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Around the League notebook for Wednesday, March 4

Thursday, 03.05.2015 / 9:14 AM / News

NHL.com

HAMMOND, SENATORS EXTEND STREAKS TO NARROW GAP IN EAST

Andrew Hammond made 35 saves, including 15 in the first period, to help the Ottawa Senators defeat the Winnipeg Jets 3-1. The Senators completed their road trip with a 4-0-1 record and stretched their overall point streak to seven games (6-0-1).

* At 28-23-11 (67 points), the Senators pulled within four points of the idle Boston Bruins (31-22-9, 71 points) for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. The clubs face off two more times this season at Canadian Tire Centre: March 10 and March 19.

* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Senators earned a point in each game of a road trip (minimum five games) for the first time since Feb. 11-17, 2009 (also 4-0-1). However, this is the first time the Senators have accomplished the feat with the same goaltender recording each decision.

* Hammond has been in net for each game during the Senators' seven-game point streak (6-0-1). Elias says he is the first goaltender to earn a point in his first seven career decisions, in consecutive team games, since Jim Carey with the Washington Capitals from March 2-13, 1995 (also 6-0-1).

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Bergeron likely next Bruins captain: report

Wednesday, 03.04.2015 / 7:53 PM / News

NHL.com

Patrice Bergeron is likely to be captain of the Boston Bruins someday, coach Claude Julien told CSN New England on Tuesday.

"It's probably undeniable that down the road when [current captain Zdeno Chara] is done with his career, if Bergeron is here it would be pretty hard to not make him the next captain," Julien told CSNNE.com. "So I think he feels comfortable in dealing with issues that maybe he didn't two or three years ago.

"I think that's just a player being a little more of a veteran player every year, and that we've got some young players that need some leadership. So he's kind of taken over a little bit."

Chara, a defenseman who turns 38 on March 18, has been Bruins captain since the 2006-07 season. He has three years remaining on his contract.

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Blue Jackets forward Clarkson to miss 4-6 weeks

Wednesday, 03.04.2015 / 4:41 PM / News

ColumbusBlueJackets.com

COLUMBUS, OHIO --- Columbus Blue Jackets right wing David Clarkson will be sidelined four to six weeks due to a torn oblique muscle suffered in Tuesday night’s game against the Washington Capitals, club General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today.

Clarkson, 30, collected 14 penalty minutes in three games with the Blue Jackets after being acquired by the club on February 26 from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for right wing Nathan Horton. He has registered 112 goals and 84 assists for 196 points with 969 penalty minutes in 547 career NHL games, including 10-5-15 and 106 penalty minutes in 61 games this season.

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Panthers' Luongo, Montoya day-to-day; Ellis recalled

Wednesday, 03.04.2015 / 3:50 PM / News

NHL.com

Florida Panthers goalies Roberto Luongo (upper body) and Al Montoya (lower body) are each considered day-to-day after sustaining injuries Tuesday in a 3-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, coach Gerard Gallant said Wednesday.

Montoya is likely out weeks, according to TSN's Bob McKenzie, and Luongo is having tests on his shoulder and will see an orthopedist.

Veteran Dan Ellis was recalled from San Antonio of the American Hockey League and will start Thursday against the Dallas Stars. The Panthers (28-23-13, 69 points) continue a season-long seven-game homestand sitting two points behind the Boston Bruins for the second Eastern Conference wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"We're extremely confident in [Ellis]," Florida defenseman Erik Gudbranson told the Panthers website. "It's going to bring that urgency into this dressing room going forward. At the end of the day, we understand our playoffs start now for the rest of the season to get in that final spot, and if not we can get up higher. Having that urgency in that dressing room is going to be really good for our organization."

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Bruins' Connolly out six weeks with fractured finger

Wednesday, 03.04.2015 / 3:38 PM / News

NHL.com

Boston Bruins forward Brett Connolly will be out six weeks with a displaced fracture in his right index finger, general manager Peter Chiarelli announced.

Connolly was injured in practice Wednesday when he was struck in the hand by a shot from defenseman Dennis Seidenberg.

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Around the League notebook for Tuesday, March 3

Wednesday, 03.04.2015 / 9:00 AM / News

NHL Public Relations

MAPLE LEAFS SNAP ROAD SKID WITH BIZARRE FINISH IN FLORIDA

Nazem Kadri and Peter Holland scored in the third period to rally the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 3-2 win against the Florida Panthers, their first road win since Dec. 31 (at BOS), snapping a franchise-record 16-game road losing streak.

* Panthers goalie Al Montoya surrendered all three goals after starting the second period in relief of starter Roberto Luongo, who left the game due to injury. Montoya, however, was injured early in the third period, but remained in the game for more than 10 minutes following a brief delay.

* Luongo eventually replaced Montoya after putting on his gear for a second time. Before that though, the Panthers thought of using forward Derek MacKenzie as a replacement in net and, after receiving approval from the NHL, dressed goaltending coach Robb Tallas, who played 99 NHL games with the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks from 1995-2001.

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Panthers' Luongo leaves, returns after Montoya injury

Wednesday, 03.04.2015 / 12:34 AM / News

Alain Poupart - NHL.com Correspondent

SUNRISE, Fla. -- At different times during the game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday, the Florida Panthers started thinking they might have to use center Derek MacKenzie or goaltending coach Robb Tallas as their goalie.

In a strange twist players on both teams said they had never before seen, Panthers goalies Roberto Luongo and Al Montoya were injured during the game. Montoya was forced to play for more than 10 minutes in the third period with a groin injury, and Luongo finished the game after putting on his gear for a second time.

"Obviously we were really concerned," Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said after the 3-2 loss. "We're playing a pretty good game and all of a sudden, boom, boom, you lose two goalies real quick."

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Lightning's Bishop out after taking puck to midsection

Tuesday, 03.03.2015 / 7:53 PM / News

Corey Long - NHL.com Correspondent

TAMPA -- Tampa Bay Lightning starting goaltender Ben Bishop was a late scratch against the Buffalo Sabres after sustaining an injury in practice on Tuesday. Andrei Vasilevskiy started in his place.

Bishop was hit in the midsection with a puck about 10 minutes into practice and stayed down for a few moments before leaving the ice to see a trainer. Lightning coach Jon Cooper said Bishop took a shot to a sensitive area and his status would be decided in warm-ups.

During warm-ups, Vasilevskiy took all the shots while Bishop stretched with a trainer.

Vasilevskiy, the 19th overall selection in the 2012 NHL Draft, is 4-3-1 with a .912 save percentage and 2.46 goals-against average in 10 appearances.

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Flyers sign Goulbourne to entry-level contract

Tuesday, 03.03.2015 / 4:04 PM / News

PhiladelphiaFlyers.com

The Philadelphia Flyers have signed 6-0, 200 lb. LW Tyrell Goulbourne to a three-year entry-level contract, according to general manager Ron Hextall.

Goulbourne, 21 (1/26/1994), was a third-round selection of the Flyers (72nd overall) in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. He is currently in his fifth season with the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League, where he has recorded 17 goals and 21 assists for 38 points in 55 games this season.

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Maple Leafs' Kessel says Phaneuf unfairly blamed

Tuesday, 03.03.2015 / 3:36 PM / News

Alain Poupart - NHL.com Correspondent

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Toronto Maple Leafs center Phil Kessel came to the defense of captain Dion Phaneuf on Tuesday, saying Phaneuf has been unfairly criticized by the media.

In a scrum after the morning skate, Kessel was asked whether the uncertainty surrounding the NHL Trading Deadline, which passed Monday afternoon, had gotten to him. Big changes were predicted for the Maple Leafs, but the team did not touch the core players, which include Kessel and Phaneuf. Forward David Clarkson was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday for injured forward Nathan Horton.

"No, but I'm disappointed today," Kessel said. "The way the media treats Dion Phaneuf in [Toronto] is embarrassing. I think a lot of people should be ashamed of themselves. I'm embarrassed for them. I don't think anyone deserves to be treated like that."

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Quote of the Day

It's something that you don't really envision starting this way, but when you put the work in you don't feel like it's unwarranted. You definitely don't envision it unfolding this way, but you do think you can be successful at this level.

— Senators goalie Andrew Hammond, who defeated the Jets on Wednesday to improve to 6-0-1 since making his first NHL start on Feb. 18