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NHL Insider

Malkin's Return Encourages Penguins

Friday, 10.14.2011 / 12:17 AM / NHL Insider

Alan Robinson - NHL.com Correspondent

Evgeni Malkin
Center - PIT
GOALS: 1 | ASST: 3 | PTS: 4
SOG: 5 | +/-: 0
PITTSBURGH -- Evgeni Malkin probably felt like words weren't necessary to describe a game he wasn't certain he would play, only to play it far better than anyone might have expected.
Malkin, held out of Pittsburgh's previous two games with soreness in his surgically repaired right knee, returned at full speed Thursday night and was the best player on the ice for much of the Capitals-Penguins game. All that were missing was a Malkin goal – and a Penguins victory.
"Geno came back and he was flying," said linemate James Neal, who scored twice on Malkin-created goals.

Quick earns road-weary Kings a point

Thursday, 10.13.2011 / 11:15 PM / NHL Insider

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- Playing their first game after a week-long stay in Europe and a five-day break that included three days in Maryland, the Los Angeles Kings had differing opinions on their energy level during a 2-1 shootout loss to the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night.

Anze Kopitar didn't think the Kings were sluggish at all, that they generated enough consistent pressure. Coach Terry Murray saw it another way, saying his team started strong but "hit a bit of a wall" during the final two periods.

Something on which they both agreed, however, was that goaltender Jonathan Quick was the reason the Kings left Prudential Center with a consolation point. He made 36 saves, including 15 during the third period and overtime, to prevent his road-weary team from leaving empty-handed. 

Knuble, Ovechkin torture Penguins again

Thursday, 10.13.2011 / 10:56 PM / NHL Insider

Alan Robinson - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH Mike Knuble and Alexander Ovechkin of the Capitals are making careers out of tormenting the Penguins, so it's no surprise they made a night of it in Pittsburgh.

In the first of what should be four entertaining and important games this season between the two Eastern Conference rivals, the Capitals and Penguins showed again that no matter the setting or the circumstances, they don't like each other very much.

At least not nearly as much as the Capitals enjoy appearing in Pittsburgh, where they have won eight in a row – and in three different venues: Mellon Arena, Heinz Field and Consol Energy Center.

Jets chairman lauds fans on 'NHL Hour'

Thursday, 10.13.2011 / 8:54 PM / NHL Insider


After watching the National Hockey League depart Winnipeg in 1996 and waiting 15 long years for its return, Sunday's opening night game against the Montreal Canadiens was a mixed bag of emotions for Jets chairman Mark Chipman.

"Exciting on the one hand, very humbling on the other, and then obviously very disappointing with the loss," Chipman said Thursday while appearing as a guest on "NHL Hour With Commissioner Gary Bettman," where the Jets' 5-1 loss to the Habs in their inaugural game back in Winnipeg was just one of many topics broached.

Despite the end result, the fans who made up the first of many sellout crowds to come at the MTS Centre never lost their enthusiasm or stopped displaying their deep appreciation at having an NHL team back in Manitoba.

Messier to run New York City Marathon for charity

Thursday, 10.13.2011 / 4:56 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- Mark Messier has been running different roads and all kinds of routes near his Connecticut home over the last 30 weeks in preparation for his first big race day.

Messier, the now 50-year-old six-time Stanley Cup champion and member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, announced Thursday from the Empire State Building that he will be running in the 2011 ING New York City Marathon on Nov. 6. Messier will be running for two charities -- the New York Police & Fire Widows' and Children's Benefit Fund and the Tomorrows Children's Fund.

Messier's former Ranger teammates Adam Graves and Mike Richter, as well as fellow Hockey Hall of Fame member Pat Lafontaine, have in previous years completed the famous 26.2-mile race through the five boroughs.

Ladd, Byfuglien continue to hold ties to Hawks

Thursday, 10.13.2011 / 3:44 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- One of the first things that Andrew Ladd and Dustin Byfuglien did upon arriving at the United Center was look up.

The former Chicago Blackhawks took a good look at what they each helped accomplish in the Windy City in 2010 -- which is now commemorated by a Stanley Cup banner, the fourth in Hawks history.

"I checked it out," said Ladd -- now the captain of the Winnipeg Jets, who will play the Blackhawks on Thursday night (8:40 p.m., TSN). "Every (national anthem in Chicago) I kind of looked that way toward those banners. So, to see that (fourth) one up there … it was pretty neat."

Byfuglien thought so, too.

Emery to make Blackhawks debut vs. Jets

Thursday, 10.13.2011 / 2:40 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Corey Crawford dealt with a reported minor groin pull toward the end of preseason, but the Chicago Blackhawks starting goalie said that's not the reason he'll be the backup Thursday against the Winnipeg Jets (8:40 p.m. ET, TSN).

"Corey's ready to go. We just want to get Ray playing. He's been here and we want to get him started. (Crawford has) played so many games in a row (in the past) and it's nice to get the other guy involved and we're happy to get him his first start here at home, as well."
-- Joel Quenneville

Instead, veteran free-agent pickup Ray Emery -- who made the team on a training camp tryout offer -- will start for the Hawks in the return of former Chicago stars Dustin Byfuglien and Andrew Ladd.

"I feel 100 percent, so I'm ready to go now," said Crawford, who missed the first two days of practice this week to rest. "I like to play. I like getting ice time and playing. I'm not disappointed. I'll just be ready for the next game."

Crawford, who started both ends of the Hawks' home-and-home series with the Dallas Stars last weekend, missed practices Monday and Tuesday while resting an injury that he said was not related to the tweaked groin.

Erat, Hornqvist to miss Nashville's home opener

Thursday, 10.13.2011 / 2:33 PM / NHL Insider

John Manasso - NHL.com Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- The Predators placed veteran top-six scoring forward Martin Erat on injured reserve Thursday retroactive to Oct. 8. In addition, right wing Patric Hornqvist also will be out for Nashville's home opener on Thursday with Phoenix, meaning that Niclas Bergfors and Brian McGrattan will make their debuts for the organization.

Erat has an upper body injury while Hornqvist, a 30-goal scorer in 2009-10, has a lower body injury.

An all-rookie selection in 2009-10, Bergfors is with his fourth team since February 2010. He was a healthy scratch for Nashville's first two games -- both wins on the road over Columbus and St. Louis -- but is a former 20-goal scorer.

Kings enjoyed visit to U.S. Naval Academy

Thursday, 10.13.2011 / 1:45 PM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- Please excuse the Los Angeles Kings if they have difficulty remembering exactly where they are and what time of the day it is.
After all, they totaled some 16,000 airline miles and completed a five-city world tour comprised of preseason and regular-season games to kick off the 2011-12 campaign. That's a pretty demanding schedule for even the best touring rock bands out there.
Since late September, the Kings have traveled for preseason games in Kansas City against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Las Vegas against the Colorado Avalanche and Hamburg against the Hamburg Freezers. Then it was off to Stockholm for its regular-season opener against the New York Rangers and one day later Berlin to face the Buffalo Sabres before finally returning back to North America on Sunday.
Instead of flying back to the West Coast, however, the Kings opted to spend three days practicing at the Gardens Ice House rink in Laurel, Md. There, players also had an opportunity to visit the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, something Indiana native Jack Johnson enjoyed.

Caps, Pens unite to benefit Lokomotiv families

Wednesday, 10.12.2011 / 3:44 PM / NHL Insider

Alan Robinson - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Evgeni Malkin knew he had to do something.
As soon as the Pittsburgh Penguins' star learned about the devastating plane crash in his native Russia on Sept. 7 that killed 44 people, including most of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team of the Kontinental Hockey League, he was determined to help the families of those who lost their lives.
In Washington, Capitals star Alexander Ovechkin had exactly the same thought.
Both Malkin and Ovechkin have played with members of the Lokomotiv team, and knew some of their wives and family members. While both players contacted those they knew to express their sympathies -- "I told them I would be there for them," Malkin said -- they also wanted to do something for all of those involved.
As a result, two of the NHL's biggest rivals, the Capitals and Penguins, will team up Thursday night during their game at Consol Energy Center to raise money for the crash victims' families. The teams will wear commemorative Lokomotiv patches on their jerseys, which will be autographed and auctioned on NHL.com. The auction will run from Oct. 13-27.
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Quote of the Day

I love you. I think we [climbed] as high as we possibly can.

— Sergei Fedorov to former Red Wings teammate Nicklas Lidstrom after each was voted into the Hockey Hall of Fame's Class of 2015 on Monday