Mikko or Saku Koivu to captain at Olympics, says Finland coach

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One of the NHL’s two Koivu brothers — Minnesota’s Mikko or Anaheim’s Saku — will captain Team Finland at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, according to head coach Erkka Westerlund.

“It’s a question between the Koivu brothers as to who will be the captain,” Westerlund told the Minnesota Star-Tribune. “I’ve known Mikko since he was this high … [holding his left hand four feet off the ground]. He’s a strong leader on our team.

“He knows what he wants. He can help the teammates play better.”

The Koivu brothers have essentially held the “C” for Finland internationally over the last 15 years. Saku’s worn it for the majority of tournaments — since the ’98 Olympics in Nagano — but Mikko has nudged his way in over recent tourneys, including captaining the Finns to gold at the 2011 World Championships.

It might come as a surprise that veteran Teemu Selanne isn’t in the mix. The 43-year-old is arguably the greatest Finnish player of all time and looking to cap off a glorious international career that began at the ’92 games in Albertville.

While it doesn’t appear Selanne will be in the mix for the captaincy, Westerlund did say he’d consult with Selanne and Finland GM Jari Kurri before formally announcing who’ll get the “C.”

Video: Flyers’ Konecny scores first NHL goal

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Through six games of the NHL season, Travis Konecny enjoyed a nice start to his rookie campaign with five assists. Just one thing was missing, though.

On Tuesday, he took care of that against the Buffalo Sabres.

Konecny, taken 24th overall in the 2015 NHL Draft, deflected an Ivan Provorov point shot early in the third period, beating goalie Anders Nilsson on the glove side for his first NHL goal.  That goal also got the Flyers on the board.


Konecny and Provorov make Flyers, expected ‘to be here all year’

WATCH LIVE: Ducks at Sharks

ANAHEIM, CA - DECEMBER 04:  Martin Jones #31 of the San Jose Sharks and Paul Martin #7 of the San Jose Sharks defend against the shot of Corey Perry #10 of the Anaheim Ducks during a game at Honda Center on December 4, 2015 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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California rivals clash tonight, as the Anaheim Ducks visit the San Jose Sharks. This marks the first meeting of the season between the two Pacific Division teams.

The Sharks have lost two games in a row, while the Ducks have won two straight.

You can catch tonight’s game on NBCSN or with the NBC Sports’ Live Extra (10 p.m. ET).


Here are some links to check out for tonight’s game:

Brent Burns is on a beastly pace

Report: Ducks put Despres on long-term injured reserve

NHL on NBCSN doubleheader: Sabres vs. Flyers; Ducks vs. Sharks

Video: Looks like Bishop lost some teeth after taking a shot to the mask

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Difficult night for some goalies across the NHL.

Frederik Andersen has had his struggles against Steven Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning, although the players in front of him haven’t given their puck stopper much help, either.

And then there is Bolts goalie Ben Bishop, who took a Peter Holland wrist shot off the mask and appeared to lose some teeth as a result.

But this is hockey. Bishop, who even appeared to crack a smile while being examined on the ice, remained in the game.

Video: Sabres make Flyers pay after Giroux slams Girgensons from behind into the boards

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Claude Giroux was called for boarding after plastering Zemgus Girgensons from behind into the boards in the second period. But the Buffalo Sabres made the Philadelphia Flyers and their captain pay.

Giroux was assessed only a minor penalty on the play. He promptly exited the penalty box, though, after Matt Moulson scored six seconds into the Sabres power play, giving Buffalo a two-goal lead.

Girgensons and Moulson scored less than two minutes apart to give Buffalo the lead.