Penguins dominating on special teams; Sabres…aren’t

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Bit of a slow day in hockey news, so here are the combined special-teams rates (power play plus penalty kill) for all 30 teams:

Team PP% PK% PP% + PK%
1 PITTSBURGH 32.8 87.9 120.7
2 CHICAGO 17.8 92.3 110.1
3 WASHINGTON 25.9 80.7 106.6
4 DETROIT 17.6 88.5 106.1
5 SAN JOSE 22.6 83.3 105.9
6 TAMPA BAY 23.8 81.4 105.2
7 ST LOUIS 26.2 78.6 104.8
8 TORONTO 20.6 84.1 104.7
9 VANCOUVER 18.0 85.7 103.7
10 OTTAWA 18.2 83.6 101.8
11 COLORADO 13.4 88.2 101.6
12 COLUMBUS 24.6 76.2 100.8
13 BOSTON 22.0 78.0 100.0
14 ANAHEIM 18.5 81.4 99.9
15 CALGARY 22.0 77.8 99.8
16 CAROLINA 19.0 80.4 99.4
17 LOS ANGELES 14.0 85.1 99.1
18 MINNESOTA 9.3 89.3 98.6
19 MONTREAL 13.0 84.6 97.6
20 WINNIPEG 9.7 87.7 97.4
21 ARIZONA 20.0 77.0 97.0
22 PHILADELPHIA 24.6 71.2 95.8
23 DALLAS 15.9 79.7 95.6
24 FLORIDA 15.7 79.7 95.4
25 EDMONTON 13.8 81.2 95.0
26 NY RANGERS 14.3 80.4 94.7
27 NY ISLANDERS 19.1 73.7 92.8
28 NEW JERSEY 18.6 70.0 88.6
29 NASHVILLE 13.7 72.1 85.8
30 BUFFALO 7.0 78.4 85.4

Notes:

— Hard to see Pittsburgh staying at such a high level all season, but a pretty impressive start on both the PP and PK. In 2013-14, the highest combined rate also belonged to Pittsburgh, at 108.4.

— The Predators’ special-teams issues are a bit of a surprise given their 11-4-2 start to the season. How to explain it? Easy: Nashville’s been the best five-on-five scoring team in the league, with a goals ratio of 1.74. The Penguins, by the way, are second in that category (1.62), while the Sabres (0.49) are last.

— The Wild have the best penalty kill, which is very good (2nd in NHL), when compared to their power play, which is very poor (29th).

— The Flyers have the best power power, which is very good (5th), when compared to their penalty kill, which is very poor (29th).

Blackhawks’ Boris Katchouk sidelined by ankle sprain

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CHICAGO — Blackhawks forward Boris Katchouk will be sidelined for four to six weeks with a left ankle sprain, the team announced.

The 24-year-old Katchouk played almost 12 minutes during a 3-0 preseason loss to Detroit on Saturday night. He was acquired in a multiplayer trade with Tampa Bay in March.

The Blackhawks open the season on Oct. 12 at Colorado.

The team also said forward Jujhar Khaira is day to day with a right ankle injury.

Ducks’ Urho Vaakanainen crashes into boards, leaves on stretcher

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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ducks defenseman Urho Vaakanainen was taken off the Honda Center ice on a stretcher after he crashed into the end boards in the first period of Anaheim’s preseason game against the San Jose Sharks.

The Finnish defenseman was conscious and alert with full movement in his extremities at UCI Medical Center, the Ducks said.

The frightening incident occurred midway through the opening period when Vaakanainen smashed into the boards at a dangerous speed behind the Sharks’ net. Vaakanainen appeared to be concentrating on the pass he had just made to Derek Grant, who scored the Ducks’ opening goal on the assist.

Vaakanainen’s teammates came onto the ice and gathered around him as he was taken away on the stretcher.

The Ducks acquired the 23-year-old Vaakanainen from Boston last March in the deal that sent longtime Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm to the Bruins. After recording two assists in 14 games for the Ducks last season, Vaakanainen is attempting to win a top-six role on Anaheim’s defense this fall.

Lightning donate $2 million to Hurricane Ian relief efforts

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TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Lightning and team owner Jeff Vinik are donating $2 million toward Hurricane Ian relief efforts.

The NHL team announced that $1 million each will be donated by the Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation and the Vinik Family Foundation.

“This is a tragic situation for many families and communities across the state of Florida, but especially so in the southwest region of the state,” Vinik said in a statement released by the team. “In times like these the most important thing we can do is support one another, and we hope this donation will help families recover and rebuild in the months to come.”

Ian made landfall Wednesday on Florida’s Gulf Coast, south of the Tampa Bay area. The Lightning postponed two home preseason games and moved the club’s training camp to Nashville, Tennessee, during the storm.

Maple Leafs sign defenseman Rasmus Sandin to 2-year deal

Rasmus Sandin
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TORONTO — Rasmus Sandin has signed a two-year, $2.8 million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the club announced on Thursday.

The 22-year-old from Sweden was the 29th overall selection in the 2018 draft. Sandin had 16 points in 51 games with Toronto last season. He’s played in 88 career regular-season games, with six goals and 22 assists, and has one goal in five playoff games.

“Got a great set of tools,” fellow defenseman Jake Muzzin said. “With experience, I think they’re only going to get better.”

The signing comes as the Leafs’ blueliners been hit hard by injuries. Muzzin has been dealing with a back issue, and Timothy Liljegren recently had surgery for a hernia.

Toronto then lost Jamie Benn (groin) and Carl Dahlstrom (shoulder) in Wednesday’s 3-0 preseason victory over the Montreal Canadiens, pressing forwards Calle Jarnkrok and Alexander Kerfoot into defensive roles for two periods.