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Canucks' Tortorella focused on winning Garden return

Saturday, 11.30.2013 / 1:06 PM / NHL Insider

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- Vancouver Canucks coach John Tortorella admitted his primary focus was getting a win as he returned to Madison Square Garden for the first time as Vancouver's coach to meet the New York Rangers, who he coached for slightly more than four seasons before being fired this past summer.

He described the feeling of returning to the arena he called home for almost five years as "weird," but Tortorella expressed a single objective before the game Saturday afternoon.

"I am going to coach this game, hopefully kick their [butt] and get out of here," Tortorella said. "That's certainly not being disrespectful. We're so wrapped up in our seasons. We play tomorrow at 1 o'clock in Carolina, we're getting on a plane and going."


Stars' Robidas out 4-6 months with broken leg

Saturday, 11.30.2013 / 12:17 PM / News


Dallas Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas is out four-to-six months with a fractured leg, the team announced Saturday.

Robidas was injured when he crashed into the boards Friday in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Chicago Blackhawks at American Airlines Center. The Stars have recalled Jamie Oleksiak to replace Robidas on the active roster.


Daily Primer Nov. 30: Tortorella's homecoming

Saturday, 11.30.2013 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

A couple of minutes after 2 p.m. this afternoon, John Tortorella will leave his team's dressing room at Madison Square Garden and find his way to the bench. It's a walk he's made hundreds of times the past few years. What will make this one different is that he'll be going to the visiting team's bench.

Tortorella returns to the Garden on Saturday as coach of the Vancouver Canucks, who continue a four-game road trip against the New York Rangers (2 p.m. ET, NHLN-US), the team that fired him last May. He was succeeded by Alain Vigneault, who had been let go by the Canucks.

Tortorella has tried to play down his first game back at the Garden.

"Quite honestly, we've beaten this thing up," he said Friday. "It's another game on the schedule. It's a very important game for us to try to gain some traction. We need to continue trying to gain traction. That's all this is about. We have enough things to worry about with our hockey club."

Vigneault won't have his homecoming until the Rangers visit Vancouver on April 1.

Here's a complete look at the NHL action Saturday:


Tapped In: Elias on being a Devil, Olympian and dad

Saturday, 11.30.2013 / 3:00 AM / Tapped In

Kathryn Tappen - NHL.com Contributor

Selected in the 1994 NHL Draft by New Jersey, Patrik Elias has defined what it means to be a Devil. Elias is the franchise leader in goals, assists and points; he also holds the franchise records for the most points in a season (96) and the most career game-winning goals (74). He recently played in his 1,100th NHL game, and of course, who can forget his two Stanley Cup Championships in 2000 and 2003. Elias' service to his team, his country, and his charitable endeavors with UNICEF are admirable, as is his career-long stay in New Jersey, something he hopes will continue.

Kathryn Tappen: It is rare for a professional athlete to play his entire career with one team. What has it meant to you to have played your entire career to this point with New Jersey?


Weight helped usher in new era of American hockey

Saturday, 11.30.2013 / 3:00 AM / U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

It's a moment Doug Weight was hopeful would come, but deep down he had to know it was inevitable.

One of the more talented American forwards to ever play the game, Weight, now an assistant coach with the New York Islanders, will be inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Monday night at the Motor City Casino in his hometown of Detroit.

Weight, 42, is part of a class that also includes one of his closest friends, Bill Guerin, along with Cindy Curley, Peter Karmanos, Jr. and Ron Mason. Weight played for six teams in the NHL (New York Rangers, Edmonton Oilers, St. Louis Blues, Carolina Hurricanes, Anaheim Ducks and the Islanders) and had 278 goals and 755 assists in 1,238 games. He added another 23 goals and 49 assists in 97 Stanley Cup Playoff games and helped the Hurricanes win the franchise's lone championship in 2006.


Czech Republic vets supplemented by young talent

Saturday, 11.30.2013 / 3:00 AM / 2014 Olympics

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Patrik Elias, who served as captain for the Czech Republic at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, is privy to the talent coming over from his native land and into the National Hockey League these days.

"I think it's getting better," Elias told NHL.com. "There were those five or six years where we had a little drop and that's normal. We don't have that big base for young talent. So many kids play in North America and the sport is getting very expensive back home so not too many people can enjoy playing like we did.

"You have your ups and downs but there are several young guys like Radko Gudas, Ondrej Palat and Tomas Hertl … they came out and have done very well in the NHL."


Capitals goalie Neuvirth scratched from start

Friday, 11.29.2013 / 5:14 PM / News

Adam Vingan - NHL.com Correspondent

WASHINGTON -- Washington Capitals goaltender Michal Neuvirth sustained a lower-body injury during warm-ups and did not start against the Montreal Canadiens as expected.

Neuvirth had to be helped down the tunnel toward the locker room. He left practice earlier this week with what was also described as a lower-body injury, but according to the team his latest injury is unrelated.

Braden Holtby started in Neuvirth's place. Video coach Brett Leonhardt is serving as Holtby's emergency backup. Leonhardt, who was a goalie at Neumann College, a Division III school near Philadelphia, once filled that role in December 2008.


In the Cage: Red Wings' Gustavsson stepping up

Justin Goldman - NHL.com Correspondent

During the season, Justin Goldman, a regional goalie scout for USA Hockey and founder of The Goalie Guild, will provide you with an in-depth analysis of fantasy goaltenders in NHL.com's weekly segment: "In the Cage." From updated goalie rankings to guys you should keep a close eye on and much more, Goldman will be your fantasy goalie expert all season long.

Still celebrating the holiday with family and friends? Then sit back and feast on our cornucopia of goalie stats before the weekend kicks off with the 2013 NHL Thanksgiving Showdown between the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers (1 p.m. ET, NBC, TSN). More specifically, we take a look at shot-for percentages for a couple of goalies that are seeing a rise in their fantasy value.

Owned in 12 percent of Yahoo fantasy leagues, Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jonas Gustavsson is currently stuffing opponents at a high rate. Not only is he taking advantage of some inconsistent play from Jimmy Howard, but after stealing a few wins, he’s now benefitting from more offensive support.


Jets' Kane leaves game with lower-body injury

Friday, 11.29.2013 / 1:46 PM / News

Patrick Williams - NHL.com Correspondent

PHILADELPHIA -- Winnipeg Jets forward Evander Kane left the game Friday against the Philadelphia Flyers late in the first period with what the team announced as a lower-body injury and will not return.

Kane exited the game after Philadelphia defenseman Braydon Coburn hit him along the boards. Kane, who missed two games with an injury earlier this month, skated one 52-second shift early in the second period before leaving the game.

Kane is tied for second on the Jets with seven goals, but has only one in his past 13 games.


Daily Primer Nov. 29: Rangers, Bruins heat up rivalry

Friday, 11.29.2013 / 3:00 AM / Features

Jon Lane - NHL.com Staff Writer

Two of the Original Six teams will be in the spotlight Friday when the New York Rangers take on the Boston Bruins in the 2013 NHL Thanksgiving Showdown (1 p.m. ET, NBC, TSN) at TD Garden. It's the Rangers' fifth of 14 scheduled games against Original Six opponents, against whom they've enjoyed some success. Since 2005-06, New York is 60-39-12 against Original Six teams, including 22-8-2 against Boston during that time.

The game Friday carries significance even in the early portion of the regular season. The Bruins lead the Eastern Conference with 34 points and will look to erase the sting of a 6-1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday. The Rangers' 5-2 victory against the Florida Panthers moved them into second place in the Metropolitan Division. The teams may not be division rivals, but this matchup fits neatly into the framework of a New York vs. Boston rivalry. The Bruins will look to get back on their game and the Rangers are after revenge for a 2-1 loss Nov. 19 and a five-game ousting against Boston in last season's Eastern Conference Semifinals.

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I've been getting frustrated lately, and the only thing keeping me sane was the team winning and other people stepping up and scoring. Then you just kind of let it go and realize you can end the series with one shot, that frustration goes away for a brief moment, and that's what happened.

— Montreal forward Max Pacioretty after scoring the series-winner in Game 4 -- his first career playoff goal -- to eliminate the Lightning and send the Canadiens into the second round