Brianna Decker #14 of Team USA shoots the puck past Shannon Szabados #1 of Team Canada to score during the IIHF Womens World Championship Gold Medal Game at Scotiabank Place on April 9, 2013 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
(April 8, 2013 - Source: Richard Wolowicz/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images North America)

PHT Morning Skate: Where America wins gold over Canada in Women’s World Championship

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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.

Shane Doan reflects on growing up in Alberta and watching games at the Edmonton Oilers’ Rexall Place. His Phoenix Coyotes will play in Edmonton on Wednesday in a must-win game for both teams. (Edmonton Journal)

Garret Ross has inked an entry-level deal with the Chicago Blackhawks. After being taken in the fifth round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Ross stepped up with 90 points and 114 penalty minutes in 61 games with the OHL Saginaw Spirit in 2012-13. (Blackhawks.nhl.com)

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Simon Despres has spent two straight games in the press box. When asked if the decision to put Robert Bortuzzo in the lineup instead of Despres was a difficult one, coach Dan Bylsma replied with “no” three times. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

As weird as it might feel be for many people in Toronto, the odds are overwhelmingly in favor of the Maple Leafs playing in postseason contests this year. That would end the longest active playoff appearance drought in the NHL (the second longest belongs to the Edmonton Oilers). (Ottawa Citizen)

A look at the 2013 Frozen Four. (Penguins.nhl.com)

38-year-old defenseman Andy Sutton, who is trying to recover from knee surgery, knows his “days on the ice might be numbered.” (Edmonton Journal)

Calgary Flames prospect Johnny Gaudreau will stay in Boston College for the 2013-14 campaign. He’s one of the finalist for the 2013 Hobey Baker Award, which goes to the NCAA’s top player. (Calgary Sun)

The United States defeated Team Canada to secure the gold medal in the 2013 IIHF Women’s World Championship. (Toronto Star)

You can check out the highlights from Chicago’s 1-0 victory over Minnesota below:

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Video: Rangers shut out red-hot Sidney Crosby and the Penguins

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The New York Rangers are likely too far behind the Washington Capitals to take any legitimate run at the Atlantic Division down the stretch.

But winners now of four straight, the Rangers have opened up a bit of a gap between them and other Eastern Conference teams in the playoff race. New York scored a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, winners in six of their last seven games, on Wednesday.

In the process, they held a red-hot Sidney Crosby off the score sheet, which has been a difficult, sometimes impossible task for opposing teams since about the middle of December. He entered this game with a seven-game scoring streak.

(In fact, New York held No. 87 to without a shot on goal in the entire game.)

Henrik Lundqvist stopped all 34 shots he faced for the shutout.

Kevin Hayes gave the Rangers the lead in the first period, before Dominic Moore and Jesper Fast put the game away in the third.

Pittsburgh remains in the second Wild Card spot in the East. The Rangers now move three points clear of the rival Islanders for second in the Metropolitan.

Video: Wideman hearing ‘a tricky case’ as NHLPA hopes to get 20-game suspension reduced

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There is no certain timeline for when NHL commissioner Gary Bettman might rule on Dennis Wideman‘s appeal, according to a report from hockey insider Darren Dreger on NBCSN, as the Calgary Flames defenseman hopes to get his 20-game ban for hitting linesman Don Henderson reduced.

“Now, ultimately what they’re hoping from a Wideman perspective and the Players’ Association is that commissioner Gary Bettman will rule and he will reduce the number of games suspended down from 20,” said Dreger during a segment on NBCSN.

“Is he going to reduce it by three games? Five games seems a bit of a stretch. And when might he do that? There’s no timeline on this.”

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

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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.