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Rangers' Lundqvist to return 'when the time is right'

Wednesday, 03.18.2015 / 7:56 PM / News

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist doesn't have a specific date when he might return to the lineup, but he's eager to resume his familiar role.

Lundqvist spoke to the media at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday for the first time since the Rangers announced Tuesday he was cleared by doctors to begin practicing.

"Hockey is such a big part of my life, and when you miss if for that long you feel a little off," Lundqvist said. "Physically I feel great, so now it's about getting out there and getting the timing right, getting comfortable in practice and game situations.

"When you're out this long, you start missing everything about the game. You miss coming to games and the pressure of the games; it made me appreciate the game even more."

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Red Wings' Datsyuk to miss at least two games

Wednesday, 03.18.2015 / 7:38 PM / News

NHL.com

Detroit Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk will miss at least the next two games with a lower-body injury, coach Mike Babcock said Wednesday.

"Not making the trip," Babcock told the Red Wings website. "He's got a lower-body ache."

Datsyuk has 23 goals and 58 points in 57 games this season. The 36-year-old missed the first five games of the regular season with a shoulder injury, and six of eight games with a sore hip in November.

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Bruins' Krejci 'back pretty soon'; Rask practices

Wednesday, 03.18.2015 / 7:06 PM / News

NHL.com

Boston Bruins forward David Krejci and goalie Tuukka Rask were at practice Wednesday.

Krejci has been out since sustaining a knee injury on Feb. 20 and has missed 12 games. It was the second time he skated with teammates since the injury.

"I feel pretty comfortable that I will be back pretty soon and I can play a bunch of games," Krejci told the Bruins website. "That should be enough to get myself ready for the [Stanley Cup Playoffs]. Once I am 100 percent, I will be back."

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Penguins forward Malkin out two more games

Wednesday, 03.18.2015 / 6:58 PM / News

Evgeni Malkin will not join the Pittsburgh Penguins on their road trip, meaning the forward will be out at least until Tuesday.

"He'll meet us when we get back [to Pittsburgh]," coach Mike Johnston told the Penguins website Wednesday. "We'll get a skate with him and see where he's at. It sounds like things are progressing quite well, but he won't join us on the trip."

Malkin has missed two games with a lower-body injury he sustained in the first period of a 2-0 loss to the Boston Bruins on March 14.

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Red Wings assign defenseman Marchenko to AHL

Wednesday, 03.18.2015 / 3:54 PM / News

DetroitRedWings.com

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today assigned defenseman Alexey Marchenko to the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins.

Marchenko, 23, has skated in 12 games with the Red Wings this season, totaling two points (1-1-2), including his first NHL goal on Feb. 28 at Nashville. The Moscow, Russia, native has also appeared in 41 games for Grand Rapids this season, contributing 17 points (2-15-17) and a plus-15 rating which ranked first on the club at the time of his recall. Marchenko, who made his NHL debut for Detroit during the 2013-14 campaign, is in his second season in North America, totaling 35 points (5-30-35) and a plus-26 rating in 91 games with the Griffins since 2013-14. Prior to signing with the Red Wings, the former seventh-round pick (205th overall) of Detroit in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft spent parts of four seasons with CSKA Moscow in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League from 2009-13, picking up 11 points (4-7-11) in 82 games.

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2015 Traverse City Tournament announced

Blackhawks added to eight-team pool for annual tournament at Centre ICE Arena

Wednesday, 03.18.2015 / 2:25 PM / News

DetroitRedWings.com

DETROIT – Detroit Red Wings Executive Vice President and General Manager Ken Holland today announced that the Red Wings will host their annual NHL Prospect Tournament at Centre ICE Arena in Traverse City, Mich., from Sept. 11-15, 2015. The Chicago Blackhawks have been added to the eight-team tournament this fall, joining the Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers, St. Louis Blues and Red Wings.

This marks the 17th season that Traverse City will host the tournament, boasting nearly 500 players who have skated in at least one NHL game. Twenty-four players who participated in the tournament in September 2014 have made at least one appearance in the NHL this season, while 16 prospects from the Red Wings’ last three tournament rosters have played in at least one NHL game, including current roster players Joakim Andersson, Tomas Jurco, Alexey Marchenko, Petr Mrazek, Gustav Nyquist, Teemu Pulkkinen, Riley Sheahan and Brendan Smith. The Columbus Blue Jackets were tournament champions in 2014, winning the title for the third time in their history.

The tournament divides the eight-team field into two four-team divisions. Teams will play each team in their division during the round robin before a crossover on the final day of the tournament, capped off with the first-place finishers in each division meeting for the championship on Tuesday, Sept. 15. A complete tournament schedule and rosters for each team will be released at a later date.

To read more from the Detroit Red Wings website, CLICK HERE.

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NHL, union reps discuss change to overtime format

Wednesday, 03.18.2015 / 2:18 PM / News

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- NHL general managers spent a portion of the last day of their meetings Wednesday outlining their proposals for 3-on-3 regular-season overtime and expanded video review to members of the executive staff of the NHL Players' Association.

The GMs agreed Tuesday that they would recommend going to a 3-on-3 format as part of regular-season overtime for the 2015-16 season as a way to cut down on the number of games that extend to a shootout. The rate of overtime games that reach the shootout this season is about 60 percent.

The GMs also agreed they will recommend the addition of a limited video-replay challenge, which will be used by a coach, for scoring plays involving the potential presence of goaltender interference, and to remove delay-of-game penalties assessed for a player shooting the puck directly out of play over the glass from the defensive zone.

The recommendations can't become official rule changes until they are passed by the NHL-NHLPA Competition Committee, the NHLPA Executive Board, and the NHL Board of Governors. Each of those groups are scheduled to meet in June.

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GMs propose new faceoff rule to increase offense

Wednesday, 03.18.2015 / 1:23 PM / News

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- A recommendation to change the rules governing faceoffs to create a better opportunity for increased puck-possession time, which could lead to more goals, was made Wednesday by NHL general managers on the final day of their annual March meeting here.

The GMs will recommend to the NHL-NHLPA Competition Committee that the player who is on the defensive side of the red line must be the first to place his stick on the ice before the puck is dropped. In doing so, that player is at a slight disadvantage to the attacking player, who can put his stick down second.

The current rule (76.4) requires the player on the visiting team to put his stick down first in all zones, including at the center-ice faceoff dot. The visiting player still would be required to put his stick down first on faceoffs taken at center ice, according to the recommendation. But in all other faceoffs the player closest to his own goalie would have to declare first.

The rule change can't become official unless it passes through the Competition Committee and the NHL Players’ Association Executive Board, and is ratified by NHL Board of Governors. The Competition Committee, NHLPA Executive Board and the Board of Governors each meet in June.

"As a former centerman you always feel you have a little more of an advantage if you can get in there second," Colorado Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic said. "To try and help the offense, why not try it? I think it's a good idea."

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Kadri suspended four games for illegal check

Wednesday, 03.18.2015 / 12:54 PM / Department of Player Safety News

NHL.com

NEW YORKToronto Maple Leafs forward Nazem Kadri has been suspended for four games, without pay, for an illegal check to the head against Edmonton Oilers forward Matt Fraser during NHL Game No. 1039 in Edmonton on Monday, March 16, the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety announced today.

The incident occurred at 10:58 of the third period. Kadri was assessed a minor penalty for illegal check to the head.

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Fantasy top 60 'D': Zidlicky on fire for Red Wings

Wednesday, 03.18.2015 / 12:10 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Brian Metzer - NHL.com Correspondent

Every Wednesday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey correspondent Brian Metzer will provide you with in-depth defensemen analysis. From updated weekly top 60 rankings to trending players and more, Metzer will be your go-to guy for fantasy blue line advice all season long.

The Detroit Red Wings had been in the market for a right-handed shooting defenseman dating back to last season. It was a hot topic as the team was breaking down and cleaning their lockers out after being eliminated by the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"Right-shot defensemen are at a premium in the League, and I mean ones that can play on the point on the power play and get points," general manager Ken Holland told Ansar Khan of MLive.com at the time.

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Quote of the Day

For six months, it's a really good accomplishment. But as soon as April [11, the end of the regular season] comes around, no one thinks about the regular season anymore. For six months, it's a real battle to get into the playoffs in the NHL these days. There are a lot of good teams, and it takes consistency over a long time.

— Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau on clinching a playoff berth after a win against the Islanders on Saturday
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