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Sweden captain Henrik Zetterberg out of Olympics

Friday, 02.14.2014 / 11:07 AM / 2014 Olympics

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

SOCHI -- Sweden captain Henrik Zetterberg is out for the rest of the 2014 Sochi Olympics because of injury, the Swedish Ice Hockey Federation announced Friday.

Zetterberg, who has a herniated disk, missed 13 games for the Detroit Red Wings during the NHL season.

Zetterberg had a goal and won seven of 16 faceoffs in 18:14 of ice time Wednesday in Sweden’s 4-2 Olympic-opening win against the Czech Republic. He did not practice Thursday in order to receive treatment.

"In this situation it was no tough decision as this was no borderline case," Sweden team doctor Bjorn Waldeback said Friday. "For people who know medicine it is obvious that this couldn't continue.

"[Henrik] has been in touch with the Detroit medical staff. I have been in touch with the NHL doctors who are here. They totally agree with us. When you suffer from a herniated disk the way he does, you need to go home for a medical evaluation."

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Analysis: Zetterberg injury may help U.S., Canada

Friday, 02.14.2014 / 11:06 AM / 2014 Olympics

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

SOCHI -- After another huge blow for Sweden, it feels like the Black Sea is parting for the North American teams at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Sweden captain Henrik Zetterberg is out of the tournament with a herniated disk in his back, the Swedish Hockey Federation announced Friday.

Sweden has one of the deepest rosters in the tournament, but losing Zetterberg particularly is tough because the team already was without center Henrik Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks. Before the Olympics, a trio of Sedin, Zetterberg and Nicklas Backstrom was equal to Canada’s top three and superior to any other team in Sochi.

Now Backstrom is the last man standing, and the Washington Capitals center will need to take a starring role for the Swedes if they are to remain gold-medal contenders. Patrik Berglund looks like the best bet to slide into the No. 2 role, with Marcus Kruger likely centering the third line. Washington Capitals forward Marcus Johansson, who replaced Sedin on the final roster, could end up in the middle of the fourth line.

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United States sticking with Quick against Russia

Friday, 02.14.2014 / 10:12 AM / 2014 Olympics

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

SOCHI -- Dan Bylsma is banking on Jonathan Quick coming up big again for the United States on Saturday.

Instead of turning to Ryan Miller, the MVP of the men's Olympic hockey tournament four years ago, Bylsma said he is sticking with Quick for the big showdown against Russia at Bolshoy Ice Dome (7:30 a.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC) because he liked the focus the Los Angeles Kings goalie had Thursday in a 7-1 win against Slovakia despite the sparse amount of work he had to do.

Quick made 22 saves, but was only faced with a couple of flurries in front of him, most of which came after the Americans jumped out to a big lead in the second period.

Bylsma also confirmed Derek Stepan and Justin Faulk would be scratched for the second straight game.

"I thought there were periods of inactivity in that game and he had to stay sharp, stay focused, and it was followed by two or three big saves he had to make," Bylsma said of Quick. "I thought he played real well in the game and again in the next game he will."

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Penn State's Glen dishes out life-saving assist

Friday, 02.14.2014 / 3:00 AM / On Campus

Pete Jensen - NHL.com Staff Writer

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind for Penn State forward David Glen, on and off the ice.

The sophomore scored a goal in the Nittany Lions' 4-0 upset of 10th-ranked Michigan on Feb. 8, marking their first conference victory of the inaugural Big Ten hockey season. But what made the weekend series against the Wolverines even more memorable was Glen's return to action after a selfless act that forced him to miss a few games.

After being identified as a match by a national marrow donation program, Glen underwent a peripheral blood stem cell procedure to help a woman battling cancer. Other than the woman's age, Glen didn't know the identity of the patient needing the transplant. However, he did know the procedure would keep him off the ice for at least a few games.

The choice was clear.

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Memorable Olympic hockey debut for Slovenia

Friday, 02.14.2014 / 1:13 AM / 2014 Olympics

Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Senior Managing Editor

SOCHI -- Slovenia had little interest in playing the polite guest for Russia's coming-out party at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

In a fortuitous coincidence, the Russian hockey team opened its first Olympic campaign on home soil before an adoring, sellout crowd at Bolshoy Arena against a country making its Olympic debut in the sport.

It was a recipe for a celebration for the ages. Except Slovenia, a collection of relative unknowns built around NHL star Anze Kopitar and coached by Kopitar's father, Matjaz, decided that it did not want its first Olympic experience to be remembered for serving as cannon fodder.

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St. Louis makes it work anywhere in Canada lineup

Thursday, 02.13.2014 / 4:35 PM / 2014 Olympics

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

SOCHI -- Martin St. Louis thought he would be vacationing with his family. Instead he's playing for Canada at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

When St. Louis was named by Hockey Canada as an injury replacement for Tampa Bay Lightning teammate Steven Stamkos on Feb. 6, no one knew how much coach Mike Babcock would play him, or even if he would play him.

But in Canada's 3-1 tournament-opening win against Norway in Group B preliminary-round play Thursday, St. Louis not only played, he played a lot. And he played with just about everyone.

He didn't get any points, but St. Louis was a key member of what Babcock called his best line in a rotation with Jamie Benn alongside John Tavares and Patrice Bergeron.

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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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Quote of the Day

Obviously a lot happened in a short period of time. At the end of the day, considering everything I went through, I really felt close to my teammates and I really feel like what we accomplished, I know we didn't win it all. ... I'm really proud of how we got there and what we did once we got there.

— Rangers forward Martin St. Louis to Jim Cerny of BlueshirtsUnited.com