The best pure goal scorer for every NHL team

It is hockey’s most valuable skill and the one that is most difficult to consistently do well — goal scoring. Some players are great at it because they have a great shot, a lightning quick release or just have a knack for being in the right place at the right time. Every team needs a great goal scorer to win, and here we take a look at the best pure goal scorer on every team in the NHL. Some you know well, but others may not get the recognition they fully deserve.  1 of 31

Anaheim Ducks: Rickard Rakell

With Corey Perry now playing in Dallas, and Ryan Getzlaf getting older, the Ducks’ best goal scorer is the 26-year-old Rakell. His production slumped a bit this past season, but before that he scored 97 goals in the three previous seasons, including a pair of seasons with at least 33 goals. He does not get a lot of attention around the league, mainly because the team around him has not been great, but he is an outstanding player.  2 of 31

Arizona Coyotes: Phil Kessel

The Coyotes have not had a player like Kessel in more than a decade. He may be getting older and have his share of flaws away from the puck, but he can also still be one of the NHL’s best offensive player. Arizona needed an impact player who could be the focal point of the offense, and he provides exactly that.  3 of 31

Boston Bruins: David Pastrnak

The Bruins have the NHL’s best line with Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and Pastrnak. Bergeron and Marchand are the superstars, and Pastrnak is set to join them. He has topped the 30-goal mark in three straight seasons and had he not missed nearly 20 games due to injury a year ago, he would have been a near lock for 40 goals. If you wanted a sleeper pick for the NHL’s goal scoring crown this year, he would be a good choice given his talent and the quality of the players around him.  4 of 31

Buffalo Sabres: Jeff Skinner

After being a top goal scorer without the luxury of playing next to a legitimate No. 1 center in Carolina, Skinner arrived in Buffalo at the start of the 2018-19 season and found an instant chemistry alongside Jack Eichel. Playing next to one of the league’s best young players helped him produce his first-ever 40-goal season and landed him a huge long-term contract to stay in Buffalo. He may not score 40 every year, but with combination of his quick shot and Eichel’s playmaking, he should always have a chance to do it.  5 of 31

Calgary Flames: Matthew Tkachuk

Just three years into his career, and Tkachuk is already an impact player in every possible way. He scores goals, he makes plays, he agitates opponents and he plays on the edge of the line. He is basically the Western Conference version of Brad Marchand. He is going to be a 35-40 goal winger for a long time. 

Carolina Hurricanes: Sebastian Aho

In just a couple of years the answer to this question will be Andrei Svechnikov, but for now Aho still gets the edge because he has done it consistently over three years in the league. He may not be a challenger for the league lead, but he is going to score 25-30 goals every year throughout his prime. Add in his playmaking and two-way game, and you have a great franchise player.  7 of 31

Chicago Blackhawks: Alex DeBrincat

Is it a bold call to choose DeBrincat over, say, Patrick Kane? Probably, and maybe Blackhawks fans disagree, but DeBrincat is just now entering his third year in the league and already has 70 goals in 168 games, including a 41-goal performance in his second year. He is going to be the foundation of the next chapter in the Blackhawks franchisee. He is also one of the latest examples that teams should not be afraid to take smaller, undersized players. Talent wins.  8 of 31

Colorado Avalanche: Nathan MacKinnon

After bursting onto the scene as an impact rookie at the age of 18, MacKinnon’s career kind of leveled off for a few years. Then he blossomed into a mega star and one of the league’s best players. He is the cornerstone piece of a team that should be a Stanley Cup contender for the foreseeable future and has scored 80 goals over the past two full seasons.  9 of 31

Columbus Blue Jackets: Cam Atkinson

It is a good bet that Cam Atkinson is a lot better than you realize. One of the most overlooked players in the league, Atkinson has scored 35, 24 (in only 65 games), and 41 goals the past three seasons, respectively. With Artemi Panarin now in New York playing for the Rangers, Atkinson is going to have to be one of the go-to players in the Blue Jackets lineup.  10 of 31

Dallas Stars: Joe Pavelski

Pavelski was the Stars’ big offseason acquisition this summer, as they hoped he could be one of the missing pieces in their lineup. They needed secondary scoring, and Pavelski has been one of the league’s best goal scorers for the past six years. A late bloomer when it comes to being an impact player, Pavelski is coming off a 38-goal season for the Sharks, the fifth 30-goal season of his career. 

Detroit Red Wings: Dylan Larkin

One of the league’s fastest players, Larkin finally had a big breakout goal-scoring year during the 2018-19 season and recorded his first 30-goal season. Even though it seems like he has been around forever, he is still only 23 years old and is one of the bright spots on a rebuilding Red Wings team. He figures to be a huge part of their future.  12 of 31

Edmonton Oilers: Connor McDavid

He already has a pair of 40-goal seasons on his resume, and it is only a matter of time until he hits 50. Combined with his game-breaking speed and precision passing, he is the most complete offensive player in the sport and seems like a lock to finish near the top in every major offensive category every year as long as he stays healthy. He has already won two scoring titles, and there is almost certainly a goal scoring crown in his future.  13 of 31

Florida Panthers: Aleksander Barkov

He is one of the league’s best all-around players and is an absolute steal under the salary cap. Along with his great defensive play and superb playmaking, he also has scored at a 30-goal pace the couple of years. He is only 24 years old and might still have his best days ahead of him.  14 of 31

Los Angeles Kings: Ilya Kovalchuk

Maybe this is a testament to how far the Kings have fallen the past few years, but Kovalchuk probably really is the answer. At his peak he was one of the most dominant forwards in the league and was the league’s best goal scorer before Alex Ovechkin arrived. He spent a large chunk of his career playing in the KHL only to return this past season. The Kings coaching staff a year ago never seemed to trust him (or want him), but he should be poised for a bounce back year under Todd McLellan.  15 of 31

Minnesota Wild: Eric Staal

This was a toss-up between Staal and Zach Parise. But with Parise slowing down and Staal being the best goal scorer on the team in recent years, we are going with him. A few years ago Staal looked like his career was about ready to come to an end, but joining the Wild seemed to spark something for him and he has been a completely different player, even hitting the 40-goal mark once.

Montreal Canadiens: Brendan Gallagher

Gallagher has really evolved over the years, going from a depth player whose biggest intention seemed to be rattling the cages of his opponents to a legit top-line player who can score 30 goals. He has hit the 30-goal mark in each of the past two seasons and has become one of the Canadiens’ best and most important players.  17 of 31

Nashville Predators: Filip Forsberg

Predators general manager David Poile has assembled his team over the years through a series of major trades. The best of them all was getting Forsberg from the Washington Capitals for Martin Erat. Erat was a flop with the Capitals, while Forsberg has blossomed into one of the league’s best players and an outstanding goal scorer. Since joining the Predators, he has averaged more than 30 goals per 82 games.  18 of 31

New Jersey Devils: Taylor Hall

When healthy, Hall has been everything the Devils wanted him to be when they acquired him from the Edmonton Oilers for Adam Larsson. The big question for the Devils is whether they can convince him to re-sign with the team, especially as they are off to a brutal start of the 2019-20 season.  19 of 31

New York Islanders: Anders Lee

A sixth-round draft pick and at one time an afterthought in the Islanders organization, Lee has transformed into one of the best net-front players in the league and the best goal scorer on the team. With 28 goals a year ago, he showed that his production was not just the result of playing alongside John Tavares and that, yes, he can score on his own and help drive the offense.  20 of 31

New York Rangers: Artemi Panarin

From the moment he arrived in the NHL, Panarin has been one of the league’s most impactful offensive players. He is an outstanding playmaker who makes his linemates better, but he is also an outstanding goal scorer who is going to push the 30-goal mark every year. The Rangers signed him to a massive contract in free agency to be a significant part of their rebuild. 

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Ottawa Senators: Brady Tkachuk

It is slim pickings on this Senators team for goal scoring talent. About 10 years ago the answer would have easily been Bobby Ryan, but he has not been that player for some time now. Brady Tkachuk is in only his second year in the league but has already shown a goal scoring touch and is one of the few bright spots that this team has to build around long term.  22 of 31

Philadelphia Flyers: James van Riemsdyk

Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek and Sean Couturier are the best players on the Flyers, but none of them has ever been a truly great goal scorer. Their brilliance is in their passing (Giroux, Voracek) and defensive play (Couturier). It is van Riemsdyk who has been one of the more overlooked goal scorers in the league and a truly good one. In his first year back with the Flyers in 2018-19, he scored 27 goals in only 66 games.  23 of 31

Pittsburgh Penguins: Sidney Crosby

Crosby is known more for his passing and “200-foot game,” but one of the most overlooked parts of his career is that he has two Rocket Richard Trophies on his resume. He makes the wingers around him better goal scorers, yet he is still the best goal scorer on his team — one of the best players ever.  24 of 31

San Jose Sharks: Logan Couture

With Joe Pavelski now in Dallas and Patrick Marleau at the age of 40, the Sharks do not really have a great pure goal scorer on their roster. They have a lot of great all-around players and impact offensive performers but nobody who has really established himself as a great goal scorer every year. The closest is probably Couture, the team’s best forward. In a good year he will challenge the 35 mark but is usually a good bet to score close to 30 for the Sharks.  25 of 31

St. Louis Blues: Vladimir Tarasenko

He is probably the one player on the Blues’ 2018-19 Stanley Cup winning team who has a shot at the Hall of Fame. He is lock to score at least 30 goals every season and can carry the team’s offense on his back when he is at his best. He also proved to be a big-time performer in the playoffs with 33 goals in 70 career postseason games, including 11 during the team’s championship run. 

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Tampa Bay Lightning: Steven Stamkos

The second best goal scorer of his era, trailing only the great Alex Ovechkin in Washington. Stamkos has five 40-goal seasons on his resume, including a pair of 50-goal campaigns (and one 60-goal season!). The disappointing thing is that his career could look even better had it not been for a run of serious injuries (plus a half-season lockout) between the ages of 23 and 26 that robbed him of a significant portion of his peak years. Even with that, he is still one of the most dangerous goal scorers in hockey.  27 of 31

Toronto Maple Leafs: John Tavares

There is a convincing case to be made for Auston Matthews to get this call for the Maple Leafs (he has scored at a 40-goal pace over the first three seasons of his career), but Tavares is coming off a 47-goal season and has been scoring at an elite rate in the NHL for more than a decade now. That is worth something. A lot, actually. He came to Toronto, his hometown, with huge expectations and a massive free agent contract and not only never seemed phased by the pressure, but he actually had the best season of his career.  28 of 31

Vancouver Canucks: Brock Boeser

It would be tempting to put Elias Pettersson here after the rookie season he had, and he is certainly the Canucks’ most impactful player. But a lot of his rookie goal scoring total came off a hot stretch in the first month of the season that he may not be able to duplicate. Boeser, on the other hand, has shown over two full seasons that he can regularly put the puck in the net. The only thing that has slowed him down is injury. If he can ever play 82 games, he might have a 40-goal season in his future.  29 of 31

Vegas Golden Knights: Max Pacioretty

Mark Stone is the best all-around player on this team, but Pacioretty still gets the slight edge when it comes to pure goal scoring. He may not be the 40-goal threat he was a couple of years ago when he was at his peak in Montreal, but as long as he stays healthy enough to play a full season he should be good for 30-35 goals.  30 of 31

Washington Capitals: Alex Ovechkin

I mean, come on. Who else was this going to be? There is a convincing argument to be made that Ovechkin is the greatest goal scorer who has ever played in the NHL, and he has a legitimate shot to break Wayne Gretzky’s all-time goals record. Even if he does not, the fact he is going to seriously challenge it in this era of defensive, structured hockey with goaltending at the best level it has ever been is an incredible accomplishment. 

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Winnipeg Jets: Patrik Laine

Laine has already proved to be such a great goal scorer that when he scored 30 goals during the 2018-19 season (only his third season in the league) it was viewed as a down year for him. He has scored at least 30 goals every year he has been in the league and seems destined to have a couple of 50-goal seasons in his future. The Jets being positioned to draft him with the No. 2 overall pick in 2016 was one of the biggest turning points for the franchise.

By: Adam Gretz

Biggest surprises of the NHL playoffs so far

With the second round of the NHL playoffs underway, the chances of a perfect bracket are slim to none. According to, there are only five perfect brackets remaining.

Because of the chaos, there have been many surprises since the first game of the 2019 NHL playoffs. We look at the biggest shockers of the first round.

Lightning sent home thanks to Blue Jackets

  • Led by head coach John Tortorella , the Columbus Blue Jackets swept the President’s Trophy winners, even after Tampa’s historical regular season.
  • The Lightning were one of the best offensive teams in the league this season but were outscored, 19-8, in the series and had scarce offensive output from their best players.
  • With 128 points during the regular season, Tampa’s Nikita Kucherov registered only two assists in four games for the Bolts.
  • This is the first time in NHL history that a No. 1 overall seed has been swept in the first round of the playoffs.

The Jets were grounded after six games

  • After making it to the Western Conference finals last season, the Winnipeg Jets were the most favored Canadian squad to make it to the Stanley Cup Finals.
  • The Jets lost in six games to the St. Louis Blues, who have won 12 of their past 16 games dating back to March 16.
  • All of Winnipeg’s losses came by one goal, as well as both their victories.
  • Even in their own arena during Game 5, the Jets allowed three goals in the third period and lost, 3-2.

Some of the league’s top players were shut down

  • Arguably the best player of the past decade, Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby registered one assist in the playoffs — the lowest postseason point total of his career. He finished with a minus-4 in four games, the worst mark of his postseason career.
  • Calgary’s Johnny Gaudreau also finished with one assist in five games with a minus-2 rating after scoring 99 points in the regular season.
  • Ryan Johansen had a goal and an assist for the Predators and was not much of a factor, and the Dallas Stars took advantage, taking the series in six games.
  • Steven Stamkos also had a goal and an assist, with a plus/minus of minus-8. You could say he was a defensive liability for the Lightning.

Golden Knights get robbed in Game 7

  • Up 3-0 in Game 7, Vegas’ Cody Eakin cross-checked San Jose’s Joe Pavelski to the ice. Eakin was given a 5-minute major and a game misconduct.
  • San Jose had an unreal comeback, netting four goals on the 5-minute power play to take the lead, with two goals coming from Logan Couture.
  • The Sharks won with two minutes left in overtime thanks to a goal from Barclay Goodrow, who only played two shifts the entire period.
  • On Thursday, the NHL apologized to the Golden Knights and admitted the referees were incorrect on Eakin’s penalty. That does not change anything for the Golden Knights.

A “Bunch of Jerks” beat the defending champs on the road in Game 7

  • One of the biggest underdogs in the playoffs, the Carolina Hurricanes took the Washington Capitals to double overtime and advanced on a goal from Brock McGinn.
  • The Caps’ Alex Ovechkin had seven goals in the series but finished with a minus-2. He was a force in the offensive end but not so much on defense.
  • Warren Foegele led the Canes with four goals. In 77 regular- season games, Foegele had 10 total goals. The third liner has been great in his first playoff series.
  • The Hurricanes advance to the second round for the first time since 2009, when they made it to the Eastern Conference finals.

By: Trevor Drake

Original Article

Mats Zuccarello has eventful day in first game with Dallas Stars

The Dallas Stars acquired winger Mats Zuccarello Saturday night and brought him to Dallas early Sunday. The team traded two conditional picks for the veteran winger, including a conditional third-round pick in 2020 that could turn into a first-rounder if Zuccarello re-signs with the Stars.

However, Zuccarello was non-committal when asked about his unrestricted free-agent status, according to The Athletic’s Sean Shapiro. The veteran said he isn’t thinking about it right now and his goal is to help the Stars get into the playoffs and beyond.

In other Western Conference notes:

  • Zuccarello, who had a goal and an assist in his debut with Dallas, left Sunday’s game against Chicago with an upper-body injury. Zuccarello was hit in the arm or hand while blocking a shot by Chicago’s Ryan Murphy late in the second period (video link here). Forward Jamie Benn was also declared out with a lower-body injury as the Stars suddenly lost two key players in their newly enhanced lineup. No word on the severity of either injury.
  • TSN’s Ryan Rishaug writes the Edmonton Oilers might still make a move at the deadline, with forward Alex Chiasson being the most viable trade chip. The Oilers would be looking for a pick and Rishaug believes if a team is willing to offer a third-rounder for Chiasson, Edmonton will pull the trigger. Chiasson has 17 goals and has been one of the few bright spots during a dismal season in Edmonton.
  • Fox Sports Andy Strickland reports that Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington will become a Group 2 restricted free agent this summer once he hits 26 games this season. The standard number is 28 games, but Binnington signed his entry-level contract in the 2012-13 season, which had a reduced schedule due to the lockout. His number of games was reduced. The 25-year-old Binnington, who spent a good portion of his career in the AHL, has a 14-2-1 record to go with a 1.70 GAA and a .934 save percentage. He is in line to get a significant pay raise.
  • The San Jose Sharks were without star defenseman Erik Karlsson  on Sunday after he left Saturday’s game after re-tweaking his strained groin, which kept him out of nine games recently. There is no word on how long he will be out, according to Paul Gackle of the Mercury News. Head coach Peter DeBoer expressed optimism that it wouldn’t be long. Of course, DeBoer said the same thing when Karlsson first was injured, which could be worrying. “We have MRIs and those types of things, but you get put in spots, you can re-tweak, you can overextend it,” DeBoer said. “Everybody thinks it’s healthy and then you get hit a certain way. It’s a contact sport. You can’t control that stuff.”

By Holgen Stolzenberg

Original Article

2019 NHL All-Star rosters announced

The NHL has announced the four rosters for the 2019 All-Star Game today, scheduled to be held on January 26th in San Jose. Earlier today, Alex Ovechkin, who was elected captain of Metropolitan Division squad, told the league that he wouldn’t be attending and will accept the punishment of missing one game either before or after the break. Connor McDavid, Nathan MacKinnon, and Auston Matthews will represent the Pacific, Central and Atlantic respectively, as the other captains. A replacement captain for Ovechkin has yet to be named.

The full rosters are as follows:

Pacific Division

John Gibson (ANA)
Marc-Andre Fleury (VGK)

D Erik Karlsson (SJS)
Brent Burns (SJS)
Drew Doughty (LAK)

Connor McDavid (EDM)*
Johnny Gaudreau (CGY)
Joe Pavelski (SJS)
F Elias Pettersson (VAN)
F Clayton Keller (ARI)

Central Division

Pekka Rinne (NSH)
Devan Dubnyk (MIN)

D Roman Josi (NSH)
D Miro Heiskanen (DAL)

Nathan MacKinnon (COL)*
Mikko Rantanen (COL)
Blake Wheeler (WPG)
Patrick Kane (CHI)

Mark Scheifele (WPG)
F Ryan O’Reilly (STL)

Atlantic Division

Jimmy Howard (DET)
G Carey Price (MTL)

Keith Yandle (FLA)
D Thomas Chabot (OTT)

F Auston Matthews (TOR)*
F Nikita Kucherov (TBL)
F Steven Stamkos (TBL)
John Tavares (TOR)

F David Pastrnak (BOS)
F Jack Eichel (BUF)

Full List

By Zach Leach

Blackhawks Trade For Johnny Oduya

Written by Chris Hine at Chicago Tribune

Ever since Johnny Oduya went to the Stars in free agency after the 2015 Stanley Cup run, the Blackhawks have been searching for a defenseman to fill the role he played for them in those playoffs — a defensively dependable blue liner who could eat up 20-plus minutes per night if coach Joel Quenneville asked.

After going through several candidates who didn’t stick a season ago, the Hawks now are turning to … Johnny Oduya.

General manager Stan Bowman said he didn’t envision the Hawks making a big splash before the Wednesday trade deadline, but he delivered a cannonball Tuesday in bringing back the 35-year-old defenseman who helped the Hawks win two Stanley Cups.

The deal came together quickly Tuesday night, a source said. On its face, the Hawks appear not to have surrendered much for Oduya, who will be an unrestricted free agent in the offseason. They traded forward prospect Mark McNeill, who was languishing in Rockford and never quite could crack the Hawks’ roster, and a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2018 draft that could become a third-rounder if the Hawks win two playoff series this season and Oduya plays in 50 percent of the games.

To make the deal work for the salary-cap strapped Hawks, a source told the Tribune the Stars are responsible for half of Oduya’s $3.75 million salary and cap hit.

The price for Oduya was likely lower than it otherwise would be because of injury issues Oduya has battled. Oduya missed much of the last month because of a nagging ankle injury, but he was healthy enough to return to the lineup Sunday against the Bruins and log 18 minutes, 28 seconds of ice time. Oduya also missed time in November and December and has played in just 37 games this season. He has one goal and six assists.

Stars general manager Jim Nill said the Hawks were one of several teams inquiring about Oduya over the last few weeks. He said Oduya is fully healthy now.

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Rangers Shutout Stars, Lundqivst Returns

Written by the AP at Charlotte

Rick Nash and Henrik Lundqvist returned to the New York Rangers’ lineup and were instrumental in their 2-0 shutout of the Dallas Stars on Thursday night.

Nash, who had missed four games with a groin injury, scored an unassisted goal with his team short-handed to snap a scoreless tie in the third period.

Lundqvist, who hadn’t started since a 4-2 loss to the Islanders on Dec. 6, left briefly after getting bowled over behind the net and combined with Antti Raanta for the shutout. Raanta had won three of the previous four games.

“I went out there with a lot of desperation,” said Lundqvist, who has won at least 30 games in 10 of his 11 seasons. “I felt like it was an important game for me to just feel good. My game hasn’t changed over a week, but my mindset has changed.

“It is a new experience for me,” he added.

Nash broke up a pass by Jamie Benn near the Rangers blue line, skated down the ice and put a snap shot past Dallas goalie Antti Niemi at 7:08.

Nash said he benefited from watching teammate Chris Kreider’s unsuccessful breakaway in the second period.

“After watching Chris try it on his breakaway, I thought (Niemi) was kind of cheating the deke, and thought I could kind of catch him off guard,” Nash said.

Mats Zuccarello added an empty-net goal.

Lundqvist actually returned twice on Thursday. Raanta replaced him for 5:31 of the first period after Dallas’ Cody Eakin plowed into Lundqvist behind the net, knocking off his mask as the goalie played the puck along the end boards.

Eakin received a major penalty for charging and a game misconduct.

“The league better do something about that hit,” Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. “It’s everything that you want to take away from the game. A hit to the head, forward motion and it’s a goaltender on top.”

Stars coach Lindy Ruff defended Eakin.

“I understand the call. As a penalty killer, he’s trying to gain speed so he can get back. I know it doesn’t look that way, but there was no intent on his part,” Ruff said.

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Blackhawks Continue to Win, Streak is at 6

Written by Brian Sandalow at Chicago Sun Times

The plot was familiar. The main players were familiar.

So was the result.

Marian Hossa scored the winner with 28.7 seconds left in overtime to give the Blackhawks a 4-3 win Sunday over the Dallas Stars. Jonathan Toews had a goal and two assists, Artem Anisimov stretched his career-best point streak to 11 games, Patrick Kane also scored, and the Hawks overcame a late tying goal in the teams’ second game in two nights.

The Hawks led 3-2 until the 18:40 mark of the third when Gemel Smith re-directed a shot past Scott Darling to even the game and send it to overtime. After killing a Kane penalty in overtime thanks in part to a sprawling save from Darling on Patrick Eaves, Hossa scored with help from an Anisimov screen to give the Hawks the win.

“No one seems to be focused on the win streak that we’re on right now,” Toews said. “We’re just focused on every game. I think that’s a good thing that we’ve got going as well.”

The Hawks had been down 2-0 midway through the second before scoring the next three goals, continuing an ongoing theme for this team. The start was slow, the result ended up good, this time leading to their sixth straight win and a sweep of the home-and-home from Dallas.

“It’s tough to say one reason but I think when the games go on we are in a better rhythm and I think we are playing better than (at) the start,” Hossa said. “That’s the reason, but I think we have to keep improving (and) have better starts because that’s as important as finishing.”

Down 2-1 after Kane’s second-period goal, the Hawks scored twice in 56 seconds early in the third to take the lead. Toews tied the game at the 3:39 mark when he directed a slick Hossa pass past Kari Lehtonen to tie the game. Toews then set up the go-ahead score by driving to the net and firing the puck off Lehtonen’s pads, with Anisimov sending the rebound into the net for the lead.

Though that lead didn’t hold up, the Hawks were able to come away with two more points.

“I think there’s a lot of positives to take away,” Toews said. “I think we’re relying more and more on some young guys in key situations. Four lines are getting involved in getting their minutes up. We’re getting contributions from everyone.”

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Stars Lose Hemsky for 5-6 Months

Written by Chris Peters at

The Dallas Stars have been dealing with a litany of injury issues early this season. One of them was to forward Ales Hemsky, who had been battling a hip ailment sustained at the World Cup of Hockey. Though Hemsky tried to play through the injury, appearing in one game this season, the team expects him to miss an extended period of time now.

The Stars announced Monday that Hemsky underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum. The expected recovery timeline is five to six months.

Hemsky’s one game this season came on Oct. 22. He played over 15 minutes and took 25 shifts in the game, but has not been back since.

The veteran forward has been a solid source of scoring depth for one of the league’s most productive teams over the past two seasons. He had 13 goals and 39 points last season. Meanwhile, the Stars’ overall roster depth has been tested mightily during the early goings of the season.

Top-six winger Patrick Sharp has been dealing with concussion issues for the past two weeks, center Cody Eakin went down with a knee injury and promising young forward Mattias Janmark suffered a knee injury in the preseason that will keep him out five to six months as well.

It has been difficult for the Stars as they haven’t been able to play with their full complement of forwards yet this season. It’s no wonder the team is struggling to score. They are averaging just 2.25 goals per game, which ranks 26th in the NHL. Making matters worse, the Stars are allowing an average of 3.25 goals per game with their goaltenders carrying an .893 save percentage.

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Jamie Benn Gets A Massive Contract Extension

Written by the Dallas Stars Staff at

Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced today at PM Standley Motorcars Party In The Parkthat the team has signed captain Jamie Benn to an eight-year, $76,000,000 contract extension (average annual value of $9,500,000), which will run through the 2024-25 season.

Benn, 26, finished the 2015-16 season ranked second in the NHL and first on the Stars with 89 points (41-48=89) in 82 regular-season games. He also shared second in the NHL in power play goals (17) and ranked third in goals (41), posting new career highs in each category. Benn appeared in all 82 games during the regular season, marking the second consecutive season and the third time in his career that he’s appeared in all 82 contests. During the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Benn finished tied for 14th in the League and led the Stars with 15 points (5-10=15) in 13 postseason contests. He also finished tied for 11th in the NHL with 10 assists in the playoffs, while his six-game point streak was tied for the second-longest in the League during the postseason.

“The Stars are the only organization I know and Dallas is home to me,” said Benn. “In working with the Gaglardi family and Jim Nill, they have made it clear that they are dedicated to winning, and winning the right way. I’m happy to commit to that process for eight more years. My teammates and I value the passion and dedication that we receive from Stars fans and we’re looking forward to getting this season started.”

The seven-year NHL veteran has amassed 448 career points (192-256=448) in 508 regular-season games, all as a member of the Dallas Stars. Benn currently ranks 10th in Stars franchise history with 192 career goals, while he shares seventh in team history with 30 game-winning goals and ranks fourth with 10 shorthanded tallies. He has also made two appearances in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, recording 20 points (9-11=20) in 19 career postseason games.

“Jamie has evolved into one of the most complete players in the NHL and his ability to lead our team is second-to-none,” said Nill. “He impacts the game in so many ways and this signing was extremely important for the direction of the franchise. He’s shown in the playoffs, and at international events like the Olympics and the World Championship, that he is up to any challenge and that his fingerprints will be left on every game. He’s our leader and does things the right way, every day.”

The captain became the first player in team history to win the Art Ross Trophy as the League’s top point scorer after recording an NHL-best 87 points (35-52=87) during the 2014-15 regular season. Benn is also the first player in Stars franchise history to have been named to NHL’s First All-Star Team, earning the nod twice in his career in 2013-14 and 2015-16. He was also named to the NHL’s Second All-Star Team in 2014-15. A finalist for the 2016 Hart Memorial Trophy and Ted Lindsay Award, Benn has made two All-Star Game appearances in 2011-12 and 2015-16.

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Blues Destroy Stars, Advance to WCF

Written by Adam Gretz at

For the first time in 15 years the St. Louis Blues are on their way back to the Western Conference final.

They reached it Wednesday night thanks to their second Game 7 win of the postseason when the crushed the Dallas Stars 6-1. They will now play the winner of Thursday’s Game 7 between the San Jose Sharks and Nashville Predators.

Unlike the Blues’ first Game 7 this postseason, a nailbiter against the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks that came down to a matter of inches, Wednesday’s game quickly turned into a rout thanks to three first-period goals.

With the Stars eliminated, it means that none of the NHL’s regular-season division champions (Washington Capitals, Florida Panthers, Anaheim Ducks and Dallas Stars) will play in the conference finals.

We take a look at all of that with seven takeaways from Wednesday’s Game 7 and the series as a whole.

1. The Stars’ goaltending let them down again. This was a fitting end to the Dallas Stars’ season.

Goaltending was their biggest question mark heading into the playoffs, it was their biggest weakness in the playoffs and Wednesday night it was their biggest problem once again. For the seventh time in 13 games the Stars allowed at least four goals in a game, and it was another tag-team effort by their duo in net. After Kari Lehtonen gave up three goals on eight shots in the first period (plus another one that did not count) he was replaced by Antti Niemi who promptly gave up a goal early in the second period to help put the game out of reach.

The second and third goals surrendered by Lehtonen, which came after a bad-angleVladimir Tarasenko goal was disallowed after an offside review, were not exactly great goals for him to give up. Here is a look at the third one with just under four seconds to play in the period.

The Stars entered the postseason with the worst regular-season save percentage of any team in the playoffs. They ended the playoffs at .889. That level of goaltending will not result in a deep run in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

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