Mike Halford

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Prized prospect Mantha to stick in Detroit ‘long term’

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Anthony Mantha isn’t going to be a one-and-done.

Mantha, Detroit’s first-round pick (2oth overall) at the 2013 draft, will make his NHL debut tonight against the Flyers and — per head coach Jeff Blashill — will be sticking around Detroit for the foreseeable future.

Per MLive, the plan is to keep Mantha around long term. This blueprint reveal comes one day after the club brought Mantha up from AHL Grand Rapids — despite the fact that, earlier this season, the Red Wings shot down the idea of recalling the 21-year-old.

Things changed, however.

For one, Detroit’s in the midst of a playoff fight, trying to hold off the aforementioned Flyers for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. The Wings also suffered a disheartening 1-0 loss to lowly Toronto on Sunday, a game in which they failed to score despite firing 38 shots on Jonathan Bernier.

It would seem, at least from this morning’s line rushes, that Mantha will be leaned upon to do what he does best — score goals.

The former Quebec Junior sniper was skating on a line with Pavel Datsyuk and Tomas Tatar on Tuesday. That should bode well for Mantha — a two-time 50-goal scorer with Val d’Or, he has an impressive 21 goals and 45 points through 56 games with Grand Rapids this season.

Panthers lose top penalty killer MacKenzie (fractured foot) for at least two weeks

SUNRISE, FL - JANUARY 18: Derek MacKenzie #17 of the Florida Panthers rates up ice with the puck during third period action against the Edmonton Oilers at the BB&T Center on January 18, 2016 in Sunrise, Florida. The Oilers defeated the Panthers 4-2. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
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Florida’s penalty kill has been pretty effective this season — currently sitting 11th in the NHL, at 81.7 percent — but the unit took a big hit this week, as Derek MacKenzie has been ruled out for at least the net two weeks with a fractured foot.

Per the Sun-Sentinel, MacKenzie suffered the injury blocking a shot against the Flyers on Saturday and was seen on crutches and in a walking boot following the contest.

The 34-year-old veteran will be missed. Though he’s hardly an offensive dynamo — just six goals and 13 points through 59 games — he does lead all Panthers forwards in shorthanded time on ice, at 3:14 per contest.

MacKenzie also leads the team in hits, with 143, is one of the club’s top faceoff men and serves as one of Florida’s alternate captains.

Versteeg set to skate with Kopitar, Lucic versus ‘Hawks

Los Angeles Kings' Milan Lucic celebrates his goal with teammate Anze Kopitar (11) during the third period of the Los Angeles Kings 9-2 win over the Boston Bruins in an NHL hockey game in Boston Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
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Kris Versteeg will be playing a prominent role for his new team tonight — as he faces his old one.

Versteeg, who won a pair of Stanley Cups with Chicago, will skate alongside Anze Kopitar and Milan Lucic in his sixth game as a King, when L.A. visits the United Center this evening.

Versteeg is pointless through five games with the Kings, but got a brief audition with the top-liners during Saturday’s 2-1 OT loss to the Devils. He finished the game plus-1 in 15:38 TOI.

 

Police: Man fatally stabbed over Devils hat at Philadelphia park

YEADON, PA - JANUARY 8:  Police tape is placed in front of the home of police officer shooting suspect Edward Archer, 30, who allegedly shot 13 times at Philadelphia Police Officer Jesse Hartnett, on January 8, 2016 in Yeadon, Pennsylvania.  Surveillance footage reveals the suspect was dressed in Muslim clothing and wearing a mask.  Following his arrest, suspect Edward Archer stated, "I follow Allah and pledge allegiance to the Islamic State and that is the reason I did what I did." (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
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PHILADELPHIA — A man wearing a New Jersey Devils cap stabbed another man to death in a posh section of Philadelphia after an argument about the hat turned physical, police said Monday.

The stabbing happened just after 3 a.m. Sunday in the city’s tony Rittenhouse Square, authorities said. Emergency responders found 24-year-old Colin McGovern, of Churchville, lying on the sidewalk with stab wounds to the torso. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

“This was over a hockey cap,” Homicide Capt. James Clark said, calling the crime “very senseless.”

Clark said McGovern and three companions had been out for a night on the town and were just getting out of a cab with the intention of finding a hotel. Clark said McGovern made a comment about 40-year-old Steven Simminger’s Devils cap, and an argument escalated into a physical altercation.

The two men wound up on the ground, with McGovern on top of Simminger when he was stabbed, Clark said.

Simminger then went to a Veterans Affairs hospital for treatment of a cut on his hand as well as a mental evaluation, telling people there he had been involved in an altercation, authorities said. Police were tipped off that he was there, and they arrested and charged him with murder and related offenses.

Clark couldn’t say which branch of the military Simminger had been in.

Simminger lives in New Jersey with his sister, Clark said, and was in the neighborhood after visiting friends.

No attorney information was listed for Simminger in online court documents.

Goalie nods: After getting hooked last game, Crawford back in for key tilt versus L.A.

Corey Crawford
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This has, for the most part, been a pretty great season for Corey Crawford. He’s posted a career-high 35 wins, leads the NHL in shutouts, has a stellar .927 save percentage and was named to Team Canada for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Of course, it hasn’t all been good.

In Chicago’s last game, a 5-2 loss to Dallas, Crawford was yanked after allowing four goals on 20 shots in just over 30 minutes of action. A minor aberration, sure, but still an aberration — which is why there’ll be some eyes on Crawford tonight as he takes on another of the Western Conference’s elite, the Los Angeles Kings.

Crawford has faced the Kings once already this season and was excellent, stopping 33 of 35 shots in a 4-2 victory.

For L.A., Jonathan Quick will get the start in goal.

Elsewhere…

Thomas Greiss will make his third start as the Isles’ No. 1 when the Panthers visit Brooklyn. Though Greiss has yet to post a win since taking over for the injured Jaroslav Halak, he has looked good and posted solid numbers. Roberto Luongo will go for Florida.

Jake Allen will start for the red-hot Blues in Calgary. The Flames will go with Joni Ortio.

Related: Flames will ‘cast a wide net’ to find a goalie

Laurent Brossoit will get back in goal for the Oilers, his first start since allowing six goals on 27 shots in a loss to Columbus. Pekka Rinne appears likely for the Preds.

— It’s Michael Hutchinson versus Jacob Markstrom as the Jets take on the Canucks in Vancouver.

Keith Kinkaid, the NHL’s reigning third star of the week, will once again start for the Devils as they take on the Ducks in Anaheim. Frederik Andersen goes for the home team.