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Posted On Thursday, 10.09.2014 / 3:33 PM

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

E.J. Thursday Shootout Picks

E.J. Hradek Game Picks Thursday October 9th:

Columbus Blue Jackets vs Buffalo Sabres: Blue Jackets

New Jersey Devils vs Philadelphia Flyers: Devils

Anaheim Ducks vs Pittsburgh Penguins: Ducks

Montreal Canadiens vs Washington Capitals: Capitals

Boston Bruins vs Detroit Red Wings: Red Wings

Florida Panthers vs Tampa Bay Lightning: Lightning

New York Rangers vs St. Louis Blues: Rangers

Ottawa Senators vs Nashville Predators: Predators

Colorado Avalanche vs Minnesota Wild: Wild

Calgary Flames vs Edmonton Oilers: Oilers

Winnipeg Jets vs Arizona Coyotes: Coyotes

Chicago Blackhawks vs Dallas Stars: Blackhawks

E.J.'s Season Record: 3-1-0

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Posted On Thursday, 10.09.2014 / 10:48 AM

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

NHL Live sets up 12-game Thursday

NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, has a full slate of guests on the first jam-packed night of the 2014-15 season, with 24 of the 30 teams in action.

The Anaheim Ducks visit the Pittsburgh Penguins, and Ducks radio voice Steve Carroll will join us live from the Arena Cam at Consol Energy Center at 5:20 p.m.

The New Jersey Devils open their season against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center, and we'll welcome in Record beat writer Tom Gulitti via the Arena Cam at 5:40 p.m.

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Posted On Wednesday, 10.08.2014 / 6:24 PM

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

Penguins defenseman Letang healthy, ready to go

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang joined NHL Live to discuss how he's feeling after recovering from a stroke sustained last season and to provide his thoughts on the Penguins under first-year coach Mike Johnston.

Letang, 27, missed 26 regular-season games after having the stroke. He returned for the final three games and played 13 games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"The summer went really well," Letang said. "It was a summer for me when I had to push harder to see if my body was ready to enter a new season, making sure my body was going to react well to the level that we play at. We did all the tests possible. In the gym I kind of pushed myself and I think it went really well."

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Posted On Wednesday, 10.08.2014 / 10:44 AM

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

Special one-hour NHL Live previews opening night

A special one-hour NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, sets up opening night of the 2014-15 NHL season.

Steve and E.J. will talk to NHL Network insider Darren Dreger via the Arena Cam at Air Canada Centre at 5:10 p.m. as the Toronto Maple Leafs get ready to host the archrival Montreal Canadiens.

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang will join the show by phone at 5:25 p.m.

NBC Sports Network's Pierre McGuire will join us live via the Arena Cam at TD Garden at 5:40 p.m. to preview the Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers.

E.J. will wrap up his list of the Top 30 impact players by counting down the final five players to reveal who's No. 1.

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Posted On Tuesday, 10.07.2014 / 6:51 PM

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

Bettman talks 'phenomenal' season on NHL Live

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman joined NHL Live in studio to touch on a variety of topics.

"We're coming off what may have been our best season ever, which came off our then best season ever, which came off our then best season ever," Bettman said. "The hockey's been great and the business around the game has been terrific, and we can't wait to get started again. Last season was phenomenal.

"Six outdoor games, the Olympics, everything else we did around the game to celebrate our sport and our players, it was incredible."

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Posted On Tuesday, 10.07.2014 / 6:50 PM

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

Richards, Kings ready for another Cup run

Los Angeles Kings center Mike Richards joined NHL Live to look ahead to the 2014-15 season.

The Kings, who are attempting to become the first team to repeat as Stanley Cup champions since the Detroit Red Wings in 1998, begin their defense of the Cup on Wednesday against the San Jose Sharks at Staples Center (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN), and essentially return the same team that defeated the New York Rangers in the Stanley Cup Final.

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Posted On Tuesday, 10.07.2014 / 11:25 AM

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

Commissioner Bettman to join NHL Live

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman will be an in-studio guest of Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek on NHL Live, which airs at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, to discuss the 2014-15 season and the state of the League.

New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh, who was named the 27th captain in franchise history Monday, will call into the show to discuss the Rangers' defense of the Eastern Conference championship. New York begins the regular season Thursday at the St. Louis Blues.

Also scheduled is Los Angeles Kings center Mike Richards and Arizona Coyotes goalie Mike Smith.

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Posted On Monday, 10.06.2014 / 7:33 PM

NHL.com - NHL Live blog

Kesler looking forward to making impact with Ducks

Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Kesler joined NHL Live on Monday to look ahead to his first season in southern California.

"It's great," Kesler said. "It's a really close locker room and that's most important. Just moving to southern California is a plus. It's beautiful every day here. It's like waking up on vacation every day."

The Ducks acquired Kesler and a third-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft from the Vancouver Canucks for Nick Bonino, Luca Sbisa, and a first- and third-round pick in the 2014 draft to form a dynamic 1-2 punch at center with Ryan Getzlaf.

"They're two elite players that play with an edge," Kesler said. "I play with an edge too and usually that ends up in a fight or some heated battle, so I'm glad to be on their side now."

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Posted On Monday, 10.06.2014 / 7:29 PM

NHL.com - NHL Live blog

Callahan: Lightning must manage expectations

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Ryan Callahan joined NHL Live on Monday to discuss the Lightning's chances in the 2014-15 regular season, which starts Thursday against the Florida Panthers at Amalie Arena.

"It's always good to get that first game going," Callahan said. "We're gearing up and getting ready to go. To get a full training camp under your belt and have a family here, I definitely feel like a big part of this organization now."

Callahan was acquired from the New York Rangers at the NHL Trade Deadline for Martin St. Louis. He signed a six-year contract on June 25 to remain with Tampa Bay and is a key component to a team expected to not only contend in the Eastern Conference, but go deep in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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Posted On Monday, 10.06.2014 / 7:27 PM

NHL.com - NHL Live blog

Primeau: Carter has 'found his stride' with Kings

Retired NHL player Keith Primeau was an in-studio guest of NHL Live on Monday to discuss what he sees out of the League's stars of today.

Primeau is particularly impressed with forward Jeff Carter, who has won the Stanley Cup twice with the Los Angeles Kings after falling short in the 2010 Stanley Cup Final with the Philadelphia Flyers.

"When he came to Philadelphia, you can just see the intangibles on the ice and the gifts that he had. He can shoot a puck, he can skate," Primeau said. "It was whether he was going to put it all together. He's obviously really found his stride in Los Angeles, a couple of Cups, the opportunity to play on the Olympic team for Canada and he plays 200 feet as well."

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