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Round 3
Stanley Cup Final
Posted On Saturday, 10.18.2014 / 1:22 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Sharks at Devils

NEWARK, N.J. -- San Jose Sharks right wing Tomas Hertl will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with a few of his teenage hockey idols when the Sharks play the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on Saturday.

The game marks the home opener for the Devils, who began the season with four straight on the road. The Sharks are in the midst of a five-game road trip along the East Coast; they will travel to Madison Square Garden to play the New York Rangers on Sunday before closing out the trip at TD Garden against the Boston Bruins on Tuesday.

Hertl, who happens to be the only player on the Sharks active roster born in the Czech Republic, will be playing against a Devils team that could have as many as four Czech natives in the lineup: Jaromir Jagr, Patrik Elias, Marty Havlat and Marek Zidlicky. Havlat, who played a big role helping Hertl become acquainted to the NHL lifestyle as a member of the Sharks in 2013-14, is currently day-to-day with facial lacerations and his availability won't be determined until prior to puck drop.

Hertl said he has a huge poster of Jagr above his bed in his home in Praha.

"My home is all Jagr," Hertl said with a wide grin. "I like him because he's so strong and a strong skater. I strive to play the same style because I'm the same big [butt]. He's amazing and it's great to see how he plays at 42 years old. I still like the way he plays."

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Posted On Thursday, 10.16.2014 / 10:22 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2015 NHL Draft blog

Youngstown prospect Connor reaches milestone

Youngstown Phantoms forward Kyle Connor, an A-rated prospect on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch list, scored the 50th goal of his United States Hockey League career Oct. 11 to help lead his team to a 3-2 shootout victory against the Bloomington Thunder.

Connor, who played in the CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game on Sept. 25 at First Niagara Center in Buffalo, has two goals and six points during a five-game point-scoring streak to open the season for Youngstown (3-2-0). The 6-foot-1, 182-pound left-handed shot has 50 goals and 121 points in 123 games in three seasons with the Phantoms.

"He's got a nice stride and quickness and he's good in tight spaces with the puck," Central Scouting's Greg Rajanen said. "I saw him against the [U.S. National Team Development Program Under-18 team] and he really elevated his game. He wants the puck, and when he gets it he makes things happen."

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Posted On Thursday, 10.16.2014 / 9:06 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2015 NHL Draft blog

Otters' McDavid loses game, extends point streak

Top NHL prospects Julius Bergman and Max Domi of the London Knights put to an end the six-game season-opening winning streak by the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League and 2015 NHL Draft top prospect Connor McDavid 4-3 in a shootout Wednesday at Budweiser Gardens in London, Ontario.

McDavid, an A-rated skater on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch list, had two assists to extend his point-scoring streak to seven games. The 6-foot, 195-pound center has seven goals and 13 assists this season.

Erie forward Dylan Strome, also an A-rated skater on Central Scouting's preliminary list, scored in regulation and also had the Otters' only goal in the shootout. Strome, who plays on a line with McDavid, also is has a point in all seven games; his 19 points are second to McDavid's 20.

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Posted On Tuesday, 10.14.2014 / 1:02 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Islanders at Rangers

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers left wing Ryan Malone will make his season debut against the rival New York Islanders at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday.

In an effort to energize a lineup that has been outscored 11-5 in two straight losses, Rangers coach Alain Vigneault confirmed the decision after the morning skate Tuesday.

"He hasn't played a game yet so he'll be in the lineup and we'll use him on the power play and see what happens," Vigneault said. 

Malone, 34, was signed by the Rangers as a free agent Sept. 11. He has 19 goals and 28 points in 44 career games against the Islanders.

"I'll just keep it simple and make good reads, throw the body around a little bit and do whatever it takes to win," Malone said. "Every time I go over the boards I want to create some chances, help the team in a positive way."

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Posted On Tuesday, 10.14.2014 / 9:45 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2015 NHL Draft blog

Jeremy Bracco named USHL forward of the week

Right wing Jeremy Bracco, who has points in four straight games for the United States National Team Development Program Under-18 team, was named the CCM Forward of the Week in the United States Hockey League.

Bracco, a 5-foot-9, 173-pound right-handed shooter, is a B-rated skater on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch list for October. Bracco, a projected second- or third-round pick at the 2015 NHL Draft, has scored a point in nine of 10 games this season for the USNTDP (8-2-0).

Bracco, who participated in the CCC/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game at First Niagara Center in Buffalo on Sept. 25 and played on a line with A-rated prospect and Boston University freshman Jack Eichel, has six goals and 19 points in 10 games this season. The native of Freeport, N.Y., will attend Boston College in 2015-16.
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Posted On Monday, 10.13.2014 / 8:42 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2015 NHL Draft blog

Top prospects McDavid, Eichel off to strong starts

Erie Otters center Connor McDavid, a projected top-two pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, extended his season-opening point-scoring streak to six games while leading his team to back-to-back wins against the Kitchener Rangers over the weekend.

Boston University center Jack Eichel, also considered a top-two selection, had two goals and two assists in his first college game Saturday, an 8-1 win against the University of Massachusetts at Mullins Center in Amherst, Mass.

Both players are A-rated skaters on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch list.

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Posted On Thursday, 10.09.2014 / 6:47 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

Flyers defenseman Coburn out with injury vs. Devils

PHILADELPHIA - Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Braydon Coburn will not play against the New Jersey Devils after sustaining a lower-body injury, according to Flyers general manager Ron Hextall.

The 29-year-old defenseman had not missed a game since March 30, 2013, when he was out 15 games with a separated left shoulder.


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Posted On Thursday, 10.09.2014 / 1:18 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Devils at Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- The New Jersey Devils will begin the season with a significantly different look on defense Thursday against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center.

The departures of Anton Volchenkov (Nashville Predators) and Mark Fayne (Edmonton Oilers) opened the door for four players age 23 or younger to make the roster: Jon Merrill (22), Eric Gelinas (23), Adam Larsson (21) and Damon Severson (20).

Those four will join veterans Andy Greene, Marek Zidlicky and captain Bryce Salvador. It appears Larsson will be the odd-man out against the Flyers, but coach Peter DeBoer said after the morning skate no lineup is set in stone game-to-game.

The biggest surprise is Severson, a second-round pick (No. 60) in the 2012 NHL Draft. He'll be paired with Greene in the opener.

"We wanted to give him a partner that could help him, and there's no better guy than Andy to help a young guy along," DeBoer said. "[Greene] is so smart and communicates on the ice and is a perfect partner for a young guy playing his first game."

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Posted On Wednesday, 10.08.2014 / 1:15 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2015 NHL Draft blog

Muskegon's Marchin commits to Brown University

Muskegon Lumberjacks left wing Tom Marchin, a C-rated skater on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch list for September, will play at Brown University in 2015-16.

Marchin, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound power forward from Algonac, Mich., is in his first season with the Lumberjacks. He has two goals, four points and a plus-6 rating in five United States Hockey League games.

"I've always wanted to go to an Ivy League school and that's why I prided myself in getting good grades during high school to go to an institution like this with the academics that they have to offer," Marchin told the USHL website. "Their hockey program continues to be on the upswing, and the coaching staff is a bunch of great guys that are genuinely interested in me, which I like a lot."

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Posted On Monday, 10.06.2014 / 10:03 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2015 NHL Draft blog

Eichel, McDavid begin season-long battle for No. 1

There's no doubt Boston University center Jack Eichel and Erie Otters center Connor McDavid will be engaged in an anything-you-can-do-I-can-do-better competition all season long leading up to the 2015 NHL Draft.

Both players are considered to be top-two picks in the draft and each received an A rating on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch list for September.

In Erie's four straight victories to open the season, McDavid had five goals, 12 points and a plus-7 rating. He was named the first star of the game Saturday when he had two goals and four points in a 7-3 victory against the Sarnia Sting. As first star he was honored with wearing the Super Player of the Game suit.

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Quote of the Day

Sick. I said a couple of bad words in Russian, but I said, 'Sick.'

— Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov on Alex Ovechkin's highlight-reel goal in Game 2 against Rangers on Saturday