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Fantasy goalies: Crawford's Vezina-quality season

Thursday, 01.21.2016 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

David Satriano - NHL.com Fantasy Staff Writer

The Chicago Blackhawks have been in the headlines this season because of how well they have played. While teammate Patrick Kane has garnered attention for his MVP season thus far, goaltender Corey Crawford has taken a backseat.

Crawford (99 percent owned in Yahoo Leagues) has won nine games in a row and allowed more than two goals twice. Chicago has been scoring during its 12 game winning streak, with 47 goals, but has allowed 22.

He leads all goalies in saves (1,101) and shutouts (six), and is second in shots-against (1,183). Among goalies to play at least 20 games he's ninth in goals-against average (2.14) and second in save percentage (.934). He's 27-10-2, three wins behind Braden Holtby of the Washington Capitals for first.

Avalanche's Beauchemin latest to deliver late heroics

Thursday, 01.21.2016 / 11:29 AM / News

NHL.com

For the third time in five days, a tie-breaking goal was scored in the final minute of regulation.

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Francois Beauchemin was the latest to do it, scoring with 31.7 seconds remaining in a 2-1 victory against the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday. It was Colorado's fifth win at the Pepsi Center in its past six home games.

Alex Tanguay, who tied the game at 9:32 of the third period, assisted on the game-winning goal by Beauchemin, who has 13 game-winning goals in 721 NHL games with the Avalanche, Anaheim Ducks, Toronto Maple Leafs, Columbus Blue Jackets and Montreal Canadiens. It is his second game-winning goal this season; he scored the deciding goal against the New York Islanders on Dec. 17.

There have been nine tie-breaking goals scored in the final minute of regulation this season and defensemen have scored five of those goals, including two in as many days.

Toronto Maple Leafs induct three to Legends Row

Thursday, 01.21.2016 / 9:45 AM / News

TorontoMapleLeafs.com

As the Toronto Maple Leaf Hockey Club prepares to celebrate its Centennial anniversary next season, it was announced today that three of the greatest players in club history will be inducted into the team’s Legends Row monument. Dave Keon, Turk Broda and Tim Horton will be honoured with statues to be unveiled in October. The three Hockey Hall of Fame members will join previous inductees Ted Kennedy, Darryl Sittler, Johnny Bower, Borje Salming, George Armstrong, Syl Apps and Mats Sundin on Legends Row.

Keon and representatives from the Horton and Broda families will be honoured in a pre-game ceremony Saturday night as the latest Legends Row inductees are introduced to fans when the Maple Leafs play the Montreal Canadiens at Air Canada Centre.

Around the League notebook: Wednesday, Jan. 20

Thursday, 01.21.2016 / 9:11 AM / News

NHL Public Relations

BLUES CONTINUE CLIMB IN PACIFIC DIVISION

Dmitrij Jaskin scored what stood as the game-winning goal after dancing through a group of Detroit Red Wings defenders to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 2-1 victory. The Blues now are 5-1-3 in their past nine games, including wins in five of their last six.

* At 28-15-7 (63 points), the Blues moved into a tie with the idle Dallas Stars (29-13-5, 63 points) in terms of points for second place in the Central Division. Dallas, however, holds three games in hand and owns the regulation/overtime win tiebreaker (DAL: 27, STL: 25).

* Brian Elliott made 29 saves to earn his fifth win in his past six starts and improve to 10-5-4 with a 2.03 goals-against average, .938 save percentage and one shutout this season.

* Ty Rattie, a second-round selection (No. 32) in the 2011 NHL Draft, scored for the third time in his last four games after going without a goal in his first 18 NHL games.

Gostisbehere has made difference in Flyers offense

Thursday, 01.21.2016 / 9:00 AM / NHL Insider

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere was a bit of an unknown to general manager Ron Hextall when they recalled the 22-year-old from Lehigh Valley of the American Hockey League on Nov. 14.

But 26 games later, the rookie has invigorated the Flyers offense and moved them into the Stanley Cup Playoff hunt in the Eastern Conference going into their game Thursday at the Pittsburgh Penguins (7 p.m. ET; CSN-PH, ROOT).

"It's a fun ride right now and I don't have any plans of getting off it," Gostisbehere said.

Gostisbehere leads rookie defensemen with eight goals; his 17 points are second to the 19 of the St. Louis Blues' Colton Parayko, who has played 21 more games.

"[Gostisbehere] comes in, there's no question he added high skill level, mobility, speed, playmaking from the back end," Hextall said. "He's added an element, for sure."

Behind the Numbers: Lundqvist among best of era

Thursday, 01.21.2016 / 3:00 AM / Behind the Numbers

Rob Vollman - NHL.com Correspondent

If Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers were to retire today, he would rank as one of the five most accomplished goalies of the past four decades.

With continued success over this and the five remaining seasons on his contract, Lundqvist could ultimately compete with Patrick Roy, Dominik Hasek and Martin Brodeur as the best goalie of the modern era.

There's no question Lundqvist is one of the most valuable goalies in the NHL. The 33-year-old has been named the first star of the game eight times this season, tied for second behind forward Evgeny Kuznetsov of the Washington Capitals (10), and has been named one of the game's three stars 18 times, tied for second behind forward Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks (20), according to Sporting Charts.

Unmasked: Sabres' Johnson comfortable with coach

Thursday, 01.21.2016 / 3:00 AM / Unmasked

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

When Chad Johnson found out the Buffalo Sabres hired Andrew Allen as their goaltending coach last summer, he was prepared to put his foot down when it came to altering his playing style and positional preferences.

Johnson, 29, was open to suggested technical tweaks that might make him better. Like a lot of professional goaltenders, he spends the summer working with a private coach to stay on top of changes in a position that is constantly evolving. But after playing for several coaches with five NHL organizations during his first six seasons, Johnson also learned it is important to be able to manage and stand up for his own game.

"Over the years, I have learned this is my job and I need to stand up and say, 'I know you're the goalie coach but …,'" Johnson said, pausing. "I just wish I had in the past said, 'I am not doing this,' maybe taken a little more responsibility on my own."

Johnson didn't need to fight for his preferred playing style. He knew after one phone call from Allen, who studied video of all of the Sabres goalies before talking individually to each of them, that any changes would be made together.

"I knew right off the bat he was open to different styles," Johnson said.

Wisconsin's Kunin hopes to become complete player

Thursday, 01.21.2016 / 3:00 AM / 2016 NHL Draft

Kristen Nelson - NHL.com Correspondent

Every Thursday, NHL.com will look ahead to the 2016 NHL Draft with an in-depth profile on one of its top prospects.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Luke Kunin had two goals, one assist and three blocked shots during a weekend series at Penn State. One of the goals by the University of Wisconsin freshman provided a glimpse into the talent the 18-year-old forward possesses. One of the blocked shots showed what kind of player he is.

"He came back to the bench (after the blocked shot) and said 'I deserve that because I lost the faceoff so clean,'" Wisconsin coach Mike Eaves said about Kunin. "That's the kind of lad he is. That's taking responsibility."

It was an impressive moment in what was a strong weekend for Kunin. He showed patience, skill and toughness throughout the back-to-back road games, often in the same sequence.

Predators' Weber credits teammates for All-Star spot

Thursday, 01.21.2016 / 3:00 AM / 2016 NHL All-Star Weekend

Robby Stanley - NHL.com Correspondent

The 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game in Nashville on Jan. 31 is less than two weeks away. In the lead-up to All-Star Weekend at Bridgestone Arena, NHL.com sat down with a host of this season's participants to talk about playing in the game. In this edition, Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators discusses playing in his fifth All-Star Game.

1. What does being an All-Star mean to you personally?

Obviously it's a huge honor. But I think mostly it's a reflection of your teammates and how well your team is doing. It's a credit to them. Without them we wouldn't be able to attend it or be in this situation.

2. What is your favorite memory from previous All-Star games?

Probably the first one that I got to go to, in 2009. Just to be involved with those players. Obviously as a kid growing up you dream of it. But once you finally get to one it's almost surreal.

Analysis: Lightning hold all the cards with Drouin

Wednesday, 01.20.2016 / 10:45 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Seventeen days after Jonathan Drouin's trade request went public, the Tampa Bay Lightning forward played the last card in his hand Wednesday by choosing not to report to play in his American Hockey League game with the Syracuse Crunch.

It was a bold, power-play move by Drouin and his agent, Allan Walsh, clearly aimed at backing Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman into a corner so he meets the trade request made by the 20-year-old forward who was the No. 3 pick in the 2013 NHL Draft.

It was their nuclear option. It might blow up in their faces.

The Lightning's first move in response was to suspend Drouin indefinitely and without pay for failing to report. What Yzerman does next is to be determined, but it's likely his mind hasn't changed, that there is no guarantee he will grant Drouin's trade request.

Yzerman still has all of his cards in his hand, and he still has all the power too.

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