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    • 454 posts
    December 24, 2018 9:46 PM PST
    ST. LOUIS (AP) — David Perron had no idea what would happen when he became a free agent this summer. Then he got a familiar call.Perron’s NHL odyssey has taken him all over his native Canada and the United States. But he always seems to find his way back to St. Louis.The 30-year-old Perron is beginning his third stint with his first NHL team after signing a $16 million www.officialbluejackets.com , four-year deal with the Blues. When it came time to pick a new home this summer, the veteran winger opted for an old one.“I definitely like the mentality here,” Perron said. “I like the way things are and obviously a lot of the same familiar faces in the management, so yeah, it makes it really appealing to come back. I think I really enjoy the city for my family. It’s a city that when you get to know (it) you really enjoy.”Perron and his wife, Vanessa, have two kids; Mason, 3, and Victoria, 1. Mason just started preschool. Victoria was born in St. Louis.“It’s the first time I buy a house in the hockey season, so to speak,” he said, “so we’re excited.”St. Louis is glad to have him back Columbus Blue Jackets T-Shirts Authentic , too. Perron’s contract was part of an active offseason for the Blues after they fell just short of a playoff berth, ending a streak of six consecutive appearances in the postseason.“Bottom line is he’s here because he’s a good NHL player,” coach Mike Yeo said. “The track record is there. He did it with us two years ago. He did it last year in Vegas, and I think it makes us stronger from top to bottom.”Perron was selected by St. Louis in the first round of the 2007 draft and made his NHL debut that same year at age 19. He played for the Blues for six seasons before he was traded to Edmonton in July 2013.Following stints with the Oilers, Pittsburgh and Anaheim, he returned to St. Louis when he agreed to a $7.5 million, two-year contract in 2016. But the Blues left him unprotected for the expansion draft last June and the Golden Knights pounced.Perron’s season in Sin City was a memorable one. He collected 16 goals and a career-high 50 assists, helping Vegas win the Pacific Division. He had nine more points in the playoffs as the Golden Knights made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final before losing to Washington in five games.The experience in Vegas, being part of a wildly successful expansion team, changed Perron’s mentality on what it takes to win in the NHL.“Just the way things were approached in Vegas, how loose we were, how much fun we had, and then we still found a way to get on the ice and take care of business and still have fun while doing it Columbus Blue Jackets Hoodies Authentic ,” he said. “It’s definitely important. Sometimes you get too tense in a season. You overlook things. You overanalyze things and it’s definitely changed my perspective on things a little bit.”The Golden Knights’ run also shortened Perron’s offseason, and he noticed a difference early in training camp with the Blues. He was slowed by a groin and hip issue before making his preseason debut Tuesday night against the Capitals. He skated with Brayden Schenn and Jaden Schwartz before he got hurt, and then worked on a line with Tyler Bozak and Alexander Steen against Washington.Wherever he plays, the Blues think Perron will be a key contributor in a much deeper group of forwards compared to last season.“Highly skilled obviously, we know that,” Schenn said. “A right shot, which we badly needed. He’s able to make plays, see the ice very well, very skilled, so we’re looking forward to having him a part of our lineup.” WASHINGTON (AP) A five-minute implosion made the Capitals look like the same old team in the playoffs.They blew a two-goal lead for the fourth time in seven games to ruin an otherwise solid performance in a Game 1 loss to the back-to-back Stanley Cup-champion Penguins. That Pittsburgh stormed back to win 3-2 seemed to suggest this would be yet another chapter in the long, miserable history for the Capitals against their nemesis; the Penguins have won nine of 10 postseason meetings between the two teams.But with fresh memories of digging out of a 2-0 series hole against Columbus in the first round, Washington doesn’t sound like a team thinking, ”Here we go again.”Players were quick to say they played a well and almost glossed over that ugly span of 4:49.”We played a pretty good game Columbus Blue Jackets Hats Authentic ,” defenseman Matt Niskanen said. ”They scored on (Sidney) Crosby’s three shifts in a row in the third period to win the game. Otherwise we played pretty good, so I don’t think you need to overanalyze that.”Overanalyzing is exactly what will happen given the Capitals’ recent and franchise-long playoff history. But maybe the Capitals are better off focusing on the positives, and coach Barry Trotz expects things to click back into place for Game 2 on Sunday.”It was a little bit of a kick in the stomach,” Trotz said Friday. ”We had a couple kicks in the stomach in the first round with Columbus and you saw the response that we had. I know our group, I know the strength of our group, I know the resiliency. This group will battle back.”It’s not so easy to guarantee the Capitals will go shift-for-shift with the Penguins like they did most of Game 1, especially with the potential return of Pittsburgh star Evgeni Malkin. Washington did get as many quality scoring chances, if not more, than Pittsburgh, but those third-period goals by the top line of Patric Hornqvist , Crosby and Jake Guentzel tipped the balance.Ideally, Trotz wants the Capitals to play with the lead the same way they do to get it: Move the puck quickly, make good decisions Custom Columbus Blue Jackets Jerseys , defend hard and maintain solid positioning. Those things didn’t happen on the three shifts against Crosby and Co., including mistakes like Dmitry Orlov not tying up Hornqvist’s stick, Alex Ovechkin tipping the puck right to Crosby, and Braden Holtby giving the puck away behind his own net.”One mistake, one bad bounce and they’re back in the game,” Ovechkin said. ”It hit my stick and goes right to Crosby’s stick. Move forward.”Moving forward for the Capitals means cleaning up the little plays that can make a big difference this time of year. Trotz acknowledged the Penguins’ comeback ”happened very quickly,” and it was enough to overshadow two competitive periods where his team arguably out-chanced and out-played its opponent.”That’s the tough part of this game is that those inches and those swings of momentum are so huge and you try to get them back,” Trotz said. ”You have some control of it, and you just want to make sure that you execute at the highest level.”—
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    January 23, 2019 11:00 PM PST

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