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Posted On Sunday, 05.04.2014 / 1:41 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Penguins-Rangers series blog

Stralman to see time on Rangers power play

PITTSBURGH -- It's usually the team trailing in a series that feels a need to play desperate hockey. But the New York Rangers are feeling their own level of desperation going into Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday at Consol Energy Center (7:30 p.m. ET; CBC, RDS, NBCSN).

The Rangers lead the best-of-7 series 1-0 and have a chance to take a 2-0 series lead back to New York. That's despite a power play that has been in a deep sleep for much of the postseason.

"It's a great opportunity," defenseman Anton Stralman said. "I think everybody is looking to this game and really feeling good about our last game, and hopefully we can carry that over to [Game 2]. It's a big game. If we can get out of here with a 2-0 lead that would be great."

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Posted On Saturday, 05.03.2014 / 5:17 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Penguins-Rangers series blog

Rangers looking to improve struggling power play

PITTSBURGH -- New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault knows how important it is for his team to be successful on the power play. But the current struggles with the man advantage aren't causing him too much concern.

The Rangers beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 in overtime in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Second Round series despite going 0-for-4 on the power play. That ran their streak of consecutive unsuccessful power plays to 25, dating to Game 2 of their first-round Stanley Cup Playoff series against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Game 2 against Pittsburgh will be Sunday at Consol Energy Center (7:30 p.m. ET; CBC, RDS, NBCSN).

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Posted On Thursday, 05.01.2014 / 3:24 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2014 NHL Draft blog

League finals begin this week in OHL, QMJHL, WHL

While the NHL stars of today are ready to start the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the players of tomorrow are focused on their goal of reaching the Memorial Cup.

The Ontario Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and Western Hockey League all will start their league finals this week, with the winning teams advancing to join the host London Knights in the Canadian Hockey League championship series May 16-27.

The first series to start is the OHL final between the Guelph Storm and North Bay Battalion, which begins Thursday.

Leading the way for Guelph is center Robert Fabbri, who is No. 21 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters for the 2014 NHL Draft. The 5-foot-10, 164-pound center had nine goals and nine assists in 11 playoff games; his nine goals are tied for second on the team and he has at least a point in eight straight games.

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.30.2014 / 5:34 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Rangers-Flyers series blog

Berube feels Flyers bring good energy into Game 7

NEW YORK -- Philadelphia Flyers coach Craig Berube knows what's at stake Wednesday, but said he's trying to treat Game 7 of his team's Eastern Conference First Round playoff series against the New York Rangers (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN2, RDS, CSN-PH, MSG) as he would any other game.

"We'll talk about the same things we always talk about before games," Berube said. "Go over things, get them prepared."

Berube said his team played its best game of the series in its 5-2 win in Game 6 on Tuesday. To win Game 7 and advance to a second-round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, he said they need to repeat that effort.

"We want to have lots of energy; good energy," Berube said. "We want to play aggressive. It's important to get skating right away in a game like this."

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.29.2014 / 6:36 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Rangers-Flyers series blog

Ankle surgery sidelines Flyers' Grossmann

PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Nicklas Grossmann will miss 8-10 weeks after having surgery Tuesday to repair a damaged tendon in his right ankle. Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren made the announcement in a press release.

Grossmann was injured in Game 4 of the Flyers' Eastern Conference First Round series against the New York Rangers when he fell into the boards during a battle for the puck with the Rangers' Derick Brassard.

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.29.2014 / 12:48 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Rangers-Flyers series blog

Gustafsson replaces Gill for Flyers in Game 6

PHILADELPHIA -- For the second straight game the Philadelphia Flyers will have a new defenseman in the lineup.

Erik Gustafsson will replace Hal Gill when the Flyers face the New York Rangers on Tuesday in Game 6 of their Eastern Conference First Round series (7:30 p.m. ET; RDS, TSN, NBCSN, MSG, CSN-PH). The Rangers lead the best-of-7 series 3-2.

"I like his speed," coach Craig Berube said of Gustafsson. "He's a quick player up ice. ... Just looking at that aspect of it."

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Posted On Monday, 04.28.2014 / 3:18 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Rangers-Flyers series blog

Flyers' Gustafsson could add speed element to lineup

VOORHEES, N.J. -- Philadelphia Flyers coach Craig Berube wasn't ready to disclose his lineup for Game 6 of his team's Eastern Conference First Round series against the New York Rangers on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS, MSG, CSN-PH).

But with his team looking to upgrade its speed, one option could be inserting defenseman Erik Gustafsson.

The 25-year-old had two goals and eight assists in 31 regular-season games, but has played four games in April and has been a healthy scratch through the first five games of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"He can get up the ice," coach Craig Berube said of Gustafsson. "We have guys that can do that; we just haven't done it enough."

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Posted On Monday, 04.28.2014 / 3:00 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Rangers-Flyers series blog

Flyers focus on added aggressiveness on offense

VOORHEES, N.J. -- The Philadelphia Flyers remain a confident bunch heading into Game 6 of their Eastern Conference First Round series against the New York Rangers on Tuesday at Wells Fargo Center (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS, MSG, CSN-PH) because they feel they still haven't played their best game.

In order to get there, the focus has to be on being better in the offensive zone.

"We have to be more aggressive," defenseman Kimmo Timonen said. "We have to get more shots. When we are more aggressive I think we create some turnovers, we score more, we get more shots on net. It comes down to being more aggressive.

"Sometimes you sit back a little too much and give too much room for the other team. That's not really our game. Our game is skating and forecheck hard and being aggressive. … We've got to play our game. It doesn't matter what they do. Sometimes we worry way too much about what they do, how many shots they block. Who cares? Just go out there and do your job, and we're going to be fine."

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Posted On Sunday, 04.27.2014 / 12:02 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Rangers-Flyers series blog

Miller in, Carcillo out of Rangers' Game 5 lineup

NEW YORK -- The New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers will each have one lineup change when they play in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference First Round series at Madison Square Garden (noon ET; NBC, TSN, RDS).

The Rangers will insert J.T. Miller at right wing on the third line with center Brad Richards and left wing Carl Hagelin. Miller had three goals and three assists in 30 games with the Rangers and 15 goals and 42 points in 43 games with the Hartford Wolf Pack, the Rangers' American Hockey League affiliate.

It will be the first Stanley Cup Playoff game for Miller, 21. He replaces Daniel Carcillo, who had a goal in Game 3 and six penalty minutes in two games.

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Posted On Saturday, 04.26.2014 / 2:11 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Rangers-Flyers series blog

Flyers make adjustments to combat 'excited' starts

VOORHEES, N.J. -- One focus for the Philadelphia Flyers heading into Game 5 of their Eastern Conference First Round series Sunday against the New York Rangers is getting off to a better start than they have in the previous three games.

The Flyers have been outscored 6-4 in the first period of the first four games and have allowed the first goal in three in a row. The best-of-7 series is tied 2-2 with Game 5 at Madison Square Garden (noon ET; NBC,RDS,TSN).

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A piece of scar tissue breaks off, pinches the nerve, and every time you move your leg it's almost like having a root canal in your stomach and groin.

— Detroit Red Wings center Stephen Weiss on his sports hernia surgery