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Posted On Wednesday, 04.30.2014 / 6:04 PM

By Staff -  / - Ducks-Kings series blog

Ducks staying sharp as they await next opponent

The Anaheim Ducks held practice Wednesday without forwards Mathieu Perreault and Matt Beleskey, who were kept off the ice for precautionary reasons.

The Ducks website described the practice as vigorous while they wait for their Western Conference Second Round opponent to be determined. It will be either the San Jose Sharks or Los Angeles Kings, who play Game 7 on Wednesday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS2, PRIME, CSN-CA).

"Personally, I was hoping the series would end last game [Game 6] because I hate having this week of practice," forward Ben Lovejoy said. "We had a really hard practice [Tuesday]. No matter who we're going to be playing, they're going to be coming in with a successful Game 7 mentality, and we need to be ready for that."

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.29.2014 / 12:38 PM

By Staff -  / - NHL Live blog

New Hurricanes GM Francis on NHL Live

NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will talk with former general manager Craig Button about GM topics around the League, as Ron Francis takes over with the Carolina Hurricanes and Brad Treliving with the Calgary Flames.

Francis will also join the show to talk about his new position and the challenges that await in Carolina.

In the only Stanley Cup Playoff game Tuesday, the Philadelphia Flyers try to stave off elimination and force a Game 7 in their Eastern Conference First Round series against the New York Rangers. Philadelphia beat reporter Tim Panaccio will join us via the Arena Cam at Wells Fargo Center to discuss what the Flyers must do to get the job done.

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Posted On Monday, 04.28.2014 / 11:48 AM

By Staff -  / - NHL Live blog

NHL Live talks Norris Trophy with Chara, Weber

NHL Live with Bill Pidto and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, talks to Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara on his nomination for the Norris Trophy as the League's top defenseman as well as the upcoming Eastern Conference Second Round series against their Original Six rivals, the Montreal Canadiens.

Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber is also a Norris finalist. He'll call in to the show to discuss the honor as well as changes that could be coming in Nashville for the 2014-15 season.

New York Rangers forward Dominic Moore has goals in consecutive games and his team is one win from eliminating the Philadelphia Flyers and advancing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He'll join us by phone to talk about the series.

Also, Columbus Blue Jackets analyst Jody Shelley will be joining us for a live pregame update from the Arena Cam at Nationwide Arena prior to Game 6 against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

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Posted On Sunday, 04.27.2014 / 2:40 PM

By Staff -  / - 2014 NHL Draft blog

U.S. captures gold medal at U-18 Worlds

Left wing Sonny Milano, No. 16 on NHL Central Scouting's final list of the top North American skaters eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft, had a goal and two assists to help lead the United States Under-18 National Team to a 5-2 victory against the Czech Republic in the gold medal game of the 2014 IIHF World U-18 Championship at Lappeenranta Arena in Finland.

Auston Matthews, a 16-year-old from Scottsdale, Ariz., not eligible until the 2016 NHL Draft, scored two goals, and center Dylan Larkin and defenseman Jack Dougherty also scored for the Americans.

Matthews, a third-line center, closed out the tournament on a six-game point streak with five goals and two assists over that stretch. The 6-foot, 192-pound left shot forward had 22 goals and 48 points in 42 games for the National Team Development Program in 2013-14.

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Posted On Sunday, 04.27.2014 / 2:53 AM

By Staff -  / - Ducks-Stars series blog

Stars say they're up to the challenge

The Dallas Stars have to win Sunday night in Game 6 of their Western Conference First Round series against the Anaheim Ducks or their season is over.

The Stars are confident they're up to the challenge.

The Stars have to shake off a 6-2 loss to the Ducks in Anaheim on Friday, a game in which they surrendered four power-play goals and general suffered from a lack of discipline. They'll be helped by a return to American Airlines Center, where the Stars have won 10 of their past 12 games, including Games 3 and 4 of this series against the Ducks.

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Posted On Saturday, 04.26.2014 / 6:54 PM

By Staff -  / - Ducks-Stars series blog

Ducks want to avoid 'anything can happen' Game 7

The Anaheim Ducks want to make sure history doesn't repeat itself.

The Ducks face the Dallas Stars on Sunday at American Airlines Center (8 p.m.; NBCSN, TSN2, RDS2, PRIME, FS-SW) with a 3-2 lead in their Western Conference First Round series after a 6-2 win at home Friday.

It's the same situation they were in after beating the Detroit Red Wings in Game 5 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals a year ago; the Ducks lost Game 6 in Detroit and Game 7 at home.

"We learned an expensive lesson last year," coach Bruce Boudreau said Saturday. "Anything can happen in a Game 7."

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Posted On Saturday, 04.26.2014 / 3:38 PM

By Staff -  / - Rangers-Flyers series blog

Rangers return home seeking better Game 5 result

The New York Rangers were understandably disappointed the day after a 2-1 loss that allowed the Philadelphia Flyers to tie their best-of-7 Eastern Conference First Round series 2-2.

It wasn't just that they lost Game 4 at Wells Fargo Center, but how they lost.

The Rangers got off to a great start against the Flyers in their quest to take a 3-1 series lead. New York outshot Philadelphia 16-6 in the first period, matched the Flyers' physicality, and took a 1-0 lead on Dominic Moore's goal 4:38 into the game. But the Flyers scored the next two goals, held a 35-26 advantage in faceoffs, and held the Rangers without a goal on four power plays.

Looking back on what could have been, the Rangers held an optional skate Saturday. Their next step will be moving on and being ready for Game 5 on Sunday at Madison Square Garden (noon ET; NBC, TSN, RDS).

"It's gone now," goaltender Henrik Lundqvist said Saturday. "You let it go. Now today it was all about getting the energy back and focusing on tomorrow."

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Posted On Saturday, 04.26.2014 / 2:47 PM

By Staff -  / - Bruins-Canadiens series blog

Canadiens expect rest to outweigh any rust

The Montreal Canadiens say rest will be more important than rust.

The Canadiens, who swept the Tampa Bay Lightning to win their Eastern Conference First Round Series on Tuesday, found themselves with several days to sit back and wait to find out who they will play in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Montreal will take on the winner of the best-of-7 series between the Boston Bruins and Detroit Red Wings, which Boston leads 3-1 with Game 5 on Saturday (3 p.m. ET; NBC, RDS, TSN). In the meantime, they Canadiens are looking to stay sharp and focused.

"Rest is always a good thing. You don't get that much of it through the course of the season and you have to take advantage of it. It's never a bad thing to have," captain Brian Gionta said after practice on Saturday. "You have to build some excitement, have some fun few days, and you want to be ramping up that intensity and work the last few days before the game, making sure you get that focus back. The problem with peaking too early in the week is you start to get tired at the end of the week. We need to be careful of that."

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Posted On Saturday, 04.26.2014 / 11:40 AM

By Staff -  / - 2014 NHL Draft blog

U.S. advances to World U-18 final

Dylan Larkin, a top prospect for the 2014 NHL Draft, had a goal and an assist as the United States advanced to the gold-medal game at the 2014 IIHF World Under-18 Championship with a 4-1 win against Sweden in a semifinal game played Saturday at Lappeenranta Arena in Lappeenranta, Finland.

The United States will face the Czech Republic in the championship game on Sunday at Imatra Arena in Imatra, Finland. The Czech Republic beat Canada 4-3 in overtime, with David Kase scoring the winner 6:17 into extra time.

Canada, the defending gold medalists, got a goal and an assist from Matt Barzal, a top prospect for the 2015 NHL Draft. Joseph Hicketts and Daniel Audette also had goals. Mason McDonald, No. 2 on Central Scouting's final ranking of North American goaltenders for the 2014 NHL Draft, made 29 saves.
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Posted On Friday, 04.25.2014 / 2:52 PM

By Staff -  / - Bruins-Red Wings series blog

Red Wings' Gustavsson in goal, Alfredsson hopeful

Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jonas Gustavsson will start for the second consecutive time against the Boston Bruins in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference First Round series on Saturday at TD Garden (3 p.m. ET; NBC, RDS, TSN).

With starter Jimmy Howard out with the flu, Gustavsson made 37 saves in a 3-2 overtime loss in Game 4 on Thursday. Coach Mike Babcock said Friday Gustavsson would start again.

Boston leads the best-of-7 series 3-1.

"We should be able to go out there and play loose tomorrow with a lot of energy," Gustavsson told the Red Wings website. "The way we started the last game that's the way we need to play."

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