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Eastern Conference

Caps’ Alex Ovechkin Credits Sister-in-Law For Scoring Outburst

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Washington Capitals superstar Alexander Ovechkin is in the midst of an incredible scoring outburst.

Ovechkin has scored seven goals in his first two games, and he’s the only player since 1917-18 to open the season with two straight hat tricks.

Ovechkin credits his sister-in-law for his historic run.

“My wife, her sister is here and every time she’s in town I score a hat trick,” Ovechkin said Sunday, per Tom Gulitti of NHL.com.

“So back-to-back (hat tricks) and she’s leaving Monday, so I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to talk to someone to keep her here.”

Capitals head coach coach Barry Trotz said that the talk of a potential decline may have motivated Ovechkin.

“Everybody says he can’t score 50 goals, so he might get in his mind that I’m going to score 70 just to prove you wrong,” Trotz said.

“I think the top athletes in this game and in all sports, when you doubt them they put their back up and hopefully that happened. That would be a bonus for us and a bonus for Alex.”

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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