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Ducks’ Andrew Cogliano set to play in 800th consecutive NHL game

When Andrew Cogliano steps on to the SAP Center ice Saturday night he’ll hit a milestone that only three other NHL players have reached in the 100-year history of the league.

That feat will be joining Steve Larmer, Garry Unger and Doug Jarvis by playing in his 800th consecutive game.

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The 30-year-old forward isn’t one to talk about the streak much, which started when broke into the league at age 20. In today’s game, even as players take care of their bodies in ways better than before, it’s quite amazing Cogliano has avoided injury that would cause him to sit out at least one game. The other thing, as he told the Orange County Register’s Eric Stephens, is that no coach in his 11-season career has decided he needed to spend a night as a healthy scratch.

“I think as I keep playing I hope that continues,” he said. “I just wanted to be someone who is a guy that the coaches want in because they think you’re helping the team.”

The way Cogliano takes care of his body has always amazed teammates. It helped that growing up his mother was a fitness instructor, emphasizing being active and eating healthy. When he reached the NHL, he began training with Matt Nichol, the creator of BioSteel and trainer of numerous athletes. These days he works with Andy O’Brien, Director of Sport Science and Performance for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

“You can really look at a guy like him and learn a lot in terms of how he prepares for games, how he prepares for the summer, what he puts into his body, the rest that he gets,” said former teammate Sam Gagner. “I don’t think there’s anybody that’s a better pro in the league. You look up to Cogs for what he’s been able to accomplish and hopefully he keeps going on for a long, long time.”

As Cogliano told me last year, it was those early days with the Edmonton Oilers, being around veterans like Shawn Horcoff, Steve Staios, Jarret Stoll and Ethan Moreau, that opened his eyes to just what it takes to last in this league. That early education could pay off with a remarkable record.

If Cogliano, an unrestricted free agent this summer, continues his streak, he’ll pass Jarvis during game No. 15 of the 2019-20 NHL season.

“I think if it wasn’t for me being in Edmonton maybe I wouldn’t be how I am now,” he said.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

The Buzzer: McDavid leads Oilers; Rinne celebrates birthday with win

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Player of the Night: Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers

The Oilers captain registered an assist in all three periods helping Edmonton to a 6-3 win over the New Jersey Devils. After starting the night tied for 30th in NHL scoring, he now sits tied for fifth. According to the NHL, McDavid has now recorded at least three points in a game 17 times since the 2015-16 season.

Highlight of the Night:

Taylor Hall came this close to scoring an own goal in his return to Edmonton:

MISC:

• During their Hockey Fights Cancer night, the Oilers invited Brian Boyle to take part in the ceremonial puck drop before their game:

• The Oilers won 44 of 66 face-offs.

Adam Larsson‘s stat line: 1 assist, 3 SOG, 13 hits, 6 blocked shots, 23:07 TOI.

• Before he almost scored in his own net, Hall tallied his first goal against his old team:

• Five different Nashville Predators scored as they held off the Anaheim Ducks during a 5-3 victory. Pekka Rinne made 35 stops and assisted on P.K. Subban‘s empty netter to help celebrate his 35th birthday.

Scott Hartnell, who scored Nashville’s opening goal, suited up for the 1,200th game of his NHL career.

John Gibson had no chance on this Roman Josi laser:

• Nifty primary assist here by Derek Grant:

Factoid of the Night:

Scores:
Edmonton 6, New Jersey 3
Nashville 5, Anaheim 3

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Ducks’ Patrick Eaves diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome

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Patrick Eaves has only played two games for the Anaheim Ducks this season, and the team updated his situation on Monday.

Eaves, who hasn’t played since Oct. 13, spent the weekend at a local hospital after being diagnosed with what medical personnel believe to be Guillain-Barré syndrome which, according to the Ducks, is “a disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks the peripheral nervous system.”

The Ducks say the 33-year-old Eaves was feeling weak last week and after seeing specialists, was admitted to the intensive care unit at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, California. Over the weekend he was stabilized and moved out of ICU. He’s expected to make a full recovery, though no timetable for a return has been given.

“I want to thank Dr. Robert Watkins Sr. and Dr. Danny Benmoshe for their early diagnosis of my condition, along with the proactive Ducks medical team,” Eaves said in a statement. “Thanks to them and the incredible nurses at Hoag Hospital, I’m on the road to recovery. I’ve received tremendous amount of support over the last few days, most importantly from my family, friends and teammates. I’m determined to fully overcome this and return to the ice as soon as possible.”

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website, Guillain-Barré syndrome can affect someone at any age and is diagnosed in “only about one person in 100,000.” It’s still unknown how the disease manifests in those affected. William “Refrigerator” Perry and Danny Wuerffel are among those who battled it.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Chronically ill 4th-grader signs with college hockey team

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WELLESLEY, Mass. — A Massachusetts college’s newest varsity athlete is a 10-year-old chronically ill boy recruited more for his spirit than his slap shot.

The Babson College men’s ice hockey team in Wellesley welcomed Walpole fourth-grader Coleman Walsh to the squad Tuesday. The induction was organized by Team IMPACT, a national nonprofit that connects colleges with youngsters dealing with debilitating or life-threatening illnesses.

Since birth, Coleman has been fighting Williams syndrome, a developmental disorder.

Coleman signed a letter of intent with Babson. He put on skates and a jersey before taking to the ice. He’ll be able to attend practices, games and other events.

Anaheim Ducks player Chris Wagner is from Walpole and wished Coleman luck this season in a video message.

Team IMPACT says it has paired more than 1,200 children with 450-plus U.S. colleges.

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Crosby, Toews, Weber, Price lead pack in NHL 16’s ratings

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After unveiling the top 10 goaltenders for the upcoming video game NHL 16, EA Sports has done the same for every other position.

As was the case last season, Sidney Crosby has the highest overall rating at 96, but there are some alterations after that. In 2015, Steven Stamkos ranked second overall with a 93 rating and he kept that rating for 2015-16, but he’s been leapfrogged by Jonathan Toews (94), Shea Weber (94), and Carey Price (94).

Pavel Datsyuk (93) and John Tavares (92) round out the top-five among centers. Both Detroit and Pittsburgh have two players in the top-10 with Henrik Zetterberg (92) and Evgeni Malkin (92) securing eighth and sixth place respectively.

As previously established, Weber leads the pack among defensemen and is followed by Duncan Keith (93), Drew Doughty (93), Ryan Suter (93), and Erik Karlsson (91). Nashville is the only team with two defensemen in the top-10 as Roman Josi (90) ranks ninth.

When it comes to right wingers, Corey Perry (92) got the top position, although he’s closely followed by Patrick Kane (92). Vladimir Tarasenko (91), Jakub Voracek (90), and Marian Hossa (90) make up the remainder of the top-five. Phil Kessel, who was traded from Toronto to Pittsburgh over the summer, saw his rating slip from 90 in 2014-15 to 89 following a rough campaign with the Maple Leafs.

When it comes to left wingers, it won’t surprise many to learn that Alex Ovechkin secured the top rating at 93. He’s followed by Jamie Benn (92), Taylor Hall (90), Zach Parise (90), and Max Pacioretty (89). The Dallas Stars’ acquisition of Patrick Sharp means that they now have two players in the top-10 as Sharp took the final place on that list with his 89 rating.

NHL 16 will be out on Sept. 15 in North America and Sept. 17 in Europe. If you want to see each position’s top-10 list, you can view them here.