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Around the League notebook for Wednesday, April 1

Thursday, 04.02.2015 / 2:11 AM / News

NHL Public Relations

DUCKS CLINCH THIRD STRAIGHT PACIFIC DIVISION TITLE

The Anaheim Ducks opened a 4-0 lead midway through the second period, powered by Corey Perry's 600th NHL point and three assists from Jakob Silfverberg, to sweep their four-game season series with the Edmonton Oilers and clinch the Pacific Division for the fourth time in Ducks history.

* The Ducks (50-22-7, 107 points), who have won four straight games and eight of their past 10, increased their lead to four points over the New York Rangers (48-21-7, 103 points) and Nashville Predators (47-22-9, 103 points) – each idle – in the race for the Presidents' Trophy.

* The Ducks have finished atop the Pacific Division in each of the past three seasons (and also in 2006-07). Elias says Anaheim is the first team to win three straight division titles since the Vancouver Canucks won the Northwest Division five years in a row from 2008-09 to 2012-13.

* Anaheim has won 50 games for the second time in Ducks history (also 2013-14: 54-20-8, 116 points). The most-recent team to post back-to-back 50-win campaigns was Vancouver in 2010-11 (54-19-9) and 2011-12 (51-22-9).

* Perry (296-304—600) scored his 33rd goal of the season to become the fourth player from the 2003 NHL Draft to reach 600 points, joining Eric Staal (311-427--738), Ryan Getzlaf (207-469—676) and Thomas Vanek (297-309—606). (Via Elias)

Ducks center Kesler scratched against Oilers

Wednesday, 04.01.2015 / 10:21 PM / News

NHL.com

ANAHEIM -- Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Kesler was scratched from the game against the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday to rest.

The move was expected because Kesler is healing from what is believed to be an arm injury. He participated in the morning skate but Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau wouldn’t say if Kesler would play against the Oilers at Honda Center.

Kesler has played in 78 games, the most by a Ducks player this season, along with left wing Andrew Cogliano. Kesler has 47 points, the most he’s had since scoring 49 in 2011-12.

Suspended Kings' Voynov had Achilles surgery

Wednesday, 04.01.2015 / 8:36 PM / News

NHL.com

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov had surgery last week to repair a torn Achilles tendon, L.A. Kings Insider reported Wednesday.

Voynov, who is suspended by the NHL, was injured "in a recreational activity," the website said. Recovery time could be at least four months.

Penguins' Crosby scores 300th NHL goal

Wednesday, 04.01.2015 / 8:30 PM / News

Wes Crosby - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins forward Sidney Crosby scored his 300th NHL goal Wednesday against the Philadelphia Flyers at Consol Energy Center.

Crosby has played in 622 games and has 849 points in 10 NHL seasons.

Red Wings' Miller aims to play after scary injury

Wednesday, 04.01.2015 / 5:55 PM / News

DetroitRedWings.com

DETROIT – Fear instantly filled Drew Miller's thoughts as a skate blade sliced through the right side of his face Tuesday night at Joe Louis Arena.

"When it happened, my first reaction was, 'Oh my God, my eye is gone,'" Miller said, 17 hours after doctors needed 60 stitches to close two gruesome lacerations.

"It hit so hard … there was so much blood that I wasn't sure if it had clipped my eyeball or what had happened. I wasn't sure," Miller added. "I definitely feel very blessed that the skate didn't hit my eye. I was very lucky. Right now it's just dealing with the cut, the stitches and the soreness. Other than that my eye's good and I got on the ice today and felt pretty good."

Subban, Canadiens ready for Ovechkin, Capitals

Wednesday, 04.01.2015 / 4:38 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- One of the many incredible aspects of the 50-goal season put together by Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin is that he has scored at least one goal against 25 of 29 teams.

Not in his career, mind you. This season.

Ovechkin will have a chance to make it 26 out of 29 on Thursday when the Capitals play the Montreal Canadiens (7:30 p.m. ET; CSN-DC, RDS, SNE) at Bell Centre for the final time this season.

The Canadiens, Detroit Red Wings, Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks are the teams that have not allowed a goal to Ovechkin this season, and Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban knows it will be a big challenge to shut him out for a third time.

"I don't really like to pay special attention to certain players, but he's one of the players in the League who's had a better than average year this year," Subban said with a chuckle after practice Wednesday. "He's scored a lot of goals in the League, so you've got to pay attention to him when he's on the ice.

"I'm always the type of player who likes to get up for the better players in the League. That's how you test yourself, that's how you measure yourself. He's a great player in this League since he's come into it, and he's an impact player, so it's a challenge."

Hammond, Hudler, Dubnyk named stars for March

Wednesday, 04.01.2015 / 3:00 PM / News

NHL Public Relations

NEW YORKOttawa Senators goaltender Andrew Hammond, Calgary Flames center Jiri Hudler and Minnesota Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk have been named the NHL's "Three Stars" for the month of March.

FIRST STAR – ANDREW HAMMOND, G, OTTAWA SENATORS

Hammond went 10-1-1 with a 2.09 goals-against average and .930 save percentage to help the Senators (38-26-12, 88 points) complete an 11-3-2 March and climb within three points of the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference. He allowed two or fewer goals in nine of his 12 appearances, including his first seven of the month. With his run, Hammond became the second goaltender in NHL history to yield two or fewer goals in each of his first 12 career starts (Frank Brimsek: 1938-39). Hammond also improved to 14-0-1 before suffering his first career regulation loss March 26 vs. NYR, becoming the first goaltender to record at least one point in each of his first 15 career starts since Patrick Lalime in 1996-97 (14-0-2). The 27-year-old White Rock, B.C., native has appeared in 18 games this season, compiling a 1.85 goals-against average, .938 save percentage and two shutouts. That includes an 8-0-1 record on the road, where he has a 1.08 goals-against average, .964 save percentage and both shutouts.

Blackhawks forward Kane returns to practice

Wednesday, 04.01.2015 / 2:48 PM / News

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- It was April 1, but forward Patrick Kane joining the Chicago Blackhawks for practice Wednesday wasn't a hoax.

Kane's presence for a full team workout, wearing a white non-contact jersey, was real and impressive considering it was exactly five weeks since he had surgery Feb. 25 to repair a fractured left clavicle.

The estimated 12-week timetable hasn't changed and Kane is cleared only to take wrist shots, but seeing the highly-skilled right wing zip around the ice again, displaying elite stickhandling and mobility, was a breath of fresh air. The Blackhawks saw firsthand evidence that whenever Kane is cleared, he'll be ready to contribute right away.

"It's definitely a goal you work towards almost, to get one of your best players, if not your best player, in the lineup," forward Kris Versteeg said. "It's always something that's in the back of your mind."

Blues' Tarasenko day-to-day with lower-body injury

Wednesday, 04.01.2015 / 2:25 PM / News

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko is considered day-to-day with a lower-body injury and was ruled out of the Blues' next game Thursday against the Calgary Flames.

Tarasenko was injured Monday against the Vancouver Canucks. He leads the Blues with 36 goals and 71 points in 76 games.

The Blues (46-23-7), who trail the Nashville Predators by four points for first place in the Central Division with two games in hand, are already without second-leading scorer Alexander Steen. Steen missed one game with a lower-body injury and his status for Thursday is uncertain.

St. Louis has six games remaining in the regular season.

Flames' Gaudreau named March's Rookie of Month

Wednesday, 04.01.2015 / 2:00 PM / News

NHL Public Relations

NEW YORK – Calgary Flames left wing Johnny Gaudreau, who led all rookies with 16 points (7-9—16) in 15 games, has been named the NHL Rookie of the Month for March.

Gaudreau edged Ottawa Senators right wing Mark Stone (4-11—15 in 16 GP), Boston Bruins teammates Ryan Spooner (7-7—14 in 15 GP) and David Pastrnak (3-10—13 in 15 GP), Carolina Hurricanes center Victor Rask (3-8—11 in 15 GP), and Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson (6-2-0, 2.50 GAA, .918 SV%) for the honor.

Gaudreau, a fourth-round selection (104th overall) by the Flames in the 2011 NHL Draft, recorded at least one point in 10 of his 15 March appearances, highlighted by four multi-point efforts. Those included his fourth career multi-goal game in a 6-3 victory over the Anaheim Ducks March 11 (2-0—2) and his fourth career game-winning goal in a 5-3 triumph over the Dallas Stars March 30 (1-1—2).

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Quote of the Day

I first met him when I was 19 years old and he coached me for 13 consecutive years. I don't know how many athletes who have had that pleasure. Al Arbour was a man that left us not only feeling like champions, but left us with a lot of great memories that we can carry on through life.

— Islanders Hall of Fame defenseman Denis Potvin on former coach Al Arbour, who passed away Friday at the age of 82