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Hutton bounces back with shutout, Blues blank Senators 3-0
"No, especially this position, believe me," the St. Louis Blues goalie said. "You never want to lose, but you never want to have that happy attitude, I'm all good, either. This game, will eat you up if you let things. You hold things inside and then you let it eat away at you.

 who faced 38 shots in all,The Blues' first goal came when Schenn hit Sobotka in stride. Sobotka snapped a wrist shot that defenseman Cody Ceci could not block. The puck hit the skate of Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson,Authentic Ryan Miller jersey, and caromed in at 16:21 for a 1-0 lead in the first period.

Tarasenko had just jumped onto the ice when the puck came to him along the boards. Colton Parayko took a shot from the right side that Anderson blocked. The puck slid to Tarasenko,Authentic Henrik Sedin jersey, who pounced on it for the goal.

"I think it landed flat, so give it to him any way you can. It was a good spot, which was nice,Authentic Bo Horvat jersey, too," Parayko said. "He's got quite the shot, I guess."

"I think we could have definitely done better on our power play in the four minutes we had,Authentic Alex Ovechkin jersey," coach Guy Boucher said. "They defend well. You've got to give credit to the opponent and their hard work."

Consider the nightly rotations a mere warmup for a postseason that could feature a handful of teams who missed the playoffs last year. Teams like Tampa Bay, with three Stanley Cups since 2010, though luckily for two-time defending Stanley Cup champ Pittsburgh, there's plenty of time to climb back into contention. Then again, Vegas and Winnipeg are making life hard for postseason regulars,Authentic T. J. Oshie jersey, the Chicago Blackhawks, are further back and in danger of missing the playoffs entirely without a late surge.

The teams in front of the NHL's usual powers plan on staying there once the All-Star Game weekend ends.

"Anytime you get a little break, gearing up for the playoff push, it's only going to get harder, you want to come back and really be on top of your game because from now on," Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne said. "The teams are gearing up for the playoffs, so we have to do the same thing and really have to be ready after the break."

 just like the Jets,Tampa Bay stood atop the league standings until the Golden Knights overtook them briefly with a win Sunday in Carolina — the Lightning grabbed it back Monday night with a 2-0 win in Chicago. The Lightning missed last year's playoffs but now seem like a Stanley Cup contender, who keep swapping the Central Division lead back and forth with Nashville.

"We know we still have to keep getting better," Tampa Bay forward Chris Kunitz said.

 which is led by the Washington Capitals,Boston is the only Original Six team in the top 10 of the league's overall standings. The lone sign of continuity so far has been in the Metropolitan Division, winners of the last two President's Trophies.

 who spent two seasons in Nashville, predicted Tuesday the NHL will be seeing much more turnover from season to season with teams taking their turns. He sees the Predators,Hall of Fame player Paul Kariya, who reached their first Stanley Cup final last year, as being a potential exception to that with a handful of players under contract for the next few seasons.

" Kariya said. "I think in general there is a lot of parity in the game. With the cap system,"The Vegas story is a terrific story in sports having an expansion team doing this well in their first season, it's very difficult to keep a team together that has success."

Getting to the top of the standings of the NHL is tough enough. Vegas forward James Neal can recall maybe having been there once or twice while he played for Pittsburgh.

"Man, we've got lots of work to do," Neal said. "We put the work in. Everybody played for each other right from Day One, it's impressive, so it's impressive. I'm really proud of the guys. With that being said, and we're going to get better and continue to grow as a team and keep this thing going."

 the All-Star captain for the Central Division team,Nashville's P.K. Subban, noted that much has changed since he came into the NHL.

"It's not so much about having the most superstars on your team, anyone can beat anyone. That's the league we play in," Subban said. "You see now every game there's so much parity in the league, but having the players that play the right way, doesn't matter if a team's in the 29th spot or first, and it's a competitive league."

One thing the NHL's top teams have in common is a strong goaltender. Andrei Vasilevskiy just tied the Tampa Bay record Monday night with his seventh shutout this season,adidas Ryan Miller jersey, matching Nikolai Khabibulin in 2001-2002. Vasilevskiy also leads the league with 28 wins.

The Golden Knights' amazing season has been keyed by Marc-Andre Fleury, who's been nearly unbeatable when healthy.

 obviously it's the All-Star Game on Sunday in Tampa. For simple hockey overload, Thursday night features every team in the league playing with a full slate of action,Well,adidas Henrik Sedin jersey,adidas Alex Ovechkin jersey, and the Golden Knights get another chance to pad the league's best home record when they host the Islanders.

 they were shipping Evan Longoria out of town and someone over there, with a straight face,The Rays? Pitchers and catchers and allegedly Matt Duffy report soon. But the last we saw of these guys, adidas Bo Horvat jersey,was trying to sell us on why this was a good thing.

We keep waiting for the news release any day now that tells us Chris Archer,adidas Braden Holtby jersey, Alex Colome and Jake Odorizzi have been traded. The Rays have traded so many of their best players over the years that they no longer have a best player. All that's left is a centerfielder who can catch flyballs and a bunch of No. 6 hitters.

The Bucs? Sigh.

Here's how you know things are rotten with your football team. It's January and the most exciting thing on your to-do list is hoping your team takes an offensive lineman in the draft in three months. Woo-hoo.

 they still need a pass rusher,Maybe the Bucs shouldn't hope they do too well in the draft. We don't want the general manger cringing at the thought that the Bucs might actually go .500 next season. Meantime, adidas T. J. Oshie jersey,a running back and someone to make sure the quarterback doesn't jump in an Uber.

College basketball in these parts is a drag. USF might be the crummiest men's basketball program in the country. They've lost seven in a row and I'm trying to find a conference game they can win even though they aren't in a great conference.

Even the USF women have some work to do to get back to their usual high level.

So now we turn to the Lightning — our one hope,Authentic Braden Holtby jersey, the one team that keeps Tampa Bay from joining the likes of Cincinnati and Milwaukee as the most actively depressing sports towns at the moment.

 we've been sidetracked while the Lightning has played its best regular-season hockey since, well,And the problem is, ever.

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