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Penguins' Crosby in elite company through 600 games

Thursday, 02.12.2015 / 12:18 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby is in Hall of Fame company 600 games into his NHL career. Though that isn't necessarily surprising considering what he's done and what he's won, there is statistical data to back it up for anybody who might for some reason disagree.

Crosby has the ninth-highest point total (825) through a player's first 600 games in NHL history. The eight players ahead of Crosby on the list are in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Crosby is five points away from being tied for seventh.

The players ahead of him are: Wayne Gretzky (1,451 points through 600 games), Mario Lemieux (1,215), Mike Bossy (921), Peter Stastny (901), Bobby Orr (864), Jari Kurri (848), Bryan Trottier (830), and Denis Savard (827).

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Stars' Roussel banned two games for cross-checking

Thursday, 02.12.2015 / 12:00 PM / Department of Player Safety News

NHL.com

NEW YORKDallas Stars forward Antoine Roussel has been suspended for two games, without pay, for cross-checking Boston Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid during NHL Game No. 797 in Boston on Tuesday, February 10, the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety announced today.

The incident occurred at 3:43 of the first period. Roussel was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct for cross-checking.

Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and based on his average annual salary, Roussel will forfeit $21,505.38. The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

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Fantasy top 30 goalies: Dubnyk thriving with Wild

Thursday, 02.12.2015 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Evan Sporer - NHL.com Staff Writer

Every Thursday during the season, NHL.com's Evan Sporer will provide you with in-depth analysis of goaltenders. From updated weekly top 30 rankings to trending players and more, Sporer will be your go-to guy for advice on fantasy goalies all season long.

Devan Dubnyk isn't the hero many in Minnesota expected, but he's certainly performed the role of hero quite well.

Or maybe the Minnesota Wild saved Dubnyk. How one defines the situation is a matter of semantics, but one thing that's not up for debate is Dubnyk's resurgence in Minnesota and how much he's been able to help the Wild in such a short period of time.

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Top performer: Predators' Neal delivers in overtime

Thursday, 02.12.2015 / 12:00 PM / Top Performer

NHL.com

A clutch shot from forward James Neal helped the Nashville Predators widen their lead in the race for the Presidents' Trophy, awarded to the top regular-season team in the NHL.

Neal came up big on Tuesday at Bridgestone Arena when he scored with 33 seconds remaining in overtime to give the Predators a 3-2 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Following a turnover near center ice, Nashville defenseman Roman Josi found Neal breaking toward the Lightning net. Neal skated past Tampa Bay defenseman Victor Hedman and beat goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy through the five-hole with a wrist shot from the left circle.

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Unmasked: Jets tandem allows time to improve

Thursday, 02.12.2015 / 3:00 AM / Unmasked

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

When it comes to the Winnipeg Jets' goaltending situation, it isn't hard to find people clamoring for rookie Michael Hutchinson to be named the unquestioned No. 1 ahead of incumbent Ondrej Pavelec.

Even a casual glance at their numbers this season shows why: Hutchinson has more wins (15-7-3) than Pavelec (13-11-7) in eight fewer starts, and even though a three-game skid after the All-Star break stopped Hutchinson from leading the NHL in save percentage, he has a distinct edge over Pavelec (.925 to .911).

That may lead to an increased workload for Hutchinson down the stretch as the Jets try to secure their first Stanley Cup Playoff berth since moving back to Winnipeg. But Hutchinson's recent blip starting three straight games for the second time this season isn't the only reason the Jets are happy to have options in goal.

In addition to easing Hutchinson into any expanded role without sacrificing important goalie-specific development time, the split allows Pavelec to continue modernizing and modifying a technical approach that seemed neglected during his first four NHL seasons with the Atlanta Thrashers.

"The beauty of what we have is the opportunity to balance the two goalies," Jets goaltending coach Wade Flaherty told NHL.com. "It gives me time to work with [Pavelec]. We never had the opportunity to do this in-season before because he was playing 65 games a year."

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T. Fleury rocks Halifax for Hockey Day in Canada

Thursday, 02.12.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Six years ago, former NHL star Theo Fleury phoned a friend in Winnipeg who he thought could help him cross an item off his bucket list. What he thought at the time might have been a reach has turned into a new chapter and career for one of the most interesting people in hockey.

Fleury, an Olympic gold medal winner, Stanley Cup champion and best-selling author, is now a budding country music star who is planning to release his first still untitled album with his band, The Death Valley Rebels, in May.

Theo Fleury and The Death Valley Rebels were part of the show in the Scotiabank Stolen From a Hockey Card concert at Spatz Theatre in Halifax, Nova Scotia on Thursday. The event was part of the Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada festivities ongoing in Halifax.

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Hanifin tops all defensive prospects for 2015 Draft

Thursday, 02.12.2015 / 3:00 AM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Boston College freshman defenseman Noah Hanifin didn't hesitate when asked if freshman forward Jack Eichel of rival Boston University would be able to beat him wide in a one-on-one situation.

The question certainly has merit since Hanifin and Eichel have seen a lot of each other over the years. They were teammates for the United States Under-18 National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Mich., teammates for the United States National Junior Team at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship, and are now opponents in Hockey East.

The fact the question was even posed to Hanifin is telling enough to how talented a player he is, considering Eichel is regarded as a generational star, a virtual lock as a projected top-two pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.

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Around the League notebook for Wednesday, Feb. 11

Thursday, 02.12.2015 / 2:15 AM / News

NHL Public Relations

NABOKOV ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT

Goaltender Evgeni Nabokov, who began this season with the Tampa Bay Lightning before he was traded to the San Jose Sharks on Monday for future considerations, announced his retirement Wednesday during a press conference at SAP Center in San Jose. The Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan native retired with the club he began his NHL career with and played a total of 10 seasons for from 1999-00 to 2009-10. The Sharks' all-time leader in games played (563) and wins (293) among goaltenders participated in a ceremonial puck drop prior to San Jose’s game against the Washington Capitals on Wednesday.

CANUCKS, CAPITALS EARN 5-4 OVERTIME VICTORIES ON THE ROAD

The Vancouver Canucks and the Washington Capitals earned overtime road wins by scores of 5-4 over the Chicago Blackhawks and the San Jose Sharks, respectively.

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Kane excited by 'fresh start' with Sabres: report

Wednesday, 02.11.2015 / 7:45 PM / 2015 NHL Trade Deadline

NHL.com

Left wing Evander Kane said he is looking forward to a "fresh start" with the Buffalo Sabres after being traded to them by the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday.

"I'm definitely glad to be moving on and I'm going to have a fresh start with a new team," Kane told Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com. "I'm looking forward to the future for sure."

That future won't start until next season because Kane is sidelined after surgery to repair his left shoulder. He told LeBrun the timing of the surgery was not based on him being scratched from a game last week and a reported problem with some teammates.

"I had it (the shoulder injury) last year and it got worse over the last two months," Kane said. "And actually, when they went in there to do the surgery, they found a hole in my shoulder as well and some other things they had to fix. It was a little more complicated than everyone thought at first, so it's really good we got it fixed now.

"That some people thought I was having surgery just to end my season, that's so not true. That's the biggest thing I want to make clear."

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Sabres acquire Kane from Jets in blockbuster trade

Wednesday, 02.11.2015 / 7:16 PM / 2015 NHL Trade Deadline

NHL.com

The Buffalo Sabres and Winnipeg Jets started the run-up to the 2015 NHL Trade Deadline with a bang Wednesday, completing a blockbuster trade that sends forward Evander Kane and defenseman Zach Bogosian to the Buffalo Sabres for a package that includes defenseman Tyler Myers, forward Drew Stafford, two prospects and a first-round pick.

"It’s nice to go somewhere where you feel wanted and you feel that they want to put you in a situation to have success," Kane told Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com.

Buffalo holds three first-round picks in the 2015 NHL Draft. The Sabres have previously acquired first-round picks in this draft from the New York Islanders and the St. Louis Blues. Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff said the Sabres will decide which pick is transferred to complete the trade.

"This was not a knee-jerk reaction," Cheveldayoff said, noting there was strong interest in Kane from several teams. "I'm excited what this trade brings to our organization. … I feel good with the 'now,' but I’m really excited about the prospects of the future in this whole deal."

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Quote of the Day

If you want to prove people wrong, you've just got to go out and do it. Yeah, we blew 3-2 series leads the last two years, but no one is going remember that if we go out there on Saturday night and beat these guys and go play in the Stanley Cup Final. We need to get back to work and we'll start to do that tomorrow.

— Ducks forward Kyle Palmieri following a loss to the Blackhawks in Game 6 on Wednesday