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Canada's McDavid gets assist in return from injury

Sunday, 12.21.2014 / 10:35 PM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Chris Stevenson - NHL.com Correspondent

OTTAWA -- Canada forward Connor McDavid shook off the rust after a five-week layoff in a 5-2 win against Sweden on Sunday in an exhibition game ahead of the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.

McDavid, 17, played for the first time since breaking a bone in his right hand in a fight while playing for the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League on Nov. 11. He had an assist on Canada's fourth goal, scored by Anaheim Ducks prospect Shea Theodore, in front of 13,826 at Canadian Tire Centre.

"Not playing in 40 days, you're about as rusty as you can possible get," McDavid said. "I thought my legs felt pretty good. The game speed was pretty high. Some plays happened pretty quick, but overall I thought it went all right."

Projected to be a top pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, McDavid played on a line with Ottawa Senators forward Curtis Lazar and forward Nick Ritchie, an Anaheim Ducks prospect.

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Peters: Hurricanes' Jordan Staal could return Dec. 29

Sunday, 12.21.2014 / 6:17 PM / News

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- Carolina Hurricanes center Jordan Staal is getting close to being 100 percent and is expected to make his season debut shortly after the holiday break, Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said Sunday.

Staal sustained a broken right fibula during a preseason game Sept. 23 at the Buffalo Sabres. He is on injured reserve and missed his 33rd consecutive game Sunday. He was expected to miss between 3-4 months.

Peters said Staal could make his season debut Dec. 29 against the Montreal Canadiens at PNC Arena, and that Staal definitely would not play Tuesday against the New Jersey Devils or Saturday against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

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Canucks' Hansen expected to play Monday: report

Sunday, 12.21.2014 / 4:36 PM / News

NHL.com

Vancouver Canucks forward Jannik Hansen was held out of practice Sunday as a precautionary measure one day after briefly collapsing on the bench during a game against the Calgary Flames but is expected to play Monday against the Arizona Coyotes.

"Everything is good. He spent the night at the hospital – and it was just precautionary," Canucks coach Willie Desjardins told the Vancouver Sun. "But at the time on the bench, you really didn't know what it was. And that's a problem. He just took a real hard hit and he was having trouble getting his breath and it wasn't more than that. I think Jannik is good to go [Monday]. I don't see any problem with him."

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Ducks' Perry back at practice, unlikely to play Monday

Sunday, 12.21.2014 / 4:27 PM / News

NHL.com

Anaheim Ducks forward Corey Perry returned to practice Sunday two weeks after sustaining a knee sprain, the team announced.

Perry, the NHL's Hart Trophy winner in 2011, was injured Dec. 7 when he was hit by a hip check from Minnesota Wild defenseman Keith Ballard during the Ducks' 5-4 win at Xcel Energy Center and was projected to miss 3-4 weeks.

"It's coming along," Perry told the Ducks website. "I feel good. It's nice to actually skate with other guys and have a goalie to shoot on. It was a long week all by myself, but those are things you have to go through in order to come back. It's good to see everybody."

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McDavid set to return from injury in WJC exhibition

Sunday, 12.21.2014 / 1:42 PM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Chris Stevenson - NHL.com Correspondent

OTTAWA – Connor McDavid and Curtis Lazar can expect to see a lot of each for the next couple of weeks.

The Canadian forwards will be roommates during the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship and will play on a line together Sunday when McDavid, projected to be a top pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, returns to play for the first time since breaking a finger in a fight Nov. 11 while playing for the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League.

Canada plays Sweden on Sunday at the Canadian Tire Centre in an exhibition game leading up to the start of the tournament Dec. 26.

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Around the League notebook for Saturday, Dec. 20

Sunday, 12.21.2014 / 10:25 AM / News

NHL Public Relations

SATURDAY'S RESULTS

Home Team in Caps

LOS ANGELES 4, Arizona 2

Colorado 5, BUFFALO 1

Philadelphia 7, TORONTO 4

MONTREAL 4, Ottawa 1

Washington 4, NEW JERSEY 0

NY ISLANDERS 3, Tampa Bay 1

PITTSBURGH 3, Florida 1

NY Rangers 3, CAROLINA 2 (SO)

COLUMBUS 3, Chicago 2 (SO)

Nashville 6, MINNESOTA 5 (OT)

VANCOUVER 3, Calgary 2 (OT)

SAN JOSE 3, St. Louis 2 (OT)

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

Of the 12 games played Saturday:

* Nine were tied or within one goal to start the third period (ARI-LAK, OTT-MTL, TBL-NYI, FLA-PIT, NYR-CAR, CHI-CBJ, NSH-MIN, CGY-VAN, STL-SJS).

* Two featured a game-tying goal in the final minute of regulation: the San Jose Sharks' Marc-Edouard Vlasic (19:39) and the Minnesota Wild's Thomas Vanek (19:12)

* Five required overtime, including three that were decided in the extra frame (NSH-MIN, CGY-VAN, STL-SJS).

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Sabres turning early struggles into current gains

Sunday, 12.21.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Joe Yerdon - NHL.com Correspondent

BUFFALO -- Expectations can be a funny thing.

Before the season began for the Buffalo Sabres, it was expected by most outside of the organization they would be one of the worst teams in the NHL and a season-long contender to earn the first pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.

Through the first month-and-a-half of the season, the Sabres fit that description perfectly. Buffalo won three of its first 18 games and appeared to be well on the way to having the best shot to select top prospect Connor McDavid.

"We obviously didn't get the start we wanted this season but we stuck with it," Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers said. "We stuck with coming to the rink trying to improve every day. We knew it wasn't going to be a quick fix, we just had to keep doing the right things, the little things, and it's been a lot better of late for sure, but there's always room for improvement."

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Rogers Hometown Hockey celebrates Kingston

Sunday, 12.21.2014 / 3:00 AM / News

NHL.com

Prior to the telecast Sunday of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Chicago Blackhawks on CITY in Canada, the NHL Network in the United States will televise the "Rogers Hometown Hockey" broadcast at 6 p.m. ET. This week's location is Kingston, Ontario, to celebrate the city's iconic hockey story.

Among the features airing on the pregame show:

* Doug Gilmour enjoyed a career that earned him a spot in the Hockey Hall of Fame. When he was done as a player he returned to Kingston, his hometown, to coach the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League.

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Sunday Long Read: Landeskog a 'born leader'

Sunday, 12.21.2014 / 3:00 AM / Sunday Long Read

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Tony Landeskog still has the story saved on his computer, the one he read over and over with his son, Gabriel:

"What it takes to be an NHL captain."

"We just printed that out and read through it," Tony told NHL.com. "It was what personality is important to be a captain."

"Take heart and the ability to be heartless," was the lead to the story by longtime hockey writer Alan Adams. "Add experience and the savvy to get a message across. Mix in desire and the wherewithal to instill that same desire in others. And blend in a heaping helping of leadership."

Gabriel Landeskog was 12 years old when that article was published, but the qualities Adams described are evident today in Landeskog, now a 22-year-old in his third season as captain of the Colorado Avalanche.

For those who know Landeskog best, it's not surprising he is the captain of an NHL team. That it happened after his first season raised a few eyebrows. But seeing a "C" on the front of his jersey is about as normal as seeing his name on the back of it.

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Canucks' Hansen 'fine' after collapsing on bench

Sunday, 12.21.2014 / 1:32 AM / News

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- Vancouver Canucks forward Jannik Hansen left the game Saturday after collapsing briefly on the bench shortly after taking a hit against the Calgary Flames.

He was taken to a hospital for further evaluation.

Hansen was conscious and on his feet moments after collapsing early in the second period and walked to the locker room with help from the medical staff.

"He’s at the hospital but everything is checking out," Canucks coach Willie Desjardins said after a 3-2 overtime win at Rogers Arena. "It's concerning. He seemed like he couldn't get his breath there. He kind of went down. When that happens it's not usual, so you're concerned. But everything's checked out at the hospital and everything is fine.”

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Quote of the Day

For our team, as a group, we've never been this far before, and so it's just more lessons learned, and sometimes you have to go to the school of hard knocks to find out what works and what doesn't. We've got a young group. They've played some unreal hockey here to get us this far, and we showed if we're not going to play the proper way, a really, really good hockey team is going to beat you, and that's what they did. It's a lesson learned.

— Lightning coach Jon Cooper after Rangers win in Game 6 forced a Game 7 that will be played at Madison Square Garden on Friday