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Fantasy All-Access: The time for giving gifts

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

This is the last All-Access until the New Year, so we decided to give our fantasy holiday gifts.

For owners of the top three players, Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin and Patrick Kane, we give the gift of an iPad Air to watch all the amazing highlights they have been providing your fantasy team this season.

For Steven Stamkos owners we give the gift of an Elf on the Shelf to monitor his recovery and return back to the top of the fantasy charts.

Lastly, we give the gift of a carousel to all the goalies in the NHL as that symbolizes the state of fantasy hockey goalies at this point of the season.


Ovechkin, Jones, Hutton named 'Three Stars'

Monday, 12.16.2013 / 12:00 PM / News

NEW YORK -- Washington Capitals right wing Alex Ovechkin, Los Angeles Kings goaltender Martin Jones and Nashville Predators goaltender Carter Hutton have been named the NHL's "Three Stars" for the week ending Dec. 15.


Ovechkin led the NHL with five goals and tied for third with six points as the Capitals (18 12 3, 39 points) earned five out of a possible six points to maintain second place in the Metropolitan Division. He began the week by recording his third career four-goal game (and 13th career hat trick), including the tying marker with 32.4 seconds remaining in regulation, in a 6-5 shootout victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning Dec. 10. After being held off the scoresheet in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Florida Panthers Dec. 13, Ovechkin posted 1-1—2, including the tying goal with 47.9 seconds left in the third period, in a 5-4 shootout win over the Philadelphia Flyers Dec. 15, the Capitals' second three-goal comeback of the week. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Ovechkin has seven game-tying goals in the final minute of regulation during his NHL career; no other player has scored more than four such goals since he entered the League in October 2005. The 28-year-old Moscow native leads the NHL with 27 goals in 31 games this season and is tied for fifth with 37 points.


Penguins' defense depth critical given injuries

Monday, 12.16.2013 / 10:48 AM / NHL Insider

Wes Crosby - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH – The Pittsburgh Penguins' defense corps has been plagued by injuries this season, but hasn't sustained any noticeable lapses in performance.

Pittsburgh general manager Ray Shero has been lauded for the young depth on defense the organization has accumulated in recent seasons, and that depth has been on display because of the injuries.

That said, the toughest test has yet to come.

Kris Letang (upper body) was added to the ever-growing Pittsburgh injury list when he did not dress for a 4-1 victory Saturday night against the Detroit Red Wings. Injuries to Brooks Orpik (concussion),Paul Martin (broken leg) and Rob Scuderi (broken ankle) have led the Penguins to recall defensemenSimon Despres and Brian Dumoulin from the American Hockey League and rearrange their defensive pairings on a game-by-game basis.


Daily Primer Dec. 16: Maple Leafs visit Penguins

Monday, 12.16.2013 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider


The Pittsburgh Penguins are experiencing difficulty staying healthy, but the wins just keep on coming.

Pittsburgh (23-10-1), which is without key defensemen such as Kris Letang (lower body), Paul Martin (broken leg), Rob Scuderi (broken ankle) and Brooks Orpik (head), will seek its fourth straight win Monday night when it hosts the Toronto Maple Leafs at Consol Energy Center (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, RDS, SNET-O, ROOT).

Here's a closer look at the action Monday:


Injuries mounting for Olympic goalie contenders

Monday, 12.16.2013 / 3:00 AM / 2014 Olympics

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Injuries continue to derail goaltenders with aspirations of going to the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard became the latest victim to be sidelined. The American will miss the next 2-4 weeks with a Grade 1 MCL sprain that calls into question his availability for the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on New Year's Day and all but ruins his chances of getting his game back in order to impress USA general manager David Poile enough to make the Olympic team.

Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford went out last week with a lower-body injury that will keep the Canadian on the sideline for at least another two weeks. Russian goalie Sergei Bobrovsky of the Columbus Blue Jackets will miss games through at least the Christmas break and maybe longer with a groin injury he sustained Dec. 3 against the Tampa Bay Lightning.


Collegiate programs provide bulk of U.S. WJC talent

Monday, 12.16.2013 / 3:00 AM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

It shouldn't come as a surprise more than half the players invited to the 2014 United States National Junior Team selection camp on the campus of the University of Minnesota this week are also standouts in college.

The fact is USA Hockey has traditionally scoured the collegiate ranks every year with the focus of bringing the best the country has to offer to the prestigious 10-team World Junior Championship. This year was no exception as 21 of the 29 players invited are starring for programs across the NCAA landscape.

"The collegiate players are our bread and butter to where we end up on this roster," U.S. National Junior Team general manager Jim Johannson said. "I think the partnership we have with supporting U.S. junior hockey and USA Hockey as a whole has been vital to the unlimited growth of the American player both in college and the international scene. So it's by nature of structure that college hockey needs USA Hockey to be strong and, by nature of player development, we need college hockey to be strong."


U.S. opens selection camp with hopes of gold

Sunday, 12.15.2013 / 11:25 PM / 2014 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

MINNEAPOLIS -- The opening practice at United States National Junior Team selection camp offered plenty of energy and enthusiasm on Sunday evening at Mariucci Arena on the campus of the University of Minnesota

Despite the fact a few players at schools along the East Coast weren't able to arrive here until later in day due to weekend games, the 29 players in attendance ran each drill at a fast pace. United States National Junior Team coach Don Lucia had his team go through several drills.

"We had to find our legs out there," Boston University sophomore forward Dan O'Regan told NHL.com. "But the pace was better than what I expected on a travel day. Then again, that's what you'd expect with 29 of the best players in the country; we'll probably see the same thing throughout the whole week."


Panthers' Gudbranson sustains lower-body injury

Sunday, 12.15.2013 / 10:25 PM / News

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- Florida Panthers defenseman Erik Gudbranson left the game against the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday after the first period with a lower-body injury and did not return.

But coach Peter Horachek does not anticipate an extended absence for his young defenseman.

"He should be OK," Horachek said, adding Gudbranson will not go on injured reserve.

Gudbranson played his final shift of the first period with 1:04 to play then remained in the dressing room after the first intermission.


Red Wings' Franzen to miss game with injury

Sunday, 12.15.2013 / 9:32 PM / News


Detroit Red Wings forward Johan Franzen was forced to leave early in the second period of a game Sunday against the Tampa Bay Lightning with an upper-body injury after a hit from defenseman Radko Gudas.

He did not return to the game.

Gudas appeared to make contact with Franzen's head at 4:35 of the second period. Gudas was not penalized on the play; Franzen received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after yelling at Gudas from the Detroit bench.


Canadiens' Parros sustains second concussion

Sunday, 12.15.2013 / 9:23 PM / News

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- Montreal Canadiens forward George Parros has a concussion and will be evaluated on a daily basis, coach Michel Therrien announced Sunday following a 2-1 loss at home to the Florida Panthers.

Parros left the Canadiens' 1-0 overtime win on the road against the New York Islanders on Saturday after a fight with Eric Boulton at 2:01 of the first period.

This is the second concussion of the season for Parros, who had not been diagnosed with a concussion over the first eight seasons of his career.

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Playing for my favorite team growing up, I've probably scored that goal a million times in my driveway. It feels good to actually do it in real life.

— Dale Weise, who grew up a Canadiens fan, on scoring the overtime winner in Montreal's 5-4 victory against Tampa Bay in Game 1