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Craig and crew prepared for outdoors, again

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

WASHINGTON -- No matter how many outdoor rinks Dan Craig builds in venues larger than any NHL arena, and he has built quite a lot of them in the past seven years, he still feels the same level of nervous excitement as the days tick off the calendar, drawing event-day closer.

"It's nerves for accomplishment is what it is," Craig, the NHL's senior director of facilities operations, told on Monday. "It's a game, and that's one of the things I never lose sight of, and within Hockey Operations, within our world, we never lose sight of it. This is a regular-season game and I want the guys to be able to play this as any regular-season game."

Except, and nobody has to tell this to Craig, it's not any regular-season game: It's the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic outside at Nationals Park on New Year's Day (1 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports).


Kings' Voynov pleads not guilty at arraignment

Monday, 12.29.2014 / 2:48 PM / News

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov pleaded not guilty to a felony domestic violence charge Monday at his arraignment hearing at Los Angeles Superior Court in Torrance, Calif.

A pretrial hearing is scheduled for Jan. 28. The jury trial has been set for March 2.

Two weeks ago, at the initial arraignment hearing, Los Angeles Superior Court judge Hector M. Guzman ruled there was enough evidence presented to warrant Voynov to stand trial.

Voynov faces a maximum sentence of nine years in state prison if convicted, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.


Capitals' Barry Trotz still same coach in new city

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

Not long after defenseman Matt Niskanen signed with the Washington Capitals this past summer, he paid a visit to Kettler Capitals Iceplex to get his bearings and have his first in-person player-coach conversation with Barry Trotz.

The differing backgrounds struck Niskanen almost immediately.

"I was in town looking for a place to live and I talked to him, and he was like, 'There is a lot, a lot of media here,'" Niskanen said, laughing. "He was like, 'I mean, A LOT!'"

Niskanen said he didn't laugh out loud because he didn't want to embarrass Trotz.

"But inside I was laughing," he said while laughing outwardly. "I'm talking to him thinking there were times in Pittsburgh when Sid [Crosby] was making a comeback and I couldn't even get to my stall, and I was on the other side of the room."


Oilers claim Fraser off waivers from Bruins

Monday, 12.29.2014 / 12:16 PM / News

The Edmonton Oilers announced today they have claimed winger Matt Fraser off waivers from the Boston Bruins and have placed forward Steve Pinizzotto on waivers.

Fraser, 24, has registered three goals and seven penalty minutes in 24 games with the Boston Bruins this season.


Gaudreau, Wilson, Gagner named 'Three Stars'

Monday, 12.29.2014 / 12:00 PM / News

NEW YORKCalgary Flames left wing Johnny Gaudreau, Nashville Predators center Colin Wilson and Arizona Coyotes center Sam Gagner have been named the NHL's "Three Stars" for the week ending Dec. 28.


Gaudreau led the NHL with five goals (5-0—5) and shared the League lead with a +5 rating to power the Flames (19-15-3, 41 points) to a pair of wins. He opened the week by recording a natural hat trick, his first career three-goal game, in a 4-3 come-from-behind victory over the Los Angeles Kings Dec. 22. At 21 years, 131 days, he became the youngest Flames player to post a hat trick since Dec. 28, 1987 (Joe Nieuwendyk). Gaudreau then added two goals, including the game-winning marker, in a 4-1 triumph over the Edmonton Oilers Dec. 27. The 21-year-old Salem, N.J., native and reigning Hobey Baker Memorial Award winner ranks second among rookies in goals (12), assists (17) and points (29) in 36 games this season. A fourth-round selection (104th overall) by the Flames in the 2011 NHL Draft, Gaudreau made his NHL debut on April 13 in Vancouver, scoring his first goal on his first career shot.


Remembering NHL family members lost in 2014

Monday, 12.29.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

John Kreiser - Managing Editor

The end of another year offers the chance to reflect on the previous 12 months.

For all of the tremendous accomplishments that took place this past year, 2014 was also defined by those we lost – among them a true hockey icon and three other Hockey Hall of Fame members.

Here's a look at some of those in the hockey world who left us during the past year:


Larkin, Matthews lead U.S. past Germany at WJC

Monday, 12.29.2014 / 12:26 AM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Sean Farrell - Correspondent

MONTREAL -- Jack Eichel and the United States served notice Sunday that they are a force to be reckoned with at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Eichel, who is a top-two prospect for the 2015 NHL Draft, scored his first goal on a wraparound in the third, and Dylan Larkin had two goals and an assist to lead the U.S. to a 6-0 win against Germany at Bell Centre on Sunday.

Auston Matthews, Hudson Fasching and Sonny Milano also scored for the U.S., which remained undefeated at 1-1-0-0. Brandon Halverson (New York Rangers) made 14 saves.

The U.S. dominated play throughout the game, outshooting Germany 53-14, including a 22-5 advantage in the first period. Ilja Sharipov made 47 saves for Germany (0-0-0-2), which lost 4-0 against Canada on Saturday, and was named Germany's player of the game.


Around the League notebook for Sunday, Dec. 28

Sunday, 12.28.2014 / 11:47 PM / News

NHL Public Relations


After falling behind 4-2 during a six-goal second-period, the Florida Panthers scored four unanswered goals in the final period, including Brad Boyes’ game-winner with 3:15 remaining, to win their fourth consecutive home game and improve to 6-0-1 in their past seven at BB&T Center.

* The Panthers (16-9-8, 40 points) have reached 40 points through 33 games for the fifth time in franchise history (1995-96: 48 pts.; 1996-97: 45 pts.; 1999-2000: 43 pts.; 2011-12: 42 pts.); they are fifth in the Atlantic Division and sit two points behind the Washington Capitals (18-11-6, 42 points) for the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference.


Russia tops Switzerland to remain unbeaten at WJC

Sunday, 12.28.2014 / 8:55 PM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Goaltender Igor Shestyorkin made 32 saves to help Russia to a 7-0 shutout win against Switzerland at Air Canada Centre in Toronto on Sunday in a preliminary-round game of the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Russia (1-1-0-0) moved into second place with five points in Group B and trails Sweden by one point. Switzerland (1-0-0-1) dropped to third place in the group.

Shestyorkin (New York Rangers) was impressive in his first start of the tournament, holding his ground when Russia was outshot 14-4 in the second period.

Russian forward Pavel Buchnevich (Rangers) had one goal and two assists. Forwards Ivan Barbashev (St. Louis Blues) and Vladislav Kamenev (Nashville Predators) each had two points.

"It was a pretty tough game for us," Barbashev said, according to the IIHF website. "In the first period, we played really well. In the second period, we let up and took too many penalties, but we did a good job on penalty-killing. In the third, we played like in the first."


Domi using childhood advice for Canada at WJC

Sunday, 12.28.2014 / 4:48 PM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Sean Farrell - Correspondent

MONTREAL -- Max Domi is putting into practice for Canada at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship advice he got as a youngster from family friends Mario Lemieux and Mats Sundin to shoot the puck whenever the opportunity is there.

Domi (Arizona Coyotes), the son of Tie Domi, scored for a second straight game at Bell Centre on Saturday and Canada recorded its second shutout win in two days with a 4-0 victory against Germany.

There really wasn't any question about him shooting when he put Canada up by three at 9:14 of the third period; the 19-year-old forward joyfully stuck out his tongue to celebrate after he scored on a back-door tap in off a no-look backhand pass from Sam Reinhart (Buffalo Sabres).

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Quote of the Day

Hockey means everything to people here [Winnipeg]. They take their team's success to heart. We've had an incredible year and they've given us incredible support.

— Jets center Mathieu Perreault after losing to the Ducks in Game 3 of their playoff series on Monday