.

The next game is perhaps the biggest one this season, with the hard-charging Pittsburgh Penguins coming to town Thursday (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN2). The Rangers hold a six-point lead on the Penguins, who have won nine straight, for the top spot in Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference.

Shero excited for Crosby's return

Tuesday, 03.13.2012 / 3:29 PM / NHL Insider

Shawn P. Roarke - Senior Managing Editor

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Sidney Crosby announced Tuesday that he would return for a crucial Atlantic Division contest Thursday against the New York Rangers.

While Crosby was delivering his long-awaited news to the media in Pittsburgh, Penguins General Manager Ray Shero was ensconced in a board room at the Boca Raton Beach Club, discussing the minutiae of potential rule changes during Day 2 of the NHL's GM meetings.

Have no fear, though -- the good news travelled fast.

Bolts' faint postseason hopes pinned on Tokarski

Tuesday, 03.13.2012 / 11:24 AM / NHL Insider

Lonnie Herman - Correspondent

"There's always pressure. If you don't feel pressure you're not trying to get better and you're not pushing yourself. The playoff race is a fun environment and I want to help this team win."
-- Dustin Tokarski

TAMPA - Dustin Tokarski sits in front of his cubicle in the dressing room at Tampa Bay Times Forum. He sits ramrod straight with his head held high, as if attached to the ceiling by a string.
A remarkable posture, really, for someone carrying the weight of the Tampa Bay Lightning's season on his shoulders.
This has been a season like no other for the Lightning, and the catalog of troubles the club has faced has been well documented: A schedule which sent the team on the road for 11 of its first 14 games, injuries to key players and trades which scrambled the personnel and the chemistry.

Selanne passes Kurri on all-time scoring list

Tuesday, 03.13.2012 / 1:43 AM / NHL Insider

Rick Sadowski  - Correspondent

DENVER Teemu Selanne wasn't in the mood to celebrate his latest accomplishment Monday night, passing fellow Finn and childhood idol Jari Kurri to move into sole possession of 19th place on the NHL's all-time scoring list.

The Anaheim Ducks' seemingly ageless right wing – he's 41 and in his 20th NHL season – collected his 1,399th career point with a power-play goal in the third period in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center.

Blues' PK on verge of history for effectiveness

Monday, 03.12.2012 / 5:22 PM / NHL Insider

Louie Korac - Correspondent

CHICAGO -- For a team that's taken pride in its penalty killing in recent seasons, eyebrows were raised when the St. Louis Blues began 2011-12 on a down note.

The team allowed at least one power-play goal (seven in all) in the first six games of the season and 12 through the first 15 games, going 36-for-48 (75 percent). They were buried in last place in the NHL with no place to go but up.

Times certainly have changed.

When the NHL-leading Blues (45-18-7) lace up their skates against the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday, they'll have a chance to make some history. After killing off all eight Columbus power plays Sunday, the Blues have killed off 47 in a row. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that's the most consecutive kills by a team since the Washington Capitals killed off 53 straight during the 1999-2000 season.
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Quote of the Day

Yeah, I guess so. That empty-netter was pretty lucky, but I'll take it.

— Senators forward Mike Hoffman when asked if his two-goal game was a good way to celebrate his 26th birthday
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