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Eakins has no regrets after being fired by Oilers

Tuesday, 12.16.2014 / 2:21 PM / News

Derek Van Diest - Correspondent

EDMONTON -- Former Edmonton Oilers coach Dallas Eakins still believes in the management group who let him go.

In a media conference Tuesday, a day after being fired, Eakins urged Oilers fans to remain patient with the organization. He believes better times are ahead.

"My message to the people and to the fans -- I can speak freely now -- and like it or not, you need to be patient," Eakins said. "With [new coach Todd Nelson] coming in, [general manager] Craig MacTavish took over this job 18-20 months ago. I understand being out of the playoffs for a long time, but the situation is the situation. It's kind of like losing all your money. You don't get all your money back the next day; you have to start working again and working at it.

"This organization is where it's at and all of this past is painful for anyone that's been through it. The fans of this organization have suffered greatly, but I'm going to tell you, you need to be patient and that's the way it goes. And if anybody is going to find the solution, it's going to be Craig MacTavish, and I know that for sure."


Around the League notebook for Monday, Dec. 15

Monday, 12.15.2014 / 11:52 PM / News

NHL Public Relations


Marc-Andre Fleury made 28 saves to lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 4-2 win against the Tampa Bay Lighting. The Penguins improved to 20-6-4 (44 points) to remain first in the Eastern Conference; they have earned at least one point in 13 of their last 16 games (10-3-3). The Penguins also improved to 9-0-1 against Atlantic Division opponents and 17-1-4 when scoring three or more goals.

* The Penguins have won 10 consecutive games against the Lightning, the longest winning streak in the series between the clubs. Pittsburgh's last loss to Tampa Bay was a 4-1 defeat on Nov. 17, 2011. At home, the Penguins have won eight consecutive games against the Lightning, which is the club's second-longest active home winning streak behind a 13-game streak against the Winnipeg Jets.

* Fleury stopped 28 of 30 shots and is 17-4-2 with a 2.10 goals-against average and a .927 save percentage. He's tied for second among goaltenders in wins and has lost just once in regulation in his last 11 starts (8-1-2). Fleury also improved to 8-1-0 in his last nine home starts against the Lightning.


Lightning goalie Bishop leaves game with injury

Monday, 12.15.2014 / 10:50 PM / News

Wes Crosby - Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop left the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Consol Energy Center on Monday because of a lower-body injury. He did not return.

Coach Jon Cooper said it is not likely Bishop will be available Tuesday when the Lightning visit the Philadelphia Flyers.

"We play in less than 24 hours," he said, according to the Lightning website. "He pulled himself out tonight. It'd be hard to go in less than 24 hours."


Blackhawks recall Nordstrom from AHL

Monday, 12.15.2014 / 5:27 PM / News

The Chicago Blackhawks announced today that they have recalled forward Joakim Nordstrom from the American Hockey League’s Rockford IceHogs.

Nordstrom, 22, has recorded two assists in 10 games with Chicago this season. The Stockholm, Sweden, native has tallied 13 points (8G, 5A) in 17 games with Rockford this year; he collected his first career hat trick and added an assist on Dec. 13 at Lake Erie. Nordstrom, who was the team’s third-round selection (90th overall) in the 2010 National Hockey League Draft, has registered five points (1G, 4A) in 26 career regular-season games with Chicago and appeared in seven 2014 Stanley Cup Playoff games.


Judge: Enough evidence for Voynov to stand trial

Monday, 12.15.2014 / 4:48 PM / News

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Hector M. Guzman ruled Monday that there is enough evidence against Slava Voynov for him to stand trial on a felony domestic violence charge.

Voynov, a Los Angeles Kings defenseman, has pleaded not guilty to one felony count of corporal injury to a spouse with great bodily injury and will be re-arraigned on the charge on Dec. 29.


Oilers fire Eakins; Nelson eventually to take over

Monday, 12.15.2014 / 4:15 PM / News

Derek Van Diest - Correspondent

EDMONTON -- The Edmonton Oilers have made another coaching change, firing Dallas Eakins on Monday after 113 games in parts of two seasons.

General manager Craig MacTavish will take over as interim coach as a transition for Todd Nelson, who has been promoted from Edmonton's American Hockey League affiliate in Oklahoma City. Nelson eventually will take over on an interim basis until the end of the season.

MacTavish said the rest of the coaching staff remains intact for the time being.

"I really feel the same way now as I did when I hired [Eakins]," MacTavish said. "He's an excellent coach. I was happy with a lot of things. I had no real good reason to do this outside of performance. That's really the bottom line that we're all judged by, is the performance level of the hockey club and certainly the record. I would point to those things solely as the reason for this change."

The Oilers (7-19-5) are last in the NHL standings and have lost 15 of their past 16 games. A 2-0 loss to the New York Rangers on Sunday left teh Oilers 29th in the League in scoring at 2.10 goals per game, and 29th in goals-against at 3.32 goals allowed per game.


Nelson hopes to bring winning ways to Oilers

Monday, 12.15.2014 / 3:53 PM / News

Jon Lane - Staff Writer

Implementing a winning culture is nothing new to Todd Nelson, who as a new addition to the Edmonton Oilers coaching staff will embark on the biggest challenge of what has been a successful coaching career.

Nelson was promoted to the Oilers staff Monday after coach Dallas Eakins was fired. Nelson will work under interim coach/general manager Craig MacTavish while he transitions into the interim coaching role for the remainder of the season.

"He's done a terrific job with our minor league team in the American Hockey League," MacTavish told the Oilers website. "He's deserving of this opportunity. I want to help him transition this group and … give myself a chance to get my hands on it."


Ducks recall Bryzgalov, Heatley from AHL

Monday, 12.15.2014 / 1:24 PM / News

The Anaheim Ducks recalled goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov and forward Dany Heatley from the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League on Monday and reassigned forward Chris Wagner and goaltender Jason LaBarbera to Norfolk, according to the team website.

Bryzgalov was in the AHL on a conditioning stint after signing a one-year contract last week. A second-round pick (No. 44) by Anaheim in the 2000 NHL Draft, his last appearance in a Ducks jersey came Nov. 7, 2007 against the Arizona Coyotes, who claimed Bryzgalov off waivers nine days later.

Heatley had been loaned to the Admirals for conditioning after he came off injured reserve. He has six shots on goal and a minus-2 rating in four games for the Ducks this season.


Ennis, Suter and Lundqvist named stars of the week

Monday, 12.15.2014 / 12:00 PM / News

NEW YORKBuffalo Sabres center Tyler Ennis, Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter and New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist have been named the NHL's "Three Stars" for the week ending Dec. 14.


Ennis shared second in the NHL with five points (1-4—5) in three outings, helping the Sabres (12-16-2, 26 points) post their third three-game winning streak of the season. He opened the week by recording the lone marker, his third career game-winning goal and first since Dec. 3, 2011, in a 1-0 victory over the Los Angeles Kings Dec. 9. He then matched career highs for assists and points in one game with three helpers in a 4-3 win over the Calgary Flames Dec. 11. Ennis capped the week with his 13th assist of the season in a 4-3 overtime triumph against the Florida Panthers Dec. 13. The 25-year-old Edmonton, Alta., native leads the Sabres with 21 points in 30 games this season. The 26th overall selection by Buffalo in the 2008 NHL Draft, Ennis has 77-110—187 in 297 career games, all with the Sabres.


Hurricanes place Nestrasil on IR, recall Shugg

Monday, 12.15.2014 / 10:10 AM / News

RALEIGH, NCRon Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League's Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has recalled forward Justin Shugg from the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League (AHL). In addition, the Hurricanes placed forward Andrej Nestrasil on injured reserve with an upper-body injury.

This marks the first career NHL recall for Shugg, 22, who is in his fourth professional season. The Niagara Falls, Ont., native leads Charlotte in goals (9) and ranks second in points (11) this season, in 17 games played. Shugg (5'11", 185 lbs.) has totaled 37 goals and 46 assists (83 points) in 164 career AHL games played with the Checkers. Selected by the Hurricanes in the fourth round, 105th overall, of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Shugg won back-to-back Memorial Cups as a member of the Windsor Spitfires in 2009 and 2010, and reached the Memorial Cup final game with Mississauga in 2011.

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Quote of the Day

I didn't even know how to celebrate. I threw my hands up, they gave me a hug, so I guess that's all I needed.

— Sabres forward Tim Schaller on scoring his first NHL goal Sunday against the Bruins