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Fantasy top 60 'D': Defensive duos showing the love

Wednesday, 02.11.2015 / 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.

People around the globe will be celebrating Valentine's Day this Saturday. It is a chance for dynamic duos to show how much they care about one another and to celebrate their love and affection.

With that in mind, it seemed fitting to take a look at some of the highest scoring defensive duos that are earning lots of love from fantasy owners this season.

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Flyers facing uphill climb in quest to make playoffs

Wednesday, 02.11.2015 / 9:46 AM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- The Philadelphia Flyers are making a habit of testing the limits of how difficult it is to gain ground in the NHL standings.

The Flyers are one of the hottest teams in the League, picking up points in seven straight games after a 2-1 overtime loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday gave them a 5-0-2 record since Jan. 20, when they beat the rival Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 at home.

The morning of that game, the Flyers were 11 points out of a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

On Wednesday morning, not having lost in regulation time since then, the Flyers are eight points behind the Boston Bruins for the second Eastern Conference wild-card spot.

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Vasilevskiy adjusts to NHL, role as Lightning backup

Wednesday, 02.11.2015 / 9:34 AM / NHL Insider

Corey Long - NHL.com Correspondent

TAMPA -- In many ways Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy is a victim of his own success.

The 20-year-old, a prospect from Tyumen, Russia, was expected to spend this season with the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League and hopefully lead the team to Calder Cup.

When he was called up in December to play for an injured Ben Bishop, he went 3-1-0 with a 45-save effort against the New York Islanders in the lone loss.

If members of the Lightning organization expected Vasilevskiy, the 19th pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, to have a bit of a setback when he returned to Syracuse, they were pleasantly surprised to see his numbers improve over the next month.

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Around the League notebook for Tuesday, Feb. 10

Wednesday, 02.11.2015 / 9:00 AM / News

NHL Public Relations

NEAL'S OT HEROICS HELP PREDATORS INCREASE POINTS LEAD

The Nashville Predators surrendered a two-goal lead in the third period but James Neal scored his fifth career overtime goal with 33 seconds left to lift them to a 3-2 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning, their fifth win in their past six games.

* The Predators improved to 36-12-6 (78 points), widening their lead atop the NHL standings over the Anaheim Ducks (34-14-7, 75 points), who lost Tuesday. Nine teams are within 10 points of Nashville for the top spot, including the Central Division rival St. Louis Blues (35-15-4, 74 points) and Chicago Blackhawks (33-18-3, 69 points).

* Nashville improved to 22-3-1 (45 points) at Bridgestone Arena to tie Tampa Bay for the League lead in home wins and home points. The Predators also recorded their NHL-best 24th win in one-goal games.

* Neal is tied with Filip Forsberg for the Predators lead with 18 goals, including five game-winners. He has 6-7—13 in 13 games against the Lightning.

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Five things to watch for Wednesday Night Rivalry

Wednesday, 02.11.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

The Detroit Red Wings have won three in a row and are two points shy of being atop the Eastern Conference. The Pittsburgh Penguins' past four games have featured shutouts, although they've won two of them.

Detroit (31-12-9) has won nine of its past 10 games, including a 3-1 victory against the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday. The Red Wings have allowed two goals over their three-game win streak. Pittsburgh (30-15-8), which is coming off a 5-0 loss at the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday, are three points behind the New York Islanders for the Metropolitan Division lead.

The Red Wings will try to extend their win streak when they visit the Penguins in the first game of a Wednesday Night Rivalry doubleheader at Consol Energy Center (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVA Sports, SN1).

On the West Coast, the Washington Capitals will face the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center (10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN). Washington (28-16-10) had a three-game win streak end with a 3-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday. The Capitals trail the Penguins by two points for second place in the Metropolitan. The Sharks (28-20-7) will try to avoid a three-game skid after a 4-1 loss to the Calgary Flames on Monday. San Jose has allowed nine goals in its back-to-back defeats.

Here are five things to watch in the two Wednesday Night Rivalry games:

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Red Wings' Tatar an emerging talent in second season

Wednesday, 02.11.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Paul Harris - NHL.com Correspondent

DETROIT -- Mike Babcock is tougher on forward Tomas Tatar than he is on any other player.

That's because the Detroit Red Wings coach thinks Tatar, who's 24 and in his second full NHL season, has so much potential.

"As long as he keeps working on his details and is committed to doing it all the time, he's going to get there," Babcock said. "That's the biggest challenge for a young player. What allowed you to be good last year isn't good enough this year and the years to come. You got to keep getting better if you want to be the best. That's what guys like [Pavel] Datsyuk and [Henrik] Zetterberg have done. So for our young players, they have great examples."

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Commissioner attends Las Vegas ticket launch

Tuesday, 02.10.2015 / 9:12 PM / News

NHL.com

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was in Las Vegas on Tuesday, when a season-ticket drive for a possible NHL team was launched.

Bettman was invited by Bill Foley, who is leading the attempt to bring Nevada its first major league professional sports team.

"So, here I am to watch Bill and his colleagues begin this season-ticket drive and see whether or not Las Vegas' interest matches Bill Foley's interest," Commissioner Bettman said in a video posted by KVVU-TV.

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Hurricanes' Murphy out four weeks with leg injury

Tuesday, 02.10.2015 / 3:35 PM / News

CarolinaHurricanes.com

RALEIGH, NCRon Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the Hurricanes defenseman Ryan Murphy has been placed injured reserve. Murphy suffered a leg injury on Thursday against the Arizona Coyotes and is expected to be out for four weeks. The injury will not require surgery.

Murphy, 21, has earned one goal and six assists (7 points) in 21 NHL games for the Hurricanes this season. The Aurora, Ont., native has also appeared in 25 American Hockey League (AHL) games with Charlotte, and leads all Charlotte skaters in assists this season with 17. The Hurricanes’ first round selection, 12th overall, in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Murphy (5’11”, 185 lbs.) has skated in 73 career NHL games with Carolina, totaling 19 points (3g, 16a).

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Gregory, Quinn, Savard receive Order of Hockey

Tuesday, 02.10.2015 / 2:39 PM / News

Mike Brophy - NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO -- Tom Renney was thrilled to honor Pat Quinn as one of three inductees into Canada's Order of Hockey Canada at Air Canada Centre on Tuesday.

Renney hopes one day soon he'll see Quinn enshrined into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

"I think he should be in the Hall of Fame," said Renney, president and CEO of Hockey Canada. "What is it, 50 years in the game? He gets us [Canada] a gold medal at the [2002] Olympic Games. He wins us a gold medal at the [2009] World Junior Championship. He puts all kinds of people in a safe place in the NHL and he makes big stars out of a number of others as a coach, never mind as an administrator. Maybe it's only a matter of time. I'd like to think that it will be sooner rather than later."

Quinn, who died Nov. 23, 2014 at 71, was named to the 2015 class of Distinguished Honorees of the Order of Hockey in Canada along with NHL senior vice-president of hockey operations and former Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Jim Gregory, and former Montreal Canadiens defenseman and NHL GM Serge Savard. Gregory and Savard also are members of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

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Flyers' Mason out 2-3 weeks with lower-body injury

Tuesday, 02.10.2015 / 2:13 PM / News

NHL.com

Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Steve Mason will be out approximately 2-3 weeks because of a lower-body injury, the Flyers announced Tuesday.

Mason was injured during the second period of the Flyers' 3-1 victory against the Washington Capitals on Saturday. He was at the bench during a stoppage in play, and when he turned to skate back to his goal crease he immediately returned to the bench in pain, unable to put much weight on his right leg. He needed help from the Flyers' training staff to get off the ice.

CSNPhilly.com reported Monday that Mason will have arthroscopic surgery on his right knee.

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Quote of the Day

We have no doubt how he can play. You don't, with four teams that are left, you're not getting here without good goaltending. All great goalies left, and [Bishop] is a top-tier goaltender in this league and he's shown it.

— Lightning coach Jon Cooper on goalie Ben Bishop, who shut out the Rangers in Game 5