An injury to his left knee has kept Datsyuk out of the lineup since Feb. 27, and the Red Wings shut him down completely March 5 to allow inflammation in the knee to subside. Tuesday he took part in his first full practice in a month. Though he didn't take part in line rushes or power-play drills, Datsyuk told reporters in Detroit he was encouraged by how the session went.
"I'm happy to be back with the team," Datsyuk said. "I need a little more time to pick up the pace, pick up everything. I can do full skates, lots of things that they do that I cannot do before, that's why I take three weeks [off]."
NEW YORK – Boston Bruins right wing Jarome Iginla, Detroit Red Wings right wing Gustav Nyquist and Philadelphia Flyers center Claude Giroux have been named the NHL's "Three Stars" for the month of March.
Iginla led all players with 13 goals, scoring on a League-best 31.0% of his shots (13-of-42) to power the Bruins to a 15-1-1 record in March and the top spot in the NHL standings (52-17-6, 110 points). He recorded 17 points (13-4—17) in 17 games, including six multi-point performances and a six-game point streak March 9-18 (7-1—8). Iginla also posted four multi-goal games and scored five game-winning goals – March 4 vs. FLA, March 13 vs. PHX, March 15 vs. CAR, March 18 at NJ and March 29 at WSH – giving him eight such tallies this season, his most in one campaign since 2007-08 (9). The 36-year-old Edmonton native scored his 30th goal of the season March 29, reaching the milestone for the 12th time in his 17-year career. He also recorded his 560th career goal, tying Guy Lafleur for 24th in NHL history. Playing in his first season with the Bruins, Iginla has 30-31—61 in 75 games and is tied for third in the League with a +34 rating.
Ferris State free-agent forward Garrett Thompson signed a one-year, entry-level contract with the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday. Financial terms of the contract were not released.
Thompson, 24, had team-high totals of 16 goals and 32 points in 42 games this season.
A native of Traverse City, Mich., Thompson had 42 goals and 87 points in 139 games in his four-year collegiate career.
Before you read this story, go check out this goal scored by Detroit Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist on Sunday. Impressive, right?
These are the kind of highlights Nyquist has been creating for the past 20-plus games; basically since the Olympic break. Over the past 30 days in Yahoo leagues, Nyquist is the No. 4 player, behind Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby, Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos and Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask. To put it in layman's terms, Nyquist has been an elite player for more than a month now.
With several superstars suffering injuries during the most critical time of the season for fantasy owners (Evgeni Malkin, Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Matt Duchene, Bobby Ryan), Nyquist has elevated his game and has become a major difference-maker.
In 50 games this season, the 24-year-old has 27 goals, 18 assists, a plus-14, eight penalty minutes, eight power-play points and 138 shots on goal. He currently ranks as the 176th player in Yahoo leagues. But most importantly he has 17 goals, 10 assists and a plus-11 rating in his past 21 games.
The right wing, a third-round selection (No. 80) in the 2010 NHL Draft by the Penguins, recently completed his senior season at the University of Notre Dame. An alternate captain, the 21-year-old scored a career-high 17 goals and had 33 points as the Fighting Irish qualified for the NCAA Tournament.
In four years at Notre Dame, Rust had 43 goals, 54 assists and 97 points in 161 games.
The Penguins would clinch the Metropolitan Division title if they defeat the Hurricanes in any fashion OR if they get one point against the Hurricanes AND the Flyers lose to the Blues in any fashion OR if the Flyers lose to the Blues in regulation.
The Canadiens would clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs if they defeat the Lightning in any fashion OR if they get one point against the Lightning AND the Capitals lose to the Stars in any fashion OR if the Capitals lose to the Stars in regulation AND the Devils lose to the Sabres in any fashion.
The Lightning would clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs if they defeat the Canadiens in any fashion AND the Capitals lose to the Stars in regulation AND the Devils lose to the Sabres in any fashion.
The conclusion to 2013-14 NHL regular season is fast approaching. During game play Tuesday, the League will pass the mark in which there are less than 100 games remaining. Yet, much remains to be decided in the frantic run to the finish line, including playoff qualification, playoff positioning and numerous individual accomplishments and milestones. To celebrate the 13-day countdown to the end of the season April 13 and the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs on April 16, NHL.com will provide a piece of playoff-related content each day.
The "if the playoffs began today" game always is fun to play at this time of the year. It's a conversation starter. It generates opinions. It forces analysis. It's also only a hypothetical.
Nine spots in the Stanley Cup Playoffs are still available, and several teams will be provided an opportunity to increase their chances Tuesday night with 11 games on the NHL schedule.
The New Jersey Devils, who beat the Florida Panthers on Monday and pulled within three points of a wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference, are back on the ice Tuesday against the Buffalo Sabres. The Toronto Maple Leafs, who are two points back of a wild card despite eight straight losses, look to get back on track against the Calgary Flames.
The Columbus Blue Jackets, who hold that aforementioned two-point lead on New Jersey in the East, will host the Colorado Avalanche. In the Western Conference, the St. Louis Blues will look to regain a three-point lead on the Anaheim Ducks after the latter rallied from a 4-0 deficit Monday to beat the Winnipeg Jets. The Blues host the Philadelphia Flyers (8 p.m. ET, TSN2, NBCSN, CSN-PH).
Here's a closer look at the action Tuesday:
As NBC's lead "Inside the Glass" analyst, Pierre McGuire has a unique look at the players on the ice, trends in the game, highs and lows on the bench, and an ear on any coaching adjustments before they play out in front of the viewing audience.
Agree or disagree with him, McGuire is a fixture in your living room if you watch games on NBC and NBCSN.
He has been with NBC since 2006 and full-time on the network since 2011. He previously worked for TSN after starting his broadcasting career calling Montreal Canadiens games on the radio in 1997. McGuire also won the Stanley Cup twice as a scout and assistant coach with the Pittsburgh Penguins, and served as head coach of the Hartford Whalers for part of one season.
McGuire went around the League with NHL.com on Monday for five questions that turned into more because of a long discussion on advanced statistics near the end of the telephone interview.
Before the conversation turned to stats, McGuire touched on Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene's injury, the struggling Toronto Maple Leafs, the Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings rookie Gustav Nyquist and which coach will get one of his Jack Adams Award votes.
It's all below.
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