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Stanley Cup Final
Posted On Thursday, 04.09.2015 / 1:14 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Senators at Rangers

NEW YORK -- As much as the Ottawa Senators are aware of the big picture in their push to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs, their mindset heading into Madison Square Garden to face the New York Rangers on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; RDS2, TSN5, MSG) for the latest in a string of big games is squarely set on getting off to a strong start.

The Senators did not do that the last time they played the Rangers, on March 26 at Canadian Tire Centre. It hurt them. New York defeated Ottawa 5-1 after jumping out to a 3-1 lead in the first period.

"We know how good of a team they are and we know we can't get off to the start tonight that we did last game," Senators center Kyle Turris said. "We're confident."

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Posted On Monday, 04.06.2015 / 1:02 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Blue Jackets at Rangers

NEW YORK -- Defenseman Keith Yandle is showing the New York Rangers why he should be an important player for them in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Yandle's comfort level with his new team and teammates has improved the past two weeks, and with it so has his production. He has one goal and seven assists in the past eight games after he had one point, a goal, in his first nine games following the trade that brought him to the Rangers from the Arizona Coyotes on March 1.

"It's one of those things that's different coming to a new team. You want to see where you're at with the team," Yandle said Monday morning from Madison Square Garden. "For me now, I feel that I'm here and we're getting down to the nitty gritty, and it's a good place to be right now."

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Posted On Sunday, 04.05.2015 / 10:47 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

Malkin to play for Penguins against Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- Evgeni Malkin will return to the Pittsburgh Penguins lineup on Sunday against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center (12:30 p.m. ET; NBC, SN), coach Mike Johnston said. Malkin has missed the past two games with an undisclosed injury.

Malkin will replace forward Steve Downie, who Johnston said won't play because he sustained an upper-body injury in the Penguins' 5-3 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday.

Malkin has two assists in three games against the Flyers this season. He has 60 points on 22 goals and 38 assists in 45 career games against Philadelphia.

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Posted On Sunday, 03.29.2015 / 10:09 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Over the Boards blog

Capitals' Ovechkin closing in on 50 goals

NEW YORK -- Alex Ovechkin's next goal this season will be his 50th, marking the sixth time in his 10 NHL seasons that he has scored at least 50 goals. He has six games left to score the goal.

Ovechkin, the Washington Capitals captain, is on pace to win the Rocket Richard Trophy for the fifth time in his career. That would put him in the company of Wayne Gretzky, Gordie Howe, Bobby Hull and Phil Esposito as the only other players in NHL history have led the League in goals in at least five seasons.

Ovechkin tried his best to downplay what another 50-goal season would mean to him when he was asked about it following his two-goal performance in Washington's 5-2 win against the New York Rangers on Sunday.

"It's a good accomplishment," Ovechkin said. "Obviously if the puck goes in the puck goes in, but I'm concentrating right now to clinch the playoffs and do that kind of stuff."

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Posted On Friday, 03.27.2015 / 12:39 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Over the Boards blog

Rangers' Miller playing well, learning from mistakes

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers forward J.T. Miller didn't have to be told why he was sent down to the American Hockey League two weeks into the season, nor did anyone have to inform him why he was scratched four times in a span of eight games from Jan. 16 to Feb. 4.

"I'm not a guy that can afford to take games off," Miller said.

Was he guilty of that?

"Yeah, obviously," Miller said. "You're judged on how you play, it's performance-based, and I definitely don't think I brought it every game at the beginning of this year or last year."

Call it part of his learning curve if you want, but the Rangers were trying to become a top team in the Eastern Conference in the middle part of this season and there was zero trust in Miller's game from coach Alain Vigneault at that time.

Miller knew why.

"Yeah, there were no brain busters here," he said.

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Posted On Wednesday, 03.25.2015 / 10:51 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Over the Boards blog

Rosen's mailbag - March 25, 2015

Here is the March 25 edition of Rosen's weekly mailbag, which will run every Wednesday during the season. If you have a question, tweet it to @drosennhl and use #OvertheBoards.

Let's get to it:

What is the biggest reason my Blues can make a run through the playoffs? Biggest reason they can't? -- @DSBerk

The biggest reason the St. Louis Blues can make a run deep in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, perhaps even to the Stanley Cup Final, is because of their depth. They have three legitimate scoring lines and as a result they play differently, or at least can play differently, than some of the more defensive-minded teams we've seen from coach Ken Hitchcock.

St. Louis' top line of David Backes, T.J. Oshie and Alexander Steen has some of the best chemistry I've seen from a forward line in the NHL this season. I call them the Blues' top line because they not only can score, but they are tasked with checking the opposition's top line. Far be it from me to give Hitchcock coaching advice, but he knows tinkering with this line typically results in him eventually going back to them because they're so good.

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.24.2015 / 5:10 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Over the Boards blog

Ducks' Getzlaf has Hart Trophy backer in Boudreau

NEW YORK -- The Hart Trophy debate this season includes an array of names from Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price to Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin to New York Islanders center John Tavares to Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby.

What about Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf? At least that's what Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau is wondering.

"You know what, nobody seems to be talking about him this year because everybody seems to be talking about Carey Price in that respect, and Ovi," Boudreau said. "But you look and he's what, [eight] points out of the scoring lead, and our team is doing quite well. He's had an abundance of wingers and the one constant is always Ryan Getzlaf. He's our leader and our captain, and I think he deserves a lot of consideration."

Boudreau's point is well taken.

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.24.2015 / 1:14 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Kings at Rangers

NEW YORK -- The Los Angeles Kings played the way they wanted to Monday in defeating the New Jersey Devils 3-1, but the two points earned merely allowed them to keep pace in the Stanley Cup Playoff race in the Western Conference because the Calgary Flames and Winnipeg Jets also won.

The Kings are still on the outside looking in at the playoff picture. They are two points behind the Flames for third place in the Pacific Division and four points behind the Jets for the second wild card into the playoffs from the Western Conference.

They're trying to stay upbeat even though time is ticking and they have only 10 games remaining. They have a game in hand on the Flames and Jets.

"We have to just focus on ourselves; there's not much we can do about what other teams do," Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said. "Obviously you kind of look at the standings this morning and see if anything happened, but besides that it's just about us winning games. If we can win every single game for the rest of this season I think we'll probably make it in. That's all we've gotta focus on doing."

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Posted On Monday, 03.23.2015 / 8:03 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Over the Boards blog

Yandle proves to Rangers why he's worth it

NEW YORK -- It took him until his 10th game, but defenseman Keith Yandle showed the New York Rangers on Sunday why he was worth the steep price general manager Glen Sather paid to acquire him and what he can do for a Stanley Cup contending team this spring.

Yandle came to the Rangers in a trade from the Arizona Coyotes on March 1 for top prospect Anthony Duclair, a first-round draft pick in 2016, a second-round draft pick this year, and defenseman John Moore.

He came to New York for games like he played Sunday, when Yandle's first pass and focus on the details of his offensive game were on point in a 7-2 win against the Anaheim Ducks at Madison Square Garden.

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Posted On Monday, 03.23.2015 / 1:41 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Kings at Devils

NEWARK, N.J. -- Los Angeles Kings center Mike Richards, recalled from the American Hockey League on Sunday, will be in the lineup Monday against the New Jersey Devils (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US).

Richards was sent to the AHL on Jan. 27 and played 16 games with Manchester, the Kings' AHL team.

The Kings are on the outside of the Stanley Cup Playoff race in the Western Conference with 11 games to play. They trail the Calgary Flames by two points for third place in the Pacific Division and are four points behind the Winnipeg Jets for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference.

Richards is expected to center the third line Monday at Prudential Center against the New Jersey Devils in what will be his first NHL game since Jan. 21. He is expected to be an important player in the Kings' final push toward a playoff berth.

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Quote of the Day

I always feel the pressure to produce offensively. It's disappointing and frustrating when you can't help out your team the way you're supposed to.

— Rangers forward Rick Nash on scoring twice in a 5-1 Game 4 victory against the Lightning on Friday