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Sabres turning early struggles into current gains

Sunday, 12.21.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Joe Yerdon - NHL.com Correspondent

BUFFALO -- Expectations can be a funny thing.

Before the season began for the Buffalo Sabres, it was expected by most outside of the organization they would be one of the worst teams in the NHL, and would be a season-long contender to earn the first pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.

Through the first month and a half of the season, the Sabres fit that description perfectly. Buffalo won three of the first 18 games and appeared to be well on the way to having the best shot to select Connor McDavid.

“We obviously didn't get the start we wanted this season but we stuck with it,” Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers said. “We stuck with coming to the rink trying to improve every day. We knew it wasn't going to be a quick fix, we just had to keep doing the right things, the little things, and it's been a lot better of late for sure, but there's always room for improvement.”

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Rogers Hometown Hockey celebrates Kingston

Sunday, 12.21.2014 / 3:00 AM / News

NHL.com

Prior to the telecast Sunday of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Chicago Blackhawks on CITY in Canada, the NHL Network in the United States will televise the "Rogers Hometown Hockey" broadcast at 6 p.m. ET. This week's location is Kingston, Ontario, to celebrate the city's iconic hockey story.

Among the features airing on the pregame show:

* Doug Gilmour enjoyed a career that earned him a spot in the Hockey Hall of Fame. When he was done as a player he returned to Kingston, his hometown, to coach the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League.

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Sunday Long Read: Landeskog a 'born leader'

Sunday, 12.21.2014 / 3:00 AM / Sunday Long Read

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Tony Landeskog still has the story saved on his computer, the one he read over and over with his son, Gabriel:

"What it takes to be an NHL captain."

"We just printed that out and read through it," Tony told NHL.com. "It was what personality is important to be a captain."

"Take heart and the ability to be heartless," was the lead to the story by longtime hockey writer Alan Adams. "Add experience and the savvy to get a message across. Mix in desire and the wherewithal to instill that same desire in others. And blend in a heaping helping of leadership."

Gabriel Landeskog was 12 years old when that article was published, but the qualities Adams described are evident today in Landeskog, now a 22-year-old in his third season as captain of the Colorado Avalanche.

For those who know Landeskog best, it's not surprising he is the captain of an NHL team. That it happened after his first season raised a few eyebrows. But seeing a "C" on the front of his jersey is about as normal as seeing his name on the back of it.

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Canucks' Hansen 'fine' after collapsing on bench

Sunday, 12.21.2014 / 1:32 AM / News

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- Vancouver Canucks forward Jannik Hansen left the game Saturday after collapsing briefly on the bench shortly after taking a hit against the Calgary Flames.

He was taken to a hospital for further evaluation.

Hansen was conscious and on his feet moments after collapsing early in the second period and walked to the locker room with help from the medical staff.

"He’s at the hospital but everything is checking out," Canucks coach Willie Desjardins said after a 3-2 overtime win at Rogers Arena. "It's concerning. He seemed like he couldn't get his breath there. He kind of went down. When that happens it's not usual, so you're concerned. But everything's checked out at the hospital and everything is fine.”

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Around the League notebook for Friday, Dec. 19

Saturday, 12.20.2014 / 1:08 AM / News

NHL Public Relations

KINKAID RECORDS FIRST NHL WIN

Keith Kinkaid of the New Jersey Devils made 26 saves through regulation and overtime and additionally stopped all three shooters in the shootout for his first NHL win, a 3-2 victory against the Tampa Bay Lightning. With the win, the Devils are 12-16-6 (30 points) this season and have a 12-3-0 home record versus the Lightning since the 2007-08 season.

* Kinkaid is 1-1-2 this season with a 1.75 goals-against average and a .939 save percentage.

* Adam Henrique (1-1—2) opened the scoring on the power-play with his ninth goal and added his 11th assist for his sixth multipoint performance of the season. Henrique is tied for first on the Devils in points (9-11—20) and ranks second in goals and power-play goals (4) this season.

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Red Wings' Howard leaves game with injury

Saturday, 12.20.2014 / 12:43 AM / News

Paul Harris - NHL.com Correspondent

DETROIT – Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard left the game after the first period against theNew York Islanders on Friday as a precaution because of a lower-body injury, the Red Wings announced.

Howard stopped eight of nine shots in the first period of a 1-1 game before goalie Petr Mrazek relieved him.

Red Wings coach Mike Babcock would only say Howard is injured and didn't give a time frame on how long he might be out.

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Canadiens forward Pacioretty day-to-day after injury

Friday, 12.19.2014 / 6:36 PM / News

NHL.com

Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty is day-to-day after sustaining an unspecified injury in a 2-1 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday.

Pacioretty left the game at 4:04 of the third period after falling headfirst into the boards on a check by Anaheim defenseman Clayton Stoner.

Coach Michel Therrien told the Canadiens website Pacioretty was sent to the hospital Thursday but was at the Bell Sports Complex during practice Friday.

"The good thing is that he is back with us," Therrien said. "He is day-to-day. We will see for tomorrow. But the good news is he was (in the building) this morning."

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Gordie Howe condition improves: report

Friday, 12.19.2014 / 5:59 PM / News

NHL.com

Gordie Howe's recovery from stroke-related health issues is progressing, and the Hockey Hall of Fame member has a public appearance with Wayne Gretzky scheduled for Feb. 6, The Hockey News reported Friday.

"As long as he keeps improving and doesn't have another setback, we feel he should be well enough to travel," son Marty Howe said in an email to THN.com. "We will never give up on Gordie, and giving up is something Gordie has never done."

Howe said his father is scheduled to appear at the Kinsmen Celebrity Sports Dinner in Saskatoon with Gretzky.

Gordie Howe has improved rapidly since receiving stem-cell treatment in early December.

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Flyers goalie Mason to miss at least two games

Friday, 12.19.2014 / 5:20 PM / News

NHL.com Staff

The Philadelphia Flyers announced Friday that goaltender Steve Mason will miss at least the next two games after sustaining an upper-body injury at practice Friday.

Mason will not play Saturday at the Toronto Maple Leafs or Sunday at the Winnipeg Jets when the Flyers start an eight-game road trip. The Flyers said they would have an update on Mason on Monday.

The Philadelphia Daily News reported Mason needed to be helped from the ice at the Flyers' practice site in Voorhees, N.J., after he was injured.

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Kings place Regehr on IR, recall Schultz from AHL

Friday, 12.19.2014 / 5:02 PM / News

LAKings.com

The Los Angeles Kings have recalled defenseman Jeff Schultz from the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League and placed defenseman Robyn Regehr on injured reserve, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi announced today.

The 6-6, 222-pound native of Calgary, Alberta, has appeared in 399 career NHL games, all with the Washington Capitals. He has posted 75 points with a plus-78 rating and 133 penalty minutes. He appeared in seven postseason games last year with the Kings, going scoreless.

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Quote of the Day

I don't know how he does it. I don't know how he gets his body parallel with the player and pulls it through his legs like that. I know he's tried it a couple times in practice and it's never worked, so how he does it in a game, it's incredible.

— Capitals defenseman Mike Green on teammate Alex Ovechkin's highlight-reel goal against the Devils on Saturday