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2014 NHL Draft
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Carlson continues to perform in U.S. jersey

Thursday, 02.13.2014 / 11:48 AM / 2014 Olympics

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

SOCHI -- John Carlson had scored on the last shot he took in a United States sweater, so he made it two in a row Thursday.

The Washington Capitals defenseman opened the scoring in a 7-1 rout of Slovakia in the first game of the 2014 Sochi Olympics for the Americans at Shayba Arena. Toronto Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel skated toward the right circle on a 3-on-2 and left a pass in his wake for Carlson, who blasted a shot into the top left corner of the net past Slovakia goaltender Jaroslav Halak at 14:27 of the first period.

"It was a pretty cool way to start the game," Carlson said. "We were tied there for a little bit so it was good. Kessel made a great play, just dragging the [defense] in deep and dropped it to me in the middle of the ice and I made a nice shot."

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Selanne leaves Finland game with 'small' injury

Thursday, 02.13.2014 / 6:10 AM / 2014 Olympics

Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor

SOCHI -- Finland forward Teemu Selanne missed the final two periods of an 8-4 win against Austria in Group B play Thursday afternoon at Bolshoy Ice Dome.

Selanne appeared to injure his neck, but the team termed it an upper-body injury.

Finland coach Erkka Westerlund said he expects Selanne to be available Friday when the Finns play Norway (Noon ET, MSNBC, SNET).

“It’s a small upper-body injury,” Westerlund said. “It’s not serious.”

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Prospector Files: Ritchie gets five for scoring

Thursday, 02.13.2014 / 3:00 AM / Prospector Files

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Forward Nicholas Ritchie of the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League, No. 7 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm list of the top draft-eligible North American skaters, had a night to remember last week at K-Rock Centre in Kingston.

Ritchie tied a franchise record with five goals in a 7-6 shootout loss to the Kingston Frontenacs on Feb. 7. He also added an assist to finish the game with a career-high six points, scoring from every possible angle while exhibiting the power, energy and scoring touch that NHL scouts crave.

The five-goal output tied Bill Gardner (November 1979) and Doug Evans (October 1983) in the franchise record book. Additionally, he's the first to score five goals in an OHL game since his older brother Brett Ritchie, a 2011 Dallas Stars draft pick, scored five playing for the Niagara IceDogs on Nov. 4, 2012.
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Forward Reinhart consensus top pick in mock drafts

Thursday, 02.13.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 NHL Draft - Philadelphia - June 27-28, 2014

NHL.com

NHL teams have another four months to monitor the top prospects for the 2014 NHL Draft.

How will they sift through the talent? We won't know until the last weekend in June, when the 30 teams convene at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. However, that won't stop the draft experts at NHL.com from making their guesses.

Based on the League standings entering the Olympic break, NHL.com's Adam Kimelman, Mike G. Morreale and Steven Hoffner all believe the Buffalo Sabres will take center Sam Reinhart of the Kootenay Ice of the Western Hockey League with the first pick.

The versatile forward is No. 4 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm ranking of North American skaters for the 2014 draft, but Reinhart has impressed scouts with his high hockey IQ and ability to play on the wing or in the middle as well as run a power play and be a prime penalty killer. In addition to being a dominant performer in the WHL, he also earned a prominent spot on Canada's team for the 2014 World Junior Championship.

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Pirri, Strome each net two to lead AHL all-stars

Wednesday, 02.12.2014 / 10:13 PM / AHL Update

NHL.com

Brandon Pirri and Ryan Strome each scored two goals to lead a team of American Hockey League All-Stars to a 7-2 win against Färjestad BK of the Swedish Hockey League on Wednesday at the 2014 AHL All-Star Classic in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada. The game took place at a sold out Mile One Centre (6,287) and was the first international game in AHL All-Star history.

Pirri, Mike Hoffman (Binghamton Senators) and Joe Whitney (Albany Devils) combined for eight points for the AHL All-Stars.

"We're all offensive-minded players so when you throw us guys together we can usually [play well] together quickly," Hoffman said. "It's nice to play in an All-Star game."

Pirri, a second-round pick (No. 59) of the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2009 draft who last season led the AHL in scoring with 75 points, added an assist and was named the game's most valuable player. He has five goals and 10 assists in eight games with the Rockford Icehogs and six goals in 28 games with the Blackhawks this season.

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Penguins' Dupuis has successful knee surgery

Wednesday, 02.12.2014 / 7:54 PM / News

NHL.com

Pittsburgh Penguins forward Pascal Dupuis underwent successful knee surgery Wednesday to repair a torn right anterior cruciate ligament. He was injured in a Dec. 23 game against the Ottawa Senators when he was involved in a collision with teammate Sidney Crosby.

In 13 NHL seasons with the Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers, Atlanta Thrashers and Penguins, Dupuis has 182 goals and 394 points in 837 career games. He has 20 points (seven goals, 13 assists) in 39 games this season.

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Karlsson, Ekman-Larsson shine in Olympic debuts

Wednesday, 02.12.2014 / 4:34 PM / 2014 Olympics

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

SOCHI -- A nation watched Wednesday as Sweden embarked on its first Olympic tournament including NHL players without likely Hall of Fame defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom on the team.

What they saw was the future of their country's elite talent on the blue line making its Olympic debut.

Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators and the Phoenix Coyotes' Oliver Ekman-Larsson make up Sweden's top pair on defense, but it is their offensive abilities that make them such a dangerous combination.

They proved it Wednesday, with Karlsson scoring twice and Ekman-Larsson getting two assists to help lead Sweden to a 4-2 win against the Czech Republic in the opening game of the 2014 Sochi Olympics for both teams.

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Latvia sees potential defining moment slip away

Wednesday, 02.12.2014 / 4:03 PM / 2014 Olympics

Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor

SOCHI -- For 59 minutes and 52 seconds, Latvia fought Switzerland evenly in its Group C preliminary round opener Wednesday at Shayba Arena.

Then disaster struck.

Latvia forward Lauris Darzins was injured behind the Swiss net, slow to get up after a hit into the boards appeared to hurt his right arm. Then another forward on the half wall made a high-risk play to keep possession and was not rewarded for his initiative as Switzerland gained possession and moved up the ice.

Still, with 10 seconds left it appeared Latvia would weather one final storm and force the 2013 IIHF World Championship silver medalist into overtime. Only it wasn't meant to be. Simon Moser found the puck on his stick behind the Latvian net, tried to pass it to Nino Niederreiter in the slot but instead watched as it rolled up the stick of goalie Edgars Masalskis, bounced off the body of Latvian defenseman Georgijs Pujacs and trickled into the net with 7.9 seconds remaining.

Just like that the Swiss escaped, taking a 1-0 victory in the game's last gasp.

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AHL Hall of Fame adds newest members

Wednesday, 02.12.2014 / 1:22 PM / News

NHL.com

The four newest members of the American Hockey League Hall of Fame were enshrined Wednesday as part of the 2014 AHL All-Star Classic in St. John's, Newfoundland.

The newest members of the AHL Hall of Fame are Bill Dineen, Al MacNeil, Bob Perreault and John Slaney. They were inducted during a ceremony at St. John's Convention Centre.

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U.S. bringing more offense to Sochi than many believe

Wednesday, 02.12.2014 / 12:26 PM / 2014 Olympics

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

SOCHI -- Go back and read about the potential United States team for the 2014 Sochi Olympics when rosters were being projected in the summer.

There was a lot written about the incredible depth the Americans possess in goal, but there also were a lot of reservations about the team's ability to stack up with the other superpowers up front. The general line of thinking was the United States possessed a lot of skilled players but few truly dynamic goal scorers.

Flash forward to Thursday, when the Americans face Slovakia in their opening game of the Olympic tournament at Shayba Arena (7:30 a.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN). Several forwards on the U.S. roster are having breakout offensive campaigns in the 2013-14 NHL season.

Concerns about whether or not the United States had enough offensive talent to compete with Canada, Russia and Sweden may have been oversold.

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Quote of the Day

Not only is it a great idea, but if you don't [start using analytics] you're going to fall behind. You have to be on the cutting edge. It was [Arizona Coyotes assistant general manager] Darcy Regier who said, 'If you didn't invent it, you have to be the second- or third-best copier, because if you're fourth or fifth you've got no chance.'

— Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock on his interest in advanced statistical analysis