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Oilers fire McLellan, hire Hitchcock

FILE - In this May 12, 2017, file photo, Edmonton Oilers head coach Todd McLellan speaks to the media during an NHL hockey news conference in Edmonton, Alberta. The Edmonton Oilers have fired coach Todd McLellan and replaced him with Ken Hitchcock with the team languishing in sixth place in the Pacific Division. McLellan was in his fourth season behind the Oilers' bench. The team missed the playoffs in two of his previous three seasons despite having superstar Connor McDavid on its roster. The Oilers were just 9-10-1 entering its game Tuesday night, Nov. 20, 2018, at San Jose. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP, File)

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) Ken Hitchcock knows the routine well by now as he begins his tenure as new coach of the Edmonton Oilers. For the fourth time in his long coaching career, Hitchcock has been tasked with taking over a struggling team in the middle of the season.

Hitchcock was hired Tuesday as coach of his hometown Oilers after the team fired Todd McLellan with the team languishing in sixth place in the Pacific Division.

"It's not going to change overnight, but we can start taking some steps," said Hitchcock, who led St. Louis to a first-place finish in 2011-12 after taking over as coach one month into the season. "I told the players today I can take them to a place personally that they can't get to themselves, but they've got to buy into that, and it's not going to be comfortable at times."


Caps D Orpik expected to miss 4-6 weeks

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) Veteran Washington Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik has undergone arthroscopic surgery on his right knee and is expected to miss four to six weeks.

The team announced the surgery and time frame Tuesday. Orpik has missed the past nine games.


Blues have no timeline for hiring coach

ST. LOUIS (AP) The Blues will be casting a wide net in their coaching search.

General manager Doug Armstrong fired Mike Yeo after Monday's 2-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings. Craig Berube is the interim coach while Armstrong assembles a list of candidates for the permanent job.


Penguins mired in 1-7-2 funk

PITTSBURGH (AP) Mike Sullivan's regular film sessions with the Pittsburgh Penguins don't lack for clues on why one of the NHL's marquee franchises is in the midst of its bumpiest stretch in more than a decade.

The defense can morph into a disjointed mess under sustained pressure, particularly right in front of the net. The crisp breakouts that used to trigger odd-man rushes featuring some of the league's most skilled players moving at warp speed have largely vanished and been replaced by something significantly sloppier.


Laine's hat trick puts Jets over Canucks

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) It took 18 games for Winnipeg's Patrik Laine to finally break loose.

After having scored just one even-strength goal heading into Monday's game, Laine recorded a hat trick and led Winnipeg to a 6-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks.


Johansen, Rinne lead Preds by Lightning

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Pekka Rinne continued his dominance over Tampa Bay and tied a record with one of his boyhood heroes in the process.

Ryan Johansen had a goal and an assist, Rinne stopped 29 shots, and the Nashville Predators beat the Lightning 3-2 on Monday night.


Hoffman's streak hits 16 as Panthers win

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) Hockey was almost secondary to the Florida Panthers and Ottawa Senators on Monday night.

The teams dealt with two separate delays that left a number of players shaken. The teams were sent to their dressing rooms with 3:37 remaining in the first period as first responders dealt with a medical emergency in the stands as a fan required CPR.


Hyman's 2 goals lift Leafs over Jackets

TORONTO (AP) It took the Toronto Maple Leafs a little while to shake their West Coast hangover.

Zach Hyman scored two goals late in third period and the Maple Leafs extended their winning streak to four games with a 4-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday night.


Chytil scores again, Rangers edge Stars

NEW YORK (AP) Filip Chytil is having quite the scoring run, and the New York Rangers could not be happier.

Chytil scored the tiebreaking goal 4:32 into the third period to rally the New York Rangers to a 2-1 win over the Dallas Stars on Monday night. The 21st overall pick in the 2017 NHL draft, Chytil scored for the fourth straight game to become the first teenager in franchise history to accomplish that feat.


Tkachuk, Gaudreau help Flames rout Vegas

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) Johnny Gaudreau matched a career-high with four points, all in the first period, and found a spot in the Calgary Flames' record book.

Gaudreau's goal and three assists, along with Matthew Tkachuk's two goals and two assists, helped the Flames take over top spot in the Pacific Division with a 7-2 rout of the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday night.