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Who’ll have best odds at ’13 NHL Draft Lottery?

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The NHL will hold a draft lottery on Monday in which, for the first time ever, all 14 participants will have a chance at winning the first overall selection.

This marks a dramatic shift in the drafting process.

In previous years, the NHL lottery only allowed teams to move up a maximum of four spots and down a maximum of one.

Under the new structure, the NHL has trended towards the lottery process favored by the NBA, which has yielded some crazy results.

(Exmaple: In 1993, Orlando won the No. 1 pick despite finishing the ’91-92 season with a .500 record, holding just a 1.52 percent chance of winning the lottery.)

Here are the likelihoods (in percentages) of each team getting the first pick at Monday’s lottery:

30th place — 25.0%
29th — 18.8%
28th — 14.2%
27th — 10.7%
26th — 8.1%
25th — 6.2%
24th — 4.7%
23rd — 3.6%
22nd — 2.7%
21st — 2.1%
20th — 1.5%
19th — 1.1%
18th — 0.8%
17th — 0.5%

As for the teams “vying” for the best odds?

At the time of writing, Florida sits dead last in the NHL with 34 points.

The only way the Panthers could move out of 30th is by winning their final two games of the year (against Toronto, Tampa Bay) and have 29th-place Colorado, currently with 37 points, fail to earn any from its final two games (against Phoenix, Minnesota).

Should both teams finish with 38 points, Colorado would “win” the tiebreaker by way of more regulation and overtime victories — so, the likelihood is that Florida will finish in 30th and Colorado 29th.

Where things get interesting is with the teams sitting 28-24th.

Standings currently look like this:

source:

The real wildcard here will be Calgary who, in addition to its own pick, also hold St. Louis’ and Pittsburgh’s first-rounders in 2013.

The Flames aren’t exactly tanking for better odds for No. 1 — they’re 6-4 in their last 10 — but could still drop all the way to 28th by season’s end, and hold 14.2 percent odds to win Monday’s lottery.

Another team to watch will be Edmonton.

The Oilers have plummeted in the standings thanks to a 1-9 mark over their last 10, and are in the mix to pick first overall for the fourth year in a row.

If that happens, Edmonton will become the first team in NHL history to pick No. 1 for four straight years. Previously, the only other team to do it three times in a row was Quebec, from 1989-91 (Mats Sundin, Owen Nolan and Eric Lindros).

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Video: Penguins coach takes issue with late, high Orpik hit on Maatta

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The Pittsburgh Penguins have spoken out against a late, high hit that Washington Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik threw on Olli Maatta early in the first period of an eventful Game 2 on Saturday.

Maatta left and didn’t return. He played only 31 seconds, and the Penguins were reduced to five defensemen for a large portion of the game. Orpik was given a minor penalty on the play, but the league’s Department of Player Safety may see it differently.

The hit occurred well after Maatta had gotten rid of the puck. He struggled on his way to the dressing room for further evaluation.

Based on multiple reports, Orpik wasn’t made available to the media following the game, which went to the Penguins as they earned the split on the road.

But the Penguins have taken issue with the hit.

“I thought it was a late hit,” said Penguins coach Mike Sullivan, as per CSN Mid-Atlantic. “I thought it was a target to his head. I think it’s the type of hit everyone in hockey is trying to remove from the game.”

Game on: Penguins even series with rival Capitals

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The Pittsburgh Penguins will head back home with a split of their second-round series with the rival Washington Capitals.

Former Capitals forward Eric Fehr came back to burn his hold team, as he scored with under five minutes remaining in regulation to help lift the Penguins over Washington with a 2-1 victory in an eventful Game 2 on Saturday. Evgeni Malkin threw the puck toward the net and Fehr was able to re-direct it by Braden Holtby.

Oh, this was an eventful game, indeed.

It started early in the first period with Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik catching Penguins blue liner Olli Maatta with a late and high hit that warranted — at least for now — only a minor penalty for interference. Maatta, clearly in distress following the hit, didn’t play another shift and saw only 31 seconds of ice time in total, as Pittsburgh was reduced to five defensemen for the remainder of the game.

It continued in the third period. Kris Letang was furious after getting called for a trip on Justin Williams, and even more ticked off when the Capitals tied the game on the ensuing power play.

For two periods, the Capitals couldn’t get much going. Only four of their players had registered a shot on goal through 40 minutes, while the Penguins held the edge in that department and held the lead.

Washington came out with more jump in the third period, testing rookie netminder Matt Murray with 14 shots in the final 20 minutes. But the Penguins got the late goal to break the deadlock.

Video: Penguins’ Letang was furious after Capitals tie up Game 2 with power play goal

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Kris Letang watched from the penalty box as the Washington Capitals tied up Game 2 with a power play goal in the third period. The Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman was called for tripping after he appeared to muscle Justin Williams off the puck as he entered the zone.

Letang let his disagreement with the call be known at the time, and was furious after the Capitals capitalized on a goal from Marcus Johansson.

The Capitals started the period down a goal and being outshot 28-10 by the Penguins, who need a win to even the series.

Also, it seems this is worth mentioning:

Video: Hagelin goes top shelf to give Penguins the lead in Game 2

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In their quest to even the series, the Pittsburgh Penguins had done a nice job through two periods of suffocating the Washington Capitals, while gaining the lead on a beautiful goal.

Carl Hagelin took advantage of a vast amount of space that opened up in front of the Washington net, finishing off a nice pass from Nick Bonino, burying his shot just under the cross bar on the glove side of Braden Holtby.

Through two periods, the Penguins were outshooting Washington 28-10. Only four Capitals players — Alex Ovechkin, T.J. Oshie, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Matt Niskanen — had registered shots on goal.