Mats Zuccarello #36 of the New York Rangers celebrates a goal against the Philadelphia Flyers during their game on March 6, 2011 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York.
(March 5, 2011 - Source: Al Bello/Getty Images North America)

Report: Zuccarello on brink of joining Rangers


The New York Rangers appear to be close to getting a key reinforcement in their battle for a playoff spot.

25-year-old forward Mats Zuccarello has reached an agreement that would reunite him with the Rangers, according to ESPN’s Katie Strang and TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

The 5-foot-7 Norwegian still needs to be released from his KHL contract before he can return to the NHL, but he does have an out-clause in his deal with Magnitogorsk Metallurg. Barring a setback, the Rangers might get Zuccarello by this weekend.

It’s also worth noting that because Zuccarello was already on the Rangers’ RFA/reserve list, he won’t have to be exposed to waivers.

Zuccarello has eight goals and 26 points in 52 career NHL games. He was also roughly a point-per-game player in the AHL in 2011-12 and had 28 points in 44 KHL games this season.

Rangers prospect Jesper Fast might also be brought to New York after scoring 18 goals and 35 points in 47 Swedish Elite League games in 2012-13.

In Jets return, Burmistrov delivers headshot to Bergeron (Updated)

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Didn’t take long for Alex Burmistrov to make his presence felt — though not in a good way.

Burmistrov, playing in his first game for the Jets after a two-year stint in Russia, delivered a questionable elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of Thursday’s season-opener:

Burmistrov received a two-minute minor for an illegal check to the head, while Bergeron received a matching minor for roughing (retaliating for the elbow, specifically).

The Bruins went into the intermission leading 1-0, and have yet to update Bergeron’s status.

Update: Bergeron stayed in the game, but B’s head coach Claude Julien was none too pleased with the hit. Following the game, he called for the NHL’s Department of Player Safety to look at it…

Two-for-two: Another successful coach’s challenge as Sens reverse Kane’s goal

Dave Cameron
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Coaches are quickly getting the hang of this challenge thing.

Following Mike Babcock’s successful challenge in Toronto’s opening-night loss to Montreal on Wednesday, Babcock’s provincial rival — Sens head coach Dave Cameron — got it right as well, successfully reversing Evander Kane‘s would-be equalizer in the third period.

From the league:

At 10:34 of the third period in the Senators/Sabres game, Ottawa requested a Coach’s Challenge to review whether Buffalo was off-side prior to Evander Kane’s goal.

After reviewing all available replays and consulting with NHL Hockey Operations staff, the Linesman determined that Buffalo’s Zemgus Girgensons was off-side prior to the goal. According to Rule 78.7, “The standard for overturning the call in the event of a ‘GOAL’ call on the ice is that the Linesman, after reviewing any and all available replays and consulting with the Toronto Video Room, determines that one or more Players on the attacking team preceded the puck into the attacking zone prior to the goal being scored and that, as a result, the play should have been stopped for an “Off-side” infraction; where this standard is met, the goal will be disallowed.”

Therefore the original call is overturned – no goal Buffalo Sabres.

The clock is re-set to show 9:32 (10:28 elapsed time), when the off-side infraction occurred.

As the league later noted, this was the first coach’s challenge under the offside scenario.