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Timonen to be honored by Flyers, 'my No. 1 team'

Wednesday, 10.14.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

Kimmo Timonen was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings, developed into an all-star with the Nashville Predators and won the Stanley Cup last season with the Chicago Blackhawks.

But he still considers himself a member of the Philadelphia Flyers.

"I was in Nashville for eight years and I was the captain there," Timonen said. "My kids were born in Nashville. So those memories are really nice. Here in Philly, I think my role was so good, and playing for the Flyers in front of these fans, it was something I'll remember for the rest of my life. … I think the Flyers are my No. 1 team."

Oilers forward McDavid scores first NHL goal

Wednesday, 10.14.2015 / 12:57 AM / News

DALLAS -- Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid scored his first NHL goal in the second period of a 4-2 loss to the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center on Tuesday.

McDavid, playing his third game, scored 12:18 into the period to make it 2-2. He tipped in a shot taken by Andrej Sekera, beating goalie Kari Lehtonen.

"I was excited but a lot of it was relief," McDavid said. "It's just the pressure out there these days. It felt good."

Team QMJHL selected for Canada-Russia series

Tuesday, 10.13.2015 / 5:25 PM / 2016 NHL Draft

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

Julien Gauthier and Pierre-Luc Dubois, two top prospects for the 2016 NHL Draft, were among the 23 players picked for Team QMJHL in the 2015 CHL Canada-Russia Series.

Team QMJHL will play Team Russia in the final two games of the series, Nov. 17 in Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec, and Nov. 19 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The games are used by Hockey Canada as an evaluation tool for picking the team that will play for Canada at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Gauthier, a 6-foot-3, 225-pound right wing, has seven goals in 10 games for Val-d'Or and he earned an A rating from NHL Central Scouting in its September players to watch list. Last season he had 38 goals and 73 points in 68 games, and 10 points in 17 QMJHL playoff games.

Hammond back with Senators; O'Connor sent to AHL

Tuesday, 10.13.2015 / 5:03 PM / News

Ottawa Senators goaltender Andrew Hammond is back on the active roster after a groin injury, and emergency recall Matthew O'Connor was assigned to Binghamton of the American Hockey League on Tuesday.

Hammond, 27, sustained a groin injury near the end of training camp. In his absence, veteran Craig Anderson started and won two games. O'Connor, an undrafted free agent, made 31 saves in his NHL debut Sunday, a 3-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens.

Hammond told the Ottawa Sun he has been skating on his own for 4-5 days.

"We started slow then kind of ramped it up, and the last two days have kind of been full go," he said. "I think we're at a point now I feel good, there's no pain. We're all good at this point."

Sharks forward Ward adjusting after leaving Capitals

Tuesday, 10.13.2015 / 4:04 PM / NHL Insider

Katie Brown - Correspondent

WASHINGTON -- San Jose Sharks forward Joel Ward has experienced more than a few changes in his life over the past few months.

After four seasons with the Washington Capitals, Ward tested the free agent market and signed a three-year, $9.8 million contract with the San Jose Sharks on July 3.

With the Sharks set to play the Capitals at Verizon Center on Tuesday, Ward is adjusting not only to a new team, but a new way of life on the West Coast.

"[Washington] was definitely home for a while, so you're used to it, the simple drive to Kettler [Iceplex] every morning from where I was, so now it's about learning new things," Ward said. "I've got to find a new drycleaner, a new barber shop, all the little things I've got to go through now."

Flyers goalie Mason likely to skate Wednesday: report

Tuesday, 10.13.2015 / 12:39 PM / News

Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Steve Mason is expected to take part in the morning skate Wednesday ahead of their game against the Chicago Blackhawks (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN), according to However, it is unknown if he will play against the Blackhawks.

Mason was not in the lineup Monday against the Florida Panthers because of a family issue. He was not at practice Tuesday.

Fantasy top 100 forwards: Lines with staying power

Tuesday, 10.13.2015 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - Fantasy Insider

Every Tuesday during the season, fantasy hockey insider Pete Jensen provides in-depth forward analysis. From updated weekly top 100 rankings to trending players and more, Jensen is your go-to guy for fantasy forward advice all season long.

Line combinations are the most important factor when determining the value of a fantasy forward at any point during a particular season. Many teams shuffle lines and power-play units all season long before finding the perfect recipe, while others find trios that click early and often.

There have been plenty of large-scale line developments for teams two or three games into their respective seasons. The St. Louis Blues (Vladimir Tarasenko and Alexander Steen with Paul Stastny), San Jose Sharks (Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski with Joonas Donskoi), Vancouver Canucks (Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin with Brandon Sutter) and Dallas Stars (Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin with Cody Eakin or Patrick Eaves) are some of the many teams pairing dynamic fantasy duos with sparsely-owned forwards -- sparking the latter's fantasy upside. Though these third wheels are rounding out explosive lines in the short term, their teams have second or third-line options (i.e. Jori Lehtera, Tomas Hertl, Radim Vrbata, Patrick Sharp) more than capable of playing elevated roles if and when slumps occur.

Fantasy owners should study up on each team's line situation in the season's infant stages, but always need to prioritize attainable first or second-line trios with staying power. Last season, underrated trios for the Tampa Bay Lightning (Ondrej Palat, Tyler Johnson, Nikita Kucherov) and Calgary Flames (Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, Jiri Hudler) came out of nowhere to sustain elite-level production. Here are three newly formed trios who are flying under the radar and could follow in their footsteps:

Islanders, Boulton agree on one-year contract

Tuesday, 10.13.2015 / 10:32 AM / News

Forward Eric Boulton agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the New York Islanders on Tuesday. No financial terms were released.

Boulton, 39, had two goals in 10 games with the Islanders last season.

Red Wings' Abdelkader building off breakout season

Tuesday, 10.13.2015 / 10:25 AM / NHL Insider

Paul Harris - Correspondent

DETROIT -- Justin Abdelkader had a breakout season in 2014-15 and is off to an even better start in 2015-16.

After a career-high 23 goals and 44 points last season, the Detroit Red Wings left wing has four goals, five points and a plus-4 rating to lead them to a 2-0-0 start.

That performance, highlighted by the second hat trick of his NHL career in the season opener Friday, a 4-0 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Joe Louis Arena, earned Abdelkader, 28, the NHL's First Star of the Week.

"I'll take a star here," Abdelkader said after practice Monday. "It's two games, still a long ways to go. Our line did a lot of good things out there, created a lot of scoring chances and we had fun doing it."

The Red Wings play the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVA Sports) at Joe Louis Arena. Tampa Bay eliminated Detroit from the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs in seven games in an Eastern Conference First Round series.

Weekes: Five best goalies I played against

Tuesday, 10.13.2015 / 10:00 AM / Game Savers

Kevin Weekes - NHL Network Analyst

NHL Network analyst Kevin Weekes, in conjunction with the new Canada Post goaltender stamp series, provides his insight into the position he played for 11 seasons in the League.

This week, Weekes discusses the best goalies he played against.

I played in the NHL for 11 seasons with seven different teams, the Florida Panthers, Vancouver Canucks, New York Islanders, Tampa Bay Lightning, Carolina Hurricanes, New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils.

I got to face some of the game's best during that time, from 1997-2009. There were guys at the tail end of their careers who won the Stanley Cup, others who were just starting to become great and some in the prime of their legendary careers. It wasn't easy coming up with this list, but after careful consideration, here are the five best goalies I played against:

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