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Posted On Monday, 04.21.2014 / 9:31 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2014 NHL Draft blog

Czechs top host Finns at U-18 Worlds

Jakub Vrana, a top prospect for the 2014 NHL Draft, had one goal in regulation and scored the deciding goal in the shootout as Czech Republic beat Finland 4-3 on Monday in preliminary-round play at the 2014 IIHF World Under-18 Championship.

Vrana, who plays for Linkoping in the Swedish Hockey League, is No. 4 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of European skaters for the 2014 draft.

Vaclav Karabacek, who plays for Gatineau in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and is No. 41 on Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters, also had a goal in the game, which was played at Lappeenranta Arena in Lappeenranta, Finland.

Antti Kalapudas had a goal and an assist for Finland. He plays for Karpat's team in Finland's junior league, and Central Scouting ranked him No. 32 among European skaters.

The Czechs took a 3-2 lead on Karabacek's goal with 3:21 left in the third, but Kalapudas set up Sami Niku for the tying goal with 1:12 remaining.

After overtime couldn't settle things, Vrana scored on the Czechs' first turn in the shootout, and David Pastrnak, No. 5 on Central Scouting's list of the top European skaters, scored to close the game.

Czech goaltender Vitek Vanecek, ranked No. 8 among European goalies, made 29 saves in regulation and stopped Kalapudas and top-rated European skater Kasperi Kapanen in the shootout.

The loss was host Finland's first, but the point they gained left them in first place in Group B, one point ahead of Switzerland and the United States. The Czechs are fourth with five points.

"We talked to each other about it before the game, that we needed to go aggressively to the net and do a lot of forechecking," Vrana told the IIHF website. "I think we did a good job in the end, though we stopped playing as hard in the third and we gave up a few unlucky goals."

The Czechs finish preliminary-round play Tuesday against Switzerland. Finland plays the U.S. on Tuesday.

In other action Monday:


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Posted On Monday, 04.21.2014 / 4:26 PM

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

Red Wings want to play faster, get Nyquist going

The Red Wings are emphasizing speed heading into Game 3 of their Eastern Conference First Round series Tuesday against the Boston Bruins (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, NESN, FS-D) at Joe Louis Arena.

The best-of-7 series is tied 1-1 after the teams split the first two games at TD Garden. The Red Wings played a faster brand of hockey in defeating the Bruins 1-0, but Boston emerged as the more physical team in a 4-1 win in Game 2.

"A team always pushes back after a loss, they up the ante," Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith told MLive.com after an optional practice Monday. "That's something we're going to have to do. We have to play our style, that's what helped us against them this year."

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Posted On Monday, 04.21.2014 / 2:44 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Lightning-Canadiens series blog

Lightning's Stamkos expected to play Game 4

Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos said Monday he is fine after sustaining an apparent upper-body injury Sunday and expects to play in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN-US, CBC, RDS, FS-F).

The Canadiens hold a 3-0 lead in the best-of-7 series and will be going for the sweep at Bell Centre.

"I feel pretty good so, yeah, I'm expecting to play," Stamkos told the media Monday. "It was a tough game [Sunday]. I thought we battled hard, but I'll be ready for the next one."

Stamkos was able to return for the third period of Game 3 after being forced to leave at 16:09 of the second.

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Posted On Sunday, 04.20.2014 / 9:26 PM

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

Ducks recall Fistric and Etem from AHL

The Anaheim Ducks recalled defenseman Mark Fistric on Sunday after he completed a long-term conditioning assignment with the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League. However, Fistric does not anticipate playing in Game 3 of the Western Conference First Round series against the Dallas Stars on Monday, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Fistric has not played with Anaheim since March 15 due to a lower-body nerve injury. The 27-year-old defenseman scored one goal, had four assists and was plus-9 in 34 regular-season games.

The Ducks, who lead the best-of-7 series 2-0, also announced Sunday that they have sent goalie John Gibson and defenseman Sami Vatanen to Norfolk. Left wing Emerson Etem was recalled from the Ducks' AHL affiliate.


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Posted On Sunday, 04.20.2014 / 6:04 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2014 NHL Draft blog

Perlini sparks Canada past Slovakia at U-18 Worlds

Brendan Perlini's goal with 6:37 remaining in regulation was the game-winner as Canada beat Slovakia 2-1 Sunday in a preliminary-round game at the 2014 IIHF World Under-18 Championship at Imatra Arena in Imatra, Finland.

Perlini, No. 8 among North American skaters in Central Scouting's final rankings for the 2014 NHL Draft, scored two goals after Slovakia took a 1-0 lead after one period.

Mason McDonald, ranked No. 2 by Central Scouting among North American goaltenders, stopped 21 of 22 shots, and Canada improved to 3-0 in the tournament and remained alone atop Group A.

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Posted On Sunday, 04.20.2014 / 4:52 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2013-2014 Situation Room blog

DET @ BOS - 13:20 of the Second Period

At 13:20 of the second period in the Red Wings/Bruins game, video review supported the referee's call on the ice that Darren Helm's shot deflected off Luke Glendening's glove and into the Boston net in a legal fashion. According to Rule 78.4 "if an attacking player has the puck deflect into the net, off his skate or body, in any manner, the goal shall be allowed." Good goal Detroit.

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Posted On Saturday, 04.19.2014 / 9:10 PM

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

Stars glad to be back home for Game 3

The Dallas Stars flew home from California on Saturday, and the return came not a moment too soon.

The Stars will practice Sunday, preparing to play a home game Monday for the first time since April 11. It will be Game 3 of their Western Conference First Round series against the Anaheim Ducks (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, RDS, TSN, KDOC, TXA 21).

Dallas, which trails the best-of-7 series 2-0, was 23-11-7 at American Airlines Center this season, 8-1-1 in its final 10.

"We've played real good hockey, especially the last 15, 20 games here," coach Lindy Ruff told the Dallas Morning News on Saturday. "In front of our crowd, I think that added energy will help our team."

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Posted On Saturday, 04.19.2014 / 6:54 PM

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

Injured Beleskey to accompany Ducks to Dallas

The Anaheim Ducks held an optional skate Saturday, with an estimated 12 players participating.

Injured forward Matt Beleskey (lower body) did not skate, according to the Ducks' official Twitter, but coach Bruce Boudreau said he will travel with the team for Games 3 and 4 against the Dallas Stars.

Game 3 is Monday at American Airlines Center (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, RDS, TSN, KDOC, TXA 21).

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Posted On Saturday, 04.19.2014 / 6:43 PM

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

Red Wings expect Bruins to be even better in Game 2

The four Detroit Red Wings who made their Stanley Cup Playoff debut Friday in a 1-0, Game 1 win against the Boston Bruins took some time to reflect Saturday.

"It was a really tough game for the first playoff game," forward Tomas Tatar told the Red Wings website. "I could picture this game coming a little bit later [in the series] than it actually was because it was really tight. It feels to me like the tightest game. I'm glad that I have it behind me and we can refocus on the next game and we don't have to be so shaky and play with a little more confidence."

Pavel Datsyuk scored with 3:01 remaining to give Detroit a 1-0 lead in the best-of-7 Eastern Conference First Round series, with Game 2 on Sunday at TD Garden (3 p.m. ET; NBC, RDS, TSN).


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Posted On Saturday, 04.19.2014 / 2:29 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2014 NHL Draft blog

Nedeljkovic leads U.S. to 3-0 win at U-18 Worlds

Alex Nedeljkovic stopped all 24 shots he faced and the United States rebounded from a loss in its opener of the 2014 IIHF World Under-18 Championship with a 3-0 win Saturday against the Czech Republic at Lappeenranta Arena in Lappeenranta, Finland.

Auston Matthews, Sonny Milano and Kyle Connor scored for the U.S., which needed points after letting a third-period lead slip away in a 4-2 loss to Switzerland in its opener.

"We started off slow in the tournament, but that would be the game to lose if you're going to lose one," U.S. captain Louis Belpedio told the IIHF website. "We played our game and it was a good team game all around. Today [Nedeljkovic] really made a name for himself."

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Quote of the Day

I didn't even know how to celebrate. I threw my hands up, they gave me a hug, so I guess that's all I needed.

— Sabres forward Tim Schaller on scoring his first NHL goal Sunday against the Bruins