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Stars' Jokipakka reassigned to AHL

Wednesday, 01.28.2015 / 12:11 PM / News

DallasStars.com

Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced today that the club has reassigned defenseman Jyrki Jokipakka to the Texas Stars, Dallas' development affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL).

Jokipakka, 23, has appeared in 19 games for Dallas this season, posting five assists (0-5=5) and 16 shots on goal. The defenseman has registered five points (3-2=5) in 17 games for Texas this season.

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Coyotes' Shinnimin recalled from AHL

Wednesday, 01.28.2015 / 12:02 PM / News

ArizonaCoyotes.com

GLENDALE, ARIZONAArizona Coyotes General Manager Don Maloney announced today that the Coyotes have recalled forward Brendan Shinnimin from the Portland Pirates, the club's American Hockey League affiliate (AHL).

The 24-year-old Shinnimin has appeared in two games with the Coyotes this season. The 5-foot-10, 185-pound native of Winnipeg, Manitoba has also registered 9-16-25 and 45 penalty minutes in 40 games with the Pirates. He represented Portland and recorded two goals and an assist in the 2015 AHL All-Star Game on Monday.

Shinnimin originally signed with the Coyotes as a free agent on March 2, 2012.

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Fantasy top 60 'D': Hidden gems for second half

Wednesday, 01.28.2015 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Brian Metzer - NHL.com Correspondent

Every Wednesday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey correspondent Brian Metzer will provide you with in-depth defensemen analysis. From updated weekly top 60 rankings to trending players and more, Metzer will be your go-to guy for fantasy blue line advice all season long.

The All-Star break is typically looked at as the halfway point of the season, but in reality most teams are already closer to 50 games played. With that in mind, it is time to start taking a hard look at your fantasy rosters and identifying areas you can shore up via trade and/or waiver wire pick-ups.

Believe it or not, you can find significant value this late in the season if you know where to look for it. There are players that might have dealt with injuries through the first half who are getting healthy, or those who will change zip codes via trade.

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Alfredsson to receive key to city of Ottawa

Wednesday, 01.28.2015 / 11:07 AM / News

NHL.com

Long-time Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson will receive the key to the city of Ottawa on March 5.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson made the announcement on his verified Twitter account Wednesday.

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Flyers goaltender Zepp loaned to AHL

Wednesday, 01.28.2015 / 10:53 AM / News

NHL.com

The Philadelphia Flyers announced Wednesday that goaltender Rob Zepp had been loaned to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms of the American Hockey League.

Zepp, 33, is 3-1-0 with a 2.92 goals-against average and .889 save percentage in six games. He last played Jan. 19 when he allowed four goals on 20 shots in 31:19 of ice time against the New York Islanders.

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Around the League notebook for Tuesday, Jan. 27

Wednesday, 01.28.2015 / 9:16 AM / News

NHL Public Relations

HALAK LIFTS ISLANDERS INTO TOP SPOT IN EAST

Jaroslav Halak made 40 saves and was 10 seconds away from his fifth shutout of the season as the New York Islanders defeated the New York Rangers 4-1, their third straight win against the Rangers.

* The Islanders improved to 32-14-1 (65 points) to pass the Tampa Bay Lightning (30-15-4, 64 points) -- who lost in regulation at Carolina -- into the top spot in the Eastern Conference. The Detroit Red Wings (28-11-9, 65 points) also have 65 points, but the Islanders have one game in hand.

* The Islanders' 32 wins through 47 games equal a franchise record set in 1978-79 (31-6-9). Their 17 home wins in 21 games at Nassau Coliseum also match a club record set in 1978-79 (17-0-4); 20 of their remaining 35 games are at the Coliseum.

* Halak, who played in his first career NHL All-Star Game on Sunday, is 26-9-0 in 35 games this season. He also made 40 saves in a 6-3 win against the Rangers on Oct. 14.

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Capitals' Alzner, Carlson benefit from new 'D' partners

Wednesday, 01.28.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

COLUMBUS -- For years, Karl Alzner and John Carlson were almost inseparable on the ice.

Fans in Washington referred to them as "Carlzner," and they evolved together from top prospects with the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League to the Washington Capitals' top defensive pairing. When coach Barry Trotz and his assistant in charge of defensemen, Todd Reirden, came to Washington this offseason, they decided it was time for a change.

Alzner and Carlson haven't taken a regular shift together in a single game this season. And yet each is playing much better than he has in recent seasons. Part of that is because of their new partners, veterans Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik, who signed with the Capitals as free agents this summer.

"I think it was important that we separate those two," Trotz said. "When you get into having a partner for so long, and they both grew up together, they're both roughly the same age, I think you can miss some things. Having a guy like Brooks or [Niskanen], coming from another organization, being a little bit older and maybe a bit more experience, can really benefit the two younger guys who have played together a long time."


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Five things to watch in Rivalry Night doubleheader

Wednesday, 01.28.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

The Pittsburgh Penguins enter the second half of the season trying keep pace in what has become a heated race in the Metropolitan Division. The Washington Capitals entered the All-Star break with points in eight of 10 games and are one of four teams vying for a division title.

Pittsburgh (27-12-8) has earned at least one point in eight of its past 10 games, including a 5-3 win against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday. Washington (24-14-9), which lost its fourth straight game (0-3-1), 4-3 at the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday, fell five points behind the second-place Penguins in the Metropolitan.

The Capitals will try to get back on track when they host the Penguins in the first game of a Wednesday Night Rivalry doubleheader at Verizon Center (NBCSN, TVA Sports, SN1, 8 p.m. ET).

On the West Coast, the Chicago Blackhawks will face the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center (NBCSN, SN, SN1, 10:30 p.m. ET). Chicago (30-15-2) won back-to-back games entering the break and is tied for second place in the Central Division. The Kings (20-15-12) have won twice in their past 10 and entered the second half on the outside of the Stanley Cup Playoff race.

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Kings need another fast finish to make playoffs

Wednesday, 01.28.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Recent history shows that the Los Angeles Kings can bank on a strong finish to ramp into the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They finished the 2011-12 season with a 9-2-3 run to squeak in and went on to win their first Cup. Last season they went 15-6-2 after the Sochi Olympics en route to their second Cup.

But Kings captain Dustin Brown acknowledged that history works against them as they regroup for the post-All Star break run to the finish, starting Wednesday against the Chicago Blackhawks at Staples Center (NBCSN, SN, SN1, 10:30 p.m. ET).

"The bigger challenge is [that] in 2012 we were the L.A. Kings who hadn't won anything," Brown said. "Now it makes it harder. Everyone's ready for you. Everyone knows the position we're in and I'm sure there's a lot of teams that would love to take points from us and prevent us from doing what we want to do."

The Kings (52 points) return to action out of a playoff spot. Coach Darryl Sutter always points to the 100-point threshold for making the postseason; to reach that mark the Kings would have to win two out of three the rest of the way.

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Penguins coach Johnston expects improvement

Wednesday, 01.28.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Wes Crosby - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Through the Pittsburgh Penguins' first 47 games last season, they sat atop the Metropolitan Division with a 16-point lead on the second-place Philadelphia Flyers. The Penguins had an eight-point advantage on the Boston Bruins for the top spot in the Eastern Conference, and they had gone 7-2-1 in their previous 10 games despite being ravaged by injuries through the first few months of the season.

Behind the bench was Dan Bylsma, the winningest coach in Penguins history.

Pittsburgh is again near the top of the division and conference standings through 47 games this season under new coach Mike Johnston, but heading into Wednesday Night Rivalry game against the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVA, SN1) success hasn't come as easily as it seemed to last season.

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Quote of the Day

I don’t know if it was more relief for me that [Stamkos] scored or the power play scored. It was a whole compilation of Alka Seltzer.

— Lightning coach Jon Cooper after Steven Stamkos broke a long scoring drought and Tampa Bay's struggling power play scored four times in Game 2 at Montreal