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Sabres, Panthers have best odds for 2014 NHL draft lottery

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With their seasons now complete, non-playoff teams can start looking forward to one of the biggest dates on their offseason calendars — the annual draft lottery.

This year’s lottery will take place tomorrow (Tuesday, Apr. 15), determining the order of the first 13 picks of the ’14 Draft, which will be held in Philadelphia on June 27-28 at the Wells Fargo Center. The lottery will air on NBCSN, beginning at 8 p.m. ET.

As for rules and specifics:

— All teams in the lottery are eligible to win the No. 1 overall pick, a practice the NHL implemented for the first time last season. Colorado “won” the ’13 draft lottery, capturing the first overall pick despite having the second-best odds (edging out Florida in the process). The Avs went on to select Calder Trophy candidate Nathan MacKinnon with the No. 1 pick.

— Odds are determined by 2013-14 regular season point totals:

Buffalo Sabres – 25.0%
Florida Panthers – 18.8%
Edmonton Oilers – 14.2%
Calgary Flames – 10.7%
New York Islanders – 8.1%
Vancouver Canucks – 6.2%
Carolina Hurricanes – 4.7%
Toronto Maple Leafs – 3.6%
Winnipeg Jets – 2.7%
Anaheim Ducks (from Ottawa) – 2.1%
New Jersey Devils – 1.5%
Nashville Predators – 1.1%
Phoenix Coyotes – 0.8%
Washington Capitals – 0.5%

— Thirteen of the 14 clubs that failed to make the playoffs are in this year’s lottery. New Jersey is out, due to the league’s reduced penalty for the Ilya Kovalchuk contract, and will select 30th overall. Here’s the fine print on the Devils situation…

To ensure that the odds of all 13 Clubs eligible to win the Draft Lottery are enhanced equally to reflect the Devils’ situation, the Draft Lottery this year is being modified as follows: the Devils will still be included in the Draft Lottery drawing on the same basis and with the same odds that would have normally been assigned to the Club based on and consistent with its regular-season finish. However, in the event the Devils win the Draft Lottery, an immediate re draw will be conducted to select a different recipient of the first overall selection in the First Round. The same process will be conducted as many times as necessary to ensure that the first overall selection is awarded to a team other than New Jersey. The Devils will be entitled to the 30th selection overall in the 2014 NHL Draft (the last pick in the First Round). The Devils are not permitted to trade or transfer their right to the 30th overall selection.

— The remaining first round spots will be decided by the results of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Crosby, Karlsson and Trocheck are NHL’s three stars of the week

Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby celebrates his goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
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Penguins center Sidney Crosby, Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson, and Panthers center Vincent Trocheck have been named the NHL’s three stars for the past week.

From the NHL:

Crosby led the League in goals and points (5-3-8) in three games as the Penguins (26-18-7, 59 points) earned four of a possible six points to secure the second Wild Card position in the Eastern Conference.

Karlsson led the League in assists and ranked second in points (0-7-7) in three games as the Senators (24-23-6, 54 points) won one of three starts for the week.

Trocheck notched six points (3-3—6) in three games, helping the Panthers (31-15-6, 68 points) widen their lead atop the Atlantic Division to six points.

Related: Red-hot Crosby could make Pens a flawed (but dangerous) dark horse

Malkin to miss third straight game with lower-body injury

Evgeni Malkin
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Evgeni Malkin‘s “nagging” lower-body injury will keep him out at least one more game.

Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said this morning that the star center will sit out tonight at home against the Ducks. Malkin already missed two contests this weekend in Florida. His status is day-to-day.

The Penguins lost, 6-3, in Tampa on Friday, but rebounded Saturday with a 3-2 OT win over the Panthers.

Pittsburgh’s next game after tonight’s is Wednesday at home versus the Rangers.

McDonagh out with concussion after Saturday’s altercation with Simmonds

Ryan McDonagh
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The New York Rangers will be without Ryan McDonagh tonight at home to New Jersey, the club announcing this morning that the defenseman is out with a concussion.

McDonagh left Saturday’s game in Philadelphia following an altercation with the Flyers’ Wayne Simmonds that ended with McDonagh taking a punch to the face from Simmonds.

Simmonds received a match penalty and was thrown out of the game, but did not receive any supplemental discipline.

Given the standings, the Rangers can ill afford to lose McDonagh for long. They play in Pittsburgh Wednesday, followed by three home games against Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Chicago.

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Lucic’s plan is to ‘remain a King’ for remainder of career

Milan Lucic, Alex Burrows, Dan Hamhuis
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Tuesday night, Milan Lucic will play his first game in Boston as a member of the Los Angeles Kings.

It should be an emotional return for the big 27-year-old winger. In an interview with the L.A. Times, he recalled his time with his former club fondly, saying how great it was to be a “part of one of the best-ever eras to be a Bruin.”

A pending unrestricted free agent, Lucic also commented on his contract negotiations with the Kings.

“Nothing to get excited about,” he said. “There’s been two or three little talks here and there. My plan is to remain a King and hopefully finish off my career here. Like I said, I go day by day and you never know what tomorrow is going to bring.”

Lucic has 12 goals and 18 assists in 50 games this season. Though the Kings reportedly want to keep him, the question is whether they can find the cap space to make it happen.

Los Angeles already has Anze Kopitar, Jeff Carter, Dustin Brown, Marian Gaborik, Kyle Clifford, Drew Doughty, Jake Muzzin, Alec Martinez, and Jonathan Quick locked up long term. Plus, Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson will require new deals after next season.

Related: Why Lucic is an interesting pending UFA