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Capitals defenseman Erskine out after neck surgery

Wednesday, 10.22.2014 / 4:51 PM / News

Washington Capitals defenseman John Erskine underwent surgery Wednesday at Bethesda Surgical Center in Bethesda, Md. to repair a disc in his neck, the Capitals said.

Erskine is scheduled to begin what the Capitals categorized as an "intensive rehab program" within the next few weeks. There was no timetable listed for his return.


Maple Leafs at Senators game postponed

Wednesday, 10.22.2014 / 3:12 PM / News

The game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday was postponed by the NHL after a series of shootings in and around Parliament Hill in downtown Ottawa.

The shootings resulted in the death of a Canadian soldier who was stationed at the National War Memorial and a gunman at Parliament Hill's Centre Block, according to Ottawa police officials.

"The National Hockey League wishes to express its sympathy to all affected by the tragic events that took place this morning in downtown Ottawa," the League said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.

The game, scheduled at Canadian Tire Center in nearby Kanata, Ontario, will be played at a later date. Until a date is determined, the Senators ask ticket holders to hold on to their tickets. Also, any ticket holders who need to redeem tickets will be given the option to do so. These details will be provided as part of the announcement of the rescheduled game, according to the Senators.


Blues' Pietrangelo shaves head to support niece

Wednesday, 10.22.2014 / 2:41 PM / Hockey Fights Cancer

Louie Korac - Correspondent

HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- With a throng of reporters around his locker stall Tuesday, St. Louis Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo was a more than willing participant for the topic of conversation that unfolded.

Pietrangelo was sporting a new, clean-shaved head, something he admitted he's never done before. And he did it for a special girl close to his heart.

Pietrangelo and his girlfriend Jayne's 5-year-old niece Ellie (the daughter of Jayne's sister) was diagnosed in August with Wilms' tumor, a form of cancer that develops in the kidneys of children.

Ellie is recovering well two months after surgery. She has a website set up to help off-set expenses and it's already raised a little less than $19,000 as of Wednesday afternoon. But Ellie was given the honor of shaving Uncle Alex's head Monday in support of Ellie's cause.

"Everyone around me was laughing," Pietrangelo said. "I didn't know what it looked like at first. She did a pretty junky job at first ... I won't lie. It's pretty funny. I had bunches of hair. I had a rat tail and everything going on. The sister-in-law cleaned it up a bit. She didn't do this herself at 5 years old. We kept the guard on when she had the razor in her hand. I was scared about the eyebrows. That's what I was scared about. ... It was getting close.

"I never shaved my head. I think my mother was terrified when I sent her a picture. ... I kept the beard, so that makes it for an easier transition."


Canadiens' Fucale tops QMJHL Super Series roster

Wednesday, 10.22.2014 / 1:59 PM / News

Zachary Fucale, who started in goal for Canada at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship, was named to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League team for the 2014 Subway Super Series, the Canadian Hockey League announced Wednesday.

The final two games of the Super Series will be played Nov. 18 in Bathurst, New Brunswick, and Nov. 20 in Rimouski, Quebec.

Fucale, a Montreal Canadiens prospect taken in the second round (No. 36) of the 2013 NHL Draft, went 2-2-0 with a 2.42 goals-against average and .902 save percentage in five games. He stopped 19 of 20 shots in a 4-1 win against Switzerland in the quarterfinals but allowed four goals on 22 shots in a 5-1 loss to Finland in the semifinals.


Islanders' Grabovski on IR; McDonald on waivers

Wednesday, 10.22.2014 / 1:20 PM / News

The New York Islanders on Wednesday announced forward Mikhail Grabovski has been placed on injured reserve retroactive to Oct. 16, and forward Colin McDonald has been placed on waivers.

Grabovski sustained a concussion in a victory against the San Jose Sharks on Oct. 16. He would be eligible to return to the ice Friday. Grabovski has two goals and three points in four games this season.

In two games this season McDonald had three shots on goal. He had been a healthy scratch in the Islanders first four games.


Fantasy Top 60 'D': Flames' Brodie heating up

Wednesday, 10.22.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Brian Metzer - Correspondent

Every Wednesday during the season, fantasy hockey correspondent Brian Metzer will provide you with in-depth defensemen analysis. From updated weekly top 60 rankings to trending players and more, Metzer will be your go-to guy for fantasy blue line advice all season long.

It has become clear during the past few seasons that, when healthy, Calgary Flames defenseman Mark Giordano is among the best fantasy hockey assets in the League. What might not have been as clear is that his partner, TJ Brodie, has become a must-own player in his own right.

What started as a whisper with a modest breakout that saw him put up four goals and 31 points last season is becoming a loud roar this season as he is rolling up points with the best of them.

Brodie has points in six of his eight games this season and had a six-game scoring streak stopped in the Flames' 2-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday. His seven points are tied for second among all defensemen heading into play Wednesday.


Around the League notebook for Tuesday, Oct. 21

Wednesday, 10.22.2014 / 9:10 AM / News

NHL Public Relations


Home Team in Caps

BOSTON 5, San Jose 3

NY Rangers 4, NEW JERSEY 3 (OT)

Toronto 5, NY ISLANDERS 2

MONTREAL 2, Detroit 1 (OT)

NASHVILLE 4, Arizona 3 (SO)


Five things to watch as Penguins host Flyers

Wednesday, 10.22.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

Welcome to the rivalry, Mike Johnston. Are you ready for your first taste of Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Philadelphia Flyers hockey?

"I'm excited," Johnston, Pittsburgh's first-year coach, told the Penguins website Tuesday in advance of the NBCSN Wednesday Night Rivalry game against the Flyers at Consol Energy Center (8 p.m. ET).

Johnston has coached in some bitter rivalries before. For example, in the Western Hockey League, where he was coach and general manager of the Portland Winterhawks for the previous six seasons, games against the Seattle Thunderbirds were circled on the schedule.

Johnston's history in the NHL includes stops as an assistant coach with the Vancouver Canucks (1999-06) and Los Angeles Kings (2006-08). He said Flyers-Penguins is one that jumps off the schedule page at him.


Ducks goalie Andersen took untraveled path to NHL

Wednesday, 10.22.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Curtis Zupke - Correspondent

ANAHEIM -- Frederik Andersen first got the urge to get in goal at about 10 years old. Before practice got underway he would get between the goal posts, challenging his teammates to get a puck past him.

He might have done better had he been wearing goalie equipment.

"I ended up with a lot of bruises because you didn't have too much protection. As a goalie you get hit here all the time," Andersen said as he pointed to his arms.

Andersen's father, Ernst, is a former goalie but he didn't really want his son to follow his path. Andersen was doing fine as a forward; center, to be specific. Or, as Frederik puts it, "As much as you can call that at 10 years old."


Penguins' Hornqvist has found chemistry with Crosby

Wednesday, 10.22.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Wes Crosby - Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Four years ago the Pittsburgh Penguins traded for a forward with unproven potential and put him in position to become one of the NHL's more dangerous scorers.

Pittsburgh might have done it again.

The Penguins acquired forward Patric Hornqvist, along with forward Nick Spaling, from the Nashville Predators for forward James Neal during the first day of the 2014 NHL Draft. In much the same way Neal was brought in from the Dallas Stars during the 2010-11 season, Pittsburgh banked on its ability to put Hornqvist in the right position to improve his career-high 53 points from last season.

Through four games entering Tuesday, Hornqvist was tied for third in League scoring with eight points, one point behind linemate Sidney Crosby and New York Islanders forward John Tavares, and is tied with Crosby for the team lead in goals with four.

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Quote of the Day

It is really special. I had a lot of friends and family here tonight, and for my first [NHL] game in here it was great. I played here as an elementary-school player in the city championships and this was my first time back. It was a lot of fun..

— Toronto native Brandon Pirri after scoring 2 goals for Panthers in win at Maple Leafs on Thursday