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Preseason roundup: Gibbons, Megna lead Rangers

Tuesday, 09.22.2015 / 12:51 AM / News

Jayson Megna had two goals, Kevin Klein had three assists, and the New York Rangers scored three unanswered goals to defeat the New Jersey Devils 6-3 at Madison Square Garden.

Rangers forward Brian Gibbons opened the scoring at 1:21 of the first period. He also had two assists, including one on Megna's goal three minutes after his.

Devils forward Jordin Tootoo scored a power-play goal at 7:30 of the first period to make it 2-1.

Sabres' Eichel scores shorthanded in preseason debut

Tuesday, 09.22.2015 / 12:07 AM / News

Dan Myers - Correspondent

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Less than a week into his NHL career, Buffalo Sabres forward Jack Eichel checked a bunch of firsts off his list in Buffalo's preseason opener against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center on Monday.

There was his first shift about a minute in. There were his first "oohs" and "ahhs," and later in the same shift, his first minus.

But there was also his first point, his first goal and eventually his first win in a 3-2 victory. The first impression he left was a good one too.

With the score still tied 2-2, Eichel, the second player selected at the 2015 NHL Draft, took a breakout pass from defenseman Cody Franson in alone on a shorthanded breakaway. He showed the patience, deking enough to open Wild goaltender Darcy Kuemper's legs, then tucked the puck five-hole for the game-winning goal.

"These goalies are so big and athletic these days, you just try to move them and find little holes," Eichel said. "Luckily I was able to find one there."

Oilers' McDavid expecting 'special' preseason debut

Monday, 09.21.2015 / 3:49 PM / News

Derek Van Diest - Correspondent

EDMONTON -- Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid will make his preseason debut at Rexall Place in a split-squad game against the Calgary Flames on Monday.

The Oilers and Flames are playing two games simultaneously in Edmonton and Calgary to begin their preseason.

McDavid will center the Oilers' top line between Taylor Hall and Teddy Purcell in the game in Edmonton.

"I'm excited. Obviously, anytime you get a chance to do something like this, it's pretty special," McDavid said. "It's going to be fun, and hopefully the building is excited."

Ducks sign goaltender Gibson to three-year contract

Monday, 09.21.2015 / 2:21 PM / News

The Ducks have signed goaltender John Gibson to a three-year contract extension through the 2018-19 season. Per club policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Gibson, 22 (7/14/93), appeared in his second NHL season with Anaheim in 2014-15, going 13-8-0 with one shutout, a 2.60 goals-against average (GAA) and .914 save percentage (SV%). He established career highs in wins, saves (616), appearances (23) and starts (21). The Pittsburgh, PA native ranked fourth among NHL rookie goaltenders in wins, saves and shots faced (674). The 6-3, 216 pound netminder won six of seven starts from Feb. 20-Mar. 4, compiling a 6-1-0 record with a 1.84 GAA with a .942 SV%. He had a pair of career-tying three-game win streaks within that seven-game stretch (Feb. 20-23 & Feb. 27-Mar. 4) and also won three straight for a third time from Mar. 13-18. On Oct. 28, Gibson made the most saves (38) by a Ducks rookie goaltender in a shutout performance for a 1-0 win at Chicago. Gibson also played 11 games with the Norfolk Admirals (AHL) last season, posting a 6-3-2 record with a 2.07 GAA and .935 SV%.

Hockeyville USA telecast to exhibit 'Slap Shot' theme

Monday, 09.21.2015 / 1:16 PM / News

Elements of the old-time hockey made famous in the 1977 Paul Newman classic "Slap Shot" will be on display Sept. 29 when Johnstown, Pa., hosts the Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning in the first edition of Kraft Hockeyville USA (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN).

The preseason game will be played at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena, where the iconic film was shot. Bob Costas, who anchors the coverage, will have a live interview with Jeff Carlson and Steve Carlson, the real-life inspiration for the Hanson brothers. Play-by-play commentator Mike Emrick will pay homage to Jim Carr, the legendary broadcaster of the Charlestown Chiefs.

In addition, segments with analyst Jeremy Roenick will feature memorabilia from "Slap Shot" and chronicle the history of Johnstown hockey, which dates to 1941, while current NHL players will discuss their favorite memories of and scenes from the film.

Preseason roundup: Irwin leads Bruins past Devils

Sunday, 09.20.2015 / 11:01 PM / News

Matt Irwin scored twice on the power play and Jonas Gustavsson and Jeremy Smith combined for a shutout in the Boston Bruins' 2-0 win against the New Jersey Devils at Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence, R.I.

Irwin, who had eight goals in 53 games for the San Jose Sharks last season, opened the scoring at 6:12 of the second period. He scored again in the third during a 5-on-3 man advantage.

"He's been known for that," Bruins coach Claude Julien said of Irwin. "I think last year when he scored goals, it's not about the power of his shot. I think he's really good at finding those lanes to the net, and when there's a good screen there he finds places to put the puck. That second goal was a good example of that."

Oilers defenseman Klefbom signs seven-year contract

Sunday, 09.20.2015 / 6:00 PM / News

The Edmonton Oilers signed defenseman Oscar Klefbom to a seven-year contract Sunday.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but ESPN reported Klefbom's contract will have an average annual value of $4.167 million.

"He's a top-four [defensemen] and he's going to be a top-two [defensemen] at some point," general manager Peter Chiarelli told the Oilers website. "He plays a real responsible game and he moves the puck. We project on him, but we're fairly confident on it."

Defenseman Whitney announces retirement

Sunday, 09.20.2015 / 10:25 AM / News

Defenseman Ryan Whitney, who spent nine seasons in the NHL, announced his retirement on his Twitter account on Sunday.

Whitney, 32, who was selected with the fifth pick in the 2002 NHL Draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins, last played in the NHL in 2013-14 with the Florida Panthers.

In 481 NHL games with the Penguins, Anaheim Ducks Edmonton Oilers and Panthers, Whitney had 50 goals, 259 points and 383 penalty minutes. He had three goals and 14 points in 38 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

Former NHL forward Todd Ewen dies at 49

Sunday, 09.20.2015 / 10:00 AM / News

Todd Ewen, a forward who played 11 seasons in the NHL and was a member of the Montreal Canadiens’ Stanley Cup-winning team in 1993, died Saturday at age 49. His death was announced by one of his former teams, the St. Louis Blues, on their Twitter account.

Ewen made his NHL debut with the Blues in 1986-87 and also played for the Anaheim Mighty Ducks and San Jose Sharks before retiring in 1997. He finished with 36 goals, 76 points and 1,914 penalty minutes in 518 NHL games. Ewen did not have a point in 26 playoff games, including one game in the Canadiens’ run to the Cup in '93.

Blackhawks, Rozsival agree to one-year contract

Saturday, 09.19.2015 / 2:37 PM / News

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- They Chicago Blackhawks gave another glimpse into what their roster to start the season might look like when they announced Saturday they agreed to terms with defenseman Michal Rozsival.

Rozsival, 37, agreed to a one-year contract with the Blackhawks that, according to a report by ESPN Chicago, is worth $600,000 and a possible $200,000 in performance bonuses.

"I think [Rozsival] gives you another player with experience," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said following Chicago's second day of camp at the University of Notre Dame's Compton Family Ice Arena. "He gives you some safety, predictability. He doesn't have to play every game, but when he comes in, you're comfortable with him in all situations."

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