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EPIX delivers inside look at Winter Classic

NHL.com

Whether it is at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., or high atop the Chicago skyline, the first episode of "EPIX Presents Road to the NHL Winter Classic" provides an inside look at the personalities of the Washington Capitals and Chicago Blackhawks and begins to examine the paths of the two franchises toward the NHL's signature regular-season event.

Some of the highlights of the first episode in the four-part series, which begins Tuesday night on EPIX, include spending a day with new Capitals coach Barry Trotz and his family at the zoo. There's also a glance at what life at home is like for Blackhawks veteran Brad Richards in comparison to that of Washington rookies Tom Wilson and Michael Latta.

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Blue Jackets acquire Adam from Sabres for D'Amigo

Tuesday, 12.16.2014 / 5:05 PM / News

ColumbusBlueJackets.com

The Columbus Blue Jackets have acquired center Luke Adam from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for left wing Jerry D’Amigo, club General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today. The club has assigned Adam to their American Hockey League affiliate, the Springfield Falcons.

Adam, 24, has posted 15 goals and 11 assists for 26 points with 32 penalty minutes in 87 career NHL games with Buffalo. He has also recorded 85-96-161 and 181 penalty minutes in 237 career AHL games with the Portland Pirates and Rochester Americans, including 8-12-20 and 24 penalty minutes in 27 contests in 2014-15.

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Oilers' core feels responsible for Eakins' firing

Tuesday, 12.16.2014 / 4:55 PM / News

Jerry Brown - NHL.com Correspondent

GLENDALE, Ariz. Taylor Hall is barely 23 years old, but the Edmonton Oilers forward is a veteran when it comes to seeing coaches come and go from the dressing room.

When he first arrived it was Tom Renney, and then Ralph Krueger. Now Dallas Eakins, who was fired after just 113 games with the Oilers having lost 15 of 16 games and coming nowhere near the promise that their roster, stocked with high draft picks and budding stars, were expected to fulfill.

Todd Nelson becomes the sixth coach in six years tasked with the duty of turning a once-proud franchise into a winner again. But Hall was quick to admit that the chances have to come along the bench and not just behind it.

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Eichel carries valuable lessons from WJC experience

Tuesday, 12.16.2014 / 4:08 PM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

BOSTON -- Just because Jack Eichel was the youngest player on the roster, he wasn't necessarily eased into action for the United States National Junior Team during the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship in Sweden.

He played a top-six role and earned valuable minutes in key moments of every game. He also learned some valuable lessons.

"This is a tournament about being disciplined and being resilient," Eichel said. "Those are two things the coaches really stressed. If you have a bad shift or game, you need to remember it's a three-week tournament and not one or two games. It's all about getting to the medal round, getting into the playoffs, and then moving through your bracket beating those top teams."

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Jets' Trouba out until February with upper-body injury

Tuesday, 12.16.2014 / 3:03 PM / News

Patrick Williams - NHL.com Correspondent

WINNIPEG -- Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba will be out until February with an upper-body injury, coach Paul Maurice said Tuesday.

Trouba, 20, has four goals and 12 points in 31 games in his second NHL season. The ninth pick in the 2012 NHL Draft had 10 goals and 29 points in 65 games as a rookie.

Trouba joins Zach Bogosian and Tobias Enstrom, each of whom are on injured reserve with lower-body injuries, as Jets defensemen out of the lineup.

Trouba did not practice Monday, but the news came as a surprise as Maurice had said Monday that Trouba was "probable" for Tuesday when the Jets host the Buffalo Sabres at MTS Centre.

"What you [were] hopeful for [was] that it heals and gets better and that it progresses," Maurice said. "He had the opposite experience. Things started to get progressively a little worse on him. It just got to the point that the only and best way for us to get him back to 100 percent is that we have to shut him down."

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Eakins has no regrets after being fired by Oilers

Tuesday, 12.16.2014 / 2:21 PM / News

Derek Van Diest - NHL.com Correspondent

EDMONTON -- Former Edmonton Oilers coach Dallas Eakins still believes in the management group who let him go.

In a media conference Tuesday, a day after being fired, Eakins urged Oilers fans to remain patient with the organization. He believes better times are ahead.

"My message to the people and to the fans -- I can speak freely now -- and like it or not, you need to be patient," Eakins said. "With [new coach Todd Nelson] coming in, [general manager] Craig MacTavish took over this job 18-20 months ago. I understand being out of the playoffs for a long time, but the situation is the situation. It's kind of like losing all your money. You don't get all your money back the next day; you have to start working again and working at it.

"This organization is where it's at and all of this past is painful for anyone that's been through it. The fans of this organization have suffered greatly, but I'm going to tell you, you need to be patient and that's the way it goes. And if anybody is going to find the solution, it's going to be Craig MacTavish, and I know that for sure."

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2015 NHL All-Star Fan Vote presented by SiriusXM crosses 20 million vote mark in Week 4

Buffalo's Girgensons maintains his lead with nearly 1.1 million votes

Tuesday, 12.16.2014 / 1:15 PM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

NHL.com

NEW YORK -- For the third straight week, Buffalo Sabres center Zemgus Girgensons is the top vote-getter in the 2015 NHL All-Star Fan Vote presented by SiriusXM with 1,089,865 votes. The second, third and fourth spots are once again occupied by Chicago Blackhawks teammates Patrick Kane (586,310), Jonathan Toews (573,198) and Duncan Keith (567,184), respectively while goaltender Corey Crawford has moved into the fifth spot with 501,259 votes. More than 20 million votes from 196 countries have been cast to date, up 120% from four weeks of voting in the fan vote campaign for the 2012 NHL All-Star Game.

Girgensons' vote surge continues to be led by Sabres fans and hockey fans in his native Latvia, accounting for more than 80% of his total votes.

If voting ended today, forwards Girgensons, Kane, Toews; defensemen Keith and PK Subban (460,966) of the Montreal Canadiens; and goaltender Crawford would be bound for the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game.

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Fantasy top 100 forwards: Seguin, Nash fit the bill

Tuesday, 12.16.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Every Tuesday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey insider Pete Jensen will provide you with in-depth forward analysis. From updated weekly top 100 rankings to trending players and more, Jensen will be your go-to guy for fantasy forward advice all season long.

There hasn't been much changing of the guard atop the NHL's goal-scoring list in recent seasons.

Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals has led the League in that category in four of the past seven seasons. Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning finished tied for first in 2009-10 and won the title outright in 2011-12. Corey Perry of the Anaheim Ducks led the way in 2010-11 and finished second behind Ovechkin in 2013-14. The lone players to reach 60 goals in a single season since 2005-06 are Ovechkin (65 in 2007-08) and Stamkos (60 in 2011-12).

Those were the three clear Maurice Richard Trophy (most regular-season goals) favorites entering 2014-15, but things aren't playing out that way.

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Five Questions: GM Nill preaches patience with Stars

Tuesday, 12.16.2014 / 3:00 AM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill comes from the Detroit Red Wings' school of team-building, so patience in development is basically in his DNA. No team waits on prospects quite the way the Red Wings do, and it typically works out for them.

Nill, who worked alongside Detroit general manager Ken Holland for 19 years, has needed every bit of his patience this season because after overachieving to reach the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season, the Stars have struggled, particularly in their own end.

Dallas (11-13-5) is sixth in the Central Division with 27 points and last in the NHL in goals-against per game (3.52).

"We were fortunate to make some moves last season that probably put us ahead of what anybody really thought, and now it all has to come together," Nill told NHL.com. "That's what takes time. Other than [Jason] Spezza and a few others, it's a very young core, and that's why we have to be very patient, let it come together. It's easy to say, 'Well, it's not coming together, we need to make another change,' but you've gotta let things gel on their own a little bit too."

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Around the League notebook for Monday, Dec. 15

Monday, 12.15.2014 / 11:52 PM / News

NHL Public Relations

PENGUINS DEFEAT LIGHTNING, REMAIN ATOP EASTERN CONFERENCE STANDINGS

Marc-Andre Fleury made 28 saves to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 4-2 win against the Tampa Bay Lighting. The Penguins improved to 20-6-4 (44 points) to remain first in the Eastern Conference; they have earned at least one point in 13 of their last 16 games (10-3-3). The Penguins also improved to 9-0-1 against Atlantic Division opponents and 17-1-4 when scoring three or more goals.

* The Penguins have won 10 consecutive games against the Lightning, the longest winning streak in the series between the clubs. Pittsburgh's last loss to Tampa Bay was a 4-1 defeat on Nov. 17, 2011. At home, the Penguins have won eight consecutive games against the Lightning, which is the club's second-longest active home winning streak behind a 13-game streak against the Winnipeg Jets.

* Fleury stopped 28 of 30 shots and is 17-4-2 with a 2.10 goals-against average and a .927 save percentage. He's tied for second among goaltenders in wins and has lost just once in regulation in his last 11 starts (8-1-2). Fleury also improved to 8-1-0 in his last nine home starts against the Lightning.

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Quote of the Day

I didn't even know how to celebrate. I threw my hands up, they gave me a hug, so I guess that's all I needed.

— Sabres forward Tim Schaller on scoring his first NHL goal Sunday against the Bruins