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Rinaldo suspended four games for illegal check

Monday, 04.07.2014 / 6:05 PM / NHL Department of Player Safety

NHL.com

NEW YORK -- Philadelphia Flyers forward Zac Rinaldo has been suspended for four games, without pay, for an illegal check to the head of Buffalo Sabres defenseman Chad Ruhwedel during NHL Game No. 1173 in Philadelphia on Sunday, April 6, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.

The incident occurred at 4:29 of the third period. Rinaldo was assessed a match penalty for illegal check to the head.

Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and, based on his average annual salary, Rinaldo will forfeit $15,384.60. The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

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Lightning sign GM Yzerman to contract extension

Monday, 04.07.2014 / 3:57 PM / News

NHL.com

The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed general manager Steve Yzerman to a four-year contract extension. Yzerman had one year left on his current contract.

The Lightning are heading to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the second time in Yzerman's four seasons. They made it all the way to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final in 2011 before losing to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins.

"Since the day Steve agreed to serve as our vice president and general manager, he has worked tirelessly to transform our hockey department and establish the groundwork for sustained success," Lightning chairman and governor Jeff Vinik said in making the announcement. "We are very pleased with Steve's job performance thus far, and I am fully confident Steve remains the right person to continue to lead us.

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Signings roundup: Faragher agrees to contract

Monday, 04.07.2014 / 2:50 PM / News

NHL.com

The Anaheim Ducks on Monday signed collegiate free-agent goaltender Ryan Faragher to a one-year entry-level contract. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Faragher, 23, won 53 games over three seasons with St. Cloud State with a 2.58 goals-against average, .911 save percentage and five shutouts. As a sophomore, he led the school to its first Frozen Four appearance and Western Collegiate Hockey Association regular-season title.

Faragher comes off a season in which he led St. Cloud State to the NCAA West Regional Final and made the National Collegiate Hockey Conference second team. He was 20-9-4 with a 2.79 GAA, .905 save percentage and one shutout. He led the NCHC with 14 conference wins.

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Knee surgery to sideline Maple Leafs' Lupul

Monday, 04.07.2014 / 2:01 PM / News

NHL.com

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul will require knee surgery that will sideline him at least three weeks.

Lupul returned to the lineup Saturday after missing one game due to injury, but left after two periods. He has 22 goals and 44 points in 69 games this season.

"He is going to have surgery done on his knee," coach Randy Carlyle said. "It's a meniscus procedure and will be done arthroscopically. It will be three weeks to a month recovery."

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Gorges expecting return to Canadiens lineup

Monday, 04.07.2014 / 1:59 PM / News

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

BROSSARD, Quebec -- Montreal Canadiens defenseman Josh Gorges took part in his first full practice with his teammates Monday since breaking his hand and said afterward he expects to be in uniform Wednesday when the Canadiens face the Chicago Blackhawks on the road.

"We'll have to get final word from the doctor," Gorges said, "but as far as I know I'm cleared and ready to go."

Gorges has missed the past 15 games with a broken left hand, the result of blocking a Mason Raymond slap shot in a 4-3 overtime win against the Toronto Maple Leafs on March 1. Gorges played two more games with the injury before he and the team decided surgery was the best course of action.

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Blue Jackets' Umberger sidelined at least two weeks

Monday, 04.07.2014 / 1:26 PM / News

NHL.com

Columbus Blue Jackets forward RJ Umberger is out "probably at least a couple of weeks" with an upper-body injury, according to coach Todd Richards.

The news was first reported Monday by Columbus Dispatch writer Shawn Mitchell.

If the timeline on the injury is accurate, Umberger won't return this season unless the Blue Jackets qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They have four games remaining, and currently lead the New Jersey Devils and Toronto Maple Leafs by three points and the Washington Capitals by four points for the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

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Green won't travel on Capitals' road trip

Monday, 04.07.2014 / 12:16 PM / News

NHL.com

Washington Capitals defenseman Mike Green will not travel with the team on its upcoming two-game road trip due to an upper-body injury sustained Saturday against the New York Islanders, coach Adam Oates told reporters Monday.

Green, who has nine goals and 38 points in 70 games this season, didn't play in the final two periods Saturday.

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Hall, Varlamov, Pacioretty named 'Stars' of week

Monday, 04.07.2014 / 12:00 PM / News

NHL.com

NEW YORK – Edmonton Oilers left wing Taylor Hall, Colorado Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov and Montreal Canadiens left wing Max Pacioretty have been named the NHL's "Three Stars" for the week ending April 6.

FIRST STAR – TAYLOR HALL, LW, EDMONTON OILERS

Hall led all players with seven assists and nine points, finding the scoresheet in four consecutive games to help the Oilers (28-42-9, 65 points) pick up a pair of wins. He matched a season high with 1-3—4 in a 5-4 loss to the San Jose Sharks April 1. Hall then collected an assist in each of the next two games: a 3-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks April 2 and a 3-2 shootout victory over the Phoenix Coyotes April 4.

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Fantasy All-Access: Keeper candidates to retain

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

We have hit the final week of the NHL regular season and some of our readers are preparing for their fantasy league's championship. For the others, don't worry, we will look at some top young players' keeper value going into next season, because how someone finishes can help you decide if they are worth building your team around.

For those fighting for bragging rights with your friends all summer and that engraving of your name on the league trophy, here are some schedule facts you need to know when setting your lineup this week. Twenty of the 30 NHL teams have four games scheduled, so you will have plenty of good players to choose from.

The Colorado Avalanche play all four games on the road while the Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers and Pittsburgh Penguins play all three of their games at home. Pay attention to those teams' home and road splits when deciding on lineup decisions.

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Stanley Cup Playoffs clinching scenarios: April 7

Monday, 04.07.2014 / 10:32 AM / Drive to the Playoffs

NHL.com

The New York Rangers are the only NHL team that can secure a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Monday. Here is the scenario:

NEW YORK RANGERS

The Rangers (idle) would clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs if the New Jersey Devils lose to the Calgary Flames in any fashion.

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Quote of the Day

Just the feel for the direction they were headed and what they're trying to do, it just felt that this is a really good thing for this organization. They've got the pieces. We can put something together and go on a run or two and be together for a while, and I'm really excited about that opportunity. The team we have here has an opportunity to win, and that's the most attractive thing.

— Washington defenseman Matt Niskanen on why he decided to sign with the Capitals