DENVER (AP) Colorado defenseman Patrik Nemeth set career highs this season in goals Brett Howden Jersey Womens
, games and perhaps even grudges.See what a little chip on the shoulder can do?Waived by Dallas in October, he was claimed by Colorado soon after and has played an integral role in helping the Avalanche return to the postseason. He’s not alone: These playoffs are filled with castoffs who were put on waivers, only to find a revamped role with a new team.It’s not personal. It’s just business. Players realize this. But still, being waived goodbye is hard to swallow.”Of course you want to prove them wrong,” said Nemeth, whose team trails 3-1 heading to Nashville for Game 5 on Friday night. ”You want to prove you can play and that they were wrong. That’s always going to be in the back of your head – at least for me.”When Avs defenseman Mark Barberio was cut by Montreal last year, so many thoughts swirled through his head: What went wrong? Next stop, the minors? Is there still even a role for him in the league?It was a whirlwind 24 hours – the amount of time teams have to make a claim – before the Avs picked him up.”Colorado saw something in me and decided to give me a chance,” Barberio said. ”I’ve gotten a chance to play regular minutes, and a coaching staff I feel believes in me. I’m trying to repay that faith every time I play.”That sort of feeling is shared by center Ryan Carpenter, who was claimed by Vegas from Anaheim on Dec. 13. He’s now heading to the second round with the expansion Golden Knights. Carpenter had a key assist in a Game 3 win over Los Angeles.”It’s amazing … how things can change in pro hockey,” Carpenter said on the team’s website. ”I feel like a little kid right now playing in playoffs. It’s exciting and we want to keep this thing going. It’s nice when you feel like you’re contributing. I never would’ve though in the middle of December I’d be playing right now.”Minnesota defenseman Nate Prosser was in a similar boat. He was claimed after St. Louis put him on waivers in late November, returning the nine-year NHL veteran to his home-state team for another stint. The Wild previously claimed Prosser off waivers from St. Louis on Oct. 2, 2014, after he had signed with the Blues that summer but was let go just before the season.A reliable defenseman Paul Carey Jersey Womens
, he has taken on added responsibility after an injury to Ryan Suter.”It puts the onus on the rest of us to amp up our game a little bit,” Prosser said. ”Just different parts of the game we’ve got to make sure we’re honing in on.”Then there’s Stefan Noesen , who’s had quite a path to wind up with the New Jersey Devils. Drafted by Ottawa in the first round in 2011 and traded to Anaheim in ’13, he was claimed by the Devils on Jan. 25, 2017. He had his first playoff goal in Game 3 against Tampa Bay.”Just because you get put on waivers doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t play,” Nemeth said. ”Sometimes the situation is the way it is and you need a new opportunity.”That was the case for Nemeth, a second-round pick by Dallas in 2010. He played in a career-high 68 games for Colorado, with three goals, 12 assists and a plus-27 rating, which was the highest by an Avalanche defenseman since Adam Foote in 2002-03 – the benefits of a change in scenery.”It could be different scenarios,” Nemeth said of factors leading to being placed on waivers. ”Sometimes, it’s just too many guys. Sometimes, your coach might not like you or might not appreciate what you bring to the table. It’s just different, depending on what situation you’re in. For me personally, it was good.”Avalanche defenseman Duncan Siemens went through the experience last fall – with his own team. He was reassigned to San Antonio in the American Hockey League before spending the last seven weeks with Colorado. He made his playoff debut in the Predators series.”This is such a competitive league Chris Tierney Jersey Womens
,” said Siemens, a first-round pick by Colorado in 2011. ”There are so many good hockey players out there. Your first chance could be your last chance. Anytime you get an opportunity, you have to make the most of it because you don’t know if you’re going to get another one.”—AP Sports Writer Dave Campbell contributed to this report.— ST. LOUIS (AP) — Matthew Tkachuk spent his childhood dreaming of scoring an NHL goal in his hometown.It became reality Sunday.Tkachuk got his first goal in the city where his dad was a star, Johnny Gaudreau and Alan Quine each scored twice, and the Calgary Flames beat the St. Louis Blues 7-2.Tkachuk grew up in St. Louis while his father, Keith Tkachuk, totaled 208 goals over nine seasons with the Blues. A large contingent of Tkachuk’s friends and family attended the game Sunday, including his mother, Chantal.“Getting one here is something I’ve always envisioned,” Tkachuk said. “A million times, I’ve pictured it. And to have it happen like this, it was definitely something I will never forget.“Now that I got it, it felt great and I don’t have to worry about it anymore,” he added.Tkachuk came into the game with six assists in six career games against St. Louis.“He grew up in this building in essence and it was good for him to get us on the board and play real well today,” Calgary coach Bill Peters said.Tkachuk scored the winning goal in a 2-1 triumph over Minnesota on Saturday. The 21-year-old became an alternate captain for Calgary this year and has played a key role in propelling the Flames to the top of the Western Conference standings.“He’s one of our best players Tyson Barrie Jersey
, night-in, night-out,” longtime captain Mark Giordano said. “He got us going today.”Calgary has won eight of nine and leads the West with 46 points. Elias Lindholm and Giordano also scored, and goalie David Rittich made 26 saves.Calgary, which is 12-2-1 in its last 15, scored four times on its first 15 shots in the opening period.Oskar Sundqvist and Tyler Bozak scored for St. Louis, which was trying for its first three-game winning streak of the season.Calgary is off to the second-best start in franchise history through 34 games. The Flames went 23-6-5 for 51 points in 1988-89.Tkachuk pounced on the rebound of Giordano’s shot to get the Flames going 5:58 into the game. Lindholm scored short-handed on a breakaway to match a career high with his 17th goal, Giordano added on with a power-play goal and Quine made it 4-0 less than two minutes later.“We’re a deep team, we’re a good team,” Giordano said. “I think the belief is there right now. And we have to continue that feeling. And time you can pile up points before the halfway point of the season – it’s a good thing.”Rittich improved to 11-3-1. The undrafted free agent made 34 saves in the win over Minnesota 24 hours earlier.St. Louis goalie Jake Allen was replaced by Jordan Binnington after the first period. Allen has been pulled before the second period in two of his past four starts.“We were terrible in the first period,” St. Louis interim coach Craig Berube said. “Every player — terrible. I don’t know how you’re not ready to play. You’re in the NHL, that’s your job.”NOTES: The Flames are 17-2 when scoring first. … St. Louis D Joel Edmundson returned after missing two games with a hand injury. … Calgary is 16-6-1 against Western Conference opponents. … The Flames are the only team in the NHL with five players with at least 30 points. … Blues LW Pat Maroon played in his 400th game. … Calgary C Mikael Backlund returned after missing four games with a concussion.UP NEXTFlames: Conclude a three-game swing on Tuesday night in DallasBlues: Begin a three-game road trip to Canada on Tuesday night in Edmonton.