Stanley Cup Final
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Five Questions: Voracek developing into elite scorer

Tuesday, 01.06.2015 / 3:00 AM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer'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 Philadelphia Flyers right wing Jakub Voracek:

Bring up his spot atop the League leaders in points this season and Philadelphia Flyers right wing Jakub Voracek will smile and laugh as he delivers a one-word retort.


Voracek says lucky, but does he feel he belongs in the discussion for the top players in the NHL now that he has 48 points in 39 games, one more point in one more game than Dallas Stars center Tyler Seguin?

"It's [39] games," Voracek said before he had an assist in the Flyers' 5-2 loss Saturday against the New Jersey Devils. "I mean, listen, the guys that are on top, they do that for 10 years. Right now I'm focused on trying to get on a winning streak as a team because the team makes the player."

But how has this particular player all of a sudden become one of the best scorers in the NHL? Voracek, always affable and engaging, tried to provide some reasons.

Here are Five Questions with…Jakub Voracek:


Canada holds off Russia to win gold at WJC

Tuesday, 01.06.2015 / 12:53 AM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

TORONTO -- Canada and Russia scripted yet another wild and unexpected chapter in their storied rivalry before a packed house at Air Canada Centre in the gold-medal game of the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship on Monday.

The Canadians triggered a celebration five years in the making following a 5-4 victory to earn its 16th gold medal in the country's history and first since 2009 at this tournament.

After spotting Canada a four-goal lead, Russia pulled within one with three unanswered goals in a span of 3:16 in the second period.

But Canada would not be denied.

"To be on top with the gold medal is absolutely amazing; it's something I've always dreamed of," Canada defenseman Josh Morrissey said. "There were some pretty tense moments for the fans and I'm sure for the viewers at home. It was one of the more crazy games I've ever been a part of, but that's junior hockey.

"It's so exciting. [Coach Benoit Groulx] was able to calm us down and we did our job after that."


Canada's Fucale comes up big in third to win gold

Tuesday, 01.06.2015 / 12:22 AM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Mike Brophy - Correspondent

TORONTO -- History will show Canada goalie Zachary Fucale shut the door on Russia in a 5-4 win in the gold-medal game of the IIHF World Junior Championship at Air Canada Centre on Monday.

Fucale made 11 saves in the third period to help Canada protect a one-goal lead. Overall, Russia out-shot Canada 30-21.

But the Montreal Canadiens' prospect opted to share the credit.

"I am pretty happy we were here in Canada with our fans," Fucale said. "You guys don't know how much the fans helped us. From the start of the tournament until now, they supported us and we owe them a huge thank you for that."


Around the League notebook for Monday, Jan. 5

Monday, 01.05.2015 / 11:47 PM / News

NHL Public Relations

With the score tied at 2-2, Marc-Edouard Vlasic (1-0-1) scored with 4.5 seconds left in regulation ( WATCH) to propel the San Jose Sharks to a 3-2 victory against the Winnipeg Jets. San Jose improved to 21-14-5 (47 points) this season to move into a tie with Winnipeg, the Los Angeles Kings and the Vancouver Canucks for fifth in Western Conference standings points.

* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the game-winner is the second latest game-winning goal in Sharks history; the latest was when Jonathan Cheechoo scored with four seconds remaining in regulation on Oct. 28, 2005 in a 5-4 victory against Los Angeles.

* Vlasic's marker is his fifth goal and second game-winning goal of the season. His first came on Oct. 11, 2014 in a 3-0 win against the Jets.


Slovakia defeats Sweden to take bronze medal at WJC

Monday, 01.05.2015 / 7:28 PM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Mike Brophy - Correspondent

TORONTO -- Slovakia won its second-ever medal at the IIHF World Junior Championship with a 4-2 victory against Sweden in the bronze-medal game at Air Canada Centre on Monday.

Slovakia also won a bronze medal in 1999.

Each team managed 28 shots on goal, but it was Slovakian goaltender Denis Godla, as he has done so often during the WJC, who stole the spotlight. Undrafted last year, Godla is eligible for 2015 NHL Draft.

Speaking through an interpreter, Godka said winning the bronze medal didn't mean as much to him personally as it does to hockey in Slovakia.

"It is a wonderful feeling," Godka said. "It is almost indescribable for all Slovakians. The Swedish team seemed to be disappointed from losing Sunday (4-1 against Russia) and we wanted to win more than they did."


Lightning's Gudas sidelined by knee surgery

Monday, 01.05.2015 / 4:30 PM / News

Lightning defenseman Radko Gudas will undergo arthroscopic knee surgery on Tuesday in Tampa.

A determination following surgery will be made on how long Gudas will be out of the Lightning lineup.

Gudas, 24, returned to Tampa on Sunday prior to the Lightning’s 4-2 victory in Ottawa. He is schedule to receive further examination after missing training sessions Friday and Saturday and three-straight games.

This latest setback is unrelated to the lower-body injury that kept Gudas out of four games during the second week of the 2014-15 regular season.


Fantasy All-Access: Predators' Wilson a commodity

Matt Sitkoff - Contributor

The Pittsburgh Penguins made a big move to acquire left wing David Perron, who scored a goal in his first game while playing on a line with Sidney Crosby and Steve Downie. We already broke down that he is a must-own in all formats, but will this move open up more trades as we inch closer to the NHL Trade Deadline on March 2?

The Bruins could be the next team to trade for a forward as they have not replaced Jarome Iginla on David Krejci's line. Whoever fills in that role will see his fantasy value rise and also could boost Krejci's numbers.

Keep an eye on potential sellers like the Carolina Hurricanes, Edmonton Oilers and Arizona Coyotes. As they move players it could open spots for new fantasy options.


Oshie, Ovechkin, Price named NHL's Three Stars

Monday, 01.05.2015 / 12:00 PM / News

NEW YORKSt. Louis Blues right wing T.J. Oshie, Washington Capitals right wing Alex Ovechkin and Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price have been named the NHL's "Three Stars" for the week ending Jan. 4.


Oshie paced all players with five goals and shared the League lead with seven points to power the Blues (23-13-3, 49 points) to two wins in four starts. He collected one assist in a 3-0 triumph over the Colorado Avalanche Dec. 29. Oshie then found the back of the net in a pair of losses – a 3-2 defeat to the Nashville Predators Dec. 30 and a 4-3 decision to the Anaheim Ducks Jan. 2. He capped the week by registering his second career hat trick (also March 27, 2014 vs. MIN) and second career four-point performance (also Nov. 14, 2013 vs. COL: 0-4—4), notching 3-1—4 in a 7-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks Jan. 3. He also potted his 19th career game-winning marker (third this season) and eclipsed 100 NHL goals (101-174—275 in 402 GP) in that contest. The 28-year-old Everett, Wash., native has compiled 10-10—20 in 31 outings this season, including 5-3—8 during a five-game point streak.


Around the League notebook for Sunday, Jan. 4

Monday, 01.05.2015 / 9:17 AM / News

NHL Public Relations


Home Team in Caps

CAROLINA 2, Boston 1 (SO)

WASHINGTON 4, Florida 3

Tampa Bay 4, OTTAWA 2

CHICAGO 5, Dallas 4 (OT)

Columbus 4, COLORADO 3

ANAHEIM 4, Nashville 3 (SO)

EDMONTON 5, NY Islanders 2


Tyler Johnson (2-0—2) scored twice to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to a 4-2 win against the Ottawa Senators. The Lightning improved to 25-12-4 (54 points) this season to tie the Montreal Canadiens for first in Eastern Conference standings. Tampa Bay also has won five of its last six games, dating to a 4-3 regulation victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Dec. 23, 2014.

* Johnson’s first goal was his third power-play goal; the Lightning now are 19-2-1 this season when scoring a power-play goal. Johnson's performance is his fourth multigoal game of the season and extended his point streak to three games (2-4—6).


Canada, Russia ready to play for gold again at WJC

Monday, 01.05.2015 / 12:49 AM / 2015 World Junior Championship

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

TORONTO -- Canada will play Russia in the gold-medal game of the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship at Air Canada Center on Monday (8 p.m. ET; NHLN-US). It's the 14th time in tournament history those teams have met in the WJC title game, and the eighth time since 1996.

Russia beat Sweden 4-1 in its semifinal Sunday while Canada beat Slovakia 5-1.

"It's special," Canada defenseman Joshua Morrissey said. "Canada and Russia; it's one of those great rivalries in hockey. It's always very intense. Hearing the fans chant 'Canada' and 'We want Russia' in the end was pretty cool. It's pretty inspiring."

Canada holds a 7-6 lead in the championship-round games. Russia, however, has defeated Canada in the playoff round at the past four tournaments, including the bronze-medal game in 2013 and 2014.

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Quote of the Day

For our team, as a group, we've never been this far before, and so it's just more lessons learned, and sometimes you have to go to the school of hard knocks to find out what works and what doesn't. We've got a young group. They've played some unreal hockey here to get us this far, and we showed if we're not going to play the proper way, a really, really good hockey team is going to beat you, and that's what they did. It's a lesson learned.

— Lightning coach Jon Cooper after Rangers win in Game 6 forced a Game 7 that will be played at Madison Square Garden on Friday