Edmonton Oilers v Phoenix Coyotes

PHT Morning Skate: Where Hall admits Clutterbuck hit video looks bad

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Edmonton Oilers forward Taylor Hall, who is serving a two-game suspension for his hit on Minnesota’s Cal Clutterbuck, understands that the footage “was kind of damming.” At the same time, there are some areas that Hall and NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan don’t see eye-to-eye on. (Edmonton Sun)

New Jersey Devils forward Ilya Kovalchuk, who made the same shift from left to right wing that Washington’s Alex Ovechkin is now going through is confident that Ovechkin is going to make it work. Ovechkin is certainly making it easy to believe in him lately, given that he has six goals and 11 points in his last nine games. (Washington Times)

Coach Pete DeBoer refused to blame the New Jersey Devils loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday on a controversial call late in the game. (The Bergen Record)

Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle put part of the blame for Saturday’s 3-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators on himself. He feels that he should have called a timeout just prior to a faceoff in the Leafs’ zone with 28 seconds remaining in regulation time. Ottawa’s Colin Greening scored the game-winner off of the faceoff. (Sportsnet)

The Dallas Stars summoned defensemen Jamie Oleksiak and Carl Sneep from the minors. (NHL.com)

Even with many of their top players injured, the Ottawa Senators are still finding ways to cobble together wins. (Ottawa Sun)

Chicago Blackhawks forward Viktor Stalberg admits that it’s hard not to think about the fact that he’s scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. At the same time, knowing that this might be his last year with the Blackhawks, he wants to make it count. (Chicago Tribune)

Teemu Selanne has a knack for reaching milestones against the Colorado Avalanche. He achieved his latest on Sunday when he scored his 250th power-play goal. Only two other players in NHL history – Brett Hull and Dave Andreychuk – have exceeded Selanne’s efforts in that category. (Ducks.nhl.com)

Sidney Crosby scored twice to help the Pittsburgh Penguins earn a 5-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday. If you missed the contest, you can view the highlights below:

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Video: Beagle gets stick stuck in visor

Beagle
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Through 40 minutes of action in Game 1 of the second round series between Pittsburgh and Washington and we’ve already seen some big moments, along with a pretty unusual one.

Beagle ended up with a stick lodged into his visor towards the end of the second frame. He tried to get it out himself, but ended up having to go to the bench for assistance. You can see that below:

Stamkos close to game shape, but return might be weeks or months away

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos (91) competes in the hardest shot competition at the NHL hockey All-Star game skills competition Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
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Steve Stamkos began to practice again on Tuesday and he was back out there on Wednesday and Thursday, which some might interpret as him being close to returning. It seems premature to say that definitively.

“It could be weeks. It could be months,” Stamkos said of his timetable, per ESPN. “That’s the tough part.”

The problem isn’t getting back into game shape after undergoing vascular surgery in early April. He feels he’s already close to reaching that objective. The issue is that Stamkos is on blood thinners, which prevents him from taking any contact. It remains to be seen how long he’ll be on blood thinners.

For what it’s worth, Tampa Bay’s Andrei Vasilevskiy underwent the same surgery and was out for two months and the original timetable provided on April 4 for Stamkos was one-to-three months. So based on that, it sounds like it would be surprising if he returned anytime soon.

Bergeron, Kesler, Kopitar named Selke finalists

Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron celebrates after scoring against the Montreal Canadiens during the second period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016, in Montreal. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press via AP)
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Will Patrice Bergeron join Bob Gainey as the only players to have ever won the Selke Trophy four times?

That’s a distinct possibility after the Bruins center was named as a finalist along with Anaheim’s Ryan Kesler and Los Angeles’ Anze Kopitar.

The Selke Trophy honors the league’s top defensive forward and for three of the last four years, that distinction has gone to Bergeron. However, Kesler and Kopitar have been popular with the voters of this award as well.

Kopitar has finished second in the voting in each of the previous two campaigns while Kesler won back in 2011, though he finished outside of the top-five in each of the last three years prior to the 2015-16 campaign.

Among the trio, Kesler excelled this season on the draw with a 58.5% success rate, which was good for second in the league among forwards who took at least 200 faceoffs. Bergeron was up there too, winning 57.1% of his draws while Kopitar posted a 53.5%. Meanwhile, Bergeron ranked seventh in the NHL with 67 takeaways compared to Kesler’s 39 and Kopitar’s 43. Where Kopitar stood out was in plus/minus as he finished second in the league at plus-34. Kesler was plus-five and Bergeron was plus-12.

Kopitar similarly led the trio with a 57.4% Corsi For versus Bergeron’s 55.9% and Kesler’s 52.9%.

Capitals get Orpik back for series opener

Washington Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik (44) celebrates his goal with teammates on the bench during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the New Jersey Devils, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016, in Washington. The Capitals won 4-3. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
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Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik missed half of Washington’s first round series, but he’s back in time for the opener against his former team.

Orpik last played on April 18 and was regarded as questionable going into tonight’s contest against Pittsburgh. He’s expected to be paired with John Carlson throughout the contest.

Washington’s other projected pairings are Karl Alzner and Matt Niskanen as well as Dmitry Orlov and Nate Schmidt.

Orpik was limited to 41 games during the 2015-16 regular season, but when he did play he averaged 19:48 minutes per contest. He also recorded 125 hits and 102 blocked shots despite missing half the season. The 35-year-old blueliner got his start with Pittsburgh and played in 703 regular season contests with them and an additional 92 postseason contests. This is his second season with Washington.