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Islanders rue missed chances in Stadium Series

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

NEW YORK -- The New York Islanders were given every opportunity to win at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday night in their first-ever outdoor game.

The Islanders failed to capitalize on two power plays in the first period and didn't convert on two more during the final 40 minutes in a 2-1 loss to the New York Rangers in the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series.

The missed opportunities cost the Islanders two more valuable points in the standings and extended their losing streak to four games (0-3-1). The teams will play again Friday night at Madison Square Garden.

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Islanders' Nabokov impressive in return vs. Rangers

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

NEW YORK -- Some may have thought it was too much to ask New York Islanders goaltender Evgeni Nabokov to make his first start in nearly a month in the freezing conditions Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium.

Nabokov and the Islanders may have come up short in a 2-1 loss to the New York Rangers in the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series, but the veteran goalie was on top of his game despite making his first start in more than three weeks.

"You never really know until you're there and you see that great atmosphere," said Nabokov, who made 32 saves. "I love it; I love every second of it. The atmosphere was great. Obviously, the building's a little bit more louder."

It didn't take long for the Rangers to test Nabokov, who hadn't started since Jan. 6, when he sustained a lower-body injury in a game against the Dallas Stars.

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Bailey: Despite loss, memories abound at Stadium

Josh Bailey - Special to NHL.com

New York Islanders forward Josh Bailey thoroughly enjoyed his experience in the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series at Yankee Stadium, even though his team came up a goal short in a 2-1 loss to their arch rival, the New York Rangers, at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday night. In the final edition of the player blog he is doing for NHL.com, Bailey talks about his experiences, the thrill of stepping onto the ice at Yankee Stadium and the disappointment of going home without a victory.

Obviously it was a disappointment with the way the game ended. I thought we played pretty well, but we just weren’t able to generate enough goals. We would have liked to get the win, but the more we look back on it, the more it will be something we’ll never forget.

It was awesome getting to dress in the Yankees’ locker room. We were all looking around, trying to figure out whose locker we had – I didn’t actually find out whose locker I was using, but we found out where a couple of those guys sit. It was definitely cool to be able to experience Yankee Stadium, to get to go out on the field and take the ice for a game out there.

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Islanders, Rangers fans soak in Stadium Series

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

NEW YORK -- It didn't matter that the thermometer read 21 degrees 90 minutes before puck drop between the New York Rangers and New York Islanders at Yankee Stadium in the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series. Rangers fan Terrence McCallen was determined to brave the elements and take in the whole experience.

"It's a once-in-a-lifetime event," said McCallen, who was standing in the front row of Section 107 in right field, watching the NHL Network pregame show. "I thought I might as well get here [early] and see everything the stadium has to offer. It's been incredible so far since I got here."

McCallen is part of a capacity crowd expected at Yankee Stadium, three days after the Rangers beat the New Jersey Devils 7-3 in front of 50,105 at this famous ballpark. The recent graduate of Creighton University didn't know he'd be a part of it until last month.

"Once I got [tickets], I was totally stoked," said McCallen, who received his tickets as a Christmas gift. "I was counting down the days until today.

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Ducks sign D-man Fistric to three-year extension

Wednesday, 01.29.2014 / 6:26 PM / News

NHL.com

The Anaheim Ducks have signed defenseman Mark Fistric to a three-year contract extension, the team announced Wednesday.

Fistric, 27, has one goal, four assists and 18 penalty minutes in 27 games this season. He is a plus-8, and despite playing in 27 of 55 games, Fistric is second on the team in hits with 123.

Anaheim signed Fistric as a free agent on Aug. 20, 2013. The 6-foot-2, 230-pound defenseman also has played for the Dallas Stars and Edmonton Oilers; he has 34 points and a plus-30 rating in 309 career games.


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Nabokov to start for Islanders in Stadium Series

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

NEW YORK -- Two hours before the puck dropped at Yankee Stadium, New York Islanders coach Jack Capuano revealed that his No. 1 goaltender will start for the first time in nearly a month.

Evgeni Nabokov, who was activated off injured reserve before the game Monday against the Boston Bruins, will start for the Islanders against the New York Rangers in the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series.

Nabokov's most-recent start came on Jan. 6, when he sustained a lower-body injury against the Dallas Stars. He relieved Kevin Poulin during the third period of the 6-3 loss to Boston on Monday.

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Yzerman honored with Order of Hockey in Canada

Wednesday, 01.29.2014 / 5:25 PM / News

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

VANCOUVER – They are separated in age by almost 40 years, but when it comes to hockey in Canada there aren't many degrees of separation between the three recipients of the 2014 Order of Hockey in Canada that were announced on Wednesday morning.

Steve Yzerman, Clare Drake and France St-Louis were named the 2014 class of "Distinguished Honorees of the Order of Hockey in Canada," a program started by Hockey Canada to annually recognize "extraordinary" service to the sport. And it didn't take long to find common bonds between Drake, an 86-year-old coach, St-Louis, a 55-year-old long-time star on Canada's women's team, and Yzerman, the 48-year-old general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

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U.S. women aiming to end Olympic frustration

Wednesday, 01.29.2014 / 3:55 PM / 2014 Olympics

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

The United States women's Olympic Team has one goal in mind entering the 2014 Sochi Games.

"You don't train this hard for second place; gold has been on our minds since Day 1," U.S. women's Olympic captain Meghan Duggan said Wednesday during a USA Hockey conference call.

As successful as the U.S. women's team has been on the international stage in various competitions during the past decade, the one glaring omission has been an Olympic gold medal; the last U.S. Olympic title was at the 1998 Nagano Games.

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Stadium Series night game alters Rangers' routine

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- A morning skate at their suburban training facility typically signifies that the New York Rangers will be heading to midtown Manhattan to play at Madison Square Garden that night.

Not anymore.

The Rangers worked out Wednesday morning at their practice rink. But instead of going home for a nap before heading to the Garden, they're going to a hotel nearby in Westchester County to nap there before going to Yankee Stadium to play their second game in the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series, this time against the New York Islanders (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN).

"We've never done this before," Rangers center Derek Stepan said. "It's a unique situation that is pretty cool to be a part of."

The only Ranger who wasn't on the ice was Brad Richards, but he's expected to play. Henrik Lundqvist will get the start in net. The Rangers' lines and defense pairs also are expected to be the same as they were Sunday, when they beat the New Jersey Devils 7-3 at Yankee Stadium. The Rangers will again be considered the road team Wednesday.

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Franchise to become Arizona Coyotes for 2014-15

Wednesday, 01.29.2014 / 1:17 PM / News

NHL.com

The Phoenix Coyotes announced Wednesday that the franchise will officially change its name to the Arizona Coyotes beginning at the start of the 2014-15 NHL season.

"Becoming the Arizona Coyotes makes sense for us since we play our games in Glendale and the city is such a great partner of ours," Coyotes co-owner, president and CEO Anthony LeBlanc said. "We also want to be recognized as not just the hockey team for Glendale or Phoenix, but the team for the entire state of Arizona and the Southwest. We hope that the name 'Arizona' will encourage more fans from all over the state, not just the valley, to embrace and support our team."

The Coyotes will also be introducing a new shoulder patch for their home and road jerseys in 2014-15 as part of the name change. The patch will be unveiled for the Coyotes' first preseason game next season. The rest of the uniform will not change.

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Quote of the Day

It's really exciting. I'm pretty sure that when I play my first game I'm going to be emotional. To be back on the ice playing a game, being in game situations, with all the routines and rituals I do before games and during the game, I feel like I'm going to be emotional. I'm going to be really happy.

— Montreal Canadiens forward Tim Bozon on playing for the first time since his life-threaning illness