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Posted On Wednesday, 05.01.2013 / 1:09 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - Penguins-Islanders series blog

Crosby out for Game 1, no timetable for return

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins forward Sidney Crosby said Wednesday morning he would not play when his team opens the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the New York Islanders (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN) at Consol Energy Center.

Crosby told reporters after the team's practice he did not receive medical clearance to play. He has been out of the lineup since sustaining a broken jaw when a deflected puck hit him in the face during a game March 30. He needed surgery to repair the break, and also lost several teeth.

"[The doctor] said everything looked good, but he just wasn't ready to clear me to play," Crosby said. "Obviously, I would have loved to have played, but that's not the way it is. I'll make sure I'm ready when the time comes.

Crosby admitted he doesn't know when that time will be.

"I'll just wait and see," Crosby said. "He didn't give me a date."

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Posted On Monday, 12.31.2012 / 9:42 AM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Americans to play Czechs in quarterfinal

The United States advanced to the quarterfinal round of the 2013 World Junior Championship with an 8-3 victory against Slovakia in a must-win game Monday, the final day of group play and will play the Czech Republic in the quarterfinal round Wednesday.

The Americans finished with two wins and six points in pool play, good for third place in Group B. If Slovakia had won Monday, it would have taken third place.

Under the tournament format, the United States play the second-place qualifier from Group A in a cross-over game. That team became the Czech Republic later Monday when Sweden defeated Finland, 7-4, to solidify the Group A standings.

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Posted On Monday, 12.31.2012 / 7:43 AM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

U.S. opponent in quarterfinals to be determined

The United States advanced to the quarterfinal round of the 2013 World Junior Championship with an 8-3 victory against Slovakia in a must-win game Monday, the final day of group play.

The Americans finished with two wins and six points in pool play, good for third place in Group B. If Slovakia had won Monday, it would have taken third place.

The Americans' opponent in the quarterfinal, however, remains up in the air.

Under the tournament format, the United States will play the second-place qualifier from Group A in a cross-over game.

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Posted On Sunday, 12.30.2012 / 7:51 AM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

WJC snapshot: With loss, USA faces do-or-die game

Victories by Canada and Finland in Sunday's early games at the World Junior Championship have clarified the qualification picture just a bit.

Canada held off the United States in a much-anticipated Group B showdown, using the heroics of goalie Malcolm Subban to claim a 2-1 win Sunday. In Group A, Finland erased two two-goal deficits against Switzerland to claim a 5-4 victory in a shootout. Markus Granlund had two goals in regulation and the winning shot in the shootout, which went five rounds deep.

Canada's victory gives the Canadians a temporary hold on the top spot in Group B and assures them of a place in the medal round, which begins Jan. 2. Canada is the only team left in the tournament with a perfect record, 3-0-0-0 for nine points.

On Sunday, the Canadians play the host Russians, who have eight points from three games. Russia needed overtime to beat Slovakia. The winner of the Russia-Canada game (9 a.m., NHLN-US) will earn the top seed from Group B and a bye into the semifinals. The loser will have to play in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.

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Posted On Saturday, 12.29.2012 / 12:51 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship blog

Russians, Swedes win; top respective groups

Yaroslav Kosov netted a hat trick in the third period and four other Russian players had two points as the Russians routed Germany, 7-0

The Russians have eight out of a possible nine points to temporarily hold first place in Group B. Russia frittered away perfection in the opening game of the tournament, defeating Slovakia in OT to take just two of the maximum three points.

Canada, with six points from two games, plays the United States on Sunday and can re-take first-place with a regulation win against the Americans. The Russians have Sunday off and then play Canada in what could be the deciding game of the group on Monday.

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Posted On Saturday, 06.09.2012 / 12:50 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - Devils vs. Kings Stanley Cup Final blog

Devils stick to same lineup for Game 5

Clearly, Peter DeBoer liked what he saw out of his team in Game 4 on Wednesday.

As a result, he won't tinker with the lineup for Game 5, another elimination game for his club.

That means that forward Petr Sykora and defenseman Henrik Tallinder will stay in the lineup in place of Jacob Josefson and Peter Harrold, respectively.

Tallinder played 19:21 in his first action in five months after battling a blood clot and its complications. Sykora, meanwhile, played for the first time since May 19 when Josefson was re-inserted into the lineup during Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final against the rangers

Yet, DeBoer has no reservations that either player will hit the wall in the second game back from a long layoff.

"I don't see that as an issue," DeBoer said after his team took an optional morning skate Saturday at the Prudential Center. "I don't have to talk to those guys. Between them, they've got decades of experience at the NHL level and in the playoffs. They know their bodies. I don't buy that the second game is going to be tougher. You're in the Stanley Cup Final. They're ready to go."

Here is the Devils expected line up for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final:

Zach Parise - Travis Zajac - Ilya Kovalchuk

Petr Sykora - Patrik Elias - Dainius Zubrus

Alexei Ponikarovsky - Adam Henrique - David Clarkson

Ryan Carter - Stephen Gionta - Steve Bernier

Henrik Tallinder - Marek Zidlicky

Andy Greene - Mark Fayne

Bryce Salvador - Anton Volchenkov

Martin Brodeur

Johan Hedberg

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.29.2012 / 8:10 AM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - Devils vs. Kings Stanley Cup Final blog

Brodeur has no plans to retire

Don't plan the Martin Brodeur retirement ceremony just yet.

While many have speculated that this summer would be a perfect time for the 40-year-old goalie to retire -- especially if his New Jersey Devils defeat the Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup Final, which begins in Newark with Game 1 on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, RDS).

But, Brodeur doesn't necessarily subscribe to that train of thought, at least according to the comments he made after Monday's practice at the Prudential Center. It is a continuation of the storyline he has espoused since January and he says emotional Stanley Cup Playoffs wins against the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers and a unexpected berth in a fifth Stanley Cup Final have done nothing to change his mind.

"I can’t say no, but I doubt it," Brodeur said Monday when the idea of retiring if the Devils defeat the Kings in the Finals was broached. "I'm really enjoying this. Regardless of what happens in this series, I think we made a great step last year at the end of the year and through this year to have a really good team and a good coaching staff together and it’s fun. To me, it's all about having fun coming to the rink.

"I know a lot of people say it's great to retire on top, but at the end of the day, when I'm going to say it's over, it's over, I'm not going to come back. I want to make sure I make the right decision. Right now I'm leaning toward coming back. We'll see."

And, don't think that Brodeur is just being swayed by the magical run he and his team are on this spring. He began entertaining thoughts of playing beyond this year when his team rallied from an abysmal start in the 2010-11 season to almost make the playoffs in stunning fashion last year.

"The way I'm enjoying myself, we jelled as a team," Brodeur said. "Coming to the rink was fun, on the road was fun, that's what I was looking for. I didn't have fun last year. I'm not used to losing. That was tough. To me, I really thought this was going to be my last year, but more and more, it was I can still play."

Wednesday, in Game 1 of the Final, Brodeur will play in his 200th Stanley Cup Playoff game. Only Patrick Roy has played in more playoff games, registering 247 contests. Brodeur's counterpart from the Kings, Jonathan Quick, has played in just 27 postseason games.
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Posted On Thursday, 01.26.2012 / 11:17 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2012 NHL All-Star Weekend blog

Phaneuf embraces catcalls from Ottawa fans

The Ottawa Senators fans were unwavering in voicing their disapproval of the Toronto Maple Leafs involved in Thursday's 2012 Molson Canadian NHL Fantasy Player Draft.

Toronto forward Joffrey Lupul was the assistant captain of Team Chara, helping Boston defenseman Zdeno Chara pick the team that would go against Team Alfredsson, chosen by hometown hero Daniel Alfredsson. He was booed lustily each time he announced a pick.

The catcalls, however, reached a crescendo when Lupul announced the selection of Toronto defenseman Dion Phaneuf, who has played the role of a villain in the Battle of Ontario since his arrival in Toronto a couple of years ago.

But, Phaneuf had no problem with the passion of the fans.

"The fans were great," Phaneuf said. "They don't like us. It's a big rivalry. They have their opinion. We don't want to be liked by the opposition."
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Posted On Thursday, 01.26.2012 / 7:46 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2012 NHL All-Star Weekend blog

Alfredsson angling to get all Senators on his side

GATINEAU, Que. -- It wasn't the biggest revelation ever, but less than an hour before the 2012 Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Fantasy Player Draft started, Team Alfredsson captain Daniel Alfredsson admitted he is angling to get all the hometown Ottawa Senators  -- defenseman Erik Karlsson, center Jason Spezza, and winger Milan Michaalek -- together on his team.
   
"I'd like to see that happen, yes," Alfredsson said. "Who knows how it is going to play out. It would be nice to get the crowd on our side."
   
Alfredsson also said that he would like to get the Swedish players involved in the game -- Ottawa's Karlsson, and Vancouver's Sedin twins, Danny and Henrik and Alex Edler -- on his side, as well. He already has Swedish goalie Henrik Lundqvist as his assistant captain. Ranger Carl Hagelin is one of 12 rookies named to the roster pool, but he will be selected as part of a group of rookies and not individually.
   
He is counting on his own drafting acumen, as well as the reluctance of opposing captain Zdeno Chara to pick the Vancouver Canucks after Chara's Bruins played Vancouver in a bitterly contested Stanley Cup Final this past June.
   
"Erik is a Sen and I'd like to have him on my team and then, obviously, the Sedins, I wouldn't mind them either," Alfredsson said. "I don't know if we will pick them early or if we will just hope that Zdeno and Lupul won't pick any Canucks."
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Posted On Monday, 01.02.2012 / 5:45 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - Live from the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic

Red Sox closer amazed by ballpark transformation

PHILADELPHIA -- Andrew Bailey knows all about Citizens Bank Park, having attended games as a fan and pitched there in the past, but even he was shocked by what awaited him Monday afternoon.

"It's cool to see a stadium that I know what it looks like for baseball after having been here, and see it as something else," Bailey, the brand-new closer for the Boston Red Sox, told NHL.com. "I can't believe what it looks like now."

Bailey was a last-minute attendee to the sold-out game, driving down from his Connecticut home on Sunday afternoon to see the team of his youth, the Philadelphia Flyers, play the New York Rangers in the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. He couldn't stop smiling at his good fortune in what has already been an off-season of incredible good fortune.

The baseball closer grew up in Haddon Heights, N.J., not too far across the river from Philadelphia. His parents now live in Cherry Hill, N.J., a stone's throw from the Flyers' practice rink in Vorhees, N.J. The 27-year-old grew up at the height of the Flyers' renaissance with the Legion of Doom line, and hockey was a passion when he wasn't chasing his baseball dream.

"I grew up a big fan of the Flyers and I loved the Legion of Doom," Bailey said. "I watched them a lot."

Eric Lindros, the fulcrum of the Legion of Doom line, flanked by Mikeal Renberg and John LeClair, was in the ballpark and was introduced during Monday's first intermission, just to add to Bailey's enjoyment of the game.

Soon, though, Bailey knows that thoughts will have to turn to the coming baseball season and his job as closer for the Boston Red Sox, one of the most pressure-packed occupations in all of sport.

Bailey, who was traded to Boston in a major deal with Oakland right after Christmas, says he is ready to fill the shoes of Jonathan Papelbon, who, ironically, will call Citizens Bank park home this season after signing a free-agent deal with the Philadelphia Phillies.

"The opportunity to win is so great in  Boston and I'm excited about that opportunity. Plus now I have a nation rooting me on," he said, referring to the team's fans, who are known as the Red Sox Nation.
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Quote of the Day

I might have blacked out. I was pretty pumped.

— New Jersey Devils rookie goalie Keith Kinkaid on his first NHL win Friday against the Tampa Bay Lightning