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Features

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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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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Fantasy All-Access: Cameron's impact on Senators

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

Every Monday, NHL.com contributor Matt Sitkoff identifies waiver wire pickups, roster trends, schedule notes and a prospect to watch in fantasy hockey.

The fantasy pre-draft talk focuses on whom to take with the first pick, and that conversation usually starts with Sidney Crosby vs. Steven Stamkos. On Monday, we won't see the 15th head-to-head matchup between these two because of Crosby's illness. This will be the ninth time in this matchup that one of the superstars did not suit up. In the previous 14 head-to-head matchups the Penguins have won 10, with Crosby scoring 10 goals and 12 assists. Stamkos has been productive despite the losses to the Penguins, with eight goals and 10 assists. Yet, when Crosby misses the matchup, Stamkos only has four assists in nine games.

WAIVER WIRE WATCH

Sean Couturier, Philadelphia Flyers (owned in 6 percent of Yahoo Leagues) -- The Philadelphia Flyers are finally getting some depth scoring, and leading that charge is this fourth-year center. Couturier is on a career-high six-game point streak that has seen him score three goals and four assists with eight shots on goal, four hits and five blocked shots. The Flyers have a busy schedule this week with four games scheduled (home vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers and on the road vs. the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets). Expect the No. 8 pick from the 2011 NHL Draft to continue his red-hot play.

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Tough calls await as U.S. opens WJC selection camp

Monday, 12.15.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Jim Johannson, general manager of the United States National Junior Team, anticipates some tough decisions to be made this week when many young American hopefuls begin their push to earning roster spots for their country at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Coach Mark Osiecki will lead 30 invites at the USA Hockey selection camp that will take place on the campus of Boston University at Walter Brown Arena, Tuesday through Friday. The final 23-man roster, which will likely be revealed Dec. 24, might include 13 forwards, seven defensemen and three goaltenders, according to Johannson.

"We'll do a combination of scrimmaging and practicing at camp where we can get into our philosophy and how we want to play as a team in building our identity," Osiecki said. "But I do want to have the competitive situations where we can see these kids compete against each other. The good thing is that we have a tremendous staff of player personnel people, so we have a lot of eyes on these guys."

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Canadiens counting on Price a little too much

Saturday, 12.13.2014 / 12:43 AM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

Carey Price
Goalie - MTL
RECORD: 16-8-1
GAA: 2.38 | SVP: .922

MONTREAL -- The Los Angeles Kings left Bell Centre on Friday like many other teams before them.

The Kings put 46 shots on goal, attempted 46 more against the Montreal Canadiens, and wound up with two goals and zero points in the standings.

"I think we came out with a good push early and didn't capitalize on chances," Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin said after a 6-2 loss they thoroughly controlled. "They got their opportunities and took advantage of it, and we were left kind of wondering, 'What's going on?'"

Carey Price was going on.

As dominant as the Kings were, the Canadiens goaltender was a bit more so. Price stopped all 28 shots through two periods, with 16 of them coming on five Kings power plays.

"We had a lot of really good chances; we totally dominated the first period," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said. "I think Carey Price was really, really good, wasn't he?"

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Quote of the Day

I remember the first time at Wrigley Field all of us had the long johns, the turtlenecks and the extra equipment because we were afraid of being cold. Halfway through the first period everybody's ripping everything off and we just ended up wearing what we would normally wear for a game at the United Center.

— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp on the 2009 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic