While this summer marked the second time in three years that several members of the Kings got to spend time with the Cup, Muzzin enjoyed his first day with the iconic trophy. The weekend started with defenseman Drew Doughty and forward Jeff Carter each spending time with the Cup in London, Ontario before Muzzin received it just down the road in Woodstock.
The Stanley Cup's summertime trek across North America and Europe stopped in Michigan for a day before spending three days in western Ontario.
Former Kings player and current scout Mike Donnelly had his day with the Cup in suburban Detroit on Thursday. The Stanley Cup then traveled to Ontario to spend three straight days, starting with defenseman Drew Doughty in London on Friday.
Blake, the Los Angeles Kings assistant general manager, allowed assistant coach Stevens to spend part of his day Wednesday with the Cup at Norview Lodge in Simcoe, Ontario, where Stevens' mom, Audrey, is a resident.
"For Audrey Stevens, it's an incredibly proud moment for her to have her son bring it here," Valerie Holland, program and volunteer supervisor at Norview, told the Simcoe Reformer. "It's created quite a buzz among the residents."
Los Angeles Kings forward Tanner Pearson grew up playing minor-league hockey in Kitchener, Ontario. He returned there as a champion Sunday when he brought the Stanley Cup to Civic Square in front of Kitchener City Hall before an estimated crowd of nearly 2,000 people, according to the Waterloo Region Record.
Fans lined up to have their photo taken with the Cup, meet Pearson, and play interactive games presented by Kitchener Minor Hockey and the Kitchener Rangers with donations being collected to benefit the Ronald McDonald House in Hamilton, Ontario.
"It was a dream come true," Pearson told the Record. "It's an honor to be able to bring it back. It's pretty special to celebrate it with the people that you grew up with. It's a great turnout."
One day after bringing the Stanley Cup to his offseason home in Ventnor, N.J., Justin Williams took the Stanley Cup home.
The Los Angeles Kings right wing, who won the Cup for the third time in his career when the Kings beat the New York Rangers in five games last month, was honored with a parade in his native Cobourg, Ontario on Saturday.
Williams was greeted by hundreds of fans who were hoping to catch a glimpse of their hometown hero with the Cup. Williams also had the Conn Smythe Trophy with him; he was named most valuable player of the Stanley Cup Playoffs after scoring nine goals and 16 assists in 26 games. He also brought the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl, which is awarded to the Western Conference champion.
After winning a second Stanley Cup championship in three seasons, Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov was back in his native town of Chelyabinsk, Russia. On Tuesday he had an old friend with him.
Voynov, 24, spent the day sharing the sport's most prestigious trophy with his hometown friends and family. In the morning, he arrived with the Cup at the office of Boris Dubrobsky, who is the acting governor of Chelyabinsk.
From there Voynov and the Cup decided to go shopping. For a Ferrari.
In what is starting to seem like an annual occurrence, the Stanley Cup touched down to spend the day in Trencin, Slovakia on Friday.
With Los Angeles Kings forward Marian Gaborik escorting the Cup around town, it marked the fifth time in seven years that the most storied trophy in sports has visited the western Slovakian city of about 60,000 residents.
It didn't take long for Los Angeles Kings European amateur scout Niklas Andersson to get a day with the Stanley Cup. Slightly more than 13 months after being hired by the Kings, Andersson brought the Stanley Cup to Sweden to enjoy his day with the most iconic trophy in sports.
A small town in Connecticut was the place to be Sunday afternoon.
Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick was back in his hometown of Hamden, Conn., celebrating his second Stanley Cup championship in three seasons. He was met by roughly 2,000 people at Joe Bruno Stadium, where Quick provided fans a chance to see the Cup during a two-hour meet-and-greet session.
Proceeds collected at the event were donated to the education fund for the children of Jason Pagni, a friend of Quick's who died in a car accident in January. Pagni was also a youth coach in the area.
Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown spent much of his childhood at Cass Park Rink in Ithaca, N.Y. He thought the Stanley Cup should spend some time there too.
"I remember being down here at 6 in the morning on Mondays and Wednesdays, from the time I was 7 till about 14," Brown told USA Today. "I made a lot of memories in this building, and I thought this would be a pretty cool place to have it."
Miller agreed to a three-year contract worth a reported $6 million per season on July 1.
"It felt good to be wanted," Miller said. "We sat down and had a chance to talk to them about what they saw moving forward as an organization. Obviously I liked what I heard and I like what I see in the group that they've had there, and a few of the young guys coming up, so it just all kind of fell into place where I think it's the right place to be."
With Los Angeles Kings players and coaches each entitled to a day with the Stanley Cup after winning their second championship in three seasons, certain team staff members will get half a day with the most iconic trophy in sports. That was the case on Monday, when Kings scout Denis Fugere and Hubie McDonough, director of hockey operations for Los Angeles' American Hockey League affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs, split the day with the Cup.
The day started with McDonough bringing the Stanley Cup to Manchester, N.H. The morning was highlighted by an appearance with the Cup at nearby Saint Anselm College, where McDonagh starred as a player for four seasons before going on to play 195 NHL games with the Kings, New York Islanders and San Jose Sharks.
Sam Reinhart now owns family bragging rights when it comes to the NHL Draft.
Sam became the third member of the Reinhart family to be taken in the first round of the draft when the Buffalo Sabres selected him with the second choice Friday. That's two picks earlier than older brother Griffin Reinhart was taken by the New York Islanders in 2012 and 10 choices earlier than his dad, Paul Reinhart, was taken by the Atlanta Flames in 1979. Another older brother, Max Reinhart, was the 63rd player taken in 2010 when he went to the Calgary Flames.
Reinhart was one of nine players taken in the first round who had family ties to professional hockey:
Former Minnesota North Stars and Dallas Stars legend Mike Modano joined NHL Live to discuss his recent induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
A seven-time all-star and the highest-scoring American-born player in NHL history (561 goals, 1,374 points), Modano led the Stars to the Stanley Cup in 1999 and leads all American players with 146 playoff points. He played all but 40 of his 1,499 games, the most by a U.S.-born forward, with the Minnesota/Dallas franchise.
"I still can't believe the call," Modano said. "I was just driving around doing some errands, trying to keep busy, trying not to think about it, and then about a quarter to two Dallas time, I see a 416 (area code) coming across my phone. I couldn't say what I really wanted to say and how much it meant to you. I just had to pull over and kind of collect my thoughts. It's certainly amazing."
Hartnell had 20 goals and 52 points in 78 games in 2013-14, his seventh in Philadelphia. He scored at least 20 goals in five of those seven seasons, including a career-high 37 in 2011-12, and waived his no-trade clause to go to Columbus.
Fans attending the baseball game at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on Saturday enjoyed an unexpected treat before the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim hosted the Texas Rangers in a West Division matchup. The Stanley Cup was the guest of honor at the weekend contest, which the Angels won 3-2 in the 10th inning.
The Cup paid a visit to the stadium before the first pitch was tossed, with a number of Angels players and management taking a moment to pay their respects to the trophy, which was hoisted by the neighboring Los Angeles Kings on June 13.
The United States Hockey League on Friday announced the schedule for the annual Fall Classic to be held at two regional sites in September.
The Fall Classic East will be hosted by the Green Bay Gamblers at Resch Center, Sept. 15-17. The tournament will include the debuts of the league's newest expansion teams, the Madison Capitols and Bloomington Thunder.
The Sioux City Musketeers will host the Fall Classic West at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa, Sept. 18-19.
Five days after the Los Angeles Kings won the Stanley Cup for the second time in three seasons, they continued celebrating Wednesday with their fans in beach towns surrounding the city.
Thousands gathered in the streets of Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach and Redondo Beach to cheer on the Kings, who defeated the New York Rangers in five games in the Stanley Cup Final, which culminated with Alec Martinez's double-overtime goal Friday at Staples Center.
"It was really important for us to bring the Stanley Cup down here to the South Bay because we feel like we're part of the community," forward Justin Williams told the Los Angeles Daily News. "This certainly makes us feel welcome."
Tampa Bay Lightning coach and Jack Adams Award finalist Jon Cooper joined NHL Live to look back at the 2013-14 season and what the future holds for his team.
Cooper, Mike Babcock of the Detroit Red Wings and Patrick Roy of the Colorado Avalanche are the three finalists for the Adams Award, presented to the coach who has "contributed the most to his team's success." The winner will be announced June 24 during the 2014 NHL Awards from Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas. The 2014 NHL Awards will be broadcast by NBCSN in the United States and CBC in Canada.
Cooper took over the Lightning team late in the 2012-13 season, when they finished 28th in the League standings. In his first full season, he guided the Lighting to a 46-27-9 record (101 points) and second-place finish before they were swept by the Montreal Canadiens in the Eastern Conference First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Kings took batting practice during their visit.
"These guys have got pretty good strokes, actually," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly told cbsla.com. "And they're actually really athletic, especially with the ball down. I guess it's a little bit like that slap shot, right?"
Nashville Predators general manager David Poile joined NHL Live to discuss what's next for the organization and his plans for the 2014 NHL Draft.
The Predators own the No. 11 pick of the 2014 draft, which begins June 27 (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN) at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. Nashville finished the regular season 38-32-12 and failed to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
"I've made it known that we're trying to improve our forwards," Poile said. "We'd like to get a top-six forward if we could. If we can do that in a trade, that would be great. If that took trading a draft pick, or even our first pick, I would be open to that. I've made it known to a lot of teams that if they were willing to trade a top forward, I'd be willing to trade the No. 11 pick in the draft."
The Nashville Predators have the No. 11 pick in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft but general manager David Poile said he is open to trading the selection.
During a press conference Tuesday in Nashville, Poile said he would trade the pick if a "top-six forward" was the return.
"I've already been approached and … it's a possibility," Poile said. "There's always that possibility I would trade that first-round pick. I've made that open to some people I've talked to. It would be for a top forward if we could do that. I'm not predicting that [a trade] will happen, but if someone had that top-six forward I would certainly consider trading that first-round pick."
MacLellan became the sixth general manager in Capitals history when he was promoted on May 26 after spending the past 13 seasons with the organization as a pro scout, director of player personnel and assistant GM.
"I wasn't sure I was going to get the job," MacLellan said. "I was just trying to give the most honest opinion I could of where our organization was at, and what my vision was going forward. I don't think I was critical of ownership, but it was more of this is the way I would see it happening in the future, where ownership and the manager and the coach are all in sync on what we're doing philosophically and they were going to support each other."
"It's been a lot of fun," Tallon said. I've gotten to meet a lot of interesting characters and some great coaches, some veteran guys and some new guys. I've interviewed at least a dozen coaches in the last month. The good news is they all want to come here because of the young players and the talent pool we have coming, and already have on our roster. We've narrowed it down to half a dozen, and probably down to three probably by [Tuesday], and hopefully get it done by Friday, but no later than mid-week of the draft."
The Los Angeles Kings will host a parade and celebratory rally Monday in honor of the team's second Stanley Cup championship in three seasons.
Fans can follow the Kings' celebration live on NHL Network starting at 2 p.m. ET.
The celebration will begin at noon PT at the corner of Figueroa and West 5th Streets, with the city of Los Angeles' traditional parade of championship teams traveling down Figueroa to Staples Center and L.A. Live. The parade is expected to take 30-45 minutes and will include players and their families, coaches, staff, broadcasters, alumni, the Ice Crew, mascot and other VIPs, along with the Stanley Cup, Conn Smythe Trophy and Clarence Campbell Bowl.
With the Stanley Cup Final complete and the Los Angeles Kings winning the Stanley Cup for the second time in three seasons, the order for the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft has been finalized.
The first 13 slots were set by the NHL Draft Lottery, which was held April 15 and won by the Florida Panthers.
In addition, the New Jersey Devils were awarded pick No. 30 as relief from an earlier penalty for circumventing the salary cap when they signed Ilya Kovalchuk in 2010.
Among teams that made the Stanley Cup Playoffs, non-division winners eliminated in the first two rounds were placed in inverse order of regular-season points, followed by division winners in inverse order of regular-season points.
"If we come up with another guy like that, we'll be OK," Hurricanes director of amateur scouting Tony MacDonald told the team's website.
The quest to find a player in the 2014 NHL Draft who can make the same kind of impact as Skinner won't be as easy. MacDonald said his assessment of this year's draft crop has made the job for him and his scouts that much tougher.
After having four picks last year, St. Louis Blues scouts are excited to go into the 2014 NHL Draft with nine selections.
"It's a good thing for our staff, because you travel all year and you get to this point and you want to pick," Blues director of amateur scouting Bill Armstrong told the team website. "The more picks you have, the more excited you get. Our staff is well-prepared. They've traveled the world and they're excited about, as we say in the business, taking a swing."
If the Florida Panthers retain the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, they likely will select Barrie Colts defenseman Aaron Ekblad out of the Ontario Hockey League, according to a report in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
The 6-foot-3, 213-pound defenseman is No. 2 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of the top North American skaters for the 2014 draft.
"Ekblad is this year's player most likely ready to step in and play in the NHL," Panthers director of scouting Scott Luce told the Sun Sentinel last week. "He's physically mature and has got lots of mileage underneath him at the OHL level.''
"We went to a Cup Final and we won two Presidents' Trophies and a bunch of division titles with him, so he was clearly a great coach," Schneider told the newspaper. "I'm not surprised at all that they're there. It was unfortunate the way it ended in Vancouver for him. I don't think it was a knock on him as a coach. I just think it was a change with the ownership."
New York's state of mind revolved around its hockey team Wednesday night.
Thousands gathered in New York City's Bryant Park for a viewing party to watch the New York Rangers play the Los Angeles Kings in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final at Staples Center, roughly 3,000 miles to the west.
The Rangers were back on the ice after having nearly a week off; they eliminated the Montreal Canadiens last Thursday in a 1-0 victory in Game 6 at Madison Square Garden. Los Angeles went the distance in each of its series, becoming the first team in history to win three Game 7s in the same postseason. The Kings beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-4 in overtime Sunday night.
Celebrities and NHL players took to Twitter before and during the game to share their excitement in what is primed to be a pulsating best-of-7 series.
"After all the Game 7 dramas in the @NHL playoffs, a Game 1 is almost relaxing," Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak tweeted.
Drew Doughty set the Los Angeles Kings' record for most points by a defenseman in one playoff year when he scored a second-period goal against the New York Rangers in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday at Staples Center.
It was Doughty's 17th point in 22 games this spring. He broke his own record of 16 points, set during the Kings' run to the Stanley Cup in 2012.
The mayors of New York and Los Angeles are gambling their ability to sing in front of millions of people on the outcome of the Stanley Cup Final.
In a wager made public Wednesday, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said he will appear on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" on ABC and sing the classic Frank Sinatra song, "New York, New York" if the New York Rangers win the Cup.
If the Los Angeles Kings win, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio will go on Kimmel's show and sing the Randy Newman song, "I Love L.A."
LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Kings coach Darryl Sutter and general manager Dean Lombardi met with writers and broadcasters Tuesday as part of Stanley Cup Final Media Day. The topics they discussed included the team's run to its second Final in three years, the growth of defenseman Drew Doughty and the deal that brought sniper Marian Gaborik to the Kings at the NHL Trade Deadline.
The Kings advanced by defeating the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 in a classic best-of-7 series. With their 5-4 overtime victory in Game 7, the Kings became the first team in NHL history to win three Game 7s en route to reaching the Stanley Cup Final.
With the conference finals finished, the draft order for the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft has been established for the 28 teams watching with the rest of hockey fans around the world.
The first 13 slots were set by the NHL Draft Lottery, which was held April 15 and won by the Florida Panthers.
In addition, the New Jersey Devils were awarded pick No. 30 as relief from an earlier penalty for circumventing the salary cap when the team signed Ilya Kovalchuk in 2010.
Among teams that made the Stanley Cup Playoffs, non-division winners eliminated in the first two rounds were placed in inverse order of regular-season points, followed by division winners in inverse order of regular-season points.
If the Montreal Canadiens succeed in forcing a Game 7 in their Eastern Conference Final series against the New York Rangers, they will be playing it without their lucky charm in the building.
If the Canadiens win Game 6 against the Rangers on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS) then Ginette Reno will sing the Canadian national anthem prior to Game 7 on Saturday via video link from a downtown Montreal concert hall and not Bell Centre, according to a report in the Montreal Gazette.
It would be the first time in the Stanley Cup Playoffs that the Canadiens play a home game without Reno singing "O Canada" live in the building.
Bell Centre in Montreal and Lac La Biche, Alberta are about 2,200 miles apart, but there was a pretty solid celebration in both places Tuesday when Montreal Canadiens forward Rene Bourque completed his hat trick against the New York Rangers in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final.
Bourque's third goal came at 6:33 of the third period to give the Canadiens a 6-4 lead en route to their 7-4 victory.
While Bourque and his teammates celebrated his third goal, the 21,273 at Bell Centre engaged in the hockey tradition of littering the ice with hats.
However, a few fans took the tradition one step further.
Bourque grew up in Lac La Biche, located about three hours northeast of Edmonton, and his parents still live in the town. Fans were so excited by Bourque's three-goal night that they tossed hats on his parents' front lawn.
Twenty years ago, Stephane Matteau forever etched himself into New York Rangers lore with his game-winning goal in Game 7 of the 1994 Eastern Conference Final against the New Jersey Devils. Matteau joined NHL Live to discuss that historic night at Madison Square Garden and his wrap-around goal that defeated the Devils in double overtime.
Whenever Matteau hears Howie Rose's famous radio call of "Matteau! Matteau! Matteau!," the first things that goes through his mind are emotion and joy.
"Even though it's been 20 years I've heard that call a thousand times, so it feels good and as an ex-Ranger I'm very proud of it," Matteau said. "A lot of players play their entire careers without a moment like that. I'm very grateful that the Rangers had traded for me and I'm very grateful that I had a chance to chip in some of the big goals for the New York Rangers in 1994. It's one moment, maybe, but it was a great moment that I've cherished for the last 20 years."
New Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning was a guest of NHL Live to discuss the Canucks' outlook heading into the offseason.
Speaking from the NHL Scouting Combine in Toronto, Benning is focused on interviewing prospects for the 2014 NHL Draft and searching for a new coach.
"We've talked about it," Benning said. "This week we're going to be here at the Combine all week interviewing about 20 kids every day through Friday, and we go back to Vancouver on Saturday. And then we'll probably over the course of the next few days finalize our list of candidates to interview and probably start the interview process when we get back starting next week."
Minnesota Wild forward Zach Parise joined NHL Live to discuss his contributions to Defending The Blue Line, an Minnesota-based organization that ensures children of military members are affording every opportunity to participate in the game of hockey. Defending The Blue Line provides free equipment for military kids, hockey camps, special events, and financial assistance for registration fees and other costs associated with hockey.
"It's a really cool thing," Parise said. "This winter a few of us went out and skated with them outdoors up in Blaine, Minnesota. It's a really neat organization and, I guess, a really small thing that we can do just to show our appreciation for what they've been doing for us."
New York Islanders defensive prospect Griffin Reinhart joined NHL Live to discuss the Edmonton Oil Kings winning the 2014 Memorial Cup with a 6-3 victory against the Guelph Storm on Sunday.
Reinhart, the Oil Kings' captain who was selected No. 4 by the Islanders in the 2012 NHL Draft, had three assists and was a plus-1 in five tournament games.
"It's an unbelievable feeling," Reinhart said. "It's not too often that you get to compete for a championship like that, let alone get a second opportunity. We learned a lot from the first year I was there and applied that to this year."
Stepan was released from the hospital Saturday night and visited teammates Sunday morning before returning home. Coach Alain Vigneault said there is no timetable for his return.
Stepan had surgery Friday to repair a broken jaw sustained in Game 3 when Canadiens forward Brandon Prust hit him 2:45 into the first period. He has never missed a game in his four-year NHL career, a span of 348 regular-season and Stanley Cup Playoff games.
Calgary Hitmen forward Jake Virtanen, No. 6 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters for the 2014 NHL Draft, will need 4-6 months to recover from recent shoulder surgery, the team announced Thursday.
Virtanen will attend the NHL Scouting Combine, held in Toronto May 25-31, but will not take part in any of the physical testing.
The 6-foot, 208-pound right wing was sixth in the Western Hockey League with 45 goals in 71 regular-season games. He was third on the Hitmen with 71 points, and had one goal and three assists in six WHL playoff games.
NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, welcomes in NBCSN analyst Eddie Olczyk for the first half hour and will also talk to Craig Custance, senior writer for ESPN The Magazine, about the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Greene skated with defenseman Alec Martinez on the Kings’ third pairing during warm-ups at United Center. Veteran defenseman Willie Mitchell will move up to the second pairing with Slava Voynov for Game 2 (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS).
Defenseman Kevin Bieksa is competing for Canada at the 2014 IIHF World Championship and is aware Vigneault's New York Rangers hold a 2-0 lead on the Montreal Canadiens in the best-of-7 Eastern Conference Final. Game 3 is Thursday at Madison Square Garden (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).
NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, welcomes in Billy Jaffe on Tuesday for the full show. The three will speak with Guelph Storm forward Robert Fabbri about the ongoing Memorial Cup.
During the Blackhawks' 3-1 victory against the Kings in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final at United Center, the teams made a friendly wager via Twitter that will ultimately benefit a group in one of the cities.
For Doughty, that means that he'll go from trying to shut down Getzlaf and Perry to facing Chicago center Jonathan Toews and right wing Patrick Kane, who helped lead the Blackhawks to a five-game victory against the Kings last spring on the way to the Stanley Cup.
He's eager to get another crack at Chicago, and particularly Toews and Kane.
The Chicago Blackhawks will meet the Los Angeles Kings in the Western Conference Final for the second consecutive year when the puck is dropped to start Game 1 on Sunday at United Center (3 p.m. ET; NBC, TSN, RDS).
"Compare them last year to this year, who knows," Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp said Saturday. "They're a tough team every game we play them. I'm sure it will be a heck of a series again."
The Kings have made some changes to their lineup since being eliminated in five games by the Blackhawks last season. But the core that led Los Angeles to a Stanley Cup championship in 2012 remains, and 2013 champion Chicago is expecting that formidable group to give them a tough time.
The Chicago Blackhawks continue to try to take advantage of their time off while they await their Western Conference Final opponent to be determined.
The Blackhawks will play the Anaheim Ducks or Los Angeles Kings, who play Game 7 of their second-round series Friday at Honda Center (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS).
The conference final begins Sunday, either in Anaheim or Chicago.
"I think a bunch of us will probably be watching the game, and one way or another we'll be getting ready for Sunday, regardless who we play at this point," Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said Friday.
The Blackhawks have not played since Tuesday, when they defeated the Minnesota Wild 2-1 in overtime in Game 6 of their second-round series.
"Of course it's Game 7 and it's usually the Stanley Cup Final too," Williams said Thursday of his childhood imaginations. "It's the same thing with any other sport. It's the last second of the game and buzzer is coming down, it's the ninth inning, two outs, football game, fourth quarter or last play. It's everything. It's you or them, and this is what you relish as a kid, coming out on top."
Williams will play the sixth Game 7 of his NHL career on Friday when the Kings and Anaheim Ducks compete at Honda Center to decide their Western Conference Second Round series (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS).
Williams is 5-0 with 10 points (five goals) in his previous Game 7s of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He has two game-winning goals.
After losing the first two games of their Western Conference Second Round series at home, the Ducks won the next three before falling 2-1 in Game 6 on Wednesday at Staples Center. The winner of Game 7 will play the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference Final.
NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, has the lead-up to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Second Round series between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the New York Rangers. We'll go out to Consol Energy Center and welcome in NBCSN analyst Pierre McGuire via the Arena Cam to talk about this do-or-die matchup.
In the Western Conference, the Chicago Blackhawks try to close out the Minnesota Wild in Game 6 and Blackhawks insider Tracey Myers will talk about the importance of Chicago finishing the series in their first opportunity.
Paul Steigerwald and Dave Strader will also go inside the series with hits in Pittsburgh and Minnesota.
In a game the New York Rangers knew they had to have in order to regain precious momentum in their Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the star players were unable to come through in the clutch.
That was the main talking point following New York's 4-2 defeat in Game 4 at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday and a theme that continued during the team's optional skate at its training facility in Greenburgh, N.Y., on Thursday afternoon.
The only player absent was left wing Carl Hagelin. Coach Alain Vigneault said Hagelin is fine and should be in the lineup for Game 5 at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh on Friday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS), with the Rangers down 3-1 in the series and facing Stanley Cup Playoff elimination.
"I'm looking at all possibilities right now," Vigneault told The Record. "We've had a fair amount of success by being consistent [with the line combinations]. With [Kreider] coming in [for Game 4], we basically mixed two lines; [Kreider] went in on one and we took Marty [St. Louis] off that line. So we did make some changes [Wednesday] and those didn't work out to our advantage. So we've got the whole night to think about it and try and come up with a plan."
NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will preview Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Second Round series between the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens as analyst Darren Pang joins us from the Arena Cam at Bell Centre.
The Anaheim Ducks are also in action Thursday, trying to get back in a Western Conference Second Round series which they trail 2-0 to the Los Angeles Kings. Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register will talk about what the Ducks must do to close the gap in the series.
Minnesota Wild forward Mikko Koivu joins the show to talk about their success at home during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Wild are 4-0 at Xcel Energy Center heading into Game 4 Friday against the Chicago Blackhawks.
NEW YORK -- The Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers each will have one of their injured players back in the lineup for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Second Round at Madison Square Garden.
Pittsburgh defenseman Brooks Orpik will play after missing five games with an undisclosed injury. New York forward Chris Kreider, who's been out with a hand injury, will play his first game in this year's Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Chasing their second Stanley Cup in three seasons, the Kings lead the best-of-7 series 2-0 with Game 3 on Thursday at Staples Center (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS). Los Angeles has won six straight games since trailing 3-0 in the Western Conference First Round against the San Jose Sharks and is the fourth team in NHL history to win a seven-game series after losing the first three.
Despite a franchise-record 421 man games lost due to injury, including injuries to stars Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, Babcock guided the Red Wings to a 39-28-15 record and into the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the 23rd consecutive season. Detroit lost its Eastern Conference First Round series to the Boston Bruins, 4-1.
NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will talk to Nashville Predators general manager David Poile about the hiring Tuesday of Peter Laviolette to be the second coach in franchise history.
NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will be joined by Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf, who will discuss his candidacy for the Hart Trophy and the upcoming Western Conference Second Round matchup against the rival Los Angeles Kings.
And the second round gets started with Game 1 between the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens. Darren Dreger joins us from the Arena Cam at TD Garden to talk about the historic rivalry between these Original Six teams.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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."
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."
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.
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.
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.
Defenseman Johnathan MacLeod scored two power-play goals and Jack Eichel had a goal and two assists as the United States Under-18 National Team scored a 6-2 victory against Slovakia in the quarterfinal round of the 2014 IIHF World U-18 Championship at Lappeenranta Arena in Finland.
Eichel and MacLeod, No. 44 on NHL Central Scouting's final list of the top North American skaters eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft, scored goals in the opening 3:28 of the first period. The U.S. scored three times in the first and held Slovakia without a shot (20-0) to build a 3-0 advantage.
Eichel, who was named the player of the game and is on a four-game point streak (four goals, four assists), is eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft in Florida.
"It's definitely a high right now," Eichel told the IIHF website. "Our coaches do a great job preparing us for the games and I think that we've trained so hard for two years and we know what we have to do."
The Boston Bruins and Detroit Red Wings resume their Eastern Conference First Round series on Thursday and Craig Custance, senior NHL writer from ESPN the Magazine, joins us via Arena Cam at Joe Louis Arena to talk about the matchup.
Jamie McLennan will also discuss the importance of special teams during the playoffs.
The Avalanche lead their Western Conference First Round series against the Minnesota Wild 2-1 with Game 4 on Thursday (CNBC, TSN2, RDS2, ALT, FS-N, FS-WI) at Xcel Energy Center. Minnesota won Game 3 1-0 on Mikael Granlund's overtime goal.
Jack Eichel, a top prospect for the 2015 NHL Draft, scored with 1:04 left in the third period as the United States beat Finland 4-3 on Tuesday in preliminary-round play at the 2014 IIHF World Under-18 Championship at Lappeenranta Arena in Lappeenranta, Finland.
The game was tied late when Sonny Milano, a forward ranked No. 16 among North American skaters for the 2014 draft, sent a pass to Eichel that he played from between his skates onto his stick. He fired a quick shot that beat Finland goalie Kaapo Kahkonen.
"We had a scouting report on [Kahkonen] before the game and we wanted to get a lot of shots on him and make him work," Eichel told the IIHF website. "End of the shift I'm kind of low and Milano makes a good pass to me. Didn't really have a lot of options, but I was in a spot where we said was a good place to shoot."
NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, sets up another night of Stanley Cup Playoff hockey by going out to Joe Louis Arena to talk to broadcaster Mike "Doc" Emrick, who will join us from the Arena Cam to discuss the Detroit Red Wings resuming their series against the Boston Bruins.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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).
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).
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."
The Los Angeles Kings have developed a reputation over the past few seasons for playing a tight-checking, physical game that limits opponents' scoring chances. It's a system that has fostered good results for Los Angeles, including the 2012 Stanley Cup championship, but it's also one that hinges on the Kings buying into a team-first mentality.
Coach Darryl Sutter adheres to that same mentality when discussing his team publicly. He stuck to it Friday, less than 24 hours after the San Jose Sharks beat Los Angeles 6-3 in the opener of their Western Conference First Round series, when he was asked which players he expected to be better in Game 2.
"I don't think you single players out in [the Stanley Cup Playoffs] or at any time," Sutter told the media, according to LA Kings Insider. "That's not my style, and that's not what good teams do. I think that everybody will be better."
Vaclav Karabacek, a top prospect for the 2014 NHL Draft, had two goals and two assists as the Czech Republic routed Denmark 9-2 at Lappeenranta Arena in Lappeenranta, Finland, on the second day of the 2014 IIHF World Under-18 Championship.
Karabacek, who plays for Gatineau in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, is No. 41 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of the top North American skaters for this year's draft.
Jakub Vrana, ranked No. 4 among European skaters, had two goals and an assist. David Pastrnak, No. 5 on the European list, had two assists.
Slovakia beat Germany 4-1 in the other game played Friday.
The Minnesota Wild practiced for more than an hour Friday at Pepsi Center, a day after losing Game 1 of the Western Conference First Round there to the Colorado Avalanche 5-4 in overtime after leading 4-2 in the third period.
Game 2 of the best-of-7 series is Saturday (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, RDS, TSN, FS-N, ALT).
Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop faced shots Friday for the first time since sustaining an elbow injury April 8, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
Bishop took shots from goaltenders coach Frantz Jean before the morning skate prior to Game 2 of the Eastern Conference First Round series against the Montreal Canadiens at Tampa Bay Times Forum (7 p.m. ET; CNBC, CBC, RDS, FS-F).
NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, looks back at the first two nights of the Stanley Cup Playoffs while getting ready for three more games Friday.
Eddie Olczyk will join us to give his impressions on the games played so far, including three overtime battles, one of which took three extra periods to decide.
The only series not to have started yet gets underway Friday as the Boston Bruins host the Detroit Red Wings, and Amalie Benjamin from the Boston Globe will share her thoughts as the Bruins start on the road they hope leads them back to the Stanley Cup Final.
Also, Barry Melrose will be on the show to award his Mullet of the Week.
Detroit Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg skated with teammates for a half-hour Thursday but is not expected to play until the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, if the Red Wings advance.
Game 1 of their Eastern Conference First Round Series against the Boston Bruins is Friday at TD Garden (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, FS-D, NESN).
"Time-wise we were shooting for Round 2 if everything goes well," Zetterberg told the Red Wings website. "Increase intensity every day and hopefully in a couple days maybe I can do some more battling drills."
Zetterberg had back surgery on Feb. 21 after he was injured during the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
Anaheim Ducks goaltender Frederik Andersen is in line to start Game 2 of the Western Conference First Round series against the Dallas Stars on Friday at Honda Center (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS (JIP), FS-SW, PRIME).
Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau was asked Thursday if he would again turn to Andersen after the rookie made 32 saves in a 4-3 win in his Stanley Cup Playoff debut.
Jake Virtanen, a top prospect for the 2014 NHL Draft, scored two goals as Canada opened the 2014 IIHF World Under-18 Championship with a 3-1 win against Sweden on Thursday at Imatra Arena in Imatra, Finland.
Mathew Barzal also had a goal for Canada and goaltender Mason McDonald made 24 saves.
The Stanley Cup Playoffs enter their second night, and NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will have inside looks at all four series to begin Thursday with reporters at each location.
The New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers face off in the postseason for the first time since the 1997 Eastern Conference Final, and Dave Maloney joins us from the Arena Cam at Madison Square Garden to discuss this tradition-rich rivalry.
The Colorado Avalanche passed both the Blues and Blackhawks late in the season to win the Central Division and will open the playoffs against the Minnesota Wild. Trip Tracey joins us from Pepsi Center to set the scene on Game 1.
The Stanley Cup Playoffs are set to begin, and NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will have an inside look at the three Game 1s to be played Wednesday as well as an overview of all the first-round series.
In addition, TSN and CBC analyst Glen Healy will be on hand at Tampa Bay Times Forum to provide the inside scoop on the 2-3 matchup in the Atlantic Division between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Montreal Canadiens.
New York Rangers forward Derick Brassard left practice early Tuesday limping and holding his lower back, apparently sustaining the injury while the Rangers did special teams work in preparation for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Coach Alain Vigneault did not offer any specifics, but believes Brassard will play Thursday in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round against the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden (7 p.m. ET; TSN, CNBC).
Detroit Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg said Tuesday he's shooting for a comeback in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs if his team can pull off an upset of the Presidents' Trophy-winning Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference First Round.
Zetterberg, who had back surgery and has not played since Feb. 8, seemed to leave open the possibility of returning later in the series, saying the extra two days before Game 1 on Friday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, FS-D, NESN) could make a difference. He hopes to joins the Red Wings at practice Wednesday.
San Jose Sharks coach Todd McLellan has decided on his starting goalie for Game 1 of the Sharks' Western Conference First Round Stanley Cup Playoff series against the Los Angeles Kings but wouldn't reveal it publicly Monday, and said he may not announce it until just before the series begins Thursday in San Jose (10:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC).
Holmgren said the Flyers will determine Tuesday if Mason can return to practice that day. The Flyers open the Eastern Conference First Round against the New York Rangers on Thursday (7 p.m. ET, CNBC, TSN) at Madison Square Garden.
Mason sustained an upper-body injury Saturday in a collision with Pittsburgh forward Jayson Megna with 3:33 left in the second period. Mason, who made 21 saves on 22 shots to that point, remained in net for the rest of the period but was replaced by Ray Emery to start the third. Mason was scratched from the lineup Sunday against the Carolina Hurricanes with an upper-body injury.
Columbus Blue Jackets rookie defenseman Ryan Murray was held out of practice Monday for a maintenance day but coach Todd Richards said Murray, recovered from a knee injury, will play in Game 1 against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC) in the Eastern Conference First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Initially expected to miss the remainder of the regular season after having arthroscopic knee surgery in March, Murray returned April 4 and played in five games. He sat out the season finale Saturday against the Florida Panthers as a precaution. The No. 2 pick of the 2012 NHL Draft was hurt during Columbus' 2-1 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs on March 3 and had surgery four days later.
Murray, 20, had four goals, 17 assists and a plus-4 rating in 66 regular-season games. He has one goal and a plus-2 rating in five games since returning.
The regular season has ended and the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs are set to begin, and NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will have Mike Bolt, the keeper of the Cup, on set to talk about some of his favorite moments with Lord Stanley's cherished trophy.
NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, is set for the announcement of the Hobey Baker Award for college hockey's best player. The presentation will be at 6 p.m. and college hockey insider Julie Robenhymer joins the show to talk about the winner and college free agents who could be signed prior to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Brendan Shanahan is leaving the NHL to become the president and alternate governor of the Toronto Maple Leafs and we'll talk to NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly about Shanahan's time with the League.
Seven games dot the NHL schedule for Friday night, including the Washington Capitals hosting the Chicago Blackhawks. Analyst Eddie Olczyk joins us from the Arena Cam at Verizon Center to talk about what's going to happen in Washington in the wake of the Capitals missing the playoffs, as well as what's ahead for the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks.
NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET Tuesday on NHL Network, welcomes in two-time Stanley Cup winning forward Grant Marshall to break down the races for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
With six days left in the regular season there are 10 games on the schedule Tuesday. Famed photographer Bruce Bennett will be at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum for his 5,000th game as the New York Islanders host the Ottawa Senators, and we'll talk to him live via the Arena Cam.
Windsor Spitfires forward and top 2014 NHL Draft prospect Joshua Ho-Sang has been suspended for the first 15 games of the 2014-15 Ontario Hockey League season for an incident during a playoff game against the London Knights on March 27.
In the second period of Game 4 of the teams' first-round playoff series, Ho-Sang was chasing London defenseman Zach Bell when he pushed Bell from behind. Bell fell feet first into the boards and sustained a broken leg. Ho-Sang received a minor penalty for holding on the play.
London won the game 4-3 to finish the four-game sweep.
NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, begins the countdown to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. With one week remaining in the regular season and six spots still up for grabs, the hosts discuss who they think will make the cut and who will fall a little short.
The New Jersey Devils are one of those teams not currently in a playoff spot but still in the fight. They host the Calgary Flames on Monday and we'll go out on Arena Cam to Prudential Center to discuss their chances with MSG analyst Ken Daneyko.
The Dallas Stars are fighting for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference, and we'll chat with coach Lindy Ruff about their prospects.
Also, NHL Network analyst Barry Melrose will be on the show for his weekly coaches chat, discussing his choices for the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year.
The Capitals activated forward Aaron Volpatti off injured reserve to take the place of Penner, who has one goal and two assists in 14 games since being acquired from the Anaheim Ducks at the NHL Trade Deadline.
Two players ranked in the top 10 in NHL Central Scouting's midterm rankings of the top North American skaters for the 2014 NHL Draft will take part in Hockey Canada's evaluation camp for the 2014 IIHF World Under-18 Championship.
Defenseman Haydn Fleury of the Red Deer Rebels and forward Brendan Perlini of the Niagara IceDogs were among the 19 players invited to the camp, which will be held April 5-8 in Toronto.
Fleury had 46 points and a plus-16 rating in 70 games this season. He's No. 6 on Central Scouting's list, No. 2 among defenseman.
Perlini had 34 goals and 71 points in 58 games. He's No. 8 on Central Scouting's list.
Veteran forward Daniel Alfredsson, who missed the game Wednesday against the Boston Bruins with back issues, is a game-time decision. Although Alfredsson didn't take part in line rushes at the morning skate, Red Wings general manager Ken Holland believes he'll play, according to Ansar Khan of MLive.com.
Datsyuk is official, though, and Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said he'll start the game on a line with forwards Darren Helm and Justin Abdelkader. Knee inflammation has kept Datsyuk out since Feb. 27 and he's been limited to 39 games this season.
NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek previews a seven-game Friday that features a battle between the Washington Capitals and New Jersey Devils as each team looks to make up ground in a desperate push for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. John Walton, radio play-by-play voice of the Capitals, joins us from the Arena Cam at Prudential Center to discuss the must-win situation the Capitals face.
NHL Network analyst Barry Melrose will be on hand to talk the playoff picture in the Western Conference as well as award his Mullet of the Week.
Also, University of Minnesota goaltender Adam Wilcox calls in for our weekly college report to chat the Frozen Four.
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.
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."
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.
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."
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.
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.
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."
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."
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.
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."
The hope is he can continue that scoring run when the Lightning visit the Buffalo Sabres Saturday night at First Niagara Center, which is located roughly 75 miles from Callahan's hometown of Rochester, N.Y.
"I'm really glad to be in Tampa," Callahan said after the morning skate Saturday. "I couldn't have landed in a better spot."
But with Thomas traded to the Dallas Stars before the deadline and Luongo now battling an upper-body injury, Florida will turn to its backups against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night at BB&T Center.
Dan Ellis entered the game Thursday during Florida's 3-0 home loss to the Carolina Hurricanes after Luongo was hurt in a collision with forward Radek Dvorak. Scott Clemmensen was called up Friday from the American Hockey League and will back up Ellis, who gets the start against Montreal.
Ellis and Clemmensen have served as backups for most of their careers, but Panthers coach Peter Horachek remained confident in his goaltending.
"[Clemmensen] has done a great job for us throughout the year," Horachek said after Florida's morning skate. "When Tim Thomas was here and got hurt, [Clemmensen] played those games. We had some road trips up there and did pretty well, won three out of four and he played three of those games. I think they're both quality guys and we'll be fine with him."
Kreider, who is tied for second on the Rangers this season with 17 goals, is out indefinitely.
The 22-year-old was injured Friday night in New York's win at the Columbus Blue Jackets but played in the next two games before coming out of the lineup while a determination was made on how to proceed.
"Waiting for the doctors to tell us what was the best course of action," coach Alain Vigneault said. "He came to the conclusion yesterday and he got operated on today."
NHL Live is on the air at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network. Pierre McGuire joins Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek from Madison Square Garden's Arena Cam to discuss the game between the Philadelphia Flyers and the New York Rangers, the rivalry between the teams and the potential of a Flyers-Rangers first-round matchup in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Columbus Blue Jackets president John Davidson, who was named Wednesday as the new Chairman of the Selection Committee by the Hockey Hall of Fame, joins the show at 5:25 p.m. ET.
To replace him on the roster the Coyotes recalled goaltender Mark Visentin from the Portland Pirates of the American Hockey League on an emergency basis.
Smith was injured in the third period of the Coyotes' 4-3 overtime loss to the New York Rangers when Rangers forward Derick Brassard fell on him. Smith left the game favoring his right leg.
"[Smith] saw the doctor [Tuesday] morning," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett told reporters in Pittsburgh. "He's right now listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury. Had some tests done [Tuesday] morning. We're going to get the results sent back to our doctors and he'll be evaluated by our doctors when we get home."
The Montreal Canadiens didn't get much time to pat themselves on the back after ending the Boston Bruins' 12-game win streak with a 2-1 shootout win Monday.
The Canadiens had to travel home from Boston and are right back at it Tuesday when they host the Buffalo Sabres. They likely will have some lineup juggling to do as well.
Fourth-line forwards Dale Weise and Travis Moen were lost to injury in the first period Monday. Weise was hurt on a first-period hit by Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller and Moen was hurt during a subsequent fight with Miller. Neither returned to the game.
The credo for Florida Panthers is maintaining their focus entering their game Tuesday against the Ottawa Senators at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla. The Panthers return home following a 1-3-0 Western trip that ended Sunday with a 6-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks.
Florida has lost three straight and is 6-14-1 in its past 21 games, while allowing 3.81 goals per game during that stretch. In light of the struggles, interim coach Peter Horachek is counting on his team to end the season on a high note.
"I think it's important for a lot of the young players, and players going forward, that they have a strong finish, that they want to have a strong finish, that there's a focus as a team that we play well going down the stretch," Horachek said following the Panthers' morning skate. "I think it's important for us to play the way we need to play. It's important that we don't lose focus, that we don't lose our way.
"I think leadership on this team is very important moving forward."
"You have to root for Henrik," Richter said. "He's such a professional. This is something that Eddie Giacomin and I have talked about a lot of times. This guy is not just talented. You don't get to be as consistent as he is without a huge work ethic. The guy goes out every day and tries to improve, and that type of professionalism you have to respect and it's really hard not to cheer for him.
"It was clear he was going to break the record for some time, so you want him to do well and the beautiful thing is this is what you're paid to do as a goalie, win for teams. It's a personal achievement, but it's also great for the team."
Detroit Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist joined NHL Live to discuss the Red Wings' efforts to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the 23rd consecutive season.
Nyquist was named the NHL's "First Star" for the weekend ending March 23, 2014 after leading all players with six goals and tying for the League lead with seven points to help Detroit (33-24-14, 80 points) earn seven of a possible eight points and move into the first Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference.
"It's been pretty crazy with all the injuries," Nyquist said. "But we've said in the locker room we're going to make these playoffs no matter who's out there. We can't worry about that too much.
"We look at the standings, we have a board in the locker room that shows us. Of course we know it's tight and it's going to be a tight race all the way until the end here for the last playoff spot."
NHL Live with Bill Pidto and E.J. Hradek, on NHL Network, will talk to the surging Gustav Nyquist at 5:30 p.m. ET, as the Detroit Red Wings forward discusses his team's efforts to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs for a 23rd consecutive season.
There are six games on the Monday schedule, including the New York Rangers hosting the Phoenix Coyotes. Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, who in recent days has set franchise records with 301 career wins and 50 shutouts, joins Kenny Albert at Madison Square Garden to talk about the milestones and the race to the playoffs. Mike Richter, whose wins record Lundqvist surpassed, will also join us via the MSG Arena Cam at 5:35 p.m.
At TD Garden, the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens will renew their historic rivalry. We'll go out on Arena Cam to talk to Boston Globe beat writer Amalie Benjamin about the Bruins' 12-game winning streak, the longest in the League this season, and whether they can continue it against their Original Six opponent.
In addition, Barry Melrose will join us for his weekly coaches chat.
Vatanen has 14 points and a plus-2 rating in 41 games with the Ducks this season. Despite spending time in the AHL and being a healthy scratch for a number of games, Vatanen is tied with Cam Fowler for the Anaheim lead in goals among defensemen with six.
Umberger will skate with Nick Foligno and Artem Anisimov in place of right wing Corey Tropp. He leads Columbus with eight power-play goals and is tied for third on the Blue Jackets with 18 goals.
"The way this team's been battling all year, and the last couple of games, it’s hard to watch," Umberger told the Columbus Dispatch on being a healthy scratch for the first time in his career. "I want to be a part of it."
The Blue Jackets are hoping Umberger can help put life into a power play that's 0-for-30 since March 4.
Dallas Stars forward Erik Cole is out with an upper-body injury and will not play against the Ottawa Senators on Saturday afternoon at American Airlines Center. He is considered day-to-day.
Cole missed practice Friday with what was described by Dallas coach Lindy Ruff as a maintenance day. Ruff explained early Saturday that Cole would be a game-time decision against Ottawa. Cole's absence was tempered by the return of Shawn Horcoff, who had missed four games with a broken finger.
Saturday will mark the first time Cole has missed a game since March 10, 2010, when he played with the Carolina Hurricanes. The injury ends his streak of 296 consecutive games played.
In 69 games this season, Cole has 16 goals and 29 points.
Los Angeles Kings forward Dustin Brown, who has missed the past two games with an illness, is a game-time decision Thursday against the Washington Capitals at Staples Center. Brown practiced Wednesday, but the Kings did not participate in line rushes Thursday morning.
The Kings enter the game on a three-game losing streak after winning eight straight. They will look to contain a Capitals team on a three-game winning streak that has them tied in points with the Columbus Blue Jackets for the second Eastern Conference wild-card spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with 12 games left on their schedule. The Blue Jackets own the tiebreaker with two games in hand.
Washington's potent offense has scored 11 goals during its winning streak, during which it has never trailed. Forward Alex Ovechkin, the NHL's leading goal scorer with 46, has two goals in his past three games, but hasn't scored in four career games against the Kings and is without a point in the past two.
"I mean, he's a shooter," Kings center Mike Richards told LAKingsInsider.com. "That's evident. He gets a lot of his opportunities on the power play, so we have to take that away. But he's a threat every time he's on the ice, and we have to know where he is and just have to understand that he's a shooter and [Capitals center Nicklas] Backstrom's the passer. So it's just a matter of trying to get the puck out of Backstrom's hands and not allow Ovechkin to get into scoring areas to shoot."
The road toward what they hope is a 23rd consecutive berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs doesn't get any easier for the Detroit Red Wings.
Two nights after pulling out a key 3-2 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Red Wings return to action Thursday against the Metropolitan Division-leading Pittsburgh Penguins at Joe Louis Arena (7:30 p.m. ET, NHLN-US).
"They're very similar to Chicago with the skill they have and the success they have on the power play," Red Wings forward Drew Miller told MLive.com. "We just got to stay true to our system and play strong and count on [goalie Jimmy Howard] to make saves and block shots around him too."
NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will not only preview the nine-game schedule Thursday but also look to the future as Connor McDavid, a top prospect for the 2015 NHL Draft, joins us on the phone to talk about his Ontario Hockey League season with the Erie Otters, participating in the World Junior Championship and his hopes for the future.
The Columbus Blue Jackets continue their push for the franchise's second berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs as they face the Montreal Canadiens, and Blue Jackets analyst Jody Shelley will join us from the Arena Cam at Bell Centre to talk about their postseason push.
It's also the first day of spring and E.J. will look at what NHL hopefuls need to "spring ahead" into the playoffs.
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 St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks by heading out to the United Center to welcome in NBCSN analyst Pierre McGuire via the Arena Cam.
Among the other games on the schedule Wednesday, the Winnipeg Jets host the Colorado Avalanche and we'll go out on Arena Cam to MTS Centre where Jets radio voice Brian Munz will join us.
But one thing Moulson hasn't done is play against the team with whom he spent four successful seasons. That changes Tuesday when Moulson returns to Nassau Coliseum to take on the Islanders with the Wild, who acquired him from Buffalo at the NHL Trade Deadline along with forward Cody McCormick for draft picks and forward Torrey Mitchell.
"A little weird. I've never been in the visiting room here. It's exciting but an important game for us. We need two points on this trip and to get some wins here," Moulson said after practice Tuesday.
Forward Todd Bertuzzi could return to the lineup after dealing with a lower-body injury. But in the most compelling testament to how depleted Detroit's lineup is, coach Mike Babcock has decided to move defenseman Brendan Smith to left wing in an effort to jump-start the offense when the Red Wings host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday.
"Why? Because I think it gives us the best chance to win," Babcock said. "With the amount of injuries we have, we feel that gives us the best opportunities."
NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, previews a Tuesday night full of action with 24 of 30 teams playing.
The Montreal Canadiens welcome in the Colorado Avalanche and coach Patrick Roy, who won the first two of his four Stanley Cups and became a legend at his position playing for the Habs. We'll look at his top five moments for the franchise and also go out to Bell Centre on the Arena Cam to talk to Arpon Basu, managing editor of LNH.com.
The Philadelphia Flyers host the Chicago Blackhawks on NBCSN in a rematch of the 2010 Stanley Cup Final, and we'll get a live report from the Arena Cam at Wells Fargo Center from NHL.com senior writer Dan Rosen.
Our Slap Shots segment will focus on a question from each of the 12 games scheduled Tuesday.
NHL Network analyst Barry Melrose joined NHL Live to discuss what contending teams need to do to find their "Pot of Gold," in other words what they need to accomplish to get to the ultimate prize of winning the Stanley Cup.
For the St. Louis Blues, who lead the race for the Presidents' Trophy with 99 points, their pot is full and it's now a matter of guarding it.
"The St. Louis Blues are playing great," Melrose said. [Ryan] Miller and [Steve] Ott have really given them another gear and more depth, so the Blues don't have to change a thing. They gotta get over the [Vladimir] Tarasenko [hand injury] without any bumps on the road, but certainly a great team right now playing great."
At 6:57 of the first period in the Maple Leafs/Capitals game, video review supported the referee's call on the ice that Joel Ward's shot deflected off of Jason Chimera's skate and into the Toronto net in a legal fashion. According to Rule 49.2 "A puck that deflects into the net off an attacking player's skate who does not use a distinct kicking motion is a legitimate goal." Good goal Washington.
The Detroit Red Wings have lost four of five in March, scoring six goals in those four losses. They're also entering a crucial stretch in which 13 of their final 17 games will be against teams that occupied a Stanley Cup Playoff spot entering play Friday.
So a visit from the Edmonton Oilers, against whom the Red Wings have gone 11-0-1 since the start of the 2010-11 season, might be a good way to break out of that slump. But the Red Wings are not taking their opponent likely, especially with the Oilers posting a 3-2-1 record in March.
"It doesn't matter who you're playing, you can't take a night off. In today's day and age in the NHL anyone can beat anyone on any given night. You have to get ready and prepared the same way no matter who you're playing," goaltender Jimmy Howard told MLive.com. "We have got to win games. There's nothing else you can say."
Forward Johan Sundstrom, who was called up Thursday from Bridgeport of the American Hockey League, and defenseman Kevin Czuczman, who was signed Tuesday after completing his season with Lake Superior State University, each skated with the New York Islanders on Friday.
Sundstrom will make his NHL debut Friday when the Islanders host the San Jose Sharks.
Islanders coach Jack Capuano said Czuczman would play his first game for the Islanders soon. Sundstrom skated on the right wing during practice, alongside Casey Cizikas and Mike Halmo.
"I am very excited," Sundstrom told the Islanders website. "This is why you work so hard every day. Now I have an opportunity here so I am happy to be here and I'll hopefully get some points. I try to be a solid two-way player. I like to be physical and shoot the puck and skate a lot."
NHL Live with Steve Mears and Ken Daneyko, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, previews an eight-game Friday around the League. The marquee matchup of the night involves the Colorado Avalanche visiting the Anaheim Ducks, a game that figures to attract attention as much for the rival coaches, Patrick Roy and Bruce Boudreau, as for the action on the ice.
The general managers meetings conclude in Boca Raton, Fla., and Kathryn Tappen and Kevin Weekes will sit down with GMs from around the League to talk about the changes that might come out of their discussions.
Also, E.J. Hradek joins the show from Las Vegas, where he's participating in the Wayne Gretzky Fantasy Camp. E.J. will sit down with Denis Savard, Theo Fleury and The Great One himself.
NHL Live with Steve Mears and Butch Goring, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will have the latest updates on the condition of Dallas Stars forward Rich Peverley, who was in stable condition at an area hospital after collapsing on the bench Monday night in a game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The general managers meetings continue in Boca Raton, Fla., and Kathryn Tappen and Kevin Weekes will check in with GMs from around the League.
Nine games dot the NHL schedule on Tuesday, including the Stars facing off against the St. Louis Blues. We'll go out on the Arena Cam at Scottrade Center and welcome in Blues analyst Darren Pang to talk about the mood following the Peverley incident, the tremendous play of Ryan Miller since his arrival in St. Louis and the game itself.
NHL Live with Steve Mears and Ken Daneyko, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will have complete coverage of the annual March meeting of the League's general managers currently going on in Boca Raton, Fla. We'll be hearing from various NHL GMs throughout the program.
Also, Steve and Ken will chat with NHL Network analyst Barry Melrose about the race for the Presidents' Trophy, with the St. Louis Blues having surged past the Anaheim Ducks and into first overall with just over a month left in the regular season.
Two prospects for the 2014 NHL Draft were honored Thursday by the Ontario Hockey League.
Guelph Storm forward Robert Fabbri was named OHL Player of the Month for February, and the Oshawa Generals' Ken Appleby was named the league's goaltender of the month.
Fabbri had 11 goals, 12 assists and a plus-9 rating for Guelph in 12 February games. He had at least two points in nine of the 12 games, including a four-point game Feb. 21 against the Windsor Spitfires.
The 5-10.25, 170-pound center is No. 25 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm ranking of the top North American forwards eligible for the 2014 draft.
Also, Steven Stamkos returns for the Lightning against the Sabres, and beat writer Damien Cristodero will join us from the Arena Cam at the Tampa Bay Times Forum to talk about that as well as the St. Louis trade that brought Ryan Callahan back for the Lightning.
Thomas was 16-20-3 with a .909 save percentage and 2.87 goals-against average this season for the Panthers. He did not play in 2012-13, but returned to the NHL on a one-year contract with Florida.
"Tim is a proven goaltender in this League that has won the big games when they matter the most," Stars general manager Jim Nill said in a statement. "We have 20 games left in just 39 days, including four sets of back-to-back situations, and adding a player of Tim's caliber helps our depth at the goaltender position."
Vanek is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent after the season. He turned down a contract extension from the Islanders last month because he appears intent on testing his market value when the free-agent signing period opens July 1.
"Right now my mind is just racing a little bit," Vanek told TSN. "... This is pretty fresh to me, but never say never."
The Islanders acquired Vanek in late October in a trade that sent Matt Moulson, a conditional first-round draft pick and a 2015 second-round draft pick to the Buffalo Sabres. Moulson reportedly was traded to the Minnesota Wild around the same time the news broke on Vanek's trade to the Canadiens.
"I played a lot there with Buffalo; it's electric city, great fans, great building, so I'm excited to join them," Vanek said of Montreal.
Legwand, who has played his entire 15-season NHL career with the Predators, is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. He waived his no-trade clause to join the Red Wings.
Hemsky scored two goals and was named the game's first star Tuesday in a 3-2 win against the Senators.
Hemsky, 30, has spent all 11 seasons in the NHL with the Oilers. He has been the target of trade rumors for the past few years. He was selected in the first round (No. 13) of the 2001 NHL Draft by Edmonton.
The first-round pick is in the 2015 NHL Draft and the conditional second-round selection is in 2014. The second-round pick becomes a first-rounder if the Rangers reach the Eastern Conference Final this season. Also, if Callahan signs a new contract with the Lightning, the Rangers would receive Tampa Bay's second-round pick in 2015 in exchange for New York's seventh-round choice in 2015.
St. Louis, the 2004 Hart Trophy winner and 2013 Art Ross Trophy winner, is currently tied for eighth in the League with 61 points (29 goals). The 38-year-old forward has 973 points in 1,041 career games, and four 90-point seasons on his resume.
The Islanders confirmed that Vanek, who is expected to be traded before the NHL Trade Deadline at 3 p.m. ET on Wednesday, won't dress. He scored two goals on Sunday in a 5-3 loss to the Florida Panthers.
Rundblad, 23, was the 17th player taken in the 2009 draft, by the St. Louis Blues. He made his NHL debut with the Ottawa Senators in 2011-12, playing 24 games before being traded to the Coyotes for forward Kyle Turris. Rundblad has one goal and nine points in 50 games over parts of three seasons for the Senators and Coyotes, including one assist in 12 games this season.
"I thought my contract was immovable," Luongo said on TSN radio from Phoenix where the Canucks are scheduled to play the Phoenix Coyotees. "I would never have thought I would be traded before the deadline."
The terms of the trade have not been officially announced by either team.
Anaheim receives a fifth-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft and a third-round choice in the 2015 draft for Fasth. The 31-year-old has made five appearances this season because of injuries, but he is healthy. He is 2-2-1 with a 2.95 goals-against average and .885 save percentage.
NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, gets you set for a 10-game Tuesday night around the League as well as the NHL Trade Deadline set for 3 p.m. ET on Wednesday.
NHL.com Senior Writer Dan Rosen will join us from Prudential Center to talk about the trade rumors surrounding New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur, who could be making his final start for the franchise against the Detroit Red Wings.
Price, who is out with a lower-body injury, is with the Canadiens for their four-game road trip, which begins Monday night against the Los Angeles Kings. He can be activated off IR as early as Tuesday.
NHL Network analyst Barry Melrose joined NHL Live to share his thoughts on the final 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game in Chicago, Vancouver Canucks coach John Tortorella's decision to start goalie Eddie Lack against the Ottawa Senators at the 2014 Tim Hortons Heritage Classic, and who should be buyers or sellers at the 2014 NHL Trade Deadline.
NHL Live with Steve Mears and Ken Daneyko, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will have all the latest trade rumors from around the League with our insider Bob McKenzie. The NHL Trade Deadline is Wednesday at 3 p.m. ET.
NHL Network analyst Barry Melrose will give his thoughts on which teams should be buyers and sellers at the deadline.
Also, Randy Sportak from the Calgary Sun will join us from the Arena Cam at Xcel Energy Center to preview the game between the Minnesota Wild and Calgary Flames as well as possible deadline moves by the Flames.
Nielsen returns after his hand was broken by a slash from Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson on Feb. 8, the Islanders' last game before the Olympic break. He has 18 goals and 43 points in 60 games.
Forward Mike Halmo was returned to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League. Halmo had two shots on goal and four penalty minutes in two games.
It's for that reason coach Peter DeBoer has encouraged his players to keep their foot on the gas.
"You've got to get greedy now this time of year. We can’t be happy with four points," DeBoer told the Newark Star-Ledger. "We've got to get greedy. You look around the League and teams aren't losing around us very often, so we've got to win games."
New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur said Saturday if he were to accept a trade it would not have to be either to a Stanley Cup contender or for a starting job.
"Not necessarily. If I would agree for it, it would just be to get more ice time," Brodeur told MSG Network after defeating the New York Islanders 6-1 in his first game since Jan. 26.
"I feel really good. I think that kind of helped me out to see the way I was playing, how in control I was today. I've still got a lot left in me, and if I need to play somewhere else next year I need to make some decisions."
Rob Rossi, citing multiple sources, reported that a proposed trade would send Kesler to the Penguins in exchange for center Brandon Sutter, two 2014 draft picks (likely a first-round and third-round), and the Canucks' choice of defensemen Simon Despres or Brian Dumoulin.
The Ottawa Senators are expected to continue contract talks with defenseman Chris Phillips on Friday, according to TSN's Darren Dreger, who said the Boston Bruins are believed to be among the teams interested in trading for Phillips if the Senators decide to move him instead.
Phillips is in the final season of a three-year, $9.25 million contract.
Another player likely to attract attention is defenseman Christian Ehrhoff, who confirmed to the Buffalo News on Friday that the Sabres recently asked him for his list of eight teams where he wouldn't accept a trade.
"They obviously want to be prepared come trade deadline," Ehrhoff told the newspaper. "We’ll see where it will take us."
Life without John Tavares begins for the New York Islanders on Thursday when they host the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first game for both teams following the Olympic break. New York has lost six straight games at Nassau Coliseum, while Toronto has won two straight and 11 of 14.
The Islanders may soon be looking at life without forward Thomas Vanek and defenseman Andrew MacDonald. Each player is rumored to be headed elsewhere by the NHL Trade Deadline on March 5 at 3 p.m.
"Is it in the back of your mind? I'm sure it is. If [I said it wasn't] I'd be lying," Vanek told reporters. "I know what's ahead and what could happen, but once you come to the rink you block it out."
Islanders coach Jack Capuano has no intention on sitting Vanek to protect him from injury.
It's the first game out of the Olympic break for each team.
Couture hasn't played since Jan. 5 because of a hand injury which required surgery. He had a five-game point streak when he came out of the lineup, including goals in four straight games from Dec. 29-Jan. 4. He'll center the second line between Patrick Marleau and Marty Havlat.
"Last night, it was difficult going to sleep just thinking about how exciting it is to get out and play in an NHL game again," Couture said Thursday, according to CSNBayArea.com. "It feels like I haven't played in like three years."
The Blue Jackets and Devils are among four teams in the Metropolitan Division separated by two points, and Gaborik's return after missing the past 22 games with a broken collarbone is a key addition for a Columbus team that starts Thursday three points out of the second wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference.
NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, gets you set for 12 games on a busy Thursday.
The Chicago Blackhawks are back in action visiting the New York Rangers in a game that starts at 7 p.m. ET on NHL Network, and Blackhawks analyst Eddie Olczyk joins us from the Arena Cam at Madison Square Garden to preview the action.
NHL insider Darren Dreger joins the set from Toronto to discuss big names with the NHL Trade Deadline just six days away.
Also former goaltender Kevin Weekes talks goaltending controversies and trade rumors around the League.
United States women's hockey captain Meghan Duggan joined NHL Live to discuss her team's silver medal-winning performance at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, and if any of the sting has worn off from falling short against Canada in the gold-medal game.
Price left the morning skate early Wednesday and did not return.
"It's a lower-body injury that he aggravated during the Olympics," coach Michel Therrien said. "We want to ensure that he's completely healthy when he returns to the lineup. His situation is one that we'll be evaluating day by day. We'll check on his status for practice on Friday ahead of the game on Saturday [vs. the Toronto Maple Leafs]."
The Edmonton Oilers will look to add draft picks and open roster space for younger players at the NHL Trade Deadline, general manager Craig MacTavish said Tuesday.
"It's not rocket science where we are right now and what our strategy is going to be moving forward," MacTavish told the media at Rexall Place. "We've got a number of guys that are UFAs that are veteran players that are going to elicit attention around the League from teams that are preparing for a playoff run that will be in all of those conversations. It's been pretty quiet through the Olympic break, but I think that starting today it will start to heat up on a day-to-day basis."
The Oilers have several pending unrestricted free agents and veterans they may be looking to move at the deadline, including right wing Ales Hemsky and defenseman Nick Schultz. Edmonton will have a high pick in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft but has traded away its second- and third-round picks. MacTavish said he would like to make sure his team will have selections in those rounds.
NHL action returns Tuesday and NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, has plenty to offer on a night when the Buffalo Sabres and Carolina Hurricanes make up a game previously postponed by snow.
Nashville Predators and United States Olympic team general manager David Poile joins NHL Live to discuss his team's outlook for the remainder of the NHL season and USA's performance at the 2014 Sochi Games.
United States defenseman Paul Martin will miss the remainder of the 2014 Sochi Olympics due to a hand injury, according to a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review report.
The report said the Pittsburgh Penguins have no timetable for Martin's return to the lineup, but the early indication is Martin could miss a month but return in time for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Martin has no points in four games at the Olympics but has a plus-2 rating and is averaging 17:54 of ice time per game, third among the team's defenseman. He was scratched from the lineup for the team's semifinal game Friday against Canada (Noon ET, NBCSN, CBC). No reason was given at the time but NBCSN reported during broadcast of the semifinal game between Sweden and Finland that Martin was ill.
Justin Faulk will replace Martin in the U.S. lineup against Canada. It will be Faulk's first game of the tournament. In 52 games with the Carolina Hurricanes, Faulk has three goals and 22 points while averaging a team-high 23:50 of ice time per game.
SOCHI -- Canada center John Tavares will miss the remainder of the 2014 Sochi Olympics with a leg injury sustained during his team's quarterfinal game against Latvia on Wednesday.
"He's got a leg injury, he's out for the tournament," Canada coach Mike Babcock said. "He'll be re-examined by the New York Islanders people and I'm sure they'll have an announcement."
Babcock said he didn't know if Tavares would be heading home right away.
Tavares, the captain of the New York Islanders, took a hard hit from Latvia defenseman Arturs Kulda in the second period and struggled to get back to the bench before eventually leaving for the dressing room. He did not return for the third period.
"He seemed to be in a fine mood," Babcock said. "Obviously disappointed he's injured. But I spoke to him."
Gudlevskis started Latvia's final game of group play, a 5-3 loss to Sweden. Masalskis started Tuesday and made 32 saves in a 3-1 win against Switzerland that sent Latvia into the quarterfinals of an Olympic tournament for the first time in its history.
Daugavins, who has played in the NHL as recently as the 2012-13 season with the Ottawa Senators and Boston Bruins, is reportedly out due to an illness.
Forward Herberts Vasiljevs was also listed as a scratch for Latvia against Canada.
Semyon Varlamov will be in goal for Russia on Wednesday when it faces Finland (7:30 a.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC) in a quarterfinal game at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, a team spokesman said.
The Colorado Avalanche goaltender has won each of his starts in Sochi. He made 12 saves in a 5-2 victory against Slovenia in Russia's opener, then stopped all 27 shots he faced in regulation and overtime in a 1-0 shootout win against Slovakia in their Group A finale Sunday. Varlamov also stopped Slovakia's two attempts in the tiebreaker.
Sergei Bobrovsky will start in goal for Russia on Tuesday in a play-in game against Norway (7:30 a.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC), according to a team spokesman.
Bobrovsky, who stopped 31 shots during regulation and overtime in a 3-2 shootout loss to the United States on Saturday, his first start of the 2014 Sochi Olympics, served as backup to Semyon Varlamov in Russia's 1-0 shootout win against Slovakia on Sunday.
This will be Bobrovsky's second start in Sochi. Varlamov also started Russia's opener against Slovenia, a 5-2 win.
SOCHI -- Russia's star forward, Ilya Kovalchuk, did not practice with the Russian team during a training session Monday afternoon at Bolshoy Ice Dome's training rink.
The Russians, who finished second in Group A, play Norway, the No. 12 seed, in a qualification game Tuesday (7:30 a.m. ET). The winner of that game advances to the quarterfinal stage on Wednesday and will play Finland, the fourth seed.
Kovalchuk was injured in the second period of the final preliminary game Sunday against Slovakia. He returned for the third period and also took part in the shootout, scoring a goal, as Russia won the game 1-0.
Sabahudin Kovacevic will miss Slovenia's Group A game against the United States on Sunday after receiving a one-game suspension from the Olympic Men’s Tournament Disciplinary Panel for an elbow to the head and neck area of Slovakia forward Tomas Kopecky on Saturday.
After reviewing the play, in which the players collided in front of the Slovak goal, the panel determined that Kovacevic, a defenseman, extended and directed his elbow to contact the head and neck area of Kopecky, who had to leave the ice and did not return.
Carey Price will start in goal for Canada on Sunday in its Group B showdown with Finland (12 p.m. ET, USA, CBC), Hockey Canada announced.
Price played in Canada's first game at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, a 3-1 victory against Norway on Thursday. Roberto Luongo got the call against Austria and was perfect in a 6-0 shutout Friday, but will serve as the backup against Finland.
Ryan Miller will make his first start in goal at the 2014 Sochi Olympics on Sunday when the United States plays Slovenia (7:30 a.m. ET; NBCSN) in the teams' final Group A game, USA Hockey announced.
Miller, who was the MVP at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, served as the backup to Jonathan Quick in the first two U.S. games in Sochi.
Quick stopped 51 of the 54 shots he faced in a 7-1 win against Slovakia on Thursday and a 3-2 shootout win against Russia on Saturday. He also stopped five of eight attempts in the penalty-shot tiebreaker against the Russians.
Finland center Aleksander Barkov will miss the rest of the 2014 Sochi Olympics with a knee injury sustained Friday against Norway.
According to reports in the Finnish media, the team doctor for Finland has ruled Barkov out for 4-6 weeks after he underwent an MRI.
Barkov, a rookie in the NHL this season with the Florida Panthers after being taken with the second pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, left the game early in the third period. He had three shots on goal and won seven of nine faceoffs in 18 shifts totaling 15:03 of ice time against Norway.
Slovenia defenseman Sabahudin Kovacevic faces a disciplinary hearing with the International Ice Hockey Federation on Sunday morning.
The hearing, presided over by the IIHF disciplinary committee, concerns a hit delivered by Kovacevic to Slovakia's Tomas Kopecky during the Group A game between the teams Saturday at the Bolshoy Ice Dome.
Kopecky, who plays for the Florida Panthers in the NHL, was injured on the play and did not return to the game.
Slovenia won the game 3-1, its first Olympic victory.
The same three players were scratched Thursday when the United States beat Slovakia 7-1 in its first game of the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Coach Dan Bylsma opted to use the same lineup and to go with goaltender Jonathan Quick for the second straight game.
The Group A showdown between the United States and Russia at Bolshoy Ice Dome will have a couple of especially interested spectators: Canada coach Mike Babcock and executive director Steve Yzerman plan to be in attendance.
"You go to see high-level hockey and what the standard is," Babcock told the media Saturday morning.
Canada has the day off before facing Finland, with the winner earning first place in Group B and a bye into the quarterfinals on Wednesday.
Slovakian forward Tomas Marcinko, who sustained a leg injury in his first game for his country in a loss to the United States on Thursday, will not play another game at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
The International Ice Hockey Federation website reported the news Friday morning.
Marcinko, who sustained torn ligaments, also may miss the remainder of the season for HC Kosice in the Slovak Extraliga, according to team doctor Vladimir Luptak. He had 10 goals and 28 points in 44 games for HC Kosice this season.
Semyon Varlamov of the Colorado Avalanche will start in goal for Russia in its first game of the 2014 Sochi Olympics against Slovenia on Thursday (7:30 a.m. ET, MSNBC, CBC), according to a tweet from the IIHF.
Selanne, 43, has seven goals and 20 points in 47 NHL games. In five previous Olympics, he has 20 goals and 17 assists in 31 games. He won a silver medal in 2006, and bronze medals in 1998 and 2010. Twice he's led the Olympics in scoring, with 10 points in five games in 1998 and 11 points in eight games in 2006.
Edwin Minney, one of the top goaltender prospects for the 2014 NHL Draft, made 20 saves and the United States beat the Czech Republic 3-2 on Saturday to win the 2014 Under-18 Five Nations Tournament at Dmitrov Arena in Dmitrov, Russia.
The U.S. jumped to an early lead on Joe Wegworth's goal 4:15 into the game. Dylan Pavelek scored at 15:51 of the first to make it 2-0 and Brandon Fortunato's goal with 47 seconds remaining in the opening period gave the U.S. a 3-0 lead after 20 minutes.
The Czechs responded with two goals in just over a minute in the second period to make it a one-goal game, with top European draft prospect Jakub Vrana having a hand in both scores. Vrana, No. 5 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm ranking of European skaters for the 2014 draft, scored a power-play goal at 7:30 of the second. Just 64 seconds later, Vrana set up Filip Pyrochta for a goal at 8:34.
The Americans tightened up in the third period, allowing the Czechs just three shots. Minney, No. 2 on Central Scouting's midterm ranking of North American goaltenders for the 2014 draft, stopped all three shots in the third. In two games at the tournament, Minney went 2-0-0 while allowing five goals on 50 shots for a .900 save percentage.
Hilary Knight scored the opening goal 53 seconds into the game and assisted on Kelli Stack's game-winner in the United States' tournament-opening 3-1 win against Finland at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
Alex Carpenter also scored for the United States and Jessie Vetter made 14 saves. Susanna Tapani scored for Finland, while Noora Raty stopped 40 of 43 shots.
Knight opened the scoring early in a first period, one in which the Americans outshot Finland 15-3, before she set up Stack's goal 7:42 into the second to give the American women a 2-0 lead. The 19-year-old Carpenter, the daughter of longtime NHL player Bobby Carpenter, scored her first Olympic goal on the power play to extend the U.S. lead to 3-0 with 4:01 remaining in the second.
Tapani scored Finland's lone goal 15:22 into the third with Brianna Decker off for hooking. But the standout player for the Finns was Raty, who won back-to-back NCAA national championships with the University of Minnesota in 2012 and 2013. The Finnish goaltender kept the score respectable as the United States outshot the Finns 33-7 in the opening two periods.
Nashville Predators general manager David Poile is recovering from surgical procedures in his nose and eye areas Friday in a Minnesota hospital and his travel to Sochi, Russia for the 2014 Olympics has been delayed.
Poile was hit in the face Thursday by a deflected puck during the Predators' morning skate at Xcel Energy Center and was taken to an area hospital.
Poile also is the general manager for the United States Olympic team and was scheduled to travel with other NHL Olympians to Russia on Sunday. In a statement released by the Predators, Poile still hopes to join the team in Sochi.
Dylan Larkin, a top prospect for the 2014 NHL Draft, had two goals and an assist as the United States beat Sweden 4-2 Friday for its third win in as many games at the 2014 Under-18 Five Nations Tournament at Dmitrov Arena in Dmitrov, Russia.
Larkin, a 6-foot-0.75, 190-pound center with the United States National Team Development Program under-18 team, is No. 17 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm ranking of North American skaters for the 2014 draft.
Alex Tuch and Ryan Wagner also had goals and Blake Weyrick, No. 2 on Central Scouting's midterm ranking of North American goaltenders, made 24 saves.
Koivu announced Friday that he was ending his attempts to play in the Olympics. He has been out since sustaining a broken ankle during a game Jan. 4.
"I'm not going to the Olympics games this year," Koivu said in a statement released on the Wild's official Twitter feed. "I just don't feel healthy enough to feel that I can play at the level that I want."
He said he will take a few days off and then resume skating prior to the Wild getting back together Feb. 19.
Johansson takes the place of Vancouver Canucks center Henrik Sedin, who announced Thursday he will not participate in Sochi because of a lingering rib injury.
Johansson, 23, will be making his first Olympic appearance and will join Capitals teammate Nicklas Backstrom on the Swedish team.
"It's a great feeling. It's awesome. It's a dream coming true," Johansson said. "Playing in the Olympics for your country, it's pretty awesome. ... You feel proud and really excited to be able to experience an Olympics and get a chance to win a gold medal."
There was plenty of talk about the 2014 Sochi Olympics on NHL Live on NHL Network on Thursday night.
Anaheim Ducks and U.S. defenseman Cam Fowler joined Ken Daneyko and Steve Mears by phone to discuss the upcoming Olympics, as well as the Ducks' recent struggles and the recent 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game at Dodger Stadium.
"I'm obviously just very honored and humbled to be a part of that team and a part of that experience. I'm really just looking forward to getting over there and getting to know the guys and getting to know the systems and the coaching staff," the first-time Olympian said. "I'm sure when that first game's there will definitely be some butterflies, but I think those will go away after the first few shifts."
"I'm disappointed not to be physically able to represent my country at the Winter Olympic Games," Sedin said in a statement released by the Canucks. "This is a difficult decision but ultimately the best decision for me personally, Team Sweden and the Vancouver Canucks. I wish my teammates the best and look forward to returning to play."
Sedin recently returned to the lineup after missing six games with bruised ribs. He played back-to-back games against the Detroit Red Wings on Monday and the Boston Bruins on Tuesday, and did not register a shot on goal in either game.
"We are shutting Henrik down for the next two games," Canucks coach John Tortorella said. "He wants to play, but he's not as effective as we need him to be right now."
Gaborik, who sustained a broken collarbone Dec. 21 against the Philadelphia Flyers, had hoped to return in time to play for his native Slovakia.
"I'm extremely disappointed that I won't be able to play for Slovakia at the Olympic Games but understand the decision is the right one for my recovery and for the national team," Gaborik said. "I have been lucky and proud to represent my country at two Olympic Games and other international tournaments and look forward to doing so again in the future."
Despite sitting near the bottom of their respective divisions, the Calgary Flames and New York Islanders will enter their game Thursday at Nassau Coliseum playing solid hockey recently.
The Flames had a five-game win streak snapped Tuesday in a 2-0 loss to the Montreal Canadiens. The Islanders have won two of their past three, including a 1-0 shutout of the Washington Capitals on Tuesday.
It will be the first time the teams have played since Dec. 29, 2011.
Jack Eichel, Sonny Milano and Alex Tuch each had three points and Edwin Minney made 25 saves to lead the United States to an 8-3 victory against Finland in the second game of the Under-18 Five Nations Tournament at Dmitrov Arena in Dmitrov, Russia.
Eichel, considered by many to be a top-five pick for the 2015 NHL Draft scored two goals.
St. Louis, 38, will be going to his second Olympics, having played for Canada in 2006. It'll be his first international tournament since the 2009 IIHF World Championship, when he had 15 points in nine games.
"They called me yesterday," St. Louis said. "Great opportunity for me. I think if you asked Stamkos who he wants to replace him it would be me. So I'll do the best I can."
"It's great for Marty," Stamkos said. "If there is anyone in our locker room that deserves it from day one it is Marty."
NHL Live with Steve Mears and Ken Daneyko, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, continues the countdown to the 2014 Sochi Olympics while getting fans set for an 11-game Thursday night around the League.
The focus Thursday will be on previewing Group B, which includes Canada, Finland, Norway and Austria. Tampa Bay Lightning star Steven Stamkos will not be available to Canada and teammate Martin St. Louis was named Thursday to take his place. Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Bay Times shares his reactions to Stamkos' press conference and his replacement being announced.
Anaheim Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler will join the show to talk about his outstanding season and his hopes for Sochi.
St. Louis Blues prospect Jake Allen, who picked up some big wins in the NHL last season and is currently starring in the American Hockey League, will be on to talk about that experience as well as next week's 2014 AHL All-Star Classic against Färjestad BK, one of the top professional teams in the Swedish Hockey League.
NHL Live with Steve Mears and Dave Maloney, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will have a pair of Edmonton Oilers in studio as they make their way through New York on an Eastern Conference road trip. We'll talk to team captain Andrew Ference and top goal scorer David Perron about the team's recent play.
NHL Network insider Bob McKenzie will join us to discuss the latest trade rumors heading into the Olympic break. Once play resumes, the NHL Trade Deadline on March 5 will be soon to follow.
And speaking of the 2014 Sochi Olympics, we'll have a preview of Group C, which features the Czech Republic, Sweden, Switzerland and Latvia, with players to watch from each nation.
Spurgeon, who will pair with Marco Scandella, was plus-3 and played more than 27 minutes against the Sabres despite the injury.
"We're anxious to see where his game's at," Wild coach Mike Yeo told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "If he can step in and be close to the level that he was at before he got hurt, we're a lot stronger for it."
"We've counted with Vladimir Sobotka as a top two-way forward, he is extraordinary on defense," Czech Republic coach Alois Hadamczik said. "After he got injured, we had to find similar kind of a player and Martin Erat is best in defense among all candidates."
"It's always nice to play for your national team, especially as a big tournament as Olympics are," said Erat, who will make his third Olympic appearance. "It's going to be nice to change scenarios for a while and hope [we] get something done there."
John Tortorella will be back behind the bench Monday to coach the Vancouver Canucks against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena after a 15-day suspension that saw him miss six games. The team went 2-4-0 in his absence and is 0-1-0 on its five-game road trip following a 4-3 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Friday.
"I apologize first and foremost to the players, to the organization and to the League. It hasn't been a great two weeks," Tortorella told reporters Monday morning. "I didn't help matters for this team and we're in a tough spot right now. It's up to me to do my job and get this team back."
With a precarious hold on a playoff spot, Tortorella and the Canucks have a lot of work to do. Vancouver has lost three straight games and four of its past five, and has allowed 17 goals in its past four games. The coach's message delivered to the media was the need for tougher skin.
"We had meetings this morning. We have a long list of things we need to improve at," Tortorella said. "We need to start over on the mental side. We're off the rails on a lot of different aspects. Every aspect of our game is off. This team can and will play the right way."
Nyquist will replace Red Wings teammate Johan Franzen, who is on injured reserve with concussion issues.
The 24-year-old had his first NHL hat trick Sunday against the Washington Capitals and in his past eight games he has eight goals and four assists. In 30 games this season he has 13 goals and 22 points.
The St. Louis Blues have placed forward Vladimir Sobotka on injured reserve with a left leg injury. Sobotka will be re-evaluated in four weeks and the injury will keep him from participating for the Czech Republic at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
Zetterberg, who has two goals and six assists during a four-game point streak, hasn't played since Jan. 24 against the Montreal Canadiens due to a sore back. He has 16 goals and 44 points in 40 games this season.
Daniel Cleary will come out of the lineup to make room for Zetterberg.
The Capitals, meanwhile, don't expect to know until game time whether defenseman Mike Green will be in the lineup.
NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will talk to Minnesota Wild wing Zach Parise on the day he was named as captain of the United States for the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
Our weekly College Hockey Report will focus on the MVP of last year's Beanpot tournament, Kevin Roy of Northeastern, and we'll look ahead to the upcoming Beanpot which gets underway Monday at TD Garden in Boston.
Remember to submit your #AskEJ questions through Twitter via @NHLNetwork or @EJHradek_NHL, and join the conversation on Twitter as we ask you to pick the game of the night.
Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown doesn't have a goal or a point in his past eight games. In a move to change his fortunes Brown was shifted from left wing to the right side at the Kings' morning skate Thursday.
Brown's last goal was Jan. 13 when he scored the winner against the Vancouver Canucks. Since then the Kings are 2-5-1, and their offense has slipped precipitously. They've scored 13 goals in that eight-game stretch and have one goal or fewer in four straight.
The Penguins held an optional skate Thursday, so predicting the lineup is difficult. However, the Penguins have won three of their past four, including a 3-0 defeat of the Buffalo Sabres on Monday, so it's likely coach Dan Bylsma keeps the same lineup.
There will be one change, however, as Jeff Zatkoff will start in goal. Zatkoff was selected by the Kings in the third round (No. 74) of the 2006 NHL Draft.
Philadelphia Flyers forward Zac Rinaldo has one goal and one assist in 44 games, but could his return to the lineup be the spark the team has been missing?
Rinaldo last played Jan. 8, when he sustained a sprained ankle. In the three weeks he's missed, the Flyers went 3-5-2. He'll be back in the lineup Thursday against the Anaheim Ducks, likely playing on the fourth line.
The Flyers originally thought Rinaldo would be out more than a month.
"Six weeks definitely wasn't for me, so I cut it in half," he said.
With four games in the next seven days, the Ducks will turn to Frederik Andersen in goal Thursday. It will be the rookie's first start since Jan. 18.
Sweden Olympic hockey coach Par Marts said Thursday that Detroit Red Wings forward Johan Franzen will not play for the team at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
Franzen currently is on injured reserve due to concussion issues. He originally sustained a concussion during a game Dec. 15 against the Tampa Bay Lightning. He returned Sunday against the Florida Panthers after missing 16 games, but on Monday was returned to IR due to a recurrence of the concussion issues.
Yankee Stadium hosted its second game in the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series when the New York Rangers defeated the New York Islanders 2-1 on Wednesday night, and Thursday's edition of NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will look back at that exciting finale in the Bronx.
A special edition of the "E.J. 5" will look back at one of the most amazing goaltending performances turned in Wednesday by Ben Scrivens of the Edmonton Oilers, who stopped all 59 shots by the San Jose Sharks in a 3-0 victory. Scrivens will join us by phone to talk about the game.
We'll also look ahead to a 10-game Thursday that is highlighted by an Original Six rivalry renewed, as the Montreal Canadiens visit the Boston Bruins at 7 p.m. on NHL Network. Analyst Billy Jaffe will join us from the Arena Cam out at TD Garden to preview the game.
Remember to submit your #AskEJ questions through Twitter via @NHLNetwork or @EJHradek_NHL, and join the conversation on Twitter as we ask you to pick the game of the night.
Whitmore serves as the League's director of hockey operations and goaltender equipment and has worked for the NHL since 2004. He played 14 seasons professionally, including 155 games in nine seasons with the Hartford Whalers, Vancouver Canucks, Bruins and Calgary Flames.
However, on Tuesday he said that was the best-case scenario, and he would still consider playing in the Olympics even without an NHL warmup.
"The objective is to play a game," Stamkos said after skating with his teammates Tuesday in Toronto. "That's something I would really love to do. But if that's not the case there's going to be another discussion about whether I'm still going to be on that [Olympic] team. We haven't had that. It's more like we'll cross that bridge when we need to."
Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman, who also serves as executive director of Canada's Olympic team, said much the same.
"If he gets a chance to play in a game, if he's cleared to play, great," Yzerman said. "If not, then depending on what the doctor says and how he feels, is he good to go for the first game of the tournament? He's the only one who really knows that once the doctors give him the green light to play."
Jonathan Bernier will start in goal for the Maple Leafs, who are looking to snap a two-game losing streak that followed six consecutive wins. It will be Bernier's first career appearance against the Lightning. Toronto is seven points behind second-place Tampa Bay in the Atlantic Division.
Franzen had an assist in 16:45 of ice time Sunday against the Florida Panthers, his first game after missing 16 with a concussion sustained during a game Dec. 15 against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
"Any time it's a head injury -- we've been through it a number of times -- they're hard things," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock told reporters after the team's morning skate Tuesday. "Obviously [Franzen] thought he was ready and then found out he wasn't.
"He'll be out a few [games] for sure, anyways, and he continues to work with doctors at U-M [University of Michigan]; they'll figure out when he’s available."
NHL Live with Bill Pidto, E.J. Hradek and Kevin Weekes, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, previews an 11-game Tuesday around the League while also checking in on the New York Islanders' practice at Yankee Stadium in preparation for their 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game Wednesday against the rival New York Rangers.
Florida Panthers goalie Tim Thomas makes his big return to face the Boston Bruins at TD Garden for the first time, and we'll welcome in Bruins radio voice Dave Goucher from our Arena Cam to discuss the big night.
NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, has plenty to talk about Monday, one day after the New York Rangers' 7-3 win against the New Jersey Devils in the first of two 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series games at Yankee Stadium. Winning goaltender Henrik Lundqvist will stop by the studio.
Kevin Weekes has the distinction of having played for the Rangers, Devils and New York Islanders in his career, including serving as the Rangers goaltending tandem with Lundqvist at the beginning of the Swede's career. He'll join Mears and Hradek on the show.
In addition, NHL Network insider Bob McKenzie will provide the latest on trade rumors from around the League.
Remember to submit your #AskEJ questions through Twitter via @NHLNetwork or @EJHradek_NHL, and join the conversation on Twitter as we ask you to pick the game of the night.
The Detroit Red Wings are expected to get a key player back into their lineup Sunday for their game against the Florida Panthers at Joe Louis Arena when forward Johan Franzen is activated after missing the past 16 games with a concussion.
Franzen has 22 points (nine goals, 13 assists) in 30 games.
"He can really shoot the puck," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock told MLive.com. "Any time you come back from an injury, I don’t know how you’re going to respond. I mean, [Darren] Helmer's an example of that. I don’t know what to expect from the Mule. We’re just going to play him and see how it goes."
Due to sun glare on the ice and in the interest of player safety, the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game between the New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers at Yankee Stadium, scheduled for 12:30 p.m. ET, has been delayed. Puck drop is officially set for 1:38 p.m. ET.
There isn't a set timetable for his return, however, and Lightning coach Jon Cooper made sure to clarify Stamkos is not fully cleared for practicing yet.
"He's getting better every day, but there are lots of things that have to go on still," Cooper said. "He hasn't been cleared and he's still a ways away from being cleared. He hasn't done any battling. It's just the process that is slowly going on here. But, in saying that, when you take the minimum-maximum of what the injury was, he's closer to coming in at the minimum time frame than the maximum time frame, so that's good for all of us."
Alfredsson had missed the past six games with a back injury. He has 11 goals and 30 points in 39 games in his first season with the Red Wings. During his career with the Ottawa Senators, he had 31 goals and 105 points in 89 games against the Canadiens.
"It's been really good three days of skating and no issues so I'm ready to go," Alfredsson told MLive.com. "It's always frustrating to be out and now be able to skate like I have and have no issues it feels great actually."
New York Rangers defenseman Kevin Klein made his debut with the Blueshirts on Thursday night following a trade from the Nashville Predators, and on Friday he'll be part of NHL Live, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network with Steve Mears and Butch Goring. Klein will discuss the trade, his new team and fans can tweet questions to @NHLNetwork for him to answer.
It's time once again for our College Hockey Report, and this week we'll talk to Boston College freshman and top NHL prospect Thatcher Demko on his season to this point and his thoughts on the upcoming NHL Draft.
A five-game night in the League is highlighted by the New Jersey Devils hosting the Washington Capitals in a Metropolitan Division battle, and Capitals insider Chuck Gormley will join us from the Arena Cam at Prudential Center to talk about the status of Alex Ovechkin and the inconsistency of the Capitals' season.
Stamkos joined his teammates on the ice Thursday at Tampa Bay Times Forum for the morning skate and said his right leg feels as good as it has since he broke it in November.
"I thought [Thursday] was the best it's felt," Stamkos told reporters. "That's a positive. Every day I've gotten on the ice trying to get a little better each time. A lot of it is physical but a lot of it is mental as well, trying different things that you can trust the healing process is taking place. … I have never had an injury like this, but I'd like to think that I'm ahead [of pace in recovery]. I'm feeling good. I know I'm not 100 percent, but it's getting there."
Though the Penguins and Islanders reside at opposite ends of the Metropolitan Division standings -- 23 points separates first-place Pittsburgh from eighth-place New York -- a run of 10 wins in 13 games has pulled the Islanders to within five points of the Columbus Blue Jackets for a Stanley Cup Playoff berth.
These teams met in the 2013 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, with the Islanders taking the Penguins to overtime of Game 6 before they were eliminated on a Brooks Orpik goal. New York won the opener of the 2013-14 season series before Pittsburgh came back to take the next two, including the previous game at the Coliseum on Dec. 3, 3-2 on an overtime goal by Sidney Crosby.
NHL Live with Steve Mears and Ken Daneyko, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will get fans set for a 10-game Thursday night that features the Columbus Blue Jackets hosting the Philadelphia Flyers as they shoot for an eight consecutive win. Jody Shelley, who played for both teams over the course of his career, joins us from the Arena Cam at Nationwide Arena to talk about the game.
Voracek left the Flyers' 4-3 shootout loss to the New York Islanders on Monday midway through the third period with what the team has called an upper-body injury. It was reported by multiple media outlets that the injury was to Voracek's left hand. He did not take part in the team's morning skate Tuesday, but the game scheduled for that evening was postponed until Wednesday due to a snowstorm and the extra time may have helped Voracek's chances to play.
In 50 games Voracek has 14 goals and 35 points. He hasn't missed a game since March 8-11, 2012.
A win by the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday will move the Ducks into second place among the NHL's longest home winning streaks to start a season. The Ducks are 20-0-2 on home ice, where they have won 10 straight games.
The Ducks are the fifth team since 1973-74 to record at least one point in each of its first 20-plus home games in a season. The 1979-80 Philadelphia Flyers (19-0-7) own the record of 26 straight.
The Jets, however, are not an easy out, especially since Paul Maurice took over as coach. Winnipeg has won three straight games after losing five in a row and gets Evander Kane back in the lineup after he missed the past four games with a laceration on right hand.
"They're going to be excited," Ducks center Nick Bonino said. "You look at their team, and they're pretty solid through all four lines, defense and in net. With us and our winning streak, it'll make them play a little harder."
Voracek left the Flyers' 4-3 shootout loss to the New York Islanders on Monday midway through the third period with what the team has called an upper-body injury. It's been reported by multiple media outlets that it's an injury to Voracek's left hand. He did not take part in the team's morning skate Tuesday.
In 50 games Voracek has 14 goals and 35 points. If he can't play it would be just the 10th game he's missed in six NHL seasons, and first since March 8-11, 2012.
NHL Live with Bill Pidto and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET Monday on NHL Network, sets up for a 10-game Tuesday with several special guests.
The Anaheim Ducks put a 20-0-2 home record on the line against the Winnipeg Jets and forward Nick Bonino will join the show from the Arena Cam out at Honda Center to talk about their red-hot play.
A rivalry renews in the Big Apple as the New York Rangers host the New York Islanders in what's also a preview of a 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game on Jan. 29 at Yankees Stadium. We'll go out to Madison Square Garden on Arena Cam and welcome in analyst Kenny Albert for all the insight.
Goaltender Darcy Kuemper is the man of the moment for the Minnesota Wild and is set to make a fifth consecutive start against the Dallas Stars. Minneapolis Star Tribune reporter Michael Russo gives us the scoop via the Arena Cam at American Airlines Center.
Helm had been sidelined by a groin injury. He missed 11 games and played Dec. 30 against the Nashville Predators before sitting out another seven.
"I've felt good the last couple of days," Helm said following the morning skate. "I've skated hard, no problems, so tonight's the next test.
"I'm just going to try and do what I did last time and the time before that, just play my game. There's nothing special I need to do, just make sure I'm taking short shifts. I'm going to be a little rusty out there so I can't be doing too much."
Helm has seven goals and 11 points in 16 games.
"Obviously, he hasn't played in a long time," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "I don't know if it's going to take him some time or not. When he's going he's a real impactful player for us. I don't know how many minutes he can handle tonight but it's good to have him back."
Nilsson was reassigned to the American Hockey League in December when Evgeni Nabokov returned from an injury and went 2-6-1 since going back to Bridgeport. He was brought back up Jan. 6 after Nabokov sustained a lower-body injury against the Dallas Stars.
Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin was a guest on NBC's Today Show live from Rockefeller Center in New York City on Monday to discuss his selection to represent Russia at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
"I'm very excited," Ovechkin told NBC's Carson Daly."It's a big honor for me, for my country."
Ovechkin will be making his third Olympic appearance and was the first Russian to carry the Olympic Torch in a ceremony at Olympia, Greece on Sept. 29, 2013. In the 2006 Turin Olympics, Russia lost the bronze medal game to the Czech Republic. Four years later in Vancouver, Russia fell in the quarterfinals to Canada, the eventual gold-medal winner
This year, the games will be played in Ovechkin's home country, where there will be extra incentive to win gold.
"Everybody wants to win a gold medal, especially when playing at home," Ovechkin said. "I'm sure every hockey player, every fan in Russia, wants us to win. But it's going to be hard because every team has a strong team. It's going to be a battle."
Marcus Foligno and Sabres defenseman Henrik Tallinder returned to practice Friday and participated in Buffalo's optional skate Saturday, although Taliinder remains out with an upper-body injury that has kept him out of the past six games.
Marcus Foligno would not share the nature of his injury but admitted that it is something he has been dealing with for a while.
"Just a recurring injury that got pinched in the game against Philly [Jan. 14]," Foligno said after skating Friday. "It's all better now. The trainers looked after me. Just something I needed to rest. It's never going to go away until the summertime. It's just something I've got to keep a close eye on."
The Anaheim Ducks have won eight in a row and 18 out of 19, but they face a challenge Friday night in the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks, and NHL Live at 5 p.m. ET with Steve Mears and Ken Daneyko will get fans ready for a regular-season game that figures to have the atmosphere of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. We'll go out to the United Center on our Arena Cam and welcome in analyst Eddie Olczyk to preview the contest.
NHL Network analyst Barry Melrose will examine the shootout and give out his Mullet of the Week. And St Cloud forward and Los Angeles Kings prospect Nic Dowd will join us for the College Hockey Report.
He took part in the team's morning skate Thursday at Madison Square Garden but the team ruled him out for the game Thursday night against the New York Rangers due to a lower-body injury.
The Red Wings recalled Cory Emmerton from the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League to take Andersson's spot in the lineup.
The Red Wings also are missing Pavel Datsyuk, Stephen Weiss and Darren Helm because of injury. Datsyuk, Weiss, Helm and Andersson were Detroit's top four centers on the depth chart to start the season.
Hartnell said a puck hit him "right on the side" of his skate and was concerned he had sustained a broken foot. He missed 16 games after blocking a shot with his foot last season.
"It felt good," Hartnell said after taking part in the Flyers' morning skate Thursday. "Better than I thought it would. Anytime you block a shot it gets sore, and obviously I was worried about this one, but I should be ready to go."
Hartnell said he plans on wearing protective skate guards on both feet going forward.
For the Predators, Carter Hutton told the Tennessean that he would start in net. Goaltender Devan Dubnyk, acquired Wednesday from the Edmonton Oilers, joined the team in Philadelphia but due to paperwork issues might not be able to dress for the game. If he can't go, Marek Mazanec will be the backup.
The Olympic opening ceremony will be held Feb. 7, six days before Slovakia plays its first game against the United States. Bruins coach Claude Julien confirmed Thursday that Chara has been granted permission to leave the team and miss Boston's final game before the Olympic break, Feb. 8 against the Ottawa Senators.
Zinetula Bilyaletdinov, coach of Russia's team for the 2014 Sochi Olympics, announced Wednesday that Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk has been named team captain.
"When I discussed this issue with coaching staff and the team's general manager, Alexei Kasatonov, it felt like Datsyuk was the most suitable candidate for the role," Bilyaletdinov said at a press conference in Moscow. "It was important that the players supported the choice as well."
Datsyuk seems to be excited to lead the team at the Olympics, which will take place in his home country.
"I am honored to be named a captain," Datsyuk wrote on his verified Twitter account, @Datsyuk13. "Our team embraces the opportunity and responsibility of representing our country on the home ice."
This will be the fourth Olympics for Datsyuk, who represented Russia in 2002, 2006 and 2010. In 18 Olympic games Datsyuk has three goals and 14 points.
In 35 games with the Red Wings this season he has 15 goals and 32 points.
Fresh off a victory in his first game as Winnipeg Jets coach, Paul Maurice will discuss his new position and the win against the Phoenix Coyotes on NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network.
Stamkos is with the team on its three-game road trip, which includes a game Monday at the Columbus Blue Jackets. According to reporters in Columbus, Stamkos joined the team late in its morning skate, then remained on the ice working on his own.
He wore a red jersey, signifying he's not allowed to receive contact. Stamkos skated laps around the ice, took shots and worked on shooting drills and practicing faceoffs.
Wayne Gretzky will be at Dodger Stadium on Monday to welcome the NHL's ice truck, and NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will talk live with The Great One. The ice truck is arriving in Los Angeles to begin the process of turning the legendary baseball stadium into an outdoor hockey rink for the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game between the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks on Saturday, Jan. 25.
The Panthers have gone 2-1-1 in their past four despite scoring just seven goals in that span and the Devils have gone 3-2-1 with just 11 goals in their past six contests. Both teams hope to find some goals in a game featuring two of the NHL's lowest-scoring teams in the Devils (26th overall) and Panthers (28th).
"We're getting opportunities. We've got to bear down. Against this team [Saturday night], you're not going to get as many chances," Florida coach Peter Horachek said. "They play a very structured system down low. They're not going to be easy to play against. You have to work for your chances."
If Florida does have one thing going for it, it's the play of its top line. The trio of rookie Aleksander Barkov and veterans Sean Bergenheim and Brad Boyes has accounted for 10 goals in the past 10 games, making it one of the League's hottest lines.
NHL.com offers up its thoughts on who leads the race for the Jack Adams Award at the midway point, and today on NHL Live, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, Barry Melrose will join Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek to talk about coaches around the League and who he thinks deserves to win the honor.
It's a six-game evening including the St. Louis Blues visiting the Vancouver Canucks. The Blues now own the Central Division lead over the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks via a tiebreaker, and analyst Darren Pang will join us from the Arena Cam out in Vancouver to talk about their red-hot play.
Also, former NHL player and Harvard coach Ted Donato will be on set to talk about the Crimson's season on this weeks college hockey report.
Remember to submit your #AskEJ questions through Twitter via @NHLNetwork or @EJHradek_NHL, and join the conversation on Twitter as we ask you to pick the game of the night.
Dallas Stars coach Lindy Ruff isn't in desperation mode yet, but he put his team through quite a workout Wednesday at Chelsea Piers in New York City in preparation for the New Jersey Devils on Thursday at Prudential Center.
"I'd like to move [Fiddler] up again," Ruff told the Stars website. "He was playing so well before he got hurt. I'd like to get him in some combination, so I thought we'd take a look at that. [Peverley] has gone good at the middle of the ice, but sometimes you need a little bit of a shakeup. Eakin and Cole have played well for a good stretch of time, and for [Eakin] I'd like to get him in a more offensive situation."
The Buffalo Sabres have found their man, and NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will have the reaction on Tim Murray being named as their new general manager.
It's a nine-game night in the League and we'll preview the game between the Washington Capitals and Tampa Bay Lightning by checking in on the Arena Cam at Tampa Bay Times Forum with Capitals radio voice John Walton.
New York Islanders forward Thomas Vanek joined NHL Live to discuss the recent success of his team and the honor of being named to play for Austria at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
"Expectations are we go there and try to win the gold, obviously," Vanek said. "We're happy to be there … we know we're the big underdog, but it's fun. We have guys who can play. We have to play smart and for us we need good goaltending. If we can get goaltending and get a lot of big saves, you just never know in this game."
"I was pretty excited and very honored," Smith said. "I heard it's going to be a lot different from Vancouver. Obviously it's not the Olympics in your home country, but it will definitely be a new experience for me and probably a lot of guys, and I'm looking forward to it."
NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, sets up a three-game night of NHL action. It's Wednesday Night Rivalry, this week featuring the New York Rangers at the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks, and NBCSN analyst Pierre McGuire joins us from the Arena Cam at United Center to preview this Original Six matchup.
It will be the second start and third game for Kuemper, who is 0-1-0 with a 6.10 goals-against average and .625 save percentage. His other start came Oct. 15 when he allowed three goals on seven shots against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Kuemper has been solid with the Iowa Wild, Minnesota's American Hockey League team, going 7-10-0 with a 2.47 GAA and .929 save percentage in 17 games.
Niklas Backstrom will serve as the backup Tuesday. According to the (Minneapolis) Star-Tribune, Backstrom has stiffness in his abdominal region and spent extra time in practice working with the coaching staff.
San Jose Sharks center Logan Couture will undergo a surgical procedure Wednesday on an upper-body injury and a timetable for his return to the lineup will not be available until after the procedure, general manager Doug Wilson said in a statement.
"For the past several weeks, Logan has been dealing and playing with an upper-body injury," Wilson said. "Despite his efforts to play through it, the injury has not responded as we had hoped and Logan has made the decision to undergo a surgical procedure to repair the problem.
"While the timing of the procedure is not ideal, Logan feels it is in his and the team's best interest to get the problem rectified now. Logan will undergo surgery on Wed., Jan. 8 and we will have a better update on the recovery time following the procedure."
According to multiple media reports, Couture has a hand injury and could be sidelined for 3-4 weeks.
"I wasn't practicing, had to numb it for games," he told the San Jose Mercury News. "It just got to the point where I couldn't do that for the entire season. We figured we wanted to be back for the end of the year, so we timed it this way."
Russia will be able match high-end skill with anyone at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, but questions will continue to linger about the team's depth after the host country's 25-man roster was announced Tuesday.
Evgeni Malkin, Alex Ovechkin, Pavel Datsyuk and Ilya Kovalchuk lead a roster that will be trying to win despite the pressure of being on home ice. The Russians also will be trying to make up for a disappointing performance four years ago in Vancouver when they were blitzed by Canada in the quarterfinals.
NHL Live, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, has the reaction to Tuesday's announcement of the 25-man roster for Canada heading to the 2014 Sochi Olympics, as well as the rosters for Russia, Sweden and Finland.
In addition, Dallas Stars defenseman Brendan Dillon will be on set.
Sweden announced its roster for the 2014 Sochi Olympics on Tuesday, naming a team heavy on NHL players, including veteran Detroit Red Wings forward Daniel Alfredsson, who gets a last shot at Olympic glory.
Sweden will have 12 players back from the team that lost in the quarterfinals four years ago in Vancouver.
Among that group is Alfredsson, who will be playing in his fifth Olympic Games. He had three goals in four games in 2010 in Vancouver. The 4