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Posted On Tuesday, 04.21.2015 / 2:22 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2015 NHL Draft blog

Gretzky calls McDavid best prospect 'in 30 years'

Wayne Gretzky said he believes Erie Otters captain Connor McDavid would not only be the perfect fit for the Edmonton Oilers, but the best player to enter the NHL in three decades.

Gretzky told Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal that McDavid, the projected No. 1 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla., on June 26, is clearly a franchise player.

"He's as good as I've seen in the last 30 years, the best player to come into the League in the last 30 years, the best to come along since [Mario] Lemieux and [Sidney] Crosby," Gretzky said. "He can definitely change a franchise's fortunes.

"I think it'll be a perfect fit for Connor in Edmonton."

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Posted On Monday, 04.20.2015 / 6:00 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - In Case You Missed It Blog

ICYMI: Monday, April 20

Have #FOMO? Simply want to catch up after a busy day? No worries, NHL.com has you covered. Welcome to our new ICYMI blog, a daily digest of all news, features and blogs we publish. Consider it your one-stop shop for all written NHL.com content.



TRENDING:

Sharks, McLellan agree to part ways
Coach Todd McLellan and the San Jose Sharks have "mutually agreed to part ways," according to a release from the team Wednesday.

NHL.com mock drafts
Staff writers Mike Morreale and Adam Kimelman project the top 14 picks of June's NHL Draft.

Winnipeg fans ready for whiteout
The Stanley Cup Playoffs are returning to Winnipeg for the first time in 19 years, and there's a whiteout in the air as the Jets host the Anaheim Ducks in Game 3 on Monday.



NEWS:

Starting times set for Thursday
NHL today announced updated start time and national television information for the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round games scheduled for Thursday, April 23.

No suspension for Vancouver's Burrows
Vancouver Canucks forward Alex Burrows will not be suspended for Game 4 of the Western Conference First Round series against the Calgary Flames.

Nicholson named CEO of Oilers group
Bob Nicholson appointed Chief Executive Officer of Oilers Entertainment Group.

Stanley Cup Playoffs notebook
Comprehensive Stanley Cup Playoffs notebook from games played on Sunday, April 19.

FEATURES:

Canadiens using two-day break to their advantage
The Montreal Canadiens are resting, relaxing and reloading to deliver what they hope will be a final knockout blow against the Ottawa Senators in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference First Round on Wednesday.

Crawford lends support to Blackhawks rookie Darling
While Scott Darling will start for the Blackhawks in Game 4 against the Predators, displaced starter Corey Crawford is lending support and encouragement to the rookie goalie.

Red Wings searching for more shots in Game 3
The Tampa Bay Lightning have outshot the Detroit Red Wings by a combined 76-38 margin in the first two games, and the Red Wings want to reverse that trend.

Weise's heroics spark Canadiens to Game 3 victory
Dale Weise
Right Wing - MTL
GOALS: 2 | ASST: 0 | PTS: 2
SOG: 7 | +/-: 2
Montreal Canadiens forward Dale Weise is developing a reputation for delivering in the big moments of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Winnipeg fans ready to bring back the whiteout
The Stanley Cup Playoffs are returning to Winnipeg for the first time in 19 years, and there's a whiteout in the air as the Jets host the Anaheim Ducks in Game 3 on Monday.

Senators, down 0-3 to Canadiens, staying optimistic
The Ottawa Senators dug themselves out of a big hole with a spectacular stretch run to make the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, but this time, the challenge may be even more daunting.

BLOG COVERAGE:

Blackhawks' Carcillo could get cleared for Game 4
Injured Chicago Blackhawks forward Daniel Carcillo might get cleared medically to play in Game 4 of their first-round series on Tuesday.

Canucks expect more discipline in Game 4
The Canucks expect a more disciplined game when they play the Flames in Game 4.

Capitals rookie Burakovsky likely to take Fehr's place
Washington Capitals rookie forward Andre Burakovsky likely will make his Stanley Cup Playoff debut in Game 4 against the New York Islanders.

Jets center Perreault motivated to defeat former team
If there is one player in the Jets dressing room who knows their first-round series against the Ducks is far from over, it's Mathieu Perreault.

Bennett, Ferland among rookies to spark Flames
Sam Bennett and Michael Ferland are among six rookies who have helped the Flames to a 2-1 lead in their first-round series against the Canucks.

Predators' Fisher skates, Game 4 availability uncertain
It is unclear whether or not Nashville Predators center Mike Fisher will be available for Game 4 against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Ducks embracing challenge of playing in Winnipeg
The Ducks are playing the villain's role Monday, but they are just as excited to be part of a special moment in Winnipeg's history as the Jets are.

Capitals lose forward Fehr for at least two games
Washington Capitals forward Eric Fehr will not play in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference First Round series Tuesday against the New York Islanders.

Jets return home looking to get back in series
The stakes for the Winnipeg Jets are very clear when they play Game 3 against the Anaheim Ducks.

Abdelkader, Smith returning to Red Wings lineup
The Detroit Red Wings will have two lineup changes for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs series against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Blues want to keep it simple in Game 3 at Wild
The Blues will look to keep it simple in Game 3 against the Wild before a boisterous crowd at Xcel Energy Center.

Wild revert to Game 1 lineup for Game 3
The Minnesota Wild will go with the lineup that won them Game 1 against the St. Louis Blues for Game 3 of the Western Conference First Round.

Rangers' Yandle likely to play Game 3 vs. Penguins
Keith Yandle
Defense - NYR
GOALS: 0 | ASST: 1 | PTS: 1
SOG: 4 | +/-: 0
Despite missing the morning skate Monday because he was sick, Rangers defenseman Keith Yandle is likely to play Game 3 against the Penguins.

Lightning like recent road play, ready for Red Wings 
The Lightning played better on the road at the end of the season and they can use those experiences Tuesday against the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena.

Melrose: Ducks impressive, but Jets still dangerous
Although the Anaheim Ducks have been impressive, the Winnipeg Jets are still in what's been a very tough series, writes Barry Melrose.

Darling earns Game 4 start for Blackhawks
Backup goaltender Scott Darling will start Game 4 of Western Conference First Round series against Nashville Predators, according to Joel Quenneville.

Islanders backup goalie Neuvirth knows Capitals well
Michal Neuvirth hasn’t played for the Islanders yet, but he's had a big part in the team's preparation against his former club, the Capitals.

Penguins likely to ice same lineup in Game 3
The Penguins' lineup will most likely remain the same when they face the New York Rangers in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference First Round Series.


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Posted On Monday, 04.20.2015 / 12:42 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Predators-Blackhawks series blog

Darling earns Game 4 start for Blackhawks

Goaltender Scott Darling will start for the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 4 of the Western Conference First Round series against the Nashville Predators at United Center on Tuesday (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA3, FS-TN, CSN-CH), according to coach Joel Quenneville.

Darling replaced starter Corey Crawford in Game 1, stopping all 42 shots he faced to help the Blackhawks rally from a three-goal deficit to win 4-3 in double overtime. After Crawford allowed all the goals in a 6-2 defeat in Game 2, Quenneville went with Darling for Game 3.

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Posted On Saturday, 04.18.2015 / 6:47 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2015 NHL Draft blog

Eichel added to U.S. team for World Championship

Boston University freshman center Jack Eichel, projected to be one of the first players picked at the 2015 NHL Draft, was added to the United States team for the 2015 IIHF World Championship, USA Hockey announced Saturday.

Eichel, who won the Hobey Baker Award as the top player in college hockey, had 26 goals and 45 assists in 40 games. He led all college hockey players in assists, points (71), power-play points (23) and plus/minus rating (plus-51). His 1.77 point-per-game average is the best by a college freshman since Paul Kariya of the University of Maine in 1992-93 averaged 2.56 points per game (100 points in 39 games).

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Posted On Thursday, 04.16.2015 / 10:41 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Ducks-Jets series blog

Perreault scratched by Jets for Game 1

ANAHEIM -- The Winnipeg Jets scratched forward Mathieu Perreault for Game 1 of the Western Conference First Round against the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday because of a lower-body injury.

Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice had said Perreault would be a game-time decision. Perreault has skated the past two days, but has done it mostly on his own.

The former Ducks player had 18 goals and 23 assists in 62 regular-season games. He was replaced in the lineup by forward Matt Halischuk.

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Posted On Thursday, 04.16.2015 / 5:44 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - In Case You Missed It Blog

ICYMI: Thursday, April 16

Have #FOMO? Simply want to catch up after a busy day? No worries, NHL.com has you covered. Welcome to our new ICYMI blog, a daily digest of all news, features and blogs we publish. Consider it your one-stop shop for all written NHL.com content.



TRENDING:

Senators forward Stone has microfracture in wrist
Ottawa Senators forward Mark Stone sustained a microfracture of his right wrist in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round and his status for the remainder of the series is unknown.

Canadiens' Subban says he paid price for Stone slash
P.K. Subban and the Montreal Canadiens believe the penalties he received for his slash on Ottawa Senators forward Mark Stone were punishment enough.

Lightning GM Yzerman not excited to face Red Wings 
Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman played 23 seasons with the Detroit Red Wings. The teams will meet in the Eastern Conference First Round.

Share your #MyPlayoffsMoment
#MyPlayoffsMoment presented by GoPro to share fan-perspective video stories throughout the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.



NEWS:

Blackhawks stick with goalie Crawford for Game 2
Goalie Corey Crawford will start for the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 2 of the Western Conference First Round against the Nashville Predators on Friday at Bridgestone Arena.

Stanley Cup Playoffs notebook
Comprehensive Stanley Cup Playoffs notebook from games played Wednesday, April 15.

FEATURES:

Islanders' young players benefit from patient approach
The New York Islanders have taken a more measured approach developing players like Ryan Strome, Brock Nelson and Anders Lee. Their patience is paying off.

Flames never let adversity slow path to playoffs
No matter what adversity befell them, the Calgary Flames never let it stand in the way of their goal of making the Stanley Cup Playoffs

Hedman key cog for Lightning defense in playoffs 
After an up and down, injury-plagued season, Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman is healthy and ready to help the Lightning as they begin their quest to win the Stanley Cup.

Red Wings ready to meet Lightning built by Yzerman
The Eastern Conference First Round will be the first time in the Stanley Cup Playoffs the Red Wings will play the team put together by the Lightning GM Steve Yzerman, who was the face of their franchise for so many years..

Darling's goaltending fuels Hawks' comeback win
Scott Darling
Goalie - CHI
RECORD: 1-0
GAA: 0.00 | SVP: 1.000
Scott Darling realized a dream by making it to the NHL with the Chicago Blackhawks. The dream season continued with a 42-save relief performance in a 4-3 double-overtime win in Game 1 of the Western Conference First Round.

New Canadiens step up to replace Subban, Pacioretty 
Every player Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin acquired over the course of the season had a big impact in helping them open the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a victory.

Senators remain confident in Hammond for Game 2
Ottawa Senators goalie Andrew Hammond gave up four goals in the second period of a 4-3 loss to the Montreal Canadiens in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference First Round series, but his coach says he isn't to blame.

Sloppiness, missed chances cost Capitals in Game 1
The Washington Capitals turned the puck over too much, missed connections on too many passes and flubbed away too many opportunities in a 4-1 loss to the New York Islanders in Game 1.

Michigan's Werenski has mature game of older player
Michigan freshman defenseman Zachary Werenski didn't play like the youngest player in NCAA hockey this season. His mature game likely will earn him an early selection at the 2015 NHL Draft.

BLOG COVERAGE:

Jets forward Perreault game-time decision at Ducks
Winnipeg Jets forward Mathieu Perreault (lower body) is a game-time decision for Game 1 against the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday at Honda Center.

Canadiens' Pacioretty still questionable for Game 2
Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty practiced Thursday but his status for Game 2 against the Ottawa Senators on Friday is unknown.

Sloppy play, poor execution hurt Senators in opener 
Ottawa Senators coach Dave Cameron called their play sloppy in a Game 1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens and the team will look to even the series.

Wilson finds scoring touch for Predators in Game 1
Colin Wilson
Center - NSH
GOALS: 2 | ASST: 0 | PTS: 2
SOG: 6 | +/-: 1
Colin Wilson's production on the Predators' second line will be a key factor for the remainder of their best-of-7 series against the Blackhawks.

Wild's Bergenheim gets fourth-line spot vs. Blues
Minnesota Wild forward Sean Bergenheim will be on the fourth line Thursday in Game 1 against the St. Louis Blues.

Ducks' Wisniewski a healthy scratch against Jets
Defenseman James Wisniewski will be a healthy scratch for the Anaheim Ducks in Game 1 of the Western Conference First Round against the Winnipeg Jets.

Blues hope defensive depth helps in playoffs
The St. Louis Blues hope their defensive depth, including Zbynek Michalek and Carl Gunnarsson, can be the difference in this year's playoffs.

Capitals forward Wilson close to returning from injury
The status of Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson is still unknown for Game 2 against the New York Islanders on Friday.

Red Wings' Abdelkader out for Game 1 vs. Lightning
Detroit Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader won't play Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round on Thursday against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Penguins' Chorney, Dumoulin to make playoff debuts
Pittsburgh Penguins rookie defensemen Taylor Chorney and Brian Dumoulin will make their debuts in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in Game 1.

Lightning's Coburn to play against Red Wings
Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Braydon Coburn will play in Game 1 Thursday against the Detroit Red Wings.

Rangers' Nash feels better, ready to go in Game 1
New York Rangers forward Rick Nash will be in the lineup Thursday after missing practice Wednesday because of the flu.

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.15.2015 / 6:21 PM

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

Ducks' Fowler expecting physical series against Jets

Anaheim Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler joined NHL Live to look ahead to the Western Conference First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Winnipeg Jets.

Game 1 is Thursday at Honda Center (10:30 p.m. ET; CNBC, TVA, SN, PRIME). "The last few days we've really been working hard," Fowler said. "We've had some good practices and it's allowed us time work on some things that we'd like to clear up heading into the playoffs. Now we feel like we're all prepared and we just have to go out there and execute."

The Ducks (51-24-7) earned 109 points to clinch the best record in the Western Conference and capture the Pacific Division title for the third straight year, and are eager to improve their recent postseason track record. Anaheim lost in seven games to the Detroit Red Wings in the first round in 2013. Last season, the Ducks advanced to the second round, where they lost to the Los Angeles Kings in seven.

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.14.2015 / 5:15 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - In Case You Missed It Blog

ICYMI: Tuesday, April 14

Have #FOMO? Simply want to catch up after a busy day? No worries, NHL.com has you covered. Welcome to our new ICYMI blog, a daily digest of all news, features and blogs we publish. Consider it your one-stop shop for all written NHL.com content.



TRENDING:

NHL.com, NHL Network Stanley Cup Playoffs picks
NHL.com, NHL Network predict the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs with first-round picks, conference winners, Cup champion and MVP selections.

Blackhawks' Kane to return in Game 1 vs. Predators
Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane will be in the lineup for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Nashville Predators.

Bet on himself paid off for Lightning coach Cooper
A strange hockey journey has delivered Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper from a law practice to hockey's pinnacle.



ALL STORIES:

Maurice's influence created winning structure for Jets
Jets coach Maurice went to work to restructure the Jets' on-ice systems play and structure to create a new mindset inside the dressing room.

Jets forward Perreault questionable for Game 1
The Winnipeg Jets may not have forward Mathieu Perreault for Game 1 of their Stanley Cup Playoff series against the Anaheim Ducks.

Penguins putting rough finish to season in the past
The Pittsburgh Penguins are putting a rough finish to the regular season behind them and focusing on the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Zucker's return from injury provides boost to Wild
For Minnesota Wild forward Jason Zucker, preparing for another Stanley Cup Playoff series is something he couldn't have imagined two months ago.

Rangers' Lundqvist feeling good entering playoffs
After missing seven weeks because of an injury, New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist feels fresh entering the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Predators' Josi had season worthy of Norris talk
Roman Josi
Defense - NSH
GOALS: 15 | ASST: 40 | PTS: 55
SOG: 201 | +/-: 15
Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi had the kind of season that earned him mention among the best defensemen in the League.

Lightning goalie Bishop ready to make playoff debut
Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Ben Bishop, who has 77 wins and nine shutouts the past two seasons, has never played in a Stanley Cup Playoff game.

Ducks' Andersen confident about making Game 1 start
It's become clear that Frederik Andersen will be the starting goalie for the Anaheim Ducks to start the Stanley Cup Playoffs with John Gibson ailing.

Holtby bounces back to become Capitals rock in net
Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby bounced back from losing the No. 1 job last season to match franchise records in wins and shutouts.

Lightning could get Coburn back for Game 1
Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Braydon Coburn is a possibility to return for the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Penguins' Wilson recalled from AHL to add depth
The Pittsburgh Penguins recalled forward Scott Wilson from the AHL to add some depth to an offense that struggled down the stretch.

Rangers' Klein unlikely to play in Game 1 vs. Penguins
Kevin Klein
Defense - NYR
GOALS: 9 | ASST: 17 | PTS: 26
SOG: 76 | +/-: 24
New York Rangers defenseman Kevin Klein did not practice Tuesday and is unlikely to play in Game 1 against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday.

Melrose Minute: Banking on Senators to pull an upset
NHL Network analyst Barry Melrose offers his picks for the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, which include the Ottawa Senators pulling an upset.

Senators' Karlsson healthy, ready to play in Game 1
Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson said he's 100-percent healthy and ready to play Game 1 against the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday

Islanders' Hamonic likely out for Game 1: report
New York Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic reportedly will not play in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round against the Washington Capitals.

Injured Giordano hoping for lengthy run from Flames
Calgary Flames defenseman Mark Giordano has started skating on his own in the hopes a long run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs could lead to his return.

Blues vs. Wild: Analytics preview
The top defense pairs for the St. Louis Blues and Minnesota Wild will log a ton of minutes, but each team has a strong supporting cast.

Predators vs. Blackhawks: Analytics preview
The two best puck possession teams still playing in the Western Conference, the Chicago Blackhawks and Nashville Predators, meet in the first round.

Canadiens vs. Senators: Analytics preview
Erik Karlsson
Defense - OTT
GOALS: 21 | ASST: 45 | PTS: 66
SOG: 292 | +/-: 7
Though two goaltenders are dominating the headlines, the Canadiens, Senators series might be decided between the blue lines.

Ducks vs. Jets: Analytics preview
The Anaheim Ducks and Winnipeg Jets improved in puck possession through trades. The Jets also benefited by moving Dustin Byfuglien to the blue line.

Lightning vs. Red Wings: Analytics preview
The Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning were two of the four teams in the NHL to control at least 53 percent of shot attempts.

Canucks vs. Flames: Analytics preview
The Calgary Flames may have been the most unpredictable team in an NHL season defined by them.

Rangers vs. Penguins: Analytics preview
The Pittsburgh Penguins have a chance to knock off the President's Trophy-winning New York Rangers if they can get more healthy bodies.

Capitals vs. Islanders: Analytics preview
The New York Islanders have been one of the most consistent puck possession teams in a season filled with unstable teams.

Rosen's playoff mailbag - April 14, 2015
NHL.com Senior Writer Dan Rosen answers fan questions in his first playoff mailbag.

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.14.2015 / 3:00 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Lightning-Red Wings series blog

Lightning could get Coburn back for Game 1

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Braydon Coburn is a possibility to return for the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"I don't know if it's a foregone conclusion yet," Coburn, who sustained a lower-body injury March 10 against the Montreal Canadiens that was expected to sideline him 4-6 weeks, told the Lightning website.

Coach Jon Cooper termed Coburn questionable to probable for Game 1 of their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Detroit Red Wings, set for Thursday at Amalie Arena (7:30 p.m. ET; CNBC, SN, TVA Sports 2, FS-D, FS-F).

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.14.2015 / 1:29 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Predators-Blackhawks series blog

Blackhawks' Kane to return in Game 1 vs. Predators

Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane said Tuesday he expects to play in Game 1 of Western Conference First Round against the Nashville Predators on Wednesday (8:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVA Sports, SN360, CSN-CH, FS-TN).

"That's the plan," Kane said after practice Tuesday.

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Quote of the Day

That was something I've been dreaming of, something I've told myself before the third period I was going to do ... It was an amazing feeling. It's hard to describe. I didn't believe it went in at first but when I saw all the reaction and all the fans going crazy and my teammates going crazy, it's just an unbelievable feeling. I didn't know what to do. I didn't know whether to jump or just skate and do a Theo Fleury. I don't think I'm the same caliber player he is so I couldn't do it.

— Flames forward Mikael Backlund on scoring the overtime winner against the Ducks in Gm. 3