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Panthers' Luongo skates, aiming for Thursday return

Monday, 03.09.2015 / 3:08 PM / News

NHL.com

Florida Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo was on the ice Monday for the first time since he injured his shoulder during a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on March 3, according to the Miami Herald.

Luongo worked with goalie coach Robb Tallas and left before the Panthers came out to practice, leaving the nets to Dan Ellis and Sam Brittain. But the hope is Luongo can return Thursday against the Winnipeg Jets.

"It's no more than day-to-day," Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said, according to the Herald."[Thursday] is the goal and the hope but we'll see how he gets along."

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Maple Leafs' Polak to miss remainder of season

Monday, 03.09.2015 / 3:02 PM / News

TorontoMapleLeafs.com

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced today that defenceman Roman Polak will undergo season-ending hernia surgery. Polak had registered nine points in 56 games with Toronto this season. As a result, the club has recalled defenceman Petter Granberg from the Toronto Marlies (AHL) on an emergency basis.

Granberg, 22, has been held pointless in six games with the Maple Leafs this season. The Gallivare, Sweden native has also played 35 regular season games with the Toronto Marlies, collecting 12 points (one goal, 11 assists) and 20 penalty minutes.

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Fantasy All-Access: Playoffs just around the corner

NHL.com

Every Monday NHL.com contributor Matt Sitkoff identifies waiver wire pickups, roster trends, schedule notes and a prospect to watch in fantasy hockey.

There is about a month left in the NHL season, meaning the fantasy playoffs are coming up fast in head-to-head leagues.

The Nashville Predators have hit a rough patch, so fantasy owners should be aware of potential buy-low candidates. They have lost six straight games; during that streak captain Shea Weber has one goal and a minus-9 rating. Rookie Filip Forsberg has one assist in his past six games and James Neal and Seth Jones (24 percent owned in Yahoo) each have been held without a point during the losing streak. Colin Wilson (38 percent) is also mired in a deep slump.

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Hudler, Varlamov and Talbot named stars of week

Monday, 03.09.2015 / 12:00 PM / News

NHL Public Relations

NEW YORKCalgary Flames center Jiri Hudler, Colorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov and New York Rangers goaltender Cam Talbot have been named the NHL's "Three Stars" for the week ending March 8.

FIRST STAR – JIRI HUDLER, C, CALGARY FLAMES

Hudler paced the NHL with eight points and shared the League lead with four goals to help the Flames (36-25-5, 77 points) earn seven out of a possible eight standings points. He opened the week with 1-1—2, including the winning goal at 1:23 of overtime, in a 3-2 triumph over the Philadelphia Flyers March 3. Hudler followed that performance with 1-1—2 in a 4-3 shootout win over the Boston Bruins March 5. He then recorded 2-0—2, including the game-winning goal, in a 5-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings March 6. Hudler closed the week with a pair of assists in a 5-4 shootout loss to the Ottawa Senators March 8. The 31-year-old Olomouc, Czech Republic, native has posted multiple points in four consecutive games for the first time in his career. He leads the Flames with 23-33—56 in 63 outings this season, including four game-winning goals (tied for second on the team).

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Around the League notebook for Sunday, March 8

Sunday, 03.08.2015 / 11:17 PM / News

NHL Public Relations

1995 DEVILS TEAM HONORED THROUGHOUT THE WEEKEND

The New Jersey Devils celebrated the 20th Anniversary of their 1995 Stanley Cup Championship. More than 20 players and coaches reunited during two days of festivities from March 7-8. The celebration began Saturday at AmeriHealth Pavilion with an alumni charity game featuring the stars of the 1995 Stanley Cup Championship. Members of the Devils' first Stanley Cup team were also honored in a pre-game ceremony prior to the game at Prudential Center on Sunday.

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Sharks forward Pavelski leads by example, with words

Sunday, 03.08.2015 / 11:01 PM / NHL Insider

Eric Gilmore - NHL.com Correspondent

SAN JOSE -- Joe Pavelski emerged as the San Jose Sharks' biggest offensive weapon last season when he led them and set career highs with 41 goals and 79 points.

Pavelski is leading by example again this season. His 32 goals and 61 points lead the Sharks, and he's also become their strongest voice in the locker room as one of four alternate captains along with Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Marc-Edouard Vlasic.

Coach Todd McLellan said Pavelski, 30 and in his ninth NHL season, all with San Jose, has embraced his leadership role.

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Penguins prospect Murray sets AHL shutout record

Sunday, 03.08.2015 / 5:40 PM / News

NHL.com Staff

Pittsburgh Penguins goalie prospect Matthew Murray set an American Hockey League record by extending his shutout streak to 304 minutes and 11 seconds in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins' 4-1 win against the Springfield Falcons on Sunday.

Murray, who made 32 saves, was 1:11 away from what would have been his 10th shutout of the season and fifth in a row when Springfield left wing Dana Tyrell scored in the third period.

Murray broke the record for longest shutout streak of 268:17, set by Barry Brust of the Abbotsford Heat in 2012. He earned his fourth consecutive shutout in a 3-0 victory against the Manchester Monarchs on Saturday.

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Blackhawks' Kane optimistic as injury rehab continues

Sunday, 03.08.2015 / 2:35 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO – Forward Patrick Kane is back in the gym, keeping his legs strong, but there's no change in his estimated recovery time for a fractured left clavicle.

Following surgery Feb. 28 to repair the fracture, the Chicago Blackhawks announced Kane was expected to miss 12 weeks. If that timetable stays true, Kane won't be able to play until late May, which will be during the Western Conference Final, if Chicago makes it that far in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"The timetable is still the same," Kane said Sunday after the Blackhawks held an optional morning skate prior to playing the New York Rangers at United Center. "Whatever the doctor said, we're still on that pace. For me right now, I'm just trying to work as hard as I can to get as healthy as possible. Whatever the doctors say and whatever they tell me, I'm ready. I'll be ready to play."

Kane was tied for the NHL lead with 64 points at the time of the injury, which occurred Feb. 24 in the first period of a game against the Florida Panthers. A crosscheck by Panthers defenseman Alex Petrovic caused him to lose his balance and he crashed hard into the side boards in the offensive zone. His left shoulder absorbed the impact.

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Maple Leafs send Kadri home, shut down Robidas

Sunday, 03.08.2015 / 1:40 PM / News

NHL.com

It was a busy day Sunday when the Toronto Maple Leafs convened for practice a day after a 6-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues at Air Canada Centre.

Forward Nazem Kadri missed practice after being sent home by interim coach Peter Horachek for being late, according to various reports. Kadri showed up at the Maple Leafs' training facility, but not on time. Horachek told him to leave for being late and not prepared for the practice.

"He missed a meeting, so I sent him home," Horachek said, according to the Toronto Sun. "He showed up, but not when I was doing it."

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Around the League notebook for Saturday, March 7

Sunday, 03.08.2015 / 10:40 AM / News

NHL.com

PRICE, CANADIENS INCH CLOSER TO LEAGUE LEAD

Carey Price denied all 29 shots he faced for his 32nd career shutout to help the Montreal Canadiens end a three-game skid and close their road trip with a 1-2-1 record.

* The Canadiens (42-18-6, 90 points) leapfrogged the Nashville Predators (41-18-7, 89 points) – who lost in regulation – for second place in the NHL and moved within one point of the idle Anaheim Ducks (42-18-7, 91 points) for top spot. Only six points separate the League's top eight teams.

* Price earned his seventh shutout and 37th win of the season, one shy of his career-high in both categories (2010-11). He leads the NHL in wins, goals-against average (1.89) and save percentage (.936) and is tied for second in shutouts, two behind Marc-Andre Fleury (Pittsburgh Penguins).

* Lars Eller opened the scoring with his 10th goal of the season. His six game-winners are a career high and two shy of his career total before this season (286 GP).

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Quote of the Day

That's a really tough thing to play through; when you finally are thrown out there, the game is fast, intense, every single play matters, you've got to find a way to play through that and make smart plays. So it's a huge testament to [Vermette] and some other individuals in our locker room that are putting their own ego, their own wants and needs aside, and are ready for those opportunities when they do come.

— Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews on teammate Antoine Vermette, who returned from being a healthy scratch in Game 3 to score the double-overtime winner in Game 4