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Around the League notebook for Thursday, March 5

Friday, 03.06.2015 / 9:40 AM / News

NHL Public Relations

CLOSE GAMES HIGHLIGHT THURSDAY ACTION

All eight games contested Thursday either were tied or within one goal entering the third period. Each game also featured either a tying goal or game-winning goal scored in the third period. Of the eight games:

* Five featured a tying goal in the final 10 minutes of the third period, including two in the final minute of regulation (Radim Vrbata at 19:06 for VAN and Marian Gaborik at 19:15 for LAK).

* Four required overtime, with each decided in a shootout. The Dallas Stars and Los Angeles Kings were the only teams to win after scoring to force overtime.

* Four games saw a team overcome a third-period deficit to pick up a victory (PHI, MIN, DAL, LAK).

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Super 16: Jagr continues to cement place in history

Friday, 03.06.2015 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

Jaromir Jagr is the third best forward in hockey history.

Repeat that statement in parts of Canada or Michigan or Connecticut (or Western Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., for that matter) and expect a pretty negative response. As Jagr, who was traded to the Florida Panthers before the 2015 NHL Trade Deadline, continues to amass goals and points and play at a high level despite being 43 years old, his place in hockey history is starting to come more into focus.

Jagr is by no means the third most iconic forward. He's certainly not the third most popular. Critics of the statement above will immediately turn to words like leadership and toughness to try and prove it wrong.

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Panthers' Ekblad turning heads with rookie season

Friday, 03.06.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Florida Panthers defenseman Brian Campbell can remember the day he concluded that rookie Aaron Ekblad was going to be something very special.

It occurred last October during the Panthers' trip to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., for three days of training and team bonding prior to the season.

"He wouldn't remember it, but I remember it," Campbell said. "We were at practice and I gave him a pass where it didn't give him a lot of time and he just made a pass through one of our guys' skates to one of our forwards. I just kind of nodded my head thinking, 'All right, that's a play I feel like I like to make out there.'

"I've played in the League a while now and I feel like I can make those plays, but to see an 18-year-old have confidence and do that, I'm like, 'OK, yeah, this guy is the real deal.'"

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Forsberg's continued success paces Calder race

Friday, 03.06.2015 / 3:00 AM / Trophy Tracker

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

With three-quarters of the 2014-15 season complete, NHL.com looks at some of the biggest storylines and award contenders.

Nashville Predators forward Filip Forsberg could never have predicted this type of success on and off the ice in his first full NHL season.

In addition to leading the Predators and NHL rookies in scoring, Forsberg played in the NHL All-Star Game and won a new Honda Accord as the last pick for Team Toews in the 2015 All-Star Fantasy Draft.

He has proven to be a versatile performer for Predators coach Peter Laviolette, who for most of the season played the 20-year-old Swede on the top line.

"I'm sure he's more confident now playing first-line minutes and the first power-play," Laviolette said. "I think when you have success and knowing where our team is in the standings, he's having a strong year and that builds confidence in him. He might not have had that same confidence when the season started, but watching him in development camp, rookie camp and training camp, he was always a consistent player, a top player."

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Coyotes' Smith to honor Alice Cooper with new mask

Thursday, 03.05.2015 / 8:42 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

The Arizona Coyotes will go retro on Thursday against the Vancouver Canucks, donning throwback jerseys on a night they will honor former forward Jeremy Roenick.

Another figure from the Coyotes hockey scene will also be honored, just a bit more subtly. Goalie Mike Smith will wear a special mask for the game with rock icon Alice Cooper painted on its back plate.

"The coolest thing about the helmet is the back plate," Smith said in a video on the Coyotes website. "It's a tribute to Alice Cooper, who's been a lifer as a Coyote fan and a big supporter of the team."

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Former Ottawa captain Alfredsson gets key to city

Thursday, 03.05.2015 / 7:59 PM / News

NHL.com

Daniel Alfredsson already could go just about anywhere he wanted in Ottawa. Now he has a key to help him gain admittance.

Deputy Mayor Bob Monette presented the longtime Ottawa Senators captain with a key to the city Thursday evening.

Senators general manager Bryan Murray, captain Erik Karlsson, defenseman Chris Phillips and forward Chris Neil were among those to attend the ceremony at City Hall, according to the Ottawa Sun.

Alfredsson, 42, received Ottawa’s highest honor not only for his on-ice accomplishments but for his off-ice contributions, including with the Ottawa Senators Foundation, the Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health, and the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa.

“It’s rewarding when you see you make a difference in other people’s lives,” Alfredsson said, according to the Sun.

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Panthers' Jagr, Mitchell, Gudbranson out with flu

Thursday, 03.05.2015 / 7:51 PM / News

Alain Poupart - NHL.com Correspondent

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Two days after goalies Roberto Luongo and Al Montoya each sustained an injury, the Florida Panthers are now dealing with a flu problem.

Defensemen Erik Gudbranson and Willie Mitchell and forward Jaromir Jagr all missed the game against the Dallas Stars on Thursday after experiencing flu-like symptoms.

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Stars' Seguin skates, could return within a week

Thursday, 03.05.2015 / 2:42 PM / News

Alain Poupart - NHL.com Correspondent

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Dallas Stars center Tyler Seguin resumed skating with his teammates Thursday and could be back in the lineup within a week.

Seguin took part in the morning skate in preparation for a game against the Florida Panthers, the team against which he was injured Feb. 13. Seguin sustained a knee injury on a low hit by defenseman Dmitry Kulikov, who was suspended four games by the NHL for the play.

“Tyler really is closing in on day-to-day for us,” Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. “I would say probably within a week or sooner. Depends how he responds to some heavy workouts here today, tomorrow.”

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Bruins sign forward Hickman to entry-level contract

Thursday, 03.05.2015 / 2:40 PM / News

BostonBruins.com

Boston, MA - Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today, March 4, that the Bruins have signed forward Justin Hickman to an entry-level contract.

Hickman, 20, has spent the previous five campaigns with the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League from 2010 to 2015, establishing career highs last season when he notched 22 goals (tied for fourth on the team), 24 assists (tied for sixth on the team) and 46 points (sixth on the team) with 154 penalty minutes (first on the team). Hickman served as team captain for the last two seasons.

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Leopold's daughter on letter requesting trade to Wild

Thursday, 03.05.2015 / 2:00 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

Jordyn Leopold figured why not?

She missed her father, NHL defenseman Jordan Leopold, and wanted him to come home, so back in January she wrote a letter to the Minnesota Wild with the hope of getting Jordan back to the State of Hockey because her father was lonely in Ohio without Jordyn, her mother and her three siblings.

"I thought it might work to get him home," Jordyn, 11, told the Wild website. "I didn't think the letter [had a huge impact] but it could've."

"The Letter" has gone viral since it surfaced on March 2 shortly after Jordan was traded to the Minnesota Wild at the NHL Trade Deadline. The Wild acquired Leopold from the Blue Jackets for defenseman Justin Falk and a fifth-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.

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Quote of the Day

We have no doubt how he can play. You don't, with four teams that are left, you're not getting here without good goaltending. All great goalies left, and [Bishop] is a top-tier goaltender in this league and he's shown it.

— Lightning coach Jon Cooper on goalie Ben Bishop, who shut out the Rangers in Game 5