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Features

Predators' Neal fined $2,000 for diving/embellishment

Wednesday, 12.17.2014 / 5:00 PM / Department of Player Safety News

NHL.com

NEW YORKNashville Predators forward James Neal has been fined $2,000 as supplementary discipline under NHL Rule 64 (Diving/Embellishment), the National Hockey League announced today.

Revised for the 2014-15 season following offseason approval by the League's Board of Governors and the National Hockey League Players' Association, NHL Rule 64 is designed to bring attention to and more seriously penalize players (and teams) who repeatedly dive and embellish in an attempt to draw penalties.

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Five things to watch in Bruins vs. Wild

Wednesday, 12.17.2014 / 3:15 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

A lot was expected of the Boston Bruins and Minnesota Wild heading into the season, but injuries and lack of production from key players have plagued each team through the first 30 games.

Boston has been without top center David Krejci since Nov. 18 because of a groin injury, and captain Zdeno Chara recently returned to the lineup after missing roughly a month with a knee injury.

Inconsistency has plagued the Wild more than anything else, led by forward Thomas Vanek's four goals in 29 games, but there is still time to figure things out and qualify for a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Here are five things to watch when the Wild host the Bruins at Xcel Energy Center in this week's edition of the Wednesday Night Rivalry game (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN):

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Fantasy top 60 'D': Ducks defensemen making impact

Wednesday, 12.17.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Brian Metzer - NHL.com Correspondent

Most teams in the National Hockey League have at least one defenseman who can be a valuable contributor to a fantasy roster, but there are a few teams out there that boast two or more options that can help owners.

The Calgary Flames have Mark Giordano, TJ Brodie and Dennis Wideman. The Los Angeles Kings have Drew Doughty, Jake Muzzin and Alec Martinez, and the Pittsburgh Penguins have Kris Letang, Christian Ehrhoff and Paul Martin.

Then there is the team that we are going to discuss today, the Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks provide owners with a number of fantasy options on the back end, and they come in the form of Cam Fowler, Sami Vatanen and Hampus Lindholm.

All three players are owned in at least 40 percent of Yahoo standard leagues, but it has been Vatanen and Fowler who have rewarded owners with the most production to this point on the season.

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Forsberg cherished time with Flyers despite injuries

Wednesday, 12.17.2014 / 10:26 AM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Peter Forsberg played 100 games with the Philadelphia Flyers but certainly left an impression, remembered as much for on-ice success as persistent injuries.

"It started really good," Forsberg said Tuesday as the Flyers honored him for his induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame last month. "Me and [Simon] Gagne and that line started really well and we played so well. And it just got worse and worse."

The Flyers selected Forsberg with the sixth pick of the 1991 NHL Draft and attempted to bring him to North America for the 1992-93 season. But when Forsberg said he didn't feel NHL-ready, Philadelphia used him as the sweetener to complete a trade with the Quebec Nordiques in June 1992 for Eric Lindros.

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U.S. faces tough choice in selecting starting goalie

Wednesday, 12.17.2014 / 9:38 AM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

BOSTON -- What happens when three friends also happen to be in competition for the right to earn the primary role as starting goaltender for the United States at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship?

It comes down to survival of the fittest and the best, quite honestly, during USA Hockey's four-day selection camp at Walter Brown Arena on the campus of Boston University.

The three goalies, all 2014 NHL Draft picks, are Boston College sophomore Thatcher Demko (Vancouver Canucks, No. 36), Alex Nedeljkovic (Carolina Hurricanes, No. 37) of the Plymouth Whalers in the Ontario Hockey League and Brandon Halverson (New York Rangers, No. 59) of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in the OHL.

"The other two guys are fantastic goalies," Demko said. "I know that if I don't show up ready for a practice they'll be stopping the pucks. It just keeps you on your toes and pushes you."

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Parise is Wild's leader on and off the ice

Wednesday, 12.17.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Myers - NHL.com Correspondent

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- In a season of injury, illness and inconsistency, Minnesota Wild forward Zach Parise has been the one veteran constant.

Statistically, Parise is off to his best start since signing with Minnesota in the summer of 2012. He has 23 points in 24 games entering Minnesota's Wednesday Night Rivalry game against the Chicago Blackhawks (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN). If he keeps up that pace for the remainder of the season, he would be on track for his best offensive numbers since he scored 82 points in 81 games with the New Jersey Devils in 2009-10.

But while Parise has held up his end of the bargain as a veteran leader on a team with plenty of youth, it's been hard for the Wild to find a consistent groove this season.

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Capitals, Blackhawks start road to NHL Winter Classic

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

Tom Wilson and Michael Latta live together in an apartment in Northern Virginia, and some college students would be surprised at the minimalist nature of their bachelor pad.

At some point in Brad Richards' career, if only for a brief time, he probably lived in a place like that. He, his wife and their 2-month old child now live in one of Chicago's signature skyscrapers, with a stunning view of one of America's largest cities and Lake Michigan from their living room.

The first episode of "EPIX Presents Road to the NHL Winter Classic" begins and ends with the road, and the idea that the journey is as important as the destination. Richards, a veteran of 1,013 NHL games and a Conn Smythe Trophy winner, knows about the road an NHL player must traverse.

Wilson and Latta represent a juxtaposition to Richards; the eager young players hoping to forge a path to NHL success. In that way, they also represent their teams, and how the new inside look from EPIX at the franchises as they prepare for the NHL's signature regular-season event could be shaped.

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Kings unveil NHL Stadium Series uniform

NHL.com

The Los Angeles Kings unveiled their 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series uniforms Tuesday, and it's a different look than their outdoor jerseys from last season.

When the Kings play the San Jose Sharks at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. on Feb. 21, 2015, Los Angeles will wear a half-gray and half-white jersey, with a black strip running horizontally through the middle and intersecting with the Kings' primary logo, the letters "LA" with a small crown in a shield.

The back of the jersey features black numbers outlined in gray on a white background, with the names in black. In addition to the Stadium Series patch on the right shoulder, each player's number will be on the right shoulder and on each sleeve in a larger size.


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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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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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Quote of the Day

[He's] real confident with the puck now, getting it off his stick quick and no second-guessing. We need that. He's such a good guy in the room. He works so hard. That's the big thing. For not a big man, he just fights for every puck and when he scores, the guys appreciate that even more.

— Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice on Mathieu Perreault, who scored two goals in win against Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday