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  • Getty ImagesNo. 1 Star: Viktor Fasth, Anaheim Ducks

    The red-hot rookie won his fourth straight start and earned his first shutout with a 3-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche. Sheldon Souray, Saku Koivu and Francois Beauchemin (playing in his 500th NHL game) scored for the Ducks, while Fasth made a career-high 31 saves. The 30-year old netminder now has a 0.98 goals against average and .962 save percentage.

    No. 2 Star: Jaromir Jagr, Dallas Stars

    The future Hall of Famer gave the Stars the extra point with his goal in overtime for the 3-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers.

    No. 3 Star: Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins

    Rask and the Bruins continued their strong start and moved atop the Eastern Conference standings with a 2-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens. Rask made 20 saves for his sixth win of the season. Tyler Seguin and David Krejci scored 1:51 apart early in the third period to grab the lead for good.

    Read More »from NHL Three Stars: Fasth blanks Avs; Jagr’s OT winner; Price takes puck to groin
  • Playing for the AHL's Hamilton Bulldogs during the lockout, Blake Geoffrion was carrying the puck along the boards in Molson Centre during a November game against the Syracuse Crunch when he took a violent hit from J.P. Cote:

    The results were disastrous. After surgery that removed a piece of his skull and replaced it with titanium and mesh, Geoffrion was diagnosed with a "depressed skull fracture" and after suffering multiple concussions in the past his hockey playing career was put into question, even though doctor said he would make a complete recovery.

    On Wednesday, leading up to the Montreal Canadiens hosting the Boston Bruins, Geoffrion met the media for the first time since the hit and off the bat emphasized he wasn't there to announce his retirement.

    "I know in my heart I'll come back from this," said the 24-year old Geoffrion. "I'll do whatever I have to do to come back to play the game. I miss the game dearly. I've watched every single game of the Canadiens."

    Geoffrion didn't want to discuss any symptoms he's experienced since the hit, but he's been taking a slow approach to his recovery. "The rehab process is keeping everything at a low momentum and not really do much until the symptoms go away," said Geoffion. "Once that happens then I can start moving to other things."

    He'll meet with doctors on Thursday to discuss taking thing up a notch in his rehab. He's also not had a conversation with them about whether or not he'll play again. In the meantime, Geoffrion joking said he's become a "professional couch tiger".

    When Geoffrion took the hit from Cote, he didn't think it was as serious as it turned out to be.

    "When I got hit I was like, 'Aw, crap, I'm getting some stitches' because I was bleeding pretty bad when I didn't want to have to leave the ice that early in the game. Then when I got into the room they just wanted to make sure it wasn't anything more serious. It ended up being so."

    Geoffrion said he didn't realize the severity of the injury until a few days later, but has watched it several times and thought it was a good, clean hit. He's has spoken with Cote, who contacted him to apologize. Geoffrion said he was more upset at himself for not being more aware on the ice. He believed he could skate by Cote on the play.

    The recovery will take time and given his previous injuries it's still a mystery if he'll be able to play again. But despite the roadblock in front of him, Geoffrion isn't backing down from the challenge.

    "I miss the game of hockey. It's unbelievable. I can't wait to get back out there and play again."

    Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy

    Read More »from After serious injury, Blake Geoffrion insists he’s not retiring: ‘I’ll come back from this’
  • Here are your Puck Previews: Spotlighting the key games in NHL action, news and views as well as general frivolity. Make sure to stop back here for the nightly Three Stars when the games are finished.

    Getty Images

    Preview: Boston Bruins at Montreal Canadiens, 7:30 p.m. ET The Bruins have won four straight against the Canadiens, but will have to go for No. 5 without Brad Marchand, who will miss tonight's game with an upper-body injury suffered during a fall against Toronto on Saturday. There's a good chance Tomas Kaberle will be a healthy scratch for the Canadiens.

    Preview: Anaheim Ducks at Colorado Avalanche, 9:30 p.m ET The Ducks hit the road for a six-game road trip hoping to extend their current three-game win streak. Red-hot Viktor Fasth is expected to be in net for the Ducks. The 30-year old Swede has won his first three NHL starts and posted a .946 save percentage so far. (Can you save goaltender controversy?) David Jones and Erik Johnson will return to the lineup for the Avs.

    Preview: Dallas Stars at Edmonton Oilers, 10 p.m. ET The biggest news heading into this game is Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski being a healthy scratch and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will sit with an injury. For Goligoski, Stars head coach Glen Gulutzan said, "Alex needs to get back to Alex’s level. It’s pretty cut and dried." Rookie Mark Arcobello will play between Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle.

    Check out previews and updated scores for all of today's games on the Y! Sports NHL scores and scheds page. For tonight's starting goalies, check out Goalie Post.

    Read More »from Wayne Simmonds back at Flyers practice; Bruins vs. Habs (Puck Previews)
  • A week after it was first reported that Andrei Loktionov had requested a trade from the Los Angeles Kings, the 22-year-old centre has gotten his wish. He is now a member of the New Jersey Devils.

    The Kings' return wasn't exactly a king's ransom. The Devils only sent a 5th round pick the other way. But when you have an unhappy player in the organization, you get him out of there. And the Kings managed to break even, at the very least. They used a 5th round pick to get Loktionov in 2008, and they got one back when they dealt him.

    But don't feel bad for Loktionov. While his ego might have

    Read More »from Kings trade Andrei Loktionov to Devils, where he might be able to crack the roster
  • Brandon Dubinsky of the Columbus Blue Jackets was fined $10,000 for his hit on Rob Scuderi of the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night - which was a positive development on a few fronts.

    From the NHL:

    Columbus Blue Jackets forward Brandon Dubinsky has been fined $10,000, the maximum allowed under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, for boarding Los Angeles Kings defenseman Rob Scuderi in NHL Game #131 in Columbus on Tuesday, February 5, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.

    The incident occurred at 11:29 of the second period. Dubinsky was assessed a major penalty for boarding and game misconduct.

    First, let’s celebrate the fact that Dubinsky wasn’t suspended for the hit. He’s a first-time offender; and as he explained to Puck-Rackers, he’s not exactly out for blood on that hit:

    "Plays happen fast," Dubinsky said. "I think he definitely felt me. I grabbed him and then I tried to get body position on him. I wasn’t trying to take a run at him. I’ve been in the league for a long time and I’ve never had a major for anything other than fighting. It’s a tough call. Obviously I’m not the type of player that goes out and tries to go after players to hurt them."

    Notice what Dubinsky does before the hit?

    He sticks his glove out, perhaps to slow Scuderi up or perhaps to, as he said, get body position on him. This wasn’t even as egregious as the infamous Steve Bernier hit on Scuderi in the Stanley Cup Final – the common denominator being that Scuderi turned his numbers to the checker, of course.

    That said, it’s the kind of play the NHL doesn’t want to see occur at all, mitigating circumstances of Scuderi’s body position being what they were. So a fine was … fine.

    Read More »from Brandon Dubinsky hit with $10K fine for Rob Scuderi hit, first under new NHL CBA
  • Here are your Puck Headlines: a glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media.

    • Found him! The KFC Fan Cam spotted Waldo in attendance at last night's game between the Sharks and the Blackhawks. But they failed to find his walking stick, kettle, coffee cup, and binoculars. [Reddit]

    • The Winnipeg Jets have returned Mark Scheifele to junior, which is great news for the Barrie Colts! [Buzzing the Net]

    • Meanwhile, the Columbus Blue Jackets have sent Ryan Johansen to the AHL, a move that had Damien Cox and Marc Spector wondering how the Jackets were able to bust a top prospect down to the minors without the city's hockey media going crazy. That would never happen in Toronto. But why? What is the difference between Columbus and Toronto? Does anybody know? [Blue Jackets Xtra]

    • The New York Rangers are 4-5. Is it time to panic? Bad news, panic-lovers: it isn't. [NY Post]

    • How Roberto Luongo could be becoming the good guy in Vancouver, and Cory Schneider's agent may have inadvertently facilitated his client's heel turn. [PITB]

    • Speaking of goaltending controversies, Viktor Fasth has given Bruce Boudreau something to think about. Do you ride the hot hand in this shortened season or give Hiller the opportunity to get his game on track? [OC Register]

    • Zac Rinaldo, on his fight with B.J. Crombeen and whether he threw a few late punches: “I hit him until he was down. I’m not going to hit nobody (late) no matter who they are or what they’ve done. I’ll never hit someone when they’re down; I hit him until he was down and made sure he was down and that was it.” Man. He's like Allen Iverson and "practice". [Philly]

    • Andrew Desjardins' match penalty for his phantom hit to the head was rescinded, but Sharks coach Todd McLellan wasn't satisfied. "That doesn’t help a team that’s played a lot of hockey, needed that player and should have been on the power play for four minutes," he said. [Mercury News]

    • Worst lockout casualty ever: the NHL Awards won't be taking place in Las Vegas. Damn you, Bettman! [ESPN]

    • Great piece on Romania's top hockey team and the Hungarians that lead it. [New York Times]

    Read More »from Scheifele, Johansen demoted; Rob Zombie on Flyers movie; panic in New York? (Puck Headlines)

    It's a Wednesday edition of Marek vs. Wyshynski beginning at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT, and we're talking about the following and more:

    Special Guest Star: David Clarkson of the New Jersey Devils joins us to talk about rivalry with Rangers, Marek's man-crush and his upcoming payday.

    • What to make of Brandon Dubinsky's hit on Rob Scuderi?

    • The terrible blown calls in the NHL.

    • The fate of Adam Oates.

    Question of the Day: It's GOING POSTAL Wednesday; ask Marek and Wysh anything.

    Tweet your answers with the hashtag #MvsW to @wyshynski and @jeffmarek.

    Click here for the Sportsnet live

    Read More »from Marek Vs. Wyshynski Radio: David Clarkson of NJ Devils; Brandon Dubinsky’s hit on Scuderi; Going Postal
  • Getty Images

    Since Brendan Shanahan started his gig as head of the Department of Player Safety, there have been 62 suspensions and close to 40 fines for NHL players that violated the rulebook.

    We know their names. We know their misdeeds. We know what the repercussions are, and they know that they’re on notice. It’s a public shaming, and that extra bit of scrutiny might be enough to keep them from misbehaving again.

    Why doesn’t the same standard apply to other NHL employees?

    In the last week, we’ve seen two blown calls that potentially altered the outcome of a game. There was David Backes’ phantom hit to the head of Kent Huskins, resulting in a match penalty and a 5-minute major during which the Detroit Red Wings scored in the third period. Then there was Andrew Desjardins of the San Jose Sharks getting ejected for another phantom head-shot on Jamal Mayers of the Chicago Blackhawks.

    In both cases, the match penalties were quickly rescinded – hasty postgame corrections for egregious mistakes during the game. Said NHL supervisor of officials Mick McGeough after the Sharks game on Tuesday night:

    “The way the linesman saw it on the ice, he was convinced it was a major penalty," McGeough told a pool reporter. "Unfortunately, he was wrong. It’s been overruled, taken care of by the League and Brendan Shanahan and the safety committee, and there are no more issues right now. ... Jonny Murray made the call. Unfortunately, he wasn’t overruled by the referee. It is what it is.”

    So what happens to Jonny Murray? And what happens to the officials that whistled Backes for a head-shot that never happened?

    Read More »from NHL should reveal how its referees are punished for blown calls
  • AP

    UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- When the Pittsburgh Penguins were beaten 4-1 by the New York Islanders on national television last week, it served as a bit of a wakeup call for a team many have expected big things from.

    After winning their opening two games, the Penguins dropped two of three before the Islanders put on a clinic at CONSOL Energy Center with their speed and power play success, leaving fans to boo the home team as they left the ice. Head coach Dan Bylsma wasn't pleased with the lack of emotion and execution of his players. Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury allowed four goals and was pulled after

    Read More »from Penguins pick up fourth straight win, thanks to recommitment to team defense
  • Very little has gone right for the Calgary Flames to open the 2013 campaign. After 6 games, they boasted a Conference-worst record of 1-3-2. Jarome Iginla couldn't buy a goal. According to the advanced metric that effectively measures NHL luck, PDO, they were the unluckiest team in the NHL.

    On Tuesday night, the bad luck continued. Things were looking good at first: The team played one of their most complete games of the year to date, comfortably handling the Detroit Red Wings, 4-1. Jarome Iginla even got on the board, scoring just three minutes into the first period.

    But just when things were beginning to look up, Miikka Kiprusoff was run over by Johan Franzen, and he would later leave the game with a lower-body injury.

    Suffice it to say, this is not awesome. Kiprusoff is somewhat important to the Flames' success. Considering how tight the Western Conference has been, how many games have gone to shootouts, and how many teams appear to be competitive, I'd argue that the above-average goaltending he provides is even more integral out West than it is in the East.

    But it's not just where the Flames are. It's who they are: they're Miikka Kiprusoff's team. George Johnson of the Calgary Herald made no bones about how integral the Finnish netminder is to any hope the Flames have of making the playoffs this year:

    It’s no secret that even now Miikka Kiprusoff remains the Flames’ best hope. That’s true of any year. Pick a year. Such has been his influence, he’s Polyfilla-ed over a staggering number of cracks throughout his tenure here, kept mediocre teams in hunts long after they should’ve been done and dusted.

    He is the single most important player in this organization. Still. At 36. Period. Full stop.

    But in such a condensed time frame, the dizzying 48-game schedule that awaits, goaltending arguably takes on an even greater significance. Which is encouraging news for a group facing long odds, and little outside expectation, at ending a three-springtime playoff shortfall.

    In other words: come back soon, Miikka. You're our only hope.

    But that's where the Flames' issues get even worse: There's no one behind Irving. The Flames don't have another goalie under contract in North America.

    Read More »from Calgary Flames lose Miikka Kiprusoff to lower-body injury; can they survive without him?