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Penguins’ DeSmith misses NHL call-up after losing passport

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MONTREAL — Pittsburgh Penguins minor league goalie Casey DeSmith missed a chance to join the NHL team in Montreal on Saturday because he lost his passport.

The Penguins wanted to promote DeSmith from the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for Saturday’s game against the Canadiens while they let Tristan Jarry rest at home before hosting Florida on Sunday. Pittsburgh called on DeSmith, who has played 50 games for Pittsburgh over the past two seasons, but the 28-year-old couldn’t find the paperwork to travel internationally.

Pittsburgh recalled goalie Emil Larmi from Wheeling of the ECHL instead to serve as Matt Murray‘s backup.

Larmi is a 23-year-old from Finland who is in his first season in North America. He is 3-1-0 with a 1.51 goals-against average in four games for Wheeling. He was also 1-2-2 in five games for Scranton. Larmi has not appeared in an NHL game.

Sabres demote under-performing center Mittelstadt to minors

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Buffalo Sabres have assigned under-performing second-year center Casey Mittelstadt to the minors.

The demotion to Rochester of the AHL was made Sunday, coming a day following a 3-2 overtime loss at the New York Islanders in which Mittelstadt was a healthy scratch for the third time in four games.

The 21-year-old has four goals and five assists in 31 games this season, and limited to just a goal and an assist in his past 21. Buffalo selected the play-making center with the eighth pick in the 2017 draft following his senior year in high school.

He then signed with Buffalo and jumped directly to the NHL in making his Sabres debut immediately following his freshman college season at Minnesota.

Mittelstadt has failed to play up to early projections of developing into Buffalo’s second-line center. He has 17 goals and 22 assists for 39 points in 114 career NHL games.

Seattle NHL franchise to have AHL affiliate in Palm Springs

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PALM SPRINGS, Calif. (AP) — Seattle’s new NHL franchise intends to have its American Hockey League affiliate in Palm Springs as part of a new arena proposed for the city.

The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians and Oak View Group announced plans Wednesday to build a privately-funded arena on tribal land in downtown Palm Springs with the intent on serving as the home ice for Seattle’s affiliate. NHL Seattle and OVG have jointly submitted an application for an expansion AHL franchise, the 32nd for the league, which would begin play in the fall of 2021 at the same time Seattle’s NHL franchise will begin play.

OVG is currently financing and leading the renovation of the arena at Seattle Center that will be home to the NHL franchise.

The new arena in Palm Springs will seat up to 10,000 fans and include an adjoining training facility. The groups hope to begin construction on the arena in February 2020.

More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

AHL’s Bakersfield Condors can’t stop winning, boast 15-game streak

Bakersfield Condors
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The parent club has won once in 11 games. The minor league affiliate is the hottest team in the American Hockey League.

If you’re an Edmonton Oilers fan, well, maybe there’s some hope down in the AHL that can lead to a turnaround in the future. The Bakersfield Condors are red-hot right now having won 15 straight games, with their last defeat coming on Jan. 11.

They won No. 15 on Saturday night, thanks to an overtime goal from Cooper Marody. Here are the highlights and the call from the great Ryan Holt:

The streak has put the Condors in first place in the AHL’s Pacific Division and second in the Western Conference.

Now for the fun facts:

• The Condors are the seventh AHL team to win 15 consecutive games.

• The 15-game winning streak is the fourth-longest in AHL history.

• They kicked off 2019 with an 0-4-1 record and were in fifth place in their division — 11 points out of first place —  before the streak started.

• Bakersfield has outscored opponents 69-31 over their last 15 games and have only trailed for 49 minutes total.

• Per Holt, if the Condors win No. 16 next Saturday against Tucson they will match the 1984-85 Baltimore Skipjacks’ 16-game winning streak. That Skipjacks roster featured Steve Carlson (a.k.a. Steve Hanson), Bruce Boudreau, Marty McSorley, Bob Errey, Phil Bourque, and Andy Brickley. “Nobody on the roster was even alive then.”

• Only two teams in AHL history have had winning streaks greater than 16 games: The 2004-05 Philadelphia Phantoms won 17, and the record-holders, 2011-12 Norfolk Admirals, went on an insane run winning 28 straight. Both teams won the Calder Cup in their respective seasons. (That Norfolk roster featured the likes of Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat, and were coached by some guy named Jon Cooper. Wonder whatever happened to those three?)

If the Condors keep the wins coming they could match the Admirals’ record on March 30 against the San Jose Barracuda and break it against the Manitoba Moose on April 2.

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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.

Watch some very good dogs race during AHL game (Video)

Rockford IceHogs
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For the fifth consecutive year, the American Hockey League’s Rockford IceHogs showcased the talents of some very good dogs during their Pucks & Paws Night.

Fans were encouraged to bring their pups to BMO Harris Bank Center for the game against the San Antonio Rampage. There were dogs available for adoption and one special pup even got to do the honors for the ceremonial face-off before the game.

So as to not show up the very good dogs, the IceHogs lost 6-0, making the highlight of the evening the highly-anticipated Wiener Dog Race:

The winner of the race was Darby, a very, very good dog, who was focused on the task at hand and took the crown for the second straight year.

If we were running the Dog Rates Twitter account during the game, these pups were easily be worth a 13/10 rating. Easily.

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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.