NASHVILLE — Wing Alexander Radulov, often called the best player in the world not in the NHL, rejoined the Predators on Wednesday for the stretch run and playoffs, four years after leaving mid contract to play in Russia's KHL.
"I'm happy to come back and be here," Radulov said. "I'll do whatever it takes to help the team be better."
The Russian, Nashville's 15th overall pick in the 2004 draft, left in July 2008 after signing a three-year KHL contract despite having a year left on his Nashville entry deal. Nashville suspended him indefinitely in September 2008, but general manager David Poile and players stayed in touch with him.
Radulov is a two-time KHL MVP and the league's all-time scorer with 254 goals. His KHL team lost early this postseason, and his contract expired.
"Maybe now we get back a more finished product, a more mature person and player," Poile said, "and maybe this works out really good for us."
Radulov will satisfy a full season of his Nashville contract by playing the final nine regular-season games and become a restricted free agent this summer. He could play his first game tonight at Pittsburgh.
game highlights: The Sabres tied the idle Capitals in points for the East's last playoff spot with a 3-0 win over the visiting Canadiens. Both teams have 80 points. Washington has played one fewer game, so it keeps the spot on a tiebreak. … In the host Blackhawks' 2-1 overtime win against the Canucks, Vancouver's Daniel Sedin left midway through the second after taking a shoulder to the head from Chicago's Duncan Keith.
around the league: Coyotes captain Shane Doan, was suspended for three of their final eight games for elbowing Stars forward Jamie Benn on Tuesday. Doan got a minor elbowing penalty. … Goalie Evgeni Nabokov agreed to return to the Islanders for a one-year deal Canada's TSN TV network said was worth $2.75 million.
First Period—1, Buff, Hodgson 17 (Ehrhoff, Tropp), 6:15. Penalties—Staubitz, Mon, major (fighting), 2:47; McCormick, Buf, major (fighting), 2:47; Leino, Buf (hooking), 7:55.
Second Period—2, Buff, Pominville 28 (Leino, Roy), 2:31. Penalties—Leblanc, Mon (delay of game), 9:51; Roy, Buf (hooking), 18:22.
Third Period—3, Buff, Hodgson 18 (Roy, Vanek), 12:45 (pp). Penalties—Eller, Mon (hooking), 5:30; Staubitz, Mon (interference), 11:56; Cole, Mon (goaltender interference), 16:42; Vanek, Buf (slashing), 17:59; Pacioretty, Mon, served by Palushaj (unsportsmanlike conduct), 18:40; Subban, Mon (cross-checking, roughing), 19:30. Shots —Mon 15-7-12—34. Buff 10-11-10—31. PP opportunities—Mon 0 of 2; Buff 1 of 6. Goalies—Mon, Price 25-27-10 (31 shots-28 saves). Buff, Miller 27-18-7 (34-34).
First Period—1, Car, E.Staal 22, :46. Penalties—Skinner, Car (high-sticking), 5:00; Samuelsson, Fla (slashing), 12:55; Skinner, Car (slashing), 12:55; Kulikov, Fla (high-sticking), 13:27; Bowman, Car (boarding), 16:44.
Second Period—2, Car, Pitkanen 4 (Ruutu, Skinner), 10:55. 3, Fla., Fleischmann 23 (Jovanovski, Weiss), 12:33. Penalties—Gleason, Car (hooking), 8:32.
Third Period—4, Car, E.Staal 23 (Pitkanen, Tlusty), 8:14 (pp). Penalties—Weaver, Fla (delay of game), 2:51; Tlusty, Car (hooking), 2:56; Smithson, Fla (hooking), 7:31; Pitkanen, Car (delay of game), 8:34; Garrison, Fla (slashing), 12:43; Upshall, Fla (roughing), 16:43; Skinner, Car (roughing), 16:43; Versteeg, Fla (slashing), 20:00; Gleason, Car (slashing), 20:00. Shots—Fla. 8-17-6—31. Car 14-14-11—39. PP opportunities—Fla. 0 of 5; Car 1 of 4. Goalies—Fla., Theodore 22-14-7 (39 shots-36 saves). Car, Ward 27-21-12 (31-30).
First Period—1, Det, Zetterberg 19 (White, Nyquist), 3:36. 2, NYR, Richards 24 (Lundqvist), 14:58 (pp). Penalties—Det bench, served by Bertuzzi (too many men), 14:30.
Second Period—None. Penalties—Zuccarello, NYR (trip), 9:43; Holmstrom, Det (goalie interference), 11:54.
Third Period—None. Penalties—Quincey, Det (holding), 8:20. Overtime—3, NYR, R.Callahan 27 (Del Zotto, Dubinsky), 2:42. Penalties—None. Shots—Det 10-6-9-2—27. NYR 13-6-11-4—34. PP opportunities—Det 0 of 1; NYR 1 of 3. Goalies—Det, Conklin 3-5-1 (34 shots-32 saves). NYR, Lundqvist 34-15-5 (27-26).
First Period—1, Van, Hansen 15 (Pahlsson), :27. Penalties—Stalberg, Chi (hooking), 2:43; Bollig, Chi (roughing), 6:01; Keith, Chi (elbowing), 13:36.
Second Period—2, Chi, Kane 20 (Hossa, Brunette), 3:12. Penalties—Bieksa, Van (slash), 4:25; Burrows, Van (roughing), 6:07; Burrows, Van, double minor-misconduct (roughing), 9:09; Kassian, Van, served by Weise, minor-misconduct (roughing), 9:09; Keith, Chi, double minor-misconduct (roughing), 9:09; H.Sedin, Van (hook), 13:06; H.Sedin, Van (goalie interfer), 15:28.
Third Period—None. Penalties—None. OT—3, Chi, Shaw 11 (Oduya, Bolland), 2:42. Penalties—None. Shots—Van 6-3-14-1—24. Chi 12-11-12-2—37. PP opps—Van 0 of 3; Chi 0 of 5. Goalies—Van, Luongo 27-14-8 (37 shots-35 saves). Chi, Crawford 27-16-5 (24-23).