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Canadiens celebrate Koivu for acts on, off ice

Thursday, 12.18.2014 / 9:20 PM / News

Sean Farrell - NHL.com Correspondent

MONTREAL -- Saku Koivu is well aware of the mysteries of fate, having been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma prior to the 2001-02 season.

On Thursday, Koivu's courage and determination in his life off the ice as well as on it was celebrated by the Montreal Canadiens. Chants of "Saku! Saku! Saku!" filled Bell Centre during a ceremony prior to Montreal's game against the Anaheim Ducks.

Koivu, who spent his first 13 NHL seasons with the Canadiens from 1995-2009, retired on Sept. 10 after five seasons with Anaheim.

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Jets add Harrison to injury-riddled defense

Thursday, 12.18.2014 / 8:38 PM / News

Patrick Williams - NHL.com Correspondent

WINNIPEG – Another injury to a defenseman forced Winnipeg Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff to act Thursday.

The Jets acquired defenseman Jay Harrison from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for the Ottawa Senators’ sixth-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft that the Jets had acquired this past summer. Harrison, 32, is expected to bolster a blue line that has four regulars injured. He is expected to play against the Boston Bruins on Friday.

Harrison’s acquisition followed Jets coach Paul Maurice’s announcement after practice Thursday that defenseman Mark Stuart will be out until February because of a lower-body injury. Stuart sustained the injury in a fight with Buffalo Sabres forward Nicolas Deslauriers on Tuesday.

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Penguins' Crosby returns against Avalanche

Thursday, 12.18.2014 / 6:43 PM / News

Wes Crosby - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby is in the lineup against the Colorado Avalanche at Consol Energy Center on Thursday.

Crosby missed Pittsburgh’s past three games with the mumps. He participated in the Penguins morning skate Thursday to test how he felt and said he felt well afterward but would talk with the medical staff before determining if he would play.

“When I saw that picture, that's not what I looked like before I went on the ice,” Crosby said of a photo that circulated on Twitter of him with a swollen cheek. “It was just one of those things, we were well aware of it. Everyone did the right things to try to keep me and everyone else as protected as you can be. But it's just something that sometimes you can't do anything about it.”

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Emrick, McGuire reflect on past Winter Classics

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Pierre McGuire's favorite NHL Winter Classic moment is one he experienced from six time zones and approximately 4,200 miles away.

"I wasn't at the first one in Buffalo and I was watching it in Prague, and it was late at night," McGuire, NBC's Inside-the-Glass analyst, said on a media conference call Thursday. "The call I will always remember, 'Here's Crosby, with the game on his stick.' It was my great partner for the last 10 years, 'Doc' Emrick, making that call."

Mike 'Doc' Emrick, NBC's lead NHL broadcaster, was putting words to the incredible pictures McGuire was seeing on his television; Crosby at center ice in the middle of a Buffalo blizzard, ready to bear down on Ryan Miller for what turned out to be the shootout winner and the snow globe image for the NHL's new signature regular-season event.

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Winter Classic ice-building process remains on track

Adam Vingan - NHL.com Correspondent

WASHINGTON – At 1 p.m. Thursday, the sun hung above home plate at Nationals Park during the fourth day of rink building for the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, flooding most of the soon-to-be-completed playing surface with light. The temperature hovered in the mid 40s, made chillier by a noticeable breeze.

With puck drop scheduled for that time on Jan. 1 between the Chicago Blackhawks and Washington Capitals, such weather on New Year's Day would suffice, though a few tweaks would be preferred.

"I would say a perfect day is 30 degrees and overcast, a little bit of snow," NHL Executive Vice President of Events Don Renzulli said.

Game-day forecasts call for partly sunny skies and temperatures in the mid 20s to mid 30s, according to Renzulli, though it is too early for those models to be concrete.

On the field, the construction crew, headed by senior director of facilities operations Dan Craig, continued to place the aluminum trays that will eventually maintain the ideal 22-degree temperature of the ice.

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Devils defenseman Severson out 4-5 weeks

Thursday, 12.18.2014 / 3:20 PM / News

NHL.com

New Jersey Devils rookie defenseman Damon Severson has a hairline fracture in his ankle and is expected to miss between four-to-five weeks, the team announced Thursday.

Severson was a last-minute scratch Wednesday, when the Devils lost 2-0 to the Ottawa Senators at Prudential Center. He participated in the morning skate and took his regular turn in pregame warm-ups alongside defense partner Andy Greene, but was scratched in favor of Seth Helgeson.

Severson played in New Jersey's first 32 games and has 12 points on four goals and eight assists.

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Fantasy top 30 goalies: Panthers' Luongo underrated

Thursday, 12.18.2014 / 12:12 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Evan Sporer - NHL.com Staff Writer

Every Thursday during the season, NHL.com's Evan Sporer will provide you with in-depth analysis of goaltenders. From updated weekly top-30 rankings to trending players and more, Sporer will be your go-to guy for advice on fantasy goalies all season long.

There's just something about Roberto Luongo that brings about debate in most hockey circles.

For whatever reason, a segment of hockey's talking heads has difficulty placing Luongo exactly where he belongs: as the greatest goalie since the turn of the century of his generation.

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Predators place forward Stalberg on waivers

Thursday, 12.18.2014 / 12:04 PM / News

NashvillePredators.com

Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the team has placed forward Viktor Stalberg on waivers with the intention of assigning him to the American Hockey League's Milwaukee Admirals.

After missing six weeks of action due to a knee injury, Stalberg is prepared to return to action. With the NHL roster freeze going into effect on Friday at 11:59 p.m. CT and lasting until 12:01 a.m. CT on Dec. 28, and the team being at the 23-player roster maximum, the move was necessary before the team heads out for its final three games before the holiday break.

To read more from the Predators website, CLICK HERE.

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NHL names Constellation its official energy provider

Constellation will offset carbon footprint across all 30 team markets

Thursday, 12.18.2014 / 11:36 AM / NHL Green

NHL.com

NEW YORK – In keeping with its priorities to reduce its environmental impact and accelerate a greater movement toward a healthier planet, the National Hockey League (NHL®) today named Constellation, a leading competitive energy and services company, as its official preferred energy provider. Constellation will work with the NHL to conduct energy efficiency analyses and recommend energy management strategies for the League's facilities. At the NHL's request, Constellation will also provide Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) and Carbon Offsets to match the League's estimated total carbon footprint – 550,000 metric tons – for the 2014-15 season.

"Our partnership with Constellation advances our commitment to promoting responsible energy use by the NHL, including our teams, our venues and our fans," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. "Our sport was born on frozen ponds and relies on winter weather. Everyone who loves our game will benefit by taking an active role in preserving the environment and the roots of the game."

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Phantoms tie AHL record for fastest three goals

Thursday, 12.18.2014 / 11:08 AM / News

NHL.com

The Lehigh Valley Phantoms made American Hockey League history Tuesday, scoring three times over a 21-second span in the opening minute of the game against the Binghamton Senators.

The Phantoms tied an AHL mark for the fastest three goals in league history. The record was previously set by the Hershey Bears in 1962.

Petr Straka, Jason Akeson and Andrew Gordon all scored between the 15- and 36-second marks.

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Quote of the Day

He scores 50 goals, they go in, they go in, and they go in. And I think, 'Why can't I do that?'

— Capitals forward Brooks Laich on teammate Alex Ovechkin, who scored his 50th goal of the season Tuesday in a 4-2 win vs. the Hurricanes