Cam Tucker

NEWARK, NJ - FEBRUARY 07:  Cory Conacher #89 of the Tampa Bay Lightning in action against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on February 7, 2013 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Lightning 4-2.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
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Lightning recall Conacher, who shot down rumors of a return to Switzerland

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The Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday recalled forward Cory Conacher from Syracuse in the American Hockey League.

The move to bring up the productive minor league forward comes with Jonathan Drouin still out day-to-day, per Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times.

Drouin hasn’t played since Tuesday, when he was on the receiving end of a massive hit from Calvin de Haan.

The Lightning play the Florida Panthers on Monday, although it has yet to be determined if Conacher will enter into the lineup.

Meanwhile, Conacher has recently shot down rumors linking him to a possible return to Switzerland.

Conacher, 26, played last season in Switzerland with Bern SC. However, with hopes of returning to the NHL, he signed a one-year, one-way deal with the Lightning this past summer.

Per Syracuse.com, it was reported that HC Lugano is apparently interested in Conacher.

“I haven’t talked to anyone from Lugano. They like to talk and start rumors,” he told Syracuse.com. “I’m sure at some point throughout the year they’ll reach out. But as of right now, I haven’t had any contact with anyone in Switzerland, other than the fact that I keep updated with some of the guys in Bern.

“You always have to keep your options open. But right now, my mindset’s with Tampa. If I wanted to listen right now, I’d be in Switzerland. I’m doing everything I can to get back up there (Tampa Bay). I think, down the stretch, when either injuries happen or they need guys up, I’m going to be the guy that steps in and helps them win.”

In seven games this season with the Syracuse Crunch, Conacher has eight points.

A case of the Blues: Varlamov gets the hook in St. Louis

Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov, of Russia, takes a drink during a time out against the Arizona Coyotes in the second period of an NHL hockey game, Monday, March 7, 2016, in downtown Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
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The struggles continue for the Colorado Avalanche.

After hanging on for a shutout win over the Minnesota Wild on Saturday, the Avalanche went into St. Louis on Sunday, fell behind early and things continued to get worse from there.

Semyon Varlamov gave up five goals on 25 shots and was replaced in net by Calvin Pickard to begin the third period, with the Blues opening up a four-goal lead late in the middle period.

Pickard made 32 saves the night before for the shutout.

Related:

‘Disappointing’ Avs are ‘just spinning in the mud again’

Calvin Pickard is making a case for Avs’ starting job

Potential No. 1 overall pick Nolan Patrick (upper-body injury) to miss Canada-Russia series

KELOWNA, CANADA - OCTOBER 25: Rourke Chartier #14 of Kelowna Rockets faces off against Nolan Patrick #19 of Brandon Wheat Kings during the first period on October 25, 2014 at Prospera Place in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
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An upper-body injury has restricted Nolan Patrick to just six games in the Western Hockey League season, and now the potential No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft will miss the upcoming Canada-Russia series, per NHL.com.

In those six games with the Brandon Wheat Kings, the 18-year-old Patrick has four goals and nine points, however he’s been out of the lineup for almost a month, with his last game back on Oct. 11.

Minus Patrick, the WHL select team will face Russia on Monday and Tuesday.

Russia will play six games against WHL, OHL and QMJHL select teams, from Nov. 7-17.

After 41 goals and 102 points last season, Patrick began the 2016-17 campaign as the top prospect for next year’s draft, headlining Central Scouting’s list of players to watch.

It’s been a difficult few months for the young center due to injury.

In the summer, Patrick underwent sports hernia surgery, which kept him out of Team Canada’s world junior summer development camp.

Rakell continues to rack up the points since returning to Ducks lineup

ANAHEIM, CA - NOVEMBER 30: Rickard Rakell #67 of the Anaheim Ducks skates during a game against the Vancouver Canucks at Honda Center on November 30, 2015 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Rickard Rakell had two goals and assist, John Gibson stopped 21 shots and the Anaheim Ducks beat the Arizona Coyotes 5-1 on Friday night.

Antoine Vermette added a goal and an assist, and Kevin Bieksa and Jakob Silfverberg also scored for the Ducks, who are 5-2-1 since starting with four losses (0-3-1).

Jamie McGinn scored for Arizona. Louis Domingue stopped 18 of 21 shots in the first period before being replaced by Justin Peters, who gave up two goals on 12 shots over the final 40 minutes.

After stewing over consecutive home defeats in which they were outscored 9-1, the Ducks responded with a dominant opening 20 minutes in which they thoroughly controlled play while building a 3-0 lead.

Related: Ducks sign Rakell to six-year, $22.8M deal

Bieksa and Rakell scored 2:54 apart midway through the first to get Anaheim started.

Bieksa scored a power-play goal at 9:05, taking an alert pass from Corey Perry and beating Domingue to his right glove side.

Rakell followed it up less than three minutes later by scoring on a 2-on-1 break, with Perry winding up to draw the focus of Domingue before sending the puck to the far circle where Rakell was waiting.

Perry had multiple assists for the second time in three games, after collecting two in a 4-0 win at Los Angeles on Tuesday night.

Silfverberg wrapped up the scoring blitz in the opening period, turning Vermette’s clever backhand pass into a nifty backhanded goal with 45 seconds remaining.

Vermette continued the trend of goals to the goaltender’s short right side, beating Peters to his stick hand with 6:37 left in the second period.

Ondrej Kase recorded his first point in his second career game with an assist on Vermette’s goal. The 20-year old rookie from Kadan, Czech Republic made his first start and played 16:11.

McGinn got the Coyotes on the scoreboard with about 3 1/2 minutes left in the second. It was his third goal in six games.

Rakell capped the scoring with less than six minutes remaining, giving him six points in three games this season after finally coming to terms on a new contract.

The Ducks had a scare in the first period when Max Domi dropped Ryan Kesler in a fight with one punch. Kesler put a hit on Domi that resulted in a roughing penalty, and the son of longtime enforcer Tie Domi responded with a devastating uppercut when they dropped the gloves. Kesler was helped to the locker room, but did return in the second period and had an assist on Rakell’s second goal.

Brandon Tanev plays unlikely hero in Jets’ comeback win over Red Wings

DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 04: Brandon Tanev #13 of the Winnipeg Jets celebrates his third period gaol with teammates on the bench while playing the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena on November 4, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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DETROIT (AP) Normally a bit player, Brandon Tanev played a starring role Friday night.

Tanev scored his second goal of the game and his NHL career with 1:16 left to help the Winnipeg Jets beat the Detroit Red Wings 5-3 on Friday night.

The Jets rallied from a 3-2 third-period deficit.

“The resiliency of this group is incredible,” Tanev said. “We didn’t stop pushing. That’s the thing.”

The fourth line player was undrafted, signed as a free agent and was playing his 15th game.

“This is my first time playing at Joe Louis Arena and to get my first goal and then that,” Tanev said. “It’s just a great feeling.”

Patrik Laine, Mark Scheifele and Nikolaj Ehlers also scored for Winnipeg. Connor Hellebuyck, from the Detroit-area suburb of Commerce Township, stopped 30 shots.

“The players did a great job of shutting the game down in the first period,” Jets coach Paul Maurice said. “I really enjoyed this win from a coach’s standpoint.”

Related: Video: Nothing lucky about Laine’s seventh goal of the season

Luke Glendening, Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader scored for Detroit, and Petr Mrazek made 26 saves. The Red Wings are 0-3-1 in their last four to drop to 6-5-1.

“You’ve got to play a complete game in this league. Players are too good and will make you pay if you make mistakes and turn the pucks over,” Abdelkader said. “We’ve got to be better that way but there’s lots of things to build off of the last few games. It’s a long season. We’ll be better and get ready for Sunday (when the Red Wings host the Edmonton Oilers).”

It was Gordie Howe night at Joe Louis Arena. The family of the late Hall of Famer spoke to the media before the game. Howe died on June 10 at the age of 88. His son, Mark Howe, is Detroit’s director of pro scouting. The first 5,000 fans received Gordie Howe statue replicas.

Mark and his siblings, Marty, Murray and Cathy dropped the puck for the ceremonial opening faceoff.

Tanev scored the winner on a breakaway, beating Mrazek on the glove side.

Ehlers added an empty-net goal in the last minute. It was his third goal.

Tanev’s first goal, with 7:36 left, tied it at 3.

After he beat Mrazek under the crossbar from in close, the puck went in and out so fast play continued for about a minute. After a stoppage, the play was reviewed and called a goal.

Abdelkader gave Detroit a 3-2 lead 9:12 into the third period.

Scheifele tied it at 2 earlier in the third period. It was his sixth goal.

“I thought we started really well. Even in the second it felt like we carried the play at times. Then in the third for whatever reason, I thought we fell back a little bit,” said Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall, who made his season debut after being bothered by a sore knee, “In saying that, I don’t know how many great scoring chances they had. But they came out winning. Two points are what you need and we didn’t get that.”

Zetterberg gave the Red Wings a 2-1 lead 9:40 into the second period. He batted the rebound of Tomas Tatar‘s shot out of the air and into the net.

The goal was originally waved off because it was first indicated that Zetterberg’s stick was higher than the crossbar. But referees Chris Lee and Ghislain Hebert and linesmen Tim Nowak and Ryan Galloway huddled and immediately reversed the call. The call of a goal was then upheld by the NHL Situation Room in Toronto.

Glendening gave Detroit a 1-0 lead 3:04 into the game when he deflected Dan DeKeyser‘s shot/pass from the left point past Hellebuyck. It was Glendening’s first goal of the season.

Laine tied it at 1 with 4:30 left in the first period. He leads NHL rookies with seven goals.