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Stanley Cup Final
Posted On Friday, 05.03.2013 / 2:17 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Capitals-Rangers series blog

Tortorella talks Moore no-goal in Game 1 third period

WASHINGTON -- New York Rangers coach John Tortorella agreed with the decision to not award John Moore a goal late in the third period of Game 1 Thursday night against the Washington Capitals even though Tortorella thought it was a goal.

"It's the right call," he said. "I think it's a goal, but it's the right call."

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Posted On Friday, 05.03.2013 / 2:06 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Capitals-Rangers series blog

Nash felt good with play, now needs a win

WASHINGTON -- New York Rangers forward Rick Nash felt strong and fast in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, his first game in the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2009 and his fifth career NHL postseason game.

The problem is Nash's 16 shot attempts, including eight on goal, didn't equate to anything tangible for the Rangers, who lost to the Washington Capitals 3-1 and fell behind 1-0 in the best-of-7 series.

"I thought I had some good opportunities but they didn't go in," said Nash, who is now 0-5 in the playoffs dating to 2009, when his Columbus Blue Jackets were swept in the first round by the Detroit Red Wings. "That's the difference. In big games you've got to bear down and make sure you score on your opportunities."

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Posted On Thursday, 05.02.2013 / 1:12 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Capitals-Rangers series blog

Staal practices, but isn't ready to return yet

WASHINGTON -- The New York Rangers will open the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Thursday against the Washington Capitals without their four injured players.

Defenseman Marc Staal (eye) and forwards Brian Boyle (knee), Ryane Clowe (undisclosed) and Derek Dorsett (clavicle) all will be watching Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on Thursday at Verizon Center (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN).

Staal, Boyle and Dorsett skated Thursday morning. Clowe did not, though he did travel to Washington with the team.

Staal, who has been out since March 5 when he was struck in the right eye by a deflected shot, said he had another good day Thursday. He said he's getting closer but still doesn't feel ready to play.

"As soon as I'm not second-guessing myself or hesitating and doing things I normally do become automatic is when I can jump into a playoff-type game," Staal said. "You go out there in a playoff game and you're thinking too much, you're going to get yourself in trouble and the team."

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.01.2013 / 12:58 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Capitals-Rangers series blog

Ward could play for Capitals in Game 1

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Washington Capitals coach Adam Oates said there would be a good chance for Joel Ward to play in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the New York Rangers on Thursday provided he can manage any discomfort he might still be feeling in his left knee.

Ward missed the last nine games of the regular season with a bruised left knee.

"It would depend on how much the discomfort is," Oates said when asked about Ward's availability. "Can he fight through it or not?"

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Posted On Thursday, 04.25.2013 / 1:22 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Orpik, Vitale join Penguins' list of injured players

NEWARK, N.J. -- Just when it appears the Pittsburgh Penguins are close to getting healthy for the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, a few more injuries have popped up.

Brooks Orpik and Joe Vitale did not accompany the team on the trip for the game Thursday against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN) because each is dealing with a lower-body injury.

Orpik was injured in the game Tuesday against the Buffalo Sabres. Vitale did not play in either of the past two games.

Paul Martin and James Neal returned to practice Thursday, and though neither will play against the Devils, either could return for the regular-season finale Saturday against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Martin has missed the past 11 games with a broken hand, and Neal has missed the past seven with a concussion.

"I think that's the plan," Martin said of his status. "I was hoping for [Thursday], but now it looks like probably Saturday."

Sidney Crosby did not travel with the team due to a dental appointment Thursday, Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. There still is no timetable for Crosby's return to the lineup from the broken jaw he sustained during a game March 30. He has been skating but has yet to return to full practices with the team.

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.23.2013 / 5:29 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Jets ready for showdown with Capitals

WASHINGTON -- For a dozen players expected to be in the Winnipeg Jets lineup Tuesday night at Verizon Center, the game against the Washington Capitals will feel like nothing they have experienced before because they've never played in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

For the other eight, including captain Andrew Ladd, a member of two Cup-winning teams, it will be reminiscent of playoff hockey even though the Jets can't clinch anything with a win or be eliminated with a loss.

There are two certainties going into the game Tuesday:

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.23.2013 / 11:21 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Capitals can clinch Southeast against Jets

ARLINGTON, Va. -- A regulation or overtime win against the Winnipeg Jets at Verizon Center on Tuesday is all the Washington Capitals need to clinch the Southeast Division.

A shootout win will not be enough for the Capitals to clinch the division or even a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but it will drop their magic number to one point either gained or lost by Winnipeg in its final game of the regular season Thursday.

However, if the Jets win in regulation or overtime they will take over the lead in the division and move up to third in the Eastern Conference standings. They also would take over the lead in the first tiebreaker, which is regulation/overtime wins (ROW).

"Hopefully we can just make sure we clinch the playoff spot tonight and we'll go from there," Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom said. "We're playing a good team and we've gotta be hungry."

Here is what the Capitals lines, defense pairs and goalie depth likely will look like Tuesday night:

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Posted On Sunday, 04.21.2013 / 1:28 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Volchenkov back in lineup for Devils

NEW YORK -- New Jersey Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov will be back in the lineup Sunday afternoon against the New York Rangers (3 p.m. ET, NBC) after serving his four-game suspension for elbowing Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand on April 10.

Volchenkov is replacing Mark Fayne because coach Peter DeBoer is predicting that it will be a physical game against the Rangers and he wants to dress a lineup that is adept to playing that style.

"We put a lineup in that we think will give us the best chance to win," DeBoer said. "That's all I can tell you."

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.10.2013 / 12:54 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Bruins give Khudobin the nod against Devils

NEWARK, N.J. -- Despite Tuukka Rask making 40 saves in a 1-0 shutout win against the New Jersey Devils last week, Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien has opted to go with backup Anton Khudobin against the Devils on Wednesday at Prudential Center (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN2).

Rask, who is 2-0-0 with one goal allowed against the Devils this season, has played in three consecutive games and the Bruins play again Thursday at home against the New York Islanders.

Khudobin is 8-3-0 with a 2.07 goals-against average and .929 save percentage this season.

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.10.2013 / 12:44 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Bergeron working out on own; no timetable for return

NEWARK, N.J. -- Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron has begun working out on his own, but there is no timetable for his return from a concussion.

Bergeron will miss his fourth straight game Wednesday when the Bruins face the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN2). He was injured after colliding with Ottawa Senators forward Colin Greening during a game April 2.

"Any time a guy starts doing something it's a step in the right direction," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "We never comment any more than that because, as you heard me say often, those things are encouraging one day and discouraging the next, so we just keep our fingers crossed and keep hoping that he keeps getting better."

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Quote of the Day

That's a really tough thing to play through; when you finally are thrown out there, the game is fast, intense, every single play matters, you've got to find a way to play through that and make smart plays. So it's a huge testament to [Vermette] and some other individuals in our locker room that are putting their own ego, their own wants and needs aside, and are ready for those opportunities when they do come.

— Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews on teammate Antoine Vermette, who returned from being a healthy scratch in Game 3 to score the double-overtime winner in Game 4