We have updated our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the NHL’s online services, you agree to these updated documents and to the arbitration of disputes.
Sign in with your NHL account:
  • Submit
  • Or
  • Sign in with Google
 
SHARE
Posted On Monday, 05.28.2012 / 3:04 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Devils vs. Kings Stanley Cup Final blog

Devils are healthy, ready to go

NEWARK, N.J. -- There isn't a team that gets this far in the Stanley Cup Playoffs that doesn't have players with nagging injuries, but the Devils are about as healthy as can be with the Final set to start Wednesday night at Prudential Center.

Of all the Devils on the ice for practice Monday, none were used as extra forwards or defensemen because they were recovering from injury. The team's "fifth line" of Petr Sykora, Cam Janssen and Eric Boulton could all play if necessary, while seventh and eighth blueliners Adam Larsson and Henrik Tallinder are also well enough to play.

Tallinder has been out since Jan. 17 due to a blood clot in his leg, but coach Peter DeBoer said that is no longer an issue.

"He's ready to go," DeBoer said. "I have no apprehension (using him). We can play anyone we have available right now."

According to DeBoer, everyone is available. That's something few teams have when the calendar creeps toward June, but it's also something the just-as-healthy Kings can boast as well.

"This is a war of attrition," DeBoer said. "To be as healthy as we are, to have the luxury of having eight healthy defensemen right now and entire forward group, that's something very few teams have. Unfortunately, L.A. has the same thing, so there's no advantage. It's a nice spot to be in."

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo

Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Comment › |Print ›
Posted On Monday, 05.28.2012 / 12:29 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Devils vs. Kings Stanley Cup Final blog

Devils make no lineup changes at first practice

NEWARK, N.J. -- The Devils had their first practice Monday since vanquishing the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Finals on Friday night, and Peter DeBoer didn't make any changes to his line combinations.

DeBoer shuffled his lines during the series-clinching Game 6 victory against the Rangers, and those were the lines on display at Amerihealth Pavilion. The "fifth line" featured Petr Sykora, Eric Boulton and Cam Janssen, all three of whom are likely to be healthy scratches during the Stanley Cup Final. The same can be said for defensemen Adam Larsson and Henrik Tallinder, at least to start the Final, who acted as the fourth d-pair.

Game 1 of the Final against the Los Angeles Kings is still two days away, but here is what the Devils went with Monday afternoon:

Zach Parise - Travis Zajac - Dainius Zubrus
Ilya Kovalchuk - Adam Henrique - Alexei Ponikarovsky
Patrik Elias - Jacob Josefson - David Clarkson
Ryan Carter - Stephen Gionta - Steve Bernier


Bryce Salvador - Marek Zidlicky
Andy Greene - Mark Fayne
Anton Volchenkov - Peter Harrold

Martin Brodeur
Johan Hedberg

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @Dave Lozo
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Comment › |Print ›
Posted On Friday, 05.25.2012 / 7:51 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Rangers vs. Devils series blog

Eminger in, Bickel sits for Rangers

NEWARK, N.J. -- The only change from Game 5 to Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals is a swap of defensemen among the New York Rangers, with Steve Eminger replacing Stu Bickel as the team's sixth blueliner.

Steve Eminger
Defense - NYR
GOALS: 0 | ASST: 0 | PTS: 0
SOG: 2 | +/-: 0
The lines the New Jersey Devils showed at practice Friday morning remained intact during pregame warmups at Prudential Center, while the Rangers showed the same combinations they had at the start of Game 5.

Eminger is making his fourth appearance of the postseason and third of this series. He played in place of forward Brandon Prust on the Rangers' fourth line in Game 3 and saw time on defense with Michael Del Zotto struggling during the second and third periods. He stayed in the lineup as a defenseman for Game 4, but sat out Game 5.

Here are the combinations the Rangers and Devils displayed during warmups. The Devils lead the best-of-seven series 3-2.
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Friday, 05.25.2012 / 12:34 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Rangers vs. Devils series blog

Eminger could replace Bickel for Rangers in Game 6

NEW YORK -- Rangers coach John Tortorella was a little more forthcoming about his lineup before Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals, admitting changes were coming without being specific about players.

Tortorella was far less revealing Friday morning with the Rangers trailing Devils 3-2 in the best-of-seven series, with Game 6 set for Friday night at Prudential Center (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

"I don't know what my lineup's going to be," Tortorella said.

The only likely change is Steve Eminger replacing Stu Bickel as the team's sixth defenseman. Eminger left the ice at practice Friday morning before Bickel, an indication a change is coming.

Tortorella put his lines in a blender at times during Game 5, but this was how they started and they could look the same way Friday night.

Carl Hagelin - Brad Richards - Chris Kreider
Brandon Dubinsky - Artem Anisimov - Ryan Callahan
Ruslan Fedotenko - Derek Stepan - Marian Gaborik
Mike Rupp - Brian Boyle - Brandon Prust

Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi
Marc Staal - Anton Stralman
Michael Del Zotto - Steve Eminger

Henrik Lundqvist
Martin Biron

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Comment › |Print ›
Posted On Thursday, 05.24.2012 / 4:20 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Rangers vs. Devils series blog

Zuccarello healthy, still hoping for a chance

NEW YORK -- Mats Zuccarello is healthy and ready to go. The only problem for the diminutive forward is finding a opening in the lineup.

"If they need me, I'll be ready," Zuccarello said following Rangers practice Thursday afternoon at Madison Square Garden.

Zuccarello has not played since breaking his wrist March 23. He had surgery that cost him the rest of the regular season, but he has recovered to the point where he believes he can play. He has been skating with the Rangers' black aces of late, but his wrist is back at full strength.

Rangers coach John Tortorella made a lineup tweak before Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals, inserting Brandon Dubinsky in place of John Mitchell. Dubinsky missed 11 games with a lower-body injury suffered during Game 7 of the conference quarterfinals, but was playing regularly before the injury. Zuccarello had 2 goals in 10 regular-season games and spent most of the season playing for the Connecticut Whale of the AHL.

Barring injuries or suspensions, Zuccarello will likely be watching from the press box for Game 6 and beyond during the playoffs.

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Thursday, 05.24.2012 / 4:16 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Rangers vs. Devils series blog

Rangers no strangers to fighting for playoff lives

NEW YORK -- The Rangers will take a "been there, done that" approach into Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Facing a 3-2 deficit in the best-of-seven series against the New Jersey Devils, the Rangers will fight for their postseason lives Friday night at Prudential Center. They faced the same situation in the first round against the Ottawa Senators and won two straight to avoid the upset.

"It was a tough day that day losing at home and having to travel to Ottawa," Rangers center Brad Richards said. "You could see the group is a lot looser today going through the same situation. That's how you grow, you build on everything you've done in your career. We've been fortunate to get a lot of those games this year already."

After staving off elimination twice against Ottawa, the Rangers won another Game 7 in the conference quarterfinals against the Capitals to improve to 3-0 with their season on the line. The Rangers entered the postseason filled with playoff neophytes, but they have become a far more grizzled team that relishes the pressure.

"We've been through these situations a lot this year, including in the playoffs," Rangers coach John Tortorella said. "So I'm very comfortable as far as our mindset. Today was a good day for us. As we approach our game, I'm very comfortable in where we're going to go. It's a good group. It's a group that stays with it. So there's not a lot of panic there. They just go about their business and we're a pretty good hockey team.

"This is all really good stuff for our team as you go through. This is how you gain experience, by going through it. We've played a number of playoff games. Some guys have thrived in it, some guys haven't. These are all situations you look at as an organization as far as what guys are in these types of situations. So the more you're in it, the more situations that you go through, the better. That's how you gain experience."

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Print ›
Posted On Wednesday, 05.23.2012 / 7:45 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Rangers vs. Devils series blog

Dubinsky set to return for Rangers

NEW YORK -- Brandon Dubinsky will make his return to the New York Rangers' lineup Wednesday night for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the New Jersey Devils.

Dubinsky has missed the last 11 games with a lower-body injury he suffered during Game 7 of the conference quarterfinals against the Ottawa Senators. He's participated in the Rangers' previous four practices and is ready to give the sagging squad some fresh legs.

In seven games against the Senators, Dubinsky had just one assist. But he will provide a boost both in the faceoff circle and on the penalty-killing unit.
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Comment › |Print ›
Posted On Wednesday, 05.23.2012 / 1:05 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Rangers vs. Devils series blog

Coach, Pray, Score? Not so much, says Tortorella

NEW YORK -- If you lit a candle at Our Lady of the Struggling Rangers Goal Scorers, chances are coach John Tortorella thinks you've taken his statement from Tuesday a bit too far.

Following a brief practice, Tortorella was asked what he can do in order to get his best offensive players to play better in the Eastern Conference Finals against the New Jersey Devils. His one-word answer: "Pray."

On Wednesday morning, Tortorella used his time with the media to clarify his suggestion that he was turning to a higher power to get players like Marian Gaborik, Ryan Callahan, Brad Richards and Carl Hagelin going before Game 5 of this series.

"I know I used that word 'pray' yesterday," Tortorella said. "It was a joke. There are a lot more important things to pray about than a win or a goal.  So can I clear that up, please?"

Gaborik and Hagelin don't have a point in the series, Richards hasn't scored a goal and Callahan's only goal was of the empty-net variety in Game 3. With the series tied 2-2, time is running out of those players to get themselves going, but Tortorella has, for a lack of a better word, faith they can turn it around.

"I have total confidence in our guys," Tortorella said.  "It's a great opportunity for us and I'm looking forward to it."

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo


Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Comment › |Print ›
Posted On Wednesday, 05.23.2012 / 12:05 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Rangers vs. Devils series blog

Game 5 lineup for Rangers could see Dubinsky back


NEW YORK -- Getting a coach to reveal his lineup on a game day during the Stanley Cup Playoffs is akin to getting a government official to hand over top secret documents that could destroy national security.

So while Rangers coach John Tortorella didn't lay out his line combinations Wednesday morning for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the New Jersey Devils, he admitted change might be good for his slow-starting team in this dead-even series.

"We need something to happen for ourselves," Tortorella said. "We'll try different things, I'll give you that. But it's still a matter of getting it done. At least that's how I feel about it. So we'll see where it goes."

Brandon Prust will definitely return to the lineup after his one-game suspension and replace Stu Bickel, who is likely to return to his spot on the blue line and send Steve Eminger back to the press box. There's also the potential for the return of forward Brandon Dubinsky, who hasn't played since Game 7 of the conference quarterfinals against the Ottawa Senators.

Dubinsky suffered a lower-body injury that cost him the entire second-round series with the Washington Capitals, but he has practiced four of the past five days. He also exited Wednesday's optional morning skate early while forward John Mitchell remained on the ice with the healthy scratches, a sign Tortorella is going to swap the pair.

Dubinsky had just one assist in seven games against the Senators, but he could help in the faceoff circle. During the regular season, he won 51.9 percent of his draws. During the postseason, the Rangers have won 48 percent of faceoffs, 15th out of 16th teams -- only the Devils have won fewer faceoffs.

Here's a best guess at the Rangers' lineup for Game 5 against the Devils:

Carl Hagelin - Brad Richards - Marian Gaborik
Chris Kreider - Derek Stepan - Ryan Callahan
Ruslan Fedotenko - Brian Boyle - Brandon Prust
Artem Anisimov - Brandon Dubinsky - Mike Rupp

Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi
Marc Staal - Anton Stralman
Michael Del Zotto - Stu Bickel

Henrik Lundqvist
Martin Biron

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo
Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Comment › |Print ›
Posted On Tuesday, 05.22.2012 / 4:30 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Rangers vs. Devils series blog

Rangers expect boost from return of Prust

NEW YORK -- After serving a one-game suspension for a hit on the Devils' Anton Volchenkov in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Rangers forward Brandon Prust will be back for Game 5 on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden.

With Prust out of the lineup, defenseman Stu Bickel dressed as a forward in Game 4, but Bickel was back practicing with his fellow blueliners Tuesday. Prust has been a valuable part of the Rangers' checking line and penalty-killing unit, both of which were victimized for goals during the Devils' 4-1 victory Monday night that evened the best-of-seven series at 2-2.

"Prust does a lot for us, killing penalties, brings a lot of energy, hard on the forecheck," Rangers captain Ryan Callahan said. "We need to get our forecheck going. It's good to get him back."

There's no statistic for time of possession when it comes to which team has the puck more in a given contest, but the Devils have been controlling the puck for this entire series. They were at their best in that regard at times during Game 4, as the Rangers couldn't get out of their own end and were unable to muster any type of sustained forecheck.

It's hard to blame the lack of Prust for the power-play goal by Zach Parise in the third period, as the goal came four seconds into the man-advantage with regular penalty-killing forwards Boyle and Callahan on the ice. The Rangers killed five of six penalties in the game, but many of them featured the Devils seemingly more interested in burning clock than going for a fourth goal.

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo


Full Story ›|Email & Share Options ›|Comment › |Print ›
First | Prev | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14-19 | Next | Last
Quote of the Day

Fifty-five? That's shorts weather.

— New Anaheim Ducks forward, and Michigan native, Ryan Kesler on locals in Southern California considering 55 degrees to be cold
Yahoo Sports Fantasy Hockey