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NHL reports third straight week of zero positive COVID-19 tests

By Adam GretzAug 17, 2020, 2:23 PM EDT

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For the third week in a row the NHL has reported zero positive COVID-19 test results from its hub cities of Toronto and Edmonton.

The league reported in its latest round of testing that 5,640 tests were conducted this past week with zero positive results.

The NHL entered the two “bubbles” in late July for Phase 4 of its return to play format that saw 24 teams enter the Round Robin and Qualifying Round phases. Eight teams have already been eliminated from postseason play and exited the bubbles with 16 remaining in the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

[NBC 2020 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]

It has been more than a month since the NHL has reported a positive test in the Return To Play.

The league reported 43 positive tests during Phase 2 (small group workouts at team facilities) of the Return To Play and two positive tests during Phase 3 (training camp). There have been no positive tests reported for the NHL since the middle of July. The 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs are currently in the First Round and continue on Monday.

MORE:
• Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round schedule

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

Tags: 2020 Stanley Cup PlayoffsAnaheim DucksArizona CoyotesBoston BruinsBuffalo SabresCalgary FlamesCarolina Hurricanes,Chicago BlackhawksColorado Avalanche,Columbus Blue JacketsDallas StarsDetroit Red WingsEdmonton OilersFlorida Panthers,Los Angeles KingsMinnesota WildMontreal CanadiensNashville PredatorsNew Jersey DevilsNew York IslandersNew York Rangers,Ottawa SenatorsPhiladelphia FlyersPittsburgh PenguinsSan Jose SharksSt. Louis Blues,Tampa Bay LightningToronto Maple Leafs,Vancouver CanucksVegas Golden Knights,Washington CapitalsWinnipeg JetsLeave a comment

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NHL schedule for First Round of 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs

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By Sean LeahyAug 17, 2020, 2:05 PM EDT

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The Stanley Cup Playoffs continue on Tuesday, Aug. 11 in the hub cities of Edmonton and Toronto. The league has released the 2020 NHL playoff schedule for the First Round.

The top four teams during the regular season in both conferences played a three-game round robin for seeding in the First Round. The eight winners of the best-of-5 Qualifying Round advanced to the First Round. The losing teams from the Qualifying Round have been entered into Phase 2 of the NHL Draft Lottery.

Below is the 2020 NHL playoff schedule.

Note: Teams are re-seeded after each round.

EASTERN CONFERENCE (Scotiabank Arena)

No. 1 Philadelphia Flyers vs. No. 8 Montreal Canadiens (PHI leads 2-1)

Wednesday, Aug. 12: Flyers 2, Canadiens 1 (recap)
Friday, Aug. 14: Canadiens 5, Flyers 0 (recap)
Sunday, Aug. 16: Flyers 1, Canadiens 0 (recap)
Tuesday, Aug. 18: Philadelphia at Montreal, 3 p.m. ET – NBCSN
Wednesday, Aug. 19: Montreal at Philadelphia, 8 p.m. ET – NBCSN
*Friday, Aug. 21: Philadelphia at Montreal – TBD
*Sunday, Aug. 23: Montreal at Philadelphia – TBD

No. 2 Tampa Bay Lightning vs. No. 7 Columbus Blue Jackets (TB leads 2-1)

Tuesday, Aug. 11: Lightning 3, Blue Jackets 2 (5OT) (recap)
Thursday, Aug. 13: Blue Jackets 3, Lightning 1 (recap)
Saturday, Aug. 15: Lightning 3, Blue Jackets 2 (recap)
Monday, Aug. 17: Tampa Bay at Columbus, 3 p.m. ET – NBCSN
Wednesday, Aug. 19: Columbus at Tampa Bay, 12 p.m. ET – NBCSN
*Friday, Aug. 21: Tampa Bay at Columbus – TBD
*Saturday, Aug. 22: Columbus at Tampa Bay – TBD

No. 3 Washington Capitals vs. No. 6 New York Islanders (NYI lead 3-0)

Wednesday, Aug. 12: Islanders 4, Capitals 2 (recap)
Friday, Aug. 14: Islanders 5, Capitals 2 (recap)
Sunday, Aug. 16: Islanders 2, Capitals 1 (OT) (recap)
Tuesday, Aug. 18: Washington at NY Islanders, 8 p.m. ET – NBCSN
*Thursday, Aug. 20: NY Islanders at Washington – TBD
*Saturday, Aug. 22: Washington at NY Islanders – TBD
*Sunday, Aug. 23: NY Islanders at Washington – TBD

No. 4 Boston Bruins vs. No. 5 Carolina Hurricanes (BOS leads 2-1)

Wednesday, Aug. 12: Bruins 4, Hurricanes 3 (2OT) (recap)
Thursday, Aug. 13: Hurricanes 3, Bruins 2 (recap)
Saturday, Aug. 15: Bruins 3, Hurricanes 1 (recap)
Monday, Aug. 17: Boston at Carolina, 8 p.m. ET – NBCSN
Wednesday, Aug. 19: Carolina at Boston, 4 p.m. ET – NBCSN
*Thursday, Aug. 20: Boston at Carolina – TBD
*Sunday, Aug. 23: Carolina at Boston – TBD

*if necessary

[NBC 2020 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]

WESTERN CONFERENCE (Rogers Place)

No. 1 Vegas Golden Knights vs. No. 8 Chicago Blackhawks (VGK lead 3-1)

Tuesday, Aug. 11: Golden Knights 4, Blackhawks 1 (recap)
Thursday, Aug. 13: Golden Knights 4, Blackhawks 3 (recap)
Saturday, Aug. 15: Golden Knights 2, Blackhawks 1 (recap)
Sunday, Aug. 16: Blackhawks 3, Golden Knights 1 (recap)
Tuesday, Aug. 18: Chicago at Vegas, 10:30 p.m. ET – NBCSN
*Thursday, Aug. 20: Vegas at Chicago – TBD
*Saturday, Aug. 22: Chicago at Vegas – TBD

No. 2 Colorado Avalanche vs. No. 7 Arizona Coyotes (COL leads 2-1)

Wednesday, Aug. 12: Avalanche 3, Coyotes 0 (recap)
Friday, Aug. 14: Avalanche 3, Coyotes 2 (recap)
Saturday, Aug. 15: Coyotes 4, Avalanche 2 (recap)
Monday, Aug. 17: Colorado at Arizona, 5:30 p.m. ET – NBCSN
Wednesday, Aug. 19: Arizona at Colorado – 5:30 p.m. ET – NBCSN
*Friday, Aug. 21: Colorado at Arizona – TBD
*Sunday, Aug. 23: Arizona at Colorado – TBD

No. 3 Dallas Stars vs. No. 6 Calgary Flames (Series tied 2-2)

Tuesday, Aug. 11: Flames 3, Stars 2 (recap)
Thursday, Aug. 13: Stars 5, Flames 4 (recap)
Friday, Aug. 14: Flames 2, Stars 0 (recap)
Sunday, Aug. 16: Stars 5, Flames 4 (OT) (recap)
Tuesday, Aug. 18: Calgary at Dallas, 5:30 p.m. ET – NBCSN
Thursday, Aug. 20: Dallas at Calgary – TBD
*Saturday, Aug. 22: Dallas at Calgary – TBD

No. 4 St. Louis Blues vs. No. 5 Vancouver Canucks (VAN leads 2-1)

Wednesday, Aug. 12: Canucks 5, Blues 2 (recap)
Friday, Aug. 14: Canucks 4, Blues 3 (OT) (recap)
Sunday, Aug. 16: Blues 3, Canucks 2 (OT) (recap)
Monday, Aug. 17: St. Louis at Vancouver, 10:30 p.m. ET – NBCSN
Wednesday, Aug. 19: Vancouver at St. Louis, 10:30 p.m. ET – NBCSN
*Friday, Aug. 21: St. Louis at Vancouver – TBD
*Sunday, Aug. 23: Vancouver at St. Louis – TBD

*if necessary

————

Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line atphtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Tags: 2020 Stanley Cup PlayoffsArizona CoyotesBoston BruinsCalgary Flames,Carolina HurricanesChicago Blackhawks,Colorado AvalancheColumbus Blue Jackets,Dallas StarsMontreal CanadiensNew York IslandersPhiladelphia FlyersSt. Louis Blues,Tampa Bay LightningToronto Maple Leafs,Vancouver CanucksVegas Golden Knights,Washington CapitalsView 4 Comments

Blue Jackets-Lightning stream: 2020 NHL Stanley Cup First Round

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By Sean LeahyAug 17, 2020, 2:00 PM EDT

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NBCSN’s coverage of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs continues with Monday’s First Round matchup between the Blue Jackets and Lightning. Coverage begins at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Watch the Blue Jackets-Lightning stream on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.

Tampa doubled up Columbus in shots (34-17) and took back the series lead behind goals from Alex KillornBrayden Point and Victor HedmanEric Robinson scored his first career postseason goal early in the third period to cut the deficit to one for the Blue Jackets, but the Lightning held Columbus to just two shots on the goal the rest of the way to hang on.

The power play was a story in Game 3 once again – specifically Columbus going 0/3 in the opening period and 0/4 for the game. The Blue Jackets outshot Tampa in the first period 10-8 and had three power play opportunities (including a 5-on-3 at one point) and came up empty – then let in the Lightning’s first goal late in the period.

The Lightning were the top scoring team in the league during the regular season (3.47 goals/game) but have still yet to hit that mark in six games this postseason, failing to score four-plus goals in any game. Tampa has scored 13 goals this postseason (2.17/game) and, not including their 3-2 shootout win over Washington, have reached three goals in just half of those games – and one of those they needed five overtimes to get there (Game 1).

[NBC 2020 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]

WHAT: Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
WHERE: Scotiabank Arena – Toronto
WHEN: Monday, August 17, 3 p.m. ET
TV: NBCSN
ON THE CALL: Gord Miller, Brian Boucher
HOW TO WATCH: You can watch the Blue Jackets-Lightning stream on NBC Sports’ live stream page and the NBC Sports app.

No. 2 Tampa Bay Lightning vs. No. 7 Columbus Blue Jackets (TB leads 2-1)

Tuesday, Aug. 11: Lightning 3, Blue Jackets 2 (5OT) (recap)
Thursday, Aug. 13: Blue Jackets 3, Lightning 1 (recap)
Saturday, Aug. 15: Lightning 3, Blue Jackets 2 (recap)
Monday, Aug. 17: Tampa Bay at Columbus, 3 p.m. ET – NBCSN (livestream)
Wednesday, Aug. 19: Columbus at Tampa Bay, 12 p.m. ET – NBCSN
*Friday, Aug. 21: Tampa Bay at Columbus – TBD
*Saturday, Aug. 22: Columbus at Tampa Bay – TBD

*if necessary

MORE:
• Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round schedule

Tags: 2020 Stanley Cup PlayoffsAndrei VasilevskiyBrayden PointColumbus Blue JacketsElvis MerzlikinsGustav NyquistJohn TortorellaJon CooperJoonas KorpisaloNikita KucherovPierre-Luc DuboisSeth Jones,Steven StamkosTampa Bay LightningTyler JohnsonVictor HedmanZach WerenskiAlex KillornBrayden PointEric RobinsonJoonas KorpisaloPierre-Luc DuboisVictor Hedman,Yanni GourdeLeave a comment

NHL Power Rankings: Korpisalo, Kuemper, Hughes lead Conn Smythe race

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By Adam GretzAug 17, 2020, 1:03 PM EDT

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In this week’s edition of the NHL Power Rankings we check back in with the Conn Smythe Watch and which players are leading that race.

Right now the story of the Stanley Cup Playoffs is a couple of game-changing goaltending performances in Columbus and Arizona that are keeping their series close, and the rapid emergence of two young superstar defensemen that are getting ready to take over the league.

Who else figures into the mix at this point?

To the rankings!

1. Joonas Korpisalo, Columbus Blue Jackets. He remains the story of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Not only because he has been the most impressive individual player in the tournament so far, but also because it is so unexpected. He exceeded expectations during the regular season in replacing Sergei Bobrovsky. He has taken his play to an entirely new level in the playoffs and is the single biggest reason his team is still playing and giving Tampa such a fight.

2. Darcy Kuemper, Arizona Coyotes. Pretty much the Western Conference version of Korpisalo. A former backup that has taken his chance as a starter and run with it. He has become a wildly productive goalie since arriving in Arizona and after shutting down the Nashville Predators in the Qualifying Round has been giving the high-powered Colorado Avalanche some headaches in the First Round.

3. Quinn Hughes, Vancouver Canucks. Yes, you are reading that correctly. It is Hughes over Bo Horvat in Vancouver. Maybe this is a spicy take that needs to be handled with oven mitts, but it is also the correct take. Horvat has been great (as have all of Vancouver’s young players) and scored some massive goals, but when it comes to the team’s best player night in and night out, the answer is simply Hughes. Because of his position and the type of impact his position can make he was always going to be the Canucks’ X-factor and his development was going to play a big role in what this team was capable of doing. He has quickly become a star, and the Canucks are wildly better off because of it. He is playing 23 minutes per night in the playoffs, he has nine points in seven games (tied for the team lead, and leads the league in assists), and is a possession-driving monster that is helping the Canucks dominate shot attempts (55.1 percent), scoring chances (59.8 percent), expected goals (56.3 percent), and actual goals (7-4 margin) when he is on the ice. He is still only 20 years old.

4. Miro Heiskanen, Dallas Stars. Another absolutely brilliant young defenseman that could very well have a Norris Trophy in his future. He is neck-and-neck with Hughes in my view for the Conn Smythe and it is really down to splitting hairs when it comes to which one gets top billing. You could flip flop these two and I would not argue it too much. He has been the Stars’ best player.

[NBC 2020 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]

5. Carter Hart, Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers have been waiting decades for a goalie like Hart, and now that they finally have one it should terrify the rest of the Eastern Conference. He has only allowed seven goals in his first five starts this postseason. He had one clunker of a game where he allowed four goals against Montreal, which means he has only allowed three goals in his other four starts. The Flyers are for real, and Hart is a big reason why.

6. Sebastian Aho, Carolina Hurricanes. He was the best non-goalie in the qualifying round but has cooled off a little against Boston. WithAndrei Svechnikov sidelined the Hurricanes are going to need him to get hot again to help carry the offense. Fortunately for them, he is perfectly capable of doing that.

7. Brayden Point, Tampa Bay Lightning.Tampa’s underrated and often times overlooked star. He has at least one point in every game this postseason for the Lightning and is helping to pace the offense in the absence of Steven Stamkos.

8. Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens. The Canadiens needed the in-his-prime version Price to show up to have a chance this postseason, and that is the exact version that has be in net for them. He may not play at this level as consistently as he used to, but that ability is still very much there.

9. Semyon Varlamov, New York Islanders. The Islanders looked lousy for the last three months of the regular season and then came back in the return to play and immediately looked better than they did at any point over the past two years (even during their 15-0-2 stretch earlier this season). Varlamov’s play in net is one of the big factors in that turnaround.

10. David Krejci, Boston Bruins. Easily the most underrated Bruins of this era. Krejci has always had a knack for coming through in the playoffs and he is doing it again this season playing big minutes and helping to drive the Bruins’ offense in the First Round against Carolina with five points (two goals, three assists) in the first three games of the series.

Honorable mentions: Sam Bennett (Calgary Flames), Bo Horvat (Vancouver Canucks), Elias Pettersson (Vancouver Canucks), Nathan MacKinnon (Colorado Avalanche), Reilly Smith(Vegas Golden Knights) Cam Talbot (Calgary Flames), Jordan Eberle (New York Islanders)

MORE:
• Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round schedule

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

Tags: 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs2020 Stanley Cup QualifiersArizona CoyotesBoston Bruins,Calgary FlamesCarolina HurricanesColorado AvalancheColumbus Blue JacketsMonteral CanadiensNew York IslandersPHT Power RankingsTampa Bay LightningVancouver CanucksVegas Golden KnightsAndrei SvechnikovBo HorvatBrayden PointCam TalbotCarey PriceCarter HartDarcy Kuemper,David KrejciElias PetterssonJoonas KorpisaloJordan EberleMiro Heiskanen,Nathan MacKinnonQuinn HughesReilly Smith,Sam BennettSemyon VarlamovSergei BobrovskySteven StamkosLeave a comment

Penguins’ Evgeni Malkin undergoes elbow surgery

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Associated PressAug 17, 2020, 12:27 PM EDT

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PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin has undergone surgery to repair a left elbow injury.

General manager Jim Rutherford announced the procedure on Monday. The team did not provide specifics on the nature of Malkin’s injury or when it occurred.

The 34-year-old Malkin led the Penguins with 74 points during the regular season but was ineffective during a four-game loss to Montreal in the qualifying round of the playoffs. Malkin recorded just one assist during the series and had a minus-3 rating.

Rutherford said the expected recovery time for Malkin is about a month, meaning he should be available whenever training camp for the 2020-21 season opens.

Tags: 2020 Stanley Cup QualifiersEvgeni MalkinJim RutherfordPittsburgh Penguins,Evgeni MalkinJim RutherfordLeave a comment

Avalanche aiming to distract Coyotes’ Kuemper more in Game 4

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Associated PressAug 17, 2020, 10:35 AM EDT

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The Colorado Avalanche had all the numbers in their favor. Odd-man rushes, 51 shots on goal, 92 shot attempts.

One hot goalie turned what should have been a win into a loss.

Now up 2-1 instead of 3-0 against Arizona, the Avalanche need to figure out how to get in front of Darcy Kuemper more or the series could end up tied after Monday’s Game 4.

”We’re going to have to find a way to get in Kuemper’s eyes a little bit more because if he sees it, he’s stopping it,” Colorado coach Jared Bednar said.

Kuemper has stopped plenty of shots since the postseason began.

Hampered by a lower-body injury during the regular season, he helped carry the Coyotes past Nashville in the Stanley Cup qualifiers and has stopped 111 of 119 shots in three games against Colorado.

Kuemper was stellar in Game 3, stopping 49 shots as the Coyotes withstood one flurry after another to win 4-2.

Arizona’s biggest concern: finding a way to answer the Avalanche’s pressure.

The Coyotes spent most of Game 3 on their heels after Derek Stepan scored in the first period, putting extra pressure on Kuemper to make one difficult save after another.

It worked on Saturday, but the Coyotes know that needs to change if they’re going to even up the series inside the Edmonton bubble.

”We’re going to have to tilt the ice a little bit on the other side if we’re going to get back in this thing,” Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said.

The Coyotes aren’t the only team in the bubble looking to generate more offense.

Columbus managed just seven combined shots in the final two periods in Saturday’s Game 3 against Tampa Bay, leading to a 3-2 loss that put the Lightning up 2-1 heading into Game 4 Monday.

The Blue Jackets already play a close-to-the-vest style and the Lightning have made it tougher on them with offensive pressure.

”The more you make them play offense, the more they maybe don’t have the legs or the wind to go down and play offense,” Lightning coach John Cooper said. ”You’re almost defending all over the ice.”

Boston took control of its series against Carolina on Saturday despite learning goalieTuukka Rask decided to opt out of the playoffs to be with his family.

The defending Eastern Conference champions also were without leading scorer David Pastrnak for the second straight game because of injury, but still beat the Hurricanes 3-1 to take a 2-1 lead into Monday’s Game 4.

Pastrnak skated with the team on Sunday, but coach Bruce Cassidy said he’s ”50/50 at best” to play Monday.

Carolina knows it will be without Andrei Svechnikov. The young Russian winger’s right leg buckled after he tangled with Zdeno Charalate in Game 3 and his absence will force Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour to make a few lineup changes for Monday’s game and the rest of the series.

”We have to be fluid with the lineup,” Brind’Amour said. ”We practiced with some different combos today. With ‘Svech’ being out, it puts us at a little disadvantage. I think we’ll move the lines around quite a bit tomorrow. We’re going to need everyone.”

The St. Louis Blues gave themselves life in defense of their Stanley Cup title, beating Vancouver 3-2 on Brayden Schenn‘s overtime goal.

Now, instead of being down 3-0, the Blues pulled to 2-1 heading into Game 4 on Monday.

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Good article and information

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Covid 19

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Good for information

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