Welcome to the “NHL Morning Skate,” a daily collection of the latest news and notes from around the League.
CANUCKS ALUMNI SURPRISE STUDENTS AT ROBSON SQUARE
Members of the Canucks’ 1994 Stanley Cup Final team, as well as current forward Mike Santorelli and team mascot Fin, surprised a group of fourth-graders Tuesday during a class trip to the outdoor rink at Robson Square in downtown Vancouver. Jyrki Lumme,Kirk McLean and Cliff Ronning skated with the students and also handed out tickets to the 2014 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic, which will be contested Sunday at BC Place.
“Best day I’ve ever had,” said 9-year-old student Abdullah Mahabub. “I was totally surprised the Canucks were here.”
“I grew up idolizing the Canucks and ’94 was such big excitement for the city of Vancouver, so it’s great to see my idols,” added Santorelli, a native of Vancouver. “Not very many people get to play in an outdoor game. I think the boys are excited to play in it.”
GOALTENDERS UNVEIL NEW LOOKS FOR OUTDOOR GAMES
Several goaltenders revealed the new gear they will sport for the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series and 2014 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic this weekend:
* Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury unveiled the new mask he will wear for the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series at Soldier Field, home of the NFL’s Chicago Bears. The mask pays tribute to the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers and also includes Fleury’s facial features below the cage. Click here for more images and information.
* Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford revealed his new mask for the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series. The mask includes various Blackhawks logos as well as Crawford’s personal touch. Click here for more images and details.
* Blackhawks goaltender Antti Raanta displayed the new mask and equipment he will sport for the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series. Instead of his normal design, the mask honors longtime Blackhawk and Hockey Hall of Famer Ed Belfour.
“If you think about great Chicago Blackhawks [goaltenders], you think of Eddie Belfour and everybody says ‘Eddie the Eagle,’” said Raanta. “I didn’t have any ideas for the outdoor game mask and I was thinking it would be nice to respect a great goalkeeper in that kind of game. So, I got the idea for the mask from the Phoenix guy who painted it. He said it would be pretty awesome and it turned out to be pretty awesome.”
* Canucks goaltender Eddie Lack revealed a new mask for the 2014 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic that honors other Swedish players who have suited up for the franchise. He also debuted new equipment that pays tribute to the 1915 Stanley Cup-winning Vancouver Millionaires.
“I wanted to get special gear made up for such a special event,” said Lack, a native of Norrtälje, Sweden. “I think it looks sick.”
Home Team in Caps
BUFFALO 3, Carolina 2
EHRHOFF LIFTS SABRES OVER HURRICANES
Christian Ehrhoff scored twice, including the game-winning goal with 43.4 seconds remaining in regulation, to help the Sabres end a four-game skid.
* According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Ehrhoff is the first defenseman in Sabres history to score a go-ahead goal in the final minute of the third period and the first Buffalo player to do so since March 11, 2006, when Mike Grier potted the tiebreaking goal with 4.6 seconds left in regulation in a 6-5 victory over the Flyers.
* Ehrhoff recorded his first multi-goal game since Nov. 20, 2009, when he posted 2-1—3 in a 5-2 victory for the Canucks over the Avalanche. He now has 3-4—7 in his past seven games.
Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller made 36 saves and also collected two assists. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the first NHL goaltender to record two assists in a game since Cory Schneider did so for the Canucks on Dec. 11, 2010, versus the Lightning. Miller also is the first Sabres goaltender to post such a game since Daren Puppa on Jan. 14, 1991, against the Maple Leafs . . . Hurricanes forward Alexander Seminscored his ninth goal in his past 12 games. He had six goals in his first 34 outings of the season . . . Sabres forward Drew Stafford posted two assists and now has 6-5—11 in his last eight games.
SNEAK PEEK AT WEDNESDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Boston @ Buffalo, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN, TSN2
Detroit @ Montreal, 7:30 p.m., TSN, RDS, FS-D
Los Angeles @ Colorado, 10:00 p.m., NBCSN, TSN2
St. Louis @ Vancouver, 10:30 p.m., FS-MW, SNET-P
DOUBLEHEADER HIGHLIGHTS “WEDNESDAY NIGHT RIVALRY”
NBCSN’s “Wednesday Night Rivalry” telecast features a pair of games:
First, the Bruins visit the Sabres at First Niagara Center in the fourth of five meetings this season. Boston won two of the first three matchups, scoring a 5-2 victory Oct. 23 in Buffalo and a 4-1 decision Dec. 21 at home. Overall, the Bruins are 8-1-2 in their last 11 games and 4-0-2 in their past six on the road.
The Kings then face off against the Avalanche in their third and final meeting of 2013-14. Each of the first two games went past regulation, with Colorado picking up a 1-0 overtime victory Nov. 23 and Los Angeles securing a 3-2 shootout win Dec. 21. Overall, the Kings have lost nine of their last 11 games (2-8-1), while the Avalanche have won 10 of their past 14.
Source: NHL Media