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2015 NHL Draft
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.

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.

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."

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."

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."

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.
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."

Posted On Friday, 04.25.2014 / 11:05 AM

By Staff -  / - NHL Live blog

NHL Live talks to Vezina finalist Bishop of Lightning

NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, previews a pivotal Game 5 between the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues by talking to analyst Eddie Olczyk.

Barry Melrose will call into the show to preview tonight's Stanley Cup Playoffs action.

Vezina Trophy finalist Ben Bishop of the Tampa Bay Lightning will call in to talk about his season.

Montreal Canadiens forward Rene Bourque, whose team awaits the winner of the series between the Boston Bruins and Detroit Red Wings, also joins the show.

Posted On Thursday, 04.24.2014 / 6:30 PM

By Staff -  / - Ducks-Stars series blog

Ryan Getzlaf questionable for Ducks in Game 5

Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf is unsure if he can play Friday in Game 5 of their Western Conference First Round Series against the Dallas Stars at Honda Center (10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, RDS, TSN, FS-SW, PRIME).

Getzlaf did not play in Game 4 on Wednesday because of an upper-body injury. Dallas won 4-2 to square the best-of-7 series 2-2.

Getzlaf played Games 2 and 3 with a protective face shield after he was hit by a shot late in Game 1 and was left with facial lacerations. It is unknown if that is the injury that kept him out of Game 4.

Posted On Thursday, 04.24.2014 / 2:42 PM

By Staff -  / - 2014 NHL Draft blog

Konency's late goal lifts Canada into U-18 World semis

Forward Travis Konecny scored with 30 seconds remaining in the third period to give the Canadian Under-18 National Team a 3-2 victory against Switzerland in the quarterfinal round of the 2014 IIHF World U-18 Championship on Thursday at Imatra Arena in Finland.

Canada, the defending champion, will face the Czech Republic in the semifinal round of the tournament on Saturday. The other semifinal pits the United States against Sweden. The gold-medal game is slated for Sunday at 12 p.m. ET.

Konecny, a 5-foot-9, 172-pound center from the Ottawa 67's in the Ontario Hockey League, was assisted by Travis Sanheim on the game-winning goal.

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Quote of the Day

He is, in my opinion, one of the best defensemen in the NHL and continuing to grow. I think his game, from an offensive standpoint, he continues to drive our offense... I think there's still tremendous upside for Oliver.

— Coyotes GM Don Maloney on defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson