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Hawks reassign forward Bickell to Rockford of AHL

Sunday, 01.17.2016 / 12:27 PM / News

The Chicago Blackhawks announced today they have reassigned forward Bryan Bickell to the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League.

Bickell, 29, has registered two assists in 23 games with Chicago this season. The Bowmanville, Ontario, native has also recorded 14 points (7G, 7A) and a +6 plus/minus rating through 12 games with Rockford. Bickell has registered 135 points (65G, 70A) over 382 career regular-season NHL games and 39 points (20G, 19A) through 75 postseason contests, all with Chicago (2006-15). He was also a member of the Blackhawks' 2010, 2013 and 2015 Stanley Cup championship teams. Bickell was selected by Chicago in the second round (41st overall) of the 2004 NHL Draft.

Around the League notebook: Saturday, Jan. 16

Sunday, 01.17.2016 / 10:20 AM / News


Brian Elliott made a career-high 46 saves and Jori Lehtera scored at 2:04 of overtime to guide the St. Louis Blues past the Montreal Canadiens and to a 6-2-1 record in their past nine games at Scottrade Center.

* At 26-15-7 (59 points), the Blues moved within four points of tying the Dallas Stars (29-13-5, 63 points) – who lost in overtime – for second place in the Central Division.

* Elliott, who improved to 3-1-0 in his last four games, became the first Blues goaltender to make at least 46 saves on home ice since April, 11, 1993, when Curtis Joseph made 46 saves in a 5-1 win against the Minnesota North Stars.

Ristolainen making big impression with Sabres

Sunday, 01.17.2016 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Joe Yerdon - Correspondent

BUFFALO -- Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen has been a revelation for the Buffalo Sabres this season, breaking out in a big way and delivering on the potential that made him a first-round pick three years ago.

Ristolainen, 21, is a completely different player than the one who struggled last season in his first full tour of duty in the NHL. This season, he leads the Sabres in average time on-ice with 24:48 per game and tied his NHL career-high in goals when he scored his eighth of the season in a 3-2 win against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday.

He already has a career-high in points (29) and is second in scoring on the Sabres behind forward Ryan O'Reilly, who is their representative in the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game.

Rogers Hometown Hockey: Grande Prairie, Alberta

Sunday, 01.17.2016 / 3:00 AM / News

Sportsnet will televise "Rogers Hometown Hockey" on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET, prior to the game between the Montreal Canadiens and Chicago Blackhawks. The location this week is Grande Prairie, Alberta, and the show will celebrate the history of hockey in the city.

Among the features airing on the pregame show:

Johansen a winner in home debut with Predators

Sunday, 01.17.2016 / 12:15 AM / NHL Insider

Robby Stanley - Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- Center Ryan Johansen's home debut with the Nashville Predators was a success.

Johansen had an assist in 18:04 of ice time Saturday in Nashville's 3-0 win against the Minnesota Wild at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday.

Johansen was traded from the Columbus Blue Jackets on Jan. 6 and had six points (two goals, four assists) in his first four games with the Predators; however, the Predators went 0-3-1 on a four-game road trip.

Johansen, who's been centering a line with rookie Kevin Fiala on left wing and James Neal on right wing, said he was relieved to be on the winning side for the first time as a member of the Predators.

Holtby pulled by Capitals, point streak ends at 22

Saturday, 01.16.2016 / 9:36 PM / News

Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby was pulled in the second period after allowing three goals to the Buffalo Sabres.

Holtby was replaced by Philipp Grubauer 7:14 into the period after Evander Kane scored the Sabres' third goal on their 16th shot.

Buffalo won 4-1, Holtby's first loss in regulation in 23 decisions (20-0-2). He fell one game short of tying the Capitals record set by Jose Theodore, who went 20-0-3 from Jan. 13 to April 9, 2010.

Kopitar, Kings agree to eight-year contract extension

Saturday, 01.16.2016 / 8:24 PM / News

Curtis Zupke - Correspondent

LOS ANGELES -- When center Anze Kopitar was taken by the Los Angeles Kings with the 11th pick in the 2005 NHL draft, he joined a struggling franchise that was years away from relevancy, let alone championships.

Two Stanley Cup titles later, there’s no place he’d rather be, and it will be where he stays after agreeing Saturday to an eight-year contract extension. No financial terms were disclosed, but TSN reported that it’s worth $80 million, an average annual value of $10 million.

“I’ve been a part of this organization when we went through pretty big struggles and not very fun years when we played,” Kopitar said after a 5-3 loss to the Ottawa Senators at Staples Center. “We turned that around and the last few years have been pretty exciting for everybody … knowing we have a winning team here, that’s what makes you want to stay here for an extended period of time.”

Lundqvist gets 11th 20-win season to start career

Saturday, 01.16.2016 / 6:01 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

PHILADELPHIA -- New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist sat at his locker after a 3-2 shootout win against the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday and talked about his luck.

He talked about how lucky he's been to have teammates help him and how lucky he's been to have coaches who have had the confidence to play him so often.

But there are 11 seasons' worth of New York Rangers players, coaches and fans who feel lucky to have had Lundqvist in net.

Lundqvist's win Saturday was his 20th of the season, making him the first NHL goaltender to start his career with 11 straight 20-win seasons. He also joined Hockey Hall of Fame member Tony Esposito and Martin Brodeur as the only goalies with 11 straight 20-win seasons at any point in their career. Lundqvist is the 15th goalie with at least 11 20-win seasons.

Lecavalier scores first with Kings, ends long drought

Saturday, 01.16.2016 / 5:32 PM / News

Vincent Lecavalier scored his first goal for the Los Angeles Kings, his second in more than a year, in the second period against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday.

Lecavalier, who was traded to the Kings by the Philadelphia Flyers on Jan. 6, scored on a power play 7:48 into the second period.

He had last scored on April 1 for the Flyers against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Prior to that, he had not scored since Jan. 3, 2015, against the New Jersey Devils.

Penguins' Letang a game-time decision vs. Hurricanes

Saturday, 01.16.2016 / 5:25 PM / News

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang did not practice Saturday and will be a game-time decision Sunday against the Carolina Hurricanes (3 p.m. ET; ROOT, FS-CR).

Letang appeared to sustain an injury to his right arm when he was checked by Tampa Bay Lightning forward Ryan Callahan late in the second period Friday.

Letang returned and finished the 5-4 overtime loss after he had X-rays between periods.

"[Kris] was being evaluated today," coach Mike Sullivan told the Penguins website Saturday. "We haven't gotten any definitive results, so right now he'll be a game-time decision for tomorrow."

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