Even with the benefit of a later deadline, Team Canada general manager Steve Yzerman and his staff have less than a month to decide on their roster for the Sochi Olympics. A week could still make plenty of difference in the long run. Now Canada has until Jan. 7 to name its 25-man group with injury replacements still possible. Another week might not make a huge difference in the case of Tampa Bay Lightning star Steven Stamkos, who is rehabbing from a broken right tibia. It would make all the sense in the world for Team Canada to name Stamkos to its initial roster in case he can return by early-to-mid-February. Where the extra time could really come into play is in helping some players heal up and others show that slow starts dont matter as much as hot streaks. There might not be room for the hottest Canadian-born player in the NHL come early January, but one or two spots being determined by whos on a roll isnt out of the question. Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers would be well served to pick up his offensive production, even though his rebound from a poor start (five goals and 15 assists in 29 games) has him back in the conversation. Problem for Giroux is, as Dallas Stars coach and Canada assistant Lindy Ruff said, the list of players who could make it is still "pretty long." No one has forced himself into that conversation more so than the Stars Jamie Benn. Playing left wing on the top line alongside Tyler Seguin has brought out the best in Benn, who wasnt invited to Team Canadas Olympic orientation camp in August. Benn said last week in Toronto he naturally used that as motivation, and Ruff said the converted centre was playing "like a possessed player" this season. Benn has seven goals and 19 assists in 28 games, second to only Chris Kunitz of the Pittsburgh Penguins among Canadian left-wingers. Who comes out to make room for Benn might not even be a matter of that player disappointing as much as a numbers game. Kunitzs numbers could have him in the conversation on their own, but his chemistry with Sidney Crosby cant be overlooked. Patrick Sharp of the Chicago Blackhawks brings versatility and the ability to play all three forward positions, but its easy to see him getting bumped at the last minute — or making it only if Stamkos cant go. Rick Nash of the New York Rangers didnt make the last projection while he was out with a concussion. Assuming he stays healthy through early January, Nash is a strong bet to sew up a spot, in this case knocking out Milan Lucic of the Boston Bruins. Jeff Carter of the Los Angeles Kings just returned from an extended absence with a foot injury, so its tough to gauge his candidacy at this point. Corey Perry of the Anaheim Ducks getting off to such a wicked start helps when Yzerman and Co. look at pure scorers, but it wouldnt hurt to have another one around, especially with Stamkoss status uncertain. On defence, Marc Staals neck injury and what New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault called "symptoms," could ensure he doesnt make it to Sochi to play with brother Eric, who should be a lock after picking up his production. Staal could be the fourth-best left-handed option Team Canada has behind Chicagos Duncan Keith, Jay Bouwmeester of the St. Louis Blues and sneaky-good Marc-Edouard Vlasic of the San Jose Sharks, but that might not be enough because of the depth of righties. Assuming Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators doesnt experience lingering problems from taking a puck to the face, Alex Pietrangelo of the Blues keeps up his impressive play and Drew Doughty of the Los Angeles Kings stays healthy, the top three on the right side is set. Dan Boyle of the Sharks could be a good veteran to take for his work on the power play, while risk-reward case P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens might prove too good not to take. That would mean three lefties and five righties, but with the ability to dress seven defencemen there was already going to be some imbalance. The place where theres no real fluidity might be in goal. Montreals Carey Price has a 1.95 goals-against average and .938 save percentage and could be called Team Canadas presumptive No. 1 goaltender. Roberto Luongo of the Vancouver Canucks (2.34, .916) doesnt have numbers that jump off the page, but he did win gold in 2010 and has the edge over goalies like Mike Smith of the Phoenix Coyotes and Corey Crawford of the Chicago Blackhawks because of that and his body of work. Alejandro Bedoya Jersey . "Ive still got it," Seattles ace said with a sly grin. Riding that fastball carrying a little more zip, Hernandez took a shutout bid into the ninth inning as the Mariners beat the Los Angeles Angels 3-1 on Wednesday night. On the verge of a brilliant shutout and first complete game since Aug. Erik Palmer-Brown USA Jersey . THE THUNDER & PACERS BENCHES: In a nutshell, not impressive at all. http://www.usasoccerauthority.com/john-brooks-usa-jersey/ . The Rainbow FlickNext up is the Rainbow Flick, or as you probably know it, the trick that everybody at soccer camp thought they knew how to do. Matt Hedges USA Jersey . -- Canadian mens rugby coach Kieran Crowley has made four changes to his starting roster for Saturdays Pacific Nations Cup clash against the United States. Darlington Nagbe Jersey . The Wizards gave up two seldom-used players — forward Jan Vesely and point guard Eric Maynor. Vesely goes to the Nuggets, while Maynor gets shipped to the 76ers. Philadelphia receives two second-round draft picks, one from the Wizards in 2015 and one from the Nuggets in 2016. BUFFALO, N.Y. -- After watching his team fail to hold a big lead in its previous game, Barry Trotz was happy to watch the Predators build another and hold on for a win. "Last night we cheated in a couple areas," Trotz said. "Tonight we managed the puck better. We exited better. All those type of things were much better for us." Nashville scored twice in a five-minute span in the second period on the way to a 4-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night. It marked the second straight win for the Predators, who lost a 3-0 advantage in Ottawa on Monday before beating the Senators in overtime. "We werent going to let that happen two games in a row," said Colin Wilson, who had two assists for Nashville. Shea Weber had a goal and an assist for the Predators, who also got goals from Nick Spaling, Craig Smith and Paul Gaustad. Drew Stafford scored for Buffalo, which has lost three in a row. After Nashville built a 3-1 lead, backup goaltender Carter Hutton helped stave off a Buffalo attack that controlled possession and outshot Nashville 11-5 in the second period. "Keeping that two-goal lead going into the third was pretty huge for us, confidence heading out there," Hutton said. "After last night, we knew we were going to lock it down and play our game." Hutton had allowed multiple goals in eight consecutive starts entering the game, but was stout on Tuesday. "Hutton was really good," Trotz said. "He stabilized us when they had a little push." The Predators arrived in Buffalo after 2 a.m. after Mondays game at Ottawa and skipped their morning skate before having to fight off a slow start to Tuesdays game. "It was penalties right off the bat," Trotz said. "First five minutes, we were killing the four. Thats a hard way to get going, especially when youre in back-to-back. Those are hard minutes." An early power play helped Buffalo take a 1-0 lead at 2:09 of the first as Stafford pulled a rebound away from Huttons left pad to score his 12th goal of the season. The goal ended a 0-for-11 slump for the Sabres power play, and came in Staffords 500th career NHL game. Yet aside from Staffords line, Buffalo had trouble generating offence. "There was only one line basically going," Sabres interim head coach Ted Nolan said. "Youre not going to win too many games doing that." Nashvilles equalizer came at the 17:10 mark of the first period, as Spaling used his skate to deflect a Weber shot past Jhonas Enroth. The power-play goal came on Nashvilles only attempt with the man advantage. Tied at 1 after 20 minutes, Weber picked up aa drop pass from Wilson and beat Enroth to make it 2-1 at the 3:33 mark of the second.dddddddddddd Smith doubled Nashvilles advantage at 7:51. His low slap shot from just in front of the blue line beat Enroth between the legs. The goal was Smiths 20th of the season, a career best. "Its great, a good feeling," Smith said. "We just have to keep moving forward, trying to make a little push here." The game was a shaky one for Enroth, who had played well since Buffalo traded Ryan Miller to St. Louis on Feb. 28. Buffalos Zenon Konopka was challenged to fight by Gaustad at 9:20 of the second after the Sabres forward put an open-ice hit on Viktor Stalberg. Gaustad received a two-minute instigator and 10-minute misconduct in addition to his fighting major. Trotz thought the penalty was questionable, and appreciated Gaustads response. "To me that was a really good glue play," Trotz said. "We thought it was a questionable hit and thats what you want your team to stand up for each other. "Gaustad knows how tough Konopka is, and thats why hes so valuable to us. He brings those intangibles. He does whats right and is very detailed in his game." Hutton made a big save on Tyler Ennis moments later. Stafford worked the puck behind the net before passing to Cody Hodgson, whose high shot was gloved by the Nashville goaltender. "He made a bunch of great saves that kept us in it," Wilson said of Hutton. "It could have been a bit of a different game if they got a couple at the beginning there." The Sabres finished 1 for 4 on the power play. Gaustad added an empty-net goal at the 18:29 mark of the third period to a chorus of boos from a crowd that chanted his nickname "Goose" when he was a Sabre. "We joked about that," Gaustad said. "I didnt know when I was here if they were booing me or saying my name. Some of the best fans and people on Earth. Salt of the earth people." Nashville finishes a three-game road trip on Friday in Chicago, while Buffalo begins a stretch of playing 12 of its next 17 on the road. "Their confidence is a little bit rattled right now," Nolan said. "But through tough times like this you find out true character of certain players and through some ashes sometimes there rises some people." NOTES: Sabres LW Matt Ellis played in his 300th NHL game. ... Patrick Eaves was scratched after going pointless in his first three games with the Predators after being acquired in a trade with Detroit for David Legwand. ... Sabres rookie C Zemgus Girgensons missed his third game with an undisclosed injury. ' ' '