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Flyers rookies Konecny, Provorov factor into OT win vs. Hurricanes

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) Travis Konecny tied it with 42.9 seconds left in the third period and Brayden Schenn scored 38 seconds into overtime, lifting the Philadelphia Flyers over the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 on Sunday night.

Jordan Staal scored a power-play goal with 8:11 left in the third to put Carolina ahead 3-2, but Konecny scored with Flyers goalie Steve Mason on the bench for an extra attacker, then Schenn ended it by finishing a rebound from close range.

Ivan Provorov had a goal and two assists and Dale Weise also scored for Philadelphia, which pulled within five points of idle Toronto for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Philadelphia, which has 11 games remaining, would have to pass three teams for a postseason bid.

Jeff Skinner and Elias Lindholm also scored for Carolina, which is six points out of the playoffs. The Hurricanes have points (4-0-3) in each of their last seven games.

Konecny tied it after Provorov’s shot from the point went to the back boards. Konecny sent the puck toward the net and it deflected off Hurricanes defenseman Brett Pesce and past goalie Cam Ward.

Staal scored after Sebastian Aho‘s initial shot was stopped by Mason, but the rebound went right to Lindholm. He made a close-range pass to Staal, who fired it past Mason’s left pad from just outside of the crease.

Mason made 19 saves to improve to 9-4-1 in 14 games against Carolina.

Provorov opened the scoring with 57.8 seconds left in the first period with a perfectly placed wrist shot that went over Ward’s right shoulder. It was the sixth goal of the season for the rookie, who entered leading the team in ice time by averaging 21:47 per contest.

Ward, returning to the net after backup Eddie Lack played the last two, made 40 saves.

The Flyers took a 2-0 lead on Weise’s goal with 8:57 left in the second period. Konecny set it up by wheeling around to the far side of the net before sending the puck to the front of the crease. It came out to Weise, who shot high over Ward’s glove.

The Hurricanes scored the final two goals of the period to tie it at 2 heading to the third.

Skinner got his 26th of the season with 7:23 left in the period. Noah Hanifin sent a slap shot off the backboards to the other side of the net, where a wide-open Skinner beat a lunging Mason.

Lindholm extended his points streak to seven games with his ninth goal of the season with 1:04 left in the second. Phillip DiGiuseppe sent the puck to Lindholm, who fired a quick shot from the slot past Mason’s glove.

Report: U.S. women to vote on deal to avoid worlds boycott

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USA Today, citing a person with knowledge of the situation, is reporting that USA Hockey has struck a tentative four-year deal with members of the U.S. women’s national team that would avert a boycott of the upcoming world championship in Plymouth, Michigan.

The players are expected to vote on the deal today. No financial details were reported. The players have been seeking a living wage.

The U.S. is scheduled to play Canada on Friday at USA Hockey Arena.

Read more:

USA Hockey says it will not offer living wage

U.S. women say they’ll boycott worlds

Selanne: Ducks want Kariya back in fold, but he’s ‘very bitter about hockey’

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Paul Kariya hasn’t played hockey in over seven years, since a series of concussions forced him into retirement.

He’s been out of the limelight, too.

After sharply criticizing the league during his retirement announcement — he said every hit that ever knocked him out was an illegal one — Kariya has virtually disconnected from the hockey world, save the occasional report alluding to his bitterness towards the NHL.

But there have been efforts to connect with him.

Including those from the team he rose to prominence with.

In a recent interview on Ray Ferraro’s Pulp Hockey podcast, Teemu Selanne — Kariya’s longtime running mate in Anaheim — shed some light on how the Ducks would welcome Kariya back… and how Kariya’s consistently rebuffed the idea.

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“It was kind of a shame how his career ended. He’s very bitter about that. He always thought that the NHL was not looking after the players the way they should. So that’s why he doesn’t want to be involved with hockey at all, and he almost kind of like disappeared from the hockey world, which is very sad.

“What he has done for hockey, and especially here in Anaheim and California, it’s unbelievable. He was an unbelievable hockey player, and I had a great time with him. It hurts me that he doesn’t want to be part of hockey, because I think he has a lot to offer and give. Hopefully one day he will come back, for some reason. I know the Ducks have really tried hard to get him back and into the program.

“But he’s very bitter about hockey, which is very sad.”

Drafted fourth overall by the Ducks in ’93, Kariya was the franchise’s first true superstar. He scored 50 goals and 108 points in his sophomore campaign and, the year following, finished second in Hart Trophy voting for league MVP.

In 2003, he led Anaheim to its first-ever Stanley Cup Final appearance. That series, of course, is perhaps best remembered for the lethal hit Kariya took from Devils d-man Scott Stevens.

The Stevens hit was just one in a series that derailed Kariya’s career. There was the infamous Gary Suter crosscheck to the head in ’98 — Suter received a two-game suspension — and the last one, an elbow to the head from Patrick Kaleta.

Kaleta avoided suspension entirely.

Many have wondered where Kariya would’ve ranked among the greats had he stayed healthy. He finished with 989 points in 989 career games, and was still a really productive player at the end — despite the concussion problems, Kariya, then 35 years old, scored 18 goals and 43 points in 75 games during his final season in St. Louis.

With the annual Hall of Fame debates and the recent NHL 100 list, Kariya’s name has come up quite a bit. Which again circles back to Anaheim.

Selanne’s number is already in the rafters (Kariya wasn’t in attendance for the ceremony), and the organization has close ties with alumni, as both Scott Niedermayer and Todd Marchant both have front-office gigs. So one would think Kariya, who served as team captain for five years, would be embraced with open arms.

PHT reached out to the Ducks for comment on Selanne’s remarks. They replied that Kariya is always welcome in Anaheim, and he’s aware of that.

Keller debut garners praise from coach Tippett

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Clayton Keller didn’t score — in fact, he didn’t even register a shot — but his NHL debut last night in St. Louis garnered high praise from Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett.

“He looks like a good player,” Tippett said, per the Arizona Republic. “He’s got good skill. He’s certainly not worried about getting into any confrontations. He plays hard along the wall. He’s not a big guy, but he competes hard. He looks like a hockey player. He’s got great hockey sense. You watch how he manages a game between line changes, just managing the puck, it was a good start for him.”

The Coyotes lost the game, 4-1, but Keller finished with an even rating in 12:21 of even-strength action. The 18-year-old also logged 1:48 on the power play.

Keller grew up in suburban St. Louis, so debuting against the Blues at Scottrade Center was doubly special.

“It’s pretty cool growing up coming to games here,” he said. “It was really special to have the first one here.”

Related: Coyotes ready for prized prospect Keller to go pro

Rask will start, Krejci a game-time decision for Bruins

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Tuukka Rask will be back in Boston’s net tonight when the Bruins host the Nashville Predators.

Rask missed Saturday’s game in Brooklyn with a lower-body injury. And though Anton Khudobin backstopped the B’s to a 2-1 victory over the Isles, coach Bruce Cassidy said yesterday that Rask was the “No. 1 goalie” and would play as soon as he was healthy.

“Tuukka is healthy,” Cassidy confirmed today, per CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty. “That’s what he indicated to me and that’s all I needed to hear. He’ll be our starter tonight.”

Rask has struggled since mid-January, registering an .886 save percentage in his last 25 appearances. Thursday against Tampa Bay, he allowed five goals on 28 shots in one of his worst performances of the season.

Read more: Cassidy says Bruins “overused” Rask early on

Another pressing issue for the B’s? The health of center David Krejci, who left practice early yesterday with an upper-body injury.

Krejci will be a game-time decision tonight. If he can’t play, Ryan Spooner will center Drew Stafford and David Pastrnak.

The Bruins are just one point ahead of the surging Lightning for the second wild-card spot in the East. Both teams have seven games remaining. The B’s hold the ROW tiebreaker, 37 to 33.