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Hurricanes recall forward Nestrasil from Charlotte

Wednesday, 01.14.2015 / 10:30 AM / 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 have recalled forward Andrej Nestrasil from the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League (AHL). Nestrasil played in three games with the Checkers after being assigned to Charlotte last Thursday for a conditioning stint.

Nestrasil, 23, has appeared in 21 NHL games this season with Detroit and Carolina, totaling five points (1g, 4a). The Prague native was acquired by the Hurricanes on waivers from the Red Wings on Nov. 20, and netted his first career NHL goal in his debut with the team, at Colorado on Nov. 22. Selected by the Red Wings in the third round, 75th overall, in the 2009 NHL Draft, Nestrasil (6'3”, 200 lbs.) has scored 22 goals and earned 24 assists (46 points) in 120 AHL regular-season games, capturing the AHL's Calder Cup championship with the Grand Rapids Griffins in 2013.

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Canadiens use time off to change power play

Wednesday, 01.14.2015 / 10:00 AM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- Being a hockey coach here is not always easy. In fact, it rarely is.

The Montreal Canadiens enter their game at the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday with a 26-12-3 record and have been at or near the top of the Eastern Conference standings for most of the season. Yet the Canadiens have been consistently poor on the power play, and in Montreal, that one glaring weakness tends to grab a lot of attention.

Coach Michel Therrien made some changes to the power play Monday and Tuesday at practice, in personnel and system. Considering the power play has been consistently unproductive for more than a calendar year without any significant adjustments, it was not surprising this became big news, even without an explanation from Therrien.

"I'm not going to start analyzing the changes," Therrien said. "First of all, as a coach, you want to keep those things private. We're in Montreal, we're a big market. Practices are getting analyzed on TV, and it's not fun for a coach. You want to make adjustments, and you're watching the news and people are trying to analyze the new strategy that you want to have. It can be tough at times. So I'm not going to start to elaborate on the changes."

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Around the League notebook for Tuesday, Jan. 13

Wednesday, 01.14.2015 / 9:00 AM / News

NHL Public Relations

SABRES, RED WINGS HONOR "THE DOMINATOR"

The Buffalo Sabres honored Hockey Hall of Famer Dominik Hasek by raising his No. 39 jersey to the rafters of First Niagara Center before their game against the Detroit Red Wings.

* "Sabres fans are one of a kind and having your support means just as much to me as any trophy that I have won," Hasek told the Buffalo crowd. "I will always treasure my playing career with the Sabres and my time spent in Buffalo. Having my name and my No. 39 retired by such a special team is a tremendous honor and I cannot thank you enough for being a part of it."

* A two-time Hart Trophy winner and six-time Vezina Trophy winner, Hasek compiled a 234-170-70 record with a 2.22 goals-against average, .926 save percentage and 55 shutouts in 491 appearances with the Sabres from 1992-01. He then spent four seasons with the Red Wings, capturing the Stanley Cup in 2001-02 and 2007-08.

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Wild's Suter faces Player Safety hearing Wednesday

Wednesday, 01.14.2015 / 6:45 AM / Department of Player Safety News

NHL.com

Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter will have a hearing Wednesday for an elbow to Pittsburgh Penguins forward Steve Downie during a game at Consol Energy Center on Tuesday night.

Suter was not penalized on the play at approximately 4:24 of the second period. Downie left the game and did not return.

The following grounds are being considered for supplemental discipline: elbowing.

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Goalie Holtby's confidence inspiring Capitals

Wednesday, 01.14.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Adam Vingan - NHL.com Correspondent

ARLINGTON, Va. – When playing at peak performance, Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby oozes a steely confidence, each kick of the leg and flip of the glove accentuated with a subtle flair.

Coach Barry Trotz recognizes that self-assurance in goal, which has seeped into the mentality of Holtby's teammates.

"You have a strut, whatever you want to call it," Trotz said. "You have a little swagger. That's the one position in our sport that can do that.

"You see it with Braden. His play has been stellar and so has our play."

Holtby is scheduled to make his 20th consecutive start and franchise-record 26th straight appearance in NBC's Wednesday Night Rivalry game against the Philadelphia Flyers (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVA Sports, SN1). In his previous 19 starts, Holtby is 13-2-4 with a 2.09 goals-against average, .932 save percentage and two shutouts.

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Five things to watch when Capitals face Flyers

Wednesday, 01.14.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

The Washington Capitals battled inconsistency earlier this season while trying to get accustomed to new coach Barry Trotz, but it now looks as though they're going to be in the mix for a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs right until the very end.

Trotz and the Capitals are 13-1-4 in their past 18 games (they've outscored the opposition 57-34 over that span) and have moved within two points of second place in the Metropolitan Division heading into this week's Wednesday Night Rivalry game against the Philadelphia Flyers at Verizon Center (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TVA, SN1).

"I don't believe it's a hot streak," Trotz said. "A hot streak is when you're winning games when you're not supposed to. I think our consistency has been good. Our commitment and our detail have been good. We're not just a team having a good month."

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Predators' Laviolette paces Adams race at midpoint

Wednesday, 01.14.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Awards

Jon Lane - NHL.com Staff Writer

With the first half of the 2014-15 season complete, NHL.com looks at some of its biggest storylines and award contenders.

The Nashville Predators are the latest to experience a renaissance under Peter Laviolette.

In parts of 12 seasons coaching the New York Islanders, Carolina Hurricanes and Philadelphia Flyers, Laviolette's teams have improved dramatically in his first full season. The 2001-02 Islanders started 11-1-1 and finished with 96 points, the eighth-most in the NHL, one season after placing 30th with 52 points. The Hurricanes went from 23rd (76 points) in 2003-04, when he took over 30 games into the season, to fourth (112) in 2005-06. The Flyers moved from 18th (88 points) in 2009-10 when he took over 25 games into the season, to third (106) in 2010-11.

Laviolette is at it again with the Predators. After finishing three points out of the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference last season, Nashville has emerged as one of the NHL's biggest surprises; its 60 points are the most in the League. The Predators are 13-0-0 following a loss and their 41-game start (28-9-4) was the best in franchise history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

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Rangers rue missed chances in loss to Islanders

Tuesday, 01.13.2015 / 10:50 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

NEW YORK -- When you win five straight and 13 of your past 14 games, there's no doubt you need some bounces along the way.

In the first period at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday, the New York Rangers didn't get any breaks against the New York Islanders. It played a huge role in what turned out to be a 3-0 loss.

With a chance to pull within three points of the first-place Islanders in the Metropolitan Division, the Rangers came out buzzing. They were doing all the right things and generated several quality scoring chances, none better than the two they had seconds apart late in the first period.

About eight minutes after Mats Zuccarello's one-timer hit the post, Rick Nash made a power move around Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy and let go a wrist shot that beat goalie Jaroslav Halak but hit the far post. The puck caromed right out to the slot for Derick Brassard, who managed to hit each post on his chance.

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Penguins defenseman Maatta to miss rest of season

Tuesday, 01.13.2015 / 10:06 PM / News

PittsburghPenguins.com

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta will undergo shoulder surgery Wednesday and will miss the rest of the season, General Manager Jim Rutherford announced.

Maatta, 20, has not played since a Dec. 6 game vs. Ottawa. He attempted a rehab program but it was determined that surgery was the best option.

Maatta had one goal and eight assists for nine points in 20 games this season.

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Hasek proud number will hang with Sabres legends

Tuesday, 01.13.2015 / 1:29 PM / News

Joe Yerdon - NHL.com Correspondent

BUFFALO -- Hockey Hall of Fame member Dominik Hasek will have his number retired by the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday, prior to their game against the Detroit Red Wings. The ceremony serves to be a homecoming for him.

Hasek was inducted into the Sabres Hall of Fame last season, but with his No. 39 destined for the rafters at First Niagara Center, the memories of his time here have flooded back.

"It's an accomplishment of what I was able to do for this organization and for this community and for this city, for the people of Buffalo," Hasek said. "I'm honored to be one of seven players whose jersey was retired and be next to the greatest, Gilbert Perreault and his linemates and Tim Horton and Danny Gare and my great teammate Pat LaFontaine.

"It's going to be a great honor to have my No. 39 retired. I cannot be more thankful for what this city and this organization has done for me. I was trying to do the best on the ice and now they feel like my jersey's retired and I appreciate it. It's a great honor.”

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Quote of the Day

It's not always going to be pretty, especially against a great goalie [Lundqvist] like that. My goals are never how you draw them up. It's just a matter of grinding it out and trying to create havoc in front and good things happen.

— Capitals forward Jay Beagle on scoring in their Game 3 victory against the Rangers on Monday