Get your game notes: Kings at Sharks

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Tonight on NBCSN, it’s the San Jose Sharks hosting the L.A. Kings starting at 10 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:

• With a win tonight, the Kings will become the fourth team in NHL history to overcome an 0-3 series deficit to win a series, and the third of those teams to win Game 7 on the road. Two current Kings were on the most recent comeback club, the 2010 Flyers: Mike Richards (who assisted on Simon Gagne’s series-winning goal) and Jeff Carter (who missed the series after undergoing foot surgery).

• The Sharks were in a similar situation in the 2011 Western Conference Semis vs. Detroit, when they won Games 1-3, lost Games 4-6 and faced a deciding Game 7 at the “Shark Tank.” San Jose prevailed, 3-2, advancing to the conference final (where they lost to Vancouver in five games). Eight players from that roster remain, including the winning goaltender that day, Antti Niemi, and four of the five skaters who registered points: Logan Couture, Patrick Marleau, Dan Boyle and Joe Thornton.

• This is the sixth time in Stanley Cup playoff history that two teams will meet in Game 7 in consecutive postseasons. In four of the previous five instances, the same team clinched both series.

• Kings forward Justin Williams has played in four Game 7s for three different teams in his 13-year NHL career, and he has scored a goal in all of them: for PHI vs. TOR in 2003, for CAR vs. BUF and EDM in 2006, and for LA vs. SJ in 2013 (two goals). Williams is the only player in NHL history to score goals in each of his first four Game 7s. Only one other player, Jeff Friesen, scored goals in four consecutive Game 7s at any point in his career: for SJ vs. STL in 2000, for NJ vs. OTT and ANA in 2003 and for ANA vs. CGY in 2006. Elias Sports Bureau

• Through six games, the Kings-Sharks series has featured 42 goals (most of any series), 562 hits (most) and 298 penalty minutes (second-most, behind Anaheim-Dallas – 327). It has also featured the most blow-out victories of any series: five of the six games have been won by three or more goals. This in contrast to last season’s seven-game series, when five games were decided by one goal.

• Since the beginning of the 2012-13 season, the Sharks have the NHL’s best regular-season home record, in terms of points (102 pts., 46-9-10 record). They had won seven straight home playoff games until Jonathan Quick and the Kings shut them out 3-0 in Game 5.

• In Game 5, Quick picked up only his second win in his last 12 appearances (regular season or playoffs) at San Jose. Since the beginning of the 2011-12 season, he is 2-6-3 (one no-decision) against the Sharks on the road, with a 2.73 GAA, .912 save percentage and two shutouts.

Devils place goalie Cory Schneider on injured reserve

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NEWARK, N.J. (AP) The New Jersey Devils placed goalie Cory Schneider on injured reserve with a lower-body injury suffered Thursday night in a 5-4 overtime victory at Ottawa.

Schneider left after the second period. Keith Kinkaid replaced him and stopped all nine shots he faced to earn the victory.

With Schneider sidelined, Kinkaid was expected to start Friday night at home against San Jose.

The Devils recalled goalie Scott Wedgewood from Binghamton of the American Hockey League.

The Devils catch a scheduling break with a week off until their next game Oct. 27, the first day Schneider is eligible to return.

Schneider is 4-1-0 in six games this season with a 3.30 goals-against average.

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Andreas Athanasiou, Red Wings finally settle on one-year deal

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The contract stalemate between the Detroit Red Wings and Andreas Athanasiou is finally over.

On Friday, TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported that the two sides struck a deal that will see the 23-year-old forward back in the lineup, at least for this season. It’s a one-year deal worth $1.387 million.

Due to Detroit’s tight salary cap situation, the deal has not been officially registered with the NHL because general manager Ken Holland needs to free up space in order to fit Athanasiou’s contract.

Athanasiou, who was a restricted free agent this summer, was seeking a two-year deal worth around $2.5 million per season. The Red Wings, meanwhile, were holding firm on a one- or two-year deal carrying a $1.9 million AAV. As the stalemate dragged on, he began practicing with Swiss side HC Lugano, but did not sign a contract. He had until Dec. 1 to make an NHL return in order to be eligible to play this season. The KHL card was played, but as Torey Krug showed, that move is always a clear bluff.

The one-year pact is essentially a “show-me” deal for Athanasiou, who scored 18 goals and recorded 29 points last season. He finished second on the Red Wings in even strength goals (17) in 2016-17 and tallied a pair of overtime winners. A good year and with some salary off the books next summer, he can cash in with a longer-term contract. He’ll once again be an RFA next summer, so Detroit will control his rights, but he’ll have arbitration rights.

According to MLive.com’s Ansar Khan, along with the contract Athanasiou has been promised a minutes bump from the 13:27 he played last season, as well as regular time on both special teams units.

Detroit is off to a 4-3-0 start and averaging 3.14 goals per game. Once Athanasiou arrives from Switzerland and gets up to speed — possibly with an AHL conditioning stint — his presence will certainly be a boost to the Red Wings’ lineup.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.:

 

NHL admits off-side challenge error that cost Avalanche a goal

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The NHL admitted on Friday that a decision denying the Colorado Avalanche a tying goal against the St. Louis was wrong.

Mikko Rantanen’s goal late in the third period was overturned after Sven Andrighetto was ruled to be off-side following a video review challenge issued by the Blues.

Now here’s where the fun starts.

Because Andrighetto was not ruled off-side by the linesman when he touches the puck in the Blues’ zone, when he leaves and re-enters the zone that’s considered a (clean) second zone entry. So the goal should have counted and the Avs should have had a power play for a failed off-side challenge.

Here’s the NHL’s statement:

“St. Louis requested a Coach’s Challenge to determine whether Sven Andrighetto of Colorado was off-side prior to the Avalanche goal. The video review decision determined the play was off-side but that determination was based on a play prior to the puck clearing the zone. 

Per Rule 78. 7 (Note 1) Coach’s Challenge: ‘Goals will only be reviewed for a potential “Off-Side” infraction if: a) the puck does not come out of the attacking zone again; or (b) all members of the attacking team do not clear the attacking zone again, between the time of the “Off-Side” play and the time the goal is scored.

Although there was an off-side, it occurred prior to the puck clearing the zone which nullifies any goal review related to that off-side. The entry in to the zone immediately prior to the goal was on-side, therefore the goal should have counted.”

Blues general manager Doug Armstrong, appearing on Sportnet’s Hockey Central at Noon on Friday, said he believes the wording of the rule will change in the future.

“The call on the ice was correct,” he said. “The wording in the rulebook is wrong, and that’s where we’re going to have to work with. I think that’s why the rulebook always changes because you come up with unintended consequences, and that was one of them. I don’t think anyone that watched the game last night think that’s a goal we want to count.”

Let’s just go with NHL ’94 rules and turn off-side off, yeah? That’ll stop games from being paused and goals being taken off the board because a player’s skate blade was a millimeter off-side entering the offensive zone.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Canucks’ Gudbranson suspended 1 game for boarding Vatrano (Video)

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Vancouver Canucks defenseman Erik Gudbranson will miss Friday’s game against the Buffalo Sabres after he was suspended one game for boarding Frank Vatrano of the Boston Bruins.

The hit occurred early in the first period during Thursday’s 6-3 Bruins victory. Gudbranson was given a majors for boarding and fighting, along with a game misconduct. The Bruins would take advantage with three power play goals. Vatrano would retun to the game later in the period.

Here’s the Department of Player Safety’s explanation:

Look at many of the suspensions the NHL’s DoPS has handed out for boarding and it’s the same thing over and over again. The suspended player has time to make a better decision on a hit, but fails to do so. Here, Gudbranson could have changed his angle, minimized contact with Vatrano or tie him up along the boards instead of plastering him into the glass.

Gudbranson will see $18,817.20 of his salary go to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.