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Eastern Conference

Panthers’ Owen Tippett: ‘I have the upside of Phil Kessel’

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When the Florida Panthers selected Owen Tippett in the 1st round of this year’s NHL draft, they believed they were getting a player with a ton of upside.

After all, the winger scored 75 points in 60 games, 44 goals, with the OHL’s Mississauga Steelheads last season.

“Owen is a natural goal scorer with a bright future and he already possesses NHL-ready size and speed,” Panthers general manager Dale Tallon said back in July, via The Score.

“We’re looking forward to watching him compete for a spot on our NHL roster at training camp this fall.”

Tippett has a chance to fast track his way to the NHL and his confidence certainly make sit seem he believes he will be hitting the NHL ice sooner rather than later.

“I have the upside of Phil Kessel – the speed, the shot, the way he can make plays,” Tippett said in an interview with Luke Fox of Sportsnet.

“I also have some things I need to work on to be a 200-foot player.”

“I feel I can fight for a spot in Florida,” Tippett said.

“But at the end of the day, if I’m back in Mississauga, I’ll look at it as a chance to develop my game and get stronger and faster.”

Eastern Conference

Penguins Keeping Faith in Matt Murray

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The Pittsburgh Penguins continue to support goalie Matt Murray despite his struggles this season, leading the team to temporarily usurp him for Casey DeSmith.

Despite the downward fall, Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan believes that the time off the ice will help him focus on work with goaltending coach Mike Buckley, and the team is maintaining both their faith and their confidence that Murray can return to form.

“I think Matt’s mental toughness and the experiences that he’s gone through, he can certainly draw on and help him get to where we all know he’s capable of being,” Sullivan said (h/t NHL.com). “Right now, he’s got an opportunity to spend some time with [Buckley] and work on some of the aspects of his game that we think can help him improve. He can build his confidence.

“This by no means diminishes our faith and our trust in Matt Murray. We know he’s a real good goalie. He’s an accomplished goalie.”

DeSmith understands his role, as backup.

“That’s my job. Just to show up when I get the chance,” DeSmith said. “I think so far, I’ve given the team a chance to win when I’ve played. I take pride in that.”

Murray is 4-4-1 with a 3.87 GAA, .886 save percentage and one shutout in nine starts for Pittsburgh this season.

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Eastern Conference

Devils Place Brian Boyle on IR

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The New Jersey Devils have placed center Brian Boyle on injured reserve with an upper-body injury, according to an official team announcement.

During Sunday’s game against the Winnipeg Jets, Boyle was on the receiving end of a devastating hit from Dustin Byfuglien, which you can see below.

In a corresponding move, the Devils have recalled Pavel Zacha from the AHL.

 

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Boston Bruins

Bruins’ Tuukka Rask Rejoins Team, Jakub Zboril Recalled

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The Boston Bruins will see the return of netminder Tuukka Rask, who took a few days away from the team for a personal leave.

In corresponding moves, Dan Vlader is on his way back to the Providence Bruins while Jakub Zboril will be recalled. Additionally, the team officially announced that both Jeremy Lauzon and Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson will stay on regular recall.

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