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(Page 246 of 274)
NHL Insider

Neuvirth stops the bleeding for slumping Caps

Wednesday, 12.22.2010 / 4:23 PM / NHL Insider

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

WASHINGTON -- Goaltending was not one of the leading reasons for the Washington Capitals' recent eight-game losing streak, but both Michal Neuvirth and Semyon Varlamov struggled at times during the slump.

Considering how fragile the team's collective psyche appeared to be at times during the stretch -- something coach Bruce Boudreau talked about at length -- one more goal allowed Sunday night against the Ottawa Senators might have been a disaster.

Instead the Capitals were able to maintain a one-goal lead for the final 33 minutes and scratch out a 3-2 victory against the Senators to end nearly three weeks of torment. Neuvirth, who made 17 saves in the final two periods and helped the Capitals kill off three third-period power plays for Ottawa, proved to be the guy in net who was able to help end the slide.

Playoff loss to Blackhawks sticks with Predators

Wednesday, 12.22.2010 / 3:41 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Some might think enough time has passed for the Nashville Predators to finally let go of their first-round loss to the Chicago Blackhawks last season.
Evidently, that's not the case.
In fact, listening to Nashville forward Steve Sullivan talk on Wednesday, it might take a lot longer for the Predators to forgive and forget what happened in that series -- including a gut-wrenching, shocking overtime loss in Game 5.
"There's a lot of factors that go into it," Sullivan said, hours before the Preds tried to beat Chicago for a third time this season tonight at the United Center. "But let's not forget the playoffs are not that far removed and it hurt. You don't forget about something like that very quickly. It's still something that everyone thinks about every time we see these guys. That's definitely in the back of our minds for sure."


First goal on Brodeur puts Gordon in exclusive club

Wednesday, 12.22.2010 / 2:51 PM / NHL Insider

Dave Lozo - Staff Writer

Now in his 18th NHL season, Martin Brodeur has allowed 2,401 goals, making it impossible for him to remember all of them.

Forty-seven of those goals, however, will forever leave a memory burned into the minds of the players who scored them. That's because only 47 players -- including Washington Capitals rookie Andrew Gordon on Tuesday -- can say they scored their first NHL goal against arguably the greatest goaltender in NHL history.

"I got more messages about that than about scoring in general," Gordon told NHL Live! on Wednesday. "Everyone's so surprised that I beat Marty more than the fact that I scored in general. I'll take it."


Bailey's back with Islanders -- and staying put

Wednesday, 12.22.2010 / 1:07 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Compton - Deputy Managing Editor

Some players would sulk after being demoted to the American Hockey League. Josh Bailey, however, did not.
And now, he's back for good.
The New York Islanders recalled their first-round pick from the 2008 Entry Draft on Wednesday morning after watching Bailey tally 17 points (6 goals, 11 assists) in 11 games with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Bailey will be in the lineup Wednesday night when the Isles host the Tampa Bay Lightning at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.


Hawks surprise Marine's family

Tuesday, 12.21.2010 / 8:44 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO -- The bank of television cameras in the back of the Chicago Blackhawks locker room had to be a dead giveaway that something was up.
The Blackhawks had told the Handley family of Aurora, Ill., they were being granted an all-access tour of the Hawks' practice facility on Tuesday because their son, U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. George Handley, wouldn't be home for Christmas.
What they didn't know was that he was already home, courtesy of the Blackhawks -- who with help from the Illinois USO arranged for a surprise reunion with his family on Tuesday at Johnny's Ice House West after practice.
Unbeknownst to the Handleys, who thought George was still in Okinawa, Japan, George was hidden away in a back room. After being led into the Hawks' locker room by captain Jonathan Toews and forward Patrick Kane, the Handleys saw the large media contingent -- which probably gave something away. 

Hawks hope to return to full health after holiday

Tuesday, 12.21.2010 / 4:03 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Slowly but surely, the Chicago Blackhawks are getting their injured players back on the ice.
The only one who didn't skate during Tuesday's practice was forward Patrick Kane, who seemed to aggravate his lower-body injury this past weekend during a practice. Otherwise, forwards Marian Hossa (lower body) and Viktor Stalberg (upper body) both went through a full practice session -- which was held in front of fans at Johnny's Ice House West.
Hossa also skated for about 30 minutes after the regular practice session concluded, but neither he nor Kane will play on Wednesday night at home against the Nashville Predators. Stalberg might return, but Hawks coach Joel Quenneville will make the final call after Wednesday's morning skate.

Getting a win helps Hannan settle in with Caps

Tuesday, 12.21.2010 / 2:14 PM / NHL Insider

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

WASHINGTON -- This has been a long month for all of the Washington Capitals, but probably more so for Scott Hannan than any of his new teammates.

Hannan waived a no-trade clause to join Washington on the final day of November and watched his new team defeat the St. Louis Blues the next day. After that, Hannan was inserted into the lineup at quite the unfortunate time – the onset of an eight-game losing streak.

Now the Capitals have won a game with Hannan -- a 3-2 victory Sunday in Ottawa -- and he is nearing the end of sorting out everything away from the rink as well. Normalcy is rapidly approaching, and he can't wait.

Habs' commitment to 'D' key to their success

Tuesday, 12.21.2010 / 9:55 AM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

As the Montreal Canadiens made their way to the Eastern Conference Final last spring and began this season as one of the League's top teams, the players often have mentioned the system of coach Jacques Martin as a reason for that success.

Critics, however, preferred to pin all the credit on the goalies playing behind that system -- Jaroslav Halak last spring, and Carey Price this season.

Well, those critics will be pleased to know that they are right -- at least partially.

"The goalie stops the puck," defenseman Jaroslav Spacek told when asked to provide the philosophical basis of Martin's defensive scheme. "That's one of the most important things. If he doesn't stop the puck, then you can play any defense you want and it won't matter."


Around the East: Hannan enjoying spotlight

Monday, 12.20.2010 / 10:38 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

Little did Scott Hannan realize what he was walking into when he was traded from Colorado to Washington.

Hello spotlight. Hello microscope.

"The west coast seems to have a smaller following in terms of media, and to get here and have '24/7' come through, it is a little bit different," said Hannan, who became a Capital on Nov. 30. "The '24/7' thing was definitely not something you're used to as far as cameras in the room, in meetings, wherever. It's been different, but at the same time it's good, it's exciting."

Hannan's timing couldn't have been any better, or any worse.

The defenseman arrived in D.C. just in time for the Capitals to start an eight-game winless streak that finally ended Sunday in Ottawa. He also arrived in D.C. just in time for HBO's camera crews to begin capturing the Capitals in their daily lives as a lead-up to the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.

Capitals' spirits lifted after snapping lengthy skid

Monday, 12.20.2010 / 4:33 PM / NHL Insider

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

WASHINGTON -- Members of the Washington Capitals woke up Monday morning and were reminded how much fun it is to go to work the day after winning a hockey game.

It had been too long for the Capitals -- 19 days, to be exact -- since they defeated St. Louis to push their record to 18-6-2. Eight losses later, Washington had fallen from the top not only of the NHL standings, but the Eastern Conference and Southeast Division, as well.

A 3-2 victory in Ottawa has the team at least temporarily back in front of a crowded Southeast, but more importantly could help propel the Capitals back toward their typical level of play.

"You see the coaches walking around and George (McPhee, GM) walking around and you can look them in the eye and think, 'Yeah, we won and we battled hard,' instead of just putting your head down and feeling shame," defenseman Karl Alzner said. "We've tried our best but we've had some bad results. It was really tough to handle."

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Quote of the Day

I didn't even know how to celebrate. I threw my hands up, they gave me a hug, so I guess that's all I needed.

— Sabres forward Tim Schaller on scoring his first NHL goal Sunday against the Bruins