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Kraken top Canucks in preseason debut

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) The concourses of the Spokane Arena were jammed. The merchandise lines snaked through the crowds, causing bottlenecks as fans filed in for their first glimpse of the Seattle Kraken.

There seems to be little doubt about the popularity and reach of the NHL's newest franchise, even when playing 300 miles away from home.

"It was unbelievable to be honest. I mean, I'm from the East Coast so I've never been out here. It just goes to show how exciting hockey is, how much it's growing," Seattle's Ryan Donato said. "Coming in here and seeing all the Kraken jerseys and how everything's growing so fast, it's truly awesome to be a part of."

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Bruins top Caps in SO to open preseason

WASHINGTON (AP) Jake DeBrusk scored in regulation and had the winning goal in the shootout, lifting the Boston Bruins to a 3-2 win over the Washington Capitals in a preseason game Sunday.

Erik Haula also scored in regulation and the shootout for the Bruins, who had Jeremy Swayman and Troy Grosenick split time in goal. Swayman started and made 18 saves on 19 shots in the opening 30 minutes. Grosenick played the second half of the second period, all of the third and overtime session, finishing with 11 saves.

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Blues extend GM Armstrong for 5 years

ST. LOUIS (AP) The St. Louis Blues signed longtime president of hockey operations and general manager Doug Armstrong to a five-year contract extension Saturday.

Armstrong, 57, was named the organization's 11th general manager after the 2009-10 season after joining the Blues as assistant general manager in 2008.

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Tavares scores in return from injury

TORONTO (AP) John Tavares scored in his return from injury, the Maple Leafs played in front of their home fans for the first time in more than 18 months, and Toronto beat the Montreal Canadiens 4-1 in the opener on the NHL's pre-season calendar Saturday.

Jake Muzzin, Michael Bunting and Kurtis Gabriel had the other goals for the Leafs, while William Nylander and T.J. Brodie added two assists each.

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Sens acquire F Sanford from Blues

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) The Ottawa Senators acquired Zach Sanford on Saturday, sending St. Louis native Logan Brown to the Blues in exchange for the veteran forward.

St. Louis also received a conditional 2022 draft pick from Ottawa.

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Sabres strip injured Eichel's captaincy

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Jack Eichel was stripped of his captaincy by the Sabres on Thursday, raising further questions about his future in Buffalo due to a widening rift over how to treat a neck injury that has sidelined the center for six months.

With the two sides at a stalemate, general manager Kevyn Adams announced the decision to remove the "C" as the Sabres opened training camp without Eichel, who will be placed on injured reserve after failing his physical.

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Blackhawks G Lankinen in COVID protocol

CHICAGO (AP) Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Kevin Lankinen and forward Mike Hardman were held out of practice Friday because of the NHL's COVID-19 protocol.

The announcement on the team's second day of training camp doesn't necessarily mean that either player tested positive. General manager Stan Bowman said Thursday that the team was 100% vaccinated.

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Accuser interviewed in Blackhawks probe

CHICAGO (AP) An attorney who represents a former Chicago Blackhawks player who alleges he was sexually assaulted by a then-assistant coach in 2010 said Friday her client has been interviewed as part of the team's review of the accusations.

A former federal prosecutor has been hired by the Blackhawks to conduct what the team says is an independent investigative review of the allegations in a pair of lawsuits filed against the franchise. In an internal memo sent on June 28, CEO Danny Wirtz said Reid Schar and Jenner & Block LLP "have been directed to follow the facts wherever they lead."

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Sharks open camp without embattled Kane

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) The San Jose Sharks opened training camp with a big void at forward with Evander Kane not participating and little idea of when or if he will come back.

The Sharks took the ice for the first time this season Thursday, a day after Kane was cleared by the NHL of gambling allegations. But with the league still looking into allegations of physical and sexual abuse made by his estranged wife, Kane and the Sharks decided he will not take part in practice until further notice.

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Toews practices with Blackhawks

CHICAGO (AP) Jonathan Toews is skating again. He is practicing with the Chicago Blackhawks, just like he did before he missed all of last season. He is smiling and joking around with his teammates again.

The rest of the questions, the ones about opening night and returning to form and his fitness, those are going to have to hang out there for a while. All Toews knows right now is the moment.

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