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Islanders' Halak day-to-day, won't play vs. Blackhawks

Friday, 10.09.2015 / 11:32 AM / News

Brian Compton - Deputy Managing Editor

NEW YORK -- New York Islanders goaltender Jaroslav Halak will miss the season opener Friday against the Chicago Blackhawks because of an upper-body injury.

Halak skated before the rest of the Islanders took the ice at Barclays Center for the morning skate. Coach Jack Capauno said Halak is day-to-day.

Around the League notebook for Thursday, Oct. 8

Friday, 10.09.2015 / 10:38 AM / News

NHL Public Relations


Home Team in Caps

Winnipeg 6, BOSTON 2

Ottawa 3, BUFFALO 1

TAMPA BAY 3, Philadelphia 2 (OT)

ST. LOUIS 3, Edmonton 1

NASHVILLE 2, Carolina 1

DALLAS 3, Pittsburgh 0

Minnesota 5, COLORADO 4


Forwards Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel, the top two picks from the 2015 NHL Draft, made their highly anticipated debuts Thursday:

McDavid impressive if not spectacular in NHL debut

Friday, 10.09.2015 / 12:47 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

ST. LOUIS -- Good but not great, with flashes of the brilliance that's to come, warning signs of areas that need improvement, and a slow and steady rise in his level of impact.

That description of Connor McDavid's performance in his NHL debut Thursday at Scottrade Center against the St. Louis Blues might not be what people envisioned hearing or reading considering the hype that accompanied the Edmonton Oilers rookie center into the League, but honest evaluation is the first and necessary step for McDavid toward living up to the incredibly high expectations already placed on him.

He may only be cracking the surface of his potential in the NHL, but he at least deserves time to lay his foundation, especially when he's attempting to do it with a target on his back as the No. 1 pick in the 2015 draft and arguably the most hyped player to enter the League since Sidney Crosby a decade ago.

"I thought he held his own," Oilers left wing Taylor Hall said following St. Louis' 3-1 win in the season opener for each team. "When you're 18 years old, you're playing against guys sometimes twice your age and not every play, not every game, is going to be easy. Tonight was no different, but I think you saw a lot of pushback from him and that's great to see."

Lightning's Garrison first to score in new 3-on-3 OT

Friday, 10.09.2015 / 12:20 AM / News

Corey Long - Correspondent

TAMPA -- Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Jason Garrison became the first player to score in the NHL's new 3-on-3 overtime format Thursday.

Garrison's goal at 2:17 gave the Lightning a 3-2 season-opening win against the Philadelphia Flyers at Amalie Arena.

But the end-to-end overtime action apparently took a toll on the 30-year-old, who scored in alone on goalie Steve Mason.

"Personally, for me, I don't like to ride a roller coaster too much with the emotions," Garrison said. "So the 3-on-3 is a little bit like that. It's chance after chance, it's a high and a low, and it's exciting for the fans."

Sabres forward Jack Eichel scores in NHL debut

Thursday, 10.08.2015 / 11:51 PM / News

Tim Wharnsby - Correspondent

BUFFALO -- Not everyone can score on his first NHL shift like Mario Lemieux did 31 years ago, when the Pittsburgh Penguins rookie picked the pocket of Ray Bourque for an incredible beginning to a Hall of Fame career.

Buffalo Sabres rookie Jack Eichel needed 23 shifts to score in his NHL debut, a 3-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators at First Niagara Center on Thursday.

After an unremarkable first two periods, the No. 2 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft came to life to score Buffalo's goal 9:11 into the third period.

"Yeah, it was a pretty special moment for me," the 18-year-old said. "Today was my Dad's [55th] birthday. I have a lot of family in town, so it was a special moment for me to score my first one today.

"A win definitely would have capped it off, but you can't have everything."

Sabres goalie Lehner leaves opener with injury

Thursday, 10.08.2015 / 9:51 PM / News

Joe Yerdon - Correspondent

BUFFALO -- Buffalo Sabres goalie Robin Lehner left the season-opening game Thursday against the Ottawa Senators in the second period with a lower-body injury.

He was replaced by Chad Johnson 7:30 into the period.

Bills coach Rex Ryan in jersey for Sabres opener

Thursday, 10.08.2015 / 4:51 PM / News

Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan delivered his NFL press conference Thursday wearing a Buffalo Sabres jersey.

"We've got a big day obviously; we've got the Sabres, opening night," Ryan told the Bills website. "Obviously very excited about that.

"And if you're wondering, yes, the fighting strap is attached to this, just in case somebody from Ottawa tries to pull the sweater over my head, I'm ready to go."

Sharks' Torres apologizes for hit on Ducks' Silfverberg

Thursday, 10.08.2015 / 3:00 PM / News

San Jose Sharks forward Raffi Torres apologized Thursday for an illegal hit that resulted in him being suspended for 41 games by the NHL Department of Player Safety.

The suspension was assessed to Torres on Oct. 5 because of interference and an illegal check to the head against the Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg during a preseason game Oct. 3.

"I accept the 41-game suspension handed down to me by the NHL's Department of Player Safety," Torres said. "I worked extremely hard over the last two years following reconstructive knee surgery to resume my NHL career, and this is the last thing I wanted to happen. I am disappointed I have put myself in a position to be suspended again. I sincerely apologize to Jakob for the hit that led to this suspension, and I'm extremely thankful that he wasn't seriously injured as a result of the play. I also want to apologize to my Sharks teammates and the organization."

Behind the Numbers: SAT Close solid predictor

Thursday, 10.08.2015 / 1:01 PM / Behind the Numbers

Rob Vollman - Correspondent

Rob Vollman is a pioneer in the field of hockey analytics and the co-author of Hockey Abstract. His innovations include Player Usage Charts on Home Plate Save Percentage. He will contribute a regular column to throughout this season.

Seven teams that missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2014 fought their way into them last season, the greatest turnover since 2005.

Typically, an average of five teams work their way into the field of 16 that weren't there the year prior. In 2011, three teams went from out to in.

So, which teams are most likely to get in this season after missing last season?

Unmasked: Third-goalie option a must in NHL today

Thursday, 10.08.2015 / 11:39 AM / Unmasked

Kevin Woodley - Correspondent

It's popular to rank the 30 goaltending tandems heading into a new NHL season. But the increasing reality is almost all teams need more than two capable goaltenders to make it through a season.

Last season 92 goalies appeared in at least one NHL game, down slightly from 97 in 2013-14, which was the highest total in six seasons. Five teams made it through last season without needing their third-stringer to play at least one game: the Carolina Hurricanes, Los Angeles Kings, Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets. Among the 25 teams that needed to go beyond their opening-day tandem, the goalies further down the depth chart averaged almost nine games played.

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