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Posted On Sunday, 04.08.2012 / 1:00 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Panthers vs. Devils series blog

Panthers, Devils set to play Game 1 Friday

After waiting more than a decade to return to the postseason, two more days will seem minimal for the Florida Panthers. In the last series to get underway in the first round of the 2011-12 Stanley Cup playoffs, Florida will end the longest postseason drought in the League when it faces the Devils Friday night at BankAtlantic Center.

The Devils and Panthers will drop the puck at 7 ET. Game 1 will be broadcast nationally on NHL Network in the U.S. and TSN in Canada.
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Posted On Sunday, 04.08.2012 / 1:00 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Bruins vs. Capitals series blog

Capitals, Bruins set for Game 1 Thursday

The Bruins will open up their quest for a second-consecutive Stanley Cup championship Thursday when they host the seventh-seeded Washington Capitals at TD Garden.

Boston and Washington will drop the puck at 7:30 ET. The game will be broadcast nationally on NBC Sports Network in the U.S. and CBC in Canada.
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Posted On Sunday, 04.08.2012 / 1:00 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Rangers vs. Senators series blog

Sens, Rangers set for Game 1 Thursday

The top-seeded New York Rangers will open their quest for their first Stanley Cup in 18 years Thursday night against the Ottawa Senators at Madison Square Garden.

The puck will drop for Game 1 at 7 ET, and will be broadcast on NHL Network in the U.S. and CBC in Canada.
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Posted On Monday, 04.02.2012 / 1:26 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Ehrhoff won't return this week, Myers questionable

Buffalo's bid for a playoff berth will have to go on without defenseman Christian Ehrhoff and possibly fellow blueliner Tyler Myers.

Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said Monday that Ehrhoff will not play in the final three regular season games. He added that Myers could be back this week, but the towering defenseman was not on the ice for Monday's practice after sitting out Saturday's game with a foot injury.

Ehrhoff has missed the last two games since injuring himself last Tuesday in Washington when he appeared to have a knee-on-knee collision with Capitals forward Troy Brouwer.

Buffalo is 0-2 and has allowed a combined nine goals in the games Ehrhoff has missed. He has 32 points in 66 games this season.

Ruff said Ehrhoff would probably be available for the playoffs, but the Sabres have to get there first and that's not going to be easy.

Buffalo trails the Capitals by two points for eighth place, but Washington could extend its lead to four points with a win Monday in Tampa Bay. If the Capitals beat the Lightning, the Sabres will only stay alive in the race if they pick up at least one point Tuesday against Toronto.
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Posted On Friday, 03.30.2012 / 1:22 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Carter sidelined at least one game with ankle injury

The Kings' push to the postseason will have to go on without Jeff Carter for at least one game.

Carter suffered an ankle injury in Wednesday's win at Calgary and likely will not play Friday in Edmonton, according to the L.A. Kings Insider blog on the team's website.

Carter has 6 goals and 3 assists in 16 games since arriving in Los Angeles in the Feb. 24 trade. He has been a regular on the second line with Mike Richards and the Kings are 11-5 with Carter in the lineup.

If Carter can't go, it is possible that Brad Richardson takes his place on the second line with Richards and either Dwight King or Jordan Nolan. Richardson has 3 goals and 2 assists in 54 games this season. He has been a healthy scratch 23 times.

"I haven't decided yet," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said. "Lots of guys can play different positions. We'll see what the Oilers are doing first."
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Posted On Wednesday, 03.28.2012 / 1:42 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Ehrhoff will 'miss some time' with knee injury

The Buffalo Sabres announced Wednesday that defenseman Christian Ehrhoff will "miss some time" with a knee injury he suffered in Tuesday night's 5-1 win against the Washington Capitals.

Coach Lindy Ruff said the news was more encouraging than he had expected.

"He’ll miss some time," said Ruff, who declined to elaborate whether it was day-to-day or week-to-week, to reporters in Buffalo. "It’ll be a period of time.

"Christian has been logging a lot of minutes and been playing well for us, but every team has to deal with it. We have to deal with it. We have to face a little bit of adversity, and we need players to step up, and I thought last night we did. Some guys played some big minutes and played well for us."

The Sabres are 19-5-5 since Ehrhoff and fellow blueliner Robyn Regehr returned from injury Jan. 24.
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Posted On Wednesday, 03.28.2012 / 1:34 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Jackets ink Michigan goalie Hunwick to amateur deal

Blue Jackets goaltender Steve Mason took a puck to the mask during practice Wednesday morning, forcing the team to sign University of Michigan goaltender Shawn Hunwick to an amateur tryout contract.

The 5-foot-7 Hunwick, who will back up Allen York against the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday night, saw his collegiate career come to an end Friday when his Wolverines were eliminated from the NCAA Tournament by Cornell.

"We had to get somebody in tonight," Columbus GM Scott Howson told reporters. "(Hunwick) was available, but we would consider signing him for rest of year, too."

An amateur tryout contract is a one-day contract that cannot be signed by any player with professional experience and does not count against the salary cap. It's typically the deal given to players when a team loses a goaltender to injury on the day of a game.

During his final two seasons at Michigan, Hunwick went 46-21-7 with a 2.12 goals-against average and .929 save percentage. He is a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, an amazing accomplishment for a player who joined the Wolverines as a walk-on in 2007-08 and was red-shirted the following season.

Hunwick took over the starting job at the end of the 2009-10 season and reached the NCAA championship game in 2011, losing to Minnesota-Duluth 3-2 in overtime.

"He's had to fight for everything he's gotten and had to overcome a lot of things," Howson said.

Hunwick, who is the younger brother of Colorado Avalanche defenseman Matt Hunwick, is driving to Columbus from Ann Arbor, Mich., today. Wolverines teammate Lee Moffie (@ljmoffie) offered some words of encouragement via Twitter: "I wouldn't get too excited about @shawn_hunwick dressing in Columbus tonight, the chances of his '86 Ranger making it there are slim to none."

The team said Mason will be evaluated, and his health will determine if the Blue Jackets sign Hunwick or another goalie for the rest of the season.
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Posted On Tuesday, 03.27.2012 / 2:40 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Hall elects to have season-ending shoulder surgery

Edmonton's Taylor Hall will miss the rest of the season, electing to have surgery to fix a chronic injury in his left shoulder.

The first pick in the 2010 Entry Draft was dealing with a concussion since the middle of March, but the team chose to shut Hall down due to a labrum tear that's lingered since before Hall reached the NHL.

"Four years now ... I injured it in junior and it's been wearing away," Hall said. "I've been playing with a pretty bad shoulder for most of this year and I'm excited to see what I can do after it's fixed.

"It's not the way I envisioned my career starting, but I hope to stay healthy after this and be a good Oiler for a long time."

The expected recovery time for Hall is 5-6 months, putting him on track to be ready for the start of the 2012-13 season.

"We're doing the right thing," coach Tom Renney said. "The most important thing is the future of the organization and he's a big part of that."

The 20-year-old finishes 2011-12 with 27 goals and 53 points in 61 games, improving on his rookie season of 22 goals and 42 points in 65 games.
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Posted On Tuesday, 03.27.2012 / 11:45 AM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Letang day-to-day with lower-body injury

The Pittsburgh Penguins announced today that defenseman Kris Letang will not play Tuesday against the New York Islanders and is day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

Letang, who has missed time twice this season due to concussion-like symptoms, collided with New Jersey's Dainius Zubrus during Sunday's game. He returned, however, and played more than 22 minutes.

According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Letang is not suffering from any concussion-related issues.

The Penguins, who clinched a playoff spot last week, have seven games left in the regular season.
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Posted On Saturday, 03.24.2012 / 11:31 AM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Caps' Backstrom cleared for contact

The Washington Capitals did not make a move at the trade deadline, but they could be getting closer to a key addition that could help save their season.

Nicklas Backstrom has been cleared to participate in practice without restriction, a Capitals team spokesman told reporters at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington, Va., on Saturday. Backstrom, the team's top center and best player this season, has not played since taking an elbow to the head Jan. 3 by then-Calgary forward Rene Bourque.

Backstrom has 42 points in 38 games this season, and the Capitals' offense has suffered without the team's No. 1 center. The Capitals are 16-15-6 since Backstrom left the lineup, and they currently sit in eighth place in the Eastern Conference, ahead of the Buffalo Sabres because of a tiebreaker.
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Quote of the Day

You don't see many. The [Drew] Doughtys, the [P.K.] Subbans, those are guys that create offense from the back and then on top of that ability, the size that he has. In the West you play against some pretty big players, and being able to clear the crease and contain the [Ryan] Getzlafs and the [Corey] Perrys and [Anze] Kopitars and players like that, we're excited about him going back there.

— Sharks general manager Doug Wilson on Brent Burns returning back to defense