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Lightning's Callahan: Stamkos contract no distraction

Wednesday, 01.27.2016 / 1:45 PM / News

Corey Long - NHL.com Correspondent

TAMPA -- Tampa Bay Lightning forward Ryan Callahan said Wednesday he fully supports Lightning captain Steven Stamkos but hasn't spoken with him about his contract situation.

Stamkos, who can become an unrestricted free agent July 1, was offered an eight-year, $68 million contract extension by the Lightning, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reported Saturday.

Callahan said Stamkos has worked hard to keep his contract status from becoming a distraction this season.

"We haven't talked about it," Callahan said. "It's part of the business. It's something that's not really discussed among the players. Everybody has to go through it at some time or another, and obviously there's different players that it gets magnified. But he's been great. He's a pro about it. He's been in the League for a while, and I think he understands that. All the guys in here support him."

Fantasy defensemen: All-stars for each category

Wednesday, 01.27.2016 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Brian Metzer - NHL.com Correspondent

The NHL All-Star break begins Thursday and all eyes will be on Nashville, where a variety of events will play out as part of the League's All-Star Weekend. With that in mind, it seemed a good time to look at some surprises, or shall we call them all-stars, in each of the standard scoring categories in Yahoo Fantasy Leagues.

Standard scoring formats typically call for tracking goals, assists, plus-minus, penalty minutes, power-play points and shots on goal. We'll be looking at each of them, but have also included hits, since more and more formats have started to include the category.

Canadiens' belief in themselves being put to the test

Wednesday, 01.27.2016 / 10:08 AM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- Brendan Gallagher's voice can light up a room at times, his enthusiasm for the game and life in general shining through whenever he speaks.

This was not one of those times.

The Montreal Canadiens right wing and alternate captain was standing at his stall Tuesday attempting to answer question after question on how his team could lose on back-to-back nights to the Columbus Blue Jackets, who entered the home-and-home series with the worst record in the NHL.

Jets' Ehlers fourth rookie with hat trick in January

Wednesday, 01.27.2016 / 10:05 AM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

The kids are all right.

When the Winnipeg Jets defeated the Arizona Coyotes 5-2 on Tuesday, not only did forward Nikolaj Ehlers record his first NHL hat trick, he became the sixth rookie this season and the fourth in January with a three-goal game.

Ehlers' hat trick had some historical significance. He became the second teenager in Jets/Atlanta Thrashers history with a three-goal game. Ehlers (19 years, 347 days), who turns 20 on Feb. 14, is slightly older than Ilya Kovalchuk was when he had a hat trick at age 19 years, 235 days, in a Dec. 6, 2002 game against the Washington Capitals.

Around the League notebook: Tuesday, Jan. 26

Wednesday, 01.27.2016 / 8:59 AM / News

NHL Public Relations

LUONGO CONTINUES CLIMB UP ALL-TIME WINS LIST

Roberto Luongo made 22 saves to continue his climb up the NHL all-time wins list and help the Florida Panthers improve to 10-1-0 in their past 11 home games, including three straight wins.

* At 29-15-5 (63 points), the Panthers regained their five-point lead on the idle Detroit Red Wings (25-16-8, 58 points) for first place in the Atlantic Division.

* Luongo won his 423rd NHL game to tie Tony Esposito for seventh place in NHL history. Jacques Plante ranks sixth all-time with 437 wins.

* Luongo improved to 8-0-0 in his last eight home games to extend his franchise record for wins in consecutive home games. He has a 1.35 goals-against average, .951 save percentage and two shutouts during that stretch. Overall he is 22-13-4 in 39 games this season and ranks among the top five in the League in shots-against (1,146; fifth), saves (1,066; fifth), save percentage (.930; fifth), shutouts (4; tied for third)

* Hours after signing a six-year contract extension, Aleksander Barkov scored the first of five unanswered goals to spark the Panthers' rally. Reilly Smith (1-1—2) scored for a fourth straight game, while Vincent Trocheck (1-1—2), Jussi Jokinen (1-1—2) and Brian Campbell (0-2—2) also had multipoint games.

Red-hot Capitals putting up historically good numbers

Wednesday, 01.27.2016 / 3:00 AM / Behind the Numbers

Rob Vollman - NHL.com Correspondent

The Washington Capitals are dominating the NHL in much the same way they did in 2009-10, when they won the Presidents' Trophy with 121 points. This season’s Capitals may be even better: Washington is on pace for 130 points, which would surpass the 124 points posted by the 2005-06 Detroit Red Wings as the best single-season performance since the 2004-05 lockout.

In 46 games this season, the Capitals have 73 points, which is their best pace since Oct. 27, 2010.

Flyers visit Capitals on Wednesday Night Rivalry

Wednesday, 01.27.2016 / 3:00 AM / Tale of the Tape

John Kreiser - NHL.com Managing Editor

The Philadelphia Flyers and Washington Capitals close out the pre-All Star portion of their schedule when they play in the Wednesday Night Rivalry game at Verizon Center (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN).

Win or lose, the Capitals will enter the All-Star break with the best record in the NHL, and are running away with first place in the Metropolitan Division. It's their first game since a 6-3 victory against the Columbus Blue Jackets last Tuesday; Washington's scheduled home games Friday against the Anaheim Ducks and Sunday against the Pittsburgh Penguins were postponed by a snowstorm.

Matthew Tkachuk gained drive, desire watching dad

Wednesday, 01.27.2016 / 3:00 AM / 2016 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

VANCOUVER -- U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame member Keith Tkachuk would like to believe watching his son play the game he did for so many years would be a thrilling experience.

Unfortunately, that isn't the case.

"It's the most terrifying thing, because I worry and fear for him and I have no control over what he does," Tkachuk told NHL Live.

He can take pride in the fact his son, Matthew Tkachuk, has established his own identity as a hard-working left wing capable of holding his own in his first season for the London Knights in the Ontario Hockey League. He has 16 goals, 70 points and a plus-25 rating in 37 games.

Five things to watch at CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game

Wednesday, 01.27.2016 / 3:00 AM / 2016 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

VANCOUVER -- The top seven skaters in NHL Central Scouting's midterm ranking of North American skaters for the 2016 NHL Draft will be among the 40 players taking part in the 2016 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game on Thursday at Pacific Coliseum (9 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN, TVA Sports).

Topping that list is Matthew Tkachuk, Central Scouting's top-ranked North American skater. A 6-foot-1, 195-pound left wing in his first season with London of the Ontario Hockey League, Tkachuk is fourth in the OHL with 70 points in 37 games.  He also tied for the United States lead with 11 points to help the U.S. win the bronze medal at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship.

The six players ranked behind Tkachuk on Central Scouting's midterm list also will be in the game: Sarnia (OHL) defenseman Jakob Chychrun; Mississauga (OHL) left wing Alexander Nylander; Val-d'Or (QMJHL) right wing Julien Gauthier; London defenseman Olli Juolevi; Mississauga center Michael McLeod; and Cape Breton (QMJHL) left wing Pierre-Luc Dubois.

Hull sees similarities in All-Star captains Jagr, Kane

Wednesday, 01.27.2016 / 3:00 AM / 2016 NHL All-Star Weekend

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane has said he used to watch in amazement as Jaromir Jagr dominated the NHL with his size, stick work and patience. Jagr, a right wing with the Florida Panthers, has mentioned how he loves to watch Kane because of how intelligently he attacks opponents with his hands, skill and, yes, patience.

Brett Hull, the next player Jagr should pass on the NHL all-time goal scoring list -- Jagr has 737 goals, four shy of Hull's 741 -- said he wonders why more people haven't drawn a comparison between Jagr and Kane because they are more alike than they may seem.

Jagr, 43, is 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds, and will be the captain for the Atlantic Division in the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game on Sunday. Kane, 27, is 5-11 and 177 pounds, and will be the Central Division captain at the All-Star Game.

Hull told NHL.com that size doesn't matter in his comparison because Jagr and Kane attack defenses the same way.

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