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Sharks place Joe Thornton on injured reserve

Sunday, 01.04.2015 / 5:25 PM / News

NHL.com Staff

San Jose Sharks forward Joe Thornton has been placed on injured reserve, the team announced Sunday.

Thornton, who had played in 319 consecutive regular-season games, missed the Sharks game against the St. Louis Blues on Saturday. It was the first game Thornton had sat out since the 2010-11 season.

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Five Blackhawks excited, honored to be all-stars

Sunday, 01.04.2015 / 4:11 PM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Those outside the Chicago Blackhawks' locker room might be rolling their eyes about the outcome of the 2015 NHL All-Star Fan Vote presented by SiriusXM, but those on the inside are all smiles.

The Blackhawks, who took five of the first six spots for the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game in Columbus, are thrilled with the outcome. After top vote-getter Zemgus Girgensons of the Buffalo Sabres, the next five spots were all Chicago players.

"When the balloting started there, we seemed to come out of the gate very strong; picked up some momentum along the way," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. "Good for the guys. Organizationally, it should be proud of the representation we’re going to have at the All-Star Game. It’s one of those days [when] it’s fun for the game [and] fun for the League."

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Oilers send center Draisaitl back to junior hockey

Sunday, 01.04.2015 / 3:01 PM / News

Derek Van Diest - NHL.com Correspondent

EDMONTON -- The Edmonton Oilers on Sunday assigned center Leon Draisaitl to the Canadian Hockey League.

The Prince Albert Raiders of the Western Hockey League currently own Draisaitl's junior rights, but they are expected to trade him to the Kelowna Rockets at the conclusion of the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championships.

Draisaitl, 19, scored two goals and seven assists in 37 games for the Oilers this season. Sending Draisaitl back to junior prior to his 40th NHL game keep him from expending a year toward unrestricted free agency.

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NHL fines Flyers organization for violation of CBA

Sunday, 01.04.2015 / 1:30 PM / News

NHL.com

NEW YORK – The National Hockey League announced today that it has fined the Philadelphia Flyers' organization for the team's travel to Nashville on December 26, 2014. This team activity was in violation of Article 16.5(b) of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NHL and the NHL Players' Association.

The League will have no further comment on the matter.

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Around the League notebook for Saturday, Jan. 3

Sunday, 01.04.2015 / 10:27 AM / News

NHL Public Relations

OFFENSIVE EXPLOSION

A total of 74 goals were scored in the 10 games played Saturday (7.4 goals per game).

* Each game featured at least five goals, including seven in which one team scored at least five consecutive goals (Nashville Predators, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, Winnipeg Jets, Dallas Stars, Arizona Coyotes, St. Louis Blues).

* The highest scoring affair was the Nashville Predators against the Los Angeles Kings, which included four goals in each of the first three periods – highlighted by three Kings scores in the final 2:01 of regulation – and Roman Josi's goal 18 seconds into overtime.

* Thirteen players had at least three points, including three such performances by defensemen, two hat tricks (Jaromir Jagr and TJ Oshie) and four-point games by Coyotes forward Martin Hanzal (1-3—4), Blues forwards Alexander Steen (1-3—4) and Oshie (3-1—4), and defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (1-3—4).

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Rogers Hometown Hockey celebrates Owen Sound

Sunday, 01.04.2015 / 3:00 AM / News

NHL.com

CITY in Canada will televise "Rogers Hometown Hockey" at 6:30 p.m. Sunday prior to the game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Ottawa Senators. The location this week is Owen Sound, Ontario, and the half-hour program will celebrate the city's iconic hockey story.

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Girgensons, five Blackhawks named first 6 All-Stars

Saturday, 01.03.2015 / 6:00 PM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

The Chicago Blackhawks will be prominently represented at the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game, with five of their players revealed Saturday as part of the first six NHL All-Stars.

Buffalo Sabres forward Zemgus Girgensons will join Blackhawks forwards Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, defensemen Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook, and goaltender Corey Crawford at NHL All-Star Weekend, Jan. 24-25 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus.

Girgensons, the Sabres' second-year center, topped all vote-getters with 1,574,896. The 20-year-old has 11 goals and 20 points in 39 games.

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Blackhawks forward Versteeg to miss about a month

Saturday, 01.03.2015 / 2:51 PM / News

Chicago Blackhawks forward Kris Versteeg will be out about a month with an injury, coach Joel Quenneville said Saturday.

Versteeg blocked a shot during third period of the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on Jan. 1 against the Washington Capitals and left the game with an apparent hand injury.

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Lazar's smile, skills has WJC gold in reach for Canada

Saturday, 01.03.2015 / 12:00 PM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Mike Brophy - NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO -- It's a smile that lights up and energizes a nation.

Curtis Lazar's ever-present grin has been the backdrop for a team trying to win Canada's first gold medal at the IIHF World Junior Championship since 2009.

Lazar (Ottawa Senators) is Canada's captain and leader. In a pressure-packed event where the host country is expected to succeed, he has drawn on his experience from a year ago, when Canada finished fourth after losing 2-1 to Russia in the bronze-medal game. That loss came two days after a 5-1 loss to Finland in the semifinal.

He had three goals and seven points in Malmo, Sweden, at the 2014 WJC, but Lazar knew it would be different playing the 2015 WJC in Canada in front of family and friends, not to mention a hockey-mad nation that expects nothing less than gold.

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Sweden, Russia, Canada, Slovakia set for WJC semis

Saturday, 01.03.2015 / 11:28 AM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

TORONTO -- Sweden, Russia, Canada and Slovakia are the final four teams left at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship, and they'll play in the semifinals Sunday at Air Canada Centre.

Sweden, who won the silver medal at the 2014 WJC, plays Russia, the 2014 bronze medalists, in one semifinal; Canada faces Slovakia in the second game.

The survivors will meet in the gold-medal game in Toronto on Monday at 8 p.m. ET. The bronze-medal game is Monday at 4 p.m. ET.

Canada is making its 17th consecutive appearance in the tournament semifinals, Sweden is making its ninth straight appearance and Russia is in the final four for the fifth straight time. Slovakia, which has finished no higher than sixth (2012) the past five years at the WJC, last earned a semifinal berth in 2009.

A new champion is guaranteed this year since Finland, the 2014 gold medalist, lost 6-3 to Sweden on Friday in the quarterfinals. The other quarterfinal games saw Canada beat Denmark 8-0; Russia defeat the United States 3-2; and Slovakia defeat the Czech Republic 3-0.

Here is a closer look at the semifinal games:

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Quote of the Day

I'll be happy, believe me, if we win our last playoff game. Not taking anything away, but we've had a fairly good lead for a while now. It would be more surprising if we didn't get the division. Business as usual.

— Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau after clinching their third straight Pacific Division title