NHL announces 2014 preseason schedule

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On what turned out to be a pretty busy Tuesday, the NHL announced its full schedule for the 2014 preseason.

From the league:

Highlighting the 15-day, 105-game slate is the 2014 Kraft Hockeyville game from Sylvan Lake, Alta., on Wednesday, Sept. 24. The people of Sylvan Lake, winners of the Canada-wide Kraft Hockeyville competition, will celebrate the grand prize when the Arizona Coyotes and Calgary Flames visit their community and face off at the Sylvan Lake Multiplex. The game will be broadcast live on CBC in Canada and NHL Network in the United States at 7 p.m., ET/5 p.m., MT.

Preseason games also are scheduled in Bridgeport, Conn. (Boston vs. NY Islanders, Oct. 3); Brooklyn, N.Y. (New Jersey vs. NY Islanders, Sept. 26); Colorado Springs, Colo. (Colorado vs. Los Angeles, Oct. 2); Kansas City, Mo. (Dallas vs. St. Louis, Sept. 27); Las Vegas, Nev. (Colorado vs. Los Angeles, Oct. 4); London, Ont. (Philadelphia vs. Toronto, Sept. 22); Quebec City, Que. (Colorado vs. Montreal, Sept. 26); St. John’s, Nfld. (NY Islanders vs. Ottawa split-squad doubleheader, Sept. 22); Saskatoon, Sask. (Chicago vs. Edmonton, Sept. 28) and Stockton, Calif. (San Jose vs. Vancouver, Sept. 23).

The preseason will officially get underway on Sept. 21 — yes, just 33 days from now — with five games on the slate. Well, sort of a five-game slate — Columbus will utilize a split squad (one will host St. Louis, the other will play in Carolina), while the Oilers and Flames will both ice split squads for simultaneous games in Edmonton and Calgary. But hey, it’s still five games!

The exhibition campaign will wrap up on Sunday, Oct. 5 when the ‘Canes travel to Washington to take on the Capitals. The regular season will open three nights later, on Oct. 8.

Lightning storm back against Blackhawks, finish one point out of playoffs

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Who would have thought that the Tampa Bay Lightning would rally back from a 4-1 deficit tonight? Then again, who expected them to be so close to a playoff spot mere weeks ago, when they were sellers at the trade deadline?

The Lightning continue to show that they won’t just roll over and die, scoring four unanswered goals to beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-4 in overtime on Monday.

While Jonathan Drouin was a catalyst for the second-period rally, it was an unlikely scorer who clinched the victory, as Yanni Gourde ended a thrilling run of 3-on-3 chances with the overtime-winner.

Really, it might have been fitting. Things looked glum when Tomas Jurco scored his first goal of the season against the Lightning, then the mood was totally flipped when Gourde’s second tally of 2016-17 grabbed a huge win.

With the Islanders losing to the Predators, the Hurricanes only managing a “loser point” against the Red Wings and the Bruins idle, Tampa Bay is a breath away from a playoff berth:

Final wild card: Bruins – 84 points in 75 games played

Lightning – 83 points in 75 GP
Islanders – 82 points in 75 GP
Hurricanes – 80 points in 74 GP

Yes, all of a sudden, a long-shot postseason run seems quite attainable.

Maybe the Lightning would prefer it if we kept counting them out, though?

Hurricanes’ Lack taken off on stretcher after collision on Red Wings’ OT goal

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The Carolina Hurricanes fell short of a win on Monday, but their thoughts likely revolve around the health of goalie Eddie Lack instead.

Lack was taken off the ice on a stretcher after a collision┬áduring Andreas Athanasiou‘s game-winning goal in overtime. Officials reviewed that the goal counted, giving the Red Wings a 4-3 overtime victory against Carolina.

While it’s been a tough overall season for Hurricanes goalie, Lack has been an integral part of Carolina’s push for a postseason spot. PHT will keep an eye out for updates regarding his condition after this scary collision.

The Red Wings stayed on the ice as Lack was taken off, a nice gesture after an unfortunate accident.

Drouin triggers second-period rally for Lightning vs. Blackhawks

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Just when you think it’s time to count the Tampa Bay Lightning out, they rally back.

It’s been happening overall in 2016-17, and that pattern carried over into Monday’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Lightning decided to put Andrei Vasilevskiy back in the net in the second period after he gave up three goals on eight shots in the opening frame … and at first, that looked like a mistake that would do them in. Chicago went up 4-1 and things looked dire.

But, again, the Bolts followed the script when it comes to flipping the script, with Jonathan Drouin triggering a resounding rally in the second.

Droun’s first goal came 11:45 into the second period, followed about a minute later by an Anton Stralman tally. Less than four minutes later, Drouin hit the 20-goal mark with the 4-4 marker on the power play.

First, check out Drouin’s first goal, which began the rally:

Next, witness the 4-4 goal, also by Drouin:

And … just like that, the Lightning┬átied things up. Wow.

Apparently Drouin created more offense than just his two goals, too:

Impressive. Remember when he seemed like he was out the door last season? Now that feels like another reminder not to give up on this group, no matter how ugly things look at times.

Video will be added when available.

Lightning give Vasilevskiy the (brief) hook after very rare Jurco goal

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By just about any measure, Monday’s been lousy to Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy.

He was pulled with a few minutes remaining in the first period after Chicago Blackhawks built a 3-1 lead, scoring those three goals on just eight shots on net.

You could summarize Vasilevskiy’s awful start by those numbers, or by how rare the 3-1 goal was for the scorer.

Tomas Jurco failed to score a goal or an assist in 16 games with the Red Wings, then went pointless in nine more games with Chicago before finally scoring his first goal of the season on Monday.

Now, Jon Cooper didn’t pull Vasilevskiy because Jurco scored that tally. Still, it rubs a little extra salt in his wounds all things considered.

Here’s the Jurco goal:

Patrick Kane‘s 2-1 goal might have hurt the most, actually, as it quickly dissolved a tying tally by┬áOndrej Palat:

Update: The Lightning decided to put Vasilevskiy back in net to begin the second period. Interesting.