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Features

Inside the numbers on wild 15-game Saturday

Sunday, 10.12.2014 / 1:21 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

For the sixth time in NHL history all 30 teams competed during a 15-game Saturday that included 13 being played simultaneously. The action began at 7:08 p.m. ET and the first goal of the evening was scored by St. Louis Blues forward Joakim Lindstrom, which was also his first NHL goal since 2011. Vancouver Canucks forward Linden Vey completed the scoring with a power-play goal 7:06 into the third period of the Canucks' eventual 5-4 shootout win against the Edmonton Oilers.

By the time Game 15 concluded at 1:03 a.m., 919:46 minutes of hockey was played with four games going into overtime and three ending in a shootout. The 30 teams combined for 86 goals (5.73 per game) and 911 shots (60.7 per game) before a combined attendance of 265,766. The Chicago Blackhawks scored a League-high six goals.

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Early returns positive for Predators' Laviolette

Sunday, 10.12.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

John Manasso - NHL.com Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- As the Nashville Predators prepared for a meeting that preceded their season opener on Thursday, general manager David Poile stood in the runway glancing at the players and coaching staff in the dressing room whom he had assembled. Poile admitted to being anxious.

Even for one of the longest-tenured general managers in NHL history, it was understandable. For the first time since 1998, Poile had hired a new coach in Peter Laviolette who brought a new style, and, as a consequence, Poile had remade the roster.

If Nashville's season opener is any indication, then the early returns are positive. The Predators outshot the Ottawa Senators 37-20 and, while down by a goal in the third period, struck three times within a span of less than nine minutes to earn a 3-2 victory.

Nashville ranked 23rd in the NHL last season in shots per game (29.0) and tied for 18th in the NHL in goals-for per game (2.61). As a team that has struggled offensively for the past couple of seasons, the opener brought some welcoming sights.

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Penguins' Dupuis has memorable return to lineup

Saturday, 10.11.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Wes Crosby - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins forward Pascal Dupuis said Thursday that he believed he had a lot to prove heading into the Penguins' season opener against the Anaheim Ducks. After one goal and three assists in the Penguins' 6-4 victory, he proved as much as he could in a single game.

"It didn't feel too bad," Dupuis said Thursday.

He'll have a chance to create more good feelings Saturday when the Penguins play the Toronto Maple Leafs (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, CBC).

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Oilers celebrate 30th anniversary of first Stanley Cup

Saturday, 10.11.2014 / 1:12 AM / NHL Insider

Derek Van Diest - NHL.com Correspondent

EDMONTON — The Edmonton Oilers turned back the clock Friday night, commemorating their first Stanley Cup championship.

The 1983-84 Oilers gathered at Rexall Place to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the first of the franchise's five Stanley Cup titles in a span of seven seasons.

More than 17,000 fans attended the reunion; proceeds from the event went to the University of Alberta Stollery Children's Hospital in Edmonton. Earlier in the day the 1984 team visited the hospital.

"We cared about one thing," NHL all-time leading scorer Wayne Gretzky said to open the night. "We cared about winning the Stanley Cup. We were just kids and we thought we knew everything. We didn't. But we knew how to play hockey."

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Pronger joins NHL Department of Player Safety

Friday, 10.10.2014 / 6:45 PM / NHL Department of Player Safety

NHL.com

NEW YORK -- Five-time NHL All-Star, two-time Olympic gold medalist and Stanley Cup champion Chris Pronger has joined the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety, NHL Senior Vice President Player Safety Stephane Quintal announced today.

The second overall selection in the 1993 NHL Draft, Pronger ranked among the League's most decorated stars over his 18-season playing career with the Hartford Whalers, St. Louis Blues, Edmonton Oilers, Anaheim Ducks and Philadelphia Flyers. He was named to the NHL All-Rookie Team with the Whalers in 1994, won the Hart Trophy (League MVP) and Norris Trophy (best defenseman) with the Blues in 2000, captured the Stanley Cup with the Ducks in 2007 and led the Oilers and Flyers to the Stanley Cup Final in 2006 and 2010, respectively.

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Defending AHL champ Texas Stars a model of stability

Friday, 10.10.2014 / 12:58 PM / AHL Update

Kinsey Janke - Special to NHL.com

Perhaps the only guarantee in the world of sports is there are no guarantees. Players get injured, coaches get fired, and general managers trade away the past in order to make the future better.

In the American Hockey League, the stability of it all is often so precarious that many teams are unable to get out from under it. For the Texas Stars, a season removed from winning the franchise's first Calder Cup, stability is something they have in spades.

Of the 28 names recently engraved on the Cup, 18 are returning to Cedar Park for the start of the 2014-15 season, which begins Friday. This core knows not only how to win, but how to win together, a luxury not many other teams can tap into.

"It was a great experience for everyone last year, and it gives everyone that much more confidence and that much more experience getting to go on a big run like that," said second-year pro Curtis McKenzie. "Now everyone knows we can be champions."

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Storylines abound as all 30 teams play Saturday

Friday, 10.10.2014 / 12:30 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

For only the sixth time in NHL history, all 30 teams will be in action on a single day during a 15-game Saturday.

It starts at 7 p.m. ET with nine games and will end on the West Coast with 10 p.m. ET starts in San Jose and Vancouver. During the first half of the 9 p.m. ET hour, 26 NHL teams will likely be playing at the same time.

The last time there was a 15-game day was April 7, 2012, which was the final day of the 2011-12 regular season. That day featured 88 goals, players representing 15 countries and 274,230 fans in attendance.

The first 15-game night in League history was Oct. 5, 2005, with every team playing on opening night after the 2004-05 lockout. It also happened once early in the 2007-08 season and twice in three weeks in October 2009.

This is the first of two 15-game days for the 2014-15 season. The last day of the regular season, April 11, 2015, will also feature all 30 teams playing.

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Capitals celebrate franchise's 40th anniversary

Thursday, 10.09.2014 / 7:56 PM / NHL Insider

Adam Vingan - NHL.com Correspondent

WASHINGTON -- The Washington Capitals began celebrating their 40th anniversary season Thursday when they faced off against the Montreal Canadiens in their season opener at Verizon Center. It was an occasion to savor, considering the franchise's struggles during its first decade.

The Capitals finished last in their division in six of their first eight seasons. Their first-season won-lost mark of 8-67-5 represents the NHL single-season records for fewest wins and points (21) in a season.

The on-ice struggles led to low fan turnout and interest. Owner Abe Pollin threatened relocation.

But the Capitals ultimately stayed in Washington, with a big assist from a September 1982 trade with the Canadiens that brought defenseman and future Hall of Famer Rod Langway to Washington.

"[Craig Laughlin and I] get on the phone to our agents," Langway recalled, "and we said, 'Are we sure we want to be here?'"

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Kessel leads fantasy fast-starting performers

Thursday, 10.09.2014 / 11:00 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Getting off to a good start in fantasy hockey always is important, especially in rotisserie leagues where it's harder to make up ground as the season progresses. It doesn't hurt to have a strong beginning in head-to-head leagues either, but in this format there is a lot more luck involved and you typically see larger swings in the standings on a week-to-week basis.

Having a strong start won't just help you in the standings; it also could lead to you making trades that improve your roster. Last October St. Louis Blues forward Alexander Steen was one of the best fantasy players in the game, posting an NHL-best 11 goals, as well as five assists, a plus-7 rating and five power-play points in 10 games. He then had 22 goals and 46 points in his next 58 games; still very productive but not nearly as dominant as his October was. Steen could've fallen into the well-known "sell high" group after his fast start and you probably could've gotten a lot in return via trade if you sold him at the right moment.

Heading into this season let's see if we can find the next Steen for you. Here's a look at some interesting October stats and some players that have been known to be dominant forces during the early parts of an NHL season.

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Kings blame loss on poor preparation, not ceremony

Thursday, 10.09.2014 / 2:36 AM / NHL Insider

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

LOS ANGELES – Darryl Sutter walked to the podium, looked at the assembled media and broke the ice with a one-liner.

“Welcome back,” the Los Angeles Kings coach said.

It was the one light moment in a disappointing night for Sutter and the Kings, who, for the second time in three seasons, came out flat in their Stanley Cup banner-raising opener. This time, Los Angeles suffered a 4-0 loss to the San Jose Sharks in front of 18,514 at Staples Center.


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