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Around the League notebook for Tuesday, Dec. 29

Wednesday, 12.30.2015 / 9:00 AM / News

NHL Public Relations


* Six of the 10 games Tuesday featured at least seven goals (BOS 7, OTT 3; NYI 6, TOR 3; CBJ 6, DAL 3; STL 4, NSH 3 (OT); LAK 5, EDM 2; and CHI 7, ARI 5).

* A total of 69 goals were scored in the 10 games, an average of 6.90 goals per game.

* Two players -- Arizona Coyotes captain Shane Doan and Boston Bruins forward Jimmy Hayes -- had hat tricks, each completed in the final 30 seconds of regulation (Hayes: 19:59 and Doan: 19:32).

* The Bruins (20-12-4, 44 points) and Montreal Canadiens (21-15-3, 45 points), who are separated by one point for first place in the Atlantic Division, each played their final game before they meet on Friday in the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. The Bruins defeated the Ottawa Senators 7-3, while the Canadiens fell 3-1 to the Florida Panthers.

Remembering NHL family members lost in 2015

Wednesday, 12.30.2015 / 3:00 AM / News

John Kreiser - Managing Editor

The end of the year offers the chance to reflect on the previous 12 months.

For all of the tremendous accomplishments that took place this past year, 2015 was also defined by those we lost, including three legendary Montreal Canadiens and the coach who led the New York Islanders to four consecutive Stanley Cups.

Here's a look at some of those in the hockey world who left us during the past year.

Panthers' on-ice success is attracting more fans

Tuesday, 12.29.2015 / 7:14 PM / News

Alain Poupart - Correspondent

SUNRISE, Fla. -- The Florida Panthers will close the most successful December in their history on Tuesday, and the success on the ice is beginning to be reflected in the stands.

The Panthers headed into their game against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday with a 10-3-0 record in December; the 20 points are a Panthers record for the month.

Florida extended its winning streak to six games Sunday with a 3-2 victory against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The crowd of 16,902 at BB&T Center was a pleasant surprise and perhaps an indication the Panthers are winning over fans. It was the third-highest crowd of the season, behind the season opener against the Philadelphia Flyers and a game against the New York Rangers, a team that always draws well in South Florida.

Sabres goaltender Lehner returns to practice

Tuesday, 12.29.2015 / 5:52 PM / News

Buffalo Sabres goaltender Robin Lehner practiced Tuesday for the first time since sustaining a high-ankle sprain in the season opener Oct. 8 against the Ottawa Senators.

"I can pretty much do whatever, but I still have a little issue around my right post,” Lehner told the Sabres website. “Game-wise, I’ve been out, I don’t even know, around three months. It’s going to take a few days to get back in the swing of things and get back in the tempo and get back reading the pucks. I’ll take it day by day.”

Rangers to scratch Hayes against Lightning: report

Tuesday, 12.29.2015 / 5:29 PM / News

New York Rangers right wing Kevin Hayes will be a healthy scratch when the Rangers play the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN).

Hayes has six goals and 17 points in 37 games this season, after scoring 17 goals and 45 points in his first full NHL season.

"I think we all have our tipping points, and I think Kevin has had an extra-long leash, especially considering [Derek Stepan] was out for quite some time," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault told the New York Post on Tuesday after practice in Nashville, where New York lost 5-3 to the Nashville Predators on Monday. "But there's just nothing going on. At the end of the day, we're at the point now where we have to make some decisions in the best interests of the team."

Penguins goalie Fleury, defenseman Letang practice

Tuesday, 12.29.2015 / 12:50 PM / News

Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury and defenseman Kris Letang returned to practice Tuesday.

Fleury, who hasn't played since Dec. 14 because of a concussion, took shots. Coach Mike Sullivan said it was progress but there's no timetable yet for his return.

"I felt pretty good out there today," Fleury said in comments tweeted by the Penguins. "I'm not sure when I'm going to be back. It's going to be gradual."

Kings' Quick ties shutout mark for American goalies

Tuesday, 12.29.2015 / 11:16 AM / News

Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick had his 40th NHL shutout Monday to tie two others for the most by an American-born goaltender.

Quick's 5-0 win against the Vancouver Canucks tied him with John Vanbiesbrouck and Frank Brimsek.

Quick, 29, achieved the mark in 436 NHL games, all with the Kings. He led the League with 10 shutouts in 2011-12 and won the Conn Smythe Trophy that season when Los Angeles won the Stanley Cup for the first time.

Around the League notebook for Monday, Dec. 28

Tuesday, 12.29.2015 / 9:00 AM / News

NHL Public Relations


As part of the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic festivities, the NHL will host the first-ever Outdoor Women's Classic presented by Scotiabank, an abbreviated exhibition game on the outdoor rink at Gillette Stadium.

* The outdoor game will feature the Boston Pride of the newly-formed National Women's Hockey League (NWHL) versus Les Canadiennes of the Canadian Women's Hockey League (CWHL).

* "Two days with three Boston-Montreal rival matchups is a great way to celebrate hockey," said Bill Daly, NHL Deputy Commissioner. "A new year signifies a new chapter and we look forward to sharing the ice for the first time with two professional women's teams on the League's biggest stage."

* Click here for more information.

Lightning's heroes program hits $10M in donations

Monday, 12.28.2015 / 8:45 PM / News

Corey Long - Correspondent

TAMPA -- The Lightning Community Heroes Program, launched by Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and his wife, Penny, reached $10 million Monday with the announcement of 197th community hero Sister Claire LeBouef for her work with New Life Village, New Life Dwelling Place and Everyday Blessings.

The program, which is backed by the Vinik Family Foundation and the Lightning Foundation, has celebrated a local hero and donated $50,000 to the nonprofit charity (or charities) of his or her choice. During the 2015 Stanley Cup Final, the Lightning Foundation increased the donation amount to $100,000 for each hero. To date, 315 nonprofits have received money through the program.

This milestone comes five years after the Viniks pledged $10 million to Tampa Bay area nonprofits over five seasons.

"Where we are at 197 [people] and the quality of Sister Leboeuf at [No.] 197 is every bit as strong as the quality of No. 1," Vinik said. "We keep asking for recommendations and applications for the hero program, and we keep getting in hundreds of incredible stories and amazing people."

Wild's Kuemper misses game with upper-body injury

Monday, 12.28.2015 / 7:40 PM / News

Dan Myers - Correspondent

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota Wild goaltender Darcy Kuemper was a late scratch against the Detroit Red Wings on Monday because of an upper-body injury.

Kuemper was named the Wild's starting goalie following the morning skate Monday. He is 3-0-0 with a .963 save percentage over his past three games. The Wild have earned at least a point in all eight of his starts this season (4-0-4).

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