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Posted On Thursday, 05.22.2014 / 12:45 PM

By Staff -  / - 2014 NHL Draft blog

Virtanen out 4-6 months after shoulder surgery

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.

Posted On Thursday, 05.22.2014 / 10:42 AM

By Staff -  / - NHL Live blog

NHL Live talks playoffs with Olczyk, McGuire

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.

The New York Rangers look to take a 3-0 lead on the Montreal Canadiens in the Eastern Conference Final with Game 3 on Thursday at Madison Square Garden. NBCSN analyst Pierre McGuire joins us from the Arena Cam to preview the matchup.

Posted On Wednesday, 05.21.2014 / 7:56 PM

By Staff -  / - Blackhawks-Kings series blog

Greene in, Schultz out for Kings in Game 2

CHICAGO -- Defenseman Matt Greene will replace Jeff Schultz in the Los Angeles Kings lineup for Game 2 of the Western Conference Final against the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday.

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).

Posted On Wednesday, 05.21.2014 / 6:54 PM

By Staff -  / - Canadiens-Rangers series blog

Canadiens goalie Tokarski to start Game 3

Goaltender Dustin Tokarski will start for the Montreal Canadiens in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Final series against the New York Rangers on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS), according to coach Michel Therrien.

The Rangers lead the best-of-7 series 2-0.

Tokarski made his Stanley Cup Playoff debut in Game 2, starting in place of injured Carey Price. The 24-year-old allowed three goals on 30 shots in a 3-1 loss.

Posted On Tuesday, 05.20.2014 / 7:34 PM

By Staff -  / - Canadiens-Rangers series blog

Canucks' Bieksa 'cheering for' former coach Vigneault

At least one of Alain Vigneault's former Vancouver Canucks players is rooting for the coach to get back to the Stanley Cup Final.

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).

Posted On Tuesday, 05.20.2014 / 10:50 AM

By Staff -  / - NHL Live blog

NHL Live talks Memorial Cup with Guelph's Fabbri

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.

It's an off day for the conference finals, but Kevin Weekes will join the show to talk about all the ups and downs so far as the New York Rangers hold a 2-0 series lead on the Montreal Canadiens in the Eastern Conference Final and the Chicago Blackhawks are ahead 1-0 on the Los Angeles Kings in the Western Conference Final.

Blackhawks defenseman Nick Leddy will also be a guest on the show.

Posted On Sunday, 05.18.2014 / 7:20 PM

By Staff -  / - Blackhawks-Kings series blog

Kings, Blackhawks make friendly wager on West Final

The Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings were battling on and off the ice Sunday afternoon.

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.

Posted On Saturday, 05.17.2014 / 10:14 PM

By Staff -  / - Blackhawks-Kings series blog

Kings' Doughty eager for rematch with Blackhawks

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty spent the past two weeks trying to shut down the Anaheim Ducks' combination of Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. He did it well enough that the Kings were able to outlast the Ducks in seven games to win their Western Conference Second Round series, earning a trip to the conference final and a rematch with the Chicago Blackhawks.

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.

Posted On Saturday, 05.17.2014 / 3:40 PM

By Staff -  / - Blackhawks-Kings series blog

Blackhawks expect 'heck of a series' from Kings

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.

Posted On Friday, 05.16.2014 / 5:12 PM

By Staff -  / - Blackhawks-Kings series blog

Blackhawks resting, waiting for Kings-Ducks winner

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.

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Quote of the Day

Yeah, I guess so. That empty-netter was pretty lucky, but I'll take it.

— Senators forward Mike Hoffman when asked if his two-goal game was a good way to celebrate his 26th birthday
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