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The NHL is staging more exhibition games in China this fall

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The NHL is staging more exhibition games in China this fall Roman Josi Jersey , hoping to make further inroads in establishing hockey as a sport in the world’s most populous nation.The Boston Bruins and Calgary Flames will face off Sept. 15 in Shenzhen in southeast China and then again Sept. 19 in Beijing in the second incarnation of the China Games.The Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks played preseason games in Shanghai and Beijing last September, the NHL’s first foray there.China represents an as-yet untapped resource for the NHL, especially ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.Commissioner Gary Bettman has so far been noncommittal about the NHL going to the 2022 Games after skipping South Korea this year, but the work is already underway in China, where the NBA has had a presence for decades.”I think there is an enthusiasm to grow the sport, first at the grassroots level, but I think bringing games there and bringing NHL teams there and NHL players helps kind of support the story from the top down, as well,” deputy commissioner Bill Daly told The Associated Press by phone Wednesday.”It’s really a two-pronged approach where you’re trying to build hockey infrastructure in a society that’s never really had any and then in order to drive that, you’re bringing hockey at its highest level so that people can appreciate what the sport can look like.”Growing youth hockey and bringing NHL games to China is the plan http://www.officialpredators.com/authentic-adidas-ryan-hartman-jersey , but from the league’s perspective, it’s not a three-pronged approach tied to Olympic participation.”I was there in the spring and we had lots of discussions with officials at all levels to talk about the development of hockey and how we can work together, and those are things that we’re working on,” Bettman said last month.”Not once did we get asked about the Olympics in 2022. I’m not sure if we’re helping develop the game particularly at the grassroots level and giving them our software, if you will, whether or not we play for two weeks makes a difference.”The league is working with local authorities to develop hockey programs as the government of the country with a population of 1.3 billion aims to have 300 million participants in winter sports by 2022. The Bruins made visits each of the past two summers to participate in hockey camps.”Over the past three years we have collaborated with (businessman Zhou Yunjie) on growing the game both within the Chinese community in Boston and with youth hockey players in China,” Bruins president Cam Neely said.”We look forward to continuing these efforts by bringing Bruins hockey to China with these two preseason games.”Shenzhen’s location close to Hong Kong, its burgeoning population and its world-class facility that’s home to the two China-based Canadian Women’s Hockey League teams made it a natural fit along with Beijing for NHL preseason action. More cities are in the running in the future, which could at some point include regular-season games.”Part of it is exposing the sport in different major cities throughout the country,” Daly said.”These games over the next number of years are going to hit different locations Ryan Johansen Jersey , and we’ll see what’s worked well and what can be improved and it’s very much kind of a learning process for us.”Hockey in China is one big learning process, and the NHL is in the early stages of its assistance.China is ramping up its hockey programs with an eye toward the 2022 Olympics, but that doesn’t mean the NHL is a sure thing to go. Daly said the league sees hockey in China and the NHL at the Beijing Olympics as mutually exclusive.”Our philosophy is one that isn’t necessarily connected to the other,” Daly said. ”I don’t think the fact that we want to grow our presence in China and grow hockey’s presence in China necessarily means we have to be in the Olympics. But it doesn’t necessarily preclude us from being there if ultimately we want to be.”Bettman noted that Germany reached the gold medal game at the non-NHL Olympics in February, and wondered if staying out would actually be beneficial.”Maybe the Chinese would have more success in 2022 in being competitive if we’re not there,” Bettman said. ”A lot of variables to be considered.”One of those variables that could help the NHL return to the Olympics for the sixth time would be the Chinese government pushing for it. Sochi was an example of that.”I think it could happen, but even if that was something that they weighed in on, I’m not sure at the end of the day that would be a determining factor for us,” Daly said.”I think there are a whole host of factors. It’s not just about kind of the conditions under which we go. It’s all the other things that are associated with Olympic participation, including what’s happening back here in North America.”—Sports Deputy Editor for Newsgathering Howie Rumberg in New York contributed.— GLENDALE Viktor Arvidsson Jersey , Ariz. (AP) — The Vegas Golden Knights couldn’t put away the Arizona Coyotes in regulation time, but they dominated overtime and picked up an important divisional win.Max Pacioretty stuffed in a rebound at 3:36 of overtime, and the Golden Knights beat the Coyotes 3-2 Wednesday night.The goal was the second of the night for Pacioretty, who also scored in the second period. Tomas Nosek also scored, and Marc-Andre Fleury had 19 saves for Vegas.Vegas had five shots in the extra period; Arizona had none.“We know how many divisional games we have here coming up,” Pacioretty said. “They’re all important. To be able to stick with it, kill that penalty at the end, was huge.”Derek Stepan scored twice for Arizona, and Darcy Kuemper had 22 saves. Both teams have picked up points in three of their last five games.Stepan scored at 19:08 of the first period and with 6:49 left in the third period. His second goal tied the game at 2-all. On the power play, Alex Galchenyuk fed Stepan Robin Lehner Jersey Womens , who had plenty of open net.The Coyotes got another power play with 1:55 to play, but couldn’t convert before the end of regulation.“There’s some positives to take out of the power play scoring a big goal for us,” Stepan said. “We scored a big goal to give our team a chance to win the hockey game. … We go forward with that.”Vegas lost a chance for a two-goal lead early in the third period. Cody Eakin’s apparent goal was reviewed and overturned when teammate Alex Tuch was ruled offside.The first period saw some hard hitting by both teams and a brief tussle between Coyotes center Brad Richardson and Golden Knights center William Karlsson. Arizona’s Christian Fischer had a shot bounce off the post late in the period.Stepan scored his fifth goal of the season with 52 seconds left in the first, when he redirected Jakob Chychrun’s shot past Fleury for a 1-0 Coyotes lead.Chychrun, playing in just his second game of the season, recorded his first point.Nosek took a pass from Reilly Smith and beat Kuemper with a shot over his glove at 5:50 of the second period, tying the game.The Coyotes just missed regaining the lead at the 11:32 mark of the second when Clayton Keller broke away with a long pass from Oliver Ekman-Larsson and hit the post with his shot.Pacioretty started the play that led to his goal late in the second period. He passed to Tuch, who sent the puck to Eakin, who crossed it back to Pacioretty, who netted a wrist shot.“‘Patch’ is one of those guys when he gets the puck in the net http://www.officialdevils.com/authentic-adidas-cory-schneider-jersey , he gets confident,” Vegas head coach Gerard Gallant said. “It couldn’t happen to a better player.”The Coyotes’ NHL-best penalty kill was 2 for 2 on Friday, and has allowed just five goals on 62 opponent power plays this season. Defenseman Alex Goligoski also returned from injury, playing for the first time since Nov. 8.“We need some individuals to play better,” Coyotes head coach Rick Tocchet said. “It’s too hard of a game for us. We don’t have the team to outscore teams all the time. We have to play a good, diligent game defensively.”NOTES: The game was the first of four meetings between the desert rivals. … Golden Knights F Tomas Hyka returned to action after being scratched from Monday’s game. … Kuemper started his eighth straight game with No. 1 goaltender Antti Raanta still out with a lower body injury. … F Josh Archibald served the second of a two-game suspension for an illegal check to the head from last week. … D Dakota Mermis was sent back to AHL Tucson after playing in one game for the Coyotes last weekend.UP NEXTVegas: Hosts the Calgary Flames on Friday night.Arizona: Hosts the Colorado Avalanche on Friday night.

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