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Posted On Thursday, 04.17.2014 / 10:52 AM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - NHL Live blog

NHL Live has inside scoops on plethora of Game 1s

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 St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks face off in the Western Conference in a battle off teams with 100-plus points, and we'll talk to Darren Pang live from Scottrade Center to get the scoop.

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.

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.16.2014 / 10:58 AM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - NHL Live blog

NHL Live previews first round of Stanley Cup Playoffs

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.

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Columbus Blue Jackets face off at Consol Energy Center, and NBCSN analyst Pierre McGuire will join us from Arena Cam to preview this Metropolitan Division matchup.

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.

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.15.2014 / 7:10 PM

NHL.com - NHL Live blog

Babcock evaluates Red Wings' chances vs. Bruins

Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock was a guest on NHL Live to look back on the regular season and ahead to the Red Wings' series against the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Babcock also provided updates on veteran forwards Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg. Datsyuk played in Detroit's final six games after missing time with a knee injury. Zetterberg, who had back surgery and has not played since Feb. 8, is hoping to return for the second round of the playoffs, if not sooner.

"Pavs got better each and every game," Babcock said. "We're optimistic that he can continue to do that. We don't know if he doesn't need surgery and to get [the knee] fixed permanently, we'll know at the end of the season, but he seems to be feeling better. He practiced good, we grounded out [Tuesday] for a long time, and he managed to stay with it and get through it.

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.15.2014 / 7:08 PM

NHL.com - NHL Live blog

Neal expecting 'fun series' against Blue Jackets

Pittsburgh Penguins forward James Neal joined NHL Live to discuss facing the Columbus Blue Jackets and his expectations for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"It's an exciting time of year and why you play the game," Neal said.

Although the Penguins went 5-0 against the Blue Jackets in the regular season, Neal knows it will be a clean slate when Pittsburgh and Columbus square off in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round at Consol Energy Center on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET, CBC, NBCSN, FS-O, ROOT).

"Everything changes when you get into the playoffs," Neal said. "It's going to be a fun series. They're a hard-working team, well-coached, great goaltending, so once you get in the playoffs it's a different story and we're excited to get going.

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Posted On Monday, 04.14.2014 / 8:08 PM

NHL.com - NHL Live blog

McDonagh talks Rangers' chances in Playoffs

NHL Live is joined on set by New York Rangers defensemen Ryan McDonagh to discuss his team’s chances in the playoffs.

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Posted On Monday, 04.14.2014 / 7:33 PM

NHL.com - NHL Live blog

Crosby talks eventful season, playoffs on NHL Live

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby joined NHL Live to look back at his regular season and ahead to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Crosby led the NHL with 104 points to win his second Art Ross Trophy. The point total was the third-highest of his nine-year career and the most since he had 109 during the 2009-10 season. He also won a gold medal for Canada at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, participated in the 2014 Coors Light Stadium Series against the Chicago Blackhawks at Soldier Field and leads the Penguins into an Eastern Conference First Round matchup against the Columbus Blue Jackets starting Wednesday.

"When you're playing that much you don't have a lot of time to think about things," Crosby said. "With the amount of injuries we had, we had a lot of new players and personally it was good to get in a full season. A lot of different things, a lot of different experiences, but all in all this is when you want to be playing this time of year, so I'm excited for [the playoffs]."

The Penguins were 5-0-0 against Blue Jackets this season, but Crosby is impressed with their work ethic and depth.

"They don't rely on one line specifically, although they have a pretty good top line there," Crosby said. "Just the way they play as a unit. We've had some close games and both teams should know about one another."

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Posted On Monday, 04.14.2014 / 12:11 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - NHL Live blog

NHL Live has Rangers' McDonagh, Cup keeper Bolt

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.

The New York Rangers open up the playoffs Thursday against the Philadelphia Flyers, and we'll have Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh on set to talk about his recovery from injury and hopes for the postseason.

The Pittsburgh Penguins will get started Wednesday night with Game 1 against the Columbus Blue Jackets, and League scoring leader Sidney Crosby will talk about making another run at a title in the Steel City.

Also, E.J. and Craig Button will face off as they discuss the first-round series matchups.

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Posted On Friday, 04.11.2014 / 10:50 AM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - NHL Live blog

NHL Live has coverage of Hobey Baker presentation

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.

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Posted On Thursday, 04.10.2014 / 7:31 PM

NHL.com - NHL Live blog

Jackets president Davidson 'proud' of playoff-bound team

Columbus Blue Jackets President of Hockey Operations John Davidson joined NHL Live to talk about the Blue Jackets clinching a wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Columbus advanced to the postseason for the second time in franchise history after a 3-1 win Wednesday against the Dallas Stars.

"It was a good win for us, obviously, it's been a good journey for us," Davidson said. "I think when we try to analyze our season it was a bit of a roller coaster, but the guys have earned everything they've gotten. I'm really proud of the effort by our players and our staff, and they garnered a whole bunch of experience. We're young and this is the type of experience you need to go forward.

"It's all been good. It's been a lot of fun."

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Posted On Thursday, 04.10.2014 / 4:48 PM

By Matt Sitkoff -  NHL.com Contributor /NHL.com - NHL Live blog

NHL Live: E.J. Hradek's Thursday game picks

E.J. Hradek Game Picks Thursday April 10th:

Buffalo Sabres vs New York Rangers - Rangers

Washington Capitals vs Carolina Hurricanes - Hurricanes

New York Islanders vs Montreal Canadiens - Canadiens

Philadelphia Flyers vs Tampa Bay Lightning - Flyers

Toronto Maple Leafs vs Florida Panthers - Panthers

St. Louis Blues vs Minnesota Wild - Blues

Boston Bruins vs Winnipeg Jets - Bruins

Los Angeles Kings vs Edmonton Oilers - Kings

Colorado Avalanche vs Vancouver Canucks - Avalanche

Phoenix Coyotes vs Nashville Predators - Coyotes

E.J.'s Season Record: 315-195-70

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