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Flyers' Voracek ties All-Star record with six points

Sunday, 01.25.2015 / 9:53 PM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

COLUMBUS -- When Philadelphia Flyers forward Jakub Voracek was told that he tied a record set by Mario Lemieux with six points in the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game at Nationwide Arena on Sunday, he wasn't impressed.

"I think it's a little different, Voracek and Lemieux, right?" Voracek said. "I had three secondary assists, so I wouldn't get too excited about that."

Voracek, the NHL's leading scorer, had three goals and three assists, even if they were secondary ones, to match the All-Star Game record set in 1988 by Lemieux. Team Toews teammate John Tavares matched a record with four goals for the winning team.

Neither Voracek nor Tavares were named MVP of the game; that honor went to Columbus Blue Jackets forward Ryan Johansen, who won a poll on Twitter.

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2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game post-game notes

Sunday, 01.25.2015 / 9:46 PM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

NHL Public Relations

TEAM TOEWS TRIUMPHS IN HIGHEST-SCORING NHL ALL-STAR GAME

Team Toews, under team captain Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks, scored a record-setting goal total in a 17-12 win over Team Foligno, led by Nick Foligno of the host Columbus Blue Jackets, in the highest-scoring NHL All-Star Game in history.

Team Toews' 17 goals are the most ever scored by one team in an NHL All-Star Game, one more than the Prince of Wales Conference's total in a 16-6 win over the Clarence Campbell Conference in 1993 at Montreal.

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Blackhawks put Versteeg on long-term injured reserve

Sunday, 01.25.2015 / 6:01 PM / News

NHL.com

Chicago Blackhawks forward Kris Versteeg was placed on long-term injured reserve Sunday because of a broken left hand, and forward Dennis Rasmussen was recalled from the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League.

Versteeg has 27 points (nine goals, 18 assists) in 34 games this season, and is tied for second on the Blackhawks with a plus-14 rating. Versteeg sustained the injury blocking a shot during the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic against the Washington Capitals at Nationals Park.

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Foligno, Johansen give Columbus memorable night

Saturday, 01.24.2015 / 11:23 PM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

Craig Merz - NHL.com Correspondent

COLUMBUS -- It wasn't a perfect night for Columbus Blue Jackets forwards Nick Foligno and Ryan Johansen, but it was close enough for the hometown fans to enjoy Team Foligno's 25-19 win against Team Toews in the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition at Nationwide Arena on Saturday.

Foligno missed several shots in the Skills Challenge Relay and Johansen flubbed his shootout attempts, but the capacity crowd was in a forgiving mood because of several memorable moments provided by Johansen.

He captured the hearts and votes with a Columbus-centric effort to win the Breakaway Challenge through online balloting.

On his first try, he wore an Ohio State jersey to honor its football team for winning the College Football Playoff National Championship on Jan. 12.

He certainly had the home fans in his corner and probably wrapped up the competition (which was all about style points, not whether a player actually scored) when he used Cole Vogt, the son of Blue Jackets trainer Mike Vogt, on his second attempt and let him take a shot and score against Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford.

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Players' talent, humor on display at Skills Competition

Saturday, 01.24.2015 / 11:23 PM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

COLUMBUS -- Ryan Johansen won over the home crowd, Jakub Voracek and Johnny Gaudreau brought the comedy, and Shea Weber left his fellow all-stars in awe of his impressive slap shot Saturday night during the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition at Nationwide Arena.

Team Foligno, captained by Columbus Blue Jackets forward Nick Foligno, won the competition by a 25-19 margin against Team Toews, captained by Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews. Though the score will likely be forgotten by Sunday, the highlights from the event will live on for a long time.

"It's been a great atmosphere here," Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith said. "It's a nice building with great fans here, and I think it's just been fun. Any time you're around this type of atmosphere, I think it's a special time and something you want to remember and cherish for the rest of your life. As far as the competition, you know, Weber's shot was pretty hard. Nobody shoots it that hard except for him. It's pretty impressive."

Weber, the Nashville Predators captain, dropped many jaws in the building with his 108.5 mph slap shot that won the AMP NHL Hardest Shot competition.

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Weber wins Hardest Shot competition for first time

Saturday, 01.24.2015 / 10:57 PM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

COLUMBUS — Zdeno Chara remains the king of the hardest shot competition, but not by much.

Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber won the AMP NHL Hardest Shot event at the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition with a blast of 108.5 mph. It's the second-hardest shot in the history of the All-Star skills competition, narrowly missing the record of 108.8 mph set by Chara three years ago.

"I was surprised," Weber said. "I knew I got it. It's tough. You never know how hard it is until it registers on the gun. I got pretty much all I could into and you just hope for the best."

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Johansen plays to crowd in Breakaway Challenge

Saturday, 01.24.2015 / 10:01 PM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

COLUMBUS -- Hometown hero Ryan Johansen set the bar when he grabbed the son of a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets training staff to assist him in the Honda NHL Breakaway Challenge.

It was up to the other participants to try to match it. Watching them try was hilarious.

The Breakaway Challenge was one of the signature events of the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition on Saturday at Nationwide Arena, with the players' personalities and skills converging for the fans to enjoy.

Johansen played to the home crowd by removing his Blue Jackets jersey to reveal a red football jersey of the national champion Ohio State Buckeyes on one of his attempts, and on another, he grabbed 7-year-old Cole Vogt, the son of Columbus trainer Mike Vogt, and they skated in on Corey Crawford of the Chicago Blackhawks and scored a goal past him. For his final attempt, Johansen recruited six of his Team Foligno teammates to help him re-create the "Flying V" formation from the movie "The Mighty Ducks."

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NHL, Sportvision test program to track players, puck

Saturday, 01.24.2015 / 8:52 PM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

COLUMBUS -- Tracking exactly what is happening all over an ice rink at all times has been nearly impossible, but the NHL and Sportvision are working on cracking that code.

The NHL and Sportvision tested player- and puck-tracking devices Saturday night at the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition in what could be the first step to revolutionizing the way data is collected in hockey.

"At the end of the day, we need to create a digital record of what happens on the ice, that is uniform across the League, highly accurate and allows fans to go as deep as they want to go but also allows us to tell stories," NHL Chief Operating Officer John Collins said.

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NHL.com predicts Team Europe, Youngstars rosters

Saturday, 01.24.2015 / 6:11 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu and Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writers

COLUMBUS -- One of the most intriguing aspects of the 2016 World Cup of Hockey that was announced Saturday is the addition of two teams that are not representing one country in particular.

In addition to the traditional power nations of Canada, the United States, Russia, Sweden, Finland and the Czech Republic, there will be a team of players from other European countries and a North American Youngstars team made up of players 23-and-under from Canada and the United States.

The exact rules to determine who will be eligible for the North American Youngstars team have not been set, but speculation on who will make that team, as well as Team Europe, will run rampant from now until the first 16 players for each of the eight teams must be named March 1, 2016.

NHL.com decided to take an initial run at predicting the rosters for the two teams. For the Youngstars team, a cutoff birth date of Sept. 18, 1992, was used because all players born after that date would still be 23 on the day the tournament starts on Sept. 17, 2016. There was also no minimum number of players that needed to be taken from Canada or the United States.

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Current players motivated by World Cup legacy

Saturday, 01.24.2015 / 5:07 PM / News

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

COLUMBUS -- Patrick Kane was 8 years old, but his memories remain vivid today.

The Chicago Blackhawks forward recalled watching the United States defeat Canada to win the 1996 World Cup of Hockey when the latest edition of the event, to be held in Toronto in 2016, was announced Saturday.

That victory had a huge impact on a generation of American-born players, with 22 to compete alongside Kane in Toronto in 2016.

David Backes of the St. Louis Blues and Joe Pavelski of the San Jose Sharks were 12 at the time, Ryan Suter of the Minnesota Wild was 9, and Max Pacioretty of the Montreal Canadiens was 8, to name a few of the players who might have been influenced by that landmark victory for the United States program.

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Quote of the Day

It's a date that's been circled on my calendar, so it's kind of nice to have it here and get it over with (Thursday). This is a little bit of the closing of the book on the move. That's kind of how I'm looking at it.

— Jason Spezza on returning to Ottawa for the first time to face the Senators with the Stars