NHL preseason schedule begins with 9 games tonight, NHL Network carries three

Today is a good day to be a hockey fan, even if by the nature of preseason competition, we probably won’t remember these results once the first week of the regular season is over. The NHL’s preseason begins with nine games tonight, three of which will appear on the U.S. version of the NHL Network (although only one is live).

Here’s the games you can see if you have that station, first, from yesterday’s TV schedule. Again, these include the times the games will appear on the network, rather than their actual start times. (I’ll put the actual start times in bold for you.)

(All times listed as ET)

Format: Date, Visitor, Home team, Time, 

Tues, 9/21 New Jersey Devils Philadelphia Flyers 7:00 PM LIVE
Tues, 9/21 Ottawa Senators Toronto Maple Leafs 10:00 PM (actual start time: 7PM ET)
Tues, 9/21 Vancouver Canucks Calgary Flames 2:00 AM * (actual start time: 9PM ET)

Here are the six remaining games:

Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Atlanta Thrashers, 7PM ET

Florida Panthers vs. Carolina Hurricanes, 7PM ET

Colorado Avalanche vs. St. Louis Blues, 8PM ET

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Dallas Stars, 8:30PM ET

Calgary Flames vs. Vancouver Canucks, 10PM ET (Note: the Flames and Canucks are playing “split-squad” games tonight, according to NHL.com.)

Phoenix Coyotes vs. Anaheim Ducks, 10PM ET

So fans rejoice because the exhibitions will begin. October 7th is right around the corner.

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    Report: Coyotes shut down Vitale (concussion) for the season

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    Joe Vitale will not play again this season.

    The Arizona Coyotes have shut Vitale down for the remainder of the 2015-16 campaign due to “concussion-related issues,” according to a report from Sarah McLellan of azcentral sports on Wednesday.

    Vitale, a 30-year-old veteran center, appeared in only one game for the Coyotes this season. That was back on Oct. 17, when he suffered a concussion and broken orbital bone in a fight with Kevan Miller of the Boston Bruins.

    Sens announce Frattin, acquired in Phaneuf deal, will stick with AHL Marlies

    Matt Frattin
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    Matt Frattin was traded by the Leafs to Ottawa yesterday as part of the Dion Phaneuf blockbuster.

    But for now, he’s staying in Toronto.

    On Wednesday, Sens GM Bryan Murray announced that Frattin will remain with the Leafs’ AHL affiliate — the Toronto Marlies — on loan, but will be available for selection should Ottawa require his services down the road.

    Frattin, 28, has spent all of this season with the Marlies, scoring nine goals and 22 points in 47 games. His last NHL appearance came during the ’14-15 campaign, with the Leafs.

    Prior to that, the former North Dakota standout had spent time in Los Angeles and Columbus.

     

    Gaudreau, Monahan, Bouma express remorse after benching

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    One day after getting benched for showing up late for practice — following an “epic” Super Bowl party, per Sportsnet — Calgary forwards Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Lance Bouma apologized for their actions.

    “We want to apologize to the organization, the coaches, our team especially, and the city of Calgary and the fans,” Gaudreau said, per the team’s Twitter account. “For us not to show up like that, and miss a game like that, it’s not professional on our part.”

    “I’m a young guy and I’m a leader on this team,” Monahan added. “I’ve got to step up and take that back and earn that respect again.”

    More on what transpired at Tuesday’s practice, from Sportsnet’s Mark Spector:

    Calgary Flames head coach Bob Hartley did his best to keep an epic Super Bowl party under wraps. But two of his players — Lance Bouma and Sean Monahan — arrived at the Saddledome at 10:15 am for a 10:30 Monday morning practice, and those two barely beat Johnny Gaudreau in the Saddledome doors.

    Then practice started, and in the words of Calgary winger David Jones: “It’s a little embarrassing when we’re not (making) five-foot passes.”

    “I think (Hartley) was pretty pissed off.”

    The trio was then subsequently benched for last night’s game against Toronto, which the Flames won 4-3.

    Afterward, Hartley downplayed the incident, saying “it’s not like they robbed a bank,” before adding “they’re great kids.”

    WATCH LIVE: Rangers at Penguins on Rivalry Night

    New York Rangers v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Three
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    Tonight, the New York Rangers are in Pittsburgh to take on the Penguins at Consol, in a rematch of the ’14 and ’15 playoffs (the Blueshirts eliminated the Pens from each of the last two postseasons, you’ll recall.)

    You can catch the game at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN, or watch live online with NBC Sports’ Live Extra.

    CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

    Some relevant linkage for tonight’s tilt:

    NHL on NBCSN: Rangers, Penguins renew acquaintances on Rivalry Night

    Rangers ‘are doing a lot of good things’

    ‘I wonder if that’s Crosby, what happens?’ — AV upset after McDonagh concussed by Simmonds

    Malkin (lower body) to miss rest of week

    Crosby, Karlsson and Trocheck are NHL’s three stars of the week