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(Page 236 of 269)
NHL Insider

Goal-strapped Caps face test in East-leading Flyers

Tuesday, 01.18.2011 / 2:49 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- Alex Ovechkin called it "a huge test for us," and Nicklas Backstrom nodded his head in agreement when asked if Tuesday night's game against the Eastern Conference-leading Philadelphia Flyers is a statement game for the Washington Capitals.

"We had a good challenge against Vancouver Friday night and this is another big game," Backstrom told Tuesday morning. "We're playing a great team tonight and we have to be on top of our game to get two points."

He's right, but it's safe to say that the Capitals can't be on the top of their game until Ovechkin and Backstrom start scoring.

Ovechkin has 5 goals in the last 20 games and a pedestrian (by his standards) 15 in 46 games this season. Backstrom has been even quieter with no goals in the last 20 games and just 11 in the same 46 games this season.


Oilers hope to end power outage on man advantage

Tuesday, 01.18.2011 / 2:28 PM / NHL Insider

Robin Brownlee - Correspondent

EDMONTON -- The Edmonton Oilers will try to snap a franchise record of 11 straight games without a power-play goal when they open a three-game homestand against the Minnesota Wild tonight.

Scoreless in five attempts in a 3-2 loss to Anaheim Sunday, the Oilers face the Wild without a power-play goal in their last 38 attempts dating back to Dec. 23 -- a stretch that has seen them slip to 29th in power-play production at 12.7 percent.

"If we want to win some games we have to get better on the power play," forward Ales Hemsky said. "We have to get more shots, more traffic and just play harder. It's not two minutes' rest. We have to work harder for the goals."

The plummet in the rankings has coincided with the loss of defenseman Ryan Whitney, who led the Oilers in scoring with 27 points when he suffered a right ankle injury against Buffalo on Dec. 28.


Pronger out Tuesday, but nearing return

Tuesday, 01.18.2011 / 2:09 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- Chris Pronger was the first of the Flyers on the ice Tuesday morning. The towering defenseman sported a big smile and shortly into the quick pre-game workout you could tell that his surgically repaired right foot doesn't seem to be bothering him one bit.

Pronger will miss his 13th straight game Tuesday night since breaking his foot Dec. 15 at Montreal, but chances are he could be back in the lineup Thursday when the Flyers host Ottawa.

"I've got a doctor's appointment (Wednesday) and we'll see what happens," Pronger said. "You can go play a game whenever. Is it medically right to go do that? Am I going to risk hurting it if I do that? Maybe. I don't know. That's why we have doctors and we follow their protocol."

The Flyers have gone 8-4 without Pronger, who resumed skating last week. They're 9-4-1 without Pronger in the lineup this season.

Around the East: Pens' Staal happy for extra time

Tuesday, 01.18.2011 / 10:43 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

Ready or not, Pittsburgh center Jordan Staal had to start playing his normal 20-22 minutes per game as soon as Sidney Crosby was diagnosed with a concussion.
After taking a couple of games to get his timing back, Staal is not just playing the minutes, he's earning them.
Staal, who missed the first 39 games of the season after foot and hand surgeries, has 2 goals and 3 assists in the last two games. It's not a coincidence that his production has equated to Penguins' victories, their first two with Crosby out of the lineup.
"I've been jumping into 20-minute games, which I obviously love," Staal told on Monday after the team's workout in preparation for Tuesday's game against Detroit. "The more ice time the better. With Sid out, I'm definitely used more on the power play, more offensively. It's tough because you can never replace a player like Sid, but our team, different players have stepped up in the last couple of games."


Devils take it a game at a time

Monday, 01.17.2011 / 8:44 PM / NHL Insider

John Kreiser - Columnist

The New Jersey Devils spent the first half of the season falling into the kind of hole the franchise hasn't seen for two decades. They're going to spend the second half trying to dig their way out.
A 14th consecutive playoff berth may be more than the Devils can manage. For now, they're taking it one game at a time -- and making a little bit of headway.
Monday's 5-2 victory against the New York Islanders was the Devils' third win, along with an overtime loss, in their last four games. Not a huge spurt by any means – but it's their longest unbeaten streak in regulation this season, and a huge improvement after a dreadful first half in which they went 10-29-2, dropping them to the bottom of the overall standings.

Langenbrunner makes 1,000th appearance vs. Kings

Monday, 01.17.2011 / 6:55 PM / NHL Insider

Nearly 18 years after being drafted by the club, Dallas Stars right wing Jamie Langenbrunner will play his 1,000th career NHL game against the Los Angeles Kings at the American Airlines Center on Monday night.

Langenbrunner, 35, has played 435 games for Dallas and 564 games for the New Jersey Devils. Langenbrunner won the Stanley Cup with the Dallas Stars in 1999 and again with the Devils in 2003 after being traded to New Jersey in 2002. He is the 260th player to reach this milestone following San Jose's Patrick Marleau, who played his 1,000th game on Monday afternoon in Phoenix.

The Stars will hold a pre-game ceremony to recognize Jamie prior to the puck drop Monday night.

Flames still believe they can make playoffs

Monday, 01.17.2011 / 5:35 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

MONTREAL – It would be natural for the Calgary Flames to see Monday night's visit to the Montreal Canadiens as another step in what is a long climb up a mountain toward a playoff spot in the Western Conference.

But in fact, the Flames approach this Heritage Classic preview with an eye toward clinching yet another series in what has already been a long playoff run.

Having dug themselves a 14-18-3 hole back on Dec. 21, coach Brent Sutter proposed to his players that they look at the remaining 47 games as a sequence of three-game series.

Flyers spend Saturday in the park

Saturday, 01.15.2011 / 8:49 PM / NHL Insider

It could have been just another off-day practice. Instead, the Philadelphia Flyers made Saturday's workout something special by taking it outdoors.

With the towers of Manhattan in the background, the Flyers stepped on the ice at Lasker Rink in New York's Central Park for a planned-but-unpublicized outdoor workout. Though his team didn't arrive in the Big Apple until the early hours of Saturday morning for Sunday's game against the Rangers, coach Peter Laviolette opted to have his troops take the ice at 1 p.m. for what was, by NHL standards, a casual workout -- sweatpants and shin guards were the order of the day, and the low boards and piles of snow in the background gave a distinctly non-professional look to the whole affair.

Rangers remain steamed over Subban's play

Saturday, 01.15.2011 / 3:42 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

MONTREAL -- As if a game between two Original Six rivals jostling for playoff position needed any added ingredients of intensity, the New York Rangers were still steaming Saturday over a slew foot administered by Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban on Rangers center Brandon Dubinsky four days earlier.

Subban wasn't penalized on the third-period play Tuesday night, and with the Canadiens ultimately winning at Madison Square Garden by a 2-1 score, an added Rangers power play could have had an impact on the game.

Niedermayer passing along his wisdom

Friday, 01.14.2011 / 2:37 PM / NHL Insider

Lindsay Kramer - Correspondent

When Scott Niedermayer first dropped in on the Syracuse Crunch as a guest instructor earlier this season; he improbably lost a shootout drill.

That meant he had to deliver cups of sports drink to the Crunch players in their locker room. The future Hall of Famer served the spoils of victory to prospects so young they have no memory of an NHL without him in it.

"You're just kind of like, wow, how humble a man he is," said Syracuse rookie forward John Mitchell. "It's really surprising."

Earlier this week, Niedermayer was back in town to help the Crunch's blueliners some more. At the end of one practice, Syracuse coach Mark Holick ordered another shootout competition.
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