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Panthers goaltender contest down to final two

Monday, 03.16.2015 / 5:43 PM / News

FloridaPanthers.com

SUNRISE, Fla. – The Florida Panthers announced today that Bill Ruggiero and Dustin Smith have been chosen as the two finalists selected for the team's Goal of a Lifetime competition to become the Panthers' back-up practice goaltender for a day.

Ruggiero, 34, is a former professional/semi-pro goaltender who spent time playing for the Tulsa Oilers of the Central Hockey League (2004-05, 2006-07), Johnstown Chiefs of the East Coast Hockey League (2001-02) and the Flint Generals of the International Hockey League (2007-08). Ruggiero resides in Melbourne, Florida.

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Goalie interference among Day 1 GM Meetings topics

Monday, 03.16.2015 / 4:45 PM / News

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Issues related to goaltender interference and crease presence, as well as more defined emergency goaltender protocols, were the main topics of conversation Monday as the League's general managers gathered for the first of three days of meetings.

Other topics, including the much-hyped discussion about potential format changes for the overtime period of regular-season games, are expected to take center stage Tuesday and Wednesday.

The first day, though, was spent analyzing other items on the agenda, including the goaltending-related issues and possibly changing the protocols around the diving and embellishment issue.

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Penguins' Malkin, Hornqvist out about one week

Monday, 03.16.2015 / 2:42 PM / News

NHL.com

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin likely will miss a week, Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford said Monday.

Rutherford, speaking at the meeting of the League's general managers here, said that Malkin and forward Patric Hornqvist each could miss at least three games.

"Malkin's probably … he's a hard read because he heals so quick. But I'll say seven to 14 days," Rutherford said. "For Hornqvist, I'll say probably a week. He's not travelling with us this week."

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Canucks goaltender Markstrom recalled from AHL

Monday, 03.16.2015 / 2:37 PM / News

VancouverCanucks.com

Vancouver, B.C.Vancouver Canucks General Manager Jim Benning announced today that the Canucks have recalled goaltender Jacob Markstrom from the Utica Comets. The club has also reassigned goaltender Joacim Eriksson to Utica.

Markstrom, 25, has compiled a record of 19-7-2 including five shutouts with the Utica Comets this season. In 48 NHL games, the 6'6", 199 pound goaltender has a record of 12-28-5 with a 3.25 goals against average. The Gavle, Sweden native was originally selected by Florida 31st overall in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.

Eriksson, 24, has a record of 17-10-5, a .907 save percentage, and a 2.61 goals against average with the Utica Comets this season. The 6'2", 196 pound goaltender made his NHL debut on January 15, 2014 at Anaheim. The Gavle, Sweden native signed with Vancouver as a free agent on June 17, 2013.

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Panthers giving fans 'Goal of a Lifetime' with tryout

Monday, 03.16.2015 / 2:20 PM / News

NHL.com

The Florida Panthers held a unique tryout Monday at BB&T Center, with 48 hopefuls auditioning to be a backup practice goaltender as part of the Panthers' "Goal of a Lifetime" contest.

The candidates came from across North America, including from as far as Canada, Vermont and New Jersey.

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Hartnell, Talbot and Hammond named stars of week

Monday, 03.16.2015 / 12:00 PM / News

NHL Public Relations

NEW YORKColumbus Blue Jackets left wing Scott Hartnell, New York Rangers goaltender Cam Talbot and Ottawa Senators goaltender Andrew Hammond have been named the NHL's "Three Stars" for the week ending March 15.

FIRST STAR – SCOTT HARTNELL, LW, COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS

Hartnell led the NHL with five goals and shared second in the League with five points to power the Blue Jackets (30-35-4, 64 points) to three wins in four starts. He scored twice, his fifth multi-goal game of the season, in a 4-3 shootout victory over the Carolina Hurricanes March 10. Hartnell then notched his first game-winning goal of the campaign in a 3-1 triumph over the Detroit Red Wings March 12 and reached the 20-goal milestone for the eighth time in his 14 NHL seasons in a 5-4 shootout win over the Edmonton Oilers March 13. He closed the week by recording the tying goal in an eventual 3-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes March 15. The 32-year-old Regina, Sask., native has scored in four consecutive games for the second time in his career (also Dec. 2-13, 2011: 6-2-8 in 6 GP w/ PHI). He ranks third on the Blue Jackets with 21-27-48 in 64 games this season, including 7-2-9 in his past eight outings.

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Around the League notebook for Sunday, March 15

Monday, 03.16.2015 / 12:05 AM / News

NHL Public Relations

RANGERS, DUCKS REACH TOP OF LEAGUE STANDINGS

The New York Rangers and the Anaheim Ducks each won Sunday to reach the top of the NHL standings. The Rangers improved to 44-17-7 (95 points) and the Ducks are now 44-20-7 (95 points).

* Cam Talbot stopped all but one of 39 shots he faced to lead the Rangers to a 2-1 victory against the Florida Panthers. The Rangers have won five straight games, have earned points in 17 of their last 18 (14-1-3) and in 20 of their last 22 games (17-2-3).

* Talbot made 38 saves, which matched a career-high from earlier this season, to improve to 17-6-4 with a 2.19 goals-against average and a .926 save percentage. Talbot has won four consecutive decisions and is 5-0-1 in his past six games. Talbot has allowed one goal or fewer in four consecutive contests.

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General managers to discuss OT format, video reviews

Sunday, 03.15.2015 / 10:10 PM / News

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- The possibilities of altering the overtime format of regular-season games to include a portion of 3-on-3 play and expanding video review to include goals scored as a potential result of goalie interference will be two of the main topics discussed at the annual March meeting of the NHL's general managers.

The GMs will meet Monday through Wednesday here to discuss the state of the game and seek ways to improve it. Entering the meetings, there are no specific recommendations for changes in rules or format. Those could be developed during the course of the meetings.

"If we don't have any changes, I think we've got a fabulous product," Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said. "I think it's a safer workplace than it's been in a long time. I think the game is in a great place."

Expanding overtime to include 3-on-3 play was discussed by the GMs at their one-day meeting in Toronto in November. The idea has been championed by Holland, who made it part of the Red Wings' annual Traverse City Prospects Tournament in 2013.

"We understand in Detroit the shootout is here to stay… so how do we have a greater percentage of games decided in overtime and a lesser percentage decided in a shootout?" Holland said. "The shootout fans will get their shootouts, but from my perspective I'd like to see more games decided in overtime than in the shootout. That's all I'm trying to bring to the table."

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Around the League notebook for Saturday, March 14

Sunday, 03.15.2015 / 11:07 AM / News

NHL.com

SKAPSKI FLAWLESS AS RANGERS REGAIN TOP SPOT IN NHL

Mackenzie Skapski recorded his first career NHL shutout to help the Rangers complete their road trip with a 4-0-1 record and earn a point for the 15th time in their past 17 games overall (13-1-3).

* The Rangers (43-17-7, 93 points) opened a three-point lead over the Islanders (43-24-4, 90 points) – who lost in regulation – atop the Metropolitan Division. They also regained control of first place in the entire NHL, where the top seven teams are separated by three points:

* The Rangers swept their season series with the Sabres for the second straight season. They have won seven straight meeting with Buffalo dating back to April 19, 2013, matching their longest stretch in head-to-head matchups (also March 23, 1971 to March 2, 1972).

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Rogers Hometown Hockey: Regina, Saskatchewan

Sunday, 03.15.2015 / 3:00 AM / News

NHL.com

CITY in Canada will televise "Rogers Hometown Hockey" on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET, prior to the game between the Philadelphia Flyers and Ottawa Senators. The show will also air on NHL Network in the U.S. The location this week is Regina, Saskatchewan, and the half-hour program will celebrate the city's iconic hockey story.

Among the features airing on the pregame show:

* Ryan Getzlaf is no stranger to success. He's won a Stanley Cup, two Olympic gold medals, and has been nominated for the Hart Trophy. However, Getzlaf felt he needed to make more of an impact off the ice. That's when he met a young man suffering from a rare form of muscular dystrophy that impacts one in every 3,600 boys. That meeting took place years ago; since then, each of their lives has changed forever.

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Quote of the Day

I love you. I think we [climbed] as high as we possibly can.

— Sergei Fedorov to former Red Wings teammate Nicklas Lidstrom after each was voted into the Hockey Hall of Fame's Class of 2015 on Monday
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