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Stars defenseman Klingberg receives tasty tribute

Monday, 01.25.2016 / 12:44 PM / News

NHL.com

How good has John Klingberg been for the Dallas Stars?

Good enough to get a hamburger named after him at American Airlines Center.

The Klingburger, named after the Swedish defenseman, features a 1/3-pound beef patty, topped with cheddar cheese, Swedish secret sauce, homemade quick pickles, crisp bacon, shaved red onions and lettuce. It is served on a cheddar-infused ciabatta bun and comes with dill pickle-seasoned fries.

Blue Jackets' Tortorella to miss series vs. Canadiens

Monday, 01.25.2016 / 12:09 PM / News

NHL.com

Coach John Tortorella is expected to miss each game of the Columbus Blue Jackets' home-and-home series against the Montreal Canadiens after he sustained two broken ribs in a fall during an outdoor practice Friday, the Blue Jackets announced.

Associate coach Craig Hartsburg will coach the Blue Jackets when they face the Canadiens on Monday at Nationwide Arena and play them at Bell Centre on Tuesday in the final game for each team before the All-Star break.

Hartsburg coached his first game with the Blue Jackets on Saturday, a 3-2 shootout loss to the Boston Bruins.

Varlamov, Stempniak and Elliott named stars of week

Monday, 01.25.2016 / 12:00 PM / News

NHL Public Relations

NEW YORKColorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov, New Jersey Devils right wing Lee Stempniak and St. Louis Blues goaltender Brian Elliott have been named the NHL's "Three Stars" for the week ending Jan. 24.

FIRST STAR – SEMYON VARLAMOV, G, COLORADO AVALANCHE

Varlamov posted a 4-0-0 record with a 0.99 goals-against average and .972 save percentage to lift the Avalanche (26-21-3, 55 points) into the first Wild Card spot in the Western Conference. He made 30 or more saves in three of his four starts: 36 in a 2-1 triumph over the Winnipeg Jets Jan. 18, 33 in a 2-1 shootout win over the St. Louis Blues Jan. 22 and 42 in a 3-1 victory over the Dallas Stars Jan. 23. Varlamov also turned aside 27 shots in a 2-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres Jan. 20. The 27-year-old Samara, Russia, native owns a 19-12-3 record with a 2.59 goals-against average, .918 save percentage and one shutout in 35 appearances this season. That includes a 13-4-2 clip over his past 19 outings dating to Dec. 7.

All-Star Skills Competition to showcase top talent

Monday, 01.25.2016 / 11:00 AM / 2016 NHL All-Star Weekend

NHL Public Relations

NEW YORK – The National Hockey League today announced the details of the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition and the format of the six events that will showcase hockey's top talent on Saturday, Jan. 30 at 7 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. CT on NBCSN in the U.S. and on CBC, Sportsnet and TVA Sports in Canada.

Fan-elected captains, Jaromir Jagr and Alex Ovechkin for the Eastern Conference, and Patrick Kane and John Scott for the Western Conference, will lead the team selection process to determine which players will participate in the six Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition events. Each of the 44 All-Stars will compete in at least one of the six rounds of skill-based contests.

Fantasy All-Access: All-Star team of unsung heroes

Sean McCullen - NHL.com Staff Writer

Every Monday, NHL.com staff writer Sean McCullen identifies potential waiver-wire pickups and points out lineup moves and schedule impacts for fantasy hockey.

All-Access is about providing information on those NHL players who are available to a majority of fantasy hockey owners. This is not where you click to find breakdowns of Patrick Kane's 26-game point streak or Braden Holtby's brilliance in the first half.

This column is where I point out (sometimes, admittedly, with my fingers crossed) the unsung heroes of the fantasy game, the players who can help give you the edge you need in highly competitive leagues.

Ahead of the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game in Nashville this Sunday, I've put together an All-Access all-star team -- a team of the best players owned in less than 50 percent of Yahoo leagues.

Avalanche look to stay hot; Hamonic boosts Islanders

Monday, 01.25.2016 / 9:24 AM / Weekly Primer

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Semyon Varlamov and the Colorado Avalanche are making a push for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Varlamov has allowed one goal in each of his past four games, all victories. He and the Avalanche will go for their fifth straight win when Colorado visits the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center on Tuesday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN1, SNE, SNO, SNW).

Colorado (26-21-3) enters this week in possession of the first wild card into the playoffs from the Western Conference.

"For me, very important when I see the pucks," Varlamov told the Avalanche website. "I think for every goalie that plays in the NHL, it's really hard to find the puck in this League because the forwards, they all try to screen you. They all do a great job in that. So for me and for my defensemen, we talk about that. If the 'D' is shooting from the blue line, I have to see the puck. We've been working a lot on that, and I think the guys are doing a great job."

Around the League notebook: Sunday, Jan. 24

Monday, 01.25.2016 / 9:00 AM / News

NHL Public Relations

CRAWFORD EARNS NHL-LEADING SEVENTH SHUTOUT

Corey Crawford made 25 saves to earn his League-leading seventh shutout of the season and backstop the Chicago Blackhawks to a 2-0 win against the St. Louis Blues, their seventh straight win at United Center. Per the Elias Sports Bureau, the Blackhawks' seven-game home winning streak is their longest such run since Nov. 9 – Dec. 21, 2014 (8-0-0).

* At 33-15-4 (70 points), the Blackhawks increased their lead over the idle Dallas Stars (30-14-5, 65 points) to five points for first place in the Central Division. The Blackhawks also climbed within three points of the idle Washington Capitals (35-8-3, 73 points) for the top record in the NHL.

* The Blackhawks improved to 21-5-1 in 27 games at United Center and lead the NHL in home wins (21) and points (43).

Capitals' Backstrom ready to take All-Star stage

Monday, 01.25.2016 / 3:00 AM / 2016 NHL All-Star Weekend

Katie Brown - NHL.com Correspondent

The 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game in Nashville on Jan. 31 is less than a week away. In the lead-up to All-Star Weekend at Bridgestone Arena, NHL.com sat down with a host of this season's participants to talk about playing in the game. In this edition, Nicklas Backstrom of the Washington Capitals discusses playing in his first All-Star Game.

1. What does being an All-Star mean to you personally?

I'm excited. I haven’t been to one of those before. It’s going to be fun. I’m bringing my family, so it’s going to be fun.

2. What is your favorite memory for previous All-Star Games?

The only ones I watched was when I was a kid, when Sweden had players like [Peter] Forsberg, [Mats] Sundin, [Nicklas] Lidstrom, all those guys were in it.

Esposito, Orr top all-time 3-on-3 team of 1970s

Monday, 01.25.2016 / 3:00 AM / 2016 NHL All-Star Weekend

John Kreiser - NHL.com Managing Editor

Offense came to the fore in the NHL during the 1970s.

In a decade that saw the League add two teams each in 1970, 1972 and 1974, scoring took center stage. Average goals per game went from slightly less than six at the start of the decade to seven by 1979. Seasons in which top players reached 50 goals and/or 100 points no longer were uncommon.

It was a decade that saw Phil Esposito of the Boston Bruins shatter the single-season marks for goals and points by scoring 76 times and finishing with 152 points in 1970-71. Four years later Esposito's teammate, Bobby Orr, led the NHL in scoring for the second time with 135 points.

Orr perhaps is the most revolutionary player ever in the NHL. Before his arrival defensemen weren't expected to be major offensive contributors. But by the 1970s every team felt it had to have at least one puck-rushing defenseman in order to keep up with the way the game was being played.

"What Bobby did was make coaches think we don't have to stick a guy who can't skate back there and instead say, 'Let's put a guy who can skate and get him on the ice more,'" Hockey Hall of Fame defenseman Brian Leetch told NHL.com in 2013.

With so much offense on display, a 3-on-3 All-Star format at some point during the 1970s would have been a sight to see. Here is NHL.com's attempt at establishing an All-Time 3-on-3 Team of the 1970s.

Hilary Knight leads all-stars of new women's league

Sunday, 01.24.2016 / 8:15 PM / NHL Insider

Joe Yerdon - NHL.com Correspondent

BUFFALO -- Getting a professional league off the ground is difficult, but for the National Women's Hockey League, having a player like Boston Pride forward Hilary Knight has made it a little easier.

Knight joined the NWHL after winning a silver medal with the United States at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Knight being part of the Pride has helped put the spotlight on her team and given the NWHL the star power it needed to attract fans in its first season.

"It's been quite a whirlwind," Knight said Saturday, one day before the first NWHL All-Star Game. "I think I spent the first few months leading into the season trying to grab people to come into the league, and that was really stressful. And once we finally got into the league, we were just figuring out our bearings and how to really calm things down, but also appreciate things at the same time and understand that this is a first for everybody and we really are building the plane as we're taking off, so to speak."

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