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Around the League notebook for Saturday, Jan. 3

Sunday, 01.04.2015 / 10:27 AM / News

NHL Public Relations

OFFENSIVE EXPLOSION

A total of 74 goals were scored in the 10 games played Saturday (7.4 goals per game).

* Each game featured at least five goals, including seven in which one team scored at least five consecutive goals (Nashville Predators, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, Winnipeg Jets, Dallas Stars, Arizona Coyotes, St. Louis Blues).

* The highest scoring affair was the Nashville Predators against the Los Angeles Kings, which included four goals in each of the first three periods – highlighted by three Kings scores in the final 2:01 of regulation – and Roman Josi's goal 18 seconds into overtime.

* Thirteen players had at least three points, including three such performances by defensemen, two hat tricks (Jaromir Jagr and TJ Oshie) and four-point games by Coyotes forward Martin Hanzal (1-3—4), Blues forwards Alexander Steen (1-3—4) and Oshie (3-1—4), and defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (1-3—4).

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Rogers Hometown Hockey celebrates Owen Sound

Sunday, 01.04.2015 / 3:00 AM / News

NHL.com

CITY in Canada will televise "Rogers Hometown Hockey" at 6:30 p.m. Sunday prior to the game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Ottawa Senators. The location this week is Owen Sound, Ontario, and the half-hour program will celebrate the city's iconic hockey story.

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Girgensons, five Blackhawks named first 6 All-Stars

Saturday, 01.03.2015 / 6:00 PM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

The Chicago Blackhawks will be prominently represented at the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game, with five of their players revealed Saturday as part of the first six NHL All-Stars.

Buffalo Sabres forward Zemgus Girgensons will join Blackhawks forwards Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, defensemen Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook, and goaltender Corey Crawford at NHL All-Star Weekend, Jan. 24-25 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus.

Girgensons, the Sabres' second-year center, topped all vote-getters with 1,574,896. The 20-year-old has 11 goals and 20 points in 39 games.

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Blackhawks forward Versteeg to miss about a month

Saturday, 01.03.2015 / 2:51 PM / News

Chicago Blackhawks forward Kris Versteeg will be out about a month with an injury, coach Joel Quenneville said Saturday.

Versteeg blocked a shot during third period of the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on Jan. 1 against the Washington Capitals and left the game with an apparent hand injury.

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Lazar's smile, skills has WJC gold in reach for Canada

Saturday, 01.03.2015 / 12:00 PM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Mike Brophy - NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO -- It's a smile that lights up and energizes a nation.

Curtis Lazar's ever-present grin has been the backdrop for a team trying to win Canada's first gold medal at the IIHF World Junior Championship since 2009.

Lazar (Ottawa Senators) is Canada's captain and leader. In a pressure-packed event where the host country is expected to succeed, he has drawn on his experience from a year ago, when Canada finished fourth after losing 2-1 to Russia in the bronze-medal game. That loss came two days after a 5-1 loss to Finland in the semifinal.

He had three goals and seven points in Malmo, Sweden, at the 2014 WJC, but Lazar knew it would be different playing the 2015 WJC in Canada in front of family and friends, not to mention a hockey-mad nation that expects nothing less than gold.

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Sweden, Russia, Canada, Slovakia set for WJC semis

Saturday, 01.03.2015 / 11:28 AM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

TORONTO -- Sweden, Russia, Canada and Slovakia are the final four teams left at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship, and they'll play in the semifinals Sunday at Air Canada Centre.

Sweden, who won the silver medal at the 2014 WJC, plays Russia, the 2014 bronze medalists, in one semifinal; Canada faces Slovakia in the second game.

The survivors will meet in the gold-medal game in Toronto on Monday at 8 p.m. ET. The bronze-medal game is Monday at 4 p.m. ET.

Canada is making its 17th consecutive appearance in the tournament semifinals, Sweden is making its ninth straight appearance and Russia is in the final four for the fifth straight time. Slovakia, which has finished no higher than sixth (2012) the past five years at the WJC, last earned a semifinal berth in 2009.

A new champion is guaranteed this year since Finland, the 2014 gold medalist, lost 6-3 to Sweden on Friday in the quarterfinals. The other quarterfinal games saw Canada beat Denmark 8-0; Russia defeat the United States 3-2; and Slovakia defeat the Czech Republic 3-0.

Here is a closer look at the semifinal games:

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Around the League notebook for Friday, Jan. 2

Saturday, 01.03.2015 / 2:06 AM / News

NHL Public Relations

BELESKEY NETS (ANOTHER) WINNER, DUCKS REMAIN ATOP STANDINGS

The Anaheim Ducks surrendered three one-goal leads, but Matt Beleskey (1-1-2) scored at 10:55 of the third period to lift the Ducks to their ninth straight home win against the St. Louis Blues (dating to Jan. 7, 2010).

* The Ducks (25-9-6, 56 points) improved to 11-3-1 in their past 15 games to maintain their lead atop the NHL standings.

* Beleskey leads the Ducks with 16 goals this season, including five game-winners to equal Patrick Kane, Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Lars Eller for the NHL lead in that category. His second multipoint performance of the season helped him eclipse 100 career points.

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Canada cruises past Denmark to reach WJC semifinal

Friday, 01.02.2015 / 11:55 PM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

TORONTO -- Captain Curtis Lazar had two goals and an assist, and goaltender Zachary Fucale made 14 saves to lead Canada to an 8-0 victory against Denmark in the quarterfinal round of the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship at Air Canada Centre on Friday.

Canada will play Slovakia on Sunday in a semifinal in Toronto at 8 p.m. ET. Canada defeated Slovakia 8-0 in the preliminary round on Dec. 26.

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Flyers' Giroux 'got lucky,' avoids serious leg injury

Friday, 01.02.2015 / 11:39 PM / News

NHL.com

Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux is as durable as they come, missing five games in the past six seasons.

An injury he sustained Friday in a 2-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes appeared to be serious, but Giroux might not even miss Philadelphia's game against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday.

About 4:45 into the third period, Giroux's left leg was cut by the skate of Hurricanes defenseman Justin Faulk. Giroux was bleeding and crumpled to the ice.


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Slovakia shuts out rival Czech Republic at WJC

Friday, 01.02.2015 / 10:50 PM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Sean Farrell - NHL.com Correspondent

MONTREAL -- Slovakia picked an opportune moment at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship to finally get the better of its historical rivals.

Goaltender Denis Godla made 34 saves to send Slovakia to a 3-0 shutout win against the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals of the WJC at Bell Centre on Friday.

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Quote of the Day

I'm very excited about what happened today. We've worked on this deal with Toronto for a month, or over a month. It got a little bit of legs on draft day, but it really heated up last night, and we were able to complete the deal today.

— Penguins GM Jim Rutherford on Phil Kessel, who he acquired from the Maple Leafs in a trade on Wednesday