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Around the League notebook for Tuesday, Nov. 4

Wednesday, 11.05.2014 / 1:43 AM / News

NHL Public Relations

OVECHKIN BECOMES CAPITALS SCORING LEADER

Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin's first of two assists (WATCH ) against Calgary gave him sole possession of first place on the franchise's all-time points list (428-399—826), surpassing Peter Bondra. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is one of 10 active players to hold a franchise scoring record. Of those 10 players, only five hold their current club's record: Ovechkin, Minnesota's Mikko Koivu (455 points), New Jersey's Patrik Elias (989), San Jose's Patrick Marleau (943) and Vancouver's Henrik Sedin (856).

"Congratulations to Alex Ovechkin on the outstanding achievement of becoming the leading scorer in Washington Capitals history,” said Wayne Gretzky. “He's a tremendous talent with many great years and achievements ahead of him."

* Ovechkin reached the milestone in his 691st career game, 270 fewer than Bondra (472-353—825 in 961 GP). He ranks ninth on the franchise list in games played.

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Canadiens head to Buffalo seeking answers to slump

Wednesday, 11.05.2014 / 12:30 AM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- Ten days.

That is all it has taken for the Montreal Canadiens to go from being the toast of the NHL, a team sitting pretty with a 7-1-0 record, to one getting booed in its own building.

The Canadiens have won once since defeating the New York Rangers 3-1 on Oct. 25, a five-game span that has seen Montreal get outscored 18-6, with the exclamation point being laid down by the Chicago Blackhawks in a 5-0 win at Bell Centre on Tuesday.

The Canadiens are 1-3-1 in the 10 days since that win against the Rangers, and what appeared to be a promising start to the season has gone seriously sideways in a hurry.

"Nothing's working for us," center Tomas Plekanec said Tuesday. "I mean, I thought we played hard in the first period, we put pucks to the net. We need to take a step back. We have to stay positive as much as possible and we've got to fight through it.

"We've got to help ourselves, somehow."


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Ovechkin becomes Capitals' all-time leading scorer

Tuesday, 11.04.2014 / 11:08 PM / News

NHL.com

Forward Alex Ovechkin became the leading scorer in Washington Capitals history with a first-period assist against the Calgary Flames at Verizon Center on Tuesday.

The assist on a goal by Nicklas Backstrom 10:18 into the period gave Ovechkin his 826th point, breaking a tie with Peter Bondra.

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Penguins' Maatta has tumor removed from thyroid

Tuesday, 11.04.2014 / 7:52 PM / News

NHL.com

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta had surgery Tuesday to remove a tumor in his thyroid gland, the Penguins said.

Penguins doctors had said it was possible that the tumor was a form of low-grade thyroid cancer. The results of pathology testing to determine whether the tumor was malignant will be available within 7-10 days.

"Even if it is found to be cancerous, we do not expect that he will need radiation or chemotherapy, and we anticipate a complete recovery," Dharmesh Vyas, the Penguins team physician, said in a statement. "The surgery went well, and Olli is resting comfortably."


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Ducks' Gibson to miss six weeks with groin injury

Tuesday, 11.04.2014 / 3:45 PM / News

NHL.com

Rookie goaltender John Gibson is expected to miss six weeks with a groin injury, the Anaheim Ducks said Tuesday.

Gibson was injured before Anaheim's game Sunday against the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center. Goaltending consultant Dwayne Roloson, who was with the team on the trip, suited up and sat on the bench, and acted as the emergency goaltender against the Avalanche.

Anaheim's other goaltender, Frederik Andersen, remains day-to-day with leg tightness, the team said. With Andersen and Gibson unavailable Sunday, the Ducks started Jason LaBarbera and he made 16 saves in a 3-2 victory against Colorado.

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Which amazing goal was better? Tarasenko or Malkin

Tuesday, 11.04.2014 / 2:39 PM / You Decide: Watch and vote

NHL.com Staff

 

St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko took the hockey world by storm Monday night with his amazing goal against the New York Rangers.

After accelerating past three defenders, Tarasenko dekes to the left before coming back to the right and tucking the puck, with just one hand on his stick, past New York goalie Cam Talbot in a move that may well have found its inspiration from Peter Forsberg's famous shootout goal against Corey Hirsch to lift Sweden to the gold medal at the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics.

It also brought to mind a beautiful goal from fellow Russian forward, Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin, who zig-zagged past several Tampa Bay Lightning defenders before beating goaltender Dwayne Roloson with a shot to the short side of the net in a game played Feb. 12, 2012.

Which of these amazing goals is better? That's for you to decide! Vote in the poll and have your say.

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Bruins' Chara talks injury, no timetable yet

Tuesday, 11.04.2014 / 2:10 PM / News

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

BOSTON – The half hour or so before the morning skate is when Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara typically heads for the hallway below the stands with his stick and a baseball and works on stickhandling and makes a few light passes against the brick wall.

That part of the game-day routine was the same for Chara on Tuesday, except he was wearing a large brace over his left knee and once he was done dangling the baseball he wasn’t able to join his teammates for their skate in preparation for a game against the Florida Panthers at TD Garden.

It’s been almost two weeks since Chara left the Bruins’ lineup with a ligament tear in his left knee that he sustained against the New York Islanders. The original prognosis for Chara’s return was four-to-six weeks from Oct. 23. Not much has changed since then.

“No, there is not a timeline right now,” Chara said Tuesday while making his first remarks since the injury. “I wish I could tell you guys exactly when I’m going to return. But at this point really it’s just such a slow process that who knows what the days are going to be.”

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Fantasy top 100 forwards: Lightning stacked up front

Tuesday, 11.04.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Every Tuesday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey insider Pete Jensen will provide you with in-depth forward analysis. From updated weekly top 100 rankings to trending players and more, Jensen will be your go-to guy for fantasy forward advice all season long.

Coming into the season, the Tampa Bay Lightning were a complete team on paper -- from their forward group to their blue line to their goaltending.

Tampa Bay has been ravaged by injuries early on, so the fact that the Lightning are still tied atop the Eastern Conference standings through 12 games speaks volumes about their depth. The injury bug started with prospect Jonathan Drouin in training camp, escalated with defenseman Victor Hedman the second week of the season, and continued with Ryan Callahan, Alex Killorn and Brett Connolly in recent weeks.

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Blues' Tarasenko combining talent with drive, humility

Tuesday, 11.04.2014 / 9:40 AM / NHL Insider

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- The day after Vladimir Tarasenko scored his first NHL hat trick, the St. Louis Blues held an optional skate. More times than not, top-end players in particular typically are inclined take advantage of an off day.

Not Tarasenko.

If it weren't for Alexander Steen stepping onto the ice at the Blues' practice facility that day, Tarasenko would have been first on the ice. Continuous improvement is what matters to the right wing most.

It wasn't just another workout for Tarasenko, who in a 4-3 win against the Dallas Stars last Tuesday became the first Blues player to score a hat trick on an overtime goal since Brett Hull did it Oct. 9, 1997. Tarasenko was spending time improving his craft by shooting pucks -- lots of them. Wrist shot after wrist shot, snapping off a plethora of pucks. It's what turns good shooters into great shooters.

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Five Questions: Hitchcock on special teams, goalies

Monday, 11.03.2014 / 11:55 PM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NHL.com's Q&A feature called "Five Questions With …" runs every Tuesday. We talk to key figures in the game and ask them questions to gain insight into their lives, careers and the latest news.

The latest edition features St. Louis Blues coach Ken Hitchcock:

NEW YORK -- The St. Louis Blues carry a five-game winning streak into Prudential Center on Tuesday because they're finding ways to win the hard way despite a below-par penalty kill and injuries to some key forwards.

"That's what it's about," Blues captain David Backes said. "Plugging holes and getting guys to step up with bigger responsibilities. We're gutting it out and getting back to our roots in how we play and how we have success, and that's playing in their end, mucking and grinding, and finding ways to get dirty goals."

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Quote of the Day

It's something that you don't really envision starting this way, but when you put the work in you don't feel like it's unwarranted. You definitely don't envision it unfolding this way, but you do think you can be successful at this level.

— Senators goalie Andrew Hammond, who defeated the Jets on Wednesday to improve to 6-0-1 since making his first NHL start on Feb. 18