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WATCH LIVE: Blues at Penguins

The summer has come and gone. The preseason is behind us.

The 2017-18 NHL regular season (finally) begins tonight, and the Pittsburgh Penguins officially begin their quest for a third consecutive Stanley Cup title.

The Penguins host the St. Louis Blues tonight, and you can catch all the action on NBCSN (8 p.m. ET) or online with the live stream.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

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

Penguins, Rangers, Capitals headline PHT’s mighty Metro Division preview

NHL on NBCSN doubleheader: Blues vs. Penguins; Flyers vs. Sharks

Penguins receive ‘phenomenal’ 2017 Stanley Cup rings

It’s official: Blues sign Upshall to one-year deal

Blues rule out Robby Fabbri for 2017-18 season

Blue Jackets sign Anderson to three-year deal (Update)

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After missing training camp due to a stalemate in contract talks with the Blue Jackets, it looks like restricted free agent forward Josh Anderson will, in fact, be returning to Columbus.

According to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, the Blue Jackets and Anderson have agreed to terms on a three-year deal with an average annual value of $1.85 million.

The Blue Jackets open the regular season Friday against the New York Islanders.

The 23-year-old Anderson scored 17 goals and 29 points in 2016-17 — his first full NHL season.

This contract situation dragged on through the summer and beyond training camp and preseason. It included reports that his camp had been in talks with Hockey Canada about the 2018 Olympics and, most recently, a report that Anderson had requested a trade, which the Blue Jackets denied.

Update:

According to Portzline, the Blue Jackets have confirmed the deal. The Jackets beat reporter also has a year-by-year break down of Anderson’s salary.

Boyle is ‘progressing,’ but likely won’t be ready for Devils’ season opener

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Brian Boyle has continued to skate on his own after being diagnosed with chronic myeloid luekemia, according to reports, however he hasn’t been cleared to return to practice and likely won’t be ready for the Devils’ season opener on Saturday.

The Devils host the Colorado Avalanche to begin the season.

Boyle was diagnosed last month, but has shown tremendous resolve, stating at the time that he didn’t want to miss any games. While he has been skating, it may take some time before he’s ready to get into the lineup.

“The bottom line is, it is progressing,” said Boyle, per NJ.com.

“I said I wanted to play opening night, because, you know, I think everybody does. But it’s progressing. Even if I’m cleared, I’m not just going to jump in. I need to have my own little training camp here at some point where I’m actually put into situations that are real. I can skate for days now, but I haven’t really bumped or hit anyone. That’s a huge part of your conditioning.”

The Devils signed Boyle on July 1, inking him to a two-year, $5.1 million contract, representing another move from management to improve their group of forwards for the upcoming season. He has received tremendous support from the NHL community ever since his diagnosis.

He is expected to meet with doctors on Tuesday.

“I think conditioning wise, he’s at a high level but then it comes down to the comfort level of battling,” head coach John Hynes told NHL.com. “Hopefully we’ll get really good news on [Tuesday] and we’ll try and move it forward as quickly as we can.”

 

The Penguins are eyeing the three-peat

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PITTSBURGH (AP) The parade celebrating the Pittsburgh Penguins’ second straight Stanley Cup was still raging on that hot afternoon in mid-June when Mike Sullivan decided it was time to up the ante.

Sure, becoming the first back-to-back Cup winners in nearly two decades is historic. Still, it’s just two. Three straight? Well, that’s something else entirely. And the man whose arrival in December 2015 coincided with Pittsburgh’s ascendance back to the top of the NHL knew it.

So the head coach with the innate ability to calibrate a roster stuffed with an eclectic mix of generational offensive talent, relentless young legs and just enough tenacity figured it was time to set the bar for 2018.

“I wonder if we can repeat, if we can `three-peat,”‘ Sullivan said.

Only he wasn’t wondering. He was challenging Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Matt Murray and the rest of the core that has a chance to win three consecutive Cups for the first time in the NHL since Mike Bossy led the New York Islanders to four straight from 1980-83.

And the message rang through loud and clear. The way Sullivan’s captain figures it, facing that kind of internal pressure sure beats the opposite, even if Crosby isn’t quite ready to start thinking about what doing something his boss (Penguins owner Mario Lemieux), his idol (former Red Wings center Steve Yzerman) and the greatest player of them all (Wayne Gretzky) never did.

All three had their shots at a three-peat. All three came up short, if winning “just” two straight Cups qualifies.

“You don’t need to spend a lot of time looking back and comparing and things like that,” Crosby said. “You can do that when you’re done playing.”

Let’s do it anyway. No team has even reached the Cup final three successive springs since the Islanders finished off Gretzky and the Oilers on May 16, 1983, for their fourth championship, a time when the path from burgeoning power to dynasty was far shorter than it is now.

There were only 21 teams in the league in 1983, not 31. There was no salary cap, allowing teams to stockpile all the talent they could afford. Globalization hadn’t yet reached the league. The Islanders’ last Cup team featured players from three different countries. Last spring’s Penguins had eight.

Oddsmakers have made Pittsburgh the early favorite. The Penguins insist they’re focusing on the opener Wednesday against St. Louis. Worrying about becoming a true “old school” dynasty is at the bottom of the list of their concerns.

“The historical chips will fall where they may,” defenseman Ian Cole said.

Blackhawks place Rozsival on long-term injured reserve

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Michal Rozsival has been placed on long-term injured reserve, the Chicago Blackhawks announced Monday.

The news comes weeks after Rozsival failed his physical at the beginning of training camp.

Rozsival was sucker punched by Anaheim Ducks forward Nick Ritchie late last season, and his agent has told The Athletic that Rozsival is still dealing with post-concussion symptoms.

With this move, the Blackhawks roster is down to 27 players — 16 forwards, eight defensemen and three goalies. Rozsival was entering a one-year deal with a cap hit of $650,000, per CapFriendly.

The Blackhawks, as of Monday evening, were still awaiting word from the NHL on whether Marian Hossa, who underwent an independent medical exam, will be eligible for LTIR.