Mikael Granlund

Granlund's 3 goals do the trick in Wild win over Preds

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Granlund's 3 goals do the trick in Wild win over Preds

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Mikael Granlund had the second three-goal game of his career and Devan Dubnyk made 41 saves in his first start since Dec. 12 to help the Minnesota Wild beat the Nashville Predators 4-2 on Friday night.

Matt Dumba had a goal and assist for Minnesota, which has won two in a row coming out of the league's holiday break. Dumba scored the go-ahead goal, his seventh of the season, midway through the second period in the first game of a back-to-back, home-and-home series between the two teams.

Pekka Rinne made 34 saves, but Nashville lost for the fourth time in five games. P.K. Subban and Kyle Turris scored for the Predators.

Dubnyk made his return after missing six games with a lower-body injury. He wasn't tested much early as Nashville went the first 7:57 without a shot.

The Wild had the first 11 shots and Granlund scored 7:34 into the game to give Minnesota the early lead. Turris made a quick play to save a loose puck behind Rinne. But the errant pass went out to Dumba, who fed Granlund for a one-timer.

Rinne made several big saves to keep the game close before Subban tied the game with his eighth goal of the year in the first. Granlund added his 10th goal of the season less than a minute later on the power play for his third multi-goal game of the season.

Granlund scored an empty-net goal with 50.3 seconds for the hat trick (see full recap).

Hurricanes beat Penguins for 4th straight win
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Sebastian Aho scored the go-ahead goal with 1:55 left in the second period and the Carolina Hurricanes earned their season-best fourth straight win by beating the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 on Friday night.

Derek Ryan had a goal earlier in the second for Carolina, which improved to 7-0-1 in its last eight games.

Brian Dumoulin scored for the short-handed Penguins, who were down a season-high five injured players -- including top goalie Matt Murray and defenseman Kris Letang.

The two-time defending Stanley Cup champions have lost six of nine to slip to seventh place in the Metropolitan Division. They have just one regulation victory since Dec. 2.

Backup Tristan Jarry made 31 saves for the Penguins, who had won their previous seven meetings with the Hurricanes.

Cam Ward stopped 27 shots in his fourth straight start for Carolina, which entered tied with Pittsburgh for sixth place in the division race (see full recap).

Compher, Avalanche knock off Maple Leafs in OT
DENVER -- J.T. Compher scored a power-play goal 3:25 into overtime to give the Colorado Avalanche a 4-3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday night.

Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and two assists, Alexander Kerfoot and Mikko Rantanen also scored for Colorado.

Semyon Varlamov had 31 saves for the Avalanche, who bounced back from losing to Arizona on Wednesday to beat another Eastern Conference power. Colorado swept two-time reigning champion Pittsburgh and split the season series with Washington.

Matt Martin, Roman Polak and James Van Riemsdyk had goals and Calvin Pickard stopped 24 shots for Toronto.

The Avalanche got a break in overtime when Connor Brown was given a minor for interference. Colorado had several chances, including MacKinnon hitting a post, before Compher beat Pickard with 9 seconds left on the power play (see full recap).

NHL Notes: Jack Eichel, Sabres reportedly negotiating 8-year contract

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NHL Notes: Jack Eichel, Sabres reportedly negotiating 8-year contract

PITTSFORD, N.Y. -- A person familiar with negotiations tells The Associated Press the Buffalo Sabres and Jack Eichel are discussing a contract extension that could run the NHL maximum eight years.

The person spoke on the condition of anonymity on Wednesday because the talks have been private since formal negotiations began a little over a month ago.

Sabres owner Terry Pegula declined to assess the status of negotiations except to say no deadline has been set and that both sides are committed to reaching a deal.

"I can tell you this, We want Jack and Jack wants to be in Buffalo," Pegula said during a news conference at the Buffalo Bills training camp site in suburban Rochester. Pegula also owns the Bills.

In a text to The AP, Eichel's agent Peter Fish wrote: "We are talking and I would say that we will be continuing to talk" (see full story).

Wild: Granlund says team ‘can do some damage’ in playoffs
This offseason for the Minnesota Wild was never going to be about making major additions.

This was simply the summer of maintenance and sustenance, with a new contract for Mikael Granlund one of the biggest priorities.

Now that Granlund has agreed to the deal, for $17.25 million over three years, the dynamic Finnish forward has his focus on a much deeper push by the Wild through the playoffs. Performing up to the value of the contract is not his concern.

Even without obvious roster upgrades after a five-game loss in the first round to St. Louis, the strength of the core that fueled a top-five finish in the NHL regular season has not diminished.

"There's always something to prove, but I think the biggest thing is as a team I really want us to make a deeper playoff run," Granlund said Wednesday on a conference call. "Obviously we need to make it to playoffs first, but I think we have a really good group of guys and we can do some damage" (see full story).

Penguins: Preseason game moved from ‘Hockeyville’ winner
PITTSBURGH -- A suburban Pittsburgh ice rink that won the right to host a Pittsburgh Penguins preseason contest will instead have to settle for a ticketed practice by the Stanley Cup champions after the facility was deemed unfit to host an NHL game.

Rostraver Ice Rink in Belle Vernon -- about 20 miles southeast of Pittsburgh -- won an online contest sponsored by Kraft to receive $150,000 worth of arena upgrades as well as a preseason game between the Penguins and the St. Louis Blues on Sept. 24.

Kraft announced on Wednesday it was moving the game from Rostraver Ice Rink to the Penguins' practice facility in Cranberry -- about 30 minutes north of Pittsburgh. Members of the Belle Vernon community and youth hockey players from Rostraver Ice Garden will receive the majority of the game tickets.

The rink will still receive the upgrades. The Penguins will hold a practice at Rostraver on Sept. 24 as part of four days of festivities. Pittsburgh plans to bring its game-night entertainment operation -- including music, videos, anthem singer Jeff Jimerson, P.A. announcer Ryan Mill and the Penguins Ice Crew -- to a Rostraver youth hockey game that week.

NHL Notes: Wild agree with Mikael Granlund on 3-year, $17.25 million deal

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NHL Notes: Wild agree with Mikael Granlund on 3-year, $17.25 million deal

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Wild have agreed to terms with standout forward Mikael Granlund on a three-year, $17.25 million contract.

The Wild announced the deal Tuesday with the restricted free agent, whose 69 points last season ranked tied for fourth in franchise history. The 25-year-old Granlund led the Wild in points, assists and multi-point games. He set career highs in nine statistical categories.

Granlund scored 17 points in a 12-game point streak from Jan. 12 through Feb. 4, the longest point streak in Wild history and tied for the second-longest point streak in the NHL last season.

The 5-foot-10, 184-pound native of Finland has collected 201 points and 80 penalty minutes in 321 games with the Wild. He was selected by Minnesota in the first round of the 2010 draft.

Hurricanes: Pesce agrees to 6-year contract extension
RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Carolina Hurricanes and defenseman Brett Pesce have agreed to a six-year contract extension.

Under terms of the deal announced Tuesday and taking effect in 2018-19, Pesce will make $4.025 million per season.

The 22-year-old Pesce had 18 assists and 20 points last year in his second full professional season.

Both Pesce and his defensive partner -- Jaccob Slavin -- received lengthy extensions from the Hurricanes. Slavin agreed to a seven-year deal last month that will pay him $5.3 million, also starting in 2018-19.

General manager Ron Francis says Pesce "plays a smart defensive game and has good ability to move the puck and contribute offensively."

Pesce will make $892,000 this season, the last of his entry-level contract.

Hurricanes: Owner Karmanos seeking $500M for franchise
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos Jr. says he wants to sell his team for about $500 million.

Karmanos told The News & Observer of Raleigh on Tuesday that he and an ownership group led by former Texas Rangers CEO Chuck Greenberg have agreed to a term sheet but do not have a purchase agreement.

Karmanos spoke publicly for the first time since club officials acknowledged last month that an offer was made for the team without identifying the buyer or the sale price.

Karmanos says he is giving Greenberg some time to assemble his ownership team. But Karmanos adds that "if we get a few more weeks down the road and he can't raise enough money, I'm going to tell him sayonara."