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Posted On Monday, 04.21.2014 / 1:14 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Blues-Blackhawks series blog

Blackhawks' Crawford takes blame for uneven play

CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford was hard on himself after Game 2 against the St. Louis Blues, saying the defending Stanley Cup champions have no chance to get out of the Western Conference First Round if he doesn't improve.

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville agreed, in a very matter-of-fact way.

"He said he needs to be better," Quenneville said. "He needs to be better."

Crawford has allowed eight goals on 83 shots (.904 save percentage) in 166 minutes in the series. He's made some spectacular saves, such as when he robbed Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko with a diving right arm stop in the second period of Game 1.

Posted On Saturday, 04.19.2014 / 3:08 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Blues-Blackhawks series blog

Blues' Oshie back in lineup for Game 2

ST. LOUIS -- St. Louis Blues forward T.J. Oshie is back in the lineup for Game 2 of the Western Conference First Round series Saturday at Scottrade Center.

The Blues lead 1-0 in the best-of-7 series against the Chicago Blackhawks,

Oshie missed Game 1 on Thursday and the last two games of the regular season after getting hit in the head by Minnesota Wild forward Mike Rupp on April 10. Rupp was suspended four games for an illegal check to the head.

Oshie started the game on the Blues first line with David Backes and Alexander Steen. Steve Ott played in that spot in Game 1 and assisted on Steen's triple-overtime winning goal, but he was moved to the third line with Derek Roy and Ryan Reaves.

Posted On Thursday, 04.17.2014 / 2:18 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Blues-Blackhawks series blog

Blackhawks' Kane getting accustomed to knee brace

ST. LOUIS -- The brace around Patrick Kane's left knee is hidden by his red socks, but there's no hiding the fact that the Chicago Blackhawks star right wing has to learn to deal with the new, cumbersome piece of equipment if he's going to be as valuable in the Stanley Cup Playoffs as he was last year, when he won the Conn Smythe Trophy.

Kane will wear the knee brace for Game 1 of the Western Conference First Round series Thursday at Scottrade Center against the St. Louis Blues (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS2, CSN-CH, FS-MW). It'll be his first game since injuring his knee on March 19. He missed the final 12 regular season games.

Kane anticipates having to wear the knee brace for the foreseeable future, but insists it doesn't affect the way he skates or his range of motion. He said he's comfortable, doesn't feel limited, and isn't thinking about the brace when he's playing.

"I feel like the same player," said Kane, who had 29 goals and 69 points in 69 regular season games. "Once you kind of get into skating with the puck or other game situations like we've done in some practices, it's the last thing on my mind. When you're out there playing and skating around, it's not like I'm thinking, 'How does my brace feel?' I'm thinking about making a play and making the right one. It's something I have to deal with, but I'm not really worried about it."

Posted On Sunday, 04.13.2014 / 2:25 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

DeBoer, Devils talking new contract: report

NEWARK, N.J. -- New Jersey Devils coach Peter DeBoer touched upon his future with the organization before the game Sunday against the Boston Bruins. DeBoer is in negotiations for a contract extension, according to CBC's Elliotte Friedman.

“You know what? I don’t know," DeBoer said when asked about the report. "When you're a coach in this League I think you come to work, you invest yourself fully in your job and your team, and you do the absolute best job you can. I’m comfortable that our staff did that and other people make those decisions."

DeBoer also fielded numerous questions during his pregame press conference about the game potentially being the final one for goalie Martin Brodeur as a member of the Devils.

"I would expect the players will feel this is a meaningful game for Brodeur," DeBoer said. "I don't think there's any question everyone knows the potential significance of this. No one can predict what will happen three or four months from now, but I think the guys are very aware of that."

Posted On Friday, 04.04.2014 / 1:15 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Ovechkin, Backstrom reunited by desperate Capitals

NEWARK, N.J. -- In dire need of a win Friday night, Washington Capitals coach Adam Oates is turning to an old plan he knows has been successful in the past and should be going forward.

Captain Alex Ovechkin and center Nicklas Backstrom will start on the same line when the Capitals play the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN). Ovechkin and Backstrom haven't started a game on the same line since March 16 against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Oates admitted he's putting them back together because the Capitals need a burst of energy from their best players against the Devils, who are five points and three teams behind in the Eastern Conference wild-card race for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but could leap the Capitals with a win of any kind Friday. Washington is four points behind the Columbus Blue Jackets, who are also in action Friday against the Chicago Blackhawks.

"We'll see how it goes," said Ovechkin, who for the past seven games has played with Jay Beagle as the center on his line. "It's totally [Oates'] decision. He wants to get team better so he tries to find chemistry, maybe chemistry back, and new lines."

Posted On Thursday, 03.27.2014 / 7:11 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Devils captain Salvador scratched against Coyotes

NEWARK, N.J. -- New Jersey Devils captain Bryce Salvador was scratched from the game Thursday against the Phoenix Coyotes with a lower-body injury. Salvador reportedly has been bothered by a groin injury and skipped practice Tuesday, but at the time the Devils said he was resting.

Posted On Thursday, 03.27.2014 / 1:21 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Coyotes' Ribeiro, Morris remain scratches vs. Devils

NEWARK, N.J. -- Phoenix Coyotes coach Dave Tippett will make some changes from the lineup he used for a 3-2 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday, but center Mike Ribeiro and defenseman Derek Morris aren't part of them.

Ribeiro and Morris will be healthy scratches for the second straight game as the Coyotes prepare to play the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on Thursday. Phoenix has a three-point cushion over the Dallas Stars for the second Western Conference wild-card position in the Stanley Cup Playoffs while the Devils are five points out of wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Defenseman Connor Murphy, who was recalled from Portland of the American Hockey League on Wednesday, will play for Brandon Gormley, and forward Lauri Korpikoski will be back in the lineup following a two-game absence after he took a puck to the face in the morning skate Monday at Madison Square Garden. Forward Paul Bissonnette, who played against Pittsburgh, will return to the press box as a healthy scratch.

Posted On Saturday, 03.22.2014 / 5:44 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Defenseman Diaz to make debut for Rangers

NEWARK, N.J. -- Defenseman Raphael Diaz will make his debut with the New York Rangers on Saturday against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center. Diaz is replacing John Moore, who coach Alain Vigneault said is day-to-day with concussion symptoms stemming from a hit he took during New York's 3-1 win Friday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

In addition, Vigneault said forward Derek Dorsett has the stomach flu and isn't available. Daniel Carcillo will replace Dorsett on the fourth line after sitting out the game in Columbus.

Vigneault said two other unnamed players are dealing with minor injuries, but they will skate in warmups and be game-time decisions. Defenseman Justin Falk and rookie forward Ryan Haggerty are available to play if necessary.

The Rangers are third in the Metropolitan Division with 80 points, two more than the fourth-place Blue Jackets and three more than the fifth-place Washington Capitals.

Posted On Wednesday, 03.05.2014 / 4:54 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2014 Trade Deadline blog

Kings acquire Gaborik from Blue Jackets

The Columbus Blue Jackets traded right wing Marian Gaborik to the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday.

Matt Frattin, a second-round pick and a third-round pick are heading back to the Blue Jackets in the trade. The third-round pick turns into a second-round pick if the Kings win one round in the Stanley Cup Playoffs or if Gaborik, an upcoming unrestricted free agent, re-signs with L.A., according to the Columbus Dispatch.

Three teams in the NHL have scored fewer goals than the Kings. Gaborik will be expected to contribute in that category.

"With social media right now it gets around quickly," Gaborik told TSN. "I had a hint. It wasn't official, but I talked to J.D. [John Davidson] and Jarmo [Kekalainen], the president and GM in Columbus, and they told me. I haven't had a chance to talk to L.A. yet, but I am pretty much on the way to the airport. Looking forward to this new challenge. It's been a hectic day but a new start, fresh start."

Posted On Sunday, 03.02.2014 / 6:50 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2014 Trade Deadline blog

Bruins to make decision on McQuaid soon

NEW YORK -- Boston Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli's push to acquire a defenseman prior to the NHL Trade Deadline on Wednesday may hinge on the pending decision the team has to make about the availability of Adam McQuaid.

McQuaid missed his 11th straight game Sunday against the New York Rangers with an injury that is located in his groin/hip area. Bruins coach Claude Julien said McQuaid had some tests done on the injury Friday and the team will decide within the next day or so if he needs more time to heal or if he is ready to return to the lineup.

The Bruins play their next game Tuesday against the Florida Panthers at TD Garden. They already know that defenseman Dennis Seidenberg is out for the remainder of the season with a torn ACL and MCL.


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