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Entries with the tag: anaheim ducks

Richards Wins It for the Blueshirts

When the New York Rangers went out and signed high-priced free agent Brad Richards to a nine year deal during the off-season, it is games like last night that the Blueshirts had envisioned for him.

After Brian Boyle tied the game up at 3-3 in the third period, the Rangers’ assistant captain Richards scored the game winner in overtime off a great feed from Artem Anisimov to give his team a 4-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. For Richards, it was his seventh game winning goal of the season, which is good for second in the NHL.

While Richards may not have the point totals that people expected (17 goals and 18 assists for 35 points), he has certainly come up big when the team has needed him the most. Everyone remembers the goal he scored at the buzzer to defeat the Phoenix Coyotes. Everyone also probably remembers the game tying goal he scored against the Anaheim Ducks over in Sweden at the beginning of the season.

Richards is keeping up his end of the bargain by coming through in the clutch, something he has done throughout his career. Hopefully, he will come up even bigger come playoff time.

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, artem+anisimov, brad+richards, brian+boyle, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, phoenix+coyotes, tampa+bay+lightning

What is Wrong with the Ducks?

This is something that many people in the hockey world are wondering close to two months into the NHL season.

The Ducks currently sit second to last in both the Western Conference and NHL with a 6-12-4 record. The team currently has the same number of points as the lowly New York Islanders and is just one point ahead of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

For a team that has one of the top scoring threats in the entire league and boast an elite netminder between the pipes, the results so far have been quite underwhelming to say the least. In fact, the team has been so underwhelming that one has to wonder what gives.

For starters, the team’s top line of Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and Bobby Ryan has been extremely quiet through the team’s first 23 games. The line has combined for just 21 goals and on many nights, has not generated the kind of scoring opportunities that they did last season.

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks

Rangers Start Another Winning Streak

The New York Rangers have started a bit of a winning streak after deating the Anaheim Ducks last night 2-1 in a shootout, giving them two straight wins in as many games.

Much like when the two clubs met in Sweden back in early October, this was an exciting game that saw timely goal scoring, some good physical play and great goaltending from Jonas Hiller and Henrik Lundqvist. The only thing that was different was that the Rangers turned the tables and won in a shootout on Marian Gaborik’s (yes, you read that right) goal.

Believe it or not, the Rangers probably could have won this game in the third period or even in overtime. Ryan Callahan had a clear breakaway in the third period and was absolutely stoned by Hiller. In overtime, the Rangers’ created a tic-tac-toe play with Gaborik, Michael Sauer and Ryan McDonagh but McDonagh put the puck wide over the net.

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, henrik+lundqvist, jonas+hiller, marian+gaborik, michael+sauer, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, ryan+callahan, ryan+mcdonagh

Staying Consistent

This is something the New York Rangers need to do in order to be successful and win hockey games this season.

With that in mind, Rangers’ bench boss John Tortorella will be sticking with the same lineup that won on Monday night against the San Jose Sharks tonight when his team takes on the Anaheim Ducks at Madison Square Garden. For the Blueshirts, that would be something consistent and something that they would hope to sustain.

What this does mean is that Rangers’ pest Sean Avery will not be playing tonight for the Blueshirts. This is understandable considering how the team played in its 5-2 win over the Sharks as it would not make much sense for Tortorella to change things when the team played well with a particular lineup.

The Rangers need to build on their win from Monday night and continue to lay the same kind of hockey. That means getting the puck to the net, driving to the net, playing responsibly in their own end and staying out of the penalty box. For the Rangers, those things are a recipe for success.

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, martin+biron, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, sean+avery, winnipeg+jets

A 60-minute Effort

That is exactly what the New York Rangers gave last night in their 5-2 win over the San Jose Sharks at Madison Square Garden.

For the first time on home ice this season, there was no third period let down, something the team struggled with in their losses to the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Ottawa Senators. Instead, the team’s hard-work and effort lasted the whole game as the the team picked up its first win on the Garden ice in this somewhat young season.

Team captain Ryan Callahan is starting to show his scoring touch as he picked up another two goals last night, giving him five on the season. He is also showing a knack for going hard to the net and being in the right place at the right time, something the team will need from him throughout the rest of the season.

The team also got strong games from Brandon Dubinsky (2 assists), Erik Christensen (2 assists), Dan Girardi (2 assists), and back-up netminder Martin Biron (24 saves), who improved his record to 2-0. It was easily the team’s most complete game of the season.

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, brandon+dubinsky, dan+girardi, erik+christensen, martin+biron, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, ryan+callahan, san+jose+sharks, toronto+maple+leafs

Are the Rangers in Trouble?

The answer to that question is a resounding no.

At 3-3-3, the New York Rangers certainly have not played their best in this young season and at the same time, have yet to click on all levels. That is the good thing.

The bad thing is that the way has played in their last two games against the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators, both losses at Madison Square Garden. Their play in the third period in both games is also alarming.

In their loss to the Senators on Saturday afternoon at MSG, the team blew a 4-1 lead in the third period and lost 5-4 in the shootout. In a game that the team scores four goals, gets solid performances from both Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik and is at home, it should have been a Rangers’ victory.

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, brad+richards, john+tortorella, marian+gaborik, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, san+jose+sharks, sean+avery, toronto+maple+leafs, winnipeg+jets

Lack of Offense Hurts Blueshirts in Loss to Ducks

When you get less than 20 shots in an NHL game, chances are that you are going to lose the hockey game.

That is exactly what happened against the Anaheim Ducks today in the New York Rangers’ 2-1 shootout loss. It was an effort in which goaltender Henrik Lundqvist was brilliant while the rest of the team was lackluster.

Yes, it was great that Brad Richards’ scored the tying goal, his first as a Blueshirt, in the hockey game with just over two minutes to go but where was the rest of the offense? That is something that Rangers’ head coach John Tortorella has to be wondering two games into the season.

What was also disturbing was the team’s discipline. Time and time again the club took lazy penalties and you cannot do that against a team like the Ducks. In all, the Blueshirts took nine penalties, something that they will obviously have to cut down on.

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, brad+richards, henrik+lundqvist, new+york+rangers

Scouting the Anaheim Ducks

With the New York Rangers facing off against the Anaheim Ducks this afternoon at 1 p.m. EST, I wanted to share my brief scouting report on the Anaheim Ducks.

Goaltending

- Jonas Hiller: For a goaltender that is extremely tall, Jonas Hiller is extremely quick and is usually in position for both first and second shots.

- Shoot High: While Hiller is a tall netminder, your best option will be to put the puck high blocker side. Hiller has a great glove hand but is not as good on his blocker side.

Offense

- Number One Line: The Ducks’ top trio of Ryan Getzlaf, Bobby Ryan and Corey Perry knows how to put the puck in the net. With the larger ice surface, they will be even more dangerous so the Blueshirts need to make sure to clog up the neutral zone and always watch out for the trailer in the play.

- Depth: The Ducks have three lines that can produce so the Rangers need to make sure you have the right match-ups for each of their forward lines.

- Speed: With players like Perry, Saku Koivu, Teemu Selanne, Andrew Cogliano, Jason Blake, and others, the Ducks have a tremendous amount of speed. With the larger ice surface, the Rangers will need to watch out for long outlet passes and the trailers on odd-man rushes.

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, new+york+rangers

It’s Just One Game

I’m not going to lie: I did not watch the New York Rangers lose 3-2 to the Los Angeles Kings in overtime today. I was/am at work so instead, I simply followed the box score.

Based on the box score and various Twitter feeds, the Rangers were not great in this game. They were badly outplayed in the first period and really did not wake up until the third period. The team also took a bad penalty that allowed the Kings to score a power play goal in overtime to end the game.

With that said, it looks like team captain Ryan Callahan had a great game, getting 11 shots on goal and scoring his first of the season. It was also nice to see Marian Gaborik get on the board with a goal on an assist from new Rangers’ forward Brad Richards.

It also appears that Henrik Lundqvist was himself in net and did everything he could to get the team two points. That will more than likely be the case throughout the season.

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, brad+richards, henrik+lundqvist, los+angeles+kings, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ryan+callahan

Don’t Go Teemu!

When it comes to talking about the great European hockey players, one name that should always be brought up is the “Finnish Flash”, Anaheim Ducks’ forward Teemu Selanne.

At 40 years old, it is simply amazing what Selanne has accomplished for the playoff-bound Ducks this season. In 72 games played this season, Selanne is second on the Ducks in scoring with 80 points (31 goals and 49 assists), which is also good for eighth in the National Hockey League.

Selanne has especially been great for the Ducks during the last month or so as the team was making its push toward the playoffs. He was making big plays, setting up and scoring big goals (5 game winning goals) both at even strength and on the power play (16 power play goals) and was being a terrific leader on the ice.

This was even more apparent in the Ducks’ 2-1 playoff-clinching victory over the Los Angeles Kings. In leading the Ducks to their big victory, Selanne scored both goals and was instrumental to his team when it mattered the most.

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, teemu+selanne

Rangers Set to Go Shark Hunting

If you’re still up at 10:30 p.m. tonight, I hope you hockey/New York Rangers’ fans will tune into tonight’s game between the Blueshirts and the San Jose Sharks.

After losing to the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday night and having a few days off, the Blueshirts find themselves in tied for seventh/eighth in the Eastern Conference with the Buffalo Sabres. Unfortunately, the Rangers are also just two points up on the ninth place Carolina Hurricanes, making tonight’s tilt with the Sharks even more important.

Over at The Rangers Tribune, Nicholas Montemagno wrote about how he agrees with Rangers’ beat writer Larry Brooks on having team head coach John Tortorella unleash sniper Marian Gaborik. I could not agree more as it is imperative that Gaborik gets his offense going as now is not the time in the season to struggle offensively.

I also agree with head coach Tortorella when he says that it is all about the Henrik Lundqvist show now. Lundqvist needs to bring his A-game the rest of the way if the Rangers want to have any chance of getting into the playoffs. Lundqvist has been quite good over his last few games so hopefully, he will be able to keep it up down the stretch.

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, artem+anisimov, brandon+dubinsky, buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, dan+girardi, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, marc+staal, marian+gaborik, mats+zuccarello, mike+sauer, new+york+rangers, ryan+callahan, ryan+mcdonagh, san+jose+sharks, vaclav+prospal

All The Help They Can Get

This is what the New York Rangers need if the team wants to hold onto one of the top eight spots in the Eastern Conference.

Last night, the Blueshirts got some help from the Pittsburgh Penguins as the Penguins were able to defeat the eighth place Buffalo Sabres by a score of 3-1. With the loss, the Sabres sit at 72 points and remain two points behind the Rangers, who are in action tonight against the Anaheim Ducks.

Besides doing themselves a favor and coming up with two points against the Ducks tonight in Anaheim, the Rangers should hope that the ninth place Carolina Hurricanes, just three points behind the Blueshirts in the ninth spot, lose tonight to the Atlanta Thrashers. Given the way things have gone for the Thrashers lately, the best thing the Rangers could do tonight is pick up two points to go up four on the Sabres. If the Hurricanes win tonight, than the Rangers would still be three points up if they manage to beat the Ducks.

It is a lot of scoreboard watching but it is what makes this time of year so exciting for hockey fans. Could you imagine if the Blueshirts in the Western Conference? I am sure that many of you would have had a heart attack by now.

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, atlanta+thrashers, buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, new+york+rangers, pittsburgh+penguins

Stay The Course Against Anaheim

At this point of the NHL season, every single game matters if you are a team that is fighting for one of eight spots in either the Eastern or Western Conference.

This statement should hit home for the New York Rangers. Going into their game tomorrow night with the Anaheim Ducks, the team holds the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference with 74 points. This puts the team just two points in front of the eighth place Buffalo Sabres and three points in front of the ninth place Carolina Hurricanes.

With the Sabres playing tonight and the Hurricanes playing tomorrow night, a lot can change prior to the Rangers’ tilt with the Ducks tomorrow night. With that in mind, the goal should be the same: get two points at all costs.

The Blueshirts clearly played with that attitude on Friday night against the Ottawa Senators and Sunday afternoon against the Philadelphia Flyers. The Blueshirts went on to outscore the Senators and Flyers by a combined score of 11-1.

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, henrik+lundqvist, los+angeles+kings, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, philadelphia+flyers, ryan+callahan

Rangers Win By Playing Rangers’ hockey

In today’s 7-0 white-washing of the Philadelphia Flyers, the New York Rangers won by playing the kind of hockey that made them so successful earlier on in the season.

They forechecked, they hit, they blocked shots, they allowed their goaltender Henrik Lundqvist to see the puck, they cleared rebounds and they got timely goal scoring. Normally, this is a good recipe of success for any team in the NHL but for the ost part, this has been a big part of the Rangers’ identity when they have won games this season.

This afternoon’s Ranger of the game was easily Ryan Callahan. Callahan picked up his first career hat trick en route to a 4-goal and 5-point game for the Blueshirts. He drove hard to the net, used his quick release to beat Flyers’ netminder Brian Boucher and with his hard work, managed to crack the 20-goal mark.

The team also got solid performances out of Vaclav Prospal (2 assists), Mats Zuccarello (2 goals), Artem Anisimov (1 goal and 1 assist) and Lundqvist (24) saves, who picked up his league-leading ninth shutout of the season.

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, artem+anisimov, brian+boucher, buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, henrik+lundqvist, mats+zuccarello, minnesota+wild, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, ryan+callahan, san+jose+sharks, tampa+bay+lightning, vaclav+prospal

An E-mail Interview with a California Hockey Writer

It’s time for another e-mail interview, this time with J.P. Horrnstra. Hoornstra is a hockey writer who covers the Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings and the Ontario Reign, which is an ECHL club.

Hoornstra was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to tell us about how he got into hockey, how he got into covering the sport, his thoughts on the Ducks and Kings and of course, his thoughts on the Stanley Cup Playoff action.

PH: How did you get into hockey?
J.P.: As a journalist, I got into hockey by accident. Through a series of re-arranged beats within the Los Angeles Newspaper Group, I was assigned to cover the Anaheim Ducks in 2007. I knew the sport plenty having grown up in San Jose with the Sharks, but I had covered almost everything—baseball, football, basketball, soccer, NASCAR, NHRA, IRL, AMA, golf, tennis, boxing, softball, wrestling, track, swimming, volleyball, gymnastics, lacrosse, snowboarding, sports media, performance-enhancing drugs and baton twirling (literally)—before I covered hockey.

PH: Growing up, who was your favorite team/player? Why?
J.P.: Like I said, I grew up around San Jose, so naturally Jamie Baker and Arturs Irbe and 1993 all hold a special place in my heart. I spotted Jeff Odgers at a recent function and blushed. You couldn’t tell me as a 10-year-old that teal didn’t look good on a jersey. We all get into hockey somehow, and for me it had nothing to do with playing on a frozen pond, Wayne Gretzky, or an original six franchise. (Only later did I realize that without frozen ponds, the original six franchises, or Gretzky the San Jose sharks would be nothing more than a surfer’s nightmare).

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, j.p.+hoornstra, los+angeles+kings

Good Take on The Hiller/Giguere Situation

From Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy:

Giggy is 4-8-5 with a 3.14 GAA and a .900 save percentage this season. Hiller is 21-15-2 with a 2.75 GAA and a .920 save percentage.

Problem No. 1 with trading Giguere: He has a no-trade clause, per Spector. Problem No. 2 with trading Giguere: In this economy, the $7 million base salary he’s due is probably just as much as a deal-killer as the $6 million cap hit.

So buying him out after the season might be the best option, for the Ducks and for a player they genuinely want to treat with respect.

It’ll save the team from committing the gross national product of Zimbabwe to two goalies next season; and it’ll give Giggy the chance to finally fulfill the dreams of all those airmchair GMs that have him rejoining Brian Burke and coach Francois Allaire with the Toronto Maple Leafs or going to the Red Wings.

Click here for more on Hiller and Giggy.

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, jean-sebastien+giguere, jonas+hiller

Weekend Update

Good afternoon folks. Just wanted to give you all a heads up that I will be in Massachusetts/New Hampshire this weekend for a wedding so unfortunately, I will not be able to update the blog.

With that in mind, I figured I’d take a brief look at this weekend’s game for the Blueshirts. In my mind, the game on Sunday against the Ducks will be a tough one but with the Rangers’ newly found offense and forechecking skills, they should be able to pick up two points.

It’s my guess that they’ll go with Henrik Lundqvist in that game and than use Steve Valiquette on Monday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs, another team that the Blueshirts should be able to beat. The Leafs are struggling left and right and not getting the goaltending they need from starter Vesa Toskala, which is unfortunate since the “Monster” Jonas Gustavsson is out with a groin injury.

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, los+angeles+kings, new+york+rangers, toronto+maple+leafs

A Quick Look at Wings vs. Ducks

From Rocky Bonanno at NHL.com:

“I don’t know if it’s ever good facing Detroit,” coach Randy Carlyle said after his eighth-seeded Ducks finished an upset of top-seeded San Jose on Monday night. “But we’re not focusing on Detroit right now. We’ll focus on that (Tuesday).”

No doubt, Carlyle’s preparation will include watching tape of all four regular-season meetings between Anaheim and Detroit, and here’s what he’ll find: the Red Wings took three of four, outscored and outshot the Ducks 15-11 and 152-104, respectively, and earned seven of eight possible points in the standings. Each squad excelled on the power play, with Detroit converting on five of 20 chances (25 percent) and Anaheim going 5-for-18 (27.8).

Click here for more.

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, detroit+red+wings

Tough First Round Exits for Stars

From Dan Murphy at Sportsnet.ca:

I sure hope Jarome Iginla doesn’t take too much heat for the Flames’ first-round exit. He was widely viewed as one of the best captains and leaders in the game before the ‘Hawks series and just because his injury-riddled team fell in six games, that assessment shouldn’t change. There are very few athletes who are easy to cheer for, and Iginla is still near the top of the list. Give him the “C” for 2010, please.

Click here for more.

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, calgary+flames, jarome+iginla, joe+thornton, san+jose+sharks

Not Bad

The New York Rangers went into the NHL All-Star break last night with a 4-2 victory over the Anaheim Ducks.

The team got strong performances from Henrik Lundqvist (not a surprise), Scott Gomez (1 goal and 1 assist), Markus Naslund (1 goal and 1 assist), Blair Betts (blocked a few shots and scored a shorthanded goal) as well as from their special teams, as the team scored two power play goals and two shorthanded goals.

With the victory, the Blueshirts head into the break with a 28-16-4 record, good enough for 60 points and the top spot in the Atlantic Division for now. As such, as inconsistent as this team has been, Blueshirt fans really cannot complain too much.

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  Tags: aaron+voros, anaheim+ducks, atlantic+division, blair+betts, henrik+lundqvist, lauri+korpikoski, markus+naslund, new+york+rangers, nikolai+zherdev, petr+prucha, scott+gomez

Quick Hits

Tonight, the New York Rangers take on the Anaheim Ducks at Madison Square Garden and will look to take over the top spot in the Atlantic Division as the New Jersey Devils currently sit atop the Atlantic thanks to a 3-1 win over the Nashville Predators.

According to various beat reporter blogs, Petr Prucha and Lauri Korpikoski will be the scratches. Aaron Voros and Dan Fritsche will take their spots in the lineup.

Now, I know that the Ducks are a physical hockey club but I believe that by taking out Prucha and Korpikoski, the team is potentially sacrificing at least three-five scoring opportunities. When your offense isn’t that strong as it is, why would head coach Tom Renney do something like this?

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  Tags: aaron+voros, anaheim+ducks, atlantic+division, dan+fritsche, lauri+korpikoski, madison+square+garden, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, petr+prucha, tom+renney

Look at the Bright Side

Yes, yesterday afternoon’s 3-0 loss at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins certainly stings but look on the bright side: the New York Rangers picked up points in four of their five road games, including wins against the Ottawa Senators, New York Islanders and the talented Chicago Blackhawks.

The trip saw Rangers’ goaltender Henrik Lundqvist return to form, especially his statistics: 23 wins, a 2.54 goals against average, a .913 save percentage and two shutouts. These numbers certainly show why he is attending this year’s NHL All-Star game in Montreal.

The team’s recent road trip also saw Chris Drury come alive as well as the continued strong play of Ryan Callahan and Nigle Dawes. Hopefully, these three will continue to play well because they are the only ones that are performing consistently on an offensive level in the past couple of weeks.

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, buffalo+sabres, chicago+blackhawks, chris+drury, henrik+lundqvist, madison+square+garden, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, nhl+all-star+game, nigel+dawes, ottawa+senators, pittsburgh+penguins, ryan+callahan

All About Two Points

The New York Rangers hope to extend their win streak to three tonight when they take on the Los Angeles Kings at the Staples Center.

The Blueshirts are coming off an impressive 3-1 win last night over the Anaheim Ducks, getting goals from Chris Drury, Nigel Dawes and Nikolai Zherdev. The team also got another strong performance from their goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who stopped 19 of 20 shots.

It doesn’t appear that the whole Mats Sundin situation is a distraction to the team as all they are focused on is winning.

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, atlanta+thrashers, chris+drury, henrik+lundqvist, los+angeles+kings, mats+sundin, new+york+rangers, nigel+dawes, nikolai+zherdev, san+jose+sharks, steve+valiquette, steve+zipay, tom+renney

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