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Posted On Monday, 04.28.2014 / 8:49 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Avalanche-Wild series blog

Duchene returns to Avalanche's lineup for Game 6

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene returned to the lineup Monday night in Game 6 of the Western Conference First Round series against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center.

Duchene hadn't played since March 29 because of a knee injury. He missed the final eight games of the regular season and the first five in this best-of-7 series against the Wild, which the Avalanche lead 3-2.

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Posted On Sunday, 04.27.2014 / 2:01 PM

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

Blues determined to dictate pace against Blackhawks

CHICAGO -- St. Louis Blues coach Ken Hitchcock has a simple philosophy for how Game 6 against the Chicago Blackhawks can play out Sunday afternoon at United Center (3 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).

"If they get to dictate, they're going to win," Hitchcock said. "If we get to dictate, we're going to win."

Hitchcock said the way the Blues can dictate is if they make the Blackhawks "stop and play." That means the Blues have to limit Chicago's chances off the rush, which Hitchcock said is the biggest factor for his team if it's going to force the Western Conference First Round series to return to St. Louis for Game 7 on Tuesday.

Since 2009, Chicago is 10-2 in games in which it can close out a series.

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Posted On Friday, 04.25.2014 / 7:48 PM

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

David Backes returns to lineup for Blues

ST. LOUIS -- St. Louis Blues captain David Backes returned to the lineup Friday at Scottrade Center after missing the past two games of the Western Conference First Round series against the Chicago Blackhawks with an upper-body injury.

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Posted On Friday, 04.25.2014 / 2:27 PM

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

Blackhawks sure chances will lead to goals

ST. LOUIS -- Chicago Blackhawks forwards Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa have had Grade A scoring chances off crisp in-zone cycles, odd-man rushes and breakaways in the Western Conference First Round series against the St. Louis Blues.

It hasn't amounted to anything on the score sheet yet.

"For a goal-scorer, if the puck doesn't go in, it can get frustrating," Hossa said.

Game 5 Friday at Scottrade Center (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS2, CSN-CH, FS-MW) offers the duo another chance to make a positive impact, so they're brushing aside any of their lingering frustration and focusing on the opportunity to make amends.

The best-of-7 Stanley Cup Playoff series is tied 2-2.

"I'll take all the chances I can get; it means I'm creating something and doing something good out there," Sharp said. "Sooner or later they're going to start going in."

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Posted On Friday, 04.25.2014 / 1:40 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Bruins-Red Wings series blog

Not even OT loss can spoil Kronwall's day

DETROIT -- Detroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall would love a good night of sleep after the day he had Thursday. He might not get it for quite a while.

Kronwall's girlfriend gave birth to the couple's first child, a son named Douglas, at 11:31 a.m. ET, or shortly after the Red Wings morning skate at Joe Louis Arena, a practice that Kronwall participated in.

Kronwall was back at Joe Louis Arena to play against the Bruins. He scored with a goal 11 minutes into the first period and had an assist on Pavel Datsyuk's goal at 4:27 of the second.

The only negative in the day happened late, when the Red Wings blew a 2-0 lead and lost in overtime. But even that couldn't stop Kronwall from smiling when he was asked to describe his whirlwind, emotional day.


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Posted On Friday, 04.25.2014 / 1:18 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Bruins-Red Wings series blog

Red Wings' Gustavsson 'awesome' in surprise start

DETROIT -- Detroit Red Wings goalie Jonas Gustavsson had no idea he'd be making his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut when he arrived at Joe Louis Arena on Thursday evening.

"I got told that I might go just before warmup," Gustavsson said, "and after warmup they made the decision."

It's a good thing he was prepared and ready to play because No. 1 goalie Jimmy Howard had the flu.

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Posted On Thursday, 04.24.2014 / 8:08 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Bruins-Red Wings series blog

Gustavsson in goal for Red Wings in Game 4

DETROIT -- Jonas Gustavsson is making his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut as the Detroit Red Wings starting goalie in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference First Round series against the Boston Bruins at Joe Louis Arena on Thursday.

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Posted On Thursday, 04.24.2014 / 7:59 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Bruins-Red Wings series blog

Zetterberg in Red Wings lineup for Game 4

DETROIT -- Henrik Zetterberg returned to the Detroit Red Wings lineup for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference First Round series against the Boston Bruins on Thursday at Joe Louis Arena.

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Posted On Thursday, 04.24.2014 / 1:49 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Bruins-Red Wings series blog

Selke finalist Bergeron a mentor for young Bruins

DETROIT -- Forwards Brad Marchand, Reilly Smith and Tyler Seguin all have something in common other than being current or former Boston Bruins.

Once Bruins coach Claude Julien realized how good Marchand, Smith and Seguin could be, he put them on a line with center Patrice Bergeron so they would become even better.

That's how much Julien appreciates and trusts Bergeron, who was named as a finalist for the Selke Trophy on Thursday along with Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews and Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar.

Bergeron and the Bruins play the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference First Round series at Joe Louis Arena (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, NESN, FS-D). The Bruins lead the best-of-7 series 2-1.

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Posted On Thursday, 04.24.2014 / 1:20 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Bruins-Red Wings series blog

Red Wings' Zetterberg will be game-time decision

DETROIT -- Detroit Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg will be a game-time decision Thursday for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference First Round series against the Boston Bruins (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, NESN, FS-D).

Forward Daniel Alfredsson (upper-body injury) will miss his second straight game, and forward Todd Bertuzzi will make his 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs debut, replacing Tomas Jurco in the Red Wings lineup.

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Quote of the Day

You've got to focus on playing good hockey. When we do that we give ourselves a chance to win games. Win games and then maybe we''ll have a chance at the end. You can't worry about something like (the division title) when we're not playing our best hockey down the stretch. We'll figure things out together the way we always do and get back on the right page.

— Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews after loss to Flyers on Wednesday left them five points out of first place in Central Division
AMP No Bull Moment of the Week