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Posted On Sunday, 05.11.2014 / 11:56 AM

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

Rangers' Nash frustrated with scoring slump

NEW YORK -- It's not as if New York Rangers right wing Rick Nash is waiting to score a goal off his leg or his arm, but he sure would take one right about now.

Nash hasn't scored a goal in 13 straight games, including 12 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and has just one in his past 18 games as he and the Rangers prepare to play Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

The Penguins lead the best-of-7 series, 3-2.

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Posted On Saturday, 05.10.2014 / 3:20 PM

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

Kreider finds stride in Game 5 after injury

At the start of training camp in September, New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault was talking about forward Chris Kreider's lower-body strength and power. That discussion referenced a YouTube video of Kreider jumping straight out of the shallow end of a swimming pool and landing feet first on the deck in an impressive show of raw athleticism.

Vigneault could have referenced that same video when talking about Kreider's performance in the Rangers' 5-1 win Friday against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Consol Energy Center, a victory that kept New York's season alive and cut Pittsburgh's lead in the best-of-7 Eastern Conference Second Round series to 3-2.

In just his second game back after missing 19 in a row because of a hand injury, Kreider scored a goal, had two shots, was credited with six hits and created scoring chances for both himself and linemates Rick Nash and Derek Stepan by using his legs.

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.30.2014 / 3:22 PM

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

Wild will add Veilleux to Game 7 lineup

DENVER -- Minnesota Wild forward Stephane Veilleux will be back in the lineup for Game 7 of the Western Conference First Round series against the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday (9:30 p.m. ET; CNBC, RDS, TSN2, FS-N, ALT).

Veilleux, who has not played in the past four games, has appeared in 15 Stanley Cup Playoff games, all with the Wild, but this will be his first career Game 7. He is replacing Justin Fontaine in the lineup and is likely to be on the fourth line with Kyle Brodziak and Cody McCormick. Veilleux did not have a point in a combined 12:55 during Games 1 and 2.

Wild coach Mike Yeo, asked why he's turning to Veilleux, said, "Speed. Speed on the forecheck. Speed to pressure. A veteran. A penalty killer. And he brings some jam into the game too."

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.29.2014 / 9:05 PM

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

Wild face task of slowing down MacKinnon in Game 7

DENVER -- Colorado Avalanche rookie Nathan MacKinnon has tortured the Minnesota Wild in the three previous games at Pepsi Center in the Western Conference First Round series.

He has 10 points in the series, all in home games; three in Game 1, four in Game 2 and three in Game 5.

If MacKinnon continues his home-ice assault in Game 7, the Wild might be flying home, haunted by No. 29 in burgundy, instead of to Chicago, where they would start the second round if they win Wednesday (9 p.m. ET; CNBC, TSN2, RDS, FS-N, ALT).


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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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Quote of the Day

There's no discouragement in that room. There's no issues there at all to be honest with you. It's more about, 'Hey, it's opportunities for players.' And if we become that bad of a team because of one player, it's not a real good sign for our hockey club. So this is part of sports. It's part of hockey.

— Bruins coach Claude Julien on the loss of Zdeno Chara to injury
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