Cam Tucker

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Hurricanes equipment manager Jorge Alves makes (brief) NHL debut in net — at age 37

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Jorge Alves signed a professional tryout contract with the Carolina Hurricanes earlier on Saturday.

Already an equipment manager with the team, Alves was needed as an emergency back-up to Cam Ward against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Eddie Lack wasn’t feeling well, so he didn’t dress.

With just a few seconds remaining in the third period, and the Hurricanes trailing by two goals, Alves, who has experience as a minor league professional goalie, was brought off the bench and into the game, making his NHL debut — at the age of 37.

He played a total of eight seconds, and didn’t face a shot. But it still seemed like a tremendous experience for him, even if it was brief.

“It’s a surprise. It’s unbelievable. I was actually heading back down into the tunnel when I heard my name. I looked back and I was like, ‘What?’ And coach said, ‘Get your stuff on,'” he told reporters.  “It was … amazing. I couldn’t believe it.

“I just remembered looking down the ice and seeing the puck in the corner and saying, ‘Stay in that corner.’ Yeah, it was amazing. It’s still pretty emotional for me.”

His teammates let him take a lap by himself during the pre-game skate. There were even images and clips of him working the skate sharpener in the hallway and taping sticks — while in his goalie gear.

“Can’t shake the habit,” he joked. “No, I have a duty with the team and I wasn’t going to break that.”

Report: Surgery could be an option for P.K. Subban

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 29: P.K. Subban #76 of the Nashville Predators cools during a time out against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center on November 29, 2016 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
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There is increasing concern about the health and status of Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban.

Subban hasn’t played since Dec. 15, missing the last seven games with a lingering injury, and there have been rumblings that injury is a herniated disc. Now, could surgery perhaps be an option?

According to a report from Elliotte Friedman on Saturday, members of the Predators will meet Sunday to discuss the options out there for the dynamic but injured blue liner.

From Friedman on Hockey Night in Canada:

“The word is he has a herniated disc, which the Predators have not confirmed or denied that that is the actual injury. He skated yesterday; it didn’t go well. He skated again today. Word is it didn’t go well again. So what we understand … is that the Predators, their doctors, and P.K. Subban will meet Sunday, tomorrow, and decide a course of action.

One choice is to just wait it out and see if he can come back to health that way. The other is potentially surgery and that could knock him out for a long time, which nobody wants to see. So there is obvious concern about his future for this season.”

If they do decide on surgery, that would be a difficult loss for the Predators, a team that entered this season with heightened expectations after a second-round playoff appearance in the spring and the acquisition of Subban in the summer.

The Predators are one point out of a Wild Card spot in the West.

‘Flat out hit from behind’ — Devils’ Moore suffers concussion from Wilson hit

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There was good and bad news for John Moore, after the New Jersey Devils defenseman was stretchered off the ice during Saturday’s game against the Washington Capitals.

The good news: Head coach John Hynes told reporters that Moore was being released from hospital.

The bad news, however, is that the Devils announced that Moore has been placed on injured reserve with a concussion — the result of a hit into the boards from Capitals’ forward Tom Wilson.

“He was flat out hit from behind,” Andy Greene told the Fire and Ice Blog. “Hopefully he’s all right. He’s a big part of our team. He’s a big part of our D corps. Hopefully, everything’s OK.”

“I wouldn’t necessarily say it was a dirty play. It looked like a hit from behind. His back was turned on the glass and he was hit pretty hard into the glass. It looked like it was a penalty. The refs felt because he didn’t get launched into the glass it wasn’t a penalty. It’s not my decision to buy or not buy [that]” said Hynes, per the Washington Post.

There was no call on the play.

“I’m going in on the forecheck, his back’s to me so I tried to let up a little bit. I wasn’t trying to finish my check and kind of rubbed him out,” said Wilson.

“Honestly, I wasn’t aware that he really had gone down until I looked back. That plays happens an awful lot in hockey, those over pucks. I don’t know if he couldn’t get his hands up to protect himself or whatever, but obviously [it was] not my intent and wishing him the best.”

Happy New Year! Blue Jackets end 2016 with 15th straight win

COLUMBUS, OH - DECEMBER 20:  Cam Atkinson #13 of the Columbus Blue Jackets celebrates after scoring a goal during the game against the Los Angeles Kings on December 20, 2016 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
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The Columbus Blue Jackets capped off 2016 in style.

In a historic New Year’s Eve match-up against the Minnesota Wild, the Blue Jackets extended their winning streak to 15 games.

I know, right?

With only two playoff appearances in franchise history, the Blue Jackets finished 27th overall in the standings to close out the 2015-16 season. John Tortorella, their coach, was at one point early this season the most likely of all NHL coaches to be fired first.

There didn’t seem to be much optimism about the Blue Jackets — a team with plenty of youth on its roster.

But this has turned into a remarkable run, and an unexpected one, too. The power play ranks as the best in the league at 28 per cent. Sergei Bobrovsky, the winning goalie versus the Wild, has been heavily relied on and he’s responded by posting a .934 save percentage coming into Saturday’s contest. Their young defenseman have been very good. Rookie Zach Werenski has continued to impress and Seth Jones is up to seven goals on the season.

On Saturday, they faced a Wild team that had won 12 in a row. The Blue Jackets and Wild. The two hottest teams in the league at the end of 2016.

This time, the Blue Jackets took the win by a final of 4-2 in a feisty one.

Among the great stories in Columbus has been the play of Cam Atkinson. He continued that against the Wild, scoring twice, giving him 17 goals on the season. The Blue Jackets, with goals from Jack Johnson and Atkinson, scored 15 seconds apart in the middle period, opening up a three-goal lead.

The Wild tried to fight back. Jason Zucker‘s breakaway goal 24 seconds into the third period appeared to give them life. But they couldn’t beat Bobrovsky after that, and the Blue Jackets held on.

They end 2016 leading the defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins for top spot in the Metropolitan Division.

What does 2017 have in store for the Blue Jackets? They are serving notice it could be a big year for them.

Video: Another night, another ridiculous Carey Price save

Carey Price was at it again — this time against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday.

The Habs netminder made two terrific blocker saves on Conor Sheary in the first period, stopping the Penguins forward’s initial shot from the slot thanks to his quick reaction, and then having the awareness to acrobatically bat the puck out of mid-air and out of his crease.

Were these two quick saves as good as his stick stop on Ondrej Palat the other night? Feel free to debate.

But against a high-scoring Penguins team, Price was very sharp early. And that’s all that matters for the Habs.