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EPIX teams with NHL for two-part original series

NHL.com

NEW YORK – Premium TV network EPIX and the National Hockey League (NHL®) announced today that they have formed a partnership to produce and distribute a two-part original series, debuting on EPIX in December 2014, that will bring hockey fans onto the ice and behind-the-scenes with the Chicago Blackhawks and Washington Capitals as they prepare to compete in the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®, and the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks on their road to the 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™.

Produced by 52-time Emmy award winner Ross Greenburg, the series will offer viewers an exclusive look inside the world of the NHL, with strategically placed cameras and microphones providing an all-access pass to players' homes, locker rooms, training rooms, and the arena.

A pioneer in "TV Everywhere" multi-platform availability, EPIX's television, on-demand, and digital offerings will provide fans intimate looks at these athletes in professional and personal settings, capturing all the action, drama, heartaches, and triumphs as they unfold.

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MacKinnon, Schneider top Jensen's fantasy breakouts

Tuesday, 09.23.2014 / 11:00 AM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

Last season, forwards Tyler Seguin of the Dallas Stars, Joe Pavelski of the San Jose Sharks and Wayne Simmonds of the Philadelphia Flyers went from reliable fantasy producers to elite-level assets. On the defenseman and goalie fronts, fantasy owners witnessed Mark Giordano of the Calgary Flames and Semyon Varlamov of the Colorado Avalanche joining the likes of stardom at their respective positions.

These were players who made their mark on the fantasy landscape before, but never to the degree of statistical prowess that they put forth this past season. Sleepers are under-the-radar players who are drafted much later than they should be. Breakout players are players we respect from a fantasy standpoint that elevate their level of production to new heights.

Targeting breakout candidates in your fantasy draft can go a long way in building a championship-caliber roster. Here are five players I believe will take the jump from household name to superstar in 2014-15. Matt Cubeta's five breakout candidates can be found here.

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McDavid, Eichel top Central Scouting watch list

Tuesday, 09.23.2014 / 11:00 AM / Prospects

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

If you didn't know by now, Erie Otters center Connor McDavid and Boston University center Jack Eichel will dominate the headlines leading up to the 2015 NHL Draft.

They are projected to be franchise-type players capable of having immediate impacts for the teams drafting them. They also have taken two different paths to this point, making their race to No. 1 that much more intriguing.

Both players were identified as A-rated prospects in their respective leagues on the NHL Central Scouting preliminary players to watch list for September that was released Tuesday.

McDavid has been a star since arriving in the Ontario Hockey League as a 15-year-old in 2012 with "exceptional player" status. Eichel, after two standout seasons with the United States National Team Development Program, will start play as a freshman in Hockey East this season.

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Five Q's: Orpik's insight on new chapter with Capitals

Tuesday, 09.23.2014 / 3:00 AM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NHL.com's Q&A feature called "Five Questions With …" runs every Tuesday. We talk to key figures in the game and ask them questions to gain insight into their lives, careers and the latest news.

The latest edition features Washington Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik:

ARLINGTON, Va. -- As a stay-at-home defenseman for the Pittsburgh Penguins, Brooks Orpik would be challenged to put his physical strength and mental wits to the test in a battle against Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin on almost every shift in every game between two Metropolitan Division rivals.

There would be hip checks and body bumps that left both players bruised and wondering if there was ever a chance they'd be able to get away from each other.

They never seemed to find a way to do that.

"If there is one guy who can hit hard, it's him," Ovechkin said. "It's good to have him on our team now. It was hard to play against him."

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With new additions, Stars eye more than just playoffs

Tuesday, 09.23.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill and coach Lindy Ruff are determined to do a lot more than just have their team qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs each season.

That feat was accomplished last season, their first together in Dallas, and snapped a streak of five straight non-playoff appearances. However, the two have bigger goals in mind.

The Stars earned the second Western Conference wild-card spot last season with 40 wins and 91 points. Nill's acquisition of Tyler Seguin in a trade with the Boston Bruins played a big part in that; Seguin led the Stars in goals (37), assists (47), points (84), power-play goals (11) and game-winning goals (eight) while playing top minutes at center.

"There were some battles during the year," Nill said. "It looked like they were going the wrong way at times and they fought through that and I think that prepared them for the run to get into the playoffs. Then they got in the playoffs and realized how close they were to advancing; how close, but how far. We were one overtime from going to a Game 7 [against the Anaheim Ducks in the Western Conference First Round] and maybe moving on.

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Secondary scoring, power play key to Stars' success

Tuesday, 09.23.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

The transitional season for the Dallas Stars is complete following the hiring of a new general manager and coach last summer. A lot more will be expected this season in the wake of qualifying for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in six seasons in 2013-14.

Stars captain Jamie Benn believes expectations should be high, particularly after the offseason acquisitions of center Jason Spezza and right wings Ales Hemsky and Patrick Eaves.

"Very excited about the players we got and I think they are going to make a big difference in our team," Benn told the Stars website. "Bringing in Spezza and Hemsky are going to give us two solid top lines now. I think our forward group is looking pretty sharp and hopefully our [defensemen] can continue their good play from last year."

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Seguin excited for second season with Stars

Tuesday, 09.23.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

Dallas Stars center Tyler Seguin said he never considered cutting ties with his friends and teammates from his time with the Boston Bruins after his scintillating offensive outburst in his first season in the Lone Star State in 2013-14.

He celebrated a Stanley Cup championship with the Bruins in 2010-11 and won't soon forget the work and sacrifices made for that dream to become a reality his rookie season.

"It's one thing to be on a team, but winning a Stanley Cup is something you never forget," Seguin said. "It's hard to just cut off those ties and those friendships and the feelings shared with those guys."

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Red Wings' Nyquist developing into stud scorer

Tuesday, 09.23.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

As Gustav Nyquist walked around the NHL's New York office earlier this month, passing Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, Steven Stamkos, Patrick Kane, P.K. Subban, Henrik Lundqvist, Patrice Bergeron and Claude Giroux, he kept thinking the same thing.

"I don't know why they want me here," Nyquist said with a smile during the NHL's annual Player Media Tour.

The answer was simple.

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Red Wings need to keep Zetterberg, Datsyuk in lineup

Tuesday, 09.23.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

The Detroit Red Wings have kept their streak of consecutive appearances in the Stanley Cup Playoffs alive despite debilitating injuries and the obvious infusion of younger players into the lineup in the past two seasons.

The Red Wings extended their streak to 23 straight playoff berths last season. To extend it to 24 they'll need the following three things to happen:
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Healthy Red Wings look to extend playoff streak

Tuesday, 09.23.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014-2015 Season Preview

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NHL.com continues its preview of the 2014-15 season, which will include in-depth looks at all 30 teams throughout September.

If the Detroit Red Wings can make the Stanley Cup Playoffs as they did last season despite an average of nearly 39 man-games lost from six of their most important players, what can they do this season with almost everybody back and, for the most part, healthy to start the season?

General manager Ken Holland thought about the possibilities all offseason, so much so that his optimism never waned despite repeated failed attempts at diving into the free-agent waters to come out with a gem.

The Red Wings didn't make any splashes this offseason, but Holland's optimism for a 24th consecutive trip to the playoffs stems from what his team did last season despite the injuries.
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Quote of the Day

He stuck his neck out there for us. I don't know what's wrong with him, but you see he was in pain. But he went back in there. He's a tough guy. You've got to give him credit for helping the boys out.

— Panthers forward Brandon Pirri on goalie Roberto Luongo, who returned to game on Tuesday against Maple Leafs after leaving earlier in the contest with an injury