Jason Brough

Stone gets two games for ‘reckless’ hit on Ferraro

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Senators forward Mark Stone has been suspended two games for an illegal check to the head of Detroit’s Landon Ferraro.

The NHL ruled that Stone made Ferraro’s head the main point of contact, calling the hit a “reckless shoulder to the head of an opponent.”

Ferraro was not injured on the play and Stone has no disciplinary history.

Stone will miss tomorrow’s game in Montreal and Thursday’s home game versus Winnipeg.

The 23-year-old leads the Sens with 13 points in 11 games.

Goalie nods: Reimer gets the high-powered Stars

James Reimer; Mikkel Boedker; Oliver Ekman-Larsson
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James Reimer will try to improve on what’s been a tough season to date when he gets the start tonight in Toronto versus the high-powered Stars.

Reimer may not have received the assignment if Jonathan Bernier were feeling better.

“Bernier got bumped in the last game (Saturday night against Pittsburgh) and isn’t feeling as good, so we’re going to go with Reimer,” coach Mike Babcock said, per the Toronto Sun.

Reimer is 1-1-1 with an .876 save percentage. A week ago, the last time he played, he allowed four goals on 24 shots in a 4-3 loss to Arizona.

The Stars, led by Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin, are the NHL’s third-highest scoring team.

Antti Niemi is expected to start for Dallas.

Elsewhere…

Corey Crawford for the Blackhawks. No word on a Kings starter. Los Angeles also plays tomorrow in St. Louis, so Jonathan Quick and Jhonas Enroth could both see action. It’s presumed Quick will start tonight.

—  Ryan Miller for the Canucks. No word on a Flyers starter. Philadelphia also plays tomorrow in Edmonton, so Steve Mason and Michal Neuvirth could both see action.

Tavares (illness) won’t be back ‘for a little bit’

John Tavares
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The illness that’s kept John Tavares out of the Islanders’ lineup the past two games is likely to keep him out for some time longer.

“I don’t expect him here for a little bit,” coach Jack Capuano told reporters today.

Though he wouldn’t get into specifics, Capuano said that Tavares “is not doing well.”

Capuano said over the weekend that Tavares was “getting the treatment he needs” and that his situation would be monitored throughout the week.

The Isles are 0-1-1 without their captain. They lost, 2-1, to the Sabres yesterday.

They host New Jersey tomorrow, before traveling to Montreal for a game Thursday.

Marchand, Allen and Hall are NHL’s three stars of the week

Brad Marchand
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Bruins winger Brad Marchand, Blues goalie Jake Allen and Oilers winger Taylor Hall have been named the NHL’s three stars for the past week.

From NHL.com:

Marchand shared first in the NHL with four goals and added a pair of assists to lead the Bruins (6-3-1, 13 points) to a trio of wins, extending the club’s point streak to seven contests (6-0-1).

Allen went 3-0-0 with a 0.98 goals-against average, .963 save percentage and one shutout to backstop the Blues (8-2-1, 17 points) to three consecutive victories.

Hall posted a trio of multi-point games to pace the NHL in scoring (2-5—7) and guide the Oilers (4-8-0, 8 points) to one win in three starts.

On a side note, it’ll be interesting to see how Allen’s play affects the always-interesting goaltending situation in St. Louis. Brian Elliott has been good, but not great, in five starts, registering a .908 save percentage.

Allen’s save percentage is .929.

“We’ve still got probably six, eight games before we make a decision, whether the decision is to split, or guy with one guy more, or not,” coach Ken Hitchcock said last week.

Of course, it doesn’t really matter how the two are playing now; as we learned last year, it’s all about who’s the hottest going into the playoffs.

That being said, if the Blues had a choice, they’d probably prefer Allen to be the guy. He’s five years younger and can’t become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2017, like Elliott can.

Ranking the combined special teams for all 30 teams

John Tavares, Jay Bouwmeester, Brian Elliott
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We wrote earlier today about how special teams have been “hurting” the Philadelphia Flyers, who have struggled on both the power play and penalty kill.

But what about the other 29 teams?

Well, here are all 30 teams, sorted by their combined PP and PK percentages.

Obviously, anything over 100 is good.

1 New York Islanders 120.9
2 Montréal Canadiens 112.3
3 Washington Capitals 112.0
4 Boston Bruins 110.3
5 Vancouver Canucks 110.0
6 Nashville Predators 108.7
7 Winnipeg Jets 107.7
8 Dallas Stars 107.6
9 Chicago Blackhawks 103.3
10 Detroit Red Wings 103.0
11 New York Rangers 102.2
12 Edmonton Oilers 101.4
13 Los Angeles Kings 101.1
14 Florida Panthers 101.1
15 Pittsburgh Penguins 100.0
16 Anaheim Ducks 99.1
17 Colorado Avalanche 99.1
18 New Jersey Devils 98.1
19 Minnesota Wild 97.6
20 Tampa Bay Lightning 96.4
21 Arizona Coyotes 94.5
22 Buffalo Sabres 94.1
23 St. Louis Blues 93.8
24 San Jose Sharks 92.5
25 Calgary Flames 91.6
26 Carolina Hurricanes 90.9
27 Ottawa Senators 89.0
28 Philadelphia Flyers 88.7
29 Columbus Blue Jackets 88.0
30 Toronto Maple Leafs 81.1

As you can, special teams are indeed hurting the Flyers. Only the Blue Jackets and Leafs have a lower combined rate.

Meanwhile, special teams have been a real boon for the Isles, Habs, Caps, Bruins and Canucks. The Isles have the top-ranked PK and the second-ranked PP.

You can also see a pretty clear relation to the standings. The top eight teams are all currently in a playoff spot, while the bottom six are not.