Teddy Purcell

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Waiver news: Predators add Boucher from Devils, Kings waive Purcell

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There was some interesting player movement on the NHL’s waiver wire on Saturday afternoon.

First, the Nashville Predators claimed forward Reid Boucher from the New Jersey Devils. What makes that move so fascinating is that the move was officially announced two hours before the two teams played in Nashville.

When the morning started, Boucher was still technically a member of the Devils. After a short walk down the hall to the home locker room, he could very likely be in the lineup on Saturday against his former team.

The 23-year-old Boucher has played in 82 games for the Devils over the past four years, scoring 11 goals to go with 18 assists. He scored eight of those goals a year ago (in only 39 games). He has produced at pretty much every level he has played at so it is probably worthy gamble for the Predators to take.

Elsewhere, the Los Angeles Kings placed veteran forward Teddy Purcell on waivers after a slow start to the season that has seen him record just two assists in 12 games.

The Kings signed Purcell over the summer to a one-year, $1.6 million contract on the first day of free agency.

Purcell, 31, has always been a favorite of the advanced stats community because of his possession numbers and the fact he has usually produced like a top-six forward, but has bounced around the league a little bit over the past couple of years, playing for Tampa Bay, Edmonton, Florida, and Los Angeles since the start of the 2013-14 season.

In 76 games for the Oilers and Panthers in 2015-16 he scored 14 goals and added 29 assists.

Kings win fourth in a row as Kopitar returns

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LOS ANGELES (AP) Dwight King scored twice in a 20-second span late in the third period, Peter Budaj stopped 22 shots and the Los Angeles Kings defeated the New York Islanders 4-2 on Wednesday night for their fourth consecutive win.

Jake Muzzin and Alec Martinez also scored to help the Kings win their fifth straight at home.

Anders Lee scored twice and Jaroslav Halak made 24 saves for the Islanders, who dropped to 1-5-1 on the road this season.

King deflected in Derek Forbort‘s long slap shot for the go-ahead goal with 2:28 remaining, seconds after a power play expired. He made it 3-1 just 20 seconds later, and Muzzin added an empty-netter.

Lee tied it 4:27 into the third period. He was somehow able to collect and backhand in the rebound of Travis Hamonic‘s missed shot while tangled up with Kings defenseman Matt Greene.

Lee added his third goal of the season with 1:52 left to make it 4-2, but the Islanders failed in their attempt to string together consecutive wins away from Barclays Center for the first time this season.

Martinez put the Kings ahead 15:34 into the first period with his fourth goal of the season, taking advantage of Trevor Lewis‘ screen in front to beat Halak with a shot from the blue line.

Kings defensemen have seven goals during their winning streak, including Martinez scoring the opener against New Jersey last Saturday.

Muzzin and Anze Kopitar, who returned to action after missing five games with a hand/wrist injury, had assists on the play.

The Islanders could not carry over the momentum from their first road win of the season Tuesday at Anaheim, despite two power-play opportunities in the first 11 minutes. New York had just one shot with the man advantage and seven total in the opening period, half the number needed to decide their 14-round shootout against the Ducks the previous night.

The Kings’ penalty kill has been especially sharp of late, allowing just one goal in 16 opportunities over its last five games.

The second period was a sleepy affair, with no goals, no penalties and the teams combining for 13 shots. There was drama in the closing 30 seconds as the puck took a strange bounce off the wall, leaving Halak out of position, but Kyle Clifford lost his footing in front of the crease and could not take advantage.

NOTES: The Islanders scratched G Thomas Greiss, RW Cal Clutterbuck and D Scott Mayfield. Clutterbuck, who sustained an upper-body injury against the Ducks, went through pregame warmups before being held out. … The Kings scratched LW Teddy Purcell and D Tom Gilbert.

UP NEXT

Islanders: Friday at San Jose.

Kings: Saturday night at home against Chicago.

Kings will be without Anze Kopitar (upper body) against Jets

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The Los Angeles Kings will look to snap their two-game losing streak when they take on the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday, but they’ll have to do so without captain Anze Kopitar.

Kopitar suffered an upper-body injury late in the third period of their last game against the Ottawa Senators and is considered day-to-day.

Look for Trevor Lewis to take Kopitar’s spot on the top line with Tanner Pearson and Teddy Purcell.

In other injury news, backup goalie Jeff Zatkoff is also on the shelf this afternoon.

Zatkoff was pitching a shutout in Friday’s game when he went down with a groin injury.

Jack Campbell, who was recalled from the AHL on an emergency basis, will serve as Peter Budaj‘s backup today.

The injury-riddled Kings just want to ‘stay in the race’

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The Los Angeles Kings are in survival mode, and if you don’t believe it, ask their head coach.

“I think our mission statement clearly as a group is just stay in the race,” said Darryl Sutter, per LA Kings Insider. “I think we have a really good handle on where we’re at because of our injuries and because of the way the division is. We have a really good handle on it and we’re not going to lose sight of that. We’re not going to get high-low. We’re going to keep our realistic expectations for our group. You can use injuries as an excuse because of the quality of players that we’ve lost, but we won’t use it.”

The latest Kings to fall were Brayden McNabb and Andy Andreoff. They joined Jonathan Quick, Jeff Zatkoff, Marian Gaborik, and Teddy Purcell on the injured list. With the two goalies sidelined, the Kings have been forced to go with Peter Budaj, who hasn’t been an NHL regular since the 2013-14 season.

Budaj, to his credit, has played well, going 4-2-0 with a .916 save percentage. There wasn’t much he could do the last two games, as the Kings got shut out by both the Blues, 1-0, and Blackhawks, 3-0, over the weekend.

Indeed, scoring has been the real challenge for the Kings of late. They remain possession monsters, with the highest Corsi of all 30 teams. But missing a sniper like Gaborik definitely hurts. At five-on-five, their shooting percentage is just 5.8, fifth-lowest in the league. For comparison’s sake, Minnesota leads at 13.5 percent.

Bad luck may be partly to blame for their shooting woes, but regardless of why the pucks aren’t going in, with a 4-5-0 record after nine games, they could really use a few wins, starting tonight at home against Pacific Division rival Anaheim.

“I just think the division’s better, and that’s easy to rationalize that,” said Sutter. “Calgary improved their goaltending situation by 50 percent, and Edmonton, if [Connor McDavid] wouldn’t have gotten hurt last year, they’d have been a much better team, and with the additions they’ve made, hey, it’s legit.”

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PHT’s 2016 free-agent frenzy tracker

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Welcome to Thunderdome!

Come embrace the madness with us. Throughout the weekend, we’ll be keeping tabs on all the UFA signings across the NHL, so check back regularly for all the biggest signings, trades and other acquisitions.

Saturday, July 2

— New York Islanders sign P.A. Parenteau: one year, $1.25 million (link)

— Toronto signs Roman Polak: one year (link)

— Florida signs Jason Demers: five years, $22.5 million, $4.5M AAV (link)

Friday, July 1

— Boston signs Riley Nash: two years, $1.8 million, $900,000 AAV

— Vancouver signs Jayson Megna: one year, $600K

— San Jose signs Mikkel Boedker: four years, $16 million (link)

— Los Angeles signs Teddy Purcell: one year, $1.6 million (link)

— Detroit signs Steve Ott: one year, $800,000

— Winnipeg signs Brian Strait: one year, $600,000

— Arizona signs Ryan White: one year, $1 million

— Ottawa signs Mike Blunden: two years, $$1.475 million, $737,500 AAV

— Detroit signs Thomas Vanek: one year, $2.6 million (link)

— Minnesota signs Victor Bartley: one-year, $650,000

— Montreal signs Daniel Carr: two years, $1.45 million, $725,000 AAV

— Toronto signs Matt Martin: four years, $10 million, $2.5M AAV (link)

— Winnipeg signs Quinton Howden: one year, $650,000

— Tampa Bay signs Gabriel Dumont: one year, $575,000

— Nashville signs Matt Irwin: one year, $575,000

— Vancouver signs Philip Larsen: one year, $1.025 million

— Dallas signs Patrick Eaves: one year, $1 million

— Arizona signs Kevin Connauton: two years, $2 million, $1M AAV

— Carolina signs Viktor Stalberg: one year, $1.5 million (link)

— Carolina signs Lee Stempniak: two years, $5 million, $2.5M AAV (link)

— Nashville signs Yannick Weber: one year, $575,000

— Montreal signs Zach Redmond: two years, $1.225 million, $612,500 AAV

— L.A. signs Michael Latta: one year, $600,000

— L.A. signs Zach Trotman: one year, $650,000

— Winnipeg signs Shawn Matthias: two years, $4.25 million, $2.125 AAV

— Los Angeles signs Jeff Zatkoff: two year, $1.8 million, $900,000 AAV

— Washington signs Brett Connolly: one year, $850,000

— Colorado signs Fedor Tyutin: one year, $2 million (link)

— Colorado signs Patrick Wiercioch: one year, $800,000 (link)

— Colorado signs Joe Colborne: two years, $5 million, $2.5M AAV (link)

— New York Rangers sign Adam Clendening: one year, $600,000 (link)

— New York Rangers sign Nathan Gerbe: one year, $600,000 (link)

— New York Rangers sign Michael Grabner: two years, $3.2 million, $1.6M AAV (link)

— New Jersey signs Jon Merrill: two years, $2.275 million, $1.137M AAV (link)

— New Jersey signs Devante Smith-Pelly: two years, $2.6 million, $1.3M AAV (link)

— New Jersey signs Beau Bennett: one year, $725,000 (link)

— Dallas signs Dan Hamhuis: two year, $7.5 million, $3.75M AAV (link)

— Los Angeles signs Tom Gilbert: one year, $1.4 million (link)

— Philadelphia signs Dale Weise: four year, $9.4 million, $2.35M AAV (link)

— Montreal signs Alexander Radulov: one year, $5.75 million (link)

— Calgary signs Chad Johnson: one year, $1.7 million (link)

— Montreal signs Al Montoya, one year, $950,000 (link)

— Edmonton signs Jonas Gustavsson, one year, $800,000 (link)

— Boston signs Anton Khudobin: two years, $2.4 million, $1.2M AAV (link)

— San Jose signs David Schlemko: four years, $8.4 million, $2.1M AAV (link)

— Minnesota signs Chris Stewart: two years, $2.3 million, $1.15M AAV (link)

— New York Islanders sign Jason Chimera: two years, $4.5 million, $2.25M AAV (link)

— New Jersey signs Vern Fiddler: one year, $1.25 million (link)

— New Jersey signs Ben Lovejoy: three years, $8.1 million, $2.66 AAV (link)

— Arizona signs Jamie McGinn: three years, $10 million, $3.3M AAV (link)

— Boston signs John-Michael Liles: one year, $2 million (link)

— St. Louis signs Carter Hutton: two years, $2.25 million, $1.125M AAV (link)

— Minnesota signs Eric Staal: three years, $10.5 million, $3.5M AAV (link)

— Detroit signs Frans Nielsen: six years, $31.5 million, $5.25M AAV (link)

— Calgary signs Troy Brouwer: four years, $18 million, $4.5M AAV (link)

— Boston signs David Backes: five years, $30 million, $6M AAV (link)

— Vancouver signs Loui Eriksson: six years, $36 million, $6M AAV (link)

— Buffalo signs Kyle Okposo: seven years, $42 million, $6M AAV (link)

— Edmonton signs Milan Lucic: seven years, $42 million, $6M AAV (link)

— Florida signs James Reimer: five years, $17 million, $3.4M AAV (link)

— St. Louis signs David Perron: two years, $7.75 million, $3.875M AAV (link)

— New York Islanders sign Andrew Ladd: seven years, $38.5 million, $5.5M AAV (link)

— Pittsburgh re-signs Steve Oleksy: one year, $575,000 (link)

— Pittsburgh re-signs Tom Sestito: one year, $575,000 (link)

— Chicago signs Brian Campbell: one year, $2 million (link)

— Detroit re-signs Darren Helm: five years, $19.25 million, $3.85M AAV (link)

Previous deals of note

Steve Stamkos re-signs in Tampa Bay: eight years, $68 million, $8.5M AAV (link)

Trevor Lewis re-signs in Los Angeles: four years, $8 million, $2M AAV (link)

Drew Miller re-signs in Detroit: one year, $1.025M (link)

Jordie Benn re-signs in Dallas: three years, $3.3 million, $1.1M AAV (link)

Keith Yandle signs in Florida: seven years, $44.45 million, $6.35M AAV (link)

Kyle Brodziak re-signs in St. Louis: two years, $1.9 million, $950,000 AAV (link)

Scottie Upshall re-signs in St. Louis: one year, $900,000 (link)

Alex Goligoski signs in Arizona: five years, $27.5 million, $5.475M AAV (link)

Cam Ward re-signs in Carolina: two years, $6.6 million, $3.3M AAV (link)