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Posted On Thursday, 04.03.2014 / 6:07 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - NHL Live blog

Nieto looks ahead to Stanley Cup Playoffs

San Jose Sharks rookie forward Matt Nieto joined NHL Live prior to the Sharks' game Thursday against the Los Angeles Kings, a potential opponent in the First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs who presents a number of challenges.

"The first thing that jumps out is their physicality," Nieto said. "They're a big group and a big team, and like to throw their bodies around. They're a really tight group defensively."

The Sharks entered the game in second place in the Pacific Division and three games behind the first-place Anaheim Ducks. Hoping to win the division and avoid a first-round matchup against the Kings, Nieto talked about what the Sharks want to fine tune as a team.

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.02.2014 / 4:35 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Oilers goalie Fasth to face former team

Edmonton Oilers goaltender Viktor Fasth will face his former team for the first team when he starts against the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday at Honda Center.

Fasth, who was acquired by the Oilers on March 4 in a trade for a fifth-round pick in 2014 and a third-round pick in 2015, has not started since March 22 when he allowed five goals on 16 shots in an 8-1 home loss to the Calgary Flames.

The undrafted, unheralded Swedish goaltender started last season 11-1-1 with Anaheim.

"It's going to be fun," he told the Oilers website. "I had a good year here and made a lot of friends. Now it's my enemies. [Edmonton] has taken care of me since I got here. Good guys in the group here. It's a good team."

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.02.2014 / 11:51 AM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - NHL Live blog

NHL Live previews Bruins-Red Wings rivalry game

NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network will preview the Wednesday Night Rivalry game between the Boston Bruins and Detroit Red Wings. NBCSN analyst Pierre McGuire will join the show to provide a pregame update. The Red Wings enter the game against the Atlantic Division champion Bruins holding on to the first Eastern Conference wild-card spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

E.J. will also look at some impact rookies around the League. And with the NHL Trade Deadline four weeks old, we'll recap some of the trades that are working out for the teams involved.

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.01.2014 / 4:02 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Devils' Clowe day-to-day after hard hit, out vs. Sabres

New Jersey Devils forward Ryane Clowe will not play Tuesday against the Buffalo Sabres due to an injury sustained Monday against the Florida Panthers.

Clowe was hit hard by Panthers forward Quinton Howden late in the second period and needed help leaving the ice. He did not return to the game.

Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello told The Record that Clowe is "fine" but is "day to day." He did not accompany the team on its trip to Buffalo.

The Devils did not hold a morning skate Tuesday, so the makeup of their lineup won't be known until game time. One player who could take his spot is forward Tim Sestito, who was one of two players to take the ice Tuesday morning. Sestito hasn't played since being elbowed in the head by Minnesota Wild defenseman Nate Prosser on March 20.

"I haven't had any setbacks," Sestito told The Record. "I've felt fine. I just needed some time practice and skates and stuff, but since then I feel like I'm up to speed."

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.01.2014 / 2:14 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Panthers rookie Bjugstad emerges as playmaker

With their Stanley Cup Playoff hopes ended, the Florida Panthers have used the final weeks of the season as a chance for some of their top prospects to develop at an accelerated pace.

No one has seized that opportunity like center Nick Bjugstad.

The University of Minnesota product last scored a goal March 1, but he's shown an ability to set up others with 11 assists in his past 18 games. With two assists Monday in a 6-3 loss to the New Jersey Devils, Bjugstad became the fourth rookie in Panthers history to reach 20 assists, joining Michael Frolik, Kristian Huselius and Jesse Belanger.

Bjugstad led a brief comeback Monday after the Panthers fell behind 3-0 by setting up Dmitry Kulikov's shorthanded goal with 2:38 remaining in the first and Brad Boyes' goal 50 seconds into the second to cut into the Devils' lead.

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.01.2014 / 1:06 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - NHL Live blog

NHL Live celebrates April 1 with top bloopers

NHL Live with Bill Pidto and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, celebrates April Fool's Day by taking a look at some of the top bloopers from the 2013-14 season.

What's no joke are the 11 games taking place on the ice Tuesday, the majority of them with Stanley Cup Playoff implications. That includes the New York Rangers visiting the Vancouver Canucks, and Rangers analyst Dave Maloney will talk about the Blueshirts' surge toward the postseason and the return of coach Alain Vigneault to Vancouver.

NHL Network analyst Craig Button will also join the show from Toronto to discuss some of the teams fighting for a playoff berth.

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Posted On Monday, 03.31.2014 / 7:02 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - NHL Live blog

Thomas Vanek enjoying success with Canadiens

Montreal Canadiens forward Thomas Vanek was a guest of NHL Live to discuss playing in Montreal and the team's recent hot streak. The Canadiens have won eight of their past nine games and Vanek has six goals and 10 points in his past seven.

"It's a blast," Vanek said. "Obviously it's always nice to come to a team and win right away, so it's been good. I thought we've been playing some good hockey. We're just finding ways to win, which is what good teams do."

Vanek has found chemistry playing on a line with David Desharnais and Max Pacioretty.

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Posted On Monday, 03.31.2014 / 7:00 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - NHL Live blog

Mark Van Guilder, 30, talks NHL debut with Predators

One night after making his NHL debut with the Nashville Predators at the age of 30, forward Mark Van Guilder joined NHL Live discuss the experience.

Van Guilder was in a team meeting with the Milwaukee Admirals of the American Hockey League this past Saturday when he found out he was going to Nashville.

"I was surprised at first, but all my teammates gave me hugs and high-fives and everything like that," Van Guilder said. "It was pretty special for me. It was awesome."

Van Guilder, who was reassigned to Milwaukee on Monday, played 8:27 on a line with Colin Wilson and Viktor Stalberg in Nashville's 4-3 shootout win against the Washington Capitals on Sunday.

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Posted On Monday, 03.31.2014 / 5:09 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Ducks' Selanne downplaying last game vs. Jets

Anaheim Ducks forward Teemu Selanne, who began his NHL career with the original Winnipeg Jets, on Monday will play his final game against the current Winnipeg franchise.

Selanne, who has said the 2013-14 season will be his final one, had 76 goals and 132 points as a rookie with the Jets in 1992-93 and spent his first four NHL seasons with them.

Since leaving the Jets he's gone on to score 684 goals, second among active players. This season he has nine goals and 25 points in 58 games; he's sat out the second of back-to-back games this season to conserve energy for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"I try to take this as a normal game," Selanne told the Ducks' website. "Obviously I know it's the last game, so it's always special. I'll try to enjoy it."

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Posted On Saturday, 03.29.2014 / 3:26 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Desperate Devils deal with inexperienced Islanders

Sitting four points behind a quartet of teams tied for the Eastern Conference's two wild-card spots in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the New Jersey Devils have eight games remaining in the regular season. Any chance New Jersey had of making the playoffs has been bolstered by the collective poor play of those four teams.

The Columbus Blue Jackets, Detroit Red Wings, Washington Capitals and Toronto Maple Leafs went a combined 1-6-1 this week before evening games began Saturday; that includes Washington's 4-2 loss to the Boston Bruins on Saturday afternoon.

Visiting the New York Islanders on Saturday, the Devils are looking to make one last-gasp run at the postseason.

"We have nine games to go. If we want to make the playoffs we have to win almost every game now. And every game is tough. There are no easy games in this League," forward Jaromir Jagr said. "We have to make sure we play our game and we might need help from other teams."

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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