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On a night when Stephen Johns was busy looking like a hockey man among hockey boys in Cedar Park, the Stars had their own business to take care of, hoping to extend their six-game winning streak against the floundering San Jose Sharks, who have had their moments this season, but most of them bad.

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Unfortunately for Dallas, despite getting an early lead, the Stars never found a way to generate consistent quality, and the Sharks’ newly crowned goaltending savior (which is to say, close-to-average goalie) Aaron Dell came up big the few times they managed to get some good looks. The Stars’ power play stayed fairly functional, although their second (and final) chance of the night sputtered when they needed it most. But when you’re sitting there wishing that your power play could have gone 100% on the night, it usually means you had bigger issues at 5v5, and they certainly did, when it came to finishing the job in the Sharks’ zone.

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The night began with fanfare, however, as Joe Pavelski was honored by the Sharks in a pre-game video tribute that was quite emotional and heartfelt, as was plain to see on Pavelski’s face. Check it out below:

San Jose still loves you, Pavs. pic.twitter.com/jMmipK2wbl

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— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) January 12, 2020
It’s too bad the Stars couldn’t have finished their California stay with yet another victory, but the team was missing John Klingberg on a night when open ice was beckoning to a lot of players (and Erik Karlsson and Brent Burns certainly grabbed it), and they looked pretty out of gas by the time all was said and done.

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The Stars will finish their road trip on Tuesday in Colorado, where that winning streak began way back in 2019. Hey, remember 2019?

Anyway, let’s get into the details of this one.

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1st Period

The first period started off well for Dallas, but it devolved into a bit of pond hockey as things wore on.

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Right off the bat, Evander Kane took a high-sticking penalty as he tried to jump past Jamie Oleksiak, trailing the stick and clipping a very tall man’s face. Given how hot the Stars’ power play has been, that probably was somewhere on the Sharks’ pre-game list of “THING TO NOT DO AGAINST DALLAS.”

And, sure enough, after spending the entire first part of the power play in the Sharks’ zone, the Stars caught the San Jose PK far too spread out, and they capitalized. Jamie Benn kept the power play rolling with a Pavelskian high tip from Tyler Seguin to put the Stars up 1-0.

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Seguin hits Jamie Benn’s stick on the power play, and the Captain deflects it perfectly into the back of the net to give the @DallasStars a 1-0 lead! #GoStars | : FSSW+ pic.twitter.com/YRMZTEFmoc

— FOX Sports Southwest (@FOXSportsSW) January 12, 2020
Miro Heiskanen almost made it 2-0 just minutes later, getting another wide-open chance with a lot of net to shoot out, but Aaron Dell got just a piece of it, putting the puck off the bar and back out.

Stefan Noesen tried a tip-in of his own, but this might have been the easiest no-goal call on the ice any official could make, with Noesen reaching up with both hands to tip the puck down from a good couple of feet above his shoulders, let alone the crossbar.

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Anton Khudobin made a nice save on Tomas Hertl, who got some daylight after a great Brent Burns stretch pass off the boards that was relayed at the blue line for Hertl, who came in with speed and ripped one from the circle.

Burns would create another chance, but Khudobin also stopped Melker Karlsson’s high-tip chance, proving once again that the Stars might just have better goaltending than the Sharks, not sure what the numbers say, maybe somebody should check.

Marcus Sörensen would test Khudobin next, after an Erik Karlsson stretch pass beat pretty much all five Stars skaters, putting Sörensen in alone, only to get beaten once again by Khudobin.

So after all the work by the Sharks’ defensemen to set up other would-be scorers, Brent Burns finally took things into his own hands—well, skates—by driving the net off a faceoff win and deflecting a Timo Meier feed through Khudobin’s pads in a manner that was about 73% on purpose (I did the math, checks out) to make it a 1-1 game.

Tonight is the night, folks. A core piece of the 2016 Stanley Cup Final run for the San Jose Sharks has come back to SAP Center.

That’s right, Roman Polak is back, baby!

The Stars are riding a season-high six-game winning streak coming into tonight and will be eager to keep it rolling against Polak’s former teammates. More of a stay-at-home guy himself, Polak’s partner Esa Lindell has pulled his fair share of the offensive weight, putting up eight assists over his last five games.

On the Sharks’ side of the ice, tonight is a big night for Patrick Marleau, who will be playing in his 1,700th game, making him the seventh player in league history to hit that mark, as well as becoming the youngest player in league history to do so at 40 years (and 118 days) young. So great that he gets to share this moment with his beloved former teammate, Roman Polak.

More good news for the Sharks is that noted thorn-in-their-collective-sides Corey Perry is still out, serving the fourth game of his five-game suspension. He received the suspension during the Winter Classic, where he elbowed Nashville Predators forward Ryan Ellis in the head within the first few minutes of the game. It might be a different sweater, but it’s the same old Corey Perry.

Is anyone else wearing a new sweater tonight? I think I got ‘em all.

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The 2019 Stanley Cup® Playoffs First Round schedule will be unveiled live on NHL Network™ this Sunday, April 7 at 10 a.m. ET and simulcast on NHL.com.

Hosted by NHL Network’s Jamie Hersch, Mike Johnson and Dave Reid Jersey, “NHL Tonight™: 2019 Playoff Schedule Release” show will reveal and preview each series as the First Round approaches on Wednesday, April 10.

Later on Sunday at 6 p.m. ET, Hersch, Johnson and Reid will provide comprehensive previews and analysis of each team headed to the Stanley Cup Playoffs with “NHL Tonight: 2018-19 Playoff Preview” on NHL Network.

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SUNRISE, Fla. — Mike Hoffman scored a hat trick, and the Florida Panthers held on for a 4-3 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning in their home opener at BB&T Center on Saturday.

The Panthers split the season-opening home-and-home to give coach Joel Quenneville and goalie Sergei Bobrovsky their first win with Florida.

“We want to make sure we play well at home and it will be a tough two points for teams coming in here,” Quenneville said. “Great crowd, great energy. We had some great momentum with [Hoffman] on a roll there. When you play big down at the end, you find a way to win. That will help us going forward.”

[WATCH: All Lightning vs. Panthers highlights]

Gemel Smith, Steven Stamkos and Mathieu Joseph scored for the Lightning, who defeated the Panthers 5-2 at Amalie Arena on Thursday. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 24 saves.

“Right now you sit back, it’s a loss, but a lot to build on,” Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. “Unfortunately, we lost tonight, but I didn’t think they really took it to us tonight. We had our chances to win it and they just got the better of us.”

Noel Acciari scored his first goal with Florida, which had lost seven in a row to Tampa Bay, and Jonathan Huberdeau had two assists. Bobrovsky made 30 saves, including two in the final four seconds.

“Those are the reasons why we won this hockey game,” Hoffman said of Bobrovsky. “Without those saves, they probably have seven or eight (goals) and it’s a different story. But he kept us in it, gave everyone life on the bench, and then we went out there and were able to capitalize on a couple of our chances.”

Bobrovsky flashes the leather
01:34 • October 6th, 2019

Tampa Bay was assessed three minor penalties in a span of 5:06 in the second period, including the first for having too many men on the ice. Hoffman scored on the second and third power plays.

“Obviously that was a big turning point,” Lightning defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk said. “The too many men was just unlucky, and we did a good job killing it off, but then we fell into that penalty trap a little bit and they obviously were able to capitalize on it. It’s definitely a lesson that we can learn from, especially here on the road in a good atmosphere.”

Hoffman gave Florida a 1-0 lead at 9:39 of the second period with a wrist shot from the right circle before he scored at 11:05 from almost the same spot, each on a setup by Huberdeau.

“Huberdeau made some great passes over to me,” Hoffman said. “It’s on myself to put those in the net, and tonight everything seemed to be working. It’s a fun to play when things are going your way. You lick your chops when you get those opportunities. Obviously there’s some good players on our power play and they can find me in open ice. I try to get myself open as much as I can.”

Hoffman earns hat trick
01:23 • October 6th, 2019

Hoffman completed his second NHL hat trick 17 seconds into the third period when he tipped Aaron Ekblad’s shot from the point to make 4-1. His first was Nov. 29, 2016, for the Ottawa Senators against the Buffalo Sabres.

Acciari made it 3-0 at 12:32, seconds after knocking Shattenkirk to the ice with a body check into the boards. Smith made it 3-1 at 16:23 when he poked a loose puck.

Stamkos made it 4-2 at 6:40 before Joseph scored at 15:41 to get the Lightning within 4-3.

“What I really liked was our push back,” Cooper said. “It was tough giving up that goal early in the third, but I thought we took over the game, even down 4-1, and had our chances at the end and unfortunately we couldn’t do it.”

Stamkos’ one-timer finds twine
00:49 • October 6th, 2019

They said it
“We took three [penalties] in a row there and they capitalized on two of them, obviously swung the momentum of the game. But you take that part of the game out and we played well.” — Lightning coach Jon Cooper

“It’s great, especially in the home opener. It’s a huge win against a really good team. Everybody contributed and it’s a huge win for us and a huge win for our fans.” — Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky

Need to know
Florida’s last win against Tampa Bay was Oct. 7, 2017, 5-4 in their 2017-18 home opener. … Tampa Bay began a six-game road trip; it does not play at home until Oct. 19. … Hoffman’s hat trick tied the Panthers record for earliest in a season. Dave Gagner Jersey scored three goals in the second game of the 1998-99 season, a 5-3 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Oct. 4, 1998.

Enterprise HT: Hoffman, Zibanejad
04:00 • October 6th, 2019

What’s next
Lightning: At the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday (5 p.m. ET; ESPN+, FS-CR, SUN, NHL.TV)

Panthers: Host the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; FS-F, FS-CR, NHL.TV)

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The Edmonton Oilers watched a three-goal lead disappear in the final 3:16 of the third period against the Anaheim Ducks on Friday in Game 5 of the Western Conference Second Round before losing 4-3 in double overtime. It was the second time in the history of the Stanley Cup Playoffs a team won a game after overcoming being down three goals in the final 4:00 of the third period.

The Oilers were involved in the other one as well, 20 years earlier, but they were on the winning end.

On April 20, 1997, the Dallas Stars appeared to be coasting to victory against the Oilers in Game 3 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals at Edmonton Coliseum (later Rexall Place). With time winding down in the third period, the Stars led 3-0; Mike Modano and Benoit Hogue had scored in the first period and Joe Nieuwendyk gave Dallas a three-goal lead midway through the second.

[RELATED: Complete Oilers vs. Ducks series coverage]

It looked as if the Oilers were on the way to a loss in their first home playoff game since 1992 after missing the postseason the previous four years.

But the fans got a spark of hope when Doug Weight’s backhand went past Dallas goaltender (and former Oilers player) Andy Moog with 4:00 remaining to make it 3-1. Edmonton got a power play 25 seconds later, and Andrei Kovalenko snapped a shot through Moog’s pads with 2:16 remaining to make it 3-2. Rookie Mike Grier tied the game 12 seconds later, tipping a shot by defenseman Dan McGillis past Moog to make it 3-3.

The three goals in 1:56 and two goals in 12 seconds set Oilers records.

Kelly Buchberger won it at 9:15 of overtime when he took a drop pass from Mats Lindgren across the Dallas blue line and took a shot that deflected off Dallas defenseman Darryl Sydor Jersey and went past Moog. The stunning victory gave the Oilers a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 series.

The Stars evened the series two nights later, but the historic win became part of an upset victory when the Oilers defeated the Stars 4-3 in overtime to win Game 7.

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2000: The New Jersey Devils win the Stanley Cup for the second time in their history when Jason Arnott scores at 8:20 of the second overtime to give them a 2-1 against Dallas in Game 6 of the Final at Reunion Arena.

The teams score goals 1:09 apart early in the second period, then play more than 60 minutes of scoreless hockey until Arnott finishes off a pass from Patrik Elias by beating Dallas goalie Ed Belfour Jersey to give the Devils their first championship since 1995.

Defenseman Scott Stevens, New Jersey’s captain, wins the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP. Larry Robinson becomes the third coach in NHL history to guide his team to the Stanley Cup after taking over during the season; by replacing Robbie Ftorek with eight games remaining, he becomes the latest to take over a Cup-winner.


1971: The Montreal Canadiens use the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft to select forward Guy Lafleur, who’s coming off a season when he scores 130 goals in 62 games for the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. The Canadiens hit another home run in the second round by selecting defenseman Larry Robinson. The two become key members of Montreal’s dynasty in the late 1970s and each earns induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

NHL100: Guy Lafleur
04:04 • January 1st, 2017

1973: The second-year New York Islanders name former NHL defenseman Al Arbour as their new coach, replacing Phil Goyette. Arbour has the Islanders in the Stanley Cup Semifinals two years later and coaches them to four consecutive Stanley Cup championships from 1980-83. He retires in 1994 as the second-winningest coach in NHL history.

1996: The Colorado Avalanche cap their first season in Denver by doing something they couldn’t do during their 16 seasons as the Quebec Nordiques: win the Stanley Cup. Patrick Roy makes 63 saves before defenseman Uwe Krupp scores 4:31 into the third overtime to give the Avalanche a 1-0 victory against the Florida Panthers at Miami Arena and complete a four-game sweep of the Final. Krupp’s slap shot from the right point beats Florida goalie John Vanbiesbrouck, ending a game that takes nearly five hours. Colorado captain Joe Sakic wins the Conn Smythe Trophy.

Memories: Colorado’s first Cup
01:27 • June 10th, 2017

1999: Defenseman Craig Ludwig Jersey scores his first playoff goal in 11 years to help the Stars defeat the Buffalo Sabres 4-2 in Game 2 of the Final at Reunion Arena. Ludwig beats Dominik Hasek for his first postseason goal since 1988 and Brett Hull Jersey puts the Stars ahead 3-2 when he scores with 2:50 remaining in the third period. Dallas evens the best-of-7 series 1-1.

2002: Hasek makes 17 saves to become the first NHL goalie to have a shutout in each of the four rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and the visiting Detroit Red Wings defeat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-0 in Game 4 of the Final. Hull becomes the fourth player to score 100 NHL playoff goals when he beats Carolina goalie Arturs Irbe early in the second period to give Detroit a 1-0 lead. Red Wings coach Scotty Bowman becomes the all-time leader with his 35th win in the Final.

2011: Roberto Luongo earns his second 1-0 shutout of the Final when the Vancouver Canucks defeat the Boston Bruins in Game 5 at Rogers Arena. Luongo becomes the second goalie in NHL history to have multiple 1-0 victories in one Final series, matching Frank McCool of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1945. Vancouver’s Maxim Lapierre beats Boston goalie Tim Thomas at 4:35 of the third period, and Luongo makes 31 saves to give the Canucks a 3-2 lead in the best-of-7 series.

2016: The hockey world loses an icon when Gordie Howe dies at age 88. Howe joins the Red Wings in 1946 and spends the next 25 seasons in Hockeytown. He wins the Hart Trophy as League MVP six times, the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s leading scorer six times and helps the Red Wings win the Stanley Cup four times. Howe finishes in the top five in the NHL in scoring for 20 consecutive seasons. He retires after the 1970-71 season, but returns to the ice two years later with the Houston Aeros of the World Hockey Association, playing alongside his sons Mark and Marty. Howe spends four seasons with Houston and two with the New England Whalers before returning to the NHL when the Whalers are one of four WHA teams that join the NHL. Though he turns 52 late in the season, Howe plays all 80 regular-season games for the renamed Hartford Whalers, finishing with 15 goals and 41 points, and has a goal and an assist in three playoff games. He retires as the NHL record-holder in games played (1,767), goals (801), assists (1,049) and points (1,850). In retirement, Howe becomes known as “Mr. Hockey,” helping to promote the sport and forge ties with generations of fans who never saw him play. One of those kids who idolize him, Wayne Gretzky, goes on to break many of Howe’s scoring records.

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The 1987 Canada Cup featured some of the most formidable national squads in international hockey history. The Canadian team alone featured 12 eventual Hall of Famers and cut three others: Patrick Roy, Steve Yzerman and Cam Neely.

Twenty-five years later, a number of the players who participated in the tournament remain involved in the game, meaning that reunions are inevitable. Here is what some of these players are up to today:

Dale Hawerchuk has served as coach and director of hockey operations for the OHL’s Barrie Colts since 2010. (Photo: Getty Images)
Dale Hawerchuk: The longtime Jets and Sabres star was named player of the game in the tournament’s deciding contest. The Hall of Famer has served as coach and director of hockey operations for the Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey League since 2010.

Michel Goulet: The Hall of Fame wing had an illustrious career with Quebec and Chicago before becoming Colorado’s director of player personnel following his retirement. He currently is Calgary’s western pro scout.

Brian Propp: The smallish wing registered more than 1,000 points in his playing career before unsuccessfully running for a seat in the New Jersey General Assembly in 2007. He currently is the vice president of strategic account management for the Judge Group, a professional services firm based in Pennsylvania.

Craig Hartsburg Jersey: A stalwart on defense for 10 seasons for the Minnesota North Stars, Hartsburg has been a prominent coach throughout hockey. He was coach of the Blackhawks, Ducks and Senators before taking over the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the OHL and Everett Silvertips of the WHL. He currently works as an assistant coach with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

James Patrick: Following a successful collegiate career at North Dakota, Patrick enjoyed a productive 21-year NHL career. After playing his last six seasons in Buffalo, the team named him an assistant coach upon his retirement. He is entering his seventh season behind the Sabres bench.

Ron Hextall: A backup to Grant Fuhr for much of the Canada Cup, Hextall won the Vezina and Conn Smythe trophies in the weeks preceding the tournament. Following a productive NHL career, Hextall joined the Flyers’ scouting staff in 1999, eventually becoming the assistant general manager in Los Angeles, where he won the Stanley Cup this past season.

Dominik Hasek: After starting out with the Czechoslovakian national team, Hasek enjoyed one of the most impressive NHL careers in recent memory, winning six Vezina trophies, two Hart trophies, Olympic gold, and two Stanley Cups. Since leaving the NHL in 2008, he has played sparingly in European leagues and was rumored to be considering an NHL comeback as recently as May.

The 1987 Canada Cup was an international hockey tournament which ran from Aug. 28 to Sept. 15 and involved teams from Canada, the Soviet Union, the United States, Sweden, Czechoslovakia and Finland. The three-game final contested between Canada and the USSR is considered by many to be the best exhibition of hockey in history. The tournament also was the only time in a meaningful contest that Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux, the greatest players of their generation, played on the same forward unit. NHL relives the tournament with a five-piece look at an unforgettable tournament.
Lemieux goal capped one of hockey’s great tourneys
Lemieux’s Canada Cup winner remains historic
Canada Cup team set stage for future U.S. success
Eastern Europe saw major change in years after Cup
Gretzky gets to play in Russia with Messier, Dryden
WATCH: Gretzky on series winning goal
David Volek: A young star who eventually defected to play for the New York Islanders, Volek played six NHL seasons before finishing his career with his hometown club in Prague. He since has worked as a scout and coach for the club.

Miroslav Horava: A prominent international player who played parts of three seasons with the Rangers, Horava has worked as a coach with a number of clubs in the Czech Extraliga. He most recently served as coach of Sweden’s legendary Modo club, where he also played for three seasons.

Jiri Hrdina: A winner of three Stanley Cups, Hrdina was almost 30 when he left Czechoslovakia to play for the Calgary Flames. He currently works as an amateur scout for the Dallas Stars.

Vladimir Ruzicka: A high-scoring forward who won gold with the Czech Republic at the 1998 Winter Olympics, Ruzicka spent parts of five seasons in the NHL. After finishing his playing career with Slavia Praha, Ruzicka coached the team for five years before taking over the Czech national team.

Kari Takko: A fixture of Finnish hockey, the goaltender played six NHL seasons, primarily with the Minnesota North Stars. He currently is the Dallas Stars’ lead European scout.

Christian Ruuttu: The center played 10 seasons in the NHL before becoming Phoenix’s director of European scouting. He currently works as a European scout for the Kings; his son, Alexander, was drafted by the Coyotes in 2011.

Raimo Helminen: Known as “the Maestro” in his native Finland, Helminen’s six Winter Olympic appearances remain an all-time record. The center played 117 NHL games, but is a fixture in the Finnish leagues, where he most recently played for Ilves in 2008 at age 44. Since retiring, he has worked as an assistant coach for the club.

Jari Kurri: A five-time Stanley Cup winner and Hall of Famer, Kurri scored 601 goals in his NHL career while being a central figure for his national team. Since retiring, Kurri has served as general manager of the Finnish national team, which won the 2011 World Championship.

Petri Skriko: A young star as a player in Finland, Skriko scored an impressive 154 goals in his first five NHL seasons with Vancouver. He finished his playing career in Denmark and serves as a European scout for the Capitals.

Esa Tikkanen: A five-time Stanley Cup winner, including four alongside countryman Kurri, Tikkanen returned to Finland to close out his playing career. He has been coach of Jokipojat, a Finnish semi-pro team, since 2010.

Kent Nilsson currently works as the Florida Panthers’ international pro scout. (Photo: Getty Images)
Kent Nilsson: The high-scoring center was a star for Calgary before winning a Stanley Cup with Edmonton in 1987. Nilsson was inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame in 2006 and currently works as the Florida Panthers’ international pro scout.

Tommy Albelin: The defenseman played 13 of his 19 NHL seasons in New Jersey, which hired him as an assistant coach following his 2007 retirement. He currently works as an assistant coach for the team’s AHL club in Albany.

Anders Eldebrink: A star player in Europe for several years, Eldebrink became a manager with his hometown club in Sodertalje. Most recently, he served as coach for the Swiss League’s Kloten Flyers.

Bengt-Ake Gustafsson: Since playing nine seasons with the Washington Capitals, Gustafsson has coached numerous teams in four countries. He was formerly coach of the Swiss and Swedish national teams, leading the latter to gold at the 2006 Olympics, and was most recently coach of Atlant Moscow Oblast, becoming the first Swede to be a KHL head coach.

Viacheslav Bykov: A fixture on the dominant Soviet teams of the ’80s, Bykov was a ninth-round draft pick of the Nordiques but never played in the NHL. The four-time world champion was named the Russian national team coach in 2006, leading the squad to back-to-back World Championships in 2008 and 2009.

Viacheslav Fetisov: Generally regarded as among the greatest athletes in Russian history, the national team captain won two Olympic golds, two Stanley Cups, and every honor his home country has been known to offer. After briefly serving as an assistant coach with the Devils, Fetisov became a member of Russia’s federal assembly, chairman of the board of directors of the World Anti-Doping Agency, as well as club president of CSKA Moscow of the KHL.

Alexei Kasatonov: Fetisov’s longtime defensive partner, Kasatonov played seven NHL seasons before eventually returning to Russia to serve as vice president of CSKA. He currently is the general manager of SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL.

Igor Kravchuk: The lone defenseman back on the 3-on-1 that led to Mario Lemieux’s series-winning goal, Kravchuk was a rising young star on a national team that won consecutive Olympic tournaments in 1988 and 1992. Kravchuk played parts of 12 seasons in the NHL before becoming the coach at Harrington College in Oka, Que. Last year he was hired by the Russian national team as a North American scout.

Igor Larionov: Another highly decorated national-team player, Larionov was a dominating center who played 14 NHL seasons and won back-to-back Stanley Cups in Detroit alongside Fetisov. He currently serves as an agent, representing among others Nail Yakupov and Alex Galchenyuk, the first and third players selected, respectively, at the 2012 NHL Draft.

Sergei Nemchinov: One of the first Russian players to have his name etched on the Stanley Cup, the center played 11 NHL seasons. A former coach of Russia’s national team, Nemchinov is the general manager of CSKA Moscow of the KHL.

Tom Barrasso was hired as an assistant with Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the KHL. (Photo: Getty Images)
Tom Barrasso: The 1984 Calder and Vezina Trophy winner won consecutive Stanley Cups with Pittsburgh and an Olympic silver medal in 2002. After serving as an assistant coach with Carolina for four years, the U.S. Hockey Hall of Famer was hired as an assistant with Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the KHL.

Joe Mullen: A three-time Cup winner and Hockey Hall of Famer, Mullen retired as the all-time goals leader among U.S.-born players. Since 2007, he has served as an assistant coach with the Philadelphia Flyers.

Pat LaFontaine: The third pick in the 1983 Entry Draft scored a remarkable 1,013 points in 865 games. Since retiring in 1998, LaFontaine has coached youth hockey in Kings Park, Long Island, N.Y., and founded the Companions in Courage Foundation, a charity that builds interactive playrooms in children’s hospitals.

Joel Otto:Despite being passed over in the draft, Otto played 14 seasons in the NHL, winning the Stanley Cup with Calgary in 1989. Since retiring in 1998, Otto has worked with the University of Calgary hockey program and is an assistant coach with the Calgary Hitmen of the WHL.

Phil Housley: One of the highest-scoring American-born players in NHL history, Housley played 21 seasons, earning seven All-Star game appearances and a silver medal at the 2002 Olympics. He coaches high school hockey in Minnesota and this winter will coach the U.S. at the 2013 World Junior Championship.

Authentic Stars Brian Skrudland Stanley Cup Jersey

Mike Modano was a teammate of defenseman Sergei Zubov on the Dallas Stars from 1996-97 to 2008-09. They won the Stanley Cup together with Dallas in 1999 and reached the Stanley Cup Final in 2000. Here Modano, a center who was inducted in the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2014, shares his thoughts on Zubov, who will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday, in a special testimonial for NHL.com:

When I heard Sergei Zubov Jersey was voted into the Hockey Hall of Fame this year, I was happy for him to finally receive the recognition he deserves.

Sergei isn’t one to sell himself to anybody. He didn’t like the attention. He just liked to fly under the radar and do his job and have some fun.

Although Sergei wasn’t looking for those extra accolades that come with how well he played, I always thought if he played his whole career for the New York Rangers he probably would’ve been voted the Norris Trophy as the best defenseman in the NHL five or six times.

I remember playing against him when he helped the Soviet Union win the gold medal at the 1989 IIHF World Junior Championship in Anchorage, Alaska. He was sending Pavel Bure, Sergei Fedorov and Alexander Mogilny in on breakaways one after another.

Then, I didn’t hear much about him until he got to New York in 1992-93 and it was like, “Oh man. He’s back.”

Sergei Zubov with the New York Rangers

He led the Rangers with 89 points (12 goals, 77 assists) when they won the Stanley Cup in 1994. I know he loved New York and then was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1995.

I’m not sure what happened in Pittsburgh, but things seemed to not click there. When the Stars traded Kevin Hatcher to Pittsburgh for Sergei in 1996, I was like “Wow, how did (Stars) general manager Bob Gainey pull that one off?”

It probably goes down as the best trade the Stars ever made.

Sergei’s impact was instant. He came in and was relaxed. He played with poise. He ran the power play, grabbed a ton of minutes at even strength and even his defensive play without the puck and his positioning was really underrated.

He did a lot of things well and once we got those puck-moving defensemen back there, led by him, then our whole team seemed to change to a more transitional team, defense to offense, and everything seemed to take off from there.

He could wait you out and give you a little bit more space, as far as a forward trying to find that seam or that opening, and he could wait and delay it a little bit more until he saw that perfect little seam and he could thread it in there. And the pass was good. It was flat. It was there. It wasn’t off the glass and off the chest and you had to catch it.

Sergei Zubov with the Dallas Stars

Most defensemen these days hit it off the glass and are safe. He hated that play and it drove him crazy, so I was thankful he didn’t want to do that all the time.

I loved playing with Sergei. We kind of thought the game at the same level and our creativity was a little bit of the same. We saw the same plays. The language of hockey was really easy between the two of us.

Off the ice, we spent a lot of time together. He spent a lot of time with his family at home, but on the road, we had dinner together quite often. We sat together on the plane a lot. He was a great guy. I enjoyed him.

I thought he was a freak of nature. Watching him in the gym, he didn’t really do much. He might ride the bike for a little bit. He wasn’t a big in-season workout guy like a lot of guys were. He grinded out his game on the ice.

Sergei was a big part of the Stars winning the Dallas Stars Stanley Cup Jerseys in 1999. We had a lot of guys coming in as we were putting the pieces together who had won the Cup before such as Mike Keane Jersey, Brian Skrudland Jersey, Guy Carbonneau Jersey and Sergei.

You could tell how they approached the game day in and day out, how professional they were, how committed to what it takes to win. We were all young at the time and we really didn’t know what it took to get to that level until we saw these guys on a dad-to-day basis. Then, it was like, “Wow, that’s really what it’s all about.” That’s what it took to win.

Sergei was one of those guys, for sure. He was backbone of the defensive corps. I think his play kind of filtered throughout the whole defensive corps, his ability to be patient and be in the right position, not panic, make the right play.

It never seemed to bother Sergei that he didn’t receive the individual awards. In general, I think we all have a little burning desire deep down to get a little bit of recognition. As well as he played and as consistent as he was, there probably was a little part of him that thought, “I’m not going to make a fuss about it”, but there was a little bit of a chip on his shoulder, I think, for not getting at least a couple Norris Trophies.

I thought Sergei should have been the hands-down winner for some of those years. But he was always real modest and real humble. He hated talking about himself.

He just let the hockey do the talking when he was on the ice and that was it.

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Nikita Kucherov became the fastest NHL player to reach 100 points in 22 years when he scored a second-period goal for the Tampa Bay Lightning in a 2-1 shootout win against the Buffalo Sabres at Amalie Arena on Thursday.

The 25-year-old forward reached 100 points (30 goals, 70 assists) in Tampa Bay’s 62nd game. That’s the fewest needed to reach triple figures since Mario Lemieux got his 100th point (44 goals, 56 assists) in the Pittsburgh Penguins’ 61st game during the 1996-97 season; Lemieux’s 100th point was an assist on Glen Murray’s game-tying goal in a 3-2 overtime win against the Philadelphia Flyers on March 8, 1997.

No player since then had reached 100 points in fewer than 65 games.

Kucherov also became the first player in Lightning history to have more than one 100-point season; he had exactly 100 points (39 goals, 61 assists) in 2017-18. Kucherov is on pace to finish this season with 132 points, which would be the most in a single season since Lemieux (161 points; 69 goals, 92 assists) and Jaromir Jagr (149; 62 goals, 87 assists) of the Penguins in 1995-96.

Two players in NHL history have reached the 100-point mark in 40 or fewer games: Wayne Gretzky did it four times with the Edmonton Oilers (34 games played in 1983-84, 35 in 1984-85, 38 in 1981-82 and 39 in 1985-86) and Lemieux did it three times (36 games played in 1988-89, 38 in 1995-96 and 38 in 1992-93).

Gallagher powers Canadiens with first NHL hat trick
Brendan Gallagher scored three goals for his NHL hat trick to power the Montreal Canadiens to a 5-1 victory against the Philadelphia Flyers at Bell Centre. The Canadiens (33-21-7) have won back-to-back games and moved within three points of the Toronto Maple Leafs (36-20-4) for third place in the Atlantic Division. The longtime rivals play at Scotiabank Arena on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, CBC, SN, CITY, TVAS, NHL.TV)

The seventh-year forward’s hat trick was the 69th of 2018-19 (939 games played), the highest total at this stage of a season since 1995-96, when there were 86. The Penguins and Winnipeg Jets lead the NHL with six hat tricks each; four teams — the Dallas Stars, Oilers, Minnesota Wild and Ottawa Senators — have none.

Montreal goalie Carey Price made 29 saves and is 7-0-1 with a 1.74 goals-against average and .941 save percentage in his past eight decisions at Bell Centre dating to Jan. 12. In the past 20 years, a goalie has had a point streak of at least eight home games on five occasions; Price had two others, an 11-game streak in 2016-17 and a 10-game streak in 2008-09.

Rookie center Jesperi Kotkaniemi, the No. 3 pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, scored his 11th goal of the season — all at Bell Centre. He’s the third player in NHL history to score the first 11 goals of his career at home. The others are forward Bobby Sheehan (13; eight with Montreal, five with the California Golden Seals) and defenseman Sheldon Souray (11; four with the New Jersey Devils, seven with Montreal).

Gallagher’s first career hatty
01:32 • February 22nd, 2019

Sharks win sixth straight road game
Brent Burns, the scoring leader among NHL defensemen, had a goal and two assists to help the San Jose Sharks defeat the Penguins 4-0 at PPG Paints Arena for their sixth consecutive road win. Goalie Martin Jones made 26 saves in his second shutout of the season for the Sharks, who are 8-1-1 in their past 10 games.

Burns, who leads the Sharks with 68 points (12 goals, 56 assists) in 61 games, was credited with his fifth shorthanded point of the season when he assisted on a first-period goal by forward Evander Kane. Three defensemen in the past 20 years have had more shorthanded points in a single season — Victor Hedman of the Lightning (2013-14), Steve Staios of the Oilers (2002-03) and Chris Phillips of the Senators (2005-06) each had six.

The 33-year-old also led NHL defenseman in scoring with 76 points (29 goals, 47 assists) in 2016-17. Burns had 75 points (27 goals, 48 assists) in 2015-16 and is two points shy of his third 70-point season. The last defenseman to reach 70 points before his team’s 65th game was Ray Bourque of the Boston Bruins in 1993-94, when he had 71 points (16 goals, 55 assists) in 61 games.

Jones is 15-3-1 since Christmas, tying him with Tampa Bay’s Andrei Vasilevskiy for the most wins since the holiday. Jones is 29-11-5 this season and moved into a tie with Marc-Andre Fleury of the Vegas Golden Knights for the NHL lead in wins. The only Sharks goaltender to lead the NHL in wins was Evgeni Nabokov (46 in 2007-08). Antti Niemi tied for the NHL lead with 24 wins in 2012-13.

Milestones for captains
Three team captains had nights to remember.

Alex Ovechkin opened the scoring for the Washington Capitals with a power-play goal in their 3-2 win against the Maple Leafs in Toronto. It was the 650th goal of Ovechkin’s NHL career and his League-leading 43rd this season. The 33-year-old forward is six goals shy of tying Brendan Shanahan (656) for 13th place on the all-time list. The power-play goal was the 243rd of his career, leaving him three behind Phil Esposito (246) for fifth all-time.

Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi had a goal and an assist in a 2-1 win against the Los Angeles Kings at Bridgestone Arena to surpass the 50-point mark; he has 51 points (14 goals, 37 assists) in 63 games. Josi is the first defenseman in Predators history to have four seasons with at least 50 points.

Stars forward Jamie Benn Jersey scored twice in a 5-2 win against the St. Louis Blues at American Airlines Center to reach the 20-goal mark for the ninth time in his NHL career. The only players who’ve had more 20-goal seasons in Stars/Minnesota North Stars history are Mike Modano Jersey (16) and Brian Bellows Jersey (10). Benn also helped the Stars end the Blues’ 11-game winning streak, the longest in the NHL this season.

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Who should be the Last Men In representative for the Central Division in the 2020 Honda NHL All-Star Game at Enterprise Center in St. Louis on Jan. 25?

There are seven candidates, one from each team in the division, in the fan vote, which runs through Jan. 10: Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks, Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche, Jamie Benn Jersey of the Dallas Stars, Ryan Suter of the Minnesota Wild, Matt Duchene of the Nashville Predators, David Perron of the St. Louis Blues and Patrik Laine of the Winnipeg Jets.

The player with the most votes from each of the four divisions will be added to the All-Star Game rosters.

Though fans can make their picks here, three NHL.com writers had their own debate over who should be the pick for the Central.

Tracey Myers, staff writer
This is an easy one. It’s Perron. The production of the Blues forward has made the loss of Vladimir Tarasenko to a shoulder injury a little easier. I know the Blues are deep, but Perron has been at another level in the first half of the season. He is the Blues leading scorer with 40 points (16 goals, 24 assists) in 42 games. Get him into the All-Star Game!

Dan Rosen, senior writer
I thought about Perron. But I can’t stop with the Makar buzz. Not even an injury that kept the rookie defenseman out of the Avalanche lineup for eight games from Dec. 9-23 can stop me from picking him to be an all-star. He’s 21 years old and he’s playing like a veteran. Despite missing the eight games, he leads all NHL rookie defensemen and is seventh among all NHL defensemen with 31 points (nine goals, 22 assists). Makar plays an average of 20:28 per game for one of the best teams in the League. He’s quick, smart, exciting and fun to watch. He’d be terrific in a 3-on-3 tournament, moving the puck to teammates Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen, like he does so well for the Avalanche. Perron is a good choice, Tracey, but the event needs a rookie and Makar is certainly deserving.

Nick Cotsonika, columnist
Not surprisingly, Tracey is right, and Dan is wrong. As much as I love Makar as a player, it’s Perron. Easily. The game is in St. Louis, he was part of the Blues’ Stanley Cup championship team last season. He has six more points than any of his teammates. He has scored six game-winning goals, tied for most in the NHL. He has scored four overtime goals, most in the NHL. He could have been on the Central Division roster in the first place.

Oh sure, Nick, why don’t we just put every Blues player in the game? Alumni too. Last Men In: Brett Hull. Wait, no, Chris Pronger.

Seriously, Perron is deserving, as I mentioned, but Makar is as well. The Central Division has two defensemen on the roster. Is it a must to have three? No. But it would be wrong to deny Makar the chance to showcase his remarkable ability on the national stage. Nick and Tracey like Perron and that’s fine, but for this vote and this debate they’re blinded by points, the silver trophy and the location of the event. I can see and that means once again I’m right in my analysis, Makar for the win.

I thought my bob-and-weave skills were going to be handiest while walking the very crowded Cotton Bowl Stadium concourse prior to the Winter Classic but I guess I need to dodge Dan’s barbs, too. Fine. I’ll roll with it and stand by my pick. Besides, the home crowd in St. Louis wants to see as many of their conquering heroes as possible. So again, I’m right. And Nick’s right, too. And that’s about as much as I’ll ever kiss up to a colleague.

Finally, Dan has a good idea. Yes, please, put Brett Hull Jersey in the game. That would be entertaining. The All-Star Game isn’t the NHL Awards. Though it is an honor to be selected, it is for the fans, and with the game in St. Louis, especially following the first Stanley Cup victory in their history, if there is a close call, it should go to a Blues player. As for Makar, I’m not worried. He has plenty of All-Star Games in his future.

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DALLAS — The transformation of the historic Cotton Bowl Stadium into the stage for the 2020 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic began on Tuesday with the arrival of the NHL Ice Plant Truck.

The Dallas Stars and Nashville Predators will play the first outdoor NHL game in Texas on Jan. 1 (2 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVAS).

“Today is Day One on the build,” Derek King, senior manager of facilities operations/hockey operations for the NHL said. “The crew is starting to put down the armor deck. We’ll get the field covered today.

“Tuesday to Friday will be the entire rink build. We’ve got the ice plant truck parked and the generators parked today. The crew is working on a lot of the stuff up at the truck and making our connections to run the pipes down. On Friday, we are looking to do dashers. On Saturday, we will start to get everything circulating on the floor. On Saturday evening, we will start making the ice surface.”

Marty Turco Jersey, former Stars goalie and president of the Dallas Stars Foundation, and Brenden Morrow Jersey, former Stars captain and Director of Business and Hockey Development, were on hand for the beginning of the transformation.

“This is a big day for us,” Turco said. “It’s been a great year for our organization. To get this game and watch that truck roll up here today, it’s pretty cool for our group. We’re not shocked about the ticket sales or anything. Our fans are the best and they’re going to get rewarded with a great game in this building.”

“Back in the early ’90′s, people didn’t expect hockey to be in Dallas, nevertheless to have an outdoor game here,” Morrow said. “It’s pretty unexpected. We’ve come a long way and it’s a big treat and a big thrill for the Dallas Stars to be able to host it.”

The Ice Plant is a 53-foot, 300-ton capacity refrigeration unit that removes heat from the surface of the ice and stabilizes the temperature around 22 degrees Fahrenheit. It also pumps as much as 3,000 gallons of glycol coolant into custom-made aluminum trays that are configured on the field of the stadium.

King expects the surface to be completed by Dec. 29 or 30. Making the ice will take place at night.

One of the key concerns for King and the crew when creating an outdoor rink is the weather.

“The weather is a challenge for all of these outdoor games, so we’ll monitor that closely,” King said. “We’ve got a monitoring system that we’ll put in the ice and a weather station on the field. If it’s going to be bright and sunny during the day, we’ll cover the sheet.

“The making of the ice will be done overnight. It will be a lot of long nights for the crew that will be doing that.”

It was sunny and around 50 degrees on Tuesday. The 10-day forecast shows temperatures reaching as high as 67 degrees, but the temperature on Jan. 1 is projected to be around 45 degrees.

Regardless of the weather over the next 15 days, King and his crew will be prepared to preserve the ice surface.

“We have a lot of technology for how we can run the truck and how we can monitor it,” King said. “I try not to look at the weather forecast too much. I’ve got a great crew of guys and some of them have done 21 games now, so they’re very familiar with what we do.”

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Former NHL defenseman Brent Sopel has found a way to combine his love of hockey and a cause close to his heart.

Sopel, 40, and his teenage daughter, Lyla, have dyslexia, a learning disability that makes it difficult to interpret words, letters and other symbols. The 12-year League veteran, who won the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010 and last played in the NHL during the 2010-11 season, is the driving force behind Play with the Pros, a youth clinic being held Saturday at Rocket Ice Skating Rink in Bolingbrook, Illinois, in conjunction with the Brent Sopel Foundation.

All proceeds will benefit dyslexia therapist training and the Dyslexia Buddy Network.

Also expected to take part in the clinic are Blackhawks forward Ryan Hartman, Ottawa Senators forward Ryan Dzingel and former NHL players Adam Burish, Ben Eager, Daniel Carcillo and Brad Lukowich Jersey.

Sopel wants to have more teachers in classrooms point out learning disabilities affecting children and get them the help they need.

“I started [this foundation] because I never want another kid to feel the way I do each day,” said Sopel, who had 218 points (44 goals, 174 assists) in 659 games with the Vancouver Canucks, New York Islanders, Los Angeles Kings, Blackhawks, Atlanta Thrashers and Montreal Canadiens. “Kids are the future of this world.

“It was actually after [my daughter's] neuropsych test when they were going through her answers, that’s when I really found out what I had and how identical her answers were and my answers were. If it wasn’t for her getting tested, she wouldn’t have known and I still wouldn’t have known why I struggle the way that I do.”

Sopel is hoping the project expands.

“I want to grow the clinic nationwide,” he said. “Right now I only have Chicago … I want to start slow and make sure it’s done perfectly.

“There’s a lot of people out there that don’t really have any clue about dyslexia. It’s a way to find a way to support these kids.”