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Stanley Cup Final
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Penguins coach Johnston expects improvement

Wednesday, 01.28.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Wes Crosby - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Through the Pittsburgh Penguins' first 47 games last season, they sat atop the Metropolitan Division with a 16-point lead on the second-place Philadelphia Flyers. The Penguins had an eight-point advantage on the Boston Bruins for the top spot in the Eastern Conference, and they had gone 7-2-1 in their previous 10 games despite being ravaged by injuries through the first few months of the season.

Behind the bench was Dan Bylsma, the winningest coach in Penguins history.

Pittsburgh is again near the top of the division and conference standings through 47 games this season under new coach Mike Johnston, but heading into Wednesday Night Rivalry game against the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVA, SN1) success hasn't come as easily as it seemed to last season.

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Penguins acquire Lapierre from Blues for Goc

Tuesday, 01.27.2015 / 11:19 PM / News

Wes Crosby - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins acquired forward Maxim Lapierre from the St. Louis Blues for forward Marcel Goc, the teams announced Tuesday.

Lapierre, a 6-foot-2, 215-pound center, had two goals and nine points in 45 games with St. Louis this season. He has 65 goals and 137 points in 579 games of his 10-year NHL career.

The 29-year-old could add a bit of size and grit to a Penguins lineup that general manager Jim Rutherford said could benefit from those assets the rest of the season.

"He’s a big guy. He plays with energy," Rutherford said. "He plays with an edge at times. And he’s averaged roughly nine, 10 goals a year, so he’s capable of scoring a little bit. So I think this is a good addition for us … It certainly seems we’re getting into more physical games than I would’ve expected, so he will help that group of guys that we already have. The [Steve] Downies, the [Zach] Sills and [Robert] Bortuzzos and those guys."

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Forward Radek Dvorak announces retirement

Tuesday, 01.27.2015 / 7:21 PM / News

NHL.com

Forward Radek Dvorak announced his retirement Tuesday.

He played 1,260 NHL games with eight teams, including 60 games with the Carolina Hurricanes last season.

"It was an honor for me to play in the best league in the world for 18 seasons," Dvorak, 37, said in a statement released through the NHL Players' Association. "I would like to thank all the organizations, coaches and teammates I played for or with. Also, thank you to my parents, wife and kids who have always supported me and helped me throughout my whole career. At last I would like to thank my fans who believed in and followed me all these years."

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Devils recall Brodeur as 'one of greatest goalies ever'

Tuesday, 01.27.2015 / 6:30 PM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- The news that St. Louis Blues goaltender Martin Brodeur is ready to retire didn't take many of his former New Jersey Devils teammates by surprise.

Those who played with Brodeur in New Jersey discussed one of the greatest goaltenders in NHL history after practice at AmeriHealth Pavilion on Tuesday.

"I mean, hockey had to change the rules because of Marty, and that's impressive," forward Scott Gomez said. "I got two Stanley Cup rings because of the guy. Look at the banners of [Scott Niedermayer, Scott Stevens and Ken Daneyko] and Marty is right up there when you think about the New Jersey Devils; he was part of the core group and he'll go down as one of the greatest goalies ever."

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Czech star Rucinsky, 43, earns national team tryout

Tuesday, 01.27.2015 / 5:44 PM / News

Michael Langr - NHL.com Correspondent

Former NHL forward Martin Rucinsky has been invited to the Czech Republic national team training camp and will play in two games against Russia in February.

Rucinsky, who turns 44 in March, could play for the Czechs in the 2015 IIHF World Championship this May in Prague, Czech Republic if the February games go well.

Still active in the Czech professional league, Rucinsky was invited to the tryout by national team coach Vladimir Ruzicka.

"The invitation to the national team is always an honor. And especially when I got the invitation from Vlada [Ruzicka], whom I never can say no," said Rucinsky, who hasn't represented the Czech Republic since the 2006 Turin Olympics, where he won a bronze medal.

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Kings' Richards clears waivers, assigned to AHL

Tuesday, 01.27.2015 / 5:42 PM / News

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – The Los Angeles Kings assigned center Mike Richards to the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League on Tuesday.

The move was expected after Richards cleared waivers but the repercussions were felt in the Kings dressing room.

"We've got a pretty close team here, so anytime anybody leaves, it's always tough," said Jeff Carter, a close friend of Richards who played with him for the Philadelphia Flyers.

"We understand that those things happen. He brought a lot to this room that, unless you're in this room, you don't see. It was tough. It was tough on him too. But it's an opportunity for someone else to step up and some of the younger guys to play a little more and become leaders in the room."

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Martin Brodeur to retire, join Blues front office

Tuesday, 01.27.2015 / 3:58 PM / News

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- Goaltender Martin Brodeur, whose 691 wins and 125 shutouts are most in NHL history, will announce his retirement and join the front office of the St. Louis Blues, the team announced Tuesday.

The Blues will hold a press conference at Scottrade Center on Thursday at 11:30 a.m. ET with Brodeur, who signed a one-year incentive-laden contract with the Blues on Dec. 2 after a knee injury to starting goalie Brian Elliott left them short at the position but had been on a leave of absence.

Brodeur will be joined by Blues general manager Doug Armstrong and Blues Hall of Fame members Bernie Federko, Brett Hull and Al MacInnis.

Brodeur, 42, holds multiple NHL records that may never be broken, including wins (691) and shutouts (125). His final shutout came Dec. 29 for the Blues in a 3-0 victory against the Colorado Avalanche, coached by Patrick Roy, whose wins record Brodeur broke.

Brodeur finishes his 22-year NHL career with a 691-397-176 record, a 2.24 goals-against average and .912 save percentage in 1,266 appearances, all but seven coming with the New Jersey Devils. He holds regular-season NHL goaltending records for wins, shutouts, games played and minutes played (74,438), and in the history of the Stanley Cup Playoffs he ranks first in starts (204) and shutouts (24) and second in wins (113).

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Analysis: Brodeur defined era with staggering totals

Tuesday, 01.27.2015 / 3:34 PM / NHL Insider

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

There is one name at the top of every compiled statistical category for goaltenders in the NHL record book, and that name is Martin Brodeur.

There are others who have a stake to the claim as greatest goaltender in NHL history, but no one is close to Brodeur in the categories that involve longevity, and it is possible no one ever will be.

The raw numbers are incredible. He retired Tuesday with 691 wins, 140 more than any other goaltender. There are 19 goaltenders enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame who did not win half as many games as Brodeur, a feat that rivals Cy Young in baseball.

Brodeur stopped 3,121 more shots than any other goaltender. He has the most minutes played, the most losses, and the most shots faced, all by significant margins.

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Sharks recall Hertl, Goodrow, Mueller from AHL

Tuesday, 01.27.2015 / 2:10 PM / News

SanJoseSharks.com

SAN JOSESan Jose Sharks general manager Doug Wilson announced today that the club has recalled forwards Tomas Hertl and Barclay Goodrow as well as defenseman Mirco Mueller from the Worcester Sharks.

Hertl, 21, has posted 17 points (eight goals, nine assists) and 10 penalty minutes in 48 games with San Jose this season, and recorded two assists in two games with Worcester.

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Ovechkin's generosity leaves impact on Schaab family

Tuesday, 01.27.2015 / 1:54 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

The generosity exhibited by Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin and Honda at the end of the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game is still a shock to the Schaab family.

Honda surprised Alex Ovechkin on Sunday with the gift of a 2015 Honda Accord. Ovechkin then revealed he was going to give the car to the Washington Ice Dogs hockey program in honor of a girl he met last year, Ann Schaab, who has Down syndrome and skates for the Ice Dogs, a member program of the American Special Hockey Association.

"It just surprised me that in the midst of all that activity going on, for Ovi to stop and give a shout-out to Ann and to special hockey was just amazing to me," Melissa Schaab, the 10-year-old's mother, told ABC7News on Monday.

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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