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NHL Insider

Penguins, Canadiens headed in opposite directions

Sunday, 01.10.2016 / 12:21 AM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- The conflict between process and results, not only in hockey but in all professional sport, can be more than an internal battle at times. When the results don't come in spite of respecting the process it can turn into a full-on war, one that can leave a team fragile.

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Montreal Canadiens arrived at Bell Centre for their game Saturday mending some wounds from that mental war. Each team believed it was respecting the process, neither had been rewarded often enough for it and each was fragile as a result.

With the second half of the NHL season underway, the pressure to get results has been ratcheted up. Process alone suddenly isn't good enough, and the byproduct of a lack of results is desperation.

The Penguins and Canadiens showed that on Saturday.

Capitals goalie Holtby won't jinx 21-game streak

Saturday, 01.09.2016 / 5:34 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- It was obvious after the Washington Capitals' 4-3 overtime win against the New York Rangers on Saturday that goalie Braden Holtby doesn't want to jinx himself by talking about a streak that has reached 21 decisions and two months.

Holtby, who made 23 saves to win for the 27th time in 34 games this season, has not had a regulation loss since Nov. 10, a 1-0 loss to the Detroit Red Wings. He is 19-0-2 with two shutouts, a 1.89 goals-against average and .937 save percentage in 22 starts since his last regulation loss.

Holtby is the fourth goalie in the past 20 seasons to earn at least one point for his team in as many as 21 consecutive decisions, joining Chris Osgood (1995-96, 19-0-2), Jose Theodore (2009-10, 20-0-3) and Roberto Luongo (2010-11, 16-0-5). Theodore also did it for the Capitals.

Sabres' Evander Kane excited for return to Winnipeg

Friday, 01.08.2016 / 4:28 PM / NHL Insider

Joe Yerdon - NHL.com Correspondent

BUFFALO -- It's been nearly a calendar year since Evander Kane was traded by the Winnipeg Jets to the Buffalo Sabres, and on Sunday he will play his first game at MTS Centre (3 p.m. ET; TSN3, MSG-B, Bell TV) since then.

"I talked to Evander I think it was June 5 and 6 this summer and he had this day circled on the calendar already, so I know it's going to be … after the Chicago game and going into Winnipeg, it's going to be a big game for him," Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said Thursday.

Kane was part of a trade made on Feb. 11, 2015 that also sent defenseman Zach Bogosian to Buffalo for defenseman Tyler Myers; forwards Drew Stafford, Joel Armia, and Brendan Lemieux; and a first-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft the Jets used to select forward Jack Roslovic.

"It's my first time ever being traded, so it'll be kind of a new experience for me going back and playing against a team I used to play for, so I'm sure it'll be interesting and entertaining," Kane said Tuesday in Buffalo.

Capitals working to bring Richards up to speed

Friday, 01.08.2016 / 3:48 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- Mike Richards will have to wait a little while longer to make his season debut with the Washington Capitals.

Richards practiced with the Capitals for the first time on Friday, but he will not play against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Saturday (1 p.m. ET; SNE, SNO, SNP, CSN-DC, MSG). Washington coach Barry Trotz said as of now there is no timetable for the center to get into the lineup, and there is still a chance he could go to Hershey of the American Hockey League before playing for the Capitals.

Richards agreed to terms Wednesday on a prorated one-year contract with the Capitals.

Capitals' Ovechkin takes aim at 500 against Rangers

Friday, 01.08.2016 / 3:00 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- If Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin has a hat trick in his stick on Saturday, it'll be good enough for him to reach 500 goals in his 800th game.

Combining those milestones would make his 42nd regular-season appearance against the New York Rangers (1 p.m. ET; SNE, SNO, SNP, CSN-DC, MSG), including his 23rd at Madison Square Garden, far more special than the others. It would also be three more goals against Henrik Lundqvist, giving him 21 for his career.

Currently, the only goalie to allow more goals to Ovechkin than Lundqvist is Kari Lehtonen (19). Ovechkin has 24 goals in 41 games against the Rangers, including 14 in 22 games at the Garden.

Nill's culture change transforms Stars into contender

Friday, 01.08.2016 / 11:32 AM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Jim Nill waited nearly two decades before taking over a team. But once he arrived as general manager of the Dallas Stars, he wasted little time building them into a Stanley Cup contender.

Nill was hired April 29, 2013, and the Stars made the Stanley Cup Playoffs his first season, ending a five-season postseason drought. They entered play Friday with the most points in the Western Conference. Nill signed a five-year contract extension Friday that keeps him with the Stars through the 2022-23 season.

The day he was hired, Nill said, "We want to win here. We're going to change the culture a little bit."

Daniel Sedin nearing Canucks' career record for goals

Friday, 01.08.2016 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- Daniel Sedin's face was still a bit of a mess when he met media for the first time since a puck, batted off the hand of another player and into his face, sent several teeth flying Sunday.

It wasn't easy to smile through double-digit stitches in a swollen upper lip that made it hard to see Sedin's still-missing teeth, but that didn't stop the Vancouver Canucks' leading scorer from cracking a grin while discussing his chase of former teammate Markus Naslund for the franchise record with 346 goals.

Maybe it was a chance to finally beat twin brother Henrik Sedin to a team record that helped Daniel smile. More likely it was being linked again to Naslund, who was the captain when the Sedin twins broke into the NHL in 2000. He provided a friendly face, a familiar language and an example they have tried to follow on and off the ice ever since.

Stamkos leads seven to watch as trade deadline nears

Thursday, 01.07.2016 / 12:22 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Fans of NHL Trade Deadline Day got an early fix Wednesday after the Nashville Predators, Columbus Blue Jackets, Los Angeles Kings and Philadelphia Flyers managed to pull off player-for-player trades that could have long-standing impacts for each team.

The blockbuster of the day saw the Predators send defenseman Seth Jones, 21, to the Blue Jackets for center Ryan Johansen, 23.

The Flyers and Kings completed a big trade earlier in the day, with defenseman Luke Schenn and center Vincent Lecavalier going to the Kings for forward Jordan Weal and a third-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft.

The two trades provided an enticing and early start to the NHL trading season, which won't end until 3 p.m. ET on Feb. 29. So what else could happen between now and the 2016 NHL Trade Deadline? Who else could be on the move?

Analysis: Johansen for Jones will help each team

Wednesday, 01.06.2016 / 8:00 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

The long search for a No. 1 center by the Nashville Predators and for a No. 1 defenseman by the Columbus Blue Jackets is finally over. It took one giant swing for the fences by Predators general manager David Poile to make it happen.

The Predators sent prized young defenseman Seth Jones to the Blue Jackets in a trade for prized young center Ryan Johansen on Wednesday.

Jones is a star-in-the-making, a 6-foot-4, 208-pound, 21-year-old whose next game will be his 200th in the NHL. He immediately tops the Blue Jackets' defensive depth chart, and Columbus coach John Tortorella should love him.

Penguins' Crosby delighted to regain scoring touch

Wednesday, 01.06.2016 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Wes Crosby - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Throughout the early portion of this season, Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby vowed he would eventually convert on his scoring chances.

He said so after failing to score in his first five games. When Crosby scored five points in 11 October games and was held without a point in nine of those 11, it was said again. And when Crosby entered December with 15 points and five goals in 23 games, averaging .65 points per game when he had never been held under a point per game in his 11-year NHL career, he made the same promise.

Then, December came, and Crosby's shots began to go in.

After a 3-2 overtime loss to the Chicago Blackhawks at Consol Energy Center on Tuesday, the front end of a home-and-home series that will conclude at United Center on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVA Sports), Crosby has scored seven goals in his past 14 games; six in his past six games; five in his past four games.

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