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Posted On Tuesday, 06.24.2014 / 9:49 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2014 NHL Awards Blog

Canadiens GM plans to keep Subban for 'long time'

LAS VEGAS -- Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin wouldn't discuss the contract negotiations with soon-to-be restricted free agent defenseman P.K. Subban other than to say what his goal is for the team and the 2012-13 Norris Trophy winner.

"He's a big part of our team, and we'll make sure he's with us for a long time," Bergevin said Tuesday from the red carpet at the NHL Awards, where he was a finalist for the GM of the Year Award.


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Posted On Tuesday, 06.24.2014 / 8:40 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2014 NHL Awards Blog

Red Wings' Babcock hopes Alfredsson returns

LAS VEGAS -- If 41-year-old forward Daniel Alfredsson takes care of his back problems this summer, the Detroit Red Wings will welcome him back next season. Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said Tuesday that the order can't be the other way because of the uncertainty regarding Alfredsson's injury.

Alfredsson can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, but Babcock said if he plays next season he will play for the Red Wings.

"[Alfredsson] had a tough time last year staying healthy, so it's real hard to commit to a guy when he doesn't know for sure," Babcock said from the red carpet for the 2014 NHL Awards. "We'd love to have him. We'd love for him to get healthy, but at this point things haven't turned in the right direction for him. We'll see what happens."


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Posted On Monday, 06.23.2014 / 9:16 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2014 NHL Awards Blog

DeKeyser excited to represent Red Wings at Awards

LAS VEGAS -- Detroit Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser may one day gain entrance into the NHL Awards show for what he did on the ice. For now, though, he'll have to settle for a free trip to Las Vegas to be a presenter at the 2014 NHL Awards (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC).

"Why not?" DeKeyser told NHL.com on Monday. "This is pretty nice."

DeKeyser is representing the Red Wings in presenting the Jack Adams Award during the show Tuesday at Encore Theater in Wynn Las Vegas. Red Wings coach Mike Babcock is one of the three nominees for the award, along with Colorado Avalanche coach Patrick Roy and Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper.

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Posted On Monday, 06.23.2014 / 7:41 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2014 NHL Awards Blog

Marleau hopes to remain with Sharks

LAS VEGAS -- San Jose Sharks forward Patrick Marleau is prepared for general manager Doug Wilson to attempt to make changes to the club's roster, leadership hierarchy and dressing-room culture this offseason.

He isn't prepared to be a victim of those changes.

"I want to play in San Jose," Marleau said Monday at Media Day for the NHL Awards, where he is up for the Lady Byng Trophy. "I want to win there."

Marleau said he and San Jose captain Joe Thornton, the Sharks' longest tenured players, have already discussed next season and getting back to the Stanley Cup Playoffs to make amends for the team's collapse against the Los Angeles Kings. San Jose blew a 3-0 lead and lost to the Kings in seven games in the Western Conference First Round.

"We're looking forward to next year," Marleau said of him and Thornton. "It's going to [stink] having to go through all the 82 games to get back in the playoffs to get to that point to actually do something about it."


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Posted On Friday, 06.13.2014 / 6:24 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2014 Stanley Cup Final blog

Rangers sure Game 5 'is going to work out fine'

LOS ANGELES -- New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault talked about the hockey gods after a 2-1 win in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Los Angeles Kings. He talked about how he's a believer in them, and how they were there for the Rangers on Wednesday at Madison Square Garden.

Now, on Friday the 13th, with the Rangers again trying to extend the Stanley Cup Final in Game 5 at Staples Center (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS), what does the coach think the hockey gods might have in store?

"I'm sure it's a good day," he said before laughing during his press conference more than two hours before game time. "Everything is going to work out fine."


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Posted On Tuesday, 06.10.2014 / 1:14 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2014 Stanley Cup Final blog

Rangers look for some puck luck in must-win Game 4

NEW YORK -- Each player who spoke in the New York Rangers dressing room after Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday was asked about the Los Angeles Kings' first goal, the one that came off Jeff Carter's stick with 0.8 seconds remaining before the first intermission.

Each answer was different.

Marc Staal described it as "obviously one that hurts." Henrik Lundqvist referred to it as a "tough play." Rick Nash called it "a huge momentum swing for them."

But Dan Girardi described the goal that went in off his skate as one that defines "exactly how the series is going for us right now, a couple bad bounces."

"At some point it's going to go our way," he added.


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Posted On Saturday, 06.07.2014 / 7:17 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2014 Stanley Cup Final blog

Rangers defenseman John Moore in for Game 2

LOS ANGELES -- After being suspended for the past two games, New York Rangers defenseman John Moore was back in the lineup Saturday for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center (NBC, CBC, RDS).

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Posted On Friday, 06.06.2014 / 7:43 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2014 Stanley Cup Final blog

Rangers' Lundqvist excited by magnitude of Final

LOS ANGELES -- New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist has been at the center of some big events during his career; he's made three trips to the Winter Olympics and three to All-Star Weekend.

But he's found out in the past week the Stanley Cup Final is in its own class.

"I think it's a mix of a little bit of everything being here," Lundqvist said Friday. "I told someone it feels like you're at All-Star Weekend because there's so much media that normally you don't see. There are a lot of people that come up and ask you different types of questions right now.

"But then at the same time you're really focused on what you need to do. So it's a mix of being in the Olympics, being at All-Star Weekend. But it's fun. It's a lot to take in, but it's also exciting to just see a different side. It's still the same game, but it's a lot going on."


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Posted On Friday, 06.06.2014 / 7:42 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2014 Stanley Cup Final blog

Moore expected to return for Rangers in Game 2

LOS ANGELES -- It didn't require much detective work Friday to figure out that defenseman John Moore will be back in the New York Rangers' lineup for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday at Staples Center (7 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).

Moore missed New York's past two games, including a 3-2 overtime loss in Game 1 of this best-of-7 series, while sitting out a suspension issued by the NHL. He was back skating on the Rangers' third defense pair with Kevin Klein in practice Friday.

Neither coach Alain Vigneault nor Moore officially said the 23-year-old would play Saturday, but all indications are he will replace Raphael Diaz.


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Posted On Thursday, 06.05.2014 / 6:14 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2014 Stanley Cup Final blog

Vigneault hints Moore will return to Rangers lineup

SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault hinted that defenseman John Moore, who has served his two-game suspension, could be back in the lineup for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).

Moore was suspended for an illegal check to the head of Montreal Canadiens forward Dale Weise in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final. He had played in 17 of New York's 19 games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs to that point.

Vigneault liked having Moore in the lineup playing with Kevin Klein because it gave the Rangers three lefty-righty defense pairs.

"Johnny's played some good hockey for us," Vigneault said. "He skates with the puck well. He's a left-handed D. I think it's easy to go D-to-D when you have right- and left-handers. Johnny has been one of our consistent six defensemen that we've rolled all year."


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Posted On Wednesday, 06.04.2014 / 8:52 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2014 Stanley Cup Final blog

Gretzky drops puck for Cup Final opening faceoff

LOS ANGELES -- Wayne Gretzky has roots all over the Stanley Cup Final, so it was only fitting that "The Great One" stood at center ice to get the festivities started Wednesday with Game 1 at Staples Center.

Gretzky was honored by the NHL and two of his former teams, the Los Angeles Kings and the New York Rangers, as the person selected to drop the puck for the ceremonial faceoff between New York alternate captain Brad Richards and L.A. captain Dustin Brown.


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Posted On Wednesday, 06.04.2014 / 6:07 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2014 Stanley Cup Final blog

Leneveu to dress as Lundqvist's backup in Game 1

LOS ANGELES -- New York Rangers goalie Cam Talbot is day-to-day with an undisclosed injury and will not dress as the backup to Henrik Lundqvist in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).

David Leneveu will serve as Lundqvist's backup, Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. Vigneault did not provide a further update on Talbot's status other than to say he's day-to-day.

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Posted On Tuesday, 06.03.2014 / 8:33 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2014 Stanley Cup Final blog

Kings' Quick says he's OK after scare at practice

LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick's preparations for the Stanley Cup Final were cut short Tuesday when he had to leave practice early after being struck by a shot in the area near his collarbone.

But Quick put to rest any questions about his availability for Game 1 against the New York Rangers on Wednesday at Staples Center (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS) by quickly answering the first two questions in his media day press conference.


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Posted On Tuesday, 06.03.2014 / 8:13 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2014 Stanley Cup Final blog

Kings defenseman Regehr says he's ready to go

LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr is ready to play in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final if coach Darryl Sutter wants to put him in the lineup.

Regehr hasn't played since sustaining a lower-body injury early in Game 1 of the Western Conference Second Round series against the Anaheim Ducks. He has missed 13 straight games, but has been practicing with the team since late last week and declared himself fit to play Wednesday at Staples Center against the New York Rangers (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).

But Regehr knows he is at the mercy of Sutter, who would have to disrupt a lineup that on Sunday was good enough to win Game 7 of the Western Conference Final against the Chicago Blackhawks.


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Posted On Tuesday, 06.03.2014 / 2:10 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2014 Stanley Cup Final blog

Rangers goalie Talbot out again; Miller practices

LOS ANGELES -- New York Rangers backup goaltender Cam Talbot sat out practice Tuesday at Staples Center, the third straight practice he's missed, with an unspecified injury.

Forward J.T. Miller returned to practice for his first workout with the team since sustaining an upper-body injury in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Montreal Canadiens.

The Rangers open the Stanley Cup Final against the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday at Staples Center (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).

Talbot has been the backup to Henrik Lundqvist in all 20 games in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. He has appeared in two games, allowing two goals on 13 shots.

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.27.2014 / 7:55 PM

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

Stepan in Rangers lineup for Game 5

MONTREAL -- New York Rangers center Derek Stepan is in the lineup for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday at Bell Centre after missing Game 4 following surgery to repair his broken jaw.

Stepan is wearing a plastic guard on his helmet to protect his jaw. He took line rushes with his usual linemates, Chris Kreider and Rick Nash, during warm-ups.

Montreal Canadiens defenseman Alexei Emelin did not participate in warm-ups and is not in the lineup for the first time in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Nathan Beaulieu took Emelin's place.

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Posted On Sunday, 05.25.2014 / 7:56 PM

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

Brassard returns to Rangers lineup for Game 4

NEW YORK -- The New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens are making lineup changes for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final on Sunday at Madison Square Garden. Some are by choice; others are due to an injury and two suspensions.

The Rangers lead the best-of-7 series 2-1.

Rangers center Derick Brassard is in the lineup after missing the past two games and most of Game 1 with an upper-body injury. He skated in between his usual linemates, Benoit Pouliot and Mats Zuccarello, during warmups.

Brassard has seven points in 15 games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He was injured early in Game 1 on a hit by Montreal defenseman Mike Weaver. Brassard played two shifts totaling 35 seconds in Game 1.


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Posted On Saturday, 05.24.2014 / 7:19 PM

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

Fallout from Prust incident continues for Rangers

NEW YORK -- One day after suspensions and surgery became the most discussed topics in the Eastern Conference Final, the New York Rangers were still trying to come to grips with losing one of their top centers for an indefinite period of time and another teammate for what could be the remainder of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Rangers center Derek Stepan had surgery Friday night to repair his broken jaw, an injury sustained 2:45 into the first period of Game 3 on Thursday as a result of an illegal check from Brandon Prust, the Montreal Canadiens forward.

Prust was not penalized by the on-ice officials, but on Friday he was suspended two games for interference by the NHL's Department of Player Safety.

Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said it's "unlikely" Stepan will play in Game 4 at Madison Square Garden on Sunday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS). The Rangers lead the best-of-7 series, 2-1.


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Posted On Saturday, 05.24.2014 / 5:34 PM

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

Rangers' Miller excited about opportunity in Game 4

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers forward J.T. Miller has already experienced the Stanley Cup Playoffs this month, playing in Game 3 of the second round against the Pittsburgh Penguins. He's not sure how that experience will help him if he plays Sunday against the Montreal Canadiens.

"If I'm in, it's obviously Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final, and I never played on a stage like this," Miller said. "I have to make sure I calm my nerves if I get the chance, make sure I'm just ready to play and try to take it like a normal game even though it's such a higher stage."

With Rangers coach Alain Vigneault saying it's "unlikely" that Derek Stepan will be in the lineup after having surgery on Friday to repair a broken jaw, Miller is expected to play in Game 4 at Madison Square Garden (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

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Posted On Friday, 05.23.2014 / 4:44 PM

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

Rangers figuring out Canadiens' Tokarski as they go

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers forward Carl Hagelin paused for a few seconds after he was asked if Montreal Canadiens goalie Dustin Tokarski has surprised him and his teammates in any way in the Eastern Conference Final.

"Not really," he said.

Interesting, considering the Rangers had not faced Tokarski this season before Game 2. Tokarski played three NHL games this season and had 10 regular-season games on his resume before making his Stanley Cup Playoff debut on Monday at Bell Centre.

"We knew who he was before, just never played against him," Hagelin said. "But he's been good at every level he's played at. We know any goalie in this League is going to be a good goalie."

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Posted On Thursday, 05.22.2014 / 8:02 PM

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

Vanek on fourth line for Canadiens in Game 3

NEW YORK -- Montreal Canadiens forward Thomas Vanek was demoted to the fourth line at the beginning of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final against the New York Rangers on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

The Rangers lead the best-of-7 Stanley Cup Playoff series 2-0.

Vanek has five goals in the Stanley Cup Playoffs but scored them in three games. He has no points and one shot on goal in two games against the Rangers. He has no points and two shots on goal in his past three games.


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Posted On Monday, 05.19.2014 / 1:46 PM

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

Rangers' Kreider pays no mind to Canadiens' remarks

MONTREAL -- New York Rangers forward Chris Kreider has one regret about the play that knocked Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price out of the Eastern Conference Final.

"I wish I would've put it in the net," Kreider said. "Obviously I was trying to score a goal. I put it wide. It was a bang-bang play."

Kreider instead lost his footing and crashed feet-first into Price at 3:15 of the second period in Game 1 on Saturday. Price was slow to get up and was in obvious pain, but after consulting with the Canadiens trainer he stayed in the game.

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Posted On Monday, 05.19.2014 / 1:45 PM

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

Rangers' Brassard skates, status uncertain for Game 2

MONTREAL -- New York Rangers center Derick Brassard participated in the morning skate Monday at Bell Centre but did not take any line rushes and coach Alain Vigneault said his status remains day-to-day.

Brassard was injured early in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final on Saturday after being hit hard in open ice by Montreal Canadiens defenseman Mike Weaver. He played two shifts totaling 35 seconds and did not return to the game after leaving 3:06 into the first period.

It's unclear if Brassard will be available for Game 2 (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS). The Rangers lead the best-of-7 series 1-0.

"As far as lineup decisions, I haven't finalized that," Vigneault said. "It's like any other game, you'll find out [Monday] at 8 o'clock when the puck drops."

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Posted On Monday, 05.19.2014 / 1:22 PM

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

Rangers' sole focus is their game plan

MONTREAL -- The news of Carey Price's injury and that Montreal Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said the goalie won't play again in the Eastern Conference Final spread through the New York Rangers as they were on the ice at Bell Centre on Monday morning, going through their preparations for Game 2 (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

At the end of the practice the Rangers players huddled in the corner to the right of the visiting goal as their five coaches on the ice stayed at center ice. The message was that just because Price is out doesn't mean the Rangers can change the way they play or get caught being overconfident against the Canadiens just because veteran backup Peter Budaj or untested rookie Dustin Tokarski will be in the net Monday night.

The Rangers won 7-2 in Game 1, but they are winless in their past 13 games after grabbing a lead in a best-of-7 series, including 0-4 this season. The last time they won a game after taking a lead was Game 2 of the 2009 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Washington Capitals.

New York blew a 3-1 lead in that series and lost in seven.

"In our last couple series we've won the first game and didn't take advantage of going out and winning another one, so it was about making sure that we up the ante, play a better game and focus on what we need to do," Rangers defenseman Marc Staal said. "You've got to score goals the same way; get to the net, do all those types of things. That won't change with Price being out."

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Posted On Sunday, 05.18.2014 / 5:20 PM

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

Rangers' speed a big factor in Game 1 victory

MONTREAL -- The New York Rangers aren't sure if they surprised the Montreal Canadiens with their speed in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final.

"I can't answer to what they were expecting from us," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said.

Even if it were true, the Canadiens won't admit that they underestimated the Rangers' speed.

"No, it's a bad game," Montreal forward Brandon Prust said.

That goes without saying when you lose 7-2, as the Canadiens did Saturday, but they lost by that margin in large part because the Rangers' overall team speed seemed to overwhelm them, if not surprise them.

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Posted On Saturday, 05.17.2014 / 6:10 PM

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

Rangers' Brassard leaves Game 1 with injury

MONTREAL -- New York Rangers center Derick Brassard was described as day-to-day by coach Alain Vigneault following a 7-2 win against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final at Bell Centre.

The Rangers lead the best-of-7 series with Game 2 on Monday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

Brassard played two shifts totaling 35 seconds in Game 1. He left the game and did not return after Montreal defenseman Mike Weaver connected on an open-ice, shoulder-to-shoulder hit on Brassard's left side at 3:03 of the first period.

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Posted On Saturday, 05.17.2014 / 12:53 PM

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

Rangers, Canadiens keep same lineups for Game 1

MONTREAL -- The New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens will ice the same lineups that they used in their respective Game 7s earlier this week when they meet in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final at Bell Centre on Saturday (1 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).

This is the 15th time the Canadiens and Rangers are meeting in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but the first time since 1996.

Canadiens goalie Carey Price is 4-1-0 with three shutouts and a .986 save percentage in his past five appearances against the Rangers.

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.14.2014 / 6:53 PM

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

Bruins' Seidenberg not in Game 7 lineup

BOSTON -- Injured Boston Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg is not in the lineup for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Montreal Canadiens at TD Garden on Wednesday.

Seidenberg hasn't played since he sustained a knee injury Dec. 27, but he has been taking contact in practice recently.

Here are the lineups for Game 7 based on how they skated in warmups (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS). It's possible that Boston's defense pairs will be different for the start of the game than they are below:


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Posted On Monday, 05.12.2014 / 3:14 PM

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

Rangers' penalty killers frustrating Penguins

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- One way to keep the Pittsburgh Penguins' elite scorers off the board and frustrated is to not give them anything on the score sheet or much in the way of momentum when they're on the power play.

The New York Rangers have staved off elimination twice to force Game 7 in the best-of-7 Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Penguins on Tuesday at Consol Energy Center (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS) by doing just that.

New York is 12-for-12 on the penalty kill in the past four games, including 8-for-8 in the past two, and 18-for-19 in the series. It's a major improvement for their PK from the first round against the Philadelphia Flyers, who scored six power play goals on 21 chances.

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Posted On Sunday, 05.11.2014 / 1:50 PM

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

Penguins could be without Maatta, Orpik

NEW YORK -- Pittsburgh Penguins defensemen Olli Maatta and Brooks Orpik did not take part in the morning skate Sunday at Madison Square Garden, and coach Dan Bylsma would not elaborate on any potential injuries or the details of his lineup for Game 6 against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

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

Maatta has not missed a game in the Stanley Cup Playoffs after playing in 78 games during the regular season. Orpik has missed six of the past seven games with an undisclosed injury. He played only 5:15 in Game 4 against the Rangers and then did not play in Game 5 on Friday.

If Maatta is unable to play, Deryk Engelland will likely make his 2014 playoff debut.

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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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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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Posted On Thursday, 04.24.2014 / 1:20 PM

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

Bruins bracing for Zetterberg's return

DETROIT -- Acknowledge him, be aware of him, respect him, but don't change because of him.

That's how the Boston Bruins plan to approach the potential return of Detroit Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference First Round series Thursday at Joe Louis Arena (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, NESN, FS-D).

Zetterberg, who hasn't played since Feb. 8 because of back surgery, will be a game-time decision for the Red Wings. He skated Thursday morning on a line with Pavel Datsyuk and Justin Abdelkader, then left the arena to visit with the team doctors.

The Bruins lead the best-of-7 series 2-1.

"In my mind he's going to be there [Thursday]. We expected that, so that's not a concern," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "The biggest thing here is they've got a real good player on their team. Where he is in his conditioning, I don't know. But at the same time, every playoff game has to be about your team; it can't be about the other team. We make adjustments to play against the other team, not the other individual, so that's not going to change for us."

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.23.2014 / 3:44 PM

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

Bruins' Marchand, Red Wings' Smith escalating rivalry

DETROIT -- Brad Marchand vs. Brendan Smith has turned into a 1-on-1 matchup worth watching in the Eastern Conference First Round series between Marchand's Boston Bruins and Smith's Detroit Red Wings.

The Bruins hold a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 Stanley Cup Playoff series which resumes Thursday with Game 4 at Joe Louis Arena (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, NESN, FS-D).

Earlier in the series, Marchand revealed that teammate Reilly Smith, who is Brendan's younger brother, had given him the "inside scoop." Apparently the Red Wings defenseman doesn't like Marchand very much.

"Whenever he can take a run at me he's taken a run at me," said Marchand, who has no points, six shots on goal and two penalties in the series. "And I want to do the same to him."

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.23.2014 / 3:01 PM

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

Red Wings without several regulars at practice

DETROIT -- Two of the three star players missing from the Detroit Red Wings practice Wednesday are expected to play in Game 4 on Thursday at Joe Louis Arena (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, NESN, FS-D). The other is in question.

The Red Wings trail the Boston Bruins in the best-of-7 Eastern Conference First Round series 2-1 after a 3-0 loss Tuesday.

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.23.2014 / 2:45 PM

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

Zetterberg practices with Red Wings, return uncertain

DETROIT -- After participating in a full practice and taking line rushes Wednesday, injured Detroit Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg neither confirmed nor denied his availability for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference First Round series on Thursday against the Boston Bruins (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, NESN, FS-D).

Zetterberg said he has to be cleared by team doctors and as of Wednesday afternoon he wasn't planning to visit with them before Game 4. He said he's still eyeing the second round for his potential return and that the late start to the Red Wings-Bruins series helped.

Detroit and Boston were the last teams to play Game 1 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Bruins lead the best-of-7 series 2-1.

"I have to feel ready to play. Today was a good step in practicing," Zetterberg said. "We're still saying round two, but we all know we gained a couple of days. I can't really say anything now. I'm just happy I had my first real skate and now we'll see how I feel in the morning."

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.22.2014 / 7:29 PM

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

Bartkowski in, Meszaros out for Bruins for Game 3

DETROIT -- Defenseman Matt Bartkowski is in the Boston Bruins lineup Tuesday at Joe Louis Arena after missing the first two games of the Eastern Conference First Round series against the Detroit Red Wings because of the flu.

The best-of-7 series is tied 1-1.

Bartkowski took the place of Andrej Meszaros, who played the first two games and averaged 18:11 of ice time with no points, four shots on goal and a plus-1 rating.


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Posted On Tuesday, 04.22.2014 / 1:06 PM

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

Babcock: Win faceoffs to spark Red Wings' power play

DETROIT -- Mike Babcock has the solution for the Detroit Red Wings' power-play problems against the Boston Bruins.

"Why not win a faceoff and get going," Babcock said.

Detroit has lost the faceoff to start five of its six power plays through two games in the best-of-7 Eastern Conference First Round series. It's not surprising then that the Red Wings are 0-for-6 on the power play with only two shots on goal entering Game 3 on Tuesday at Joe Louis Arena.

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.22.2014 / 12:02 PM

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

Red Wings' Alfredsson to miss Game 3; Andersson in

DETROIT -- Still bothered by an upper-body injury, Detroit Red Wings forward Daniel Alfredsson will not play in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference First Round series against the Boston Bruins at Joe Louis Arena on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN2, NESN, FS-D).

The best-of-7 series is tied, 1-1.

Alfredsson did not practice Monday after playing 17:03 in Game 2 on Sunday. Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said he needed another day of rest.

Left wing Joakim Andersson will replace Alfredsson in the lineup and will start the game on a line with center Darren Helm and right wing Tomas Jurco.

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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.

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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.

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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."

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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."

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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."

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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."

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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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Posted On Thursday, 02.27.2014 / 1:45 PM

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

Busy week means no rest for Blackhawks' Olympians

NEW YORK -- If the Chicago Blackhawks' 10 Olympians are looking for a sense of normalcy in their lives, they better look to the future because it's not coming until next week at the earliest.

Days after Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp and Duncan Keith helped Canada win the gold medal at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, the Blackhawks are opening their post-Olympic schedule Thursday with a game against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US).

Roughly 48 hours later, they'll be competing outside at Soldier Field against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series on Saturday (8 p.m. ET, NBC).

The Blackhawks had their first full post-Olympic team practice Wednesday before traveling to New York. Their next practice will be Friday night at Soldier Field.

"Off to the races right away," Keith said Thursday morning. "That's a good thing; get back into the swing of things hard and fast."

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Posted On Thursday, 02.27.2014 / 12:00 PM

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

Rangers brush aside trade talk, focus on Blackhawks

NEW YORK -- With rumors swirling around them about players that could be leaving and one that wants to join them, the New York Rangers are trying to keep the focus on getting their post-Olympic schedule started off the right way so they can quickly get back the feeling they had before the hockey world turned its attention to Sochi.

The Rangers play their first game since the Olympic break against the Chicago Blackhawks at Madison Square Garden on Thursday (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US). It's the first of a stretch that features three games in four days, including a trip to play the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday afternoon and a home game against the Boston Bruins on Sunday night.

New York won five of its past six games before the Olympic break and is second in the Metropolitan Division with 67 points.

"From our standpoint, games are so important and the points are so important," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. "We talked to our players [Wednesday] before practice and we had a good meeting here [Thursday] morning, and I think everybody understands that we can't take a couple of days here to get back into it here. We've gotta play well and we've gotta play well right now."

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Posted On Friday, 02.21.2014 / 7:58 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Road to Sochi blog

Faulk in, Martin out for U.S. vs. Canada

SOCHI -- Defenseman Justin Faulk will make his debut at the 2014 Sochi Olympics on the United States blue line Friday against Canada (Noon ET, NBCSN, CBC). Paul Martin, who played in the previous four games, is scratched from the semifinal. NBC reported Martin is ill.

Martin has no points, a plus-2 rating and has averaged 17:54 of ice time in four games.

Faulk, of the Carolina Hurricanes, was a healthy scratch for the first four games but will play as the seventh defenseman. John Carlson, who was the seventh defenseman in the previous three games, will play with Brooks Orpik, who is Martin's defense partner with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The other two defense pairs will remain the same: Ryan Suter with Ryan McDonagh, and Kevin Shattenkirk with Cam Fowler.

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Posted On Thursday, 02.20.2014 / 5:58 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Road to Sochi blog

With Tavares out, Duchene back at center for Canada

SOCHI -- It took an injury to one of Canada's numerous stars, but Matt Duchene will be back in his natural position Friday when the Canadians take on the United States in the 2014 Sochi Olympics semifinals at Bolshoy Ice Dome.

With John Tavares injured and ruled out for the rest of the tournament, Duchene, a healthy scratch Wednesday against Latvia, will play center between Rick Nash and Patrick Sharp on what is considered Canada's fourth line.

Duchene was a left wing on a line with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry in the two games he has played in the tournament. The 23-year-old Colorado Avalanche forward had no points, four shots on goal and averaged 13:50 of ice time per game.

"It's a big opportunity for myself now, a chance to play center, to play where I'm comfortable," Duchene said after practice Thursday. "You know, there's been a lot of unfamiliarity in this tournament, and when you get a short chance at it, sometimes it can be tough, so this is going to be much more familiar. I've played against Sharp and Nash a lot, and it looks like, well, we'll see what happens, but looks like it's going to be my line, and I'm looking forward to playing with them."


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Posted On Saturday, 02.15.2014 / 3:52 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Road to Sochi blog

Blues teammate Berglund happy for Oshie

SOCHI -- As he watched the drama unfold across the street in Shayba Arena, Sweden forward Patrik Berglund knew what was coming before his St. Louis Blues teammate T.J. Oshie dipped into his well of shootout moves at Bolshoy Ice Dome.

Berglund was in the dressing room with his teammates preparing to play Latvia when the United States and Russia were in their shootout. They were watching it on TV as Oshie scored four times in six attempts to lift the Americans to a 3-2 win.

"When he was going to shoot the first one I told the guys in the locker room that's a guaranteed goal," Berglund said following Sweden's 5-3 win against Latvia. "He just went in and put it in as he always does."


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Posted On Saturday, 02.15.2014 / 1:58 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Road to Sochi blog

Penalties could lead to benching for Russia's Radulov

SOCHI -- Alexander Radulov might be scratched for Russia's game Sunday against Slovakia, coach Zinetula Bilyaletinov said through an interpreter following the 3-2 shootout loss to the United States on Saturday.

"We expected more out of him," Bilyaletinov said. "He was not really living up to his expectation today. Scratched? Yeah, he needs to be scratched, among other things."

Radulov was called for two minor penalties that led to both regulation goals for the U.S.

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Posted On Friday, 02.14.2014 / 3:06 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Road to Sochi blog

Finland's Barkov injured in win vs. Norway

SOCHI -- Finland forward Aleksander Barkov left the game against Norway early in the third period Friday with a lower-body injury and did not return.

Finnish coach Erkka Westerlund had no further update on Barkov's condition when he was asked about it following Finland's 6-1 win at Shayba Arena.

Barkov, an 18-year-old rookie with the Florida Panthers, played two shifts in the third period before leaving with a little less than seven minutes remaining in the game. He had no points, three shots on goal and won seven of nine faceoffs in 18 shifts totaling 15:03 of ice time against Norway.

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Posted On Friday, 02.14.2014 / 12:12 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Road to Sochi blog

U.S. to deploy two shut-down pairings against Russia

SOCHI -- The United States will try to stifle Russia's skill Saturday with two shut-down defense pairs playing in front of starting goalie Jonathan Quick.

Brooks Orpik and Paul Martin, a regular pair with the Pittsburgh Penguins, skated together in practice Friday and are expected to be together Saturday, when the Americans take on the Russians at Bolshoy Ice Dome in Group A preliminary-round play (7:30 a.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC). Ryan Suter and Ryan McDonagh were the other shut-down pair.

Orpik and Martin are expected to get a lot of ice time against Russia’s top line of Evgeni Malkin, Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin. Suter and McDonagh likely will see plenty of Pavel Datsyuk, Ilya Kovalchuk and Alexander Radulov.

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Posted On Friday, 02.14.2014 / 5:54 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Road to Sochi blog

Selanne expected to play for Finland vs. Norway

SOCHI -- Finland captain Teemu Selanne is expected to play Friday against Norway (12 p.m. ET; MSNBC, SNET), one day after leaving the game against Austria with a neck injury, coach Erkka Westerlund told the Finnish media.

He skated with Aleksander Barkov and Mikael Granlund on Friday morning.

Selanne played in the first period of Finland's 8-4 win but did not return to play the rest of the game. However, he skated with the team Friday morning and is likely to play against the Norwegians.

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Posted On Friday, 02.14.2014 / 3:27 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Road to Sochi blog

Subban, Duchene in for Canada vs. Austria

SOCHI -- Canada will have a different look in its second game of the preliminary round Friday night. Despite a 3-1 victory against Norway in the opener of Group B play Thursday, Canada is making three changes to its lineup for the game against Austria (noon, USA, CBC).

Hockey Canada confirmed Friday morning that Matt Duchene and P.K. Subban are in the lineup after being scratched against Norway. Duchene, of the Colorado Avalanche, replaces Patrick Sharp of the Chicago Blackhawks. Montreal Canadiens defenseman Subban goes in for Dan Hamhuis of the Vancouver Canucks.

Canada also scratched Montreal goalie Carey Price, who played Thursday against Norway. Vancouver's Roberto Luongo, the gold medal-winning goalie four years ago, will start against Austria. He will be backed up by Mike Smith of the Phoenix Coyotes.

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Posted On Thursday, 02.13.2014 / 7:04 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Sochi Travel blog

Sochi offers breathtaking settings as well as sports

SOCHI -- For the past three days I have ventured maybe a quarter-mile from our hotel to the Black Sea coast, where we have shot some videos previewing the games. If you've watched them (you should), you've probably noticed the unbelievable setting behind me of the water glistening in the glow of the powerful sun.

The setting today was more breathtaking then even the past two days and it featured a collection of elements you likely won't find in most places.


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Posted On Monday, 02.10.2014 / 11:58 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Road to Sochi blog

Datsyuk sits out Russia's first practice

SOCHI -- Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk did not practice with his Russian teammates Monday, but coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov said he is hopeful Russia's captain will be ready to go by Thursday, when the host country opens the 2014 Sochi Olympics against Slovenia (7:30 a.m. ET, MSNBC, CBC).

"I don't think it's a serious problem, dangerous," Bilyaletinov said through an interpreter after practice Monday. "I think he's going to be OK."

Datsyuk missed 14 straight games with a lower-body injury before returning last week to play Detroit's final two games before the Olympic break. However, he played fewer than 15 minutes in both games.

Red Wings general manager Ken Holland admitted that he is concerned about Datsyuk's health, but he understands why playing in the Olympics in his own country is important to the Russian superstar.

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Posted On Monday, 02.10.2014 / 8:45 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Road to Sochi blog

Finns moving on without Koivu, Filppula

SOCHI – With three days of practice before his first game, Finland coach Erkka Westerlund has some time to iron out his lineup minus his top two centers: Minnesota Wild captain Mikko Koivu and Valtteri Filppula of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Koivu and Filppula had to pull out of the Olympics with separate ankle injuries, leaving the Finns depleted down the middle and likely having to use the Wild's Mikael Granlund and the Winnipeg Jets' Olli Jokinen as their top centers.

Finland assistant coach Lauri Marjamaki said following practice Monday that he will have Granlund centering the top line with Florida Panthers rookie Aleksander Barkov on his left wing and Anaheim Ducks veteran Teemu Selanne on his right wing. Selanne is entering his sixth Olympics.

There was no word on the second line, but it's possible that Jokinen plays with Pittsburgh Penguins forward Jussi Jokinen and Tuomo Ruutu of the Carolina Hurricanes.

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Posted On Monday, 02.03.2014 / 6:31 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Road to Sochi blog

Lightning coach 'cheering' for Stamkos to play

Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper is rooting for Steven Stamkos to make it to the 2014 Sochi Olympics, even though he knows the additional time off during the upcoming break would give the center's broken right leg the appropriate amount of time to heal.

Stamkos hasn't played since he crashed into the goal and broke his right tibia in a game against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden on Nov. 11. He is targeting the game Saturday against the Detroit Red Wings as his return date and is hopeful of it going well so he'll feel confident about playing in the Olympic tournament, which for Canada begins Feb. 13.

"I'm legitimately cheering for him to play, but you just sit here and say, 'If he was going to get hurt, why couldn't he have gotten hurt like a week-and-a-half or two weeks earlier?'" Cooper said Monday afternoon. "Or, 'Why couldn't the Olympics be a week later?' It's going to come right down to the wire on this one, but if anything [Monday], he looked pretty good in practice. It was his best day. I talked to him after and he said it was his best day yet. He was pretty encouraged."

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Posted On Wednesday, 01.08.2014 / 12:48 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Road to Sochi blog

Stars' Dillon envisions Benn on line with Perry, Getzlaf

NEW YORK -- Dallas Stars defenseman Brenden Dillon predicts Canada will use a line of Jamie Benn, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. He feels for any defensemen who would have to match up against a trio like that.

"I think that line would be pretty deadly," said Dillon, who visited the NHL offices Tuesday shortly after Canada announced its Olympic roster that included Benn, the Stars captain. "Just from playing against those two [Perry and Getzlaf] on their own and adding a third guy in there who can skate just as well, make plays just as well and is just as hard to handle down low … they should be OK."

As a defenseman, how would Dillon try to handle a line as big and skilled as one that features Benn on the left, Getzlaf in the middle and Perry on the right?

"Try to keep the puck away from them as much as you can, stay on offense," he said. "Even then those guys are up there in takeaways. Those guys, they're so good and they're two right-handers and a left-handed shot tossing it in there. Perry and Getzlaf, their chemistry says something already, and then Benn, playing with him for two years now, I mean he deserves all the accolades he's starting to get. One thing in Dallas is he's flying under the radar, but I think this is so good for him."


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Posted On Monday, 01.06.2014 / 6:46 PM

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

New dad Okposo misses Isles' game vs. Stars

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- New York Islanders right wing Kyle Okposo is not in the lineup Monday night against the Dallas Stars because his wife, Danielle, gave birth to the couple's first child earlier in the day.

Okposo announced the birth of his baby girl, Elliana Okposo, on his Twitter account while the Islanders were on the ice for warmups.


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Posted On Monday, 01.06.2014 / 12:56 PM

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

Stars to have Gonchar back, possibly Daley as well

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The Dallas Stars will get one veteran defenseman back in the lineup Monday night at Nassau Coliseum and coach Lindy Ruff left open the possibility of another one returning as well.

Sergei Gonchar will play against the New York Islanders after missing the past six games with a concussion. Ruff said Trevor Daley, who has missed 14 straight games with an ankle injury, will be a game-time decision.

"I'll try to start with short shifts to pick up the tempo, get in a rhythm and then you slowly get back into it," Gonchar said. "That's the only way to do it. It doesn't matter if you're older or younger, you have to be smart about it. Obviously being out for so long and playing against a fast team like the Islanders, you have to make sure that you're ready and you're doing things right from the beginning."


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Posted On Monday, 01.06.2014 / 12:42 PM

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

Islanders' Okposo game-time decision; Bailey returns

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- New York Islanders right wing Kyle Okposo will be a game-time decision Monday because his wife, Danielle, was at the hospital and due to give birth to the couple's first child.

Peter Regin is expected to play on the Islanders' top line with John Tavares and Thomas Vanek if Okposo is unable to go against the Dallas Stars at Nassau Coliseum.

Okposo went to the hospital Sunday night and was still there Monday morning.

"We'll know a little bit more here in a couple of hours," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said after the morning skate. "We knew going in what time she was going to go in. We knew he'd be there all night. Now it just depends on this morning, if things work out well, knock on wood, he gets his proper rest and he can play tonight."


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Posted On Wednesday, 01.01.2014 / 1:34 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic blog

Alfredsson in Winter Classic lineup for Red Wings

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Detroit Red Wings forward Daniel Alfredsson is playing in the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on Wednesday, but center Darren Helm is not. Gustav Nyquist is playing in Helm's spot.

Alfredsson's status for the game against the Toronto Maple Leafs was in question because of back spasms that prevented him from playing Monday against the Nashville Predators.

Helm was a late scratch after skating in warm-ups. He reportedly has a sore groin and is day to day.

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.31.2013 / 5:36 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic blog

Bernier to start in goal for Maple Leafs

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Randy Carlyle didn't want to reveal his starting goalie for the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, but there was a dead giveaway standing only a few feet away from the Toronto Maple Leafs coach during his post-practice press conference Tuesday.

Jonathan Bernier was waiting to talk to the media, but he also felt the need to wait until Carlyle left the press conference area before he confirmed that he'll be the Maple Leafs starter against the Detroit Red Wings at Michigan Stadium on Wednesday.

"Let's wait until Randy leaves," Bernier said laughing. "Yeah, I found out before practice so obviously it's great. It's great that he gave me the nod and being part of this whole history, it's pretty amazing."

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.31.2013 / 12:32 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic blog

Record number of tickets sold to 2014 Winter Classic

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- NHL Chief Operating Officer John Collins said Tuesday that the League has sold a record 105,500 tickets to the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. The League expects to set a record for attendance at a hockey game Wednesday when the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs square off at Michigan Stadium.

The current attendance record for a hockey game is 104,173, which was set at Michigan Stadium on Dec. 11, 2010 for The Big Chill at the Big House. A representative from Guinness World Records will be on hand Wednesday to verify the attendance at the Winter Classic to determine if the NHL beats The Big Chill record for attendance.

The tickets sold would suggest the NHL will break the record, but Collins is not ready to say that for sure.


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Posted On Monday, 12.30.2013 / 5:46 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic blog

Paul Maurice eager to get back behind the bench

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Paul Maurice is excited to cover his first Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic game as an NHL Network analyst, but the former coach of the Hartford Whalers, Carolina Hurricanes and Toronto Maple Leafs could think of a better way to experience the League's marquee regular-season event.

"What would be even better is if I got paid to coach in one of these games," Maurice told NHL.com.

The 46-year-old Maurice is interested in potentially getting that chance next season. He is working as a part-time television analyst mostly for TSN this season, but his desire is to get back into coaching after taking a year away following his one season with Metallurg Magnitogorsk of Russia's Kontinental Hockey League.

Maurice has coached 1,084 NHL games and has 460 wins. In his first stint in Carolina, he led the Hurricanes to the 2002 Stanley Cup Final. He brought them to the 2009 Eastern Conference Final during his second stint.


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Posted On Monday, 12.30.2013 / 12:35 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic blog

Early reports positive on Winter Classic rink

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The cold weather and overcast skies here Monday are working in Dan Craig's favor as the NHL's Senior Director of Facilities Operations prepares the ice surface at Michigan Stadium for the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on Wednesday (1 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC).

Craig said a group of workers were the first to skate on the ice late Sunday night and the reports were good. Craig was not at The Big House to watch the skate or participate because he was helping out at Comerica Park for the Ontario Hockey League doubleheader that was played there Sunday.

"It was solid," Craig said of the reports he received. "Nothing that we haven't dealt with before. It doesn't matter what sheet of ice you have, you want to skate it in. We want two or three days of skating, that's why we would have loved to have the day before as well as [Sunday] night, but we'll work with what we've got."

The sun that covered the rink for most of the afternoon hours Friday and Saturday didn't allow for the ice to be ready for a skate Saturday night, but that's why the NHL built extra days into the schedule to allow for some leeway.

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Posted On Sunday, 12.29.2013 / 6:28 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic blog

Winterizing Michigan Stadium a challenge for Classic

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Winterizing Michigan Stadium to host what could be more than 110,000 people for a major event in frigid conditions is one major obstacle the NHL and University of Michigan officials had to clear to pave the way for the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.

Michigan Stadium is typically shut down for the winter after the Wolverines' final home football game. The water is drained from all the stadium facilities and the plumbing and electricity are turned off for fear that the cold weather would force a pipe to burst.

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Posted On Sunday, 12.29.2013 / 1:25 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic blog

Weather issues at a minimum for Winter Classic

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The NHL is still expecting a frigid day with a chance of light snow for the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on New Year's Day.

NHL Executive Vice President of Events Don Renzulli receives updated forecasts twice a day and the one he got Sunday morning reflected no changes from the forecast he received Saturday afternoon.

Renzulli said the forecast for Wednesday is currently calling for mostly cloudy skies with a temperature between 8-15 degrees Fahrenheit, a 30 percent chance of light snow and northerly winds ranging between 5-10 miles per hour.

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Posted On Sunday, 12.22.2013 / 12:32 PM

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

Staal resumes skating for Rangers

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal skated Saturday for the first time since sustaining the second concussion of his career on Dec. 7 against the New Jersey Devils. Staal felt good so he returned to the ice Sunday and was planning to go harder to get a better understanding of where he is in his recovery.

There is still no timetable for his return, but Staal is hoping to skate again Monday and continue his workouts through the three-day holiday break.

"The same workout I did last week that I had a tough time with, I did this week and got through it fine," Staal said Sunday morning before going on the ice. "It's a gauge and you just keep ramping it up as you feel better. That's what I've been doing."

Staal has consulted with Michigan-based neurologist Dr. Jeffrey Scott Kutcher, who has also treated Rangers forwards Rick Nash and Taylor Pyatt, but he said he never felt the need to meet with him in person.

"If I felt I was in serious trouble I would have been up there," Staal said.

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Posted On Sunday, 12.22.2013 / 12:16 PM

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

Rangers coach Vigneault framing the positive

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault is keeping the glass half-full approach as his team slogs through a tough stretch in which it has started a franchise-record nine-game homestand with just one win and four points.

"I see a lot of hard work. I see good commitment from the group," Vigneault said Sunday morning in advance of the Rangers' game against the Minnesota Wild at Madison Square Garden. "Everybody is trying to find solutions. Everyone is sticking with one another. I see a lot of signs that we're going to start winning on a more regular basis."

Vigneault is pointing specifically to the Rangers' 5-on-5 play.

After breaking down the 5-3 loss to the New York Islanders on Friday, Vigneault said the Rangers had an 11-3 advantage in scoring chances during 5-on-5 play.

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Posted On Friday, 12.20.2013 / 1:56 PM

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

Ducks' Getzlaf good to go despite facial injury

NEWARK, N.J. -- Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf will be in the lineup Friday against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center despite not participating in the morning skate.

Getzlaf was receiving treatment stemming from the facial injury he sustained Tuesday, when he went face-first into the corner boards thanks to a shove by Detroit Red Wings defenseman Kyle Quincey, who was called for boarding and issued a game misconduct.

Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau confirmed Getzlaf will not miss any time because of his facial injury.

"I wasn't nervous when he went in [to the boards] until I saw his face when he came out," Boudreau said of Getzlaf, who was bleeding after making contact with the boards. "He's a very tough player. He doesn't stay down because of injury. When he's along the boards or getting hit I have a lot of faith that he's old-school tough."

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Posted On Friday, 12.20.2013 / 1:49 PM

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

Final meeting for Ducks' Selanne, Devils' Jagr?

NEWARK, N.J. -- It's been almost 26 years since Teemu Selanne and Jaromir Jagr played against each other for the first time. The last NHL meeting between the two legends and future members of the Hockey Hall of Fame could take place Friday at Prudential Center.

Selanne, 43, is retiring at the end of the season and the New Jersey Devils and Anaheim Ducks won't play against each other again in the regular season. The only way the game Friday won't be the last time Selanne and Jagr play against each other is if the Devils and Ducks make the Stanley Cup Final or one of them gets traded.

There's no way the Ducks trade Selanne and it seems remote that 41-year-old Jagr would be available at the NHL Trade Deadline on March 5 because he's the Devils' leading scorer and the team figures to be in a race for a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Anaheim leads the Pacific Division with 53 points, and the Devils are two points behind the Philadelphia Flyers for the final automatic playoff spot in the Metropolitan Division.

"You never want to let go of heroes," Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said. "I think both of them doing great is good for the game. Both very popular players, both well loved by the home fan bases and across the League, quite frankly. I'm glad they're both playing well."

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Posted On Friday, 12.20.2013 / 1:00 PM

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

Devils' Clowe, Salvador closing in on returns

NEWARK, N.J. -- The New Jersey Devils expect to have two veteran players back in their lineup soon. The question is whether it's before the NHL's three-day break for Christmas or after.

Forward Ryane Clowe (concussion) and defenseman Bryce Salvador (non-displaced stress fracture in foot) participated in the morning skate Friday in advance of the Devils' game against the Anaheim Ducks at Prudential Center. Neither will play against the Ducks, but Clowe and Salvador have not been ruled out for New Jersey's upcoming road games Saturday against the Washington Capitals and Monday at the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Devils bring a two-game winning streak into their game Friday; the Ducks have won six in a row and are 9-1-2 in their past 12.

"As close as possible here now," Clowe said. "That will be the next step, get back in the game. I communicated with the coach and GM about how I felt and I think they wanted me to get in a couple more practices, maybe a little more contact, and I guess a little bit of extra patience at this point is not a big deal."

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Posted On Wednesday, 12.18.2013 / 12:52 PM

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

Devils get Gionta back as they host Senators

Stephen Gionta will return to the New Jersey Devils' lineup Wednesday after missing the past 11 games with a sprained right ankle.

Gionta skated as the center on the fourth line between Steve Bernier and Cam Janssen during the Devils' morning skate at Prudential Center in advance of their game against the Ottawa Senators. He has two assists and is a minus-5 in 21 games this season.

Janssen is in the lineup despite leaving practice early Tuesday with an apparent right leg injury.

Martin Brodeur will start for the Devils after making 33 saves in a 3-0 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday. That performance came on the heels of Brodeur allowing five goals in a 5-4 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Dec. 10.

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Posted On Thursday, 12.12.2013 / 5:35 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Road to Sochi blog

Blue Jackets GM has eye on Finnish players

NEW YORK -- Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen is quietly doing extra work away from his day job scouting players who are on the bubble for Finland's Olympic team.

Kekalainen was named Finland's assistant general manager in late October. The Finns have won the silver medal (2006) and two bronze medals (1998 and 2010) since NHL players started participating in the Olympics in 1998.

"I've gone to see the players we need to see," Kekalainen told NHL.com. "We obviously don't have the deep depth chart of Canada or Team USA. We only have four defensemen that play in the NHL now. It's not like we have to scout 50 NHL players to make a decision on who is going to play. There are going to be a certain number of guys that we're pretty sure that they're going to be on the team and then there are a handful of guys that we have to make decisions on. We're concentrating on those guys, watching those guys more. I watch a lot of video, but I've seen everybody live too."

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Posted On Friday, 12.06.2013 / 1:22 PM

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

Banged-up Red Wings happy to have Bertuzzi back

NEWARK, N.J. -- Center Darren Helm is the latest addition to the growing Detroit Red Wings injury list, but at least they will have one player back in the lineup Friday when they face the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center.

Right wing Todd Bertuzzi is returning after missing the past six games with an upper-body injury. He will start the game on the first line, with Johan Franzen and Gustav Nyquist.

The Red Wings will be without Helm (shoulder), captain Henrik Zetterberg (back), center Pavel Datsyuk (concussion) and defenseman Danny DeKeyser (shoulder). Helm is missing his first game after playing in 15 straight. An MRI exam Thursday showed fluid in the forward's shoulder.

"I'm excited to be back," Bertuzzi said. "It's not a lot of fun when you're out and all that, but it was out of my control. I feel better and I'm playing with two pretty good players so my job doesn't really change. It's get them the puck, go to the net, get to the hard areas."

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Posted On Wednesday, 12.04.2013 / 1:34 PM

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

Canadiens' Therrien praises Subban's defensive game

NEWARK, N.J. -- For the second time in three days Montreal Canadiens coach Michel Therrien offered effusive praise when talking about P.K. Subban's defensive play.

That's news, because not more than a few weeks ago Therrien was reluctant to use Subban late in close games because he didn't seem to trust his defensive play.

"Big time," Therrien said when asked if Subban's defensive play is a reason why the Canadiens have been one of the NHL's best defensive teams of late, yielding two or fewer goals in 11 straight games. "I would say to you big time.

"He's still a threat offensively. He's still a threat on the power play. We give him different responsibilities defensively playing against good players around the League and he's shown a lot of leadership the way he's preparing himself and approaching the game. Definitely defensively he's been really, really, really good."

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Posted On Wednesday, 12.04.2013 / 12:43 PM

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

Devils' Boucher to make NHL debut vs. Canadiens

NEWARK, N.J. -- New Jersey Devils forward Reid Boucher will make his NHL debut Wednesday against the Montreal Canadiens (7 p.m. ET, TSN, RDS) after being recalled by the club earlier in the day. Boucher skated on a line with Patrik Elias and Steve Bernier during the morning skate.

The Devils also placed Ryan Carter (leg) on injured reserve, retroactive to Nov. 30.

Boucher leads the Albany Devils, New Jersey's American Hockey League affiliate, with 10 goals in 21 games. He is second on the team with 18 points. He had been particularly hot of late with a goal in five straight games.

"I was hoping that a call would come soon; I wasn't expecting a call," Boucher said. "I was just trying to do what I could down there, play the best I could. I have been producing a lot the last couple of games so I was hoping it would come."

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Posted On Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 1:16 PM

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

Senators' Ryan enjoys rare Philadelphia homecoming

PHILADELPHIA -- It's a quick homecoming for Ottawa Senators forward Bobby Ryan, but it's a homecoming nonetheless and his first in more than three years.

Ryan will play Tuesday against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center for the first time since Oct. 21, 2010, when he visited here with the Anaheim Ducks. Wells Fargo Center is a 20-minute drive from his hometown of Cherry Hill, N.J.

Ryan estimated he'll have 40-50 friends and family members in the stands.

"Obviously when you can have family, friends and people you grew up with in the stands it means more to you," Ryan said Tuesday. "I don't spend much time here anymore, a couple of weeks in the summer is about it, but it's still home, it's where I grew up, so it's always nice. It's a big homecoming."

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Posted On Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 1:05 PM

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

Flyers hope to recapture road success at home

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers know the only way to make the success they had on their recent road trip matter is if they find a way to recreate it on home ice. That starts Tuesday against the Ottawa Senators.

The Flyers won their most recent game at Wells Fargo Center 4-2 against the Edmonton Oilers on Nov. 9, but they're 3-7-0 at home and have been outscored 29-15. They're 3-0-1 in their past four games, but that includes a 2-0-1 road stretch against the Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins and Winnipeg Jets.

"It's really important for teams to play good at home and obviously that hasn't been the case this year," Flyers captain Claude Giroux said. "It's going to be a pretty good crowd [Tuesday] and we'll need to get them going as soon as possible."

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Posted On Saturday, 11.16.2013 / 6:56 PM

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

Sill to make NHL debut with Penguins

NEWARK, N.J. -- Pittsburgh Penguins rookie center Zach Sill is making his NHL debut Saturday night at Prudential Center against the New Jersey Devils. The Penguins recalled Sill from Wilkes Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League on Friday.

Sill, 25, has four points (one goal, three assists) and 25 penalty minutes in 13 AHL games this season. He played two preseason games with the Penguins in September before returning to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for a fifth season. He was signed by the Penguins as an undrafted free agent on July 14, 2009.


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Posted On Saturday, 11.16.2013 / 5:42 PM

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

Fleury in net back-to-back for Penguins

NEWARK, N.J. -- Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury will be back in the net Saturday against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center.

Fleury made 17 saves in a 4-1 win against the Nashville Predators on Friday at Consol Energy Center.

Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said he's going with Fleury on back-to-back nights because his workload hasn't been too heavy despite the fact he's started four straight games and 16 of 19 the Penguins have played this season.

Fleury has an 11-5-0 record with a 2.00 goals-against average and .922 save percentage. He has the 17th most saves in the NHL and is tied for fifth in starts and sixth in appearances.

"We've given up five scoring chances, seven scoring chances, and going back to the Columbus game [Nov. 2] only four scoring chances," Bylsma said. "That really has played into some of the decisions. We're going to see [backup Jeff] Zatkoff play some games here because of the number of games, but we really felt like this is a good opportunity to get Marc-Andre in back-to-back situations."

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Posted On Friday, 11.15.2013 / 12:04 PM

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

Devils' Elias expects to play vs. Kings

NEWARK, N.J. -- Even though New Jersey Devils coach Peter DeBoer called it a game-time decision, Devils forward Patrik Elias said he expects to be back in the lineup Friday against the Los Angeles Kings after missing the past six games because of back spasms.

Elias hasn't played since Oct. 29 against the Tampa Bay Lightning. He has seven points in 10 games this season.

Elias admitted that his back "still bothers me, but not to the point where I'll sit out."

Stephen Gionta also said he's good to go for the game against the Kings. He's missed the past two games with a sore foot.


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Posted On Monday, 11.11.2013 / 9:22 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2013 Hockey Hall of Fame HHOF blog

Niedermayer grateful, honored to be inducted

TORONTO -- TSN and the Hockey Hall of Fame picked the right guy to give the testimonial on Scott Niedermayer prior to his induction speech Monday night.

The one choice and the only choice was his brother, Rob Niedermayer, who won the Stanley Cup with Scott as members of the Anaheim Ducks in 2007 four years after losing the Stanley Cup to Scott and the New Jersey Devils in 2003.

"When I think of Scott Niedermayer, I think of a leader. Where ever he has gone he makes people around him better," Rob said. "The way he leads is more by example. He'll say what needs to be said in the dressing room, but definitely he's a guy that will go and show the team what needs to be done. Whenever there was a pressure situation, he was the one who would go make a big play for us. That was a big reason why we won and that was a big reason why he won the Conn Smythe."


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Posted On Monday, 11.11.2013 / 8:28 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2013 Hockey Hall of Fame HHOF blog

Heaney becomes third female to enter HHOF

TORONTO -- Geraldine Heaney is known as the female Bobby Orr. Now she'll forever be linked with the great Boston Bruins defenseman for another reason.

Heaney joined Orr in the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday night. She also joined Cammi Granato and Angela James as the only females in the Hall. Granato and James were inducted in 2010.

"When I think of Geraldine Heaney I think of a hockey pioneer," Cassie Campbell-Pascall said on the TSN broadcast. "When you're talking offensive defenseman in women's hockey, her name will always be the one that comes up first.

"She's one of my heroes."


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Posted On Monday, 11.11.2013 / 8:03 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2013 Hockey Hall of Fame HHOF blog

Gretzky attends ceremony for Chelios

TORONTO -- Wayne Gretzky got a call from Chris Chelios last week essentially begging 'The Great One' to show up at the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday.

"He's like, 'You have to come,' " Gretzky said Monday on the red carpet prior to the Hockey Hall of Fame inductions. "I'm like, 'OK, we'll be there.' So we're here."

Gretzky arrived with his wife Janet and two of his sons. But he also told Chelios what he was going to do when the now Hall of Fame defenseman was on stage delivering his speech Monday night, the first of five from inductees Chelios, Geraldine Heaney, Scott Niedermayer, Brendan Shanahan and the late Fred Shero (represented by his son, Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Ray Shero).


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Posted On Monday, 11.11.2013 / 12:58 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2013 Hockey Hall of Fame HHOF blog

Bettman applauds Shanahan's off-ice contributions

TORONTO -- While praising the five new members who will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman singled out his own employee as his "personal favorite."

Brendan Shanahan is the League's Senior Vice President in charge of Player Safety.

"Obviously my personal favorite is Brendan Shanahan, because I think his contributions to the game based on what he's doing now will even exceed what he did in the 21 years he played," Commissioner Bettman said. "He's making a real mark on how the game is played, making it safer for current players and generations to come."


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Posted On Sunday, 11.10.2013 / 6:22 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2013 Hockey Hall of Fame HHOF blog

Fred Shero set to join Scotty Bowman in HHOF

TORONTO -- Fred Shero's Broad Street Bullies had a dynasty brewing in the mid-1970s after winning back-to-back Stanley Cup championships, but it was broken up by Scotty Bowman's Montreal Canadiens in 1976.

The Habs went on to start their own dynasty, winning four straight titles, including the first at the hands of Shero and the Philadelphia Flyers and the last, in 1979, against Shero and the New York Rangers.

On Monday, Shero, who passed away in 1990, will join Bowman in the builder's wing of the Hockey Hall of Fame. Ray Shero, Fred's son who is accepting the Hall of Fame honor on his dad's behalf Monday night, is still trying to wrap his mind around the fact that his dad and Bowman will be linked together again, and enshrined together forever.


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Posted On Sunday, 11.10.2013 / 6:08 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2013 Hockey Hall of Fame HHOF blog

Ray Shero says father knew where game was headed

TORONTO -- Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Ray Shero has always been told his dad was a pioneer in the coaching business. He has the proof at home to suggest that Fred Shero was also a visionary.

"He actually wrote something in his playbook back in '75, 'What hockey would look like in 2020,' and it's pretty amazing in terms of what it was," Ray told NHL.com on Sunday. "I still have it."


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Posted On Saturday, 11.09.2013 / 6:51 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2013 Hockey Hall of Fame HHOF blog

Chelios: Players should police themselves

TORONTO -- Chris Chelios looked over in Brendan Shanahan's direction as he was answering a question that had to do with his thoughts on the game as it is played now as opposed to when he was in his prime.

"Because of the era I was in, I just think everybody is too sensitive," Chelios said, peering over at a smiling Shanahan midway through the Fan Forum at the Hall of Fame on Saturday. "I ask my kids all the time what they think of the game and they love it, but for me it's tough playing in the era I did. For me, the players should control what happens on the ice."

And then Chelios hit Shanahan, who runs the NHL's Department of Player Safety as a Senior Vice President, with this:

"I think Shanny is too involved," he said.


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Posted On Saturday, 11.09.2013 / 6:16 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2013 Hockey Hall of Fame HHOF blog

Chelios reflects on bout with Hextall

TORONTO -- Fans of the Philadelphia Flyers likely haven't forgotten when goalie Ron Hextall attacked Chris Chelios, then with the Montreal Canadiens, near the end of Game 6 of the 1989 Wales Conference Final.

The Flyers were losing 4-2 and about to be eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs when Hextall went after Chelios as a matter of revenge for Chelios' high hit in Game 1 that left Brian Propp bleeding from the back of his head. Hextall got to Chelios along the wall and pummeled him with several blows. Once they were up, Hextall threw a piece of his equipment at Chelios, who was escorted off the ice.

The incident sparked a line brawl.


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Posted On Tuesday, 10.29.2013 / 1:28 PM

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

Stamkos sees winning attitude on Lightning

NEWARK, N.J. -- Steven Stamkos has been doing his job, scoring goals, dishing out assists and helping the Tampa Bay Lightning win games. He was recognized for it by being named the NHL's First Star of the Week on Monday.

Stamkos, though, doesn't want to discuss his contributions (eight goals, nine assists for 17 points) because he can finally talk about what the team is doing to win games, something he wasn't able to do a lot of in the previous two seasons.

The Lightning, who haven't made the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2011, bring a three-game winning streak into Prudential Center on Tuesday to face the New Jersey Devils (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN2). They have won eight of their first 11 games in impressive fashion, beating the Chicago Blackhawks (twice), Los Angeles Kings and Minnesota Wild. Their three losses have come against the Boston Bruins (twice) and Pittsburgh Penguins.


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Posted On Thursday, 10.24.2013 / 1:38 PM

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

Canucks' Booth back in, determined to improve game

NEWARK, N.J. -- Vancouver Canucks forward David Booth will return to the lineup Thursday against the New Jersey Devils after being a healthy scratch for the first time in his NHL career Tuesday at the New York Islanders.

Canucks coach John Tortorella said he benched Booth in favor of a seventh defenseman against the Islanders because "he's not doing enough to play, plain and simple." Tortorella would not elaborate and said he didn't want to get into a public discussion on it.

When asked Thursday why Booth is back in the lineup, Tortorella again said he didn't want to get into a public discussion.

"I want him to play as best as he can," Tortorella said. "I'm not going to get into specifics."

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Posted On Thursday, 10.24.2013 / 1:32 PM

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

Tortorella: No diving, whining on Canucks

NEWARK, N.J. -- The Vancouver Canucks haven't been getting a lot of opportunities to get their slumping power play going and coach John Tortorella has a theory as to why the calls in his team's favor have been so infrequent.

They're tied for the most games played in the NHL with 11, but they're 26th in power play opportunities with 29.

"I know the reputation from the outside looking in, when I wasn't coaching here, everybody outside thought Vancouver dove and did some whining," Tortorella said. "Our team is not going to dive. Our team has already been talked to. We're not going to dive. I don't think there is much whining going on either.

"Now, I'm certainly not trying to accuse the League or the refs of that, but I know there's been a reputation. I've been in the League long enough, and sometimes that hangs around too. I guess it's my chance to say we're going to be an honest team, we're trying to be an honest team, and I hope we get some … calls along the way."


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Posted On Saturday, 10.19.2013 / 6:45 PM

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

Devils without Elias, Brunner against Rangers

NEWARK, N.J. -- The New Jersey Devils are without forwards Patrik Elias and Damien Brunner for their game Saturday night against the New York Rangers at Prudential Center.

Elias has the flu, and Brunner is out with an undisclosed injury. Elias did not participate in the morning skate Saturday; Brunner left early and appeared to be clutching his shoulder.

Andrei Loktionov and Rostislav Olesz are playing in place of Elias and Brunner. Loktionov will the start the game centering the third line between Jacob Josefsen and Dainius Zubrus. Olesz will play left wing in Elias' spot on the top line with Adam Henrique and Jaromir Jagr.

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Posted On Saturday, 10.19.2013 / 2:04 PM

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

Vigneault: Schneider 'one of the best … in the League'

NEWARK, N.J. -- New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault will see a familiar goalie in the opposite net Saturday at Prudential Center as Cory Schneider is scheduled to get the start for the New Jersey Devils.

Schneider and Vigneault were together for the past several seasons with the Vancouver Canucks. They along with Roberto Luongo were part of the NHL's most publicized goaltending controversy in recent history.

Considering the opinion Vigneault offered on Schneider after the morning skate Saturday, clearly he thinks quite highly of his former goalie.

"I think he's one of the best goaltenders in the League," Vigneault said of Schneider. "He's really a student of the game and a great teammate. I'm sure that in time here people in Jersey are going to really appreciate him. He's a great goaltender."

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Posted On Saturday, 10.19.2013 / 1:42 PM

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

Strong defensive play leaves Del Zotto out of lineup

NEWARK, N.J. -- After watching his team put together it's most complete 60-minute, defensive effort of the season Wednesday in a 2-0 defeat of the Washington Capitals, New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said he saw no reason to change the lineup for his team's game Saturday against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center.

That means defenseman Michael Del Zotto, who sat out the game in Washington with the flu, will be a healthy scratch Saturday in New Jersey. Justin Falk, who played 15 shifts totaling 8:57 in Washington, will be in the lineup and on the third defense pair with John Moore.

"In our first five games we had one game where I was pleased with how our six [defensemen] had played and that was the L.A. game," Vigneault said, referring to the Rangers' 3-1 defeat of the Los Angeles Kings on Oct. 7. "The three after that I could have taken any defensemen out and they all deserved it. Nobody was playing really well then. They gave up 20 goals in three games. Michael was sick; we went into Washington and played our best game of the year as far as a group of six defensemen. Nobody deserved to come out. Everybody played well. That's why I'm sticking with the same six guys."

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Posted On Saturday, 10.19.2013 / 1:10 PM

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

Devils looking to turn things around against Rangers

NEWARK, N.J. -- Ryane Clowe is out. Patrik Elias is sick and doubtful to play Saturday against the New York Rangers. Damien Brunner is a gametime decision as he deals with what coach Peter DeBoer called "some nagging stuff." Oh, and the New Jersey Devils are the only team in the NHL without a win so far in the 2013-14 season.

The players in the Devils' dressing room are doing all they can not to stay positive. They think they can start working their way out of this mess Saturday at Prudential Center.

"We can't [feel sorry for ourselves]. We need a win," Devils center Travis Zajac told NHL.com. "That's got to be our focus. No matter who is in the lineup we have to be ready to play. Everyone has injuries. You look at the Rangers, they've got guys out. That's going to happen throughout the year. We have to make sure we're prepared and ready with whoever is in the lineup."

He's right about the Rangers. They won't have Rick Nash (concussion), Ryan Callahan (broken thumb) or Carl Hagelin (rehab from shoulder surgery) in the lineup Saturday.

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Posted On Thursday, 10.17.2013 / 1:16 PM

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

Penguins ignoring Flyers' record

PHILADELPHIA -- One can look at the Philadelphia Flyers and their 1-6-0 record and come to the conclusion that they're playing poorly and the record reflects that. Someone else can look at the Flyers, see that they blew a third-period lead and lost to the Vancouver Canucks two nights ago and think they are primed for a breakout.

Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma falls into the latter category. He isn't preparing to face a struggling team Thursday at Wells Fargo Center (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US); he's expecting to face a dangerous one that played better in a loss Saturday at the Detroit Red Wings and nearly beat the Canucks on Tuesday.

"I don't look at the Flyers' record as an indication of the quality of opponent or what we're going to see [Thursday] at all," Bylsma said. "They do have some injuries, but they have key players in, good players in, a special teams that is good and dangerous with what they bring. That's what we expect from them. Especially early on in the season, when you get off to a 1-3, 1-4, whatever it is, the limelight is on you but I still think they're a very good team and that's what we're focused on, not what their record is."


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Posted On Thursday, 10.17.2013 / 12:16 PM

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

Giroux sees flashes of 2010 in current Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers are 1-6-0, and while captain Claude Giroux knows his team hasn't been great, he can't quite figure out why they haven't been able to win more games since Craig Berube took over as coach 10 days ago.

Giroux said it reminds him of another time when the Flyers were struggling for results yet confident in how they were playing.

"What's going on right now makes me think of when we played Boston in the [2010 Stanley Cup] Playoffs," Giroux said, referring to the series against the Bruins three years ago. "We were down 3-0 [in the series] but we were talking to ourselves and were like, 'How the [heck] are we down 3-0? We should be up 3-0.' We just stayed with it and came back to win the series.

"You know, it's a long season. If you think about it we still have 75 games left. That's a lot of games."


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Posted On Tuesday, 10.15.2013 / 2:13 PM

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

Canucks hoping to find identity during road trip

PHILADELPHIA -- Since he got the job in June, Vancouver Canucks coach John Tortorella has been talking about establishing an identity, about making the team tougher to play against.

Through six games it has shown up in spurts, Henrik Sedin told NHL.com, but Tortorella and the Canucks' captain think the team really can hone in on establishing that identity and staying consistent with it on its seven-game road trip, which begins Tuesday against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center.

"Yeah, I think it's an important couple of weeks for me to understand them because you are with one another, doing things together as a team, both on and off the ice in this length of a trip," Tortorella said. "It's for both ways, me to understand them and them to understand me, and really to confine yourselves with one another to build this. I think it's a good time."

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Posted On Tuesday, 10.15.2013 / 12:39 PM

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

Cutting down on penalties key for Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- The ugly cycle for the Philadelphia Flyers usually starts with the minor stick infraction like a hooking, holding or high stick. Now they're shorthanded and, well, scoring that way obviously is quite difficult.

So what's the message from coach Craig Berube as the Flyers get ready to play the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday at Wells Fargo Center?

"Stop taking stupid penalties," Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds said.

That might sound strange coming from Berube, who had more than 3,100 penalty minutes in his playing career, but as Simmonds pointed out, Berube's penalty minutes came from a lot of fights and coincidental roughing minors. They were not stick infractions like the ones that have plagued the Flyers this season.

Philadelphia has been shorthanded a League-high 33 times because it also leads the League with 39 minor penalties. Not surprisingly, the Flyers are 29th in the NHL, ahead of only the Buffalo Sabres, in goals per game (1.3).

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Posted On Friday, 10.04.2013 / 1:22 PM

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

Islanders depending on rookies Nelson, Donovan

NEWARK, N.J. -- New York Islanders coach Jack Capuano said he was asking for just one thing from rookies Brock Nelson and Matt Donovan on Friday at Prudential Center.

"To play like experienced guys," Capuano said Friday morning in advance of the Islanders' season opener against the New Jersey Devils.

Sounds like a lot, especially for a pair of rookies who between them have a total of four games of NHL experience and just one in nearly 18 months. Donovan played three games late in the 2011-12 season and Nelson made his NHL debut in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals last season against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"I know that those guys are going to make mistakes, and it's a game of mistakes, but I want them to play confident, I want them to play poised," Capuano said. "They're here to help us win hockey games. If we didn't think it was that situation then they wouldn't be here."

Donovan will open the game on the third defense pair with Brian Strait, while Nelson will be the third-line left wing, skating with Peter Regin and Pierre-Marc Bouchard.

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Posted On Tuesday, 10.01.2013 / 2:40 PM

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

Capitals' rookies ready for opening night

CHICAGO ­-- Washington Capitals rookie Connor Carrick scrounged up 10 tickets for friends and family to see him make his NHL debut against the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN) at United Center.

"I don't think it's going to be enough," the 19-year-old defenseman said.

It probably won't be because Carrick is from nearby Orland Park, Ill., which is approximately a 30- to 35-minute drive from downtown Chicago. He used to attend games at United Center when he was a kid, and now he gets to play his first NHL game in the same building.

Capitals rookie center Michael Latta, 22, is doing the same thing, and 19-year-old right wing Tom Wilson is making his regular-season debut after appearing in three games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs last spring.

Carrick is playing ahead of Steve Oleksy, while Latta is in instead of Jay Beagle. Wilson is playing because the Capitals cleared a roster spot Sunday by trading Mathieu Perreault to the Anaheim Ducks.

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Posted On Tuesday, 10.01.2013 / 12:36 PM

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

Hossa, Handzus join Sharp on Blackhawks' No. 2 line

CHICAGO -- Marian Hossa and Michal Handzus will join Patrick Sharp on the Chicago Blackhawks' second line Tuesday night despite not playing a game in the preseason. The Blackhawks open the season against the Washington Capitals at United Center (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN).

"Hopefully we don't slow Sharpie down," Hossa told NHL.com.

Hossa had an undisclosed upper-body injury that prevented him from playing in any of Chicago's six preseason games. The injury is believed to be related to his back injury that he sustained in the Stanley Cup Final last season.


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Posted On Friday, 09.27.2013 / 4:58 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

No timetable on Vokoun; Penguins stick with Zatkoff

WEST POINT, N.Y. -- The Pittsburgh Penguins won't know how long goaltender Tomas Vokoun will be out until he visits with his doctors early next week, general manager Ray Shero said Friday. Vokoun had emergency surgery last week because of a blood clot in his pelvis.

Vokoun's agent, Allan Walsh, wrote on his Twitter account Friday that the goalie is expected to start light workouts next week.

"I met with Tomas [Thursday] and we'll have more of an update probably next week," Shero told NHL.com. "Fortunately for him he dodged a bullet. Luckily he was at the rink and we got him to the hospital so the procedures went well. We'll just have to wait and see what the next steps are going to be and go from there. Our concerns are just with him and his health, but it was good to see him [Thursday]."


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Posted On Friday, 09.13.2013 / 3:55 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Rangers captain Callahan likely to start on IR

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Ryan Callahan's rehab from offseason shoulder surgery is going as planned, but that means the New York Rangers captain likely will have to start the regular season on injured reserve.

Callahan and Rangers forward Carl Hagelin each had shoulder surgery in late May after the Rangers were eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Hagelin also is not expected to be ready for the start of the regular season.

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Posted On Friday, 09.13.2013 / 3:30 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Rangers’ Brassard puts past with Arniel behind him

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- New York Rangers center Derick Brassard and assistant coach Scott Arniel have a rocky and controversial past, but they both insist any animosity that may have been lingering from their time together in Columbus was buried in early July, when Arniel was hired and Brassard called to talk to him.

“It's in the past and I'm looking in front of me," Brassard said. "I talked to Arnie when he got hired. I called him. No hard feelings."

Brassard and Arniel got embroiled in controversy early in the 2011-12 season when Arniel was the coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Brassard was their struggling center. Arniel made Brassard a healthy scratch seven times in 10 games from mid-November to early December both because Brassard was struggling and the Blue Jackets decided to test out their center depth.

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Posted On Friday, 09.13.2013 / 2:55 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Biron back with Rangers, but Hedberg sticking around

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Even though Martin Biron reported to training camp Friday after missing the first two days because of personal reasons, the New York Rangers did not release Johan Hedberg from his professional tryout and coach Alain Vigneault said the two goalies are going to compete for the job as Henrik Lundqvist's backup.

"In an Olympic year I need a backup goaltender that can play games for us, whether that number is 15 to maybe 20," Vigneault said. "With the number of four games in six nights that we have to play and the number of three games in four nights, we need a backup goaltender that can play and win us some games. That's part of the equation to get into the playoffs and to be able to have a goaltender come playoff time that has got some energy and jump in his legs. Martin is aware of that. I had that discussion when he first got here. If we brought in Hedberg it was obviously to give him a chance."

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Posted On Friday, 09.13.2013 / 1:12 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Rangers' McIlrath eyeing big jump to NHL

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Defenseman Dylan McIlrath is well aware of the challenge he'll have to overcome if he is to make the New York Rangers' opening-night roster.

"They've got a lot of veteran [defensemen], a lot of guys with a lot of years, and if I'm going to make this team I'm going to have to beat a good player out," McIlrath said Friday. "That's going to be a lot of hard work, but I just want to make the coaches and the management have a tough decision at the end of the day."

Rangers coach Alain Vigneault and general manager Glen Sather would like to see the team's first-round pick (No. 10) in the 2010 NHL Draft make the jump, but with at least six veteran defensemen ahead of him on the depth chart at the start of training camp, McIlrath still seems like a longshot to make the club.

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Posted On Thursday, 09.12.2013 / 4:22 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Capitals' Johansson to make best of 'bridge contract'

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Marcus Johansson arrived in the Washington D.C. area Tuesday, roughly 72 hours after signing his two-year, $4 million contract and in time to be at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Wednesday for the start of training camp.

Johansson is aware that there are still some restricted free agents who aren't in training camps as they continue contract negotiations, but he never envisioned himself becoming one of them.

"I was always hoping and thinking I would be here when [training camp] started," Johansson said. "That's where everybody is, but if it would have come to that I would have dealt with it. It worked out and I'm really happy it did. It's just a great feeling to be here."


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Posted On Thursday, 09.12.2013 / 3:52 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Visa issues delay Grabovski from joining Capitals

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Washington Capitals center Mikhail Grabovski was not able to report to training camp on time because he is in Toronto awaiting his Visa issues to be resolved.

The Capitals are hoping Grabovski will be able to report to Kettler Capitals Iceplex for training camp as soon as possible, but there is no timetable as to when he will.

"I'll let you know when we know," Capitals general manager George McPhee said. "I can't seem to put a finger on what's going on up there, but hopefully that's another day or so at the most."

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Posted On Thursday, 09.12.2013 / 12:32 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Hip flexor knocks Laich out of Capitals' practice

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Washington Capitals forward Brooks Laich left the first official practice of the season on Thursday with a left hip flexor injury after skating for roughly 10 minutes. He is considered day-to-day, but Laich said he isn't overly concerned about it being a long-term issue.

"It should come back fairly quickly and once I start to feel really good off the ice I'll go back on the ice," Laich said. "We'll monitor it day by day and it should come back fairly quickly."

Laich said he "tweaked" his hip flexor last Thursday during his first workout after returning to the Washington D.C. area from his home in Saskatchewan. He was adamant in saying the new injury is unrelated to the lingering groin injury he had last season that kept him out for all but nine regular season games and eventually required surgery prior to the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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Posted On Wednesday, 09.11.2013 / 1:00 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Rangers coach not concerned by Stepan's absence

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- As expected, Derek Stepan did not report to training camp with the New York Rangers on Wednesday as he remains a restricted free agent going through contract negotiations with the club.

Stepan is coming off his entry-level contract after leading the Rangers last season with 26 assists and 44 points in 48 games.

Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said Wednesday that he spoke to Stepan multiple times during the summer and he's not yet worried about him missing time in training camp because the players have not gone on the ice yet. Wednesday was reserved for off-ice medical testing; the first on-ice practice is scheduled for Thursday.

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Posted On Wednesday, 09.11.2013 / 12:46 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Training Camp 2013 blog

Biron not with Rangers at start of training camp

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- The New York Rangers announced Wednesday that goalie Martin Biron is not in attendance on the first day of training camp because of a personal matter and there is no timetable for when he will report.

"Marty is dealing right now with a personal situation," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. "I can't get into it. I'm not exactly sure what the time frame is on that. When he does come back he'll address it with you in a manner that he sees fit."

With Biron absent, the Rangers invited goalie Johan Hedberg to training camp on a professional tryout.

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Posted On Tuesday, 08.27.2013 / 9:01 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Olympic Orientation Camp blog

Eric Staal 'good now' after offseason knee injury

CALGARY -- Carolina Hurricanes captain Eric Staal said he wasn't sure how his right knee would react to running around on the fiberglass ball hockey floor at Canada Olympic orientation camp this week, but he came away from his second day of walk-throughs no worse for wear.

"I feel better than I thought I would, so that's good," Staal told NHL.com Tuesday night.

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Posted On Tuesday, 08.27.2013 / 5:16 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Olympic Orientation Camp blog

Perry anxious to hear Selanne's decision

CALGARY -- Even though Corey Perry has played with Teemu Selanne for the past eight seasons, the Anaheim Ducks forward wants to be counted among the hockey fans dying to know if his teammate is going to return to the NHL in 2013-14.

Selanne reportedly is going to make a decision whether he will return for a 21st season or retire at the age of 43 sometime soon.

"When everybody asks you or talks to you about hockey, it's always, 'Is Teemu coming back?'" Perry told NHL.com Tuesday at Canada Olympic orientation camp. "I don't have an answer for them, but I'm curious as well to know what's going on, what's going through his mind, what does he want to do? This is probably the third, fourth, fifth maybe sixth time he's gone through this, but it's Teemu and he's a legend. If you talk about hockey his name is probably going to come up."

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Posted On Tuesday, 08.27.2013 / 5:15 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Olympic Orientation Camp blog

Yzerman hints at Canada leadership group

CALGARY -- Steve Yzerman hasn't officially named a leadership group for the Canadian Olympic Team in the way his counterpart to the south, David Poile, did for the United States in Arlington, Va., earlier this week. However, during a sit-down interview with NHL Network on Tuesday, Canada's executive director hinted at five players who could be part of such a group should he officially name one.

Yzerman mentioned Sidney Crosby, Jonathan Toews, Drew Doughty, Shea Weber and Rick Nash, each of whom were part of Canada's gold medal-winning team at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

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Posted On Monday, 08.26.2013 / 7:39 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Olympic Orientation Camp blog

Pietrangelo optimistic on new contract with Blues

CALGARY -- The cost of insuring the roughly $1.5 billion in contracts among the players attending Canada's Olympic orientation camp this week is the reason why they're not on the ice. Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo doesn't have a contract to insure just yet.

Pietrangelo is still a restricted free agent for the St. Louis Blues, who are set to open training camp in less than three weeks. He's coming off his three-year entry-level contract and said Monday that he's been operating under the assumption that he and his agent, Don Meehan of Newport Sports, will strike a deal with the Blues so he can be in training camp on time.

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Posted On Monday, 08.26.2013 / 6:49 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Olympic Orientation Camp blog

Alzner hopes underdog role leads to Olympic berth

CALGARY -- Washington Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner isn't sure what his chances are of making the Canadian Olympic team, but he gave NHL.com some insight into his thought process for how he may convince executive director Steve Yzerman and coach Mike Babcock to pick him.

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Posted On Monday, 08.26.2013 / 6:43 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Olympic Orientation Camp blog

Thornton remains home rather than at Canada's camp

CALGARY -- San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton was invited but decided not to come to Canada's Olympic orientation camp this week because of a family matter.


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Posted On Monday, 08.26.2013 / 1:44 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Olympic Orientation Camp blog

Ball hockey drills give Canada hopefuls a workout

CALGARY -- The cost of insuring the roughly $1.5 billion worth of NHL player contracts here at Canada's Olympic orientation camp was prohibitive, so the players are not allowed to go on the ice. That didn't stop them from getting in a workout complete with drills Monday morning at the Markin MacPhail Centre at Canada Olympic Park.

The coaching staff broke up the 45 players in camp (Joe Thornton and Claude Giroux were invited but could not attend) into two groups and had them doing ball hockey drills on the Olympic-sized rink, which was covered in boards that resemble an international ice sheet.

The purpose of the workouts was to show the players how Canada plans to play on the big rink in Sochi for the 2014 Olympics and to go over some of the terminology coach Mike Babcock and his assistants will use.

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Posted On Monday, 08.26.2013 / 1:18 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Olympic Orientation Camp blog

Family matter keeps Thornton from Canada's camp

CALGARY -- San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton was invited but decided not to come to Canada's Olympic orientation camp this week because of a family matter.

ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun reported on his Twitter account Monday that Thornton remained home because his two-month old boy was in the hospital. LeBrun added that Thornton's baby is now out of the hospital, but Hockey Canada fully understands his reason for not attending the orientation camp.

Thornton joins Philadelphia Flyers center Claude Giroux as the two players not in attendance despite being invited. Giroux is not here because he is rehabbing his surgically repaired finger.


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Posted On Sunday, 08.25.2013 / 9:15 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Olympic Orientation Camp blog

Canada would prefer to skate, but can't

CALGARY -- The one thing missing from Canada's three-day Olympic orientation camp is actual hockey. The players will not be taking the ice as they have in previous camps because of the prohibitive cost of insuring their NHL contracts.

It's actually a bummer to some of them even though it's August and NHL training camps won't open for another 2 1/2 weeks.

"Unfortunately we're not going to be going on the ice, which is a shame a little bit," goalie Roberto Luongo said, "but the fact that we're getting together just gets us excited for what's down the road here."

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Posted On Sunday, 08.25.2013 / 8:20 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Olympic Orientation Camp blog

Canada adds Krueger to help with bigger ice

CALGARY -- Ralph Krueger's extensive experience coaching teams on the larger international ice surface helped the former Edmonton Oilers coach land a job on Mike Babcock's staff for the 2014 Canada Men's Olympic team.

Krueger, who coached the Oilers last season, has been hired by Hockey Canada to serve as an adviser to the coaching staff that will represent Canada at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, when the tournament will be played on rinks that are 15-feet wider than they are in North America. Krueger is from Manitoba but played and coached in Europe for three decades before joining the Oilers staff as an associate coach in 2010.

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Posted On Tuesday, 06.25.2013 / 2:09 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Blackhawks forwards dealt with several injuries

BOSTON -- No team wins the Stanley Cup without injuries, but they rarely, if ever, disclose them while the ride is ongoing.

The Chicago Blackhawks' doctors and trainers were certainly busy throughout the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and coach Joel Quenneville revealed some of what they had to deal with shortly after Dave Bolland's goal in the final minute completed Chicago's historic come-from-behind 3-2 Cup-clinching win against the Boston Bruins in Game 6 Monday at TD Garden.

Quenneville said Marian Hossa was dealing with a bad back; Michal Handzus had injuries to his hand and knee; and Bryan Bickell, who scored the tying goal Monday, suffered a Grade 2 knee sprain at the end of the Western Conference Final against the Los Angeles Kings. All Quenneville would say about Jonathan Toews, who played in Game 6 after sitting out the third period of Game 5, is that "he got his bell rung, he was fine."

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Posted On Monday, 06.24.2013 / 8:20 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Bruins' Bergeron in lineup for Game 6

BOSTON -- Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron is in the lineup for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden on Monday (NBC, CBC, RDS), delivering on the confidence of his coach, Claude Julien, who said Monday morning Bergeron would be able to play.

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Posted On Monday, 06.24.2013 / 11:50 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Julien 'confident' Bergeron will play in Game 6

BOSTON -- Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron did not take the morning skate Monday, but will take the pre-game skate according to coach Claude Julien, who is "confident" Bergeron will be able to go in Game 6 against the Chicago Blackhawks at TD Garden (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).

"Patrice will dress for warmup tonight and I'm feeling confident that he will play," Julien said.

Carl Soderberg skated in Bergeron's place on the second line in between Jaromir Jagr and Brad Marchand at the morning skate.

The Bruins trail the best-of-7 series, 3-2.

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Posted On Sunday, 06.23.2013 / 1:27 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Shaw steps up in Toews' absence

CHICAGO -- Andrew Shaw wasn't coach Joel Quenneville's first choice to replace Jonathan Toews in the third period Saturday night. But if the Chicago Blackhawks captain' can't play in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final, it's certainly possible that Shaw will be the guy who gets to skate between Patrick Kane and Bryan Bickell.

Toews' status will be re-evaluated Sunday. Coach Joel Quenneville said he has an upper-body injury.


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Posted On Saturday, 06.22.2013 / 8:12 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Bruins dress Soderberg, sit Daugavins in Game 5

CHICAGO -- Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien picked a heck of a time to introduce Carl Soderberg to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Soderberg, 27, is making his postseason debut Saturday in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center (NBC, CBC, RDS). The best-of-7 series is tied 2-2.

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Posted On Saturday, 06.22.2013 / 2:26 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Julien dares Blackhawks to challenge Chara

CHICAGO -- Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien essentially dared the Chicago Blackhawks to try to expose Zdeno Chara in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).

"If that's what they think, then they should try it again," Julien said.

Julien was responding to a question about comments Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews made Thursday. Chara was on the ice for five goals against in Chicago's 6-5 overtime win in Game 4, and it prompted Toews to say the Blackhawks found a way to "expose" the towering Bruins captain.

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Posted On Saturday, 06.22.2013 / 2:11 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Bruins undecided on fourth-line configuration

CHICAGO -- Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien would not reveal who will play fourth-line left wing for the Bruins in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).

Julien did admit what already was obvious, that the decision is between Kaspars Daugavins and Carl Soderberg.

Daugavins has played in all four games of the Cup Final; Soderberg, who signed with the Bruins late in the regular season, has not played in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They rotated with Shawn Thornton and Rich Peverley during line rushes in the morning skate Saturday, with Daugavins going first.

"We're trying to find the best fit possible so I have to look at whether I feel comfortable staying with Daugavins or, as you know right now it's been between Soderberg and Daugavins," Julien said. "They're two different players. Size-wise they're different. One is obviously real gritty along the walls [Daugavins], and the other one is probably more of a playmaker [Soderberg]. There is a difference there, and that's where I have to make my decision, what I feel I may need for [Game 5]."

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Posted On Friday, 06.21.2013 / 6:40 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Crawford admits glove-side adjustment could be made

CHICAGO -- Despite the ongoing discussion and analysis of his glove side, and why the Boston Bruins appear to be targeting it, Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford said after practice Friday he has not talked to goalie coach Stephane Waite about any adjustments.

Crawford would not rule out the possibility of he and Waite sitting down to discuss potential technical adjustments before Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).

Boston has scored eight of its 12 goals in the Cup Final on Crawford's glove side.

"Sometimes you need your goalie coach to look and see," Crawford said. "As a goalie, it's tough sometimes to really know if you're fine, if there's nothing to change or if there's something to change. Sometimes you need that extra set of eyes to figure that out for you.

"If there is an adjustment we can make that will help us, yeah, for sure [we will make it]."

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Posted On Friday, 06.21.2013 / 2:30 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Hossa misses practice, expected to play in Game 5

CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks right wing Marian Hossa did not participate in practice Friday at United Center but he is expected to play in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).

"Hossa is fine," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said.

Hossa was a late scratch Monday for Game 3 against the Boston Bruins. He practiced Tuesday, sat out the morning skate Wednesday but was in the lineup for Game 4 at TD Garden and had one assist and four shots on goal during 19:07 of ice time in Chicago's 6-5 overtime win. Hossa has an unspecified upper-body injury.

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Posted On Tuesday, 06.18.2013 / 1:26 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Power play, faceoffs doom Blackhawks in Game 3

BOSTON -- Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville didn't have to look too far to figure out why his team was blanked in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday night at TD Garden.

"You can talk about [faceoffs] and the power play," Quenneville said. "Those were basically the differentials in the game."

The Blackhawks were 0-for-5 on the power play with four shots on goal. They lost 40-of-56 faceoffs.

Not surprisingly, they couldn't score and the Boston Bruins won the game, 2-0, to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 series.

"Our power play tonight was definitely not good," Quenneville said.

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Posted On Monday, 06.17.2013 / 9:15 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Chara and Lucic collide during warmups

BOSTON -- Boston Bruins left wing Milan Lucic and defenseman Zdeno Chara had a collision during pregame warmups Monday night at TD Garden, but both were in the starting lineup for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Chicago Blackhawks.

However, CBC analyst Glenn Healy reported that Chara needed stitches in the back of his head after warmups. Chara played nine shifts totaling 6:58 in the first period and was on the ice for every one of Chicago captain Jonathan Toews' eight shifts.

Chara had to leave the ice midway through the period, but it appeared to be an equipment issue. He still played nine shifts and saw 6:58 of ice time. Lucic, who apparently came away unscathed from the collision, played six shifts totaling 4:52 in the first period.

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Posted On Monday, 06.17.2013 / 8:19 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Hossa sits out Game 3 with injury

BOSTON -- Chicago Blackhawks right wing Marian Hossa was scratched from the lineup for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday night at TD Garden. Ben Smith replaced Hossa in the lineup.

Hossa was injured during warmups, according to the Blackhawks. However, coach Joel Qunneville said after the game that was not the case. Hossa is tied with Patrick Sharp for the team lead with 15 points in 19 games. He has seven goals and eight assists.

Hossa, who is day-to-day with an upper-body injury, was playing on the top line with Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad.

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Posted On Monday, 06.17.2013 / 1:23 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Marchand not yet focus of Blackhawks

BOSTON -- Typically after a game or two in a series, Brad Marchand starts to wear on the opposition so much so that they begin to either use the word hate to describe the antagonizing Boston Bruins left wing or at least show their frustration with him through their on-ice reactions.

So, heading into Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS), the question posed to Marchand was this:

Do the Chicago Blackhawks hate you yet?

"I don't know," Marchand answered. "You'd have to ask them."

And so we did, first to Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews.

Do you hate Brad Marchand yet?

"I'm not going to comment on that," Toews said. "I'll just let it be."

But then he didn't. After taking a breath, Toews continued answering the question.


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Posted On Monday, 06.17.2013 / 1:10 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Stalberg back in Blackhawks' lineup for Game 3

BOSTON -- Chicago Blackhawks right wing Viktor Stalberg will make his Stanley Cup Final debut Monday night at TD Garden in Game 3 against the Boston Bruins (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS). Stalberg is replacing Brandon Bollig on the fourth line.

Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said he's making the change in order to get more speed and energy into the Blackhawks' lineup as they look to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 series. Stalberg is a speed guy, while Bollig is more of a physical player.

Bollig averaged 8:51 of ice time in Games 1 and 2, but his misplay of the puck along the wall in overtime of Game 2 directly led to Daniel Paille's winning goal.

"I think that he's a threat off the rush," Quenneville said of Stalberg. "I think Bollig gave us a couple real strong games. I thought he did a nice job. [With] Viktor, we're just looking for more. I think offensively, defensively, giving us some more in both those areas."

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Posted On Sunday, 06.16.2013 / 2:11 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Disallowed goal leaves Blackhawks disappointed

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks already had a 1-0 first-period lead, were dominating play and thought they had doubled their advantage when they saw the puck slide into the Boston Bruins' net. Instead, referee Wes McCauley, who was peering through the top of the net from behind the cage, quickly waved his arms to call the play dead and the NHL's Situation Room upheld the call on the ice after conducting a video review.

It would have been the all-important second goal of what was a dominating first period. Instead Chicago never scored again en route to a 2-1 overtime loss to the Boston Bruins in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final.

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Posted On Sunday, 06.16.2013 / 2:02 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Victory helps Jagr deal with his frustration

CHICAGO -- The puck ripped off of Jaromir Jagr's stick and clanged off the crossbar, bounding up into the mesh protecting the fans sitting behind the goal line to stop play 1:28 into overtime Saturday night at United Center.

Jagr couldn't help himself -- he let out a primal scream, uniquely showing his frustration for barely missing the winner and extending what is becoming a borderline ridiculous scoring drought for the future Hall of Fame right wing of the Boston Bruins.

The 41-year-old hasn't scored a goal in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs; in fact, he hasn't turned on the red light since April 21 against the Florida Panthers.

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Posted On Thursday, 06.13.2013 / 6:51 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Stanley Cup Final series blog

'Hockey breaks' don't worry Bruins heading to Game 2

CHICAGO -- Boston Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference is 34 years old and he's been in the NHL since 1999, so he knows how to handle tough breaks, such as the one that went against him Wednesday in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Johnny Oduya scored a game-tying goal with 7:46 remaining in regulation that went into the net off Ference's left skate. Thursday, Ference said he immediately shook it off and went about the business of trying to win the game.

"You'd drive yourself crazy," Ference said when asked if that puck-off-the-skate goal haunted him after the Bruins' 4-3 triple-overtime loss. "I might have when I was 22 or something like that, but at this point it was out of my mind on the next shift. At this point you almost kind of shake your head at it and say, 'What can you do?' You hope somewhere down the line you shoot one off of one of their feet.

"That's the way playoffs go. There are certain plays you can control and there are certain plays you wouldn't change a single thing you did and the puck goes in. I'm not wasting any energy thinking about that."

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Posted On Wednesday, 06.12.2013 / 1:43 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Stanley Cup Final series blog

Blackhawks to split Toews, Kane to start Game 1

CHICAGO -- After combining on the double-overtime goal that put the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Final, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews will be on separate lines at the start of Game 1 against the Boston Bruins on Wednesday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).

Toews will center Chicago's first line, with Patrick Sharp on his left and Marian Hossa on his right. Kane will be back on the right side of Michal Handzus, with Bryan Bickell on the left wing. Toews, Kane and Bickell were a line for the second half of Game 4 and all of Game 5 of the Western Conference Final against the Los Angeles Kings.

"For the most part, I think we've had a lot of balance throughout the season with myself and [Toews] on different lines," Kane said. "You look at that top line with Hossa, Sharp and Toews -- they don't get much better than that. I think it's about balance."

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Posted On Saturday, 06.08.2013 / 8:11 PM

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

Richards returns to Kings lineup in Game 5

CHICAGO -- Center Mike Richards is back in the Los Angeles Kings' lineup for Game 5 of the Western Conference Final against the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night after missing three games with a concussion.

Chicago leads the best-of-7 series 3-1 and can clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup Final with a win.

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Posted On Saturday, 06.08.2013 / 2:24 PM

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

Sutter calls Richards '50/50' to play in Game 5

CHICAGO -- Los Angeles Kings coach Darryl Sutter said "it's possible" center Mike Richards will play in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final against the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS). Richards has missed the past three games with a concussion.

The Blackhawks lead the best-of-7 series, 3-1.

"I'd say it's 50/50," Sutter said of Richards' chances of playing.

Richards took rushes on the fourth line between Jordan Nolan and Kyle Clifford during the morning skate Saturday. He declined a request to be interviewed in the dressing room afterward.

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Posted On Saturday, 06.08.2013 / 1:03 PM

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

Richards skates with Kings' fourth line

CHICAGO -- Los Angeles Kings center Mike Richards was taking rushes with the fourth line Saturday morning at United Center, an indication that he may be in the lineup for the first time since he suffered a concussion in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Game 5 is Saturday night (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS). The Blackhawks lead the best-of-7 series, 3-1.

On Friday, Kings coach Darryl Sutter said Richards was "doubtful at best" for Game 5, but he was centering the fourth line between Jordan Nolan and Kyle Clifford during the morning skate. Nolan has gone pointless in the postseason and has not played since Game 6 of the Kings' second-round series against the San Jose Sharks.

Richards was injured when he was hit behind the goal line late in Game 1 by Chicago center Dave Bolland. He skated in between Games 3 and 4, but was not on the ice for the morning skate prior to Game 4 at Staples Center on Thursday. The Kings did not practice Friday.

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Posted On Friday, 06.07.2013 / 9:16 PM

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

Kings center Richards 'doubtful at best' for Game 5

CHICAGO -- Los Angeles Kings center Mike Richards (concussion) made the trip here for Game 5 of the Western Conference Final against the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS), but it's likely he'll miss his fourth straight game.

"Honestly, I couldn't tell you," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said. "It is doubtful at best."

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Posted On Thursday, 06.06.2013 / 9:16 PM

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

Kings center Richards out for Game 4

LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Kings center Mike Richards is not playing in in Game 4 of the Western Conference Final against the Chicago Blackhawks (NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

Richards did not take part in the team's morning skate at Staples Center on Thursday, and coach Darryl Sutter said he would not play.

Chicago leads the best-of-7 series, 2-1.

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Posted On Thursday, 06.06.2013 / 3:18 PM

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

Stoll staying on Kings' top line for Game 4

LOS ANGELES -- Jarret Stoll was good enough as the Los Angeles Kings' top-line center in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final that he will find himself again in between Dustin Brown and Justin Williams at the start of Game 4 Thursday at Staples Center against the Chicago Blackhawks (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

Stoll played 28 shifts totaling more than 17 minutes and was a plus-1 with two shots on goal in the Kings' 3-1 victory in Game 3 on Tuesday. It was the most he played and the most effective he's been in three games since returning from a concussion that cost him the final six games of the conference semifinals against the San Jose Sharks.

"That's the best I felt since I came back for sure," Stoll said. "I definitely wasn't happy with my Game 2 and a lot happier with my Game 3, but we know we have to be even better than we were in Game 3 to get a win here in Game 4."

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Posted On Thursday, 06.06.2013 / 2:31 PM

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

Kings won't change plan because Keith isn't playing

LOS ANGELES -- Though it may be a relief for the Los Angeles Kings to know they don't have to deal with Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith in Game 4 of the Western Conference Final on Thursday, they said nothing changes for them despite the fact the Blackhawks won't have their top blueliner.

The NHL's Department of Player Safety suspended Keith for Game 4 for high-sticking Kings forward  Jeff Carter during Game 3 on Tuesday. Sheldon Brookbank will play in Keith's place when the Blackhawks attempt to take a 3-1 lead in the best-of-7 series at Staples Center (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

"Spend time in their zone -- that's our game, so really do nothing different," Kings defenseman Matt Greene said when asked what his team can do to take advantage of Keith being out. "Just get pucks behind their D no matter who is playing, whether it's Keith or Brookbank, if that's who they're tossing in there. You've gotta be ready and we've gotta establish our game, which is a grinding game, offensive-zone-time game, and that's it."


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Posted On Wednesday, 06.05.2013 / 3:42 PM

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

Richards skates with Kings' extra players

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Los Angeles Kings center Mike Richards skated Wednesday at the team's practice facility after sitting out the past two games of the Western Conference Final against the Chicago Blackhawks with an upper-body injury that is believed to be a concussion.

Richards skated with all the players who were scratched for Game 3 on Tuesday plus backup goalie Jonathan Bernier.

Game 4 is set for Thursday at Staples Center (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS). Chicago leads the best-of-7 series, 2-1.

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Posted On Tuesday, 06.04.2013 / 9:56 PM

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

Kings without Richards again in Game 3

LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Kings center Mike Richards is not playing in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final against the Chicago Blackhawks (NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

Richards, who is the Kings' leading scorer in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with 10 points, did not take part in the morning skate at Staples Center.

"Yes, absolutely," Los Angeles coach Darryl Sutter said when he was asked if Richards definitely is out. "He's done a little bit every day but it's the same -- no progress."

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Posted On Tuesday, 06.04.2013 / 8:49 PM

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

Kings move Kopitar from first to third line

LOS ANGELES -- Anze Kopitar's struggles have cost him his job as the Los Angeles Kings' No. 1 center.

Kopitar, who two goals and five assists through 15 games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, began Game 3 against the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference Final as the Kings' third-line center between Dwight King and Trevor Lewis. Jarret Stoll traded places with Kopitar and started Game 3 skating in between Justin Williams and Dustin Brown.

Stoll has played the past two games after missing six in a row with a concussion. Kopitar has no points in the conference final.

The Blackhawks lead the best-of-7 series, 2-0.


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Posted On Tuesday, 06.04.2013 / 3:23 PM

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

Sutter expects more from Kings in Game 3

LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Kings coach Darryl Sutter decided to take it easy on center Jarret Stoll after Game 2 of the Western Conference Final against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Sutter already knew Stoll was being hard enough on himself after posting a minus-2 rating in the 4-2 loss at United Center, his second game back after missing six in a row with a concussion.

"I think, you know him, he was disappointed in himself more than I was in him, so I think you'll see a much better Jarret [Tuesday night]," Sutter said in advance of Game 3 at Staples Center (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS), where the Kings have won 14 games in a row.

"It's not easy," Sutter continued. "He's coming back from a concussion, bottom line. He was pretty much knocked out. To come back in and be 100 percent confident, I don't think it's that easy. He expects a lot of himself and I think he'll do a lot better [Tuesday night]."

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Posted On Saturday, 06.01.2013 / 10:07 PM

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

Kings' Stoll glad to be back for Game 1

CHICAGO -- Los Angeles Kings center Jarret Stoll already felt confident he was healthy enough to play in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final, but it didn't bother him that roughly five minutes into the game he took a hard hit in the corner from Chicago Blackhawks center Andrew Shaw.

Stoll, who missed the final six games of the conference semifinals with a concussion, popped right back up and skated back into the play. He played 15:14 in his return after missing six games after being injured by a high hit from San Jose Sharks forward Raffi Torres.

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Posted On Saturday, 06.01.2013 / 11:41 AM

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

Positioning in front of Quick key for Hawks

CHICAGO -- Every team talks about how winning in the Stanley Cup Playoffs comes down to getting pucks and bodies to the net, fighting through traffic to score so-called dirty goals off rebounds. The Chicago Blackhawks are no different, but their challenge in the Western Conference Final is.

The Los Angeles Kings are one of the best teams in the NHL at keeping bodies away from their net. It starts with goalie Jonathan Quick, who is so aggressive and challenging when he plays above the blue paint, precisely the position Chicago will want to occupy starting with Game 1 Saturday at United Center (5 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS). The Kings also are one of the better teams at boxing out in front of Quick.

For the Blackhawks to win positional battles in front of the crease, to own the area Quick wants for himself, they have to be the first ones to get there. It's critical against Quick, who is the best goalie going in the playoffs with a 1.50 goals-against average and .948 save percentage. And it's arguably the most important piece of ice for the Blackhawks if they want to win the series.

"You like to get early position there and hopefully you can keep him [Quick] from getting how far he gets out there," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said Saturday morning. "They do box out. Detroit did a lot of that as well. There's got to be a willingness to fight through that traffic and the physicality, we can't be deterred by it at all. Getting in front of him is going to be key."

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Posted On Thursday, 05.30.2013 / 6:43 PM

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

Kings mum on Stoll's return to lineup

ROSEMONT, Ill. -- Los Angeles Kings coach Darryl Sutter would not give an update on the status of concussed center Jarret Stoll when asked for one at the team's media availability Friday.

"Nope," is all Sutter said.

But Stoll's chances of playing in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center on Saturday (5 p.m. ET; NBCSN, RDS, TSN) have to at least be getting better, considering he practiced in his regular spot on the third line between Dwight King and Trevor Lewis.

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Posted On Saturday, 05.25.2013 / 5:23 PM

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

Rangers going with same lineup in Game 5

BOSTON -- The New York Rangers will dress the same lineup for Saturday’s Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals that they dressed for Game 4. They trail the Boston Bruins in the best-of-7 series, 3-1.

Darroll Powe was on the ice for pregame warmups at TD Garden, but he will not play. Powe hasn't played since Game 3 of the conference quarterfinals.

Brad Richards is scratched for a second straight game. Arron Asham is also scratched.

The Rangers will also start Game 5 with the forward lines they used in the third period and overtime in their 4-3 win in Game 4 on Thursday.


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Posted On Friday, 05.24.2013 / 3:47 PM

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

McDonagh key to Rangers' power-play improvement

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh played more than 29 minutes in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Boston Bruins on Thursday, marking the fourth time in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs he's logged at least that much ice time in a game.

However, for the first time in the playoffs, McDonagh had a regular role on the power play. Rangers coach John Tortorella said McDonagh was good in that role, and Tortorella took the blame for not putting him on the power play sooner.

"I think he helped us [in Game 4] on the power play," Tortorella said. "It's me. I [messed] that up not using him early enough and I should have."

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Posted On Thursday, 05.23.2013 / 6:54 PM

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

Richards, Asham out; Haley, Newbury in for Rangers

NEW YORK -- Facing elimination in Game 4 at Madison Square Garden, New York Rangers coach John Tortorella decided to sacrifice 165 games of Stanley Cup Playoff experience from his forward group for one.

Micheal Haley and Kris Newbury replaced Brad Richards and Arron Asham in the Rangers lineup Thursday night against the Boston Bruins, who have a 3-0 lead in the best-of-7 Eastern Conference Semifinal series.

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Posted On Thursday, 05.23.2013 / 1:03 PM

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

Staal still struggling to get vision issues under control

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal is still waiting for the day when he can just be another hockey player wearing a visor. It's not Thursday.

Staal skated again Thursday morning at Madison Square Garden, but he isn't expected to play in Game 4 against the Boston Bruins. He hasn't played since Game 3 against the Washington Capitals on May 6 -- and that was his first game since he suffered his right eye injury two months earlier against the Philadelphia Flyers.

"My belief is that in a certain amount of time I'll never have to answer another question about this again," Staal said.

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Posted On Thursday, 05.23.2013 / 12:38 PM

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

Rangers will turn to Hamrlik for injured Stralman

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers defenseman Roman Hamrlik has been practicing in the morning and watching games at night for the past seven-and-a-half weeks. Hamrlik better have been working hard and watching closely because he is expected be smack dab in the middle of the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Thursday at Madison Square Garden.

Hamrlik likely will replace injured defenseman Anton Stralman in the Rangers lineup for their must-win Game 4 against the Boston Bruins at Madison Square Garden (7 p.m. ET, CNBC, TSN, RDS). Stralman was injured late in the second period in Game 3 Tuesday, when Bruins forward Milan Lucic crunched him into the end boards in the defensive zone.

Boston leads the best-of-7 Eastern Conference Semifinal series 3-0.

"I've been watching the games from upstairs and that's a different view," Hamrlik said after the morning skate Thursday. "During the game you see lots of mistakes, but when you're on the ice or on the bench, it's much faster and quicker. Your brain has to [react] really quickly about what you're going to do. For me, I just have to read the play and use my stick, do what I do the best, make the first pass and play good defense."

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Posted On Thursday, 05.23.2013 / 11:26 AM

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

Rangers make Brad Richards a healthy scratch

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers center Brad Richards said he will not be in the lineup for a must-win Game 4 Thursday at Madison Square Garden against the Boston Bruins (7 p.m. ET, CNBC, TSN, RDS).

Richards said Rangers coach John Tortorella called him Thursday morning to give him the news that he will be a healthy scratch for the elimination game. The Bruins lead the Rangers 3-0 in the best-of-7 Eastern Conference Semifinal series.

"I'm disappointed," Richards said.

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.22.2013 / 2:08 PM

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

Stralman doesn't practice, could miss Game 4

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- The New York Rangers appear to be bracing themselves for what will likely be an even further depleted blue line corps in a must-win Game 4 against the Boston Bruins on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.

Anton Stralman did not participate in the optional practice Wednesday after sitting out the third period in Game 3 Tuesday. Stralman was crunched into the end boards in the Rangers' defensive zone by Bruins left wing Milan Lucic with 6:54 to play in the second period. He returned for one more shift roughly three minutes later but didn't play again.

The Rangers have already been playing without Marc Staal (eye), but he has been skating for the past several days with the scratches. Matt Gilroy and Roman Hamrlik are the other options for coach John Tortorella if Stralman is unable to play in Game 4.

"Losing Stralsy is a big blow to us," Tortorella said. "He puts himself in a situation there where he's playing in an area to try and make a play and gets hurt. And he's done that really through the playoffs here. To a defense that's lacking a little depth right now, it hurts us."

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.21.2013 / 7:13 PM

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

No lineup changes for Bruins or Rangers

NEW YORK -- The New York Rangers will attempt to stay perfect at home in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs on Tuesday night in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Boston Bruins. Neither team is making any lineup changes.


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Posted On Monday, 05.20.2013 / 12:07 PM

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

Lundqvist on ice for Rangers' practice

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist is on the ice for practice Monday at the team's training facility one day after saying he felt discomfort in his shoulder following a 5-2 loss to the Boston Bruins in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Lundqvist appeared to hurt himself reaching to cover a loose puck in the slot with 4:52 remaining in the third period Sunday at TD Garden. He needed extra time to get up and once he did he was seen waving his left arm up and down as he skated back-and-forth through the crease.

All of the Rangers who dressed for Game 2 are on the ice for practice. They trail the Bruins 2-0 in the best-of-7 series. Game 3 is Tuesday at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

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Posted On Sunday, 05.19.2013 / 2:50 PM

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

Rangers sticking with same lineup for Game 2

BOSTON -- New York Rangers coach John Tortorella isn't letting an overtime loss in Game 1 affect his lineup for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Sunday at TD Garden against the Boston Bruins.

Like the Bruins, New York isn't making any changes to its lineup for Game 2. The forward lines and defense pairs the Rangers showed in pre-game warm-ups were exactly the same as they were in Game 1 as well as for the last two games of the conference quarterfinals against the Washington Capitals.

What may change is the Rangers' personnel on the power play. Although Tortorella repeated used the word "stinks" to describe Carl Hagelin on the power play on Saturday, he did offer the possibility that he would use the speedy left wing in that situation.


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Posted On Saturday, 05.18.2013 / 3:41 PM

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

Tortorella refuses to discuss adjustments

BOSTON -- In addition to being entertaining during a press conference Saturday at TD Garden, New York Rangers coach John Tortorella was mysterious when it came to discussing potential adjustments heading into Game 2 in their Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Boston Bruins, to be played Sunday at TD Garden (3 p.m. ET, NBC, RDS, TSN).

Tortorella first described himself as not being a "big adjustment guy" before saying his team was looking at "some small things after Game 1."

However, the kicker of his statement was the most mysterious part, and one he did not want to elaborate on.

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Posted On Saturday, 05.18.2013 / 3:26 PM

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

Tortorella says Hagelin 'stinks' on power play

BOSTON -- The New York Rangers power play is a daily story for its continuous struggles, and Saturday the focus turned to Carl Hagelin, the speedy, skilled left wing who doesn't even play on the power play.

Now we know why, courtesy of coach John Tortorella.

"Because he stinks on the power play," Tortorella said during an entertaining press conference following practice Saturday at TD Garden. "He stinks. I don't know why. I wish I could put him on the power play, but every time I put him on, he stinks."

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Posted On Friday, 05.17.2013 / 3:56 PM

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

Rangers say they won't let OT woes affect confidence

BOSTON -- If Game 2 at TD Garden also goes to overtime, the New York Rangers insist they will be mentally strong enough to handle it.

"We've got a good, confident group here," Rangers forward Mats Zuccarello said. "What we have to do is just be ready for next game and win."

The problem is the Rangers have rarely shown the physical capacity to win an overtime game in the Stanley Cup Playoffs dating to before John Tortorella arrived as coach in 2009.

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Posted On Friday, 05.17.2013 / 1:10 PM

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

Rookie Hamilton marvels at Chara's play

BOSTON -- Boston Bruins rookie defenseman Dougie Hamilton has a theory about how Zdeno Chara is able to play 38 minutes in an overtime game, the way he did Thursday night in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

"He maybe plugs himself in at night," Hamilton said. "It's pretty incredible."

The plug-himself-in theory goes along with Hamilton's nickname for his defense partner.

"I keep calling him a machine because of how good he is on the ice for the minutes he plays," Hamilton said.

Chara played 38:02 in Game 1 against the New York Rangers, including more than half of the overtime session, which lasted 15:40 until Brad Marchand scored the winner to give the Bruins a 3-2 victory.

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Posted On Thursday, 05.16.2013 / 12:51 PM

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

Rangers figuring out how to get power play to click

BOSTON -- New York Rangers coach John Tortorella sort of hemmed and hawed after getting a question about his team's struggling power play Thursday morning.

He appeared intrigued about the potential of it getting close to coming through, considering the Rangers were able to get the puck into the zone and keep it there against the Washington Capitals, but he wasn't about to argue against the reality that two goals on 28 chances simply isn't good enough.

"Still wasn't good," Tortorella said. "We need to be better right on through it."

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.15.2013 / 6:36 PM

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

Rangers know they have to block Chara's shots

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Zdeno Chara's slap shot travels upwards of 108 miles per hour, but the New York Rangers will throw their bodies in front of it if they can in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

They’re going to have to if they plan on getting past the Boston Bruins in this Eastern Conference Semifinal series, which begins Thursday night at TD Garden (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.15.2013 / 6:26 PM

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

Rangers coach expects Nash to break out

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- For New York Rangers forward Rick Nash to break out against the Boston Bruins, he's going to have to break a trend that isn't growing in his favor.

Nash didn't score a goal in three regular-season games against the Washington Capitals and similarly couldn't break through in seven Stanley Cup Playoff games. Nash didn't score a goal in three regular-season games against the Bruins, the Rangers' opponent in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

However, Rangers coach John Tortorella said he thinks Nash, the team's leading scorer with 21 goals in the regular season, is enough of a professional to forget his lack of success in the conference quarterfinals and start fresh against the Bruins on Thursday.

"He played really well in Game 7 and really didn't have many bad games in the seven-game series in Washington," Tortorella said Wednesday. "He didn't finish. He certainly wasn't totally on. But he's very close, and I thought he played really well in Game 7. So, yeah, he's playing, and I think he's going to be a really big part of this as we enter into Boston."

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.15.2013 / 1:33 PM

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

Staal, Clowe, Powe sit out Rangers practice

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- If practice Wednesday is any indication, the New York Rangers will start the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS) without Marc Staal, Ryane Clowe and Darroll Powe.

None of the three injured Rangers participated in practice Wednesday.

Powe was hurt early in Game 3 against the Washington Capitals after a collision with Joel Ward along the boards. Powe didn't return to the series.

Clowe left in the first period of Game 5 after he was boarded by Jason Chimera and his head slammed off the glass. Clowe also did not return to the series.

Staal has been dealing with issues related to his right eye injury sustained March 5. He played 17:17 in Game 3 against Washington but sat out the rest of the series. He had been practicing with the team.

The Rangers' forward lines and defense pairs from Game 7 against Washington stayed intact for practice Wednesday:

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Posted On Monday, 05.13.2013 / 7:50 PM

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

No lineup changes for Rangers or Capitals

WASHINGTON -- There will be no changes to either lineup for Game 7 at Verizon Center between the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers. Both Capitals coach Adam Oates and Rangers coach John Tortorella are sticking with the same forward lines and defense combinations from Game 6.

The Capitals are confident having Game 7 in their own building, where they are 3-0 in this series and 10-1 against the Rangers in the Stanley Cup Playoffs since Game 5 of the 2009 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

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Posted On Monday, 05.13.2013 / 6:25 PM

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

Laich, Erat will not play for Capitals in Game 7

WASHINGTON -- Washington Capitals coach Adam Oates said there may be one change to his lineup for Game 7 Monday night at Verizon Center, but he did not disclose what it would be.

"We're waiting to see," Oates said.

However, Oates did confirm that injured forwards Brooks Laich and Martin Erat will not play. He also said Mike Green, who was roughed up in the scrum after the final buzzer in Game 6 Sunday, is fine.

The Capitals are confident having Game 7 in their own building, where they are 3-0 in this series and 10-1 against the New York Rangers in the Stanley Cup Playoffs since Game 5 of the 2009 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

"We're going to talk about trying to control our emotions," Oates said. "It's our building, our crowd, it's going to be exciting and you know what, you've gotta be able to try and take that energy in and just control yourself."


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Posted On Monday, 05.13.2013 / 1:44 PM

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

Rangers ignoring past Washington woes

WASHINGTON -- New York Rangers coach John Tortorella is fond of saying home-ice advantage doesn't mean anything unless you get to a Game 7.

Well, the Rangers are in another Game 7 against the Washington Capitals, only this time it's on the road at Verizon Center on Monday (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS2), where they lost Game 7 of the 2009 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

So how does Tortorella feel now?

"I think there is an advantage to the home team," he said Monday morning, "but quite honestly we're the visiting team and we really don't care."

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Posted On Sunday, 05.12.2013 / 4:10 PM

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

Kreider returns to Rangers' lineup, replacing Clowe

NEW YORK -- Chris Kreider is back in the New York Rangers lineup to replace injured forward Ryane Clowe for Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on Sunday at Madison Square Garden.

The Washington Capitals lead the best-of-7 series, 3-2, and can advance to the conference semifinals for a third straight season with a win Sunday.

Kreider played in Game 1 of the series against the Washington Capitals but has been a healthy scratch since. He had five goals in 18 Stanley Cup Playoff games last season.


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Posted On Saturday, 05.11.2013 / 3:41 PM

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

Rangers' Clowe, Powe, Staal all likely out for Game 6

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- The New York Rangers likely will be missing three players when they face the Washington Capitals in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on Sunday at Madison Square Garden (4:30 p.m. ET, CNBC, TSN).

Forwards Ryane Clowe and Darroll Powe, each out with an undisclosed injury believed to be related to a concussion, did not practice Saturday and no update was provided on their status from the team. Clowe was injured in the first period of Game 5 Saturday and did not return. Powe has missed the past two games after leaving in the first period of Game 3.

Defenseman Marc Staal (right eye) practiced for the second straight day but told NHL.com nothing has changed in his status and he remains day-to-day because of the vision problems he is having.

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Posted On Friday, 05.10.2013 / 7:44 PM

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

Staal not in lineup for Rangers in Game 5

WASHINGTON -- New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal returned to practice Friday morning in advance of Game 5 against the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS2) but is not playing for the second straight game.

Staal also missed Game 4 on Wednesday after returning to action in Game 3 following an absence of 29 games. Staal didn't want to go into details about what is holding him back and instead said he simply isn't fit to play right now because of his right eye injury, which occurred March 5 in a game against the Philadelphia Flyers.

"I'll wake up [Saturday] and go at it again," Staal said. "With this thing, the way I've been dealing with it is I wake up in the morning and take it from there. I couldn't speculate one way or the other."

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Posted On Friday, 05.10.2013 / 7:12 PM

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

Oates wants Capitals to get off to fast start

WASHINGTON -- Washington Capitals Adam Oates admitted prior to Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on Friday night that he's "worried" about how his team will be at the start of the game.

He pointed to the starts each team had as being a difference between the Capitals winning Games 1 and 2 at Verizon Center and losing to the New York Rangers in Games 3 and 4 at Madison Square Garden.

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Posted On Thursday, 05.09.2013 / 12:06 AM

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

Rangers' McDonagh praises Staal for deciding to sit

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal didn't play in Game 4 Wednesday night, and still fellow blueliner Ryan McDonagh found a way to heap praise on him for helping the team.

"I think it's an honest and humble decision by him knowing he didn't want to put the team in any jeopardy," McDonagh said. "It takes a lot of guts to do that."

Staal's absence from the Rangers' lineup was surprising only because he showed no indications that he wouldn't play for a second straight game after missing 29 in a row with a right eye injury.


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Posted On Wednesday, 05.08.2013 / 7:30 PM

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

Rangers have Clowe in lineup; Staal out

NEW YORK -- Ryane Clowe returned to the New York Rangers lineup for Game 4 Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden after missing the previous four games with an undisclosed injury.

Defenseman Marc Staal is not in the lineup after playing in Game 3 Monday, his first game since March 5.

The Rangers trail the Washington Capitals in the best-of-7 series, 2-1.

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.08.2013 / 11:59 AM

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

Rangers know Lundqvist is their 'backbone'

NEW YORK -- How do Henrik Lundqvist's teammates feel about him?

"He's the backbone of this team," New York Rangers forward Rick Nash said Wednesday from Madison Square Garden.

What about the coaching staff -- how do they feel about Lundqvist?

"He's the backbone of our club," coach John Tortorella said Wednesday in advance of Game 4 of the team's Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the Washington Capitals (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS2).

Sensing a trend here? For good reason, of course -- Lundqvist, who won the Vezina Trophy last year, again is a finalist for the award given to the NHL's best goalie.

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.07.2013 / 1:51 PM

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

Clowe continuing to improve; Powe misses practice

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- New York Rangers forward Ryane Clowe finally got to test himself in some battle drills Tuesday afternoon and said he felt good, but there is still no indication if he is going to play in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Washington Capitals on Wednesday.

Clowe has been practicing since last Friday but has missed the past four games dating to the regular season with an undisclosed injury.

"I was hopeful for Game 2, but that's just how I think," Clowe said. "Sometimes you've gotta be smart when you've got an injury, you don't want to push it. If you asked around to people who know me, I don't like missing games, and if it's an opportunity to play I'm going to play"

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Posted On Monday, 05.06.2013 / 7:34 PM

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

Rangers’ Marc Staal returns for Game 3

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal is in the lineup for Monday’s Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN2, RDS2). He will replace Steve Eminger.

Forward Ryane Clowe remains out of the lineup. He will miss his fourth straight game.

Staal missed the past 29 games with an eye injury. He was injured on March 5, when a shot from Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen was deflected directly into his right eye. Staal has said he is still has blurred vision in the eye.

"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 prior to Game 1. "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 Monday, 05.06.2013 / 11:33 AM

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

Clowe calls himself 'game-time decision' for Game 3

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers forward Ryane Clowe isn't sure if he will play in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on Monday.

Clowe, who missed the first two games of the series against the Washington Capitals with an undisclosed injury, called himself a "game-time decision." Rangers coach John Tortorella does not provide lineup or injury updates during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"Obviously you guys [the media] want to know if I'm going to play," Clowe said after the morning skate at Madison Square Garden. "I'm still not sure about that."


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Posted On Sunday, 05.05.2013 / 12:41 PM

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

Rangers' Clowe hoping to return for Game 3

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Just as he was prior to Game 2, injured New York Rangers forward Ryane Clowe is hoping he's able to play in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on Monday at Madison Square Garden.

The Washington Capitals lead the Rangers, 2-0, in the best-of-seven series.

"When I spoke to you guys [Friday] I said I wasn't ruling out that game and I'm not sure either [about Game 3], but it's a possibility," said Clowe, who has missed three straight games dating back to the last game of the regular season. "That's kind of where we're at right now."

Clowe skated on his own prior to the game Saturday and practiced Sunday in a regular contact jersey. However, it was basically a non-contact practice so he still isn't sure if he's able to take a hit or give a hit, which is likely going to be the deciding factor in if he plays or if he sits again.

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Posted On Saturday, 05.04.2013 / 12:09 PM

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

Dorsett, Boyle part of Rangers' Game 2 lineup

WASHINGTON -- The New York Rangers got two of their four injured players back in the lineup for Game 2 against the Washington Capitals on Saturday at Verizon Center.

Forwards Brian Boyle and Derek Dorsett were inserted into the lineup for Chris Kreider and Kris Newbury. However, defenseman Marc Staal (eye) and forward Ryane Clowe (undisclosed) remain out of the lineup.

The Rangers trail the best-of-7 series, 1-0.


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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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Posted On Sunday, 04.07.2013 / 12:47 PM

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

Flu sidelines Blues forward McDonald

DETROIT -- St. Louis Blues forward Andy McDonald is out of the lineup for the game Sunday against the Detroit Red Wings because of the flu.

As a result of McDonald's absence, the Blues are playing with seven defensemen, but they're using Kris Russell as a left wing on the fourth line.

McDonald has four goals and 11 assists for 15 points in 26 games this season.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

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Posted On Friday, 03.29.2013 / 1:38 PM

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

Ducks focused on better start facing Blackhawks

CHICAGO -- Jonas Hiller was the first off the ice after the Anaheim Ducks' morning skate Friday at United Center, so it looks like he'll again be in net to try to stop the bleeding against the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Ducks have lost four in a row since their 4-2 win over the Blackhawks on March 20. Hiller gave up four goals on 29 shots in a 4-0 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday.

The Ducks have allowed nine first-period goals over the past four games. They yielded eight first-period goals in their previous 14 games.

"You gotta look at the way we started the last couple of games and it hasn't been great," Ducks forward Corey Perry told NHL.com. "We had a stat up this morning that we gave up nine goals in the first period in the last four games and that's just not starting the game the right way. If we're better in the first 10 minutes and get our feet under us we'll be all right for the rest of the game."

Anaheim is the only team in the Western Conference that hasn't lost to Chicago this season. The Ducks are five points behind the Blackhawks in second place in the Western Conference standings.

Here is the projected lineup for Anaheim against Chicago on Friday:

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Posted On Saturday, 03.16.2013 / 5:35 PM

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

Devils' Pesonen set to make NHL debut

NEWARK, N.J. -- New Jersey Devils forward Harri Pesonen will make his NHL debut Saturday against the Montreal Canadiens at Prudential Center. Pesonen will skate as the left wing on a line with Patrik Elias and David Clarkson.

The Devils signed Pesonen, 24, last year after the Stanley Cup Final ended. He was playing professionally in his native Finland.

Pesonen, who was called up Tuesday, has 25 points, including 11 goals, in 54 games with the Albany Devils of the American Hockey League.

"Some energy, some fresh legs," Devils coach Peter DeBoer said when asked what he wants to see out of Pesonen. "It's his first NHL game so I think he'll be excited. He's a guy that's played pro hockey over in Europe a little so he's not a 20-year-old rookie coming in; he's a 24-year-old that's played some pro. I'm hoping that that transition is a little bit easier for him."

Devils rookie Stefan Matteau will play for the first time March 9. He has been a healthy scratch for the past three games.

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Posted On Saturday, 03.16.2013 / 1:18 PM

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

Ryder out, Blunden in for Canadiens

NEWARK, N.J. -- Montreal Canadiens forward Michael Ryder did not make the trip for the game Saturday night against the New Jersey Devils because of a lower-body injury.

Ryder, who practiced Friday, stayed in Montreal to receive treatment.

"There were too many question marks," Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said. "We feel it's better for him to treat it and resolve the problem. When we put him back in the lineup he's going to be 100 percent. At this time of the year we don't want to take any risks.

"It's not like a major injury, but it's something we have to pay attention to."

Ryder will be replaced in the lineup by Mike Blunden, who was recalled Friday from the Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League. Travis Moen will move up from the fourth line to play on the top line with Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta.

Blunden had quite a trip just getting to Newark.

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Posted On Wednesday, 03.13.2013 / 11:59 AM

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

Brodeur skates but Hedberg will start for Devils

NEWARK, N.J. -- Martin Brodeur (back) skated on his own for the second straight day, but New Jersey Devils coach Peter DeBoer said it's still too soon to determine when the injured goaltender will resume working out with the team. So Johan Hedberg will make his 10th consecutive start Wednesday night.

The Devils host the Philadelphia Flyers at Prudential Center in NBCSN's Wednesday Night Rivalry game (7:30 p.m., NBCSN, TSN2).

Hedberg hasn't started 10 games in a row since the 2001-02 season, when he started 10 straight for the Pittsburgh Penguins from Jan. 5-23.

"I feel good," Hedberg told NHL.com. "People always ask me before the year how many starts do you expect, and I say I don't expect anything. Anything that you do expect usually gets changed anyway. During the season, so many things happen so you have to be ready for whatever happens."

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Posted On Thursday, 03.07.2013 / 7:05 PM

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

Matt Read returns for Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- Forward Matt Read returned to the Philadelphia Flyers' lineup Thursday night at Wells Fargo Center against the Pittsburgh Penguins after missing six games with torn muscles in his rib cage.

Read, who last played Feb. 20 against Pittsburgh, was originally supposed to miss six weeks, but he's back after missing exactly 15 days. He is starting the game on the third line with Sean Couturier and Simon Gagne.

Read had 13 points in 18 games this season.

Flyers defenseman Nicklas Grossmann is also in the lineup after leaving the game Tuesday against the New York Rangers after the first period with a lower-body injury.

For the Penguins, defenseman Paul Martin is back after missing two games with a lower-body injury. Martin started the game paired with Brooks Orpik on the Penguins' blue line.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

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Posted On Thursday, 03.07.2013 / 1:24 PM

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

Penguins at home on road when visiting Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- As much as the Philadelphia Flyers faithful inside Wells Fargo Center attempt to make Sidney Crosby and Co. uncomfortable every time they're here, since coach Dan Bylsma took over, the Pittsburgh Penguins have typically been able to brush it off and play their game.

The Penguins are 8-2-1 under Bylsma at Wells Fargo Center. They'll try to push it to 9-2-1 Thursday night.

"They'd probably say the same about coming to Pittsburgh, they've done pretty well there," Crosby said, referring to the Flyers' 8-3-0 record there since Bylsma took over on Feb. 15, 2009.

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Posted On Thursday, 03.07.2013 / 12:58 PM

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

Martin could return for Penguins

PHILADELPHIA -- Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Paul Martin could return to the lineup Thursday night against the Philadelphia Flyers after missing two games with a lower-body injury.

Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said Martin will be a game-time decision, but the defenseman, who skated in practice Thursday morning with regular partner Brooks Orpik, said he feels good and hopes to be in.

"The last couple of days it's been getting better and today was no different," Martin said. "I hopefully expect to be in tonight."

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.05.2013 / 6:02 PM

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

Richards out for Rangers vs. Flyers

NEW YORK -- The New York Rangers confirmed shortly before 6 p.m. ET that center Brad Richards will not be in the lineup Tuesday night when they take on the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN2).

Physical forward Micheal Haley, who was called up from Connecticut of the American Hockey League earlier in the day, will take Richards' spot in the lineup. It's not known if Haley will play center or if another forward will move to the middle.

Richards is still dealing with the after-effects (soreness, stiffness) of the check from behind Buffalo Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta delivered during Sunday's shootout victory. Richards, who didn't miss a shift in the game Sunday, was driven headfirst into the left-wing boards; Kaleta was suspended five games by the NHL's Department of Player Safety.

Richards skipped practice Monday and briefly skated Tuesday morning at the team's suburban training facility, but he left the ice quickly and did not address the media.

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Posted On Thursday, 02.28.2013 / 5:33 PM

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

Nash, McDonagh, Del Zotto will play for Rangers

NEW YORK -- Rick Nash, Ryan McDonagh and Michael Del Zotto all will return to the New York Rangers lineup Thursday night at Madison Square Garden against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Nash missed four straight games with an undisclosed injury. He began skating on his own last week and with the team Tuesday.

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Posted On Thursday, 02.28.2013 / 11:40 AM

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

Rangers' McDonagh says he's in, Nash a possibility

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Reinforcements are coming for the slumping New York Rangers.

Defenseman Ryan McDonagh declared himself healthy and ready to return to the lineup Thursday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Right wing Rick Nash continued to sound optimistic about his status while still saying he won't know for sure if he'll be able to play for the first time in five games until he gets to Madison Square Garden.

Defenseman Michael Del Zotto (lower-body injury) also skated in a regular green practice jersey Thursday morning at the team's suburban training facility, but he left the dressing room before the media could speak to him.

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Posted On Wednesday, 02.27.2013 / 5:58 PM

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

Holtby to start for Capitals against Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- If Michal Neuvirth were healthy, he'd be starting in goal for the Washington Capitals in their NBCSN Wednesday Night Rivalry game against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center.

"It would have been a good night to give Neuvy a start," Capitals coach Adam Oates said prior to the game.

Neuvirth, though, is not healthy or even here, so Oates confirmed that Braden Holtby, who made 33 saves in a 3-0 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday, will make his eighth consecutive start.

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Posted On Wednesday, 02.27.2013 / 1:09 PM

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

Holtby's hot play leading Capitals

PHILADELPHIA -- Forgive the Washington Capitals for seeming insensitive, but the news that Michal Neuvirth is ill and won't be able to play Wednesday night against the Philadelphia Flyers isn't exactly devastating.

It's the exact opposite.

Of course, the Capitals would prefer to have Neuvirth healthy and with them on this trip to Philadelphia, but the fact that he's ill means Braden Holtby will make his eighth straight start and second in as many days.

That's good news for a team that has won two straight and five of seven, including a 3-0 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday, due in large part to Holtby's 33 saves.

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Posted On Tuesday, 02.26.2013 / 5:07 PM

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

Devils put Brodeur on IR, recall Kinkaid from Albany

New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur (back) has been placed on injured reserve retroactive to Feb. 24, meaning he will not be eligible to play until at least Monday.

The Devils play at the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday and at the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday.

"It's just a precaution," New Jersey general manager Lou Lamoriello said, according to Rich Chere of the Newark Star Ledger. "It's a day-to-day situation. He's still feeling uncomfortable. It would be foolish to go X number of hours on a plane to Winnipeg."

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Posted On Tuesday, 02.26.2013 / 12:06 PM

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

Nash back on ice, but unlikely to face Jets

For the first time in nine days, Rick Nash returned to the ice in a regular practice jersey for the New York Rangers' morning skate Tuesday. However, Nash sidestepped questions about when he will be able to return to the lineup and did not specify the nature of his injury.

The Rangers, who also have not disclosed Nash's injury, play the Winnipeg Jets at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night. Nash missed the past three games due to the injury and it's unlikely he will play against the Jets, although he wouldn't rule himself out completely.

"I'm feeling good, getting better," Nash told reporters at the team's training facility in Greenburgh, N.Y. "It's a positive day for sure when you get back out and skate with the guys. I don’t know about tonight. Obviously, I'll talk to the trainers. But it was a good day to get a good skate in."

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Posted On Sunday, 02.24.2013 / 4:59 PM

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

Brodeur out with soreness for Devils

NEWARK, N.J. -- Martin Brodeur was supposed to start for the New Jersey Devils on Sunday against the Winnipeg Jets, but Johan Hedberg is getting the call instead. Hedberg will start for the second time in as many days.

Brodeur left the ice early during warmups and did not return. A team spokesman said Brodeur has "a little soreness, will be re-evaluated tomorrow."

Hedberg gave up five goals on 26 shots in a 5-1 loss to the Washington Capitals on Saturday.

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Posted On Sunday, 02.24.2013 / 4:51 PM

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

Projected lineups for Jets, Devils

Here are the projected lineups for a game Sunday between the New Jersey Devils and Winnipeg Jets at Prudential Center:

DEVILS

Bobby Butler - Adam Henrique - Ilya Kovalchuk

Patrik Elias - Travis Zajac - David Clarkson

Alexei Ponikarovsky - Andrei Loktionov - Steve Bernier

Krys Barch - Jacob Josefson - Stephen Gionta

Bryce Salvador - Marek Zidlicky

Andy Greene - Adam Larsson

Anton Volchenkov - Mark Fayne

Johan Hedberg
Martin Brodeur

JETS

Andrew Ladd - Bryan Little - Blake Wheeler

Evander Kane - Alexander Burmistrov - Nik Antropov

James Wright - Olli Jokinen - Antti Miettinen

Eric Tangradi - Jim Slater - Anthony Peluso

Grant Clitsome - Dustin Byfuglien

Ron Hainsey - Zach Bogosian

Mark Stuart - Paul Postma

Ondrej Pavelec

Edward Pasquale

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Posted On Sunday, 02.24.2013 / 3:53 PM

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

Josefson in for Devils; Miettinen to make season debut

NEWARK, N.J. -- Both the New Jersey Devils and Winnipeg Jets will have fresh faces in the lineup Sunday night after they each suffered tough losses Saturday.

The Devils, who were beaten 5-1 in Washington on Saturday, will welcome back center Jacob Josefson, who was recalled from Albany of the American Hockey League earlier in the day. Ryan Carter was put on injured reserve retroactive to Feb. 18 to make room for Josefson, who was sent down to Albany a week ago after he managed only one assist and a minus-8 rating in 15 games.

Josefson will play center on the third line with Stephen Gionta moving to the wing. Devils coach Peter DeBoer said rookie Stefan Matteau "is a little banged up," so he will sit.

"We've rolled four lines for most games here, at least early, so he's gotta make the most of his opportunity," DeBoer said of Josefson.

The Jets, who blew a two-goal lead and lost 5-3 in Philadelphia on Saturday, will have forwards Antti Miettinen and Anthony Peluso in the lineup. Miettinen will be making his season debut while Peluso will be playing in just his second game of the season.

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Posted On Friday, 02.22.2013 / 1:49 PM

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

Sharks want to keep focus on what they need to do

CHICAGO -- As much as the Chicago Blackhawks want to set a record Friday at United Center, the San Jose Sharks don't want to be the team on the wrong side of history.

That alone is reason enough for the Sharks to view this game as something bigger than just another regular-season game. Even though it's still only for two points, the outcome means more to them than just that.

"Of course you want to say that every game is just as important, but obviously certain games are a little easier to get up for and this is one of them," Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle told NHL.com. "They're going for a NHL record and we'd love to put a stop to it. If anything it motivates you to not want to be that team. You don't want to be that team that goes down in the record books on the losing side of anything."

"It's a pretty impressive streak and obviously we're happy with the chance to stop it," added Sharks forward Joe Pavelski. "We'd like to end it."

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Posted On Monday, 02.18.2013 / 12:11 PM

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

Capuano showing patience with struggling line

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- New York Islanders coach Jack Capuano is willing to leave well enough alone for now because his team has won two games in a row, but it's clear that his patience with Frans Nielsen, Kyle Okposo and Josh Bailey as a line is wearing thing.

Nielsen has just two points in the past seven games. Okposo is even more woeful with only four points this season, including just one in the past nine games. Bailey has just one point in four games since returning from injury.

"The one thing I'm not going to do is put pressure on the guys. I'm not going to do that," Capuano said prior to the Islanders game Monday afternoon against the Philadelphia Flyers at Nassau Coliseum. "They have to find a way and we'll give them some time. We don't have a lot of time, but I like the way the other lines are contributing right now and I don't want to break those other three lines up. So, I'm hoping that they can just find a way."


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Posted On Saturday, 02.09.2013 / 11:49 AM

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

Devils seeking revenge in weekend series with Pens

NEWARK,N.J. -- Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma used the word "interesting" to describe the weekend home-and-home his team has with the New Jersey Devils starting Saturday afternoon at Prudential Center.

Only one point separates the Penguins from the Devils in the Atlantic Division standings and New Jersey has a game in hand. These two teams also played each other last weekend with Pittsburgh winning 5-1, so it'll be three games in nine days between the division rivals.

"You don't often have these situations where you see a team back-to-back," Bylsma said Saturday morning. "It's more like a college weekend than pro, but I think it makes for interesting hockey. It's a rivalry game anyway and you're going to play them six straight periods so that will make for an interesting storyline throughout these two games."

Devils coach Peter DeBoer likes the concept of seeing one team so often in such a short span. Even if it is the streaking Penguins, who have won five straight.

"I think it's good in that it's fresh in your mind what worked and what didn't work, and particularly with us what didn't work last game and what we have to correct," DeBoer said. "The job is to execute and make sure we don't make the same mistakes."

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Posted On Thursday, 02.07.2013 / 12:46 PM

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

Lightning turn focus to defense after hot start

NEWARK, N.J. -- After scoring 37 goals over the first seven games of the season, the Tampa Bay Lightning have been held to three in the past two games.

It's no surprise that they were 6-1 and now they're 6-3 after losses to the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers.

"We can't expect to score five or six goals a game," Lightning center Steven Stamkos told NHL.com. "You take the run as long as possible, it was fun, but you realize this League is very tight checking and it's tough to score goals. We maybe fell victim of expecting to score goals."

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Posted On Tuesday, 02.05.2013 / 6:45 PM

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

Rangers' Girardi to sit vs. Devils

NEWARK -- New York Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi will miss his first game of the season Tuesday night. The team said he's "banged up" and lists him as day-to-day.

Stu Bickel, who had been playing forward, will move back and take Girardi's place on the blue line when the Rangers take on the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center.

In addition, Rangers rookie forward Chris Kreider will make his return to the lineup after missing the last five games, including four in a row while dealing with bone chips in his ankle.

Kreider will start the game on a line with the recently acquired Darroll Powe and rookie call-up J.T. Miller, who is making his NHL debut.

Girardi, who played in all 82 games last season and 120 in a row, has missed only two games in the last five-plus seasons. He did not practice Monday, but the team said he was simply taking a "maintenance day." Girardi was on the ice for the morning skate Tuesday, but when the Rangers came out for warmups prior to the game he was not with them.

Girardi has two assists and is a minus-3 in eight games this season.

Ryan McDonagh, Girardi's normal defense partner, was paired with Anton Stralman in warmups. Marc Staal and Michael Del Zotto remained together with Bickel and Matt Gilroy making up the third pair.

Henrik Lundqvist is starting in net for the Rangers opposite the Devils' Martin Brodeur.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

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Posted On Tuesday, 02.05.2013 / 1:14 PM

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

Rangers' Miller 'excited, anxious' to make NHL debut

NEWARK, N.J. -- J.T. Miller was talking fast.

Maybe that's how he normally is, or maybe he was just amped up and moving at a faster pace, knowing that in just a matter of hours he would be making his NHL debut.

The New York Rangers recalled Miller and Brandon Mashinter from the Connecticut Whale of the American Hockey League on Tuesday. Miller, the Rangers' first-round pick in 2011, will likely play center on the fourth line Tuesday at Prudential Center against the New Jersey Devils.

Mashinter will be sent back down to the Whale, Rangers assistant coach/general manager Jim Schoenfeld told NHL.com.

"I'm just excited right now, anxious, just ready to play obviously," said Miller, who expects to have at least 10 friends and family members at the game Tuesday. "I've been looking forward to it since I was a little kid. I just want to go out there and try to get into the game as soon as possible. I think that will help me the most."

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Posted On Tuesday, 02.05.2013 / 1:11 PM

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

Powe gives Rangers flexibility, PK presence

NEWARK, N.J. -- The New York Rangers acquired forward Darroll Powe on Monday because coach John Tortorella was concerned with the inconsistent play from the middle of the lineup.

One thing Powe has displayed in his 294 career NHL games is consistency.

He can score some goals (28 in his career), but he's more of a third-line grinder, shot-blocker and penalty-killer who can play all three forward positions -- traits Tortorella is hoping translate well to the Rangers to give the team more versatility in their bottom six.

"With Powe it's a guy that can kill penalties, has played in the League, does a lot of little things on the boards, certainly adds to our depth in a lot of different situations where I can move people around," Tortorella said Tuesday morning from Prudential Center, where the Rangers will face the New Jersey Devils for the first time this season at 7 p.m. ET. "So, we're happy to get him."

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.29.2013 / 7:02 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Wayne Gretzky Fantasy Camp Blog

Gretzky wonders how he'd do against today's stars

LAS VEGAS -- Is Doc Brown from "Back to the Future" anywhere to be found? Can the DeLorean still get up to 88 mph?

If yes, Wayne Gretzky has a request: He'd like to go back in time to figure out a way to stop his aging process, because as much as The Great One loved playing in his generation, he would have loved the chance to play in today's NHL.

"Mike Bossy and Brett Hull were probably the two purest goal scorers I ever saw in my career and I got excited to play against them because I wanted to see, 'Do I belong on the same sheet of ice as they are on?'" Gretzky, 52, told NHL.com Tuesday from his annual fantasy camp. "That's why I would have loved to compete against a guy like Zdeno Chara, go head-to-head against Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin."

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.29.2013 / 3:55 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Wayne Gretzky Fantasy Camp Blog

Gretzky gives new Blues owner thrill of a lifetime

LAS VEGAS -- St. Louis Blues owner Tom Stillman initially thought a friend was playing a joke on him, but he knew that couldn't be the case because the name and number that came up on his phone was one that he had saved in his contacts folder.

Wayne Gretzky.

The Great One was indeed calling the new owner of the Blues to invite him to be his guest at the 11th annual Wayne Gretzky Fantasy Camp.

"It's maybe the most surreal experience I've had since I got involved with the Blues," Stillman told NHL.com Tuesday morning before playing in his first game at the Fantasy Camp. "Really, I can remember times when people used to leave phone messages for me saying it was Wayne Gretzky, ha ha, but it was him and he was asking me to come to the event, saying that they were planning to wear Blues uniforms this year so they'd like me to come.

"When the Great One calls, what are you going to do? You're going to go. This is the hockey fantasy camp of fantasy camps."

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.29.2013 / 3:04 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Wayne Gretzky Fantasy Camp Blog

Chelios catching the coaching bug with Red Wings

LAS VEGAS -- Chris Chelios calls his role with the Detroit Red Wings an internship.

"Basically, I'm learning how to coach," Chelios told NHL.com Tuesday from the 11th annual Wayne Gretzky Fantasy Camp.

Chelios, who turned 51 last week, works primarily with the defensemen for the Grand Rapids Griffins, Detroit's American Hockey League affiliate. His title is Advisor to Hockey Operations, but he sees himself as an on-ice coach, a helping hand to first-year coach Jeff Blashill.

"I spend three or four days a week there, go on the ice with them, work with the young defensemen," Chelios said. "It's been great. I'm really enjoying it.

"It's one thing to play and it's another to get behind the bench and coach. There's a lot to it. It's been a great experience for me."

Chelios has been working for the Red Wings since he officially retired from the National Hockey League on Aug. 31, 2010. He spent the 2010-11 season mentoring under general manager Ken Holland and assistant general manager Jim Nill, but quickly learned he didn't belong in the front office.

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.29.2013 / 1:33 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Wayne Gretzky Fantasy Camp Blog

Leetch talks Rangers' scoring issues, Cup pressure

LAS VEGAS -- Despite the instant success of the New York Rangers' top line of Rick Nash, Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik, ex-Ranger Brian Leetch is not convinced that trio has to stay together in order for the team to win.

"I like the way they had it split up to start with, Nash and Richards together, Gaborik and [Derek] Stepan with [Ryan] Callahan," Leetch, a part-time Rangers' analyst on the MSG Network, told NHL.com on Tuesday. "I really liked that. But when you're having trouble scoring and everyone isn't firing on all cylinders, it's a pretty good luxury to throw those three guys together.

"The fact that they had some immediate success also helps, but I liked the first set up. I think that's ideal. Obviously, [Chris] Kreider is a wild card there."

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Posted On Tuesday, 01.29.2013 / 1:17 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Wayne Gretzky Fantasy Camp Blog

McSorley: Oilers' depth key to success now and then

LAS VEGAS -- In addition to all the world-class talent the Edmonton Oilers had in the 1980s, Marty McSorley said there also was a push from the superstars to make sure the depth players were winning their own battles.

"Wayne [Gretzky] and Mark [Messier] stressed the fact that we weren't going to win without our third and fourth lines making a difference," McSorley told NHL.com Tuesday from the 11th annual Wayne Gretzky Fantasy Camp. "You have to outplay the other team's third and fourth lines. They really stressed the fact of that."

McSorley said the same thing will have to come true if the current version of the Oilers is going to reach its potential as a consistent contender for the Stanley Cup.

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Posted On Monday, 01.28.2013 / 4:59 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Wayne Gretzky Fantasy Camp Blog

Fuhr counts Kiprusoff among current favorite goalies

LAS VEGAS -- Edmonton fans may not like it too much, but one of Grant Fuhr's favorite goalies to watch in today's NHL is still Calgary's Miikka Kiprusoff.

"I think he gives Calgary a chance every night," the Hall of Fame goalie from Edmonton told NHL.com Monday from the 11th annual Wayne Gretzky Fantasy Camp. "You watch most nights and they give up a lot of scoring chances, but he gives them an opportunity every night."

Fuhr, who stays involved with the Oilers doing community relations work, also talked about four other current goalies he admires, starting with another Northwest Division rival, at least for now.

"I still like Roberto Luongo," he said. "Everybody else seems to be down on him a little bit, but I think he's a great goalie. He can be that difference. He's in a tough boat right now. It's unfortunate, but it's a tough spot to be in. But, he's a class guy and he's a great goalie. People may not think that, but he's still got all the talent in the world."

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Posted On Monday, 01.28.2013 / 3:29 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Wayne Gretzky Fantasy Camp Blog

Keenan on coaches who have stood test of time

LAS VEGAS -- Since we had Mike Keenan in an interview chair for a while we couldn't let him go without asking him to give his thoughts on coaches in today's game that he admires.

To nobody's surprise, the 63-year-old Keenan immediately started talking about the veteran bench bosses. He mentioned four in particular:

"I like, and because of my age I guess, the senior guys because I know how difficult it is to stay in that job and to be on top of your game like Ken Hitchcock, like Joel Quenneville, like Darryl Sutter, like John Tortorella," Keenan told NHL.com. "These are guys that have had success, they've all won a Cup, and it's tough to stay in it.

"A lot of guys get spun out. The game doesn't call them back and they're done. That's probably the case for most people."

It's not for Hitchcock, Quenneville, Sutter and Tortorella.

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Posted On Monday, 01.28.2013 / 3:06 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Wayne Gretzky Fantasy Camp Blog

'Iron Mike' Keenan talks upcoming documentary

LAS VEGAS -- The life and career of former NHL coach and general manager Mike Keenan will be portrayed in an upcoming documentary that is the brainchild of The Shooting Eye Corporation, a production company based out of Hamilton, Ont.

"They just approached me and asked me if I would be willing to have them do a documentary on me," Keenan told NHL.com Monday. "That was it."

"Iron Mike: The Mike Keenan Story" will take nine months to a year to produce, Keenan said.

"They're just into it three or four months now," he added. "I haven't even been interviewed that much."

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Posted On Monday, 01.28.2013 / 2:50 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Wayne Gretzky Fantasy Camp Blog

Tocchet lauds Bryzgalov for play this season

LAS VEGAS -- Ex-Flyers forward Rick Tocchet sees holes in his former team both in the back and up front, but he also thinks the one area in most doubt heading into the season could be its most stable.

Tocchet, who serves as an analyst on CSN Philadelphia, appreciates the way Ilya Bryzgalov is both playing and acting now after a rocky first-season in Philadelphia.

Bryzgalov is 2-3 with a 2.21 goals-against average and .923 save percentage in five starts this season.

"They've played him in all but one game so far and he's played well for them, and that's a key for the whole city, the fans and the management to think they have the goalie they have paid for," Tocchet told NHL.com Monday from the 11th annual Wayne Gretzky Fantasy Camp. "He's played well for them so far."

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Posted On Friday, 01.25.2013 / 5:42 PM

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

Ovechkin moving back to left wing for Capitals

NEWARK, N.J. -- The Alex Ovechkin at right wing experiment is on hold for the moment. The Washington Capitals superstar said he is moving back to the left wing for Friday's game against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center.

Ovechkin has lined up on the right side in each of the first three games, but he shifted to the left side in the third period of Thursday's 4-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens.

The Capitals are 0-3 and Ovechkin has not scored this season.

"We'll see how it goes," Ovechkin said prior to the game. "It doesn't matter if I'm going to play left side, center or right side; we just have to play the system that [coach Adam Oates] tells us. We just have to be mentally ready. It's not about one player or two players, it's everybody."

Ovechkin said he spoke with Oates about moving back to the left side, where he has played his entire career up until now.

"Of course I feel much more comfortable on the left side; it's not a secret," Ovechkin said. "But, again, creativity, what we try to do, it's working but we have to work harder, I think."

Oates said he doesn't see the pressure to score getting to Ovechkin, at least not yet, but he knows it is there and perhaps this move back to the left wing will give the Capitals' captain a sense of comfort heading into the game.

"He has that pressure [to score] every night," Oates said. "He comes to the rink expecting to do that and he's done it his entire career. That never changes and it never will. In saying that, he's gotta play his game and be part of the team and the structure, and hopefully over time he'll have success."

Ovechkin said he was OK with playing on the right side, but clearly it has not worked as of yet.

"I feel responsible for the opportunities we have and I have to find the space in the offensive zone," Ovechkin said. "My linemates have to play better. I have to play better. It starts with me and it goes to everybody."

Oates confirmed that Michal Neuvirth will get the start in net for the Capitals after giving up four goals on 22 shots in Thursday's loss to the Canadiens.

Neuvirth is 4-1-2 with one shutout, a 1.95 goals-against average and .930 save percentage in seven career starts against New Jersey. He is 5-2-1 in the second game when he starts two nights in a row.

"He played really well [Thursday] night and I felt bad for him that we let it get away," Oates said. "I thought he really gave us a chance in the first 30 minutes and he looked very sharp, so he gets it tonight."

For Oates, Friday's game is a mini-homecoming. He was an assistant on Devils coach Peter DeBoer's staff last season and said walking back into Prudential Center brings back great memories of New Jersey's run to the Stanley Cup Final, which they lost to the Los Angeles Kings.

"It was a great year, a great run," Oates said. "We got very close and when you go through that as a staff you get closer. You get closer to with the players. I got to be here for two years. It was a great feeling. It will be great to see the guys, but obviously I'd like to get the win."

Wojtek Wolski - Nicklas Backstrom - Troy Brouwer

Alex Ovechkin - Jay Beagle - Joey Crabb

Jason Chimera - Mike Ribeiro - Joel Ward

Matt Hendricks - Marcus Johansson - Eric Fehr

Karl Alzner - Mike Green

John Erskine - John Carlson

Jeff Schultz - Tomas Kundratek

Michal Neuvirth

Braden Holtby

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Posted On Wednesday, 01.23.2013 / 7:11 PM

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

Bruins without Seidenberg against Rangers

NEW YORK -- Boston Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg is not in the lineup Wednesday against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden due to a lower-body injury. Seidenberg also missed Monday's game against the Winnipeg Jets.

Bruins forward Brad Marchand, who was considered questionable Wednesday morning, is in the lineup and will take his usual spot on a line with Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin to start the game.

Aaron Johnson will again play for Seidenberg. He will be paired with Adam McQuaid to start the game.

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Posted On Wednesday, 01.23.2013 / 11:44 AM

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

Lundqvist takes third crack at first win of season

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Henrik Lundqvist will again be going for his first win of the season Wednesday night against the Boston Bruins.

It'll be his third try.

Lundqvist and the New York Rangers lost in Boston, 3-1, in their season-opener Saturday. He gave up four goals on 18 shots in less than 23 minutes the next night and got pulled early in a 6-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Lundqvist's mindset now is simply to play well enough at Madison Square Garden to give his team a chance to win.

"One win can change a lot," Lundqvist said after a brief morning skate at the Rangers' suburban practice facility.

"Right now my motivation is just to get a win and get a good feeling here in the room," he later added, "start building something positive."

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Posted On Saturday, 01.19.2013 / 8:00 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2012-13 Opening Day blog

Hawks' Carcillo leaves with lower-body injury

LOS ANGELES -- It wasn't all good for the Chicago Blackhawks in their win over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday. Forward Daniel Carcillo suffered what a lower-body injury after getting tied up with Drew Doughty along the half-wall, near the Kings' bench, in the third period.

Doughty was called for interference at 10:44 of the period, but Carcillo, who was slow to get up and gingerly made his way to the Blackhawks' bench skating under his own power, will likely not be in the lineup Sunday in Phoenix and could miss several more games.

Carcillo was skating on the top line with Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa.

"Danny's going to miss some time here," coach Joel Quenneville said following Chicago's 5-2 victory. "We'll know more exactly of the time frame [Sunday]."

Carcillo missed the second half of last season after tearing the ACL in his left knee on Jan. 2 against Edmonton. He had surgery 15 days later.

Quenneville said it's "likely" that 20-year-old rookie Brandon Saad will get a chance to play as a result of Carcillo's injury. Saad played in two games last season. He was recently named the player of the week in the AHL and put up 20 points in 31 games with the Rockford Ice Hogs.

Before getting hurt, Carcillo had played 17 shifts totaling 10:53 of ice time. He had an assist on Hossa's first goal and was a plus-3.

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Posted On Saturday, 01.19.2013 / 1:17 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2012-13 Opening Day blog

Toews to play for Blackhawks despite the flu

LOS ANGELES -- Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews will play Saturday against the Los Angeles Kings despite missing practice Friday with the flu.

"He's playing," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "He's ready to go."

Quenneville said he will have to keep an eye on Toews to make sure he doesn't need extra rest during the game, but he's hopeful that won't be an issue.

"We use him in all situations so we'll keep an eye on his minutes and gauge how he's feeling," Quenneville said. "I think if he gets fatigued a little bit we'll cut back, but hopefully he's ready to go his regular workload.

"Plus, I think he's beyond it, too," he added. "The game takes over. I think everybody has targeted today's game, everybody is excited."

Toews had 57 points in 59 games last season. He missed the last 22 games with of the season with a concussion, but he returned for the Stanley Cup Playoffs and played in all six games against the Phoenix Coyotes.

Toews has 16 points in 18 career regular-season games against the Kings.

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Posted On Sunday, 01.13.2013 / 1:30 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2012-13 Training Camp blog

Free-agent forward Darche skates with Devils

NEWARK, N.J . -- Unrestricted free agent left wing Mathieu Darche is starting training camp with the New Jersey Devils with the hopes of playing well enough to earn a contract.

Darche, who spent the last three seasons in Montreal, was on the ice Sunday at Prudential Center for the Devils' first official practice of the 2012-13 season despite not yet having a contract.

"It was unfortunate it didn't work out in Montreal; that my hometown and I was disappointed with that, but I'm real excited to be here," Darche said. "I've got a few days to prove that I'm in good shape and I can help this team. I still feel I can help a team and hopefully I'll be able to show that in the next few days."

Darche, 36, said his agent received a phone call from Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello on Saturday. After agreeing to come to New Jersey, Darche called former Canadiens teammates Brian Gionta and Scott Gomez, a pair of former Devils, to ask them what the team is all about.

"They said if there is a place where you should go when somebody calls you it's this place because this organization won't jerk you around -- they'll be honest," Darche said. "I think the style of play they play here suits my game. It's a simple game and from what they told me they are the type of team that like players that do the little details to have success. That's what wins and that's what I've been known in Montreal to do."

Darche, 36, had five goals and seven assists for 12 points in 61 games with Montreal last season. He had career highs in goals (12) and points (26) points in 59 games in 2010-11 and has 72 points in 250 career NHL games with Columbus, Nashville, San Jose, Tampa Bay and Montreal.

"I think he's gotta do what I've seen him do in Montreal," Lamoriello said when asked what Darche has to do to earn a contract. "He accepts his role. He's a fourth-liner who can get into a third-line in a short period of time. The thing I like the most about him is he's a very good penalty killer and good defensively, and I don't think you can have enough of those players as far as depth goes. We'll see."

With Darche, the Devils have 18 forwards on their training camp roster, but Ilya Kovalchuk won't join the team until Wednesday and Adam Henrique is still out while rehabbing a thumb injury he suffered while playing in the American Hockey League.

Devils coach Peter DeBoer said it's still too early to tell if Darche will be able to earn a roster spot.

"I'm excited to see him," DeBoer said. "I've always been a fan, obviously from the other bench. I haven't had the opportunity to coach him but it was a nice call when Lou told me he was coming to camp."

Lamoriello said Henrique will be re-evaluated Monday, but isn't expected to be ready to play for at least a few more weeks.

Jacob Josefson did not skate Sunday due to a lower-body injury, but Lamoriello said he's expected to skate Monday.

"I think that's going to be something that every team is going to have to deal with this condensed schedule, handling injuries," DeBoer said. "The nice thing about our team is that I believe we showed last year we had interchangeable parts. We could take somebody out and somebody could jump in and take their spot. I'm comfortable we have that kind of depth."

Petr Sykora, who scored 21 goals for the Devils last season, did not earn an invitation to training camp and remains an unrestricted free agent. Lamoriello said the Devils want to instead give an opportunity to some of their younger guys who they called up from the American Hockey League, including Mattias Tedenby, Harri Pesonen and Tim Sestito.

"It's not saying it's out of the question later, but right now we're going to go along this way," Lamoriello said.

Forward Stefan Matteau, New Jersey's first-round pick last year (No. 29) is in training camp. Lamoriello said the Devils are simply taking advantage of the rules that allow teams to have junior-aged players in camp and play them in up to five regular-season games without burning the first year of their entry-level contract.

Matteau has 28 points in 35 games with the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada of the QMJHL.

"I think it's more to just see where he's at," Lamoriello said of why Matteau is in camp. "He's been playing extremely well. He has size and strength, something you can't teach. He knows how to play the game. It'll be a good opportunity for us to see him, and it's the window we have with the rules."

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Posted On Sunday, 01.13.2013 / 1:10 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2012-13 Training Camp blog

Lamoriello: Kovalchuk will be here Wednesday

NEWARK, N.J. -- Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello said Sunday that forward Ilya Kovalchuk will miss the first three days of training camp in order to travel back from Russia, where he was playing during the lockout, and get his family situated in New Jersey.

Kovalchuk, who played in the KHL All-Star Game on Sunday, is expected to arrive in New Jersey on Tuesday and join the Devils for practice on Wednesday.

Lamoriello said Kovalchuk is not considered in violation of his contract and therefore will not face any discipline from the club for missing the first three days of training camp, which began Sunday at Prudential Center.

"I am very comfortable with this situation," Lamoriello said. "There is no penalty involved. There is no disrespect involved. I've talked to him and I feel comfortable where we're at. We're anxious to get him back here and get him in the lineup with the rest of the people and there will be no repercussions."

Lamoriello said he spoke to Kovalchuk when it appeared the lockout was close to ending and Kovalchuk explained to Lamoriello that it was important to him to play in the KHL All-Star Game.

"With the situation he had and what they had done for him, naming him captain in St. Petersburg, he had a conversation with me and said, 'If it gets to a certain point I really would like to play in the All-Star Game and not just simply leave here,'" Lamoriello said. "He said, 'I have tremendous respect for my country. They have treated me a certain way, given me opportunities, named me captain [of a KHL All-Star team].'

"I said we would take it day by day and when it did get close, although I could not give him official permission simply because of the injury situation if that took place, I did understand that this was something that was important to him. He played 30-plus games and I had no problem with this situation."

Lamoriello said he's not concerned with how Kovalchuk's situation could be viewed by other players on the team.

"I think if you know me well enough there is no way we'll ever put an individual in front of the team," Lamoriello said. "I do not have any hesitations. If it were different I'd tell you."

Lamoriello did admit it is not ideal that Kovalchuk will miss the first three days of camp.

"You certainly want all the players here, but this is not the first time something like this has happened," he said. "Throughout my years I've been through just about every type of thing, but this is something where there has been total communication. This is not something there is any, right now, concern whatsoever from my part.

"You have to understand this is not putting him in a different light or making him an exception; this is extenuating circumstances as far as I'm concerned. This is not the norm. I've had a conversation with him. I know him well enough. We've been through a lot. This will be the last time I will talk about it, but I'm comfortable with it."

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Posted On Monday, 11.12.2012 / 9:12 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2012 Hockey Hall of Fame blog

Sundin grateful to Leafs fans for wonderful memories

TORONTO -- Mats Sundin was a hero in Toronto.

Now he's a Hall of Famer in Toronto.

As James Duthie pointed out, Sundin won the admiration of both Leafs Nation and Sweden. He only won a championship with one of them (not the Leafs), but he'll forever be remembered as one of the great Leafs of all time, if not the greatest.

He is the franchise's all-time leading scorer. He's the only Swede to score 500 goals in the NHL.

Sundin opened his speech by using the year 1966 and he reeled off the Hall of Fame class from that year. That same year his dad took his mom on their first date -- a hockey game.

"Five years later, I was born," Sundin said. "Forty-six years after that date, I'm standing here being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame."

He thanked his parents first.

"Without your support, I would not be standing here today," Sundin said.

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Posted On Monday, 11.12.2012 / 8:52 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2012 Hockey Hall of Fame blog

New HHOF member Sakic lived up to the hype

TORONTO -- As TSN host James Duthie talked about in his introduction, Joe Sakic was all hype as a young player in junior hockey.

He lived up to the hype -- and then some.

Sakic won the Stanley Cup twice. He won an Olympic gold medal, scoring four points in the gold-medal game. He finished with 1,641 career points.

Sakic always had a place reserved in the Hall of Fame. Now he is finally going to occupy it.

"Joe belongs to the Hockey Hall of Fame because he is a special player," Patrick Roy said on the TSN broadcast. "He is a player that was a difference maker in our game."

In his first remarks as a Hall of Famer, Sakic congratulated his fellow inductees -- showing his humble, selfless side.

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Posted On Monday, 11.12.2012 / 8:30 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2012 Hockey Hall of Fame blog

Bettman: Inductees 'elevated our sport'

TORONTO -- NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman took the podium after the first two inductees.

"Tonight the all-time roster of the Hockey Hall of Fame is further enriched by four remarkable performers," Commissioner Bettman said. "Four legendary scorers. Four outstanding leaders who hail from four different parts of the hockey world."

Commissioner Bettman told the inductees that they "elevated our sport."

"These players earned the reverence of their teammates and the respect of their opponents -- even the defensemen they tormented and the goaltenders they humbled," he said.

Commissioner Bettman said the stat sheets can't measure the millions of fans the inductees thrilled and the memories they created.

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Posted On Monday, 11.12.2012 / 8:18 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2012 Hockey Hall of Fame blog

Unscripted Oates thanks many in HHOF speech

TORONTO -- Adam Oates gave so much in his career that finally the Hockey Hall of Fame decided to honor him with a gift.

He gave the puck to Brett Hull, to Cam Neely, to Peter Bondra -- and they all scored 50 goals with Oates as their center. Hull and Neely did it in 50 games or less.

In fact, Oates said centering two 50-in-50 goal scorers is what he loves most about his long career. He dished out 1,079 assists (sixth all time) and even scored 341 times.

Oates, the second inductee in the Class of 2012, was "Gretzky-like" in his vision and passing, according to Hull.

"Adam belongs in the Hockey Hall of Fame because he's one of the greatest players to play the game," Hull said on the TSN broadcast.

For his speech, Oates stepped up to the podium and did not have a sheet of paper. He did not read -- he either spoke from memory or simply from the heart.

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Posted On Monday, 11.12.2012 / 7:59 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2012 Hockey Hall of Fame blog

Bure takes his place in the Hall

TORONTO -- In the opening video before introducing the first inductee, Pat Quinn compared Pavel Bure's yearning to be the best to that of Bobby Orr.

Pretty high praise for the first inductee in the Class of 2012, but certainly hard to argue against it considering the career that Bure had on both the international and National Hockey League level.

The Russian Rocket scored 437 goals and 779 points in an injury-shortened 702-game NHL career. He got up to 60 twice and scored in the 50s three more times. His hands were remarkable and his skating was, well, untouchable.

"Pretty rocket like," Quinn said. "He was a scoring machine."

Bure, wearing a bow tie, received his plaque from Hall of Fame Chairman and CEO Bill Hay and stepped to the podium.

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Posted On Monday, 11.12.2012 / 7:48 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2012 Hockey Hall of Fame blog

'Best hockey night' is underway

TORONTO -- The 2012 Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony has started.

"This is the best hockey night on the calendar," TSN host James Duthie said in his opening remarks. "Tonight we celebrate the game, it's legacy, and the individuals that make the game so great."

Duthie continued in his remarks by going through the list of legends being honored -- Pavel Bure, Mats Sundin, Joe Sakic and Adam Oates.

"They have earned this moment, hockey immortality," Duthie said before turning the microphone over to Hockey Hall of Fame Chairman and CEO Bill Hay.

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Posted On Monday, 11.12.2012 / 3:50 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2012 Hockey Hall of Fame blog

Hall call makes for some unique stories

TORONTO -- The phone call is one every player with Hall of Fame credentials waits for on that June day, when the Selection Committee meets and decides on the next class of legends to be enshrined in Toronto.

Where the inductees are when they get that call is always interesting.

Adam Oates has the best story this year, because the Hall of Fame Class of 2012 was notified on the same day that he was hired to be the head coach of the Washington Capitals. So, not long after he was notified by Capitals GM George McPhee that he was getting the job in D.C., Oates had a number with a 416 area code calling him.

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Posted On Monday, 11.12.2012 / 2:15 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2012 Hockey Hall of Fame blog

Inductees rank honor of making the Hall

TORONTO -- The question of what means more, a Stanley Cup championship or an Olympic gold medal, is tried and true and asked and re-asked in hockey circles across the globe.

There is no right or wrong answer.

On Monday, though, some of the Class of 2012 inductees were asked how getting into the Hall of Fame differs in terms of personal accomplishments such as winning the Cup, winning a gold medal, scoring 60 goals, or centering not one but two guys that scored 50 goals in 50 games.

For Joe Sakic, who has two Cup rings and an Olympic gold medal, the Hall of Fame is better than anything else.

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Posted On Monday, 11.12.2012 / 1:49 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2012 Hockey Hall of Fame blog

Roberts: Sundin was workout warrior

TORONTO -- Joe Sakic was known for his wrist shot. Pavel Bure made headlines with his speed and hands. Adam Oates' passing ability set him apart.

But what was it that pushed Mats Sundin into the Hall of Fame?

Gary Roberts, Sundin's teammate in Toronto from 2000-04, believes it was the power that the Swedish star got out of his 6-foot-5, 230-pound frame.

"I think it's the ability to skate with the puck and get to the net with two or three guys climbing on him," Roberts said. "I remember many nights he'd just say to me, 'Robs, meet me at the net.' I knew eventually he'd get there with two or three guys on his back. He was just a workhorse. The more he played the better he played.

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Posted On Sunday, 11.11.2012 / 5:04 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2012 Hockey Hall of Fame blog

Salming, Sundin teaming up for charity

TORONTO -- Mats Sundin and Borje Salming were using their fame and their friendship for charity on Sunday.

Both Swedish stars and ex-Maple Leafs greats were using the same type of stick that would go to charity after the Legends Classic, which was played at Air Canada Centre.

The stick, designed by Salming, has a twist on the bottom of the shaft near the toe that is designed for a better release.

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Posted On Sunday, 11.11.2012 / 5:02 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2012 Hockey Hall of Fame blog

Sakic gets tour of Hall, remains humbled

TORONTO -- Joe Sakic still can't get over the fact that come Monday night he'll have a plaque that will go alongside all the others inside the Hockey Hall of Fame.

"They showed us where it's going to be," Sakic said Sunday at the Legends Classic. "I haven't seen it yet."

He won't until Monday night's induction ceremony, but Sakic, who said his speech will be short and sweet, said he remains incredible humbled just being here in Toronto for the event.

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Posted On Sunday, 11.11.2012 / 5:00 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2012 Hockey Hall of Fame blog

CuJo recalls Oates' Gretzky-like ability

TORONTO -- For parts of two seasons ex-NHL goalie Curtis Joseph got an up close and personal view of one of the wonders of the National Hockey League -- Adam Oates' passing ability.

Joseph and Oates were teammates in St. Louis from 1990-92 and the goalie vividly recalls the Gretzky-like ability he saw from Oates every single day in practice.

"He was such a deceptive player," Joseph told NHL.com Sunday at the Legends Classic. "He changed speeds and always had the other team off balance. Obviously everybody knows about his passing ability, but he sees the ice like very few."

Was it really Gretzky-like?

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Posted On Monday, 07.09.2012 / 11:34 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Doan ready to start figuring out his future

After putting his future on hold for more than a week, longtime Phoenix Coyotes captain Shane Doan is ready to figure out where he wants to play next season and beyond.

Doan's agent, Terry Bross, told the Arizona Republic that 11 teams have expressed an interest in signing Doan, an unrestricted free agent whose priority has always been to return to the Coyotes. However, Doan wanted to wait until at least Monday to start his negotiation process because that is when he hopes to gain more clarity on the situation surrounding Greg Jamison's bid to buy the Coyotes.

Jamison has been approved by the NHL. A 20-year lease agreement between the City of Glendale and Jamison was approved in a 4-2 vote by the city council on June 8, and subsequently held up in Maricopa County Superior Court by Judge Dean Fink 20 days later. However, two Glendale residents have been trying to gather signatures in an attempt to push the lease agreement onto the ballot in November.

According to the Arizona Republic, it is not clear if the required number of signatures has been gathered or if the residents will submit them to the city by Monday, which is 30 days from the date that the lease agreement passed. The Arizona Republic also reported that the organizers of the referendum say paperwork on the ordinance wasn't available until June 15, so they should have an extra week to gather signatures.

Regardless, Doan is ready to get serious about signing a new contract either with the Coyotes or one of the other teams interested. Bross told the Arizona Republic that he plans to speak with Phoenix general manager Don Maloney on Monday.

"I would think if they don't have the signatures and it looks like the Jamison thing is going to go (through), then Don and I would get a little more serious in our dialogue about a new contract," Bross said. "If they do have the signatures or something throws a wrench in it and they say we're looking at two months before we can make a decision, I think we have to listen to some other offers."

Bross added that nothing is imminent right now, but if Doan is going to explore his options outside of the Coyotes, "there are two or three that he'd take a long hard look at, and it'd break his heart to do so."

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Posted On Sunday, 07.01.2012 / 11:07 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - NHL Free Agency 2012 blog

Zach Parise officially on the market

Zach Parise did not sign with the New Jersey Devils before the free-agent market opened at noon ET Sunday, officially becoming an unrestricted free agent.

Parise, who is the top forward and arguably the top unrestricted free agent available, met with Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello in Toronto on Saturday night, according to a tweet from TSN's Bob McKenzie. However, McKenzie tweeted at 11 a.m ET Sunday that while the Devils are not out of the running, Parise wanted to test his value on the open market.

The Pittsburgh Penguins, Minnesota Wild, Detroit Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers, Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers have been linked to Parise's name as being the most interested. Parise indicated two days after the Devils season ended that he would not sign with the Rangers.

Parise is good friends with Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, who is expected to sign his 12-year, $104.4 million contract extension Sunday. The Penguins are roughly $12.26 million under the $70.2 million salary cap, according to capgeek.
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Posted On Monday, 06.11.2012 / 1:42 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Devils vs. Kings Stanley Cup Final blog

Devils confident, but grounded heading into Game 6

LOS ANGELES -- Peter DeBoer and the Devils don't feel the situation they're in now is any different than the one they were in the last time they prepared for a game at Staples Center last week.

"I think it's the same feeling as when we were down 3-0," DeBoer said. "I think the hockey world pretty much wrote us off, and I think we feel we've played with no pressure because of that. I don't think that has changed because all of a sudden it is 3-2 now."

What has changed is the Devils confidence, which naturally rises after winning a couple of games in a row, especially against an opponent that seemed invincible before finally being cracked.

They say they're not overconfident heading into Game 6 Monday, but certainly it is something to watch out for.

"Now we won a couple of games we know that obviously we can beat these guys, and that can be very dangerous," Patrik Elias said. "This is the time when we have to take a step back, relax and again, just play the same way. We just gotta make sure that we're playing within our structure, that we don't get too worked up. This is going to be the toughest one."

Devils captain Zach Parise said his sense is that the team is loose, energetic and maybe even a little bit relaxed now that it has two wins under its belt in the Stanley Cup Final. He can say all the same things about himself as well now that he finally scored a goal in Game 5 for his first point of the series.

"When you work and work and you're doing the right things and you're not getting the results, it does get frustrating," Parise said. "It starts to build up, and then when you're able to break through and win a couple of games, that does a lot for the psyche of the team."

However, Parise added that the still dire predicament of having to win or watch the Kings parade around with the Stanley Cup is enough to keep the Devils grounded before Game 6.

"We still know how great of a team they are and how much better we still need to play to make this thing go further," he said. "We're still in a really tough spot having to win a road Game 6 to extend this thing."

The Devils will stick with the same lineup that worked in Games 4 and 5. Here are the likely line combinations and defense pairs:

Zach Parise - Travis Zajac - Ilya Kovalchuk

Petr Sykora - Patrik Elias - Dainius Zubrus

Alexei Ponikarovsky - Adam Henrique - David Clarkson

Ryan Carter - Stephen Gionta - Steve Bernier

Andy Greene - Mark Fayne

Henrik Tallinder - Marek Zidlicky

Bryce Salvador - Anton Volchenkov

Martin Brodeur

Johan Hedberg

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Posted On Monday, 06.11.2012 / 1:12 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Devils vs. Kings Stanley Cup Final blog

Raising games at crunch time has kept Devils alive

LOS ANGELES -- The New Jersey Devils will try to stave off elimination for the fifth time this postseason in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final. Each time they have been in this spot, including twice against Florida and twice against the Kings, they feel they have responded because they have been able to raise their game and properly handle the adversity.

"Every time everybody has stepped up and brought their best," Devils rookie Adam Henrique said. "In every single one of those games everybody has stepped up their play."

They'll all have to do it again Wednesday at Staples Center (8 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, RDS) or the Stanley Cup will be awarded to the Los Angeles Kings.

"That's gut-check time," Devils coach Peter DeBoer said. "There are clues during the year. At different points you get those pressure points in the season, a must-win, a big game to end a losing streak, to see how your team responds. Until you're actually facing the fact of going home for the summer unless you win, you're not really sure how you're going to respond."

The Devils have responded with two overtime wins against Florida after falling behind 3-2, and two tight wins over the Kings after losing the first three games of the Cup Final.

Devils captain Zach Parise credits the coaching staff for preparing the team for these difficult elimination situations, but he also said there is an element to this team that enables it to thrive through adversity.

Martin Brodeur has a 1.33 goals-against average and .945 save percentage in games when New Jersey is facing elimination.

"Our team must just play well when we're in a pressure situation, and I think that starts with our goaltending," Parise said. "You've got a person that has played in bigger games than any of us have ever played in and he has that sense of calmness back there and is making big saves when we need it. When we've had to play well we've done it for whatever reason."

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Posted On Sunday, 06.10.2012 / 1:20 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Devils vs. Kings Stanley Cup Final blog

Comeback vibe grows stronger for Henrique

NEWARK, N.J. -- Devils rookie Adam Henrique knows this feeling of crawling back into a series after falling into a 0-3 hole. He savored it two years ago in the OHL playoffs when he was playing for the Windsor Spitfires against the Kitchener Rangers.

Kitchener went up 3-0, but Henrique, Taylor Hall, Cam Fowler and Co. won the next four games and eventually went on to win the Memorial Cup.

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Posted On Friday, 06.08.2012 / 3:36 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Devils vs. Kings Stanley Cup Final blog

DeBoer praises Elias as player who 'does it all'

NEWARK, N.J. -- If it turns out that the goal that flipped momentum in the Stanley Cup Final indeed was the one that Patrik Elias scored in the third period of Game 4, well consider Devils coach Peter DeBoer among the people least surprised about that.

DeBoer praised Elias on Friday for being "a Hall of Fame player." He said Elias "does it all," and that "he's a coach in the dressing room." DeBoer even wondered what type of fame Elias would have if he were playing in a high-profile hockey city like Toronto.

"He knows how to win. He knows how to find another level at key times," DeBoer said. "He had some struggles early in the playoffs, but you can see, I think he's been our most consistent guy here through the Final. There's a reason he's got multiple Stanley Cups."

If Elias is going to have a chance at another, he and the Devils have to win Game 5. They will likely go with the same lineup that was good enough to win Game 4. Here it is:


Zach Parise - Travis Zajac - Ilya Kovalchuk
Petr Sykora - Patrik Elias - Dainius Zubrus
Alexei Ponikarovsky - Adam Henrique - David Clarkson
Ryan Carter - Stephen Gionta - Steve Bernier

Henrik Tallinder - Marek Zidlicky
Andy Greene - Mark Fayne
Bryce Salvador - Anton Volchenkov

Martin Brodeur
Johan Hedberg

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Posted On Friday, 06.08.2012 / 1:38 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Devils vs. Kings Stanley Cup Final blog

Parise twisted ankle in Game 4 but says he's fine

NEWARK, N.J. -- Devils captain Zach Parise reiterated after participating in New Jersey's full practice Friday that his left ankle is fine even though he appeared to injure it in the third period of Game 4 on Wednesday.

"It just twisted a little bit, but it's OK," said Parise, who did not have any noticeable swelling in the ankle.

Parise, who was again skating on a line with Travis Zajac and Ilya Kovalchuk, said he still has not seen the replay of him falling awkwardly into the boards late in the third period.

"My brother watched it and he said, 'I don't know how you didn't break it,'" Parise said.

Parise definitely winced after he went hard into the boards, but he did not miss a shift.

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Posted On Thursday, 06.07.2012 / 1:32 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Devils vs. Kings Stanley Cup Final blog

Sykora gives Devils a lift

LOS ANGELES -- Devils coach Peter DeBoer inserted Petr Sykora into the lineup for Game 4 because he was searching for offense after getting shut out in Game 3 and getting held to one goal apiece in Games 1 and 2. Sykora didn't factor into any of New Jersey's three goals, but he was on the ice for Patrik Elias' goal in the third period.

It was one of many solid shifts by the Devils' reunited second line of Sykora, Elias and Dainius Zubrus -- a trio that combined for a goal, an assist and five shots on goal in the 3-1 win.

"I thought he had a very good game, a very good game," Zubrus said of Sykora. "We played together for most of the game. I thought he was good. He stepped in and played good minutes and did everything the coach was asking for. He jumped in right in there and I thought as a line we had some good chances and puck possession. I thought he had some good looks and good chances. I thought he was good."

Sykora, who hadn't played since Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Rangers, was pleased with his game as well. He said the key was just keeping it simple and getting a feel for the puck early.

"It's always good when on the first shift you get the puck twice and make a play," said Sykora, who played 18 shifts totaling 12:19 of ice time. "I was pretty happy about that."

Henrik Tallinder, the other Devil to return to the lineup Wednesday night, told NHL.com following the game that he "feels really good, excellent."

Tallinder hadn't played since developing a blood clot in his leg in mid-January. He played 29 shifts totaling 19:21 and had two shots on goal, a hit and a blocked shot.

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Posted On Wednesday, 06.06.2012 / 2:02 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Devils vs. Kings Stanley Cup Final blog

Parise gets some fatherly advice

MARINA DEL REY, Calif. -- While staring deep into an 0-3 hole in the Stanley Cup Final, Zach Parise has turned to the one person he trusts to tell him it's not an impossible climb to get back in the series.

J.P. Parise, Zach's father, played for the Islanders when they came back from down 0-3 twice in the 1975 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Islanders beat the Penguins after losing the first three games, but lost in Game 7 to Philadelphia in the next round after losing the first three games.

"He said him and Chico [Resch] are living proof that it can happen," Parise said Wednesday morning. "They did it twice in the one season. Obviously, they won the one and lost the other one. He said with Team Canada [with the 1972 Summit Series], they went into Russia, had to win three games, won three games there. He said it can happen. He said things like this can happen.

"He just said, 'Start with the one tonight and then see what happens.'"

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Posted On Wednesday, 06.06.2012 / 11:22 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Devils vs. Kings Stanley Cup Final blog

Sykora in, Tallinder makes playoff debut for Devils

MARINA DEL REY, Calif. -- Devils coach Peter DeBoer on Wednesday morning confirmed two changes to the lineup for Game 4. Henrik Tallinder and Petr Sykora both will play as the Devils try to avoid getting swept by the Kings in the Stanley Cup Final.

Peter Harrold and Jacob Josefson will come out of the lineup to make room for Tallinder and Sykora.

"Excitement," Tallinder said when asked what he is feeling. "I haven't been playing for a while, so I'm pretty excited to come back and to just be able to play again."

Tallinder, who has been out of the lineup with a blood clot, hasn't played since Jan. 17. He has been practicing with the team for a few weeks and said earlier in the series that he is healthy and ready to go.

"In my situation it was a little different because of the blood clot," Tallinder said. "You have to be really sure that everything was resolved in the leg. It was."

DeBoer said he considered going to Tallinder after Game 2, but didn't want to change the lineup because he liked the way the team played in that 2-1 overtime loss.

The Devils lost 4-0 in Game 3, and DeBoer said Tallinder had a good practice and looked "up to game speed" Tuesday.

"Yesterday in practice we had a conversation and he (DeBoer) said I wasn't in," Tallinder said. "Last night I got the call. It was kind of weird, but I am happy."

Tallinder will be jumping into a difficult spot in a potential elimination game.

"I feel pretty comfortable in practice, but it's practice," Tallinder said. "Stanley Cup Final, how do you prepare for that? Excitement. A lot of jump in your legs. And try not to think too much."

"He has been missed in our lineup," Devils defenseman Bryce Salvador said. "It's nice to see him overcome what he had. It's nice that he's back and recovered."

Sykora is going into the lineup as a scoring option; New Jersey has just two goals in the series.

He hasn't played since Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Rangers.

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Posted On Tuesday, 06.05.2012 / 1:13 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Devils vs. Kings Stanley Cup Final blog

Kings' penalty kill does it again

LOS ANGELES -- In the eyes of the Long Angeles Kings, the turning point in Game 3 came early -- when they successfully killed off the Devils' 60-second 5-on-3 power play in the first period.

"Greener [defenseman Matt Greene], I think I saw him block three one-timers from [Ilya] Kovalchuk," forward Dustin Penner said following L.A.'s 4-0 win Monday night. "He chewed him up and spit him out. You could just tell how much it means to the guys in this room. It just excites and pumps everyone up on the bench to watch guys go down and take a shot like that consecutively."

It was actually only two blocks by Greene on Kovalchuk, but you get Penner's point. Greene, Willie Mitchell and Jarret Stoll, playing in front of goaltender Jonathan Quick, limited the Devils to only one shot on goal over the entire 5-on-3.

New Jersey's best chance to grab a lead in this series came and went just like that.</p>

"We've had some 5-on-3s to kill and we've done a good job of communicating, knowing where we are on the ice and knowing where the threats are, where the one-timers are and where they are not," Stoll said. "Kovalchuk is a big threat for them and we wanted to lock him up. Quickie is going to have to make some saves. In a 5-on-3 your goalie is going to have to make some saves, and he did. We just didn't want to give them that great one-timer from a good position."

The Kings' penalty kill as a whole was again impenetrable Monday -- L.A. was a perfect 6-for-6 in 9:01 of power-play time.

Los Angeles hasn't allowed a power play goal in the series, denying all 12 chances for the Devils. L.A. has killed 48 of the last 50 power plays against and is 64 for 69 in the playoffs.

"We've been doing it all year. It is kind of a staple on our team," Mitchell said. "[Assistant coach] John Stevens has been terrific with it as far as details, and it has been a group that takes a lot of pride in it. We feel it makes a difference, and tonight it did."

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Posted On Sunday, 06.03.2012 / 11:55 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - World According to JR

Roenick: Kings must beware of a letdown

LOS ANGELES -- With the Stanley Cup Final shifting to Staples Center for Game 3 Monday night, NBC Sports analyst Jeremy Roenick says the Los Angeles Kings, up 2-0 on the New Jersey Devils, now have to guard against a letdown at home.

"They can't get into a game to try to impress their fans," Roenick told NHL.com.

The Devils, of course, will try to do all they can to make sure the Kings don't have an impressive night. Roenick says they will help their own cause if they get even more aggressive on their forecheck.

"You have to come with all your guns," he said. "You can't sit back now."

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Posted On Sunday, 06.03.2012 / 9:27 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Devils vs. Kings Stanley Cup Final blog

Devils' power play searches for answers

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Following the 2-1 overtime loss Saturday night, Ilya Kovalchuk called the Devils effort on the power play in Game 2 "disgusting."

Devils coach Peter DeBoer didn't think it was that bad.

"A little harsh," DeBoer said when asked about Kovalchuk's comments. "Hopefully a little is lost in translation there."

DeBoer drew a laugh with that comment, which was intended to be light-hearted. The truth is maybe Kovalchuk was being overly negative about the effectiveness, or lack thereof, of power play, but his attitude about it is understandable in light of how the game ended with Jeff Carter scoring in overtime for a 2-1 win.

A power-play goal in either of the first two games would have enough to have the Devils even in the Stanley Cup Final or perhaps even ahead 2-0 going into Game 3 Monday at Staples Center (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

New Jersey is instead down 0-2 after back-to-back 2-1 overtime losses. Its power play is 0-for-6 with only five shots on goal.

"I think 5-on-5 and shorthanded, we played really well (in game 2)," Kovalchuk said. "The power play has to be better. That's a key in those kinds of games. When you've got a power play, even if you're not scoring you've got to create momentum. All playoffs long we were good on the power play and if we were not scoring we had momentum from our chances. Those two games, we were just awful. We've got to be better."

Considering the Kings are pretty darn impressive on the penalty kill, it's fair to wonder if the Devils' power play can be better.

L.A. has killed off 58 of 63 power plays in the playoffs. The Canucks scored three power-play goals on them and the Coyotes got two. The Blues were blanked on 17 opportunities.

"They've got a really good penalty kill," Devils captain Zach Parise admitted. "They pressure at the right times. I think they make really good reads. When there is a bouncing puck they jump pretty well. They make it tough when you're breaking in the zone. You're not a lot of times getting in clean. You've got to dump it in and try to retrieve it. They make it hard, but once we do get it in it would be to our benefit just one, two passes and try to get something to the net."

Kovalchuk said the same thing -- that the Devils have to simplify things on the power play. He said they were guilty of trying to make too many fancy plays and passes through four and five guys that just aren't going to work against any PK, let alone the one that Kings are deploying so successfully in these playoffs.

"They've got a lot of confidence on their penalty kill," Parise added. "Similar to us, they challenge. They go for shorthanded goals. That's hard on a power play."

Somehow, the Devils have to fight through it. They realize finding a way on the power play could be the key to finding themselves back in this series.

"The last two games we had some early power play opportunities and didn't capitalize on them," Parise said. "Who knows, if you do, it could change the game around."

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Posted On Saturday, 06.02.2012 / 11:40 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Devils vs. Kings Stanley Cup Final blog

Devils to stick with same lineup for Game 2

NEWARK, N.J. -- Devils coach Peter DeBoer said Saturday morning that there will be no lineup changes for New Jersey in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday night (8 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, RDS) at Prudential Center.

The Devils will look to break even in the series after losing Game 1 in overtime, 2-1, on Anze Kopitar's breakaway goal 8:13 into the extra session.

Here is the Devils expected lineup for Game 2:

Zach Parise - Travis Zajac - Dainius Zubrus
Alexei Ponikarovsky - Adam Henrique - Ilya Kovalchuk
Patrik Elias - Jacob Josefson - David Clarkson
Ryan Carter - Stephen Gionta - Steve Bernier

Bryce Salvador - Marek Zidlicky
Andy Greene - Mark Fayne
Anton Volchenkov - Peter Harrold

Martin Brodeur
Johan Hedberg

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Posted On Friday, 06.01.2012 / 4:33 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - World According to JR

JR: Onus on Devils to convert on their chances

NEWARK, N.J. -- For the Kings to win their 10th straight road game in these playoffs and take a 2-0 lead in the Stanley Cup Final, NBC Sports analyst Jeremy Roenick said they don't have to change much from their Game 1 performance.

Roenick is instead putting the onus on the Devils to capitalize when they have the chance and establish their forecheck from the get-go in Game 2 Saturday (8 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, RDS).

For more of Roenick's thoughts heading into Game 2, check out this Q&A he did with NHL.com:

NHL.com: What do the Devils have to do to win Game 2?

STANLEY CUP FINAL - KINGS VS. DEVILS

Devils focus on more sustained attack

By Darren Pang - Special to NHL.com
Hockey analyst Darren Pang discusses some key adjustments the Devils need to make in order to bounce back in Game 2. READ MORE ›
JR: Obviously this is the biggest game of their season. You can't fall down 2-0 to a team as hot as the L.A. Kings. For me, what I saw last game, the opportunities that were missed by the Devils -- open nets, missed passes, quality, quality scoring chances that they had that had they converted it would have been a much different game -- they have to convert on those in Game 2. Both teams had quality chances, but the Devils especially. David Clarkson had a couple. Zach Parise had a golden one that he just couldn't get a stick on it. I think a lot of it had to do with the ice conditions, the puck was bouncing a lot. The players won't blame it, but I think the ice was to blame for some bad bounces that helped keep the puck out of the net. Regardless, they have to convert on all those chances.

NHL.com:
How do they go about getting more chances than they had in Game 1, because they had only 18 shots on goal?

JR: I think they have to get on their forecheck harder. I don't think they put enough pressure on L.A.'s defense. They made a couple of big mistakes. Their 'D' got beat on the first goal by a hard forecheck, a turnover, and the puck goes to the back of the net without the proper coverage. They have to tighten up and put more pressure on the L.A. defense to create more turnovers.

NHL.com: If they are able to do that, do you think it'll be enough to win against a Kings team that is finding a way in just about every game it plays?

JR: It's going to give them the best opportunity. You can't say it for sure it will be enough, because you can't predict the future, but it will give the Kings a lot more to handle. I do think Jersey has the ability to forecheck harder and they have to test them to that capacity. If they don't, L.A. will continue to pick them apart.

NHL.com: What do the Kings have to do to take a 2-0 lead in the series?

JR: I don't think they have to change much. They moved the puck well. They stayed out of the penalty box. They got some really good forechecking in. They created some good scoring opportunities. All in all, they have to make sure they don't turn the puck over in neutral ice. Sometimes when Jersey got more chances the puck was turned over in neutral ice, either by the defense or the centerman, and then the Devils were able to transition very quickly.

NHL.com: How do the Kings avoid the pitfalls of those turnovers considering you know the Devils are going to want to pounce?

JR: For me, it's about making sure they control the puck and control the blue lines. The blue lines are very important. And they really just have to play as sturdy a defensive game and as boring a game as they possibly can to get the fans nervous, restless and quiet. Maybe they can steal another game out of the Devils building.

NHL.com: The Kings have been at their best in Game 2s. Does that matter now? Does it give them a psychological advantage?

JR: No, I don't think it does. I really think the Kings are in a zone physically, mentally. I don't think they're looking at it being Game 1, Game 2 or Game 3. They are taking it one game at a time. They're keeping it simple. They are moving the puck well. They don't care if they're up or down, they're just playing a hockey game, one at a time. Darryl Sutter is making third and fourth lines feel like they're a huge part of this team, and he's challenging the top lines to be better. That's a beautiful way to bring the whole team into the mix. I think Darryl Sutter deserves a lot of credit for bringing in a very strong mentality in that locker room.

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Posted On Friday, 06.01.2012 / 3:38 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Devils vs. Kings Stanley Cup Final blog

DeBoer recalls experience with Kings' Williams

NEWARK, N.J. -- Devils coach Peter DeBoer has a lot of unique ties to the Kings.

For instance, Mike Richards played for him when he was the head coach of the Kitchener Rangers in the Ontario Hockey League. DeBoer is close with Brent Sutter, the former Devils coach who is also one of the younger brothers of Kings coach Darryl Sutter.

The one that flies under the radar is his previous relationship with Kings forward Justin Williams, who played for DeBoer when he was the head coach of the OHL's Plymouth Whalers.

DeBoer was asked about Williams on Friday. He relayed the story of how he met him and why he has the utmost respect for Williams.

"I drafted him in the sixth round out of Junior C in, I believe, Cobourg, Ont., which is outside Belleville," DeBoer said. "Kid came in and didn't make our team the first year. We put him down on the Tier 2 team. He just kept hanging around. You could tell he was a good hockey player, but was about 150 pounds. He had a great heart.

"Next year, he came back to camp, played for one year for me, was a first-round pick, (and I) never saw him again. He stepped right into Philadelphia. Great story of perseverance. I've got a lot of time for Justin."

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Posted On Friday, 06.01.2012 / 2:54 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Devils vs. Kings Stanley Cup Final blog

Devils confident they can get chances on Quick

NEWARK, N.J. -- Jonathan Quick is not in the Devils heads. At least, he isn't in their heads as of yet.

After further dissection of their 2-1 overtime loss in Game 1, the Devils haven't backed down from their feeling that despite generating only 18 shots on goal they still had plenty of Grade A scoring chances against the Kings' goalie, a leading candidate for the Conn Smythe Trophy.

"The opportunities were there," Devils captain Zach Parise said. "A lot of times we missed the net on some wide-open nets. The rebounds were there. We don't need to change, but we have to be better at the things we were doing."

There were also times, Parise said, that Quick was out of position.

For instance, he wasn't even close when Mark Fayne had a wide-open look at the net midway through the third period, only to have the bouncing puck flutter off his stick and go wide right. Quick was caught at the upper lip of his blue paint.

Before Parise was caught putting the puck into the net with his hand, he missed on a chance that came with Quick out of position, about two feet above the blue paint.

David Clarkson had a couple just like that as well.

"He's an aggressive goalie, he challenges the shooters, so if we can get some guys in position to get the rebounds I think we're going to get opportunities like that," Parise said. "We've just got to put them in."

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Posted On Thursday, 05.31.2012 / 1:05 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Devils vs. Kings Stanley Cup Final blog

Slick feed from Williams sparked Kopitar's breakaway

NEWARK, N.J. -- Justin Williams knew Anze Kopitar was heading to that particular area, but he didn't know if he was alone. Heck, Williams didn't even know if Kopitar would get to the blue line fast enough to even receive the pass he was about to send that way.

"It's just an area pass where you hope the guy skates into it," Williams said.

Kopitar did, just in time in fact, at New Jersey's blue line for a breakaway on Martin Brodeur that led to the overtime winner in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. He deked to his forehand and beat Brodeur at the 8:13 mark of the extra session to give the Kings a 2-1 win and a 1-0 edge in the series.
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Posted On Wednesday, 05.30.2012 / 1:11 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Devils vs. Kings Stanley Cup Final blog

Business as usual for Devils on morning of Game 1

NEWARK, N.J. -- Two-time Stanley Cup winner Patrik Elias admitted he is nervous.

"There's a lot at stake here," Elias said after the Devils morning skate Wednesday in advance of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Zach Parise said nothing about the Devils morning routine on a gameday was different, but he expects the afternoon and evening to not feel like anything he has experienced before as a Devil.

"I'm sure once we get to the rink tonight the nerves will be a little different than every other game," Parise said, "but so far it's been the same."

The Devils are going for their fourth Stanley Cup championship in the last 17 years, but of the guys that will be in the lineup for Game 1, only Elias, Martin Brodeur, Dainius Zubrus, Ryan Carter and Anton Volchenkov have experienced the calm before the storm of the Stanley Cup Final.

It's different even for a guy like coach Peter DeBoer, who never reached the Stanley Cup Playoffs as a player or a coach prior to this season.

"Just excited," DeBoer said when he was asked how he was feeling Wednesday morning. "You want to play. You're tired of waiting around. You're tired of looking at film. You're tired of practicing. It's anxious energy.

"Whatever I'm feeling, I'm sure it's doubled for the players."

DeBoer, though, has an experienced coaching staff and front office that he can lean on. Guys like Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello and assistant coach Larry Robinson have been on this big stage multiple times over the course of their careers in hockey.

Lamoriello has won the Stanley Cup three times as an executive. Robinson won the Cup six times as a player with the Montreal Canadiens (he played in the Cup Final seven times), and three times in the Devils organization, including 2000, when he was the team's head coach.

"The one advantage I think our organization has here is the experience we have from the top down," DeBoer said. "They've been there, seen it all, won, lost. Then filtering down (to) my assistant coaches, with Larry Robinson -- we have a wealth of experience all the way through the organization right to the locker room. We've got that in abundance. It makes my job easy."

All that experience, plus his own natural coaching chops, has convinced DeBoer that changing the approach and routine at this stage of the game would be detrimental to the group.

He doesn't plan on doing anything different Wednesday in advance of Game 1.

"I think the natural reaction, when you talk to people, is all of a sudden you have to pull out these great speeches, change the way you've done things," DeBoer said. "Part of the thing that we do well here is, it's business as usual. We've tried not to change a routine. I'm not planning on pulling out any great speeches. We've done our preparation. We're a workman-like team and we'll be ready to play."

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.30.2012 / 10:39 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Devils vs. Kings Stanley Cup Final blog

Devils expected lineup for Game 1

NEWARK, N.J. -- Johan Hedberg was the eager one. The backup goalie was the first Devil on the ice for the morning skate Wednesday.

He came on at 10:09 a.m. ET, and soon enough his teammates joined him. It's an optional skate for New Jersey, but of the players expected to be in the lineup for Game 1 against the Kings (8 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, RDS) only Marek Zidlicky is not skating.

The Devils expected scratches (Henrik Tallinder, Petr Sykora, Cam Janssen, Eric Boulton and Adam Larsson) skated on the practice rink with the Devils black aces.

Here is the expected lineup for the Devils:

Zach Parise - Travis Zajac - Dainius Zubrus
Alexei Ponikarovsky - Adam Henrique - Ilya Kovalchuk
Patrik Elias - Jacob Josefson - David Clarkson
Ryan Carter - Stephen Gionta - Steve Bernier

Bryce Salvador - Marek Zidlicky
Andy Greene - Mark Fayne
Anton Volchenkov - Peter Harrold

Martin Brodeur
Johan Hedberg

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.29.2012 / 11:51 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - World According to JR

Roenick breaks down keys to winning Game 1

NEWARK, N.J. -- For the Los Angeles Kings to take a lead in the Stanley Cup Final, NBC Sports analyst Jeremy Roenick says they have to exert their game with their aggressive forecheck on the New Jersey Devils.

Similarly, for the Devils to win Game 1 Wednesday at Prudential Center (8 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, RDS), Roenick says they have to exert their forecheck and their will on the Kings.

Clearly Roenick believes the team that does it better will get the early edge in the Final. For more, read on to the Q&A NHL.com conducted with Roenick for his complete breakdown heading into Game 1:

NHL.com: What do the Kings have to do to win Game 1?

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JR: No. 1, they have to understand what they do very well and stop the Devils from playing their game, basically beat them at their own game. The Devils have an extremely good forecheck. They use their speed to get in on the defense, cause havoc, crate turnovers. The Kings have to make sure they really hold the gaps, hold the blue lines. They have to make sure the Devils dump the puck in and they have to get a lot of support from their centermen. One thing that will be really hard for them is the pressure. The Kings are going to get more pressure than they have all playoffs so far, and they have to make quick, good decisions with the puck. Obviously they have to have good goaltending, but first and foremost they have to make sure that they control the puck and possess the puck as much as they possibly can against a very good offensive team in the Devils.

NHL.com: What is the key to the Kings controlling the puck?

JR: Their game has been very good, very tight. Defensively they've been very good. But where they have been so much better against Vancouver, St. Louis and Phoenix is their ability to make good decisions with the puck. They move the puck, make the smart, easy decision. They are not forcing pucks. They are doing things very quickly, and when you do things quickly it frustrates the other team. The other team can work so hard on the forecheck, but when that puck is moved quick, accurately and smartly, you're going to beat the forecheck. The other team is going to exert a lot of energy, but not get anything done. I think that's what the Kings have to do, step that up just one more level, which you need to do in order to win in the Final.

NHL.com: What kind of pressure will it put on the Devils if they're able to do all that?

JR: It means the puck will be going the complete opposite way, and that's what the Kings have done so well. They're working together as units of five. It's not one or two guys working hard one shift. All five of them are working in unison. A team gets by one roadblock, and there is another one there. A team gets by that one, and there is another one there. Then if you get past the three walls, you've got a goaltender that has just been unbelievable.

NHL.com: Let's flip it, what do the Devils have to do to win Game 1?

JR: They have to outwork the Kings. The Kings, in my opinion, have been the hardest-working team in the playoffs so far. The Devils have to outwork them. They have to make sure they stay out of the penalty box, stay disciplined, but they have to continue their forecheck. Their forecheck has been so good. Their power play has to be very good, which will be tough because the Kings' penalty kill has been the best in the playoffs. But, all in all, they have to find a way to beat Jonathan Quick. They've got to get in his face.

NHL.com: The Canucks, Blues and Coyotes couldn't do that consistently. How can the Devils get in Quick's face?

JR: With Quick it's all second effort, secondary opportunities. The points have to shoot for deflections. They can't shoot to score because it's not too often that a defenseman is going to score from the blue line on a direct shot. They have to shoot for deflections and it's secondary. It's rebound to top shelf, rebound to top shelf. He covers the lower half of the net so well and he's so good laterally that it has to be a bang-bang play to get in the net, or it's not going to get there.

NHL.com: If the Devils can get to Quick, what kind of pressure does that put on the rest of the Kings?

JR: Well, the Kings haven't really been under duress at all in these playoffs. The Devils have. They've played a seven-game series. They've been down in series. They've been down in games. They've had to battle back. The Kings haven't had that. When you haven't had that deficit, that mentality or mind frame, that benefits the New Jersey Devils.

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Posted On Friday, 05.25.2012 / 1:00 PM

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

Devils' fourth line isn't your typical fourth line

NEWARK, N.J. -- The New Jersey Devils' fourth line has become a story in the Eastern Conference Finals for how well it has played and how much it has produced. Ryan Carter, Stephen Gionta and Steve Bernier have combined for six points, including two goals in Game 5.

The notoriety is well deserved, but it's not something the so-called fourth-liners are all that caught up in.

"Hopefully what people are noticing is we're winning games and we're helping the team because that's really what it's about," Carter told NHL.com. "It's good. It's notoriety and it's positive for us as a group and us as a team. We're enjoying that."

Carter, though, said he's not so sure his group should be referred to as a fourth line. Sure, they are coach Peter DeBoer's fourth option and they get the least amount of ice time, but they don't play like your typical fourth line.

Instead of just going on the ice for an odd shift here and there to maybe make a few big hits and eat up some minutes to keep the top nine forwards rested, DeBoer has been using his fourth line to generate offense through the forecheck. Save for the skill and the ice time, the Devils' fourth line plays no different than the other three lines.

"I don't really know that we really reflect on how we look at ourselves, if it's a first line, fourth line, how we do it," Carter said. "We look at it as a shift-by-shift basis and how we play our game."

Carter, though, said the mindset of the fourth-liners has changed as the confidence DeBoer has shown in them has grown.

"We're not worried about who we are out there playing against or who we're not out there playing against," Carter said. "We just go out there and do our thing and that's probably why we're having success. Right now it's on us to go out there and just play our game."

A big key to how they play is Gionta, the 5-foot-7, 185-pound center who did not play in the regular season until the regular-season finale April 7, when he scored the game-winning goal. Gionta has three goals and three assists in 17 playoff games.

"He really opens the ice up for all of us," Carter said. "He's fast at both ends of the ice, so he creates pressure up the ice and if we turn it over in the offensive zone somehow, even if we're ahead of him, he seems to be the first one back and forcing them to make a dump or a play. It all sets up for Marty (Brodeur) to get it, and we're going back in the other direction. His speed is huge for us both ways."

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Posted On Friday, 05.25.2012 / 10:34 AM

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

Devils sticking with same lineup

NEWARK, N.J. -- The New Jersey Devils will go for their third straight win and a berth in the Stanley Cup Final on Friday with the same lineup that was good enough to win Games 4 and 5. The lines will not change, either, as the Devils look to close out the New York Rangers in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals at Prudential Center (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

The Devils are 2-0 in the playoffs when they have an opportunity to close out a team, having beaten the Panthers in Game 7 of the first round and the Flyers in Game 5 of the conference semifinals.

Devils coach Peter DeBoer changed his lines after the team failed to score a goal in Game 3, and his re-shuffling worked as they won 4-1 in Game 4. He stuck with it in Game 5 and it was good enough for a 5-3 win, even though the Devils felt they were outplayed for large portions of the game and were lucky to get out of Madison Square Garden with a win.

The Devils' fourth line contributed two goals, one each from Stephen Gionta and Ryan Carter. Travis Zajac, Patrik Elias and Zach Parise also scored. The only line that did not contribute a goal or a point was the third line of Jacob Josefson, Alexei Ponikarovsky and David Clarkson. However, Ponikarovsky and Josefson each had an assist in Game 4.

Here is the Devils expected lineup for Game 6:

Zach Parise - Travis Zajac - Dainius Zubrus
Patrik Elias - Adam Henrique - Ilya Kovalchuk
Alexei Ponikarovsky - Jacob Josefson - David Clarkson
Ryan Carter - Stephen Gionta - Steve Bernier

Bryce Salvador - Marek Zidlicky
Andy Greene - Mark Fayne
Peter Harrold - Anton Volchenkov

Martin Brodeur
Johan Hedberg

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Posted On Thursday, 05.24.2012 / 2:16 PM

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

Devils know they need to be better in Game 6

The Devils feel they got away with one Wednesday at Madison Square Garden. They'd rather not tempt fate Friday at Prudential Center when they host the New York Rangers in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

"We don't want to go back to Madison Square Garden [for a Game 7]," Patrik Elias said Thursday. "They play a little bit different hockey there. They feed off the crowd and the excitement there. We've got to play better than we did [in Game 5]."

New Jersey won Game 5 on Wednesday 5-3 to take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series, but the Devils can't shake the feeling that they stole a victory away from the Rangers, who controlled play and were able to be aggressive with puck possession for the middle 45-50 minutes.

The problem for the Rangers is New Jersey had a three-goal outburst in the first 10 minutes of the game, a result of a rebound, a deflection and a heavy wrister that most times would have been stopped by Vezina and Hart Trophy finalist Henrik Lundqvist. With the score tied 3-3 late in the third period, the aggressive Rangers had a defensive breakdown that led to Ryan Carter's winning goal with 4:24 remaining.

But in between the Devils were the team chasing and giving up goals to Brandon Prust, Ryan Callahan and Marian Gaborik.

Why did it happen?

"I don't think there is one answer to that," Devils coach Peter DeBoer said. "I think it's a combination of things. When you have a 3-0 lead -- especially that early in the game -- you don't have that desperation that you have in a one-goal game and you change the way you're going to play. On the other side, the other team, and we've been there before, you loosen the strings. Your defensemen are up the ice, playing a little bit reckless, and a lot of times that puts the other team on their heels. The good news is I like the way we responded in the third period."

How do the Devils avoid having to respond that way again in the third period?

"Just play the same way that we know we can play," Elias said. "Be aggressive and dictate the tempo of the game. Try to out-work them, obviously."

Oh, and one more thing…

"Don't get too ahead of ourselves," Elias said. "Keep plugging away, doing the simple stuff and sticking with the game plan, and not worry about what is going to happen at the end of the night."

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Posted On Thursday, 05.24.2012 / 12:37 AM

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

Staal: 'It'll just take us a little longer'

NEW YORK -- It wasn't quite worthy of being called a guarantee a la Mark Messier following Game 5 against New Jersey in 1994, but Rangers defenseman Marc Staal in his own quiet way did make an emphatic statement following the 5-3 loss in Game 5 Wednesday night.

Marc Staal
Defense - NYR
GOALS: 3 | ASST: 3 | PTS: 6
SOG: 28 | +/-: 1
"We'll regroup and get back and get the next one," Staal said in the somber home dressing room at Madison Square Garden.

Staal was then asked if the Rangers should have some hope going into Game 6, or if they should be crushed because they finally exerted their will and played the way they wanted to play against New Jersey and still could not come up with the victory.


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Posted On Tuesday, 05.22.2012 / 12:12 AM

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

Salvador's two-point night sparks Devils

NEWARK, N.J. -- Bryce Salvador used to be a sniper -- when he was 10 years old, that is.

"I know I lit it up," Salvador said.

It might be time to call him one again, because Salvador is lighting it up for the New Jersey Devils in the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Salvador got the Devils going in their 4-1 win against the Rangers on Monday with his third goal of the playoffs 8:10 into the first period. It was a low wrist shot from the left point that skipped on the ice just before going through Henrik Lundqvist's five-hole.
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Posted On Monday, 05.21.2012 / 8:18 PM

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

LeGrand taking a liking to playoff hockey

NEWARK, N.J. -- Wearing a neutral white shirt, showing no favoritism to the Rangers or the Devils, Eric LeGrand was just happy to have parked his motorized wheelchair in the area behind Section 17 at Prudential Center to catch some playoff hockey.

LeGrand, the former Rutgers University football player, became paralyzed on the field on Oct. 16, 2010. He is working hard in his recovery and in the meantime is, in his own words, "starting to become a die-hard hockey fan."

The New Jersey native has attended regular-season and playoff games at Madison Square Garden, but Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals was his first at Prudential Center.

"I am a Jersey guy, so I have to pull for the Devils a little bit," LeGrand told NHL.com as the Devils and Rangers went through pre-game warmups behind him. "But, you know, I just want to see a good game out here."
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Posted On Sunday, 05.20.2012 / 3:47 PM

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

Devils baffled by Tortorella's comments

NEWARK, N.J. -- Devils coach Peter DeBoer had one word to describe the gamesmanship comments made by Rangers coach John Tortorella on Sunday.

"Comical," DeBoer said, without elaborating any further.

In defense of DeBoer saying Brandon Prust was "headhunting, plain and simple" when he hit Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov in the head with an elbow -- a play that earned Prust a disciplinary hearing Sunday morning with the NHL's Department of Player Safety -- Tortorella went off on a rant about how the Devils stay down on the ice to try to draw calls from the officials.

Tortorella specifically pointed out what he viewed as Dainius Zubrus elbowing Anton Stralman and Zach Parise "launching himself" at Michael Del Zotto. He also talked about the Devils using an illegal pick as a set play on the power play to stop the Rangers defensemen from blocking shots.

"There's some gamesmanship right there, huh?" Tortorella said.

The Devils don't know or understand what Tortorella is talking about, especially his remarks about staying down on the ice to draw penalties.

"I don't pay attention to that and I don't know of anyone in here that has done that, unless they're referring to Volchenkov, when he got elbowed in the head," Parise said. "I mean, I don't think anyone in here has done that. Maybe he saw something differently, but I don't think we've done that at all."

Zubrus couldn't even remember a hit on Stralman.

"I don't know what (Tortorella's) thought process is, what's he's thinking," Zubrus said. "The hit on Volchy got quite a bit of attention. Maybe they want to turn the attention away from that."

Asked if he heard from the League about an elbow on Stralman, Zubrus said no.

"I didn't know about any of this until you guys (the media) told me," he added.

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Posted On Sunday, 05.20.2012 / 3:30 PM

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

Brodeur credits Lundqvist, says Devils 'will find a way'

NEWARK, N.J. -- The Devils don't want to heap too much praise on Henrik Lundqvist, but as a four-time Vezina Trophy winner and a fan of the position, Martin Brodeur certainly admires what the Rangers goalie is doing.

"Oh yeah, he's impressive," Brodeur said after practice Sunday. "I think it's a combination of the way that the players are playing in front of him, him making the big saves, controlling his game. What can you say? He's been good. We expected that. He's not surprising anybody. I know he's not surprising me. I know he's that good. We just have to find a way.

"We found a way against (Jean-Sebastien) Giguere in '03. We'll find a way against him."

Brodeur is, of course, referring to the Devils finding a way to get the best of Giguere in the 2003 Stanley Cup Final. Giguere won the Conn Smythe Trophy, but the Devils won the Stanley Cup with a 3-0 win in Game 7 at the Meadowlands.

Lundqvist would be considered a Conn Smythe Trophy favorite if he gets past the Devils. He made 36 saves for the 3-0 win in Game 3 and afterward Devils coach Peter DeBoer gave him credit for being the difference.

"Let's face it, he's playing really well. He's played well all season, all playoffs," Devils captain Zach Parise said. "I think it's important for us to not overanalyze and keep shooting, not pass up opportunities. Just keep shooting. We're getting the chances and they will go in; we just can't allow ourselves to pass up opportunities. Again, it just comes down to us taking advantage of our plays."

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Posted On Sunday, 05.20.2012 / 2:34 PM

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

Sykora likely to be a healthy scratch for Game 4

NEWARK, N.J. -- Petr Sykora has played in every game this season for the Devils after not playing in the NHL at all last season. It's a run of 97 straight games played that Sykora says he's quite proud of.

It's also a streak that will likely come to an end Monday.

Sykora is expected to be a healthy scratch in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Rangers. Jacob Josefson is healthy again after fracturing his wrist on April 3 and in all likelihood will take Sykora's place in the lineup as the Devils try to even the series at Prudential Center.

"It's kind of fresh to me right now," Sykora said after staying on the ice for an extra-long workout after practice Sunday. "I haven't really had time to think about it. Just come in (Monday), stay in shape and just wait until I get a chance again."

Sykora has no points in the last four games and just two goals and two assists in 15 playoff games. He had a goal and an assist to help the Devils win Game 4 against Philadelphia, but has been silent since with only six shots on goal.

"Those are some of the tough decisions you have to make in the playoffs," said Devils coach Peter DeBoer, who also noted the lineup is not finalized yet.

That said, it certainly seems likely that Sykora will not play in Game 4. He was asked how he thinks he has played in the first three games against the Rangers, but Sykora said it's not a fair question for him to answer.

"It's hard to judge yourself the way you play, because you always think you're playing good," Sykora said. "Other people should judge how you play because they see you from the top and they see how you play."

DeBoer and his coaching staff must not have liked what they've seen from Sykora of late.

"I didn't miss a game, but that doesn't mean anything right now," Sykora said.

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Posted On Sunday, 05.20.2012 / 2:00 PM

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

DeBoer mixes up lines, expects to have Josefson back

NEWARK, N.J. -- After getting shut out in Game 3, the Devils changed up their top three lines at practice Sunday complete with a new addition to the lineup for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Monday.

The Rangers lead the series 2-1 after winning 3-0 on Sunday. The Devils had 36 shots on goal, but couldn't solve Henrik Lundqvist.

"It's been fairly common practice for us to move people around when we haven't had success scoring goals," Devils coach Peter DeBoer said. "It's a little different situation. I thought we generated a lot of quality chances (in Game 3). The easy thing would be to stick with it, hope you come out next game do the same thing and score. But, we've decided to shuffle some things around and I think we'll get some results from that."

Jacob Josefson, who hasn't played since fracturing his left wrist against the Islanders on April 3, said he will play Monday. Petr Sykora is expected to come out of the lineup to make room for Josefson, who will likely center the Devils third line between Alexei Ponikarovsky and David Clarkson.

"He's been an effective guy for us and we missed him while he was out," DeBoer said of Josefson.

Adam Henrique should move up to center the second line between Ilya Kovalchuk and Patrik Elias. Kovalchuk was playing with Zach Parise and Travis Zajac and Elias was in the middle between Dainius Zubrus and Sykora.

However, Elias will likely move to the left wing and Kovalchuk, although it appeared he was playing on the left side in practice Sunday, expects to stay on the right wing, where he has played for virtually the entire season.

DeBoer admitted moving Elias to the wing could take some of the pressure off of him. He has zero points in the last five games and just five points in 15 playoff games.

"It takes some of the responsibility off him to work low in our end and to create offense at the other end," DeBoer said. "Hopefully that translates to some offense."

The top line now has Zajac in between Parise and Zubrus. That has been a line for the Devils in the past, before DeBoer even got to New Jersey.

"Two seasons ago we played with Zubie a little bit, me and Zach, but I don't think we have to read into it too much," Zajac said. "I don't think at this time it matters who you are playing with. We have been playing well and if we do the right things we are going to be successful, get our chances."

The only line that stayed the same was the fourth line of Stephen Gionta between Steve Bernier and Ryan Carter.

Here is an easy rundown of the Devils expected lineup for Game 4 with lines, defense pairings and goaltenders:

Zach Parise - Travis Zajac - Dainius Zubrus
Patrik Elias - Adam Henrique - Ilya Kovalchuk
Alexei Ponikarovsky - Jacob Josefson - David Clarkson
Ryan Carter - Stephen Gionta - Steve Bernier

Andy Greene - Mark Fayne
Bryce Salvador - Marek Zidlicky
Anton Volchenkov - Peter Harrold

Martin Brodeur
Johan Hedberg

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Posted On Saturday, 05.19.2012 / 6:00 PM

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

DeBoer: 'We gotta find a way to score a goal'

NEWARK, N.J. -- Devils coach Pete DeBoer had no interest in analyzing Game 3 by the plays that made the difference in the Rangers' 3-0 win Saturday.

After giving Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist full credit for being the difference in the Rangers grabbing a 2-1 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals, DeBoer was asked if the couple of shifts prior to Dan Girardi's power-play goal 3:19 into the third period hurt the Devils.
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Posted On Saturday, 05.19.2012 / 12:58 PM

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

Eminger replaces Bickel in Rangers' lineup

NEWARK, N.J. -- The Rangers have a change in their lineup for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Steve Eminger will replace Stu Bickel and play on the blue line for the first time in the playoffs. He will be paired with Michael Del Zotto.

Eminger played 4:25 of ice time as a fourth-line forward in Game 1 against Washington on April 28. The last time he played a game on defense was March 15 against Pittsburgh.

Bickel played only 4:13 in Game 2 and was on the ice for David Clarkson's game-winning goal in the third period. He has played in every game in the playoffs, but has received over seven minutes of ice time on only three occasions (Game 3 vs. Ottawa, Games 4 and 5 against Washington). He is a minus-2 with four penalty minutes.
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Posted On Friday, 05.18.2012 / 2:55 PM

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

Rangers believe better breakouts are a must

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- We already know that coach John Tortorella insists the Rangers are not a tired team despite playing back-to-back seven-game series, but they do get tired during shifts, especially when they're working so hard just to get the puck out of the defensive zone and into the attacking zone.

Brad Richards said the key for Game 3 Saturday is cleanly moving the puck up the ice. If they can do that, then the Rangers feel they will be able to keep the Devils hemmed in their zone.
 
It sounds obvious, like something every team in every game wants to do, but through two games in the Eastern Conference Finals, turning breakouts into offensive-zone time has been a difficult task for the Rangers to accomplish.

"We've got to get pucks down there, get them working in their zone and tire them out down there," Richards said. "It's a lot easier to play in the offensive zone, and we spend the first part of our shifts trying to get out of the zone. We just have to get down there."

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Posted On Friday, 05.18.2012 / 2:49 PM

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

Rangers swap lines to get 'heavier'

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Considering the Rangers have struggled along the boards against the Devils through two games, it's not all that surprising that coach John Tortorella was experimenting with a new line of Brian Boyle between Mike Rupp and Artem Anisimov in practice Friday.

Size matters when you want to win battles along the boards, and the Rangers don't have any three bigger forwards (John Scott is not an option) -- Boyle is 6-foot-7; Rupp is 6-foot-5; Anisimov is 6-foot-4.

If Boyle, Rupp and Anisimov are together, they will be tasked with pounding the Devils along the walls. New Jersey coach Peter DeBoer talked Thursday about how his team is a "heavy team" on the puck, with their sticks, in the corners and on the walls, and the Rangers haven't adequately been able to match that yet.

"Our game all year has been hold onto pucks in the offensive zone and play in those tough areas," Rupp said. "New Jersey is doing the same and right now we're losing that battle. We need to find ways to hold on to pucks in those areas. That's what I know I'm going to look to do in the next game, and a bunch of us will look to better that."

Added Tortorella: "No matter who it is, when you're at this point in the season, you're playing against teams that we're playing against, Jersey, and the other two teams playing in the West, that's a big part of playoff hockey," Tortorella said of strong board play. "That's a big part of who we are, and we certainly have to be more consistent with that part."

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Posted On Thursday, 05.17.2012 / 2:39 PM

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

Rangers not dwelling on the past

When facing elimination in the first round, the Rangers won back-to-back games to dispatch the Ottawa Senators. It’s the only time they've won back to back games in a series this postseason, but they are three wins shy of reaching the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in 18 years because, as coach John Tortorella said, they don't dwell on the past.
 
"You have a short-term memory come playoff time," Tortorella said during a conference call Thursday. "Playoffs are a whole different animal. We don't spend too much time talking about streaks. We just spend time trying to make corrections in our game, trying to be better in the things we think we need to be better for our next game, and go about our business."
 
Tortorella said the Rangers weren't nearly good enough against the Devils in Game 2 Wednesday.
 
"We look for what we do and we didn't do for a number of minutes," he said. "I'll put it to you that way; we just didn't do for a number of minutes in that game, and that's something that needs to be rectified."
 
The Rangers have been good at rectifying in these playoffs. They may only have won back-to-back games in a series once, but they've lost back-to-back games only once as well.
 
They'll try to avoid it happening again in Game 3 Saturday at Prudential Center (1 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, RDS).
 
"We want to try to win a couple in a row, but the other team doesn't want to lose a couple in a row," Tortorella said. "You play and each team is trying to find their way. We didn't [Wednesday]. We moved by it. We learned from it. Hopefully we're going to be a better team come Saturday."
 
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Posted On Tuesday, 05.15.2012 / 8:53 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Coyotes vs. Kings series blog

Aucoin out for Coyotes; Fraser to miss game for L.A.

Colin Fraser
Center - LAK
GOALS: 0 | ASST: 0 | PTS: 0
SOG: 8 | +/-: -1
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Coyotes defenseman Adrian Aucoin will miss his second straight game with a lower-body injury when Phoenix takes on Los Angeles in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals at Jobing.com Arena on Tuesday.

Phoenix rookie defenseman Michael Stone will make his NHL playoff debut and be paired with Rostislav Klesla.

The Kings will be without fourth-line center Colin Fraser, who had to attend to a family matter. Kyle Clifford will play for Fraser on the Kings fourth line. He hasn't played since logging 2:29 of ice time in Game 1 against Vancouver. Brad Richardson will move to center.
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Posted On Tuesday, 05.15.2012 / 2:58 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Coyotes vs. Kings series blog

Power play one area where Kings can still improve

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- If there is one area where the Kings can say they have not gotten the job done in the postseason it's on the power play. They are 9-1 in the playoffs and are scoring 3.10 goals per game despite being 4-for-51 on the power play.

"But we feel like we moved the puck pretty well in Game 1 and we got some shots," Anze Kopitar said. "Now it's a matter of finishing it off."

The Kings did get off six shots over their 5:36 of power play time. However, they have scored just one power-play goal over their last eight games after going 3-for-12 in the first two against Vancouver.

It hasn't hurt them yet, largely because their penalty kill has been perfect (22-for-22) since the start of the series against St. Louis, but the Kings would rather not keep playing with fire.

"I think you should try to be in every game a plus on the special teams," forward Justin Williams said. "Our penalty kill has obviously been pretty good. We need to keep going. We can't let up on that. I thought our power play gave us some decent chances, some decent looks, and we hit a couple of posts (in Game 1). Hopefully we can get going on that."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.15.2012 / 2:58 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Coyotes vs. Kings series blog

Kings prepared for bigger push from Coyotes

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- After controlling play in the first period of Game 1, the Kings expect the Coyotes to come out much stronger, faster, harder and more desperate to start Game 2 Tuesday at Jobing.com Arena (9 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN).
 
The key for L.A. is not just to match it, but try to have the same type of fast start it had in Game 1, when it jumped to a 1-0 lead 3:53 into the game. Despite playing to a 1-1 tie after 20 minutes, the Kings still held a 17-4 advantage in shots on goal and all the momentum heading into the second.
 
They won the game 4-2 to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference Finals.
 
"It was tied after the first [in Game 1], but getting the lead or playing with the lead is a lot easier than chasing it," Kings center Anze Kopitar said Tuesday. "We want to come out the same way, but we know they're going to come out stronger than they did in Game 1 so we have to make sure we're ready."
 
The Kings are aware that Phoenix consistently has hung around in these rope-a-dope games, like it did in Game 1. The Coyotes have been outshot 10 times in the playoffs, but they are 7-3 in those games.
 
The key is not to let any frustration creep in, because that's usually when the opportunistic Coyotes pounce. The Kings did a good job of that in Game 1 despite going into the second intermission locked in a 2-2 tie.
 
They expect to have to have the same composed attitude in Game 2.
 
"Within the last game that we played we told ourselves we couldn't get down, we couldn't get frustrated because we weren't leading 3-0 or 2-0," Kings forward Justin Williams said. "It was a close game right to the end and that's kind of what they've been doing -- they've been able to hang around in games and get big goals from big players because they're capable of doing that. We need to keep pushing ahead, keep pushing forward, and not get frustrated if we can't get the puck in the net."
 
Here is the Kings projected lineup for Game 2:
 
Dustin Brown - Anze Kopitar - Justin Williams
Dustin Penner - Mike Richards - Jeff Carter
Dwight King - Jarret Stoll - Trevor Lewis
Brad Richardson - Colin Fraser - Jordan Nolan
 
Rob Scuderi - Drew Doughty
Willie Mitchell - Slava Voynov
Alec Martinez - Matt Greene
 
Jonathan Quick
Jonathan Bernier
 
Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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Posted On Monday, 05.14.2012 / 8:59 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Coyotes vs. Kings series blog

Sutter doesn't expect Gagne to be back

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Kings forward Simon Gagne has been cleared for contact for the first time since suffering a concussion on Dec. 26. However, Gagne will not be joining the team in Arizona and a return this season seems impossible, according to coach Darryl Sutter.

"I mean, he hasn't played a game in five, six months. He hasn't practiced with the team literally since, when was it …," Sutter said. "Anything is highly unlikely really when you think about it. It's a head-issue injury.

"We played Vancouver in that first round, (Daniel) Sedin had been out then for a month to the day, look how it affected him," Sutter continued. "This guy (Gagne) hasn't played in five months. He hasn't played in 2012."

Gagne had 17 points in 34 games.

The Kings play Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals against Phoenix on Tuesday at Jobing.com Arena (9 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter: @drosennhl
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Posted On Monday, 05.14.2012 / 8:52 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Coyotes vs. Kings series blog

Quick responds properly to long goal

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Kings goalie Jonathan Quick reacted to Derek Morris' 98-foot goal the same way he would have reacted if the Coyotes' defenseman had scored from two-feet out on a rebound.

Jonathan Quick
Goalie - LAK
RECORD: 9-1-0
GAA: 1.59 | SVP: 0.947
He looked back in his net, thought about the goal for a second, brushed it off and started thinking about making the next save.

"It doesn't matter whatever the play is, it's only one goal, that's it," Quick told NHL.com. "You move on. It's still a tie game, you move forward."

Quick's response to that goal is similar to his response to the 4-2 win in Game 1. He made 25 saves that he now considers irrelevant because they don't mean anything unless he wins Game 2 to allow the Kings to bring a 2-0 series lead back to Los Angeles.

"It's not just this time of year, it's any time of year; a game is only good if you win the next one," Quick said. "All year long you try your hardest, try to get a 'W' and then you move forward."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter: @drosennhl
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