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Daily Primer Jan. 31: Stadium Series rematch

Friday, 01.31.2014 / 2:52 AM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

Two nights after the New York Rangers and New York Islanders took their rivalry outdoors, they'll meet again indoors.

The Rangers will be looking for a sweep of their local rival when they host the Islanders on Friday (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US). The Rangers edged the Islanders 2-1 at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday in the first outdoor meeting between the teams. That victory gave the Rangers a sweep of their two games in the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series; they beat their other Metropolitan area rival, the New Jersey Devils, 7-3 on Sunday.

Here's a look at all of the action Friday:

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Varlamov signs five-year extension with Avalanche

Friday, 01.31.2014 / 2:01 AM / News

Semyon Varlamov
Goalie - COL
RECORD: 27-9-5
GAA: 2.47 | SVP: 0.924
Semyon Varlamov isn't going anywhere.

The Colorado Avalanche on Thursday signed the 25-year-old goaltender to a five-year contract extension through the 2018-19 season. No financial figures were released, though multiple media reports say the deal is worth $29.5 million, an average annual value of $5.9 million.

"It was a big day for us," coach Patrick Roy said. "I'm sure it's a great day for Varly as well. He certainly deserved that contract. We're very happy it's a done deal."

Varlamov is 27-9-5 with a 2.47 goals-against average, .924 save percentage and one shutout in 43 games this season. He earned his career-high 27th victory Thursday night with a 5-4 win against the Minnesota Wild.

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Lightning goalie Bishop injured vs. Senators

Friday, 01.31.2014 / 12:06 AM / News

Sean Farrell - NHL.com Correspondent

Ben Bishop
Goalie - TBL
RECORD: 26-7-4
GAA: 2.01 | SVP: 0.932
OTTAWA -- Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop left the game against the Ottawa Senators on Thursday at 1:49 of the first period after he was struck on the back of the head by teammate Nikita Kucherov's skate.

He did not return to the game.

"At the beginning I didn't feel good at all, kind of real weak," Bishop said. "I kind of have my bearings now and feel good, just a little bit of a headache. I think it's gotten better as the game has gone on, so hopefully I'll wake up (Friday) and feel good and hopefully be able to practice."

Lightning coach Jon Cooper said he does not believe his starting goalie is seriously injured.

"I felt a lot better after speaking with him after the first period," he said.

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Capitals defenseman Green leaves game

Thursday, 01.30.2014 / 9:57 PM / News

Craig Merz - NHL.com Correspondent

COLUMBUS -- Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green did not return to the game Thursday against the Columbus Blue Jackets after leaving in the first period.

Green skated off under his own power but wobbly with 6:43 left in the period after being checked at the end boards by Blue Jackets forward Boone Jenner. Green was down for about a minute before heading to the dressing room.

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Canucks' Bieksa out indefinitely; Sedin return closer

Thursday, 01.30.2014 / 4:04 PM / News

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- Vancouver Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa is out indefinitely and won't join the team on a five-game road trip that takes the Canucks into the NHL break for the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Bieksa played into the final minute of a 5-2 loss against the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday but wasn't at practice Thursday.

"It's more than [a maintenance day]," interim coach Mike Sullivan said. "He is not going to join us on the trip. We don't know the details of it yet. When we get more information we'll update you."

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Two-time Cup winner Pandolfo retires

Thursday, 01.30.2014 / 1:41 PM / News

NHL.com

Jay Pandolfo, a key checking-line forward and two-time Stanley Cup winner for the New Jersey Devils, formally announced his retirement Thursday.

Pandolfo, 39, played 18 games last season for the Boston Bruins and 62 the season prior to that with the New York Islanders. He spent the first 13 seasons of his career with the Devils, who selected him in the second round (No. 32) of the 1993 NHL Draft.

"I was very fortunate to live my dream of playing in the NHL," Pandolfo said in a statement released through the NHL Players' Association. "I was lucky to be part of three great organizations and would like to thank the New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders and Boston Bruins. I would like to thank all my teammates, coaches and staff for all the memorable experiences together. I'd especially like to thank my family for all the support they have given me throughout my career."

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Positive memories for Scuderi in Los Angeles return

Thursday, 01.30.2014 / 12:46 PM / NHL Insider

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- When the Pittsburgh Penguins took the ice at the Los Angeles Kings' practice facility, some of Rob Scuderi's teammates asked him about the enlarged photo that hangs on the wall between the benches.

It's the team photo taken after Scuderi and the Kings won the 2012 Stanley Cup, and Craig Adams seemed to be giving Scuderi a hard time about his inconspicuousness because Scuderi is barely visible in the back.

"I think they were asking me why I wasn't a little closer to the Cup," Scuderi said. "I'm more of a back-row guy so I was kind of tucked away in the back. I'm still in there."

That really sums up Scuderi's four-season stint in Los Angeles, where his stability and leadership weren't necessarily front and center but absolutely were integral to the Kings capturing the first Cup in franchise history.

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In the Cage: Wild's Kuemper commanding attention

Thursday, 01.30.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Justin Goldman - NHL.com Correspondent

After a 4-2 win against the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday, Minnesota Wild goaltender Darcy Kuemper has emerged as a solid fantasy acquisition for the remainder of the season.

Kuemper has shattered the previous club record for consecutive starts by a rookie (four) with eight in a row, going 5-2-1 with a 1.97 goals-against average and .935 save percentage during this stretch. For rookies that have played at least 10 games this season, Kuemper is currently fourth in GAA (2.26) and save percentage (.924), and tied with the Washington Capitals' Philipp Grubauer for sixth overall in wins (six).

While it's easy to look at Minnesota as a whole this season and label Kuemper as the beneficiary of strong team play, the statistics in January tell a different story.

Not only have the Wild been outshot by a considerable margin, but the team is being dominated in puck possession categories. Kuemper has faced 286 shots in nine games this month, while Minnesota only has 211 shots on goal. That means he's facing 57.5-percent of the total shots produced.

Corsi numbers also heavily favor Minnesota's opponents in January. Kuemper has faced 566 total Corsi events this month, or an average of 62.9 events per game. Minnesota has only tallied 408 Corsi events during Kuemper's time on ice, or an average of 45.3 per game. That means Kuemper has faced a hefty 58.1-percent of the Corsi events in January.

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Record-setting night for Oilers goalie Scrivens

Thursday, 01.30.2014 / 11:30 AM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Ben Scrivens has been looking for the opportunity to prove himself as a No. 1-caliber goaltender in the NHL.

It didn't happen with the Toronto Maple Leafs or with the Los Angeles Kings. But Wednesday, in his fourth game with the Edmonton Oilers, Scrivens made himself noticed in a major way.

Scrivens stopped all 59 shots the San Jose Sharks poured on him in a 3-0 shutout. It's the most saves by a goalie in a regular-season shutout in the expansion era. The previous record was 54 saves by the Phoenix Coyotes' Mike Smith on April 3, 2012.

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Quote of the Day

They said, 'You're going to love the city. It's smaller than Philadelphia, but you're going to love it. You're going to love the fans. Just watching the playoffs last year, the fans seemed louder there than they did anywhere. I'm really excited about that.

— Forward Scott Hartnell on his upcoming season with the Columbus Blue Jackets