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Islanders' Okposo might return Tuesday: report

Monday, 03.09.2015 / 10:05 PM / News

NHL.com

New York Islanders right wing Kyle Okposo, who hasn't played since Jan. 19, could be in the lineup against the New York Rangers at Nassau Coliseum on Tuesday, according to Newsday.

Okposo, who had emergency surgery to repair a detached retina, has been skating for more than a week and rejoined the Islanders before their game at the Florida Panthers on Saturday. He still needs to be cleared by the Islanders medical staff.

"I felt great. Ever since I stepped on the ice, I haven't had any hesitations,'' Okposo told Newsday on Monday. "I wasn't really surprised, because your eye should theoretically be stronger than the other one after the surgery. I've been feeling really good on the ice.''

Canadiens out to prove a point against Lightning

Monday, 03.09.2015 / 7:30 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

BROSSARD, Quebec -- After being swept by them in the Eastern Conference First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season, the Tampa Bay Lightning have had their way with the Montreal Canadiens lately.

The Lightning have won both games against the Canadiens this season rather handily and will have an opportunity to continue that dominance when the top two teams in the Atlantic Division play at Bell Centre on Tuesday.

It will be the first of three games between them in a span of three weeks, and the Canadiens are eager to turn things around.

The residue of last season's playoffs remains in this matchup, especially since the Lightning did not have goaltender Ben Bishop for the entire series. Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher feels the Lightning are still trying to prove a point because of that, and that his team now has a point of its own to prove as well.

Canada-United States game to open 2016 WJC

Monday, 03.09.2015 / 4:12 PM / News

NHL.com

Canada and the United States will play on the first day of the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship.

The schedule for the 2016 tournament, which will be held in Helsinki, Finland, will see the two North American teams playing Dec. 26 in a Group A preliminary-round game at 8,200-seat Helsinki Ice Hall.

In recent years a U.S.-Canada preliminary-round game had been saved for a showcase game Dec. 31, the final day of the group play.

After the U.S., Canada will play Denmark on Dec. 28, Switzerland on Dec. 29 and Sweden on Dec. 31.

Panthers' Luongo skates, aiming for Thursday return

Monday, 03.09.2015 / 3:08 PM / News

NHL.com

Florida Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo was on the ice Monday for the first time since he injured his shoulder during a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on March 3, according to the Miami Herald.

Luongo worked with goalie coach Robb Tallas and left before the Panthers came out to practice, leaving the nets to Dan Ellis and Sam Brittain. But the hope is Luongo can return Thursday against the Winnipeg Jets.

"It's no more than day-to-day," Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said, according to the Herald."[Thursday] is the goal and the hope but we'll see how he gets along."

Maple Leafs' Polak to miss remainder of season

Monday, 03.09.2015 / 3:02 PM / News

TorontoMapleLeafs.com

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced today that defenceman Roman Polak will undergo season-ending hernia surgery. Polak had registered nine points in 56 games with Toronto this season. As a result, the club has recalled defenceman Petter Granberg from the Toronto Marlies (AHL) on an emergency basis.

Granberg, 22, has been held pointless in six games with the Maple Leafs this season. The Gallivare, Sweden native has also played 35 regular season games with the Toronto Marlies, collecting 12 points (one goal, 11 assists) and 20 penalty minutes.

Fantasy All-Access: Playoffs just around the corner

NHL.com

Every Monday NHL.com contributor Matt Sitkoff identifies waiver wire pickups, roster trends, schedule notes and a prospect to watch in fantasy hockey.

There is about a month left in the NHL season, meaning the fantasy playoffs are coming up fast in head-to-head leagues.

The Nashville Predators have hit a rough patch, so fantasy owners should be aware of potential buy-low candidates. They have lost six straight games; during that streak captain Shea Weber has one goal and a minus-9 rating. Rookie Filip Forsberg has one assist in his past six games and James Neal and Seth Jones (24 percent owned in Yahoo) each have been held without a point during the losing streak. Colin Wilson (38 percent) is also mired in a deep slump.

Hudler, Varlamov and Talbot named stars of week

Monday, 03.09.2015 / 12:00 PM / News

NHL Public Relations

NEW YORKCalgary Flames center Jiri Hudler, Colorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov and New York Rangers goaltender Cam Talbot have been named the NHL's "Three Stars" for the week ending March 8.

FIRST STAR – JIRI HUDLER, C, CALGARY FLAMES

Hudler paced the NHL with eight points and shared the League lead with four goals to help the Flames (36-25-5, 77 points) earn seven out of a possible eight standings points. He opened the week with 1-1—2, including the winning goal at 1:23 of overtime, in a 3-2 triumph over the Philadelphia Flyers March 3. Hudler followed that performance with 1-1—2 in a 4-3 shootout win over the Boston Bruins March 5. He then recorded 2-0—2, including the game-winning goal, in a 5-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings March 6. Hudler closed the week with a pair of assists in a 5-4 shootout loss to the Ottawa Senators March 8. The 31-year-old Olomouc, Czech Republic, native has posted multiple points in four consecutive games for the first time in his career. He leads the Flames with 23-33—56 in 63 outings this season, including four game-winning goals (tied for second on the team).

Around the League notebook for Sunday, March 8

Sunday, 03.08.2015 / 11:17 PM / News

NHL Public Relations

1995 DEVILS TEAM HONORED THROUGHOUT THE WEEKEND

The New Jersey Devils celebrated the 20th Anniversary of their 1995 Stanley Cup Championship. More than 20 players and coaches reunited during two days of festivities from March 7-8. The celebration began Saturday at AmeriHealth Pavilion with an alumni charity game featuring the stars of the 1995 Stanley Cup Championship. Members of the Devils' first Stanley Cup team were also honored in a pre-game ceremony prior to the game at Prudential Center on Sunday.

Sharks forward Pavelski leads by example, with words

Sunday, 03.08.2015 / 11:01 PM / NHL Insider

Eric Gilmore - NHL.com Correspondent

SAN JOSE -- Joe Pavelski emerged as the San Jose Sharks' biggest offensive weapon last season when he led them and set career highs with 41 goals and 79 points.

Pavelski is leading by example again this season. His 32 goals and 61 points lead the Sharks, and he's also become their strongest voice in the locker room as one of four alternate captains along with Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Marc-Edouard Vlasic.

Coach Todd McLellan said Pavelski, 30 and in his ninth NHL season, all with San Jose, has embraced his leadership role.

Penguins prospect Murray sets AHL shutout record

Sunday, 03.08.2015 / 5:40 PM / News

NHL.com Staff

Pittsburgh Penguins goalie prospect Matthew Murray set an American Hockey League record by extending his shutout streak to 304 minutes and 11 seconds in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins' 4-1 win against the Springfield Falcons on Sunday.

Murray, who made 32 saves, was 1:11 away from what would have been his 10th shutout of the season and fifth in a row when Springfield left wing Dana Tyrell scored in the third period.

Murray broke the record for longest shutout streak of 268:17, set by Barry Brust of the Abbotsford Heat in 2012. He earned his fourth consecutive shutout in a 3-0 victory against the Manchester Monarchs on Saturday.

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Quote of the Day

I would definitely love to play with him. He's a skilled player and over the years he definitely has shown that he can score a lot of goals. I think it would work out well.

— Montreal Canadiens forward Alex Galchenyuk on Alexander Semin