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Stanley Cup Final
Posted On Saturday, 03.21.2015 / 6:43 PM

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

Devils forward Elias returns against Islanders

NEWARK, N.J. -- New Jersey Devils forward Patrik Elias, who missed the past three games because of back spasms, will return to the lineup against the New York Islanders at Prudential Center on Saturday.

Elias, who has 10 goals and 29 points in his 17th season with the Devils, centered a line with Dainius Zubrus and Stephen Gionta during warm-ups. Elias has 33 goals and 86 points in 89 career games against the Islanders. Forward Michael Ryder will be a healthy scratch.


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Posted On Saturday, 03.21.2015 / 1:00 PM

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

At the Rink: Islanders at Devils

NEWARK, N.J. -- Defenseman Nick Leddy and goaltender Jaroslav Halak will return to the lineup for the New York Islanders against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on Saturday.

Islanders coach Jack Capuano confirmed that Leddy, who has missed the past four games with an upper-body injury, and Halak, who missed the past two with a lower-body injury, will return following the Islanders optional morning skate.

Leddy will resume his normal role alongside Johnny Boychuk. Defenseman Calvin de Haan, who has no points in his past 19 games, will serve as a healthy scratch. Leddy leads all Islanders defensemen with 10 goals and a plus-17 rating.

"When you lose elite players you have a hole to fill," Capuano said about Leddy. "He means a great deal and is important. When you got a guy that can move the puck and work the power play, it's big."

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Posted On Friday, 03.20.2015 / 10:28 AM

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

BU's Eichel named Hockey East Player of the Year

Boston University freshman Jack Eichel, a projected top-two pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, was named Hockey East Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year during the league's awards banquet at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge, Mass., on Thursday.

The 18-year-old right-shot center also earned the only unanimous first-team Hockey East All-Star selection.

Eichel, who was named one of 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award on Thursday, is the third player from Hockey East to win both awards in the same since University of Maine forward Paul Kariya in 1993 and Boston College defenseman Brian Leetch in 1987. Kariya was chosen No. 4 in the 1993 draft by the Anaheim Ducks, and Leetch was selected No. 9 in the 1986 draft by the New York Rangers.

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Posted On Thursday, 03.19.2015 / 11:08 AM

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

BU's Eichel named finalist for Hobey Baker Award

Boston University center Jack Eichel, a projected top-two pick at the 2015 NHL Draft, was one of 10 finalists to be named for the 2015 Hobey Baker Award presented annually to college hockey's top player.

The other finalists include Daniel Ciampini of Union College, Matt Garbowsky, Rochester Institute of Technology, Zach Hyman (Florida Panthers) of the University of Michigan, Tanner Kero of Michigan Tech University, Joey LaLeggia (Edmonton Oilers) of the University of Denver, Zane McIntyre (Boston Bruins) of the University of North Dakota, Mike Reilly (Columbus Blue Jackets) of the University of Minnesota, Jimmy Vesey (Nashville Predators) of Harvard University and Cody Wydo of Robert Morris University.

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Posted On Thursday, 03.19.2015 / 10:12 AM

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

Erie's McDavid headlines OHL coaches poll winners

Erie Otters center Connor McDavid, the projected No. 1 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, was the individual leader in three different areas in the Ontario Hockey League Western Conference coaches poll for the 2014-15 regular season.

The OHL revealed this week the results of the Eastern and Western conference awards that recognize the top three players in 20 different skill categories within their own conference.

McDavid, No. 1 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm ranking of the top North American skaters eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft, finished first in the voting for "Best Playmaker" for a second straight year, "Best Skater" for a second straight year, and "Best Stickhandler" for a third straight year.

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Posted On Wednesday, 03.18.2015 / 6:17 PM

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

At the Rink: Blackhawks at Rangers

Two teams on a roll despite the absence of key players in the lineup play Wednesday when the New York Rangers host the Chicago Blackhawks in what figures to be a Stanley Cup Playoff-like atmosphere at Madison Square Garden (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN1, TVA Sports).

Neither team had a morning skate Wednesday, the Blackhawks because they played Tuesday, beating the New York Islanders 4-1 at United Center.

The Rangers, winners of five straight, are tied for the NHL lead with 95 points. The Blackhawks, 5-0-1 in their past six games, are tied with the Rangers for the second-fewest goals-allowed per game (2.25).

The Rangers are 15-2-3 since losing goaltender Henrik Lundqvist because of a vascular injury in his neck sustained during a 4-1 victory against the Carolina Hurricanes on Jan. 31. The Blackhawks are 6-1-1 since right wing Patrick Kane sustained a fractured left clavicle against the Florida Panthers on Feb. 24.

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.17.2015 / 1:37 PM

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

At the Rink: Penguins at Devils

NEWARK, N.J. -- The Pittsburgh Penguins will try to reach the 40-win mark for the eighth consecutive 82-game NHL season when they play the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on Tuesday.

The Penguins are 39-20-10 and third in the Metropolitan Division with 88 points, two points ahead of the Washington Capitals and two points behind the New York Islanders, with 13 games remaining. The Penguins have two games in hand on the Capitals and Islanders.

Penguins coach Mike Johnston announced Monday that center Evgeni Malkin will miss his second straight game because of a lower-body injury. Malkin, who could miss 1-2 weeks according to general manager Jim Rutherford, sustained his injury during his first shift of a 2-0 loss against the Boston Bruins on Saturday. He returned for four shifts but didn't play after the first period. Johnston said Malkin could join the team at some point during its three-game road trip, which continues against the Dallas Stars on Thursday and the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday.

Dating to 2006-07, Malkin's rookie season, the Penguins have won 412 games, the most in the League.

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Posted On Monday, 03.16.2015 / 3:00 AM

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

BU's Eichel extends scoring streak to 10 games

Freshman center Jack Eichel, a projected top-two pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, became the first player in 18 seasons at Boston University to score 60 points while helping the Terriers advance to the semifinal round of the Hockey East Tournament with two victories this past weekend.

Eichel, No. 2 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm ranking of the top North American skaters eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft, totaled two goals and six points in back-to-back wins against Merrimack in a best-of-3 quarterfinal round series. Boston University (23-7-5) will next play New Hampshire in the semifinal round at TD Garden in Boston on March 20.


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Posted On Friday, 03.13.2015 / 10:52 AM

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

BU's Eichel ready for Hockey East Tournament

Boston University freshman center Jack Eichel and his teammates will open their best-of-3 quarterfinal-round series in the Hockey East Tournament against Merrimack at Agganis Arena on Friday.

The second game of the series will be Saturday; a third game, if necessary, will be Sunday. All three games will be at Agganis.

Eichel, No. 2 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm ranking of the top North American skaters eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft, leads all NCAA players with 37 assists, 55 points and a plus-36 rating in 32 games.

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Posted On Thursday, 03.12.2015 / 1:51 PM

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

Erie prospect McDavid has 27-game point streak end

Erie Otters captain Connor McDavid, the projected No. 1 pick of the 2015 NHL Draft, had his 27-game point streak end in a 3-0 victory against the Niagara IceDogs in front of 4,878 at Erie Insurance Arena on Wednesday.

McDavid, No. 1 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm ranking of North American skaters eligible for the 2015 draft, had 26 goals and 67 points during his streak, the longest in the Ontario Hockey League this season. It began Nov. 7 but was paused for almost two months while he recovered from a broken hand sustained in a fight Nov. 11 and was away playing for Canada at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.

The streak is the longest in the OHL since New York Islanders captain John Tavares had points in 27 straight games during the 2007-08 season as a member of the Oshawa Generals.

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Quote of the Day

You know what? We've played in some pretty special buildings along this playoff run so far. You start in Detroit, you go to Montreal, you come here … I think it's the first team to beat three Original Six teams to get to the Final if I'm not mistaken. That says how tough the road has been. Those are tough places to win.

— Lightning forward Steven Stamkos after Game 7 win vs. Rangers on Friday in New York