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On the 'D'-Fence: Carle leading Lightning blue line

Wednesday, 01.15.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Brian Metzer - NHL.com Correspondent

Every Wednesday during the season, NHL.com Correspondent Brian Metzer will provide you with an in-depth analysis of fantasy defensemen in our weekly segment: "On the 'D'-fence." From updated defensemen rankings to guys you should keep a close eye on and much more, Metzer will be your fantasy D-man insider all season long.

Care to guess who the leading scorer among all defenseman over the past two weeks in the National Hockey League is?

Would you say Erik Karlsson or Duncan Keith? What about Ryan Suter or P.K. Subban?

Keep guessing.


Daily Primer Jan. 15: Capitals, Penguins renew rivalry

Wednesday, 01.15.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider


It's always must-see TV when Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby go head-to-head. They'll meet again Wednesday night in front of a nationally televised audience.

Ovechkin, who scored his 33rd goal of the season Tuesday, and the Washington Capitals travel to the Steel City to take on Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins at Consol Energy Center (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN2, RDS). Now division rivals, the Penguins enter this week's Wednesday Night Rivalry game with a 16-point lead on Washington (22-16-8) in the Metropolitan Division.

Crosby, the NHL's leading scorer this season, has 15 goals and 45 points in 26 career games against the Capitals. Ovechkin has 22 goals and 40 points in 32 games against the Penguins.

Pittsburgh (33-12-2) has won 12 in a row at home.

Here's a closer look at the action Wednesday:


Tale of the Tape: Capitals face Penguins

Wednesday, 01.15.2014 / 3:00 AM / Tale of the Tape

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins will try to extend their domination of Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals when the teams meet in this week's Wednesday Night Rivalry game (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN2, RDS).

Each player has excelled against the other's team. Crosby, the NHL's leading scorer this season, has 15 goals and 45 points in 26 career games against the Capitals. Ovechkin, has 22 goals and 40 points in 32 games against Pittsburgh.

The Penguins have won 18 of the 32 games between the teams since Crosby and Ovechkin entered the NHL in 2005, including the past five. The Capitals haven't beaten Pittsburgh since Jan. 11, 2012.


Over the Boards: Grand impact in Detroit

Wednesday, 01.15.2014 / 3:00 AM / Over the Boards

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

It's partly by choice and partly because they have had no choice, but as many as 10 players who were part of the Grand Rapids Griffins' Calder Cup championship team last season have been playing key roles in helping the Detroit Red Wings stay in the hunt for a record 23rd consecutive berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs this season.

"I looked the other day we had eight guys from that team in our lineup," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock told NHL.com. "Any way you look at it that's a chunk, and with that lineup we were able to win in Los Angeles (3-1) and lose 1-0 in Anaheim in a game I thought we could have easily won. They're ready to play."

They have had no choice but to be ready with all the injuries the Red Wings have endured this season to players such as Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Jimmy Howard, Johan Franzen, Daniel Alfredsson, Jonathan Ericsson, Darren Helm, Justin Abdelkader, Stephen Weiss and Brendan Smith.


Rivalry Night Faceoff: Caps vs. Pens power plays

Wednesday, 01.15.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

To help celebrate NBC Rivalry Night, NHL.com will look at a rivalry within the rivalry of the featured game on Wednesday nights. For this week we are trying to determine which team has the better power play, the Pittsburgh Penguins or Washington Capitals.

Body movement, puck movement and superior skill are three ingredients that make any power play successful. It's no surprise that the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins have been feasting on opposing penalty-kill units all season.

"I've seen power plays with lots of good players, but they're static," NHL Network analyst Craig Button told NHL.com. "It's different with these two teams."


Devils' Jagr passes Messier for 7th on goals list

Wednesday, 01.15.2014 / 12:02 AM / News

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

Jaromir Jagr
Right Wing - NJD
G: 695 | A: 1031 | PTS: 1726

MONTREAL -- Some people may look at Jaromir Jagr's career NHL statistics and wonder what could have been.

To those people, Jagr says don't bother. He doesn't.

Jagr passed another milestone is his prolific NHL career Tuesday when he scored his 695th goal in a 4-1 New Jersey Devils win against the Montreal Canadiens, passing Mark Messier for seventh place on the League's all-time goals list.

Jagr scored at 17:23 of the first period with a nice move to the middle around Canadiens defenseman Josh Gorges before putting a low shot through a crowd past Carey Price just inside the far post.


Avalanche's Johnson day-to-day with back injury

Tuesday, 01.14.2014 / 11:20 PM / News

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Already playing with 17 skaters, the Colorado Avalanche finished a 3-2 overtime win against the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night without defenseman Erik Johnson.

The top-pair blueliner took one shift midway through the third period and didn't play again because of a back issue. Johnson is considered day-to-day, according to Avalanche coach Patrick Roy, who also made defenseman Cory Sarich a late scratch due to a back injury.

Johnson leads all Avalanche defensemen with 20 points (seven goals, 13 assists) in 46 games.


Maurice: Jets to keep Byfuglien at wing -- for now

Tuesday, 01.14.2014 / 7:24 PM / News

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

For those expecting new Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice to make a decision on whether to play Dustin Byfuglien at forward or defense in the near future, you may be waiting for a while.

One of Claude Noel's last moves before being removed as coach Sunday was moving Byfuglien from the blue line to forward alongside Olli Jokinen and Devin Setoguchi. Byfuglien responded with two assists Monday night, helping Maurice win his debut in a 5-1 victory against the Phoenix Coyotes at MTS Centre.

Maurice ran his first practice as Jets coach Tuesday morning, and afterward told reporters he will keep Byfuglien at right wing for the time being. He was then asked if there was a timetable as to how long the 6-foot-5, 265-pounder would stay there.

"Right when I need to … and not before," Maurice said.


NHL unveils rendering of Dodger Stadium


NEW YORK -- The National Hockey League today unveiled the architectural rendering of the 2014 Coors Light Stadium Series™ outdoor NHL game at Dodger Stadium between the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks on Saturday, Jan. 25 at 6:30 p.m. PT / 9:30 p.m. ET.

The rendering illustrates the final transformation of iconic Dodger Stadium for the historic NHL game. The Kings and Ducks will face-off on the NHL-regulation size ice rink located in the infield. Platinum recording artist Jordin Sparks will sing the U.S. national anthem while singer/songwriter John Ondrasik of Five for Fighting will perform during the second intermission on the stage located at home plate. That stage will feature a special design created by Los Angeles art legend Mister Cartoon and children from the Los Angeles-based nonprofit, Para Los Niños.

The stage in right field will feature special pre-game and first intermission performances from legendary rock band and 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees KISS. Local beach volleyball players will play throughout the game on the beach volleyball sand court located in left field. Centerfield will feature palm streets in a nod to the game's Southern California setting.


Sabres to host 2014, '15 All-American Prospect Games

Tuesday, 01.14.2014 / 12:38 PM / Prospects

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

USA Hockey and the Buffalo Sabres announced a partnership Tuesday that will see the team and First Niagara Center host the 2014 and 2015 CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospect Games.

"We're extremely pleased to be returning to Buffalo, the site of the inaugural CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects game in 2012," executive director of USA Hockey Dave Ogrean said. "The enthusiasm and support for hockey in Western New York will provide a great environment for the future stars of the NHL who will play in this game. It's terrific to be working with the Sabres organization and we appreciate their continued commitment and support of hockey at all levels."

The event, started in 2012, brings together 40 of the best American-born prospects eligible for that season's NHL draft. In the past, players in the game have come from the United States Hockey League, the Canadian Hockey League, the NCAA, and high school and prep school teams.

The inaugural game was played in Buffalo in September 2012 and featured defenseman Seth Jones, who went on to be taken by the Nashville Predators with the fourth pick of 2013 NHL Draft. The 2013 game was held at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh and among those taking part was Boston College freshman goaltender Thatcher Demko, who is No. 1 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm ranking of North American goaltenders for the 2014 NHL Draft.

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It means a lot to us, we're very excited. We're looking to continue to build on [our] top core talent of young players. It's just a great opportunity for us to really build high.

— Panthers vice president of hockey operations Travis Viola after Florida won the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft Lottery