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  • Stars recall C Dickinson
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, March 25, 2017

    The Dallas Stars recalled center Jason Dickinson from the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League on Saturday.

    • Dickinson, 21, ranks fifth on Texas with 30 points (nine goals, 21 assists) in 55 games this season. He ranks fourth on the team in assists and seventh with 102 shots on goal. In three AHL seasons, he owns 86 points (31 goals, 55 assists) in 130 regular-season games. He also recorded one assist and nine shots on goal in seven career Calder Cup playoff contests.

      The 6-foot-2, 205-pound native of Georgetown, Ontario, was originally selected by Dallas in the first round (29th overall) of the 2013 NHL draft.

  • Sabres recall D Austin
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, March 25, 2017

    The Buffalo Sabres recalled defenseman Brady Austin from the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League on Saturday.

    • Austin, 23, joins the team for the second time this week after making his NHL debut and recording four shots on goal in his first two games with the Sabres on Monday and Tuesday.

      The 6-foot-4, 230-pound native of Bobcaygeon, Ontario, has two goals, seven assists and 51 penalty minutes in 62 games for Rochester this season.

  • NHL roundup: Isles move into wild-card position
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, March 25, 2017

    PITTSBURGH -- Anthony Beauvillier and John Tavares scored in the shootout to give the New York Islanders a 4-3 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena on Friday.

    • With the win, the Islanders surpassed the Boston Bruins for the final wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference standings. Both teams have 82 points, but the Islanders (73) have played fewer games than the Bruins (74) heading into their game at the Barclays Center Saturday.

      Sidney Crosby scored the Penguins' lone shootout goal. Marc-Andre Fleury finished with 43 saves in while New York's Jaroslav Halak had 40.

      Ducks 3, Jets 1

      ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Andrew Cogliano's game-winning goal not only gave Anaheim a victory over Winnipeg at the Honda Center, but also a share of first place in the Pacific Division.

      Corey Perry and Jakob Silfverberg also scored for the Ducks, who used their seventh win in nine games to move into a tie with the San Jose Sharks. Goalie Jonathan Bernier stopped 17 shots in earning his fifth win in six decisions.

      The division's co-leaders each have eight games remaining, divided evenly between home and road. But the Ducks have five games left against playoff contenders while the Sharks have six.

      Lightning 2, Red Wings 1 (OT)

      DETROIT -- Nikita Kucherov scored at 3:28 of overtime to give Tampa Bay a come-from-behind overtime win over Detroit.

      Kucherov tipped home a Brayden Point pass from the edge of the goal crease for the winner.

      The Lightning moved to within one point of the Boston Bruins and New York Islanders for the final wild-card playoff position in the Eastern Conference.

      Stars 6, Sharks 1

      DALLAS -- Adam Cracknell scored his first career hat trick and Kari Lehtonen made 20 saves for Dallas in a win over San Jose at American Airlines Center.

      Cracknell scored in the first, second and third periods. His final goal came 4:59 into the third when he intercepted an attempted clearance by Aaron Dell, who made 23 saves, just beyond the Sharks' blue line. Cracknell, who now has a career-high 10 goals this season, then beat Dell with a wrist shot from the slot.

      Brett Ritchie, Jamie Benn and John Klingberg also scored for Dallas, who got three assists from Jason Spezza and two each from Remi Elie and Curtis McKenzie.

  • Hurricanes cling to slim playoff hopes, visit Devils
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, March 24, 2017

    The Stanley Cup will be outside the Prudential Center Saturday before the New Jersey Devils host the Carolina Hurricanes.

    • Unfortunately for both teams, it's likely the closest each will get to the Cup this season.

      As part of the NHL Centennial Fan Arena touring exhibit, the Stanley Cup will be on display in Championship Square next to the Prudential Center on Saturday. Fans can see it ahead as the last-place Devils (27-34-12) play out the string while the Hurricanes (32-27-13) cling to remote playoff hopes.

      This will be the fifth consecutive season that New Jersey fails to reach the postseason. Carolina is on the verge of an eighth straight year missing the playoffs.

      However, the Hurricanes are not out of it just yet. By virtue of their current nine-game points streak (6-0-3), Carolina is just five points out of the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference with 10 games to play.

      What makes the Hurricanes task so difficult, though, is that they sit behind three teams in the standings in the battle for the final postseason berth in the East.

      "The guys are real smart," Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said to the team's web site. "They know what's on the line; and they know that it's very important for them moving forward. That's really what it amounts to. This is the most important time of the season."

      The Hurricanes are coming off a 4-1 victory over the Canadiens in Montreal on Thursday, and will be closing out a four-game road trip in New Jersey. Lee Stempniak recorded his second two-goal game of the season in Thursday's win, and the red-hot Jeff Skinner netted his team-high 29th goal, his eighth in the past seven contests.

      "We're just playing a complete game," said Stempniak, who has seven points in his last seven contests. "We're not making mental mistakes, and we're working hard. I think there's some confidence to our game."

      Elias Lindholm extended his point-scoring streak to nine consecutive games with his 10th goal in Montreal; and the Hurricanes are now 21-5-5 this season when he records a point.

      Backup goaltender Eddie Lack made 21 saves Thursday, and has won each of his last three starts, allowing only four goals in that span.

      "It was a huge two points for us," Lack told the Hurricanes web site. "We just want to keep rolling here."

      Peters did not say whether Lack or Cam Ward will start against the Devils. Likewise, Devils coach John Hynes has not committed to either Cory Schneider or Keith Kinkaid as the starter between the pipes on Saturday.

      In fact, Hynes said after his club's 4-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs Thursday that playing time down the stretch, at all positions, will be decided on a game to game basis.

      "The objective, like everything, is to give guys opportunities, but it also comes down to performance," Hynes said. "We'll give guys opportunities as long as they play well and deserve them."

      Several youngsters on the Devils roster are taking advantage of increased playing time in the final weeks of the season.

      Pavel Zacha, the 2015 first-round draft pick, enters play Saturday on a six-game point streak. The 19-year-old also has 15 points (six goals, nine assists) in his last 24 games.

      Fellow first-rounder John Quenneville (2016) has three points in five games since being recalled from the minor leagues, including his first NHL goal and two-point game this past Tuesday against the New York Rangers.

      Of course, the club still leans heavily on veteran Kyle Palmieri, who leads the Devils with 25 goals and 50 points this season, his second straight 50-point campaign. Palmieri has 10 goals and 17 points in his last 15 games.

      "I'm getting some better shots off, shooting more, and making sure they hit the net," Palmieri said of his strong second half play this season. "Our whole line (Taylor Hall and Travis Zajac) is playing well, keeping opposing goaltenders honest during this good stretch here."

      The Devils are 2-3-0 in their last five games after a brutal 0-8-2 winless skid.

      This is the fourth and final meeting this season between the Devils and Hurricanes, with New Jersey winning the first three contests by an aggregate 10-4 score.

  • NHL notebook: Avalanche, Senators to play in Sweden
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, March 24, 2017

    The Colorado Avalanche and Ottawa Senators will play two regular-season games in Stockholm, Sweden, in November as part of the 2017 SAP NHL Global Series.

    • The NHL and the NHL Players' Association announced Friday that the two teams will face each other at the Ericsson Globe on Nov. 10-11.

      "We have more Swedish players than ever in the NHL, and we are extremely pleased that the 2017 SAP NHL Global Series will allow us to showcase a number of those players, with their NHL teams, in their homeland," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. "The return of regular-season NHL games to the international stage will provide yet another highlight for our Centennial celebration."

      It will be the sixth time the NHL has played a regular-season game in Europe, but the first time since 2011. These will be the 21st and 22nd games played in Europe, and the seventh and eighth played in Sweden.

      Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog was born in Stockholm, and Senators captain Erik Karlsson was born in Landsbro.

      --The Washington Capitals recalled forward Paul Carey from the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League.

      Carey, 28, made his 2016-17 season debut with the Capitals on Nov. 20 and skated in four games with three shots on goal.

      The 6-foot-1, 198-pound Carey appeared in four games with the Capitals last season and scored the game-tying goal in the third period on Feb. 6, 2016 at New Jersey, marking his first NHL goal. He was selected by Colorado in the fifth round of 2007 NHL draft and registered a goal and an assist in 30 career games.

      --The Tampa Bay Lightning recalled defenseman Slater Koekkoek from the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL.

      Koekkoek, 23, has four assists in 29 games with the Lightning this season. He owns five assists and 12 penalty minutes in 41 career NHL games.

      The 6-foot-2, 193-pound native of Winchester, Ontario, has two goals and nine assists in 38 games with the Crunch this season. He owns 52 points (12 goals, 40 assists) in 170 career AHL contests.

      --The Minnesota Wild reassigned defenseman Gustav Olofsson to the Iowa Wild of the AHL.

      Olofsson, 22, recorded three assists and averaged 13:28 in time on ice in 13 games with Minnesota this season, and 22 points (five goals, 17 assists) in 48 contests for Iowa.

      The 6-foot-3, 195-pound native of Boras, Sweden, registered his first career NHL points with two assists on Feb. 12 against Detroit. Olofsson owns three assists in 15 career NHL games with Minnesota and 40 points (eight goals, 32 assists) in 109 career AHL contests.

      --The Calgary Flames reassigned forward Garnet Hathaway to the Stockton Heat of the AHL.

      Hathaway, 25, has one goal, four assists and 44 penalty minutes in 26 games with the Flames this season. The 6-foot-2, 210-pounder also has six goals, nine assists and 29 penalty minutes in 20 games for Stockton.

      The native of Kennebunkport, Maine, was signed by the Flames as a free agent on April 12, 2015.

  • Avalanche, Senators to play two games in Sweden
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, March 24, 2017

    The Colorado Avalanche and Ottawa Senators will play two regular-season games in Stockholm, Sweden, in November as part of the 2017 SAP NHL Global Series.

    • The NHL and the NHL Players' Association announced Friday that the two teams will face each other at the Ericsson Globe on Nov. 10-11.

      "We have more Swedish players than ever in the NHL, and we are extremely pleased that the 2017 SAP NHL Global Series will allow us to showcase a number of those players, with their NHL teams, in their homeland," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. "The return of regular-season NHL games to the international stage will provide yet another highlight for our Centennial celebration."

      It will be the sixth time the NHL has played a regular-season game in Europe, but the first time since 2011. These will be the 21st and 22nd games played in Europe, and the seventh and eighth played in Sweden.

      "It's really exciting," said Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog, who was born in Stockholm. "Who thought they would have been able to play NHL games in your hometown. It'll be surreal to do that. Stockholm is such a great hockey town and a great city overall. I'll be really excited to show the boys around and show the team staff around the city."

      Senators captain Erik Karlsson, who was born in Landsbro, will be playing in his native country for the first time as an NHL player.

      "(Landeskog is) a great guy and is from Stockholm, so it is going to be a great experience to share with him," Karlsson said. "We are good friends, and I am looking forward to playing two games against him and Colorado in Sweden, and I think that not only us being from Sweden is going to be exciting, but I think that everybody else participating on both teams are very excited and looking forward to have the opportunity to do that."

      The game on Nov. 10 will start at 8 p.m. local time (2 p.m. ET) with Colorado serving as the home team. The contest on Nov. 11 will start at 7 p.m. local time (1 p.m. ET) with Ottawa as the home team.

      About 26 percent of NHL players this season were born outside of North America. Other Swedes playing for Colorado and Ottawa include Frederik Claesson (Senators; Stockholm), Anton Lindholm (Avalanche; Skelleftea), Carl Soderberg (Avalanche; Malmo) and Viktor Stalberg (Senators; Gothenburg).

      "Hockey is a global sport, with NHL players from the world over, and we are focused on continued international growth," said Don Fehr, NHLPA executive director. "Playing NHL regular-season games at the Ericsson Globe in Stockholm is an integral part of that effort and promises to be especially memorable. Our players on the Senators and the Avalanche are looking forward to the 2017 SAP NHL Global Series."

  • Flames reassign F Hathaway
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, March 24, 2017

    The Calgary Flames reassigned forward Garnet Hathaway to the Stockton Heat of the American Hockey League on Friday.

    • Hathaway, 25, has one goal, four assists and 44 penalty minutes in 26 games with the Flames this season. The 6-foot-2, 210-pounder also has six goals, nine assists and 29 penalty minutes in 20 games for Stockton.

      The native of Kennebunkport, Maine, was signed by the Flames as a free agent on April 12, 2015.

  • Wild reassign D Olofsson
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, March 24, 2017

    The Minnesota Wild reassigned defenseman Gustav Olofsson to the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League on Friday.

    • Olofsson, 22, recorded three assists and averaged 13:28 in time on ice in 13 games with Minnesota this season, and 22 points (five goals, 17 assists) in 48 contests for Iowa.

      The 6-foot-3, 195-pound native of Boras, Sweden, registered his first career NHL points with two assists on Feb. 12 against Detroit. Olofsson owns three assists in 15 career NHL games with Minnesota and 40 points (eight goals, 32 assists) in 109 career AHL contests.

  • Lightning recall D Koekkoek
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, March 24, 2017

    The Tampa Bay Lightning recalled defenseman Slater Koekkoek from the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League on Friday.

    • Koekkoek, 23, has four assists in 29 games with the Lightning this season. He owns five assists and 12 penalty minutes in 41 career NHL games.

      The 6-foot-2, 193-pounds native of Winchester, Ontario, has two goals and nine assists in 38 games with the Crunch this season. He owns 52 points (12 goals, 40 assists) in 170 career AHL contests.

      Koekkoek was selected by Tampa Bay in the first round (10th overall) of the 2012 NHL draft.

  • Capitals recall F Carey
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, March 24, 2017

    The Washington Capitals recalled forward Paul Carey from the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League on Friday.

    • Carey, 28, made his 2016-17 season debut with the Capitals on Nov. 20 and skated in four games with three shots on goal.

      The 6-foot-1, 198-pound Carey appeared in four games with the Capitals last season and scored the game-tying goal in the third period on Feb. 6, 2016 at New Jersey, marking his first NHL goal. He was selected by Colorado in the fifth round of 2007 NHL draft and registered a goal and an assist in 30 career games.

      Carey has 55 points (24 goals, 31 assists) in 55 games with Hershey this season and the Boston native ranks tied for first on the team in goals, third in points and fourth in assists.

  • NHL roundup: Caps hang on to Eastern lead
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, March 24, 2017

    WASHINGTON -- Washington's T.J. Oshie scored the only goal during a shootout, and the Capitals defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1 on Thursday.

    • Seth Jones of the Blue Jackets made it 1-0 before Dmitry Orlov got the equalizer for the Caps, who hung onto the top spot in the Metropolitan Division and Eastern Conference with the win.

      Sergei Bobrovsky made a season-high 44 saves during regulation and the 3-on-3 overtime for the Blue Jackets. It was his first loss after seven wins in the month of March.

      Oilers 7, Avalanche 4

      DENVER -- Drake Caggiula scored a tiebreaking goal with 2:11 left, Jordan Eberle and Leon Draisaitl added insurance goals, and Edmonton rallied to beat Colorado.

      Andrej Sekera had a goal and two assists, Milan Lucic and Zack Kassian also scored, and Laurent Brossoit had six saves in relief of Cam Talbot to lead the Oilers to the win.

      Mikko Rantanen had two goals, J.T. Compher and Rene Bourque had a goal each and Nathan MacKinnon finished with two assists for the Avalanche.

      Blackhawks 3, Stars 2 (SO)

      CHICAGO -- Artemi Panarin scored the tiebreaking goal in the shootout, and Chicago outlasted Dallas.

      Patrick Kane scored in regulation and again in the shootout as the Blackhawks increased their point streak to seven games. Marian Hossa also scored for Chicago.

      Ales Hemsky scored both of the Stars' goals in regulation. Tyler Seguin scored during the shootout round, but Jamie Benn and Hemsky were denied in their shootout attempts for Dallas.

      Flyers 3, Wild 1

      SAINT PAUL, Minn. -- Goals by Sean Couturier and Matt Read spurred Philadelphia over Minnesota, thwarting the home team's chance to clinch a playoff spot.

      Jakub Voracek added an empty-net goal and Steve Mason made 24 saves for the Flyers, who won on the road for just the 13th time this season.

      Zach Parise had the lone goal for the Wild, who lost for the eighth time in the past 10 games. Devan Dubnyk had 24 saves.

      Predators 3, Flames 1

      NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Despite posting a season-low 17 shots on goal, Nashville held off Calgary at Bridgestone Arena.

      Ryan Ellis clinched the contest for the Predators, beating Chad Johnson with a wrist shot from the high slot with eight minutes left in the third period. It was the third goal in two games for Ellis, who also has five points in his last three contests.

      Calle Jarnkrok and Colton Sissons also scored for the Predators while Dougie Hamilton scored for the Flames.

      Blues 4, Canucks 1

      ST. LOUIS -- Magnus Paajarvi scored a pair of goals to lead St. Louis over Vancouver.

      Kyle Brodziak and also scored for the Blues while Jake Allen got the win, his seventh in his last eight games.

      Henrik Sedin scored for the Canucks, who lost for the seventh time in their last eight games.

      Panthers 3, Coyotes 1

      SUNRISE, Fla. -- Jonathan Marchessault broke a tie score by scoring twice within 26 seconds as Florida defeated Arizona.

      James Reimer made 22 saves and from Shawn Thornton, scores his second of the season for the Panthers.

      Tobias Rieder scored his 16th goal of the season for the Coyotes.

      Senators 2, Penguins 1 (SO)

      OTTAWA -- Ottawa rallied from a third-period deficit and earned shootout win over Pittsburgh.

      Mike Hoffman scored in regulation for the Senators, and Kyle Turris and Bobby Ryan scored in the shootout. Mike Condon made 34 saves to help the Senators pull to within a point of the Montreal Canadiens for first place in the Atlantic Division.

      Nick Bonino scored a power-play goal at 9:21 of the second period, and Matt Murray made 29 saves for the Penguins.

      Hurricanes 4, Canadiens 1

      MONTREAL -- Lee Stempniak scored a pair to lift Carolina over Montreal.

      Elias Lindholm and Jeff Skinner also scored for the Hurricanes, who won at the Bell Centre for the first time since Feb. 13, 2012.

      Alex Galchenyuk scored for the Canadiens.

      Maple Leafs 4, Devils 2

      TORONTO -- William Nylander had a goal and assist to help Toronto earn a victory over New Jersey.

      Josh Leivo, James van Riemsdyk and Connor Brown also scored for the Maple Leafs, who have won three in a row. Auston Matthews added two assists.

      John Moore scored twice for the Devils.

      Lightning 6, Bruins 3

      BOSTON -- Tampa Bay, fighting to stay alive in the playoff hunt, quickly wiped out three one-goal deficits and struck for three goals in the third period to stun Boston.

      Nikita Kucherov had a hat trick, Jonathan Drouin had a goal and two assists, and Brayden Point and Anton Stralman also scored for the Lightning. Point added an assist and Victor Hedman had two assists.

      David Pastrnak, Zdeno Chara and Riley Nash scored for the Bruins. Nash added an assist and Dominic Moore had two.

      Kings 5, Jets 2

      LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles scored three power-play goals and another short-handed and kept its slim playoff hopes alive with a victory against Winnipeg at Staples Center.

      Drew Doughty, Anze Kopitar and Jake Muzzin each had a goal and an assist, and Tyler Toffoli had two assists for the Kings, who scored three power-play goals in a game for the third time this season and second time in the last eight contests.

      Marian Gaborik and Tanner Pearson also scored for the Kings while Mathieu Perreault and Patrik Laine scored for the Jets.

  • Sens D Methot leaves after Crosby slash
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, March 23, 2017

    OTTAWA -- Defenseman Marc Methot left the Ottawa Senators game against the Pittsburgh Penguins after taking a slash on the hand from Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby in the first period.

    • Methot removed his glove and held up a bloody finger as he skated off the ice and down the hallway to the Senators dressing room, showing the tip of his finger sliced in half.

      The 6-foot-3, 220-pound blueliner, who has 12 assists in 67 games this season, was officially ruled out midway through the second.

      Crosby was not penalized on the play.

  • NHL notebook: Sabres' Ristolainen hit with three-game suspension
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, March 23, 2017

    Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen was suspended for three games without pay for a late hit on Pittsburgh Penguins forward Jake Guentzel.

    • Ristolainen skated backward through the neutral zone on Tuesday and hit Guentzel hard in the head when he didn't have the puck. Guentzel initially tried to skate to the bench before falling to the ice. He eventually made his way off with help from a trainer but did not return and was diagnosed with a concussion.

      Ristolainen was given a five-minute major penalty for interference and a game misconduct. He will forfeit $90,000 to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

      --Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Roman Polak was suspended for two games by the NHL for boarding Columbus Blue Jackets forward Oliver Bjorkstrand.

      The incident occurred one minute into the third period of Toronto's 5-2 victory on Wednesday. Bjorkstrand did not return after the hit by Polak, who was assessed a major penalty and a game misconduct. The 30-year-old Polak will forfeit $25,000 under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

      Polak has four goals and four assists in 67 games this season. He will sit out against the New Jersey Devils on Thursday and the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday.

      --New York Islanders forward Ryan Strome will be sidelined for several weeks with a broken wrist, Newsday reported.

      Strome sustained the injury late in the second period of Wednesday's 3-2 victory over the New York Rangers.

      The 23-year-old Strome has 13 goals and 17 assists while averaging just over 14 1/2 minutes of ice time in 69 games this season. He has scored 45 goals and set up 81 others in 258 career games -- all with the Islanders.

      --Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad has been ruled out Thursday against the Arizona Coyotes with a sore neck.

      Ekblad missed four games with a concussion before returning for Tuesday's 4-3 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. He has 10 goals and 11 assists in 68 games this season. The 21-year-old has scored 37 goals and set 59 others in 227 career games since being selected with the top overall pick of the 2014 draft.

      --The New York Islanders turned to a familiar face by recalling goaltender Jaroslav Halak from Bridgeport of the American Hockey League.

      Halak, who has been with the Sound Tigers since early January, is rejoining the Islanders with the NHL club set to play three games in four days. He has fared well in Bridgeport, winning a franchise-record 12 straight games from Jan. 20 to Feb. 19. He has posted a 17-7-1 mark with two shutouts, a 2.15 goals-against average and .925 save percentage after he went 6-8-5 with a 3.23 goals-against average in 21 appearances with the Islanders this season.

      Halak owns a 206-123-43 career record with a 2.42 GAA and .916 save percentage in 388 games with Montreal, St. Louis, Washington and the Islanders.

      --The New York Rangers assigned goaltender Magnus Hellberg to Hartford of the American Hockey League.

      Hellberg, 25, was recalled by the Rangers on an emergency basis last Thursday but did not play. He has appeared in one game with New York this season, stopping all four shots he faced against the Dallas Stars on Jan. 17.

      With the Wolf Pack this season, Hellberg has an 11-11-5 record with a 2.91 goals-against average and a .902 save percentage. Hellberg has allowed two or fewer goals in six of his last nine AHL appearances.

      --The Chicago Blackhawks agreed to terms on a two-year contract extension with forward Tanner Kero through the 2018-19 season.

      Kero has five goals and seven assists in 38 games with the Blackhawks this season. He began the season with AHL Rockford, where he led the club with seven goals and 20 points before being recalled on Dec. 22.

      The 24-year-old Kero is one of seven rookies to suit up for Chicago this season.

      --Goaltender Chris Nell signed with the New York Rangers.

      The 22-year-old Nell appeared in 34 games for Bowling Green this season, posting a 17-14-2 record with a 2.15 goals-against average, a .916 save percentage. He also had four shutouts for the second straight season.

  • Blackhawks F Kero agrees to two-year extension
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, March 23, 2017

    The Chicago Blackhawks agreed to terms on a two-year contract extension on Thursday with forward Tanner Kero through the 2018-19 season.

    • Kero has five goals and seven assists in 38 games with the Blackhawks this season. He began the season with AHL Rockford, where he led the club with seven goals and 20 points before being recalled on Dec. 22.

      The 24-year-old Kero is one of seven rookies to suit up for Chicago this season.

      Over the previous two seasons, Kero has six goals and nine assists at the NHL level and 32 goals and 32 assists in 94 AHL games.

  • Sabres D Ristolainen suspended three games
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, March 23, 2017

    Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen has been suspended for three games without pay for a late hit against Pittsburgh Penguins forward Jake Guentzel on Tuesday.

    • Ristolainen skated backward through the neutral zone and hit Guentzel hard in the head when he didn't have the puck.

      Guentzel initially attempted to skate to the bench before falling to the ice. He eventually made his way off with the assistance of a trainer but did not return to the game and was diagnosed with a concussion.

      "It hurts," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "He's a good player. He's been a part of (our top) line that's been very good for us as of late. Hopefully it won't be too long (that he's out)."

      Ristolainen was given a five-minute major penalty for interference as well as a game misconduct.

      "I don't like the fact that he got ejected," Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said. "I think it's an unfortunate play."

      Ristolainen will forfeit $90,000 to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

  • Rangers sign G Nell
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, March 23, 2017

    Goaltender Chris Nell of Bowling Green University signed with the New York Rangers on Thursday.

    • The 22-year-old Nell appeared in 34 games for the Falcons this season, posting a 17-14-2 record, along with a 2.15 goals-against average, a .916 save percentage. He also had four shutouts for the second straight season.

      Over his final eight appearances, Nell posted a 7-1-0 record with a 1.26 goals-against average, a .957 save percentage and three shutouts.

      The 6-1, 190-pounder appeared in 84 games over three seasons at Bowling Green, posting a 41-29-10 record, along with a 2.07 goals-against average, a .922 save percentage and 11 shutouts.

      The Green Bay, Wis., native was named to the WCHA All-Star Team and received Bowling Green's Most Valuable Player Award in 2015-16.

  • Wild sign Wisconsin captain Kunin
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, March 23, 2017

    The Minnesota Wild agreed to terms on Thursday with forward Luke Kunin on a three-year, entry-level contract starting with the 2017-18 season.

    • Kunin will report to the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League on an Amateur Tryout Agreement for the remainder of this season.

      The 19-year-old Kunin totaled 38 points (22 goals, 16 assists) and 30 penalty minutes in 35 games during his sophomore season at the University of Wisconsin. The 6-foot, 197-pound Kunin served as the Badgers' first sophomore captain in 41 years.

      Kunin has represented Team USA at seven international tournaments, winning the championship six times and finishing second once.

  • Hurricanes sign Kuokkanen to three-year deal
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, March 23, 2017

    Forward Janne Kuokkanen agreed to a three-year, entry-level contract with the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday.

    • The deal will pay Kuokkanen $700,000 in 2017-18, $750,000 in 2018-19, and $800,000 in 2019-20 if he plays on the NHL level. On the American Hockey League level, he will get $70,000 per season. Kuokkanen also received a signing bonus of $277,500.

      The 18-year-old Kuokkanen totaled 26 goals and 36 assists (62 points) and a plus-23 rating, appearing in 60 of 68 regular-season games for London of the Ontario Hockey League in 2016-17.

      The Knights host the Windsor Spitfires in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series on Friday.

      The Oulusalo, Finland, native was Carolina's second-round selection, 43rd overall, in the 2016 NHL Draft.

  • Islanders F Strome suffers broken wrist
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, March 23, 2017

    New York Islanders forward Ryan Strome will be sidelined for several weeks with a broken wrist, Newsday reported on Thursday.

    • Strome sustained the injury late in the second period of Wednesday's 3-2 victory over the New York Rangers.

      The 23-year-old Strome has recorded 13 goals and 17 assists while averaging just over 14 1/2 minutes of ice time in 69 games this season. He has scored 45 goals and set up 81 others in 258 career contests -- all with the Islanders.

      The loss of Strome comes at a crucial time for New York (34-26-12), which resides two points behind the Boston Bruins (38-29-6) for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

      Fellow forwards Shane Prince or Alan Quine are potential candidates to be recalled from Bridgeport of the American Hockey League.

  • Maple Leafs D Polak suspended two games
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, March 23, 2017

    Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Roman Polak has been suspended for two games by the NHL on Thursday for boarding Columbus Blue Jackets forward Oliver Bjorkstrand.

    • The incident occurred one minute into the third period of Toronto's 5-2 victory over Columbus on Wednesday.

      Bjorkstrand did not return to the contest following the hit by Polak, who was assessed a major penalty for boarding and a game misconduct. The 30-year-old Polak will forfeit $25,000 under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

      Polak has four goals and as many assists in 67 games this season. He will sit out Toronto's home tilt against the New Jersey Devils on Thursday and Saturday's road contest versus the Buffalo Sabres.

  • Kings recall F Brodzinski
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, March 23, 2017

    The Los Angeles Kings recalled forward Jonny Brodzinski from Ontario of the American Hockey League on Thursday.

    • Brodzinski, who is making his first recall to the NHL, leads the Reign in goals (25), points (47) and power-play tallies (nine) this season. The 23-year-old also has a plus-6 rating and 12 penalty minutes in 56 games with Ontario.

      Brodzinski has collected 40 goals, 35 assists, a plus-17 rating and 28 penalty minutes in 121 career AHL contests since being selected in the fifth round of the 2013 NHL draft.

  • Panthers D Ekblad out with neck soreness
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, March 23, 2017

    Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad has been ruled out of Thursday's game against the visiting Arizona Coyotes with a sore neck, interim coach Tom Rowe announced.

    • Ekblad missed four games with a concussion before returning for Tuesday's 4-3 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes.

      "We didn't want to rush him back because he's such a young guy," Rowe said, per the Miami Herald. "With a concussion, we didn't want to rush him back."

      With just 10 games remaining on their schedule, the Panthers (31-30-11) likely are being cautious with the former Calder Trophy winner. Florida resides nine points behind the Boston Bruins (38-29-6) for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

      Ekblad has 10 goals and 11 assists in 68 games this season. The 21-year-old has scored 37 goals and set 59 others in 227 career contests since being selected with the top overall pick of the 2014 draft.

  • Islanders bring back G Halak
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, March 23, 2017

    The New York Islanders turned to a familiar face on Thursday by recalling goaltender Jaroslav Halak from Bridgeport of the American Hockey League.

    • Halak, who has been with the Sound Tigers since early January, is rejoining the Islanders with the NHL club set to play three games in four days. New York visits the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday, hosts the Boston Bruins the following day and entertains the Nashville Predators on Monday.

      The 31-year-old Halak is returning to the NHL after being called out by then-head coach Jack Capuano before being placed on waivers and summarily sent to the minors.

      Halak has fared well in Bridgeport, winning a franchise-record 12 straight games from Jan. 20-Feb. 19. He has posted a 17-7-1 mark with two shutouts, a 2.15 goals-against average and .925 save percentage.

      Those statistics are a far cry from the numbers he recorded this season with New York. He went 6-8-5 with a 3.23 goals-against average in 21 appearances.

      Halak owns a 206-123-43 career record with a 2.42 GAA and .916 save percentage in 388 contests with the Montreal Canadiens, St. Louis Blues, Washington Capitals and the Islanders.

  • Rangers reassign G Hellberg
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, March 23, 2017

    The New York Rangers assigned goaltender Magnus Hellberg to Hartford of the American Hockey League on Thursday.

    • Hellberg, 25, was recalled by the Rangers on an emergency basis last Thursday, but did not play. He has appeared in one game with New York this season, stopping all four shots he faced in 18:32 of ice time against the Dallas Stars on Jan. 17.

      With the Wolf Pack this season, Hellberg has an 11-11-5 record with a 2.91 goals-against average and a .902 save percentage. Hellberg has allowed two or fewer goals in six of his last nine AHL appearances.

      Hellberg was selected by the Nashville Predators 38th overall in the second round of the 2011 NHL Draft.

  • NHL roundup: Leafs, Isles, Ducks earn crucial wins
    By The Sports Xchange / Thursday, March 23, 2017

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Leo Komarov, Auston Matthews, William Nylander, Nazem Kadri and Nikita Zaitsev scored goals, and the Toronto Maple Leafs continued their late-season push toward the playoffs with a 5-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday night at Nationwide Arena.

    • The surging Maple Leafs moved past the Boston Bruins into third place in the Atlantic Division. Frederik Andersen finished with 32 saves for Toronto, which is on a 6-1-1 run since returning from a West Coast trip.

      David Savard and Brandon Saad scored in the second period and Joonas Korpisalo made 27 stops for the Blue Jackets. Columbus missed a chance to move into a tie atop the Metropolitan Division and Eastern Conference standings with the Washington Capitals.

      Islanders 3, Rangers 2

      NEW YORK -- Andrew Ladd scored a power-play goal with 7:22 remaining in the third period as the Islanders rallied for a crucial victory.

      Thomas Greiss made 34 saves to move the Islanders to within two points of the Boston Bruins for the final wild-card spot in the East. Lee and Nikolay Kulemin had the other Islanders goals.

      Mats Zuccarello and Rick Nash scored for the Rangers, who received 25 saves from Antti Raanta. The Rangers lost seven straight at home (0-5-2).

      Ducks 4, Oilers 3

      ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Josh Manson and Rickard Rakell scored in the second period as Anaheim rallied past Edmonton.

      Patrick Eaves and Hampus Lindholm added goals for the Ducks, who used their sixth win in eight games to move within two points of the first-place San Jose Sharks in the Pacific Division. Anaheim jumped two points ahead of Edmonton in the race for second place.

      Connor McDavid recorded a goal and two assists while Leon Draisaitl had one of each for the Oilers, whose four-game winning streak ended. McDavid has 59 assists and 85 points -- both league highs -- and Draisaitl owns 11 points in his past five games.