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Features

AHL's experiments with overtime get mixed reviews

Sunday, 01.25.2015 / 11:59 PM / AHL Update

Joe Yerdon - NHL.com Correspondent

UTICA, N.Y. -- The American Hockey League has been trying to find a way to have more games end in overtime rather than in the shootout. The reviews have been mixed from players.

Before the start of the 2014-15 season, the AHL changed how overtime periods would be handled by switching from a five-minute overtime played 4-on-4 to a seven-minute period with four of them played 4-on-4 and three minutes played 3-on-3.

Through Saturday, 74.8 percent of games that went to overtime were settled in the extra period. When compared to last season, it’s an increase of 39.5 percent when 64.7 percent of games that went to overtime ended in the shootout. For AHL players who have spent time in the NHL, that difference has been noticeable.

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Blue Jackets' Johansen named MVP of All-Star Game

Sunday, 01.25.2015 / 10:11 PM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

Craig Merz - NHL.com Correspondent

COLUMBUS -- Ryan Johansen benefited from the home crowd support when he was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game at Nationwide Arena on Sunday.

Although the Columbus Blue Jackets center was on the losing side when Team Toews beat Team Foligno 17-12, Johansen won the voting by fans after he had two goals and two assists in his first All-Star Game appearance.

"This weekend was definitely a confidence booster," he said. "I was very happy to be a part of the All-Star Game, but it's important not to get too high or get too low and keep that even keel.

"It hasn't hit me yet for sure. This is something that I'll remember for a long, long time."

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Ekblad, Gaudreau, Forsberg make an impact at ASG

Sunday, 01.25.2015 / 9:59 PM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

COLUMBUS -- Twelve months ago, Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad was in a hotel in Sudbury, Ontario with his Barrie Colts teammates awaiting an Ontario Hockey League game the following afternoon.

Sunday, Ekblad not only participated in the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game at Nationwide Arena, the 18-year-old rookie had four assists in Team Toews' 17-12 victory against Team Foligno.

"I did not know that," Ekblad said, when told he finished with four points. "I probably made a pass from the bottom of our zone and we scored. It is not a big deal.

"It is just a fun experience. I'm really happy to be here. I just came in as a replacement, and I didn't expect to be playing in this game. It was cool, and all the guys in here were professionals and welcomed me with open arms. It was nice."

Ekblad was joined on Team Toews by forwards Filip Forsberg of the Nashville Predators and Johnny Gaudreau of the Calgary Flames. They have been three of the top rookies in the NHL this season, and all were given a chance to play in the game because of injuries to other players.

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Flyers' Voracek ties All-Star record with six points

Sunday, 01.25.2015 / 9:53 PM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

COLUMBUS -- When Philadelphia Flyers forward Jakub Voracek was told that he tied a record set by Mario Lemieux with six points in the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game at Nationwide Arena on Sunday, he wasn't impressed.

"I think it's a little different, Voracek and Lemieux, right?" Voracek said. "I had three secondary assists, so I wouldn't get too excited about that."

Voracek, the NHL's leading scorer, had three goals and three assists, even if they were secondary ones, to match the All-Star Game record set in 1988 by Lemieux. Team Toews teammate John Tavares matched a record with four goals for the winning team.

Neither Voracek nor Tavares were named MVP of the game; that honor went to Columbus Blue Jackets forward Ryan Johansen, who won a poll on Twitter.

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2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game post-game notes

Sunday, 01.25.2015 / 9:46 PM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

NHL Public Relations

TEAM TOEWS TRIUMPHS IN HIGHEST-SCORING NHL ALL-STAR GAME

Team Toews, under team captain Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks, scored a record-setting goal total in a 17-12 win over Team Foligno, led by Nick Foligno of the host Columbus Blue Jackets, in the highest-scoring NHL All-Star Game in history.

Team Toews' 17 goals are the most ever scored by one team in an NHL All-Star Game, one more than the Prince of Wales Conference's total in a 16-6 win over the Clarence Campbell Conference in 1993 at Montreal.

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Foligno, Johansen give Columbus memorable night

Saturday, 01.24.2015 / 11:23 PM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

Craig Merz - NHL.com Correspondent

COLUMBUS -- It wasn't a perfect night for Columbus Blue Jackets forwards Nick Foligno and Ryan Johansen, but it was close enough for the hometown fans to enjoy Team Foligno's 25-19 win against Team Toews in the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition at Nationwide Arena on Saturday.

Foligno missed several shots in the Skills Challenge Relay and Johansen flubbed his shootout attempts, but the capacity crowd was in a forgiving mood because of several memorable moments provided by Johansen.

He captured the hearts and votes with a Columbus-centric effort to win the Breakaway Challenge through online balloting.

On his first try, he wore an Ohio State jersey to honor its football team for winning the College Football Playoff National Championship on Jan. 12.

He certainly had the home fans in his corner and probably wrapped up the competition (which was all about style points, not whether a player actually scored) when he used Cole Vogt, the son of Blue Jackets trainer Mike Vogt, on his second attempt and let him take a shot and score against Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford.

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Players' talent, humor on display at Skills Competition

Saturday, 01.24.2015 / 11:23 PM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

COLUMBUS -- Ryan Johansen won over the home crowd, Jakub Voracek and Johnny Gaudreau brought the comedy, and Shea Weber left his fellow all-stars in awe of his impressive slap shot Saturday night during the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition at Nationwide Arena.

Team Foligno, captained by Columbus Blue Jackets forward Nick Foligno, won the competition by a 25-19 margin against Team Toews, captained by Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews. Though the score will likely be forgotten by Sunday, the highlights from the event will live on for a long time.

"It's been a great atmosphere here," Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith said. "It's a nice building with great fans here, and I think it's just been fun. Any time you're around this type of atmosphere, I think it's a special time and something you want to remember and cherish for the rest of your life. As far as the competition, you know, Weber's shot was pretty hard. Nobody shoots it that hard except for him. It's pretty impressive."

Weber, the Nashville Predators captain, dropped many jaws in the building with his 108.5 mph slap shot that won the AMP NHL Hardest Shot competition.

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Weber wins Hardest Shot competition for first time

Saturday, 01.24.2015 / 10:57 PM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

COLUMBUS — Zdeno Chara remains the king of the hardest shot competition, but not by much.

Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber won the AMP NHL Hardest Shot event at the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition with a blast of 108.5 mph. It's the second-hardest shot in the history of the All-Star skills competition, narrowly missing the record of 108.8 mph set by Chara three years ago.

"I was surprised," Weber said. "I knew I got it. It's tough. You never know how hard it is until it registers on the gun. I got pretty much all I could into and you just hope for the best."

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Johansen plays to crowd in Breakaway Challenge

Saturday, 01.24.2015 / 10:01 PM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

COLUMBUS -- Hometown hero Ryan Johansen set the bar when he grabbed the son of a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets training staff to assist him in the Honda NHL Breakaway Challenge.

It was up to the other participants to try to match it. Watching them try was hilarious.

The Breakaway Challenge was one of the signature events of the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition on Saturday at Nationwide Arena, with the players' personalities and skills converging for the fans to enjoy.

Johansen played to the home crowd by removing his Blue Jackets jersey to reveal a red football jersey of the national champion Ohio State Buckeyes on one of his attempts, and on another, he grabbed 7-year-old Cole Vogt, the son of Columbus trainer Mike Vogt, and they skated in on Corey Crawford of the Chicago Blackhawks and scored a goal past him. For his final attempt, Johansen recruited six of his Team Foligno teammates to help him re-create the "Flying V" formation from the movie "The Mighty Ducks."

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NHL, Sportvision test program to track players, puck

Saturday, 01.24.2015 / 8:52 PM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

COLUMBUS -- Tracking exactly what is happening all over an ice rink at all times has been nearly impossible, but the NHL and Sportvision are working on cracking that code.

The NHL and Sportvision tested player- and puck-tracking devices Saturday night at the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition in what could be the first step to revolutionizing the way data is collected in hockey.

"At the end of the day, we need to create a digital record of what happens on the ice, that is uniform across the League, highly accurate and allows fans to go as deep as they want to go but also allows us to tell stories," NHL Chief Operating Officer John Collins said.

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Quote of the Day

It's about enjoying the moment. It's pretty cool to get that many people together and that excited about hockey to the point they really want you to mess up. They've got a ton of red jerseys and you have to sit back and appreciate people love hockey that much and you are the one out there who gets to play the game. Just try and stick with that respect for the game and also the mentality that for me it's just about entering the fight and seeing how long I can stay in it.

— Canucks goaltender Ryan Miller on what he expects from the fans in Calgary for Game 6