Wings’ Sheahan still without a goal after 99 shots

It's been a season to forget for Riley Sheahan.

The Detroit Red Wings forward, who signed a two-year, $4.15-million contract extension with the team last summer, has now gone a full 72 games and 99 shots without a goal in 2016-17.

That puts him well past the NHL record for most shots without a goal.

It's an odd turn of events, considering Sheahan had scored at a decent clip in the past.

In 204 games with the Red Wings prior to this season, Sheahan scored 36 goals, good for an average of 0.18 per game and a pace of 14.5 over the course of an 82-game season. He achieved those numbers on 314 shots, an average of 1.54 shots per game and 126.2 per season.

Hence, the new deal handed to him this past offseason.

Sheahan's shot rate has decreased a touch this year, but not drastically. Previously, Sheahan fired 1.54 shots per game, whereas this season his average now rests at 1.38.

Still, there's eight games left to find the back of the net, and he could put himself in the record books in a redeemable way.

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Report: Coyotes sign Clayton Keller to entry-level deal

The Arizona Coyotes have agreed to terms with first-round pick Clayton Keller on his entry-level contract, TSN's Bob McKenzie reports.

Keller's one and only season with Boston University ended Saturday when the Terriers were eliminated from the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament by Minnesota-Duluth in overtime.

The plan is for the 18-year-old forward to join the Coyotes immediately and play the rest of the season in the NHL, according to Arizona Sports 98.7's Craig Morgan.

Keller racked up 21 goals and 45 points in 31 games with BU.

He was selected seventh overall by the Coyotes in last year's draft.

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Gaunce taking advantage of Penguins’ depleted blue line

It's been a long road to NHL relevance for Cameron Gaunce.

Drafted in the second round (50th overall) by the Colorado Avalanche in 2008, the defenseman had appeared in only 20 NHL games prior to signing as a free agent with the Pittsburgh Penguins last summer.

Gaunce spent the majority of this season with the AHL's Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, but was recently pressed into duty with the big club after injuries to Kris Letang, Olli Maata, Trevor Daley, and Ron Hainsey.

He scored his second career goal and added an assist in Friday's shootout loss to the New York Islanders, and seems to have found favor with Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan on the third pairing alongside Mark Streit:

Whether he sticks with the club when everyone comes back from injury remains to be seen, but, at the very least, he's raising his profile and making a case for an upgrade on his one-year, $575,000 deal.

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Crosby shrugs off Melnyk’s rant: ‘He likes to hear himself talk’

Sidney Crosby doesn't want to spend more time addressing his slash on Marc Methot, but he couldn't offer his latest comment without taking a shot at Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk.

"I’m just going to leave it. He likes to hear himself talk, so let’s just leave it," the Pittsburgh Penguins superstar said, according to Michelle Crechiolo of the club's website. "It was four days ago."

Crosby slashed Methot on Thursday, shattering the Senators defenseman's finger and forcing him out of the lineup for "weeks."

The Penguins captain defended his role in the incident, claiming he was trying to hit Methot's stick.

Melnyk lashed out at Crosby in a radio interview Friday, calling the two-time Hart Trophy winner "a whiner beyond belief" and repeatedly suggesting he should be suspended for the rest of the season.

Later that day, Crosby's agent, Pat Brisson, said he believes Melnyk should be fined for his comments.

Crosby wasn't penalized and received no supplemental discipline.

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Josh Harding misses hockey ‘every day,’ happy to reconnect with Wild

Josh Harding is once again beginning to water his roots with the Minnesota Wild.

The former NHL goalie, who was forced to retire in 2015 due to complications from multiple sclerosis, finds himself rooting for his former club, and was recently invited by owner Craig Leipold to attend a couple Wild home dates.

Harding says he watches all the Wild games on TV and admires Devan Dubnyk's work in net, but observing rather than playing the game is a bittersweet feeling, he told Michael Russo of the Star Tribune.

"I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss it every day," Harding said. "More than anything, I wanted to thank Mr. Leipold for all he did for me and my family. It was long overdue. You grow up a little bit and you come to terms with everything."

Harding, who only ever played for the Wild at the NHL level, signed a three-year, $5.7-million contract that expired in 2015. Apart from family life, he works with a nearby high school team.

Hardinal also explained the details of his hospitalization in 2014 as a result of dehydration during an AHL game, and admits continuing to play could have been disastrous, to the say the least.

"(Doctors) told me if I kept going, 'It’s not going to end well,'" Harding said. "It was the first time I realized it wasn’t just how much I was going through, it was how much I was putting everybody else through. I still had people that loved me, still had people that I loved that are more important than this game."

The Wild clinched a playoff spot Saturday, and will enter the postseason with the knowledge a former teammate is very much behind them.

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Ryan Smyth returns 2 weeks after injurious blindside hit in Alberta league

Ryan Smyth knows how to bounce back.

Three years removed from his NHL playing days, the forward made a speedy return to the Alberta Senior AAA men's league finals, suiting up for the Stoney Plain Eagles only two weeks after a vicious blindside hit that left him concussed.

Related: Smyth says men's league hit among hardest he's ever taken

The hit was delivered in Game 1 of a series against the Larcombe Generals, and earned Kyle Sheen a 16-game suspension. Smyth's return for Game 6 was a last ditch effort to help his team tie the series and avoid elimination.

Smyth scored in an eventual loss, and his hockey future remains in doubt as he considers his long-term health.

Clearly it takes a lot to keep Captain Canada off the ice.

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Julien unfazed after beating Sens again: ‘I fix things, I don’t panic’

Claude Julien insists he's cool as a cucumber.

The Montreal Canadiens head coach tried to assure reporters of his calm demeanor after earning a 3-1 victory Saturday over the Ottawa Senators:

The Canadiens played the Senators three times in eight days and won all three games, prevailing by a combined 7-2 margin in their final two regular-season matchups.

Montreal holds a three-point lead over Ottawa atop the Atlantic Division. The Senators have a game in hand, but three fewer regulation or overtime wins, which would be the tiebreaker at season's end.

The Canadiens are 11-5-1 since firing Michel Therrien and re-hiring Julien on Feb. 14, when they were six points up on the Senators.

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Playoff Percentages: Bruins back on track, Kings almost overthrown

Through the remainder of the regular season, we'll take a look at how the night's action impacts the playoff race, highlighting which teams' postseason odds went up or down significantly.

The Boston Bruins bought themselves a little breathing room with a big win in Brooklyn.

Losers of four straight heading into Saturday's action, the Bruins eked out a narrow victory, greatly boosting their playoff chances in the process.

While the Toronto Maple Leafs continue to sit rather comfortably, a loss to the Sabres - and an injury to goalie Frederik Andersen - has opened the door for possible regression to a wild-card spot.

Meanwhile, wins for the Calgary Flames and Nashville Predators, as well as a point earned by the St. Louis Blues in an overtime loss, have put the Los Angeles Kings on the brink of being completely pushed out of the race.

Eastern Conference

Team Result Playoff Chances Change
Boston W 2-1 vs. Islanders 62.9% +20.7%
Carolina W 3-1 vs. New Jersey 9.5% +4.8%
Tampa Bay Idle 19.8% +2.9
Toronto L 2-5 vs. Buffalo 78.3% -9.7%

Western Conference

Team Result Playoff Chances Change
Calgary W 3-2 (OT) vs. St. Louis 99.6% +2.3%
Nashville W 7-2 vs. San Jose 99.7% +1.7%
Los Angeles L 0-3 vs. Rangers 0.8% -4.2%

To see percentages for the entire NHL, visit Sports Club Stats.

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