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What we learned this week in the NHL

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Ottawa Senators goaltender Craig Anderson, who had been granted a leave to be with his cancer-stricken wife, Nicholle, made 37 saves in his return Sunday night to shut out the Oilers at Edmonton. Anderson, who rejoined the team at his wife’s insistence, cried as he was introduced as the game’s first star.

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Fans stayed to applaud him and so did opposing goalie Cam Talbot. The NHL on Monday honored him as its first star of the week for that performance and his 22-save shutout of Vancouver in his previous game.

As Carey Price goes, so go the Canadiens

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Montreal’s fast start last season was negated when goaltender Price sprained his right knee, which forced him to miss all but five games. Price is fit and sharp this season, and he’s a key factor in the Canadiens’ seven-game winning streak.

He has compiled a .959 save percentage and 1.25 goals-against average. Defenseman Shea Weber, acquired from Nashville for P.K. Subban last summer, has a league-leading three game-winners among his four goals.

Sidney Crosby hasn’t missed a beat    

The Pittsburgh Penguins center missed his team’s first six games this season while he recovered from a concussion, but he didn’t need any time to get back up to speed. Crosby scored a goal in each of his first three games back, for a total of four goals and five points overall. He scored two of those goals on the power play.

The Penguins have won all three games he has played since his return. They will be in California this week to play the Ducks (Wednesday), the Kings (Thursday) and the Sharks (Saturday).

Home is sweet for the Sharks

The San Jose Sharks are 4-0 at SAP Center this season, a dramatic improvement over their woes at home last season. They didn’t win their fourth game on home ice last season until their 10th home game, and were 18-20-3

Penalty kill no longer killing the Blackhawks

The Blackhawks’ faulty penalty killing had been a constant problem in their first eight games, and they weren’t able to get a perfect effort until Sunday, when they killed both disadvantages they faced against the Kings. They’re still at the bottom of the NHL with a 53.1% success rate, but there’s nowhere for them to go now but up.

Stars struck   

Dallas right wing Ales Hemsky underwent hip surgery to repair an injury he suffered during the World Cup and will be out of action five to six months, the club announced Monday. Patrick Sharp (concussion), Cody Eakin (knee) and Mattias Janmark (knee) also have missed significant playing time, a big reason for the Stars’ 3-4-1 start.

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