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PHT Morning Skate: Bruins visit hospital as Gru and his minions


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.

Members of the Bruins went to Boston Children’s Hospital dressed as Gru and his minions. (Bruins.nhl.com)

Alex Ovechkin is close to surpassing Sergei Fedorov as the highest scoring Russian-born player of all-time. (NHL.com)

You can watch the highlights from Pittsburgh’s 3-1 win over Washington below:

Jakub Voracek feels his goal scoring drought is “getting old.” (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Andrei Vasilevskiy began his AHL conditioning stint with a 3-1 victory versus the Toronto Marlies. (Tampa Bay Times)

Although he’s only been used in two games so far, Emerson Etem is starting to settle in with the New York Rangers. (New York Post)

Here are the highlights from Nashville’s 2-1 win over San Jose last night:

Calgary Flames goaltending prospect Jon Gillies is adjusting to the AHL and learning from the demoted Karri Ramo. (Calgary Herald)

NHL on NBCSN Doubleheader: Pens vs. Caps; Preds vs. Sharks

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We have a full night of NHL action ahead of us on NBCSN and it will start at 8:00 p.m. ET with the Washington Capitals hosting the Pittsburgh Penguins. You can also watch the game online here.

Of course, those games are always billed as contests between Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, but those squads as a whole are red hot going into tonight’s game.

Washington is on a five-game winning streak and has a 6-1-0 record. By contrast, Pittsburgh got off to a sluggish start, but has won four of its last five contests.

Ovechkin has played a significant part of the Capitals’ success, but sophomore Evgeny Kuznetsov is actually their scoring leader right now with three goals and 11 points in seven contests. Nine of those points were scored in his last three contests, so he’s couldn’t be much more dangerous right now.

On the Penguins’ side, their recent success has come in spite of Crosby’s struggles, which isn’t something that’s been true all that often since his debut in 2005. Crosby has been held off the scoresheet in seven of his first eight games this season, although maybe a contest against the rival Capitals is just what he needs right now.

Of course, Crosby isn’t the only Penguins’ forward that’s off to a relatively quiet start. Instead, Pittsburgh owes what success its had so far to Marc-Andre Fleury, who has a 2.02 GAA and .932 save percentage this season.

Following that game, NBCSN will feature the San Jose Sharks and Nashville Predators as they battle, starting at 10:30 p.m. ET. You also have the option of seeing the game online by going here.

Nashville is one of the best teams in the league right now with a 6-1-1 record. San Jose got off to a strong start too, but it lost three straight contests before snapping that slump on Saturday with a 4-2 win versus Carolina.

As has often been the case, the Predators have been led thus far by their defense and goaltending. In particular, Pekka Rinne is off to a great start with a 1.84 GAA and .932 save percentage in seven starts.

That’s not all the Predators have going for them though. They’ve scored more goals this year than San Jose, in part because James Neal has bounced back from his rough 2014-15 campaign by scoring six goals and nine points in eight contests.

San Jose has plenty of offensive weapons to counter with from Joe Pavelski to Patrick Marleau to Joe Thornton. However, it’s Joel Ward, who signed with the Sharks over the summer, that’s leading the charge with five goals and eight points in eight games. All five of his markers have come in his last four contests, including a hat trick on Saturday.

PHT Morning Skate: Working with Tortorella

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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.

Quite a few players were interviewed to discuss their experiences with new Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella. (Columbus Dispatch)

Remembering the debut of the “Russian Five,” which had its 20-year anniversary on Tuesday. (NHL.com)

Here are the highlights from St. Louis’ 2-0 victory over Tampa Bay:

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie recalls his time South Florida as a child. Or more specifically, his interactions with Roberto Luongo, Peter Worrell, and a washing machine. (Denver Post)

Jeff Garlin from Curb Your Enthusiasm got a goal while playing the Chicago Blackhawks’ Shoot the Puck game. (CSN Chicago)

Things are falling into place for Adam Henrique now that his wrist is fully healed. (Bergen Record)

Tomas Hertl seems to be back on track after a rough sophomore campaign. (CSN Bay Area)

NHL on NBCSN: Blues aim to overcome injuries vs. Lightning

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NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2015-16 campaign tonight when the St. Louis Blues host the Tampa Bay Lightning at 8:00 p.m. ET. If you want to watch the game online, you can do so here.

The Tampa Bay Lightning are a formidable opponent under the best of circumstances, but the Blues’ task tonight will be made even more difficult because of the bad luck they’ve endured on the injury front.

St. Louis is expected to miss forwards Jaden Schwartz, Paul Stastny, and Patrik Berglund as well as defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. On top of all that, goaltender Brian Elliott‘s availability is up in the air after he missed Monday’s practice due to an illness, per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

That’s particularly unfortunate given that Elliott has a career 1.97 GAA and .922 save percentage in eight games against the Lightning. Jake Allen, who will get the nod instead, has never played against Tampa Bay.

Of course, none of this is to suggest that St. Louis should be written off tonight. The Blues still have Vladimir Tarasenko on board to lead the charge while Jori Lehtera and Alexander Steen have started the season on a high note. That trio is one of the most effective top lines in the league right now.

Tampa Bay will be led by Steven Stamkos, who already has five goals in nine games, but the bigger question on the Lightning’s end revolves around the Triplets. Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat, and Nikita Kucherov were a big part of the Lightning’s success last season, but their production thus far has been modest. The Lightning a 5-2-2 record despite that, but they need more out of those three forwards in the long run.

Perhaps they will prove to be the difference tonight. Then again, the Blues could end up thriving in the face of adversity.

PHT Morning Skate: Selanne shows Ducks how to score a goal

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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.

Teemu Selanne offered some lighthearted scoring advice to the Ducks. Of course, this was made before last night’s 1-0 overtime loss to Chicago, but it’s still applicable under the circumstances. (Puck Daddy)

On a somewhat related note, former Ducks forward Andrew Gordon wrote a piece about the type of person that Selanne is. (Russian Machine Never Breaks)

Matt Duchene has been struggling to score this season, but he feels that he and linemate Jarome Iginla are “starting to really click right now.” (Denver Post)

Brendan Gallagher would put Carey Price in the same category as LeBron James. (Vancouver Province)

Here is Team Russia’s roster for the 2015 CHL Canada-Russia Series. (NHL.com)

It seems safe to say that Eric Fehr (elbow) always wishes he could play, but the fact that he’ll miss Wednesday’s game against his former Washington Capitals likely stings a little more. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)