Cam Tucker

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Klein’s late goal lifts Rangers over Central-leading Stars

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DALLAS (AP) Kevin Klein scored with 2:53 left to lift the New York Rangers over the Dallas Stars 3-2 on Saturday night.

Ryan McDonagh gave the Rangers a 2-1 lead with a goal 8:26 into the third, and then helped prevent a tying goal by sliding over a loose puck at the goal line.

Valeri Nichushkin scored for Dallas with 4:01 left, but then Klein got the winner from the slot into the upper right corner of the net.

Chris Kreider also scored, and Henrik Lundqvist made 36 saves for the Rangers. Second-place New York is 16 points behind Metropolitan Division-leading Washington.

Colton Sceviour also scored for the Stars, and Kari Lehtonen made 26 saves. Dallas has lost four of its past five home games and has a one-point lead in the Central Division over Chicago.

Sceviour also assisted on Nichushkin’s goal.

Both teams had good chances in the first period. Lundqvist stopped Tyler Seguin‘s shot from the left faceoff circle 5 1/2 minutes in, and 7 minutes later, the goalie deflected Alex Goligoski‘s shot from the inside edge of the left circle wide of the net. Jordie Benn and Jamie Oleksiak each had timely blocked shots for Dallas, and late in the period, J.T. Miller hit the left post for New York.

Kreider scored the first goal 4 seconds into the game’s first power play. Derick Brassard won the faceoff to Keith Yandle in the high slot, and Kreider used his stick to deflect Yandle’s shot between Lehtonen’s legs.

Sceviour tied the game after Lundqvist made a pad save on Seguin’s shot from the right circle. The rebound went to Sceviour in front, and he slid the puck into the lower right corner.

In the third, McDonagh banked a shot from the right corner in off Lehtonen’s back. The goal came seconds after the Rangers’ captain redirected a pass from Kevin Hayes just wide of the net. The puck went out to Viktor Stalberg, whose shot from the left rebounded to McDonagh along the goal line.

Barely a minute later, Lundqvist stopped a shot by Seguin. The puck remained loose behind Lundqvist, and with Dallas’ Jason Spezza trying to knock the puck in, McDonagh slid over it along the goal line.

Nichushkin scored on a slap shot over Lundqvist from the left circle.

NOTES: Dallas C Cody Eakin played in his 300th NHL game. … Rangers RW Jesper Fast started despite having his nose broken by a deflected puck during New York’s practice Friday in Farmers Branch. He assisted on Klein’s goal. … Dallas RW Ales Hemsky left the game in the second period because of an illness. … The Stars’ Radek Faksa picked up his first point in 10 games, since Jan. 3, with an assist on Sceviour’s goal. … The Rangers won both games in the season series.

Potential trade target Parenteau leaves ice, reportedly getting treatment (Updated)

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Interesting development during the first period of the Toronto Maple Leafs game against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday.

P.A. Parenteau, 32, left the ice during the opening period, naturally setting off a reaction on Twitter because the veteran Leafs forward is a trade target leading up to the deadline. But based on reports, this situation is more about a possible injury than the possibility of a mid-game trade.

That said, in terms of trying to protect an asset for a potential deal with the deadline less than 48 hours away, it doesn’t benefit the Leafs to have Parenteau return to this game if he’s able.

Update: As per James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail, Parenteau will not return to this game due to an upper-body injury.

Report: Contract talks between Senators, Neil have ‘intensified’

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Chris Neil has played for only one NHL team — the Ottawa Senators — and it appears both parties are close to extending that relationship for next year.

From the Ottawa Sun:

Postmedia has learned talks between the Senators and Neil’s Toronto-based agent Todd Reynolds to get a new deal in place have intensified this weekend with an eye towards getting something done in the near future. It will likely be a one-year, $1.5-million deal.

Senators GM Bryan Murray told reporters in Vancouver last Wednesday he’d already had talks with Neil’s camp about an extension and both sides would like him to finish his career in Ottawa. Murray said that Neil wouldn’t be dealt at Monday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline.

The rugged 36-year-old winger is a pending unrestricted free agent, currently in the final year of a three-year contract worth a cap hit of $1.9 million, while his NHL salary for this season is $1.5 million, as per General Fanager.

Known more for throwing fisticuffs, Neil has three goals and 10 points, to go along with 122 penalty minutes, in 62 games.

Video: Forsberg makes Predators history with second hat trick in four days

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Within the span of four days, Filip Forsberg has recorded two hat tricks for the Nashville Predators.

His first career hat trick occurred Tuesday. He then went out and scored three — all in the second period — against the St. Louis Blues on Saturday. He also added an assist for the four point night.

And so the talented 21-year-old forward has made Predators history with this latest hat trick, as per the NHL and Elias Sports. He’s also up to 26 goals and 46 points this season.

A look at his work today:

Goal No. 1:

Goal No. 2:

Goal No. 3:

Penguins acquire Justin Schultz from Oilers for a third-round pick in 2016

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The Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired defenseman Justin Schultz from the Edmonton Oilers, in exchange for a third-round pick in this year’s NHL Draft.

The much maligned 25-year-old defenseman has been at the center of trade rumors and speculation for some time, and now his time in Edmonton, which started with so much hope, has come to an end.

Parting ways appears to be the best option for both parties.

He’s a pending restricted free agent at the end of the season, with a cap hit of $3.9 million, as per General Fanager.

There was great anticipation when Schultz first joined the Oilers as a free agent in 2012. He chose Edmonton over a whole host of suitors and the hype surrounding the start of his career in that market was considerably high.

(His AHL coach during the lockout compared Schultz with defensemen Drew Doughty and Scott Niedermayer.)

But his development with the Oilers hit numerous snags. He was a minus-78 combined over four seasons on some bad teams in Edmonton. This season, he has the fourth worst goals-against per 60 minutes (2.90) among NHL defensemen with more than 500 minutes of ice time at five-on-five this season, as per stats.hockeyanalysis.com.

He goes to Pittsburgh with the possibility of becoming a reclamation project.

“He’s very good on the offensive side. He still needs some work on the defensive side,” said Penguins GM Jim Rutherford.

“Different teams have different approaches.

“Our approach was to go with more speed, more transition game from our backend. This is a player that will be able to help that.”

In 45 games this season, he’s scored just three goals and 10 points. But he’s still billed as an offensive defenseman with a right shot and perhaps a change of scenery may be the best thing for him.