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Hurricanes claim Nestrasil off waivers from Red Wings

Thursday, 11.20.2014 / 12:07 PM / News

CarolinaHurricanes.com

RALEIGH, NCRon Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League's Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has claimed forward Andrej Nestrasil on waivers from the Detroit Red Wings. Nestrasil will join the Hurricanes on their current road swing which continues tonight at Los Angeles.

"Andrej is a young player with good size who we feel can contribute to our group of forwards," said Francis. "He has improved in each of his pro seasons and took a big step last year with Grand Rapids."

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Fantasy top 30 goalies: Avoid starts in tail-end games

Thursday, 11.20.2014 / 12:05 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Justin Goldman - NHL.com Correspondent

Through action Wednesday, 279 games of the 1,230-game regular season schedule have been played. Of those 279 games, 90 of them have come on the tail end of a back-to-back situation.

That number is pretty significant when it comes to fantasy goaltending, because it means nearly one-third of the total games played (32.2 percent) have resulted in a goalie playing behind a tired team.

For that reason alone, back-to-back situations are never easy to manage. As one NHL goalie coach in the Western Conference told us, the emphasis is almost always placed on earning a win in the first game, as it "sets the tone" for the tail-end game. That makes sense from a team perspective, but from a fantasy standpoint, goalies playing behind tired teams are struggling as a whole.

Overall, teams are just 37-45-8 in the tail-end game of a back-to-back. That includes a 12-17-0 record at home and a 25-28-8 record on the road. Of those 90 tail-end games, 51 of them have seen the tired team allow more shots compared to the previous night. That means 56.7 percent of tail-end games will see the goalie face more shots and likely more scoring chances behind a tired team.

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Projecting the 42 participants in the '15 All-Star Game

Thursday, 11.20.2014 / 12:00 PM / 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

2015 ASG ROSTER PROJECTIONS

In about two months, the NHL's top stars will convene at Nationwide Arena for the 2015 NHL All-Star Game.

It is never too early to debate who will earn a trip to All-Star Weekend, so NHL.com and NHL Network assembled a panel of five writers and analysts to project which 42 players are most deserving of a spot in Columbus. The panel includes E.J. Hradek and Kevin Weekes of NHL Network and Arpon Basu, Corey Masisak and Dan Rosen of NHL.com.

The exercise was pretty simple. All five guys chose the 42 players (12 forwards, six defensemen and three goalies in each conference) they felt most deserved to be named to the All-Star Game.

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Tri-City defenseman Carlo building up offensive game

Thursday, 11.20.2014 / 9:00 AM / Prospects

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

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It was his strong defensive game that earned defenseman Brandon Carlo of the Tri-City Americans of the Western Hockey League an A rating from NHL Central Scouting in its latest players to watch list.

But for Carlo to cement his status as one of the top prospects for the 2015 NHL Draft, he needs to advance the offensive side of his game. The numbers might not show it yet, but Carlo is putting the work in.

In 23 games this season Carlo has one goal and 10 points, putting him ahead of his pace from last season, when he had three goals and 13 points in 71 games.

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College freshmen dot November players to watch list

Thursday, 11.20.2014 / 9:00 AM / NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

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The previous time as many as three college players were selected in the first round of the NHL Draft was almost nine years ago, when freshmen Jonathan Toews, Phil Kessel and Mark Mitera went off the board in short order.

There's a strong chance that will be duplicated at the 2015 NHL Draft at BT&T Center in Sunrise, Fla., on June 26.

NHL Central Scouting on Thursday released its players to watch list for November and identified Boston University center Jack Eichel, Boston College defenseman Noah Hanifin and University of Michigan defenseman Zach Werenski as A-rated skaters considered first-round candidates for the 2015 draft.

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Ducks' Kesler looks forward to return to Vancouver

Thursday, 11.20.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- Ryan Kesler admitted Wednesday it was awkward to walk into Rogers Arena and past the Vancouver Canucks locker room he called home for 10 seasons, continuing down the hall to the visitors' room with his new Anaheim Ducks teammates.

It could get even more uncomfortable Thursday, when the 30-year-old Ducks center skates out in front of Vancouver fans for the first time as the enemy.

"Hopefully they appreciated the 11 years I played here and remember all the good times," said Kesler, who spent one of those years in the minors. "Hopefully a warm reception, but if not it's part of the game."

Kesler isn't sure if it will be cheers or jeers, but he's used to both by now.

"I guess that's my personality," he said. "You love me or you hate me."


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Unmasked: Hurricanes' Ward works to quiet his game

Thursday, 11.20.2014 / 3:00 AM / Unmasked

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

Carolina Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward is a decade into a professional hockey career that already includes a Stanley Cup, and still looking for his game. More to the point, Ward is in search of improved technical structure, which he admits has been missing for a while.

At age 30, Ward is only now trying to modernize a game that became outdated. He even updated his equipment to match this summer.

Ward reached out to a former coach from his junior hockey days during the break for the 2014 Sochi Olympics, looking for help finding the game that once landed him on Canada's Olympic shortlist. That task now falls to former Calgary Flames goaltending coach David Marcoux, who was hired by the Hurricanes during the summer.

More than eight years since winning the 2006 Stanley Cup and Conn Smythe Trophy as a rookie, Ward is eager to get back to work. After an .898 save percentage last season, there is a lot to be done.

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Sabres' Moulson denies Sharks' Marleau of goal

Thursday, 11.20.2014 / 3:00 AM / Defenders of the Ice

NHL.com

Up to 6 feet of snow fell in the Buffalo area Tuesday, but the major snowstorm couldn't stop a crowd of nearly 6,200 from showing up to First Niagara Center to watch the Buffalo Sabres defeat the San Jose Sharks 4-1.

Two goals from captain Brian Gionta weren't the only factors in the Sabres (5-13-2) winning consecutive games for the first time since February and their eighth straight against the Sharks. Matt Moulson's extra effort late in the third period preserved Buffalo's two-goal advantage by mere millimeters.

Sharks forward Patrick Marleau played the puck at his own blue line and found Barclay Goodrow at center ice. Goodrow fed it back to Marleau, who knifed through two Sabres defensemen and lifted a backhand shot that went off goalie Jhonas Enroth's arm and into the crease. With the puck rolling on its side and headed toward the goal line, Moulson hustled in to sweep it away at 15:16 of the third. It was initially called a goal, but video review determined that the puck did not completely cross the Sabres goal line.

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Around the League notebook for Wednesday, Nov. 19

Thursday, 11.20.2014 / 12:30 AM / News

NHL Public Relations

TALBOT BACKSTOPS RANGERS TO SHUTOUT WIN

Cam Talbot made 31 saves to record his first win of the season and backstopped the New York Rangers to a 2-0 victory against the Philadelphia Flyers. The win was their ninth consecutive regular-season victory vs. the Flyers at Madison Square Garden, marking their longest home winning streak against one opponent since they won 11 in a row against Philadelphia from Jan. 14, 1990 to Nov. 4, 1992.

* New York has allowed two goals or fewer in each of those nine contests, including three shutouts, and has outscored Philadelphia 33-9. Overall the Rangers have won 14 of the past 18 regular-season games between the clubs dating to a 7-0 win on March 6, 2011.

* Talbot posted his first shutout of the season and fourth of his career (23 starts). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Talbot is just the second Rangers goaltender to post four shutouts in his first 23 NHL starts – Lorne Chabot accomplished the feat in eight career starts in 1926-27.

* Rick Nash scored his 13th goal of the season and leads the Rangers in goals (13) and points (20). Nash ranks second in the NHL for goals behind Tyler Seguin of the Dallas Stars (14).

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Sabres recall Lieuwen, place Gorges on IR

Wednesday, 11.19.2014 / 5:57 PM / News

BuffaloSabres.com

The Buffalo Sabres today announced that the team has recalled goaltender Nathan Lieuwen from the Rochester Americans (AHL). The team has also placed defenseman Josh Gorges on Injured Reserve.

Lieuwen (8/8/91, 6'5", 192 lbs.) joins the Sabres for his second career recall since being drafted by Buffalo in the sixth round (167th overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. In a seven-game stint with the Sabres last season, Lieuwen compiled a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against average and .906 save percentage.

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Quote of the Day

It was a different game in the past, that's for sure. It's not exactly what I was expecting but I think the experience paid off for a lot of our guys that realized what it takes in a Game 7. Realistically the effort we put forward, we might not even had to put 60 [minutes], but we just couldn't get a couple bounces to go our way and we just kept pushing.

— Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby on Washington's play in Game 7 vs. the Islanders