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Around the League notebook for Tuesday, Jan. 6

Wednesday, 01.07.2015 / 9:00 AM / News

NHL Public Relations

STRONG THIRD PERIOD HELPS PREDATORS KEEP DIVISION LEAD

The Nashville Predators scored three goals in the third period, including two in the final 9:31, to defeat the erase a 2-1 deficit and defeat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2, extending their point streak to six games (4-0-2 since Dec. 27).

* With the victory, the Predators (26-9-4, 56 points) pulled two points ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks (26-12-2, 54 points) for first place in the Central Division and within two points of the idle Anaheim Ducks (26-9-6, 58 points) for top spot in the entire NHL.

* The Predators improved to 8-2-0 all-time at home vs. CAR. Overall, Nashville has won four straight games at Bridgestone Arena; they share the NHL lead with 15 home wins and are tied for second with 31 home points this season.

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Five things to watch in Rivalry Night doubleheader

Wednesday, 01.07.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

The Boston Bruins are still trying to find their way this season. The Pittsburgh Penguins added another big piece to a puzzle general manager Jim Rutherford is trying to put together with hopes of delivering their first Stanley Cup since 2009.

Boston (19-15-6) has earned at least one point in four straight games, but it has lost three in a row (1-0-3). Pittsburgh (24-10-5), which acquired left wing David Perron from the Edmonton Oilers last Friday, is tied with the New York Islanders for first place in the Metropolitan Division.

The Bruins will try to get back on track when they face the Penguins in the first game of a Wednesday Night Rivalry doubleheader at Consol Energy Center (NBCSN, TVA Sports, 8 p.m. ET).

On the West Coast, the sizzling New York Rangers will face the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center (NBCSN, 10:30 p.m. ET). Behind the play of goalie Henrik Lundqvist and a rejuvenated power play, the Rangers (21-11-4) have won nine of their past 10 games. Anaheim (26-9-6) has won 20 games by one goal this season.

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Ducks' Getzlaf making another case for Hart Trophy

Wednesday, 01.07.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

ANAHEIM – Corey Perry received a renewed appreciation for longtime Anaheim Ducks linemate Ryan Getzlaf when he was anchored to his couch during his bout with the mumps in November, and again in recovery from a sprained knee last month.

Perry specifically remembers the detailed, two-goal game that Getzlaf had against the Ottawa Senators on Dec.19.

"Even though we lost, individually, he was still producing," Perry said. "Those individual-type plays, sacrificing for your teammates, those are big things that stick out in my mind."

It was during Perry's 14-game absence that Getzlaf, the Ducks captain, re-asserted another case for the Hart Trophy. Getzlaf had six goals and 13 assists without Perry on his wing, and he entered Wednesday against the New York Rangers (10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN) third in the NHL with 44 points.

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Penguins' Crosby producing, but it hasn't been easy

Wednesday, 01.07.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Wes Crosby - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Sidney Crosby is in a slump and entered the week tied for fourth in the NHL scoring race.

Crosby didn't earn his position among the League's point leaders through a blistering start to the season before eventually tailing off over the past few weeks. He has had what for him has been a down season since late October.

Entering the Pittsburgh Penguins' Wednesday Night Rivalry game against the Boston Bruins (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVA SPORTS), Crosby has 43 points but has gone through lengthy goal droughts. He has been visibly frustrated on the ice several times throughout the past month while scoring two goals in 16 games.

That stretch began Nov. 26 against the Toronto Maple Leafs after scoring a goal against the Bruins two days earlier, and coincided with the beginning of Pittsburgh's recent injury troubles. At the time, Crosby's goal against Boston was his second in 12 games.

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EPIX captures memorable day at NHL Winter Classic

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Oftentimes, the personalities and experiences around the game that fans and media don't get to see are the most interesting of all.

Watch "EPIX Presents Road to the NHL Winter Classic" to get an inside look at the personalities of the Washington Capitals and Chicago Blackhawks on their way to the NHL's signature regular-season event. REGISTER FOR YOUR EPIX FREE TRIAL ›

That's where EPIX has come in these past four weeks, serving as the window to what is usually an unseen world inside a dressing room before a game, on the ice during a game, at home with the players on off days, in the hotel, on the plane, and everywhere else they go where we don't.

The final episode of "EPIX Presents Road to the NHL Winter Classic" doesn't disappoint in bringing the viewer all of that and more. The questions you might have had once the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic was over are answered in the episode.

If you were curious about how the Washington Capitals and Chicago Blackhawks got to Nationals Park, what they saw upon arrival on the practice day and New Year's Day, and what they thought of the entire spectacle, the answers are inside the 56-minute, 34-second episode.

Hint: Capitals forward Joel Ward was blown away by the size of the Washington Nationals' clubhouse; Washington captain Alex Ovechkin couldn't stop looking around as he talked to Capitals owner Ted Leonsis about the game being a sellout; Joel Quenneville loves the fresh air, the fans, enthusiasm, hype and the fact that the game is for keeps, for two points.

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Blackhawks' Versteeg has successful procedure

Tuesday, 01.06.2015 / 10:49 PM / News

ChicagoBlackhawks.com

The Chicago Blackhawks released the following statement regarding forward Kris Versteeg:

Blackhawks head team physician Dr. Michael Terry:

"Kris Versteeg underwent a procedure today to further stabilize a metacarpal fracture in his left hand. We do not anticipate any significant changes in his return to play timetable and we continue to anticipate a full recovery."

To read more from the Blackhawks website, CLICK HERE.

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'EPIX Road to the Winter Classic' airs series finale

NHL.com

If you're wondering how the Washington Capitals and Chicago Blackhawks got to Nationals Park, what they saw upon arrival for the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, and what they thought of the entire spectacle, watch the series finale of "EPIX Presents Road to the NHL Winter Classic" on Tuesday night (10 p.m. ET, Epix, Epix.com, NHL.com, NHL app).

If you're curious about how the decision was made by the NHL to proceed on time instead of delay the game because of sun, you'll find out in this episode.

The clubhouses that served as the dressing rooms for the Capitals and Blackhawks are located up a tunnel from the dugouts, nowhere near the center field wall the players came out of for the pregame introductions. If you're curious about how the players got to that center field wall, watch the show.

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Bruins look to end slump against Penguins

Tuesday, 01.06.2015 / 4:30 PM / NHL Insider

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

BOSTON -- With the Boston Bruins in the midst of their fourth three-game losing streak of the season, seemingly everyone is looking for a way to spark the team.

The Bruins on Tuesday named principal Charlie Jacobs as chief executive officer for Delaware North's Boston Holdings, including the Bruins, TD Garden and NESN. Jacobs, the son of Bruins chairman Jeremy Jacobs, took the occasion of his promotion to publicly let everyone associated with the Bruins know their plight won't be tolerated.

"Incredible failure," Jacobs said in response to a question about the possibility the Bruins could miss the Stanley Cup Playoffs. "When you think about what has been put in this team in terms of the … let's discount all of the scouting, all of the drafting, all of the money spent on the player personnel, for us to be a team that's out of the playoffs is absolutely unacceptable. And everybody in the executive offices is fully aware of how I feel and they feel the same way, which brings us this evaluation process. And it's fluid right now. I can't say at any moment we have a final decision other than to say it'd be an utter disappointment and a complete failure."

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Rosters announced for 2015 AHL All-Star Classic

Tuesday, 01.06.2015 / 4:23 PM / News

NHL.com

The American Hockey League on Tuesday announced the Eastern and Western Conference teams for the 2015 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Turning Stone Resort Casino.

Forward David Pastrnak (Boston Bruins), defensemen Derrick Pouliot (Pittsburgh Penguins), Ryan Murphy (Carolina Hurricanes), Xavier Ouellet (Detroit Red Wings) and Ryan Pulock (New York Islanders), and goaltender Jacob Markstrom (Vancouver Canucks) are among the players named for the event, to be held Jan. 25-26 in Utica, N.Y.

The Eastern Conference and Western Conference All-Star teams will each comprise of 23 players (12 forwards, eight defensemen and three goalies). The rosters feature 34 first-time AHL All-Stars, eight rookies, 18 NHL first- and second-round draft choices, and 17 players who have appeared in the NHL this season.

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Analysis: Next Maple Leafs coach needs team to adapt

Tuesday, 01.06.2015 / 3:38 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Former Toronto Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle bought into the modern puck possession-based statistics because he knew his team wasn't playing the right way and because the organization was making a big push to incorporate more analytics.

Need proof? Here is what Carlyle said before this season about Toronto's collapse last season:

"We always felt we needed to change our puck possession, specifically in the offensive zone, not be a one-and-out team and not be considered a rush team, but try to create more of a cycle game, grind teams down to play with the puck more," Carlyle said. "We weren't able to do that."

So yes, Carlyle knew the Maple Leafs were a bad puck possession team last season and how that needed to change this season. He knew the Maple Leafs hired assistant general manager Kyle Dubas in part to provide statistical proof that the team was not playing a winning brand of hockey.

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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