Ottawa Senators

Hartnell, Talbot, Hammond named NHL’s three stars of the week

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Columbus’ Scott Hartnell and a pair of goalies — the Rangers’ Cam Talbot and Ottawa’s Andrew Hammond — have been named the NHL’s three stars for the week ending Mar. 15, the league announced on Monday.

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Hartnell led the NHL with five goals and shared second in the League with five points to power the Blue Jackets (30-35-4, 64 points) to three wins in four starts.

Talbot went 3-0-0 with a 1.00 goals-against average and .969 save percentage to backstop the Rangers (44-17-7, 95 points) to the No. 1 overall position in the NHL standings.

Hammond posted a 3-0-0 record with a 1.30 goals-against average and .957 save percentage to pull the Senators (33-24-11, 77 points) within five points of the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference.

March has been a pretty good month for Hammond and Talbot. The former was also named the league’s first star of the week back on Mar. 2, and Talbot was named third star last week.

Zidlicky drawing rave reviews from Red Wings

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Throughout this season, we’ve written frequently about Detroit’s desire to land a right-handed shooting defenseman that could move the puck and man the power play.

It took a while, but the Wings finally found their guy.

Marek Zidlicky, who came over from New Jersey at the deadline for a conditional third-round pick, has seven points in his first seven games as a Red Wing, a streak punctuated by Sunday’s one-goal, two-assist effort in a 5-1 win over the Penguins.

It’s that right-handed shot that caught head coach Mike Babcock’s eye.

“He has a bomb — he can flat out shoot the puck,” Babcock said, per the Detroit News. “To the point where he has to shoot it more on the power play, and he doesn’t mind crosschecking the odd guy.

“He can move the puck, too.”

Through seven games, Babcock has foreshadowed how Zidlicky will likely be utilized for the remainder of the regular season and playoffs. The 38-year-old is hovering around 18 minutes per night, often on a pairing with Brendan Smith, but has already emerged as a fixture on the Red Wings’ power play, averaging 2:46 TOI per game (the only other blueliner to get more is Niklas Kronwall.)

Not coincidentally, Detroit’s power play has scored at least once in every game with Zidlicky in the lineup, going 7-for-25 (28 percent).

“He’s a really good defenseman,” Detroit captain Henrik Zetterberg explained, per the Free Press. “He always makes the right play, and he’s so calm. It’s fun to play with him.”

What will be interesting to monitor moving forward, though, is if Zidlicky can maintain a solid clip after a good start — something last year’s trade deadline pickup, David Legwand, struggled to do. Legwand scored nine points in his first 14 games as a Red Wing after coming over from Nashville in early March, but struggled down the stretch: just two points in his final seven games, and none in Detroit’s five-game opening-round playoff loss to Boston.

PHT Morning Skate: Ovechkin surprises couple who lost home to a fire

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Alex Ovechkin surprised two fans that lost their house and most prized possessions in a fire by giving them an autographed jersey.

NHL general managers will honor Bryan Murray tonight as all 30 GMs get together in Boca Raton, Florida for the GMs meetings. (Ottawa Sun)

New York Islanders prospect Josh Ho-Sang isn’t worried about his critics. (Sportsnet)

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Senators’ goaltender Andrew Hammond, better known these days as “The Hamburglar”, picked up a burger off the ice following Ottawa’s 2-1 shootout win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday.

On Saturday night the ECHL’s Cincinnati Cyclones wore jerseys resembling the famous Iron Man suit. (Puck Daddy)

Washington Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner recently met and signed autographs for a fan who beat him at words with friends. (RMNB)

During a stoppage in play between the Montreal Canadiens and New York Islanders on Saturday night Carey Price posed for a selfie with a fan. You can see the image here.

That’s greasy: Hammond picks burger off ice after Sens win

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Time will tell if the Ottawa Senators have enough time to chase down a 2015 playoff spot, but either way, Andrew Hammond is making the most of this run.

Sunday set a new mark as far as fan interaction goes for “The Hamburglar,” as a fan threw a hamburger onto the ice after Hammond powered a 2-1 shootout win against the Philadelphia Flyers and, well … just look:

Wow. If this thing takes off like plastic rats in Florida, we could see some greasy nights in Ottawa.

Again, it’s been quite the run for the 27-year-old:

Check out a few more Hammond-related stats:

Goals: Serious snipes from Tarasenko, Voracek

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There’s not much to this post, but sometimes, you just want to feast your eyes on some big-time goals.

First, let’s check out Vladimir Tarasenko’s sinister snipe against the Dallas Stars, which served as a game-winner for the St. Louis Blues in a 3-0 decision:

That goal marks Tarasenko’s 34th of 2014-15.

Philadelphia Flyers winger Jakub Voracek has had a fantastic season, but he was struggling to score even-strength goals, until he beat Ottawa Senators goalie Andrew Hammond with this one:

Voracek still has 21 goals this season anyway, so it’s not like he’s been totally snake-bitten.