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Marc-Andre Fleury set for return after getting taken off IR

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The Vegas Golden Knights have their starting goaltender back.

After nearly two months and 25 missed games, Marc-Andre Fleury is expected to make his return to the lineup on Tuesday after being pulled off injured reserve on Sunday.

Fleury hasn’t played since Oct. 13 when Detroit Red Wings forward Anthony Mantha collided with the 33-year-old as he drove to the net. Fleury was shaken up on the play but saw it through, picking up his first loss of the season after allowing six goals on 27 shots.

Fleury was solid in the crease in the four games he figured into, going 3-1-0 with a .925 save percentage and a 2.48 goals-against average.

Since he went down, the Golden Knights have had four other netminders see the crease after injuries ran rampant through their goaltending stable.

Their combined record, despite a clear lacking of NHL experience, has been remarkable:

  • Malcolm Subban – 10 GP, 7-2-0, .924 save percentage
  • Maxime Lagace – 14 GP, 6-6-1, .872 save percentage
  • Oscar Dansk – 4 GP, 3-0-0, .946 save percentage
  • Dylan Ferguson – 1 GP, 0-0-0, .500 save percentage

Remember when Subban was claimed off waivers on the eve of the start of the regular season? Quite the steal.

That adds up to a 16-8-1 record with Fleury out of the lineup, which is incredible given how banged up Vegas got between the pipes.

The Golden Knights are on a four-game heater at the moment, and with Subban playing admirably — winning his past three starts — it remains to be seen if Fleury takes the crease on Tuesday.

If not Tuesday, Fleury is surely a lock to get the start against his former team. The Pittsburgh Penguins come to town on Thursday.


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

Oscar Dansk exits game vs. Islanders as Golden Knights lose another goaltender

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If you’re a beer league goalie, you might want to shoot a note to Vegas Golden Knights general manager George McPhee right now.

As the Golden Knights began a road trip with eight of their next nine games away from home, they lost starter Oscar Dansk to injury during a 6-3 loss to the New York Islanders.

Dansk, who is 3-0-0 with a .961 even strength save percentage this season, left the game late in the second period.

Maxim Lagace would take over and finish the night and allow four goals on 11 shots faced.

Vegas hasn’t said what Dansk’s status is going forward, but just to be safe they’re bringing in Dylan Ferguson on emergency recall from Kamloops for Tuesday’s game against the New York Rangers. The 18-year-old Ferguson was a seventh-round pick last June and acquired from the Dallas Stars in the Marc Methot deal. In 13 appearances with the WHL’s Blazers he has a 4.05 goals against average and .878 save percentage.

“It’s part of the game. It’s next guy up,” Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant said afterward.

The Golden Knights are used to this by this point. No. 1 Marc-Andre Fleury, who Gallant described as “day-to-day,” is out, along with Malcolm Subban, their No. 2 who was acquired on waivers earlier this month. Lagace was the fourth goaltender to make an appearance for a Vegas team that’s only played 10 games.

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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.

Jackets’ prospect Oscar Dansk loaned to Swedish club

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After struggling in his first professional season in North America, goaltender Oscar Dansk is heading to Sweden for the 2015-16 season.

Dansk, originally a second-round pick (31st overall) by the Columbus Blue Jackets at the 2012 NHL Draft, spent the 2014-15 season between the AHL’s Springfield Falcons and ECHL’s Kalamazoo Wings.

“I got away from my game a little bit because I felt like I wasn’t playing really well, so (I) tried to find a solution,” Dansk told The Columbus Dispatch. “I maybe should have just built on my game and made it stronger. I got away from my game, which probably hurt me in the long run.”

In 21 AHL games Dansk went 7-7-5 with a 3.57 G.A.A. and a .880 save percentage. The 21-year-old was 1-8-0 while posting a 3.73 G.A.A. and a .889 save percentage in 11 games with Kalamazoo.

“He didn’t have a great season in Springfield, so there was some concern,” said Blue Jackets’ goaltending coach Ian Clark. “Sometimes he slips mentally and starts to overcompensate, but when he’s strong in his game and he’s trusting in his game, he’s a very good goaltender. We’ve got to get rid of those fluctuations where his mind flips. His core assets are real strong.”

Dansk will play next season on loan to Rogle BK, a first-division Swedish League team.

“I’m just going to work every day,” he said. “I have a schedule with fewer games over in Sweden, so I’ll have more time in practices to really nail down a few things and just take my time and not rush into things.”

Deadline approaching for Jackets to sign prospect Peter Quenneville

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The Columbus Blue Jackets have already lost prospect goaltender Oscar Dansk who decided to sign in the Swedish Hockey League earlier this week.

According to Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch, the Jackets are now in danger of losing Peter Quenneville.

GM Jarmo Kekalainen tells Portzline the Jackets are still uncertain about signing the forward.

If Quenneville isn’t signed by June 1, he is eligible to go back into this year’s draft.

The 21-year-old has spent parts of two seasons with the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League after leaving Quinnipiac University during the 2013-14 season. He had 27 goals and 75 points in 72 games this season.

Quenneville, who is the second cousin of Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville and nephew of Islanders’ defenseman Johnny Boychuk by marriage, was the seventh round selection of the Jackets (195th overall) in 2013.

World Juniors: Finland beats Sweden 3-2 in overtime to win gold

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Rasmus Ristolainen’s golden goal in overtime gave Finland a 3-2 victory against rival Sweden and their first World Junior Championships gold medal since 1998.

Ristolainen, a 2013 Buffalo Sabres first-round pick, pinched in deep to deke and beat Swedish goalie, and Blue Jackets prospect, Oscar Dansk for the game-winner. Blackhawks prospect Teuvo Teravainen assisted on all three Finnish goals.

Here’s video of the game-winner. Enjoy the Finnish call of the game.

Celebrating victory gets weird when you’re in Sweden though as Ristolainen shows in this GIF courtesy of CJZero.

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Pippi Longstocking wigs are so in, you guys. It’s a Swedish thing so that’s just super.

It turned out to be a good tournament for fans of the Sabres and Nashville Predators. Swedish forward Filip Forsberg was named MVP of the tournament as well as Best Forward and was one of the tourney’s all-stars up front. Teravainen and Red Wings prospect Anthony Mantha were also named to the all-star team.

Ristolainen won the award for Best Defenseman and he along with Russian defenseman Nikita Zadorov were named to the tournament’s all-star team as was Finnish goalie and Predators prospect Juuse Saros.

Next year’s tournament moves to Canada where it’ll be held in Toronto and Montreal. With Canada not winning a medal the past two years and not having won gold in five years, the pressure will be on.