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NHL Diary: Feb 25 - NHL Returns From Olympic Break

NHL MORNING SKATE FEB. 25, 2014

Welcome to the NHL Morning Skate, a daily collection of the latest news and notes from around the League.

NHL RETURNS FROM OLYMPIC BREAK

The NHL returns to action following the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, during which 63 NHLers representing 25 of the Leagues 30 clubs won a medal.

A reminder of where the NHL stands as it returns from the break:

* Awide-open playoff racefeatures 25 teams holding a playoff berth or within four points of one.

* Aclose race at the top of the standingshas the Ducks, Blues, Blackhawks and Penguins separated by just four points in the battle for the Presidents Trophy.

* Pittsburgh Penguins captainSidney Crosby(28-5078) holds an 11-point lead in the NHL scoring race; Washington Capitals captainAlex Ovechkinalready has tallied 40 goals, nine more than his closest pursuer; New Jersey Devils forwardJaromir Jagr, who is two goals shy of 700 for his NHL career, is the teams leader in goals (17), assists (32), points (49), plus-minus (+21) and shots (151); and Pittsburgh Penguins goaltenderMarc-Andre Fleuryhas a League-leading 31 wins in 47 appearances, a pace that could see him challenge the single-season record of 48 held byMartin Brodeur.

OUTDOOR GAME GUIDE

The latest edition of theNHL Outdoor Game Interactive Information Guide, including updated stats from the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series, is available for download via theLeagues Media site. The guide features information on the Chicago Blackhawks-Pittsburgh Penguins and Vancouver Canucks-Ottawa Senators rivalries as well as a register and records of outdoor games.

UPCOMING DATES OF NOTE

Thursday, Feb. 27 NHL Revealed: A Season Like No Other returns with a special, two-hour episode from the 2014 Olympic Winter Games (8:00 p.m. ET on CBC / 10:00 p.m. ET on NBCSN).Click herefor a sneak peek.

Friday, Feb. 28 Start of USA HockeysHockey Weekend Across America.

Saturday, March 12014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Chicago Blackhawks @ Soldier Field (7:00 p.m. CT / 8:00 p.m. ET, NBC, SiriusXM Radio).Sidney Crosbys first regular-season game in Chicago since 2006, his rookie year.

Sunday, March 22014 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic: Ottawa Senators vs. Vancouver Canucks @BC Place (1:00 p.m. PT / 4:00 p.m. ET, CBC, RDS, NBCSN, SiriusXM Radio).

Wednesday, March 5Trade Deadline(3:00 p.m. ET).

Thursday, March 6 The Detroit Red Wings retireNicklas Lidstroms number (vs. Colorado Avalanche).

Friday, March 7 The Calgary Flames honorJoe Nieuwendykwith a Forever a Flame banner (vs. New York Islanders).

Saturday, March 8 The Dallas Stars retireMike Modanos number (vs. Minnesota Wild).

Monday, March 10General Managers Meeting, Boca Raton, Fla. (through March 12).

Tuesday, March 18 Former Canadiens starPatrick Royis scheduled to bring his Colorado Avalanche to Montreal for the first time.

Thursday, March 20 Ex-DevilZach Pariseis scheduled to return to Prudential Center for the first time as a member of the Minnesota Wild.

Thursday, March 27 The Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins are scheduled to meet in their only matchup at TD Garden of the season.

Tuesday, April 1 Former Canucks head coachAlain Vigneaultis scheduled to make his regular-season return to Vancouver as the head coach of the New York Rangers.

Sunday, April 13 The 2013-14 regular season concludes with 10 games.

Monday, April 14 (TBC)NHL Draft Lottery.

Wednesday, April 16Stanley Cup Playoffsbegin.

SNEAK PEEK AT TUESDAYS ACTION

All Times Eastern

Carolina @ Buffalo, 7:00 p.m., NHLN-US, SPSO, MSG-B, BELL TV

HURRICANES VISIT SABRES IN FIRST GAME FOLLOWING BREAK

The NHL resumes its regular season when the Carolina Hurricanes visit the Buffalo Sabres in a makeup of their Jan. 7 game that was postponed due to hazardous weather conditions in Buffalo (NHL Game No. 647). The Hurricanes are 5-0-1 in their last six games versus the Sabres, including a 5-3 victory in their first meeting of the season Jan. 23. Overall, Carolina is 6-3-0 in its past nine games, while Buffalo lost its last four outings prior to the Olympic break.

LOOSE PUCKS

Chicago Blackhawks defensemenDuncan KeithandBrent Seabrookwill make aguest appearanceon tonights episode of Chicago Fire (10:00 p.m. ET, NBC) . . .Milan Hejdukannounced his retirementfrom hockey. The 38-year-old forward played 14 seasons in the NHL, all with the Colorado Avalanche, compiling 375-430805 in 1,020 regular-season games. He also played in 112 playoff games (34-4276), helping the team capture the Stanley Cup in 2000-01.

Source: NHL Media



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