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Posted On Saturday, 10.08.2011 / 6:29 AM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Rangers World Tour

A new challenge from the Ducks

STOCKHOLM -- After getting beaten all over the ice by Anze Kopitar, Justin Williams and Simon Gagne in the first period Friday night, the Rangers tightened up against the Kings top line and managed to keep them in check.

The difference was in their forecheck. Or, better yet, the difference was that they actually forechecked starting in the second period.

"We knew the ice was bad so the times when you don't want to forecheck or stretch yourself out too much, we decided we were going to go and get two guys on (the Kings) D," Brian Boyle told NHL.com. "Once we started doing that we got the puck back more. When they got the puck back after that we were closer to them to have some contact. Earlier we were giving them too much room to skate."

The Rangers can't wait to do the same Saturday night against the Ducks leading trio of Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Bobby Ryan. As good as the Kopitar line is, Anaheim's first line might be the best in the NHL.

"They're very dangerous," Rangers captain Ryan Callahan told NHL.com. "They have a lot of talent up front and the more time we spend in their zone below the dots it'll be for the better. That's a big thing for us, getting pucks deep behind their D."

The more the Rangers have the puck, the better their chances are to draw penalties. They only drew one Friday night, but they took five and the fifth one burned them.

"That's the biggest thing for us, we have to hold on to pucks, especially when you're up against top lines," Callahan said. "If you have the puck, they don't."

Slight advantage: The Rangers went back to their hotel Friday night, had a quick meal and were off to bed. They woke up Saturday and took what has become a familiar route to Ericsson Globe Arena, the arena they've called home since Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the Ducks played in Helsinki Friday night, had a quick team meal, and then went to the airport, where they sat for a while before finally taking off to fly to Stockholm. They didn't get to the team hotel until close to 3 o'clock in the morning, and then woke up Saturday in an unfamiliar place and took an unfamiliar route to an arena they've never been in.

Advantage Rangers.

"Yeah, that might be," Boyle said. "It's easier when you don't have to travel, but we lost last night so I'm sure a lot of guys were up late trying to get to sleep. I know I was. It was tough. At this point, you could argue that we have a little bit of an advantage, but it's minimal. We know they're going to come hard and we've got to do the same."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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Posted On Friday, 10.07.2011 / 6:41 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2011 NHL Face-Off Blog

Wings to honor three victims of Lokomotiv crash

Detroit will do a number of things before Friday's opening game at Joe Louis Arena to honor the lives of former players Ruslan Salei, Stefan Liv and former assistant coach Brad McCrimmon.

The three were among those killed in the tragic September plane crash in Russia that killed 37 members of the KHL team Lokomotiv just outside of Yaroslavl. Salei played on the blue line for the Wings last season, Liv was once a Wings goalie prospect and McCrimmon was an assistant under Mike Babcock from 2008-11 - leaving after last season to become Lokomotiv's coach.

The Wings will wear a special patch in the Lokomotiv colors of blue and red on the left sleeve of their jerseys with the initials "BM, RS and SL."

Friday night's game-worn jerseys will also be used to raise funds for the three families, and wives of current Red Wings players will also sell honorary bracelets that say "Love for Lokomotiv" in the concourse - with the proceeds going to a fund for the families of players and staff killed in the crash.

Coaching staffs of both the Wings and Senators will also wear red and blue ribbons made by the wives of the Red Wings players. McCrimmon's family -- wife Maureen, daughter Carlin and son Liam -- still live in the Detroit area and will be honored on the ice prior to the game.
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Posted On Friday, 10.07.2011 / 6:30 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2011 NHL Face-Off Blog

Babcock holds fast to his goal: a championship

It was a simple question about legendary Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom and whether Mike Babcock feels a little fortunate to coach him.

Babcock's answer gave turned out to be a sort of mission statement that assuming the Red Wings are on the downswing now is probably a mistake.

"When you get to coach an Original Six team and you get to coach the Detroit Red Wings and work for Mr. (Mike) Illitch and get to coach (Steve Yzerman) and Lidstrom and (Brendan Shanahan) and (Chris Chelios) and (Dominik Hasek), Henrik Zetterberg), Pavel Datsyuk … you've got to pinch yourself," he said. "It's a dream come true. We've got great people in this room and we've found a way to be great for long periods of time. We don't plan on letting it stop anytime soon."

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Posted On Friday, 10.07.2011 / 4:56 PM

By Patrick Williams -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2011 NHL Face-Off Blog

Glass predicting Cup Final-loud crowd in Winnipeg

WINNIPEG -- Twelve hours after the 2011 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off wrapped up in downtown, the event still merited dressing-room chatter among the Winnipeg Jets.

Left wing Tanner Glass helped introduce legendary Winnipeg band Bachman & Turner during the second intermission of the Montreal Canadiens-Toronto Maple Leafs broadcast displayed on large video screens at the event.

"Awesome," Glass said. "So awesome. I knew it was going to be a (special) atmosphere there, but I didn't know the amount of people that we were going to have down there. It was pretty special."

Glass said he had a difficult time hearing questions from CBC host George Stroumboulopoulos while on the stage.

"I heard three or four words and just took a stab at it," Glass said with a laugh.

Glass played with the Vancouver Canucks last season and skated with them in the Stanley Cup Final. When asked to gauge the atmosphere that will greet the Jets on Sunday for their season-opener against the Canadiens, Glass said Winnipeg would measure up well against Canucks fans.

"It's going to be awesome," Glass predicted. "I expect it to be just as crazy here as that was. I'm looking forward to getting that first shift over with."
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Posted On Friday, 10.07.2011 / 4:47 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Ducks-Sabres live blog

Sabres proud of third-period defensive-zone effort

Try as they did, the Anaheim Ducks couldn't break through in the third period and the Buffalo Sabres came away with a 4-1 win at Hartwall Areena.

The Ducks outshot the Sabres 11-0 in the final period, but few of those were "Grade A" chances. Anaheim hit the post twice, but other than one floater through traffic, Ryan Miller was solid in making 29 saves.

After the game, Buffalo captain Jason Pominville and Miller praised the team's effort in its own end, particularly in the third. Thomas Vanek said he might feel that stick in the back he took as he scored the first goal, but those types of hits are worth it when the goal light goes on.

Ducks coach Randy Carlyle felt his team played well at times, but lost the battle on special teams and in front of the nets. Buffalo found a couple of rebounds, but Carlyle also said poor defensive positioning played a role. He didn't fault goalie Jonas Hiller for any of the goals, though he assumed the Swiss netminder would want Pominville's goal back.

It is on to Stockholm for the Ducks now, while the Sabres are off to Berlin. Expect a role reversal for both clubs -- Anaheim will now be the "visiting" team in the home country of Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist when they play the New York Rangers, while Buffalo can expect more support in Germany against the Los Angeles Kings, with Christian Ehrhoff in the lineup.
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Posted On Friday, 10.07.2011 / 3:55 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - Rangers-Kings live blog

Kings' power play comes through with winner

The Kings' stagnant power play finally came to live in overtime, giving the Kings a 3-2 victory when jack Johnson scored on a rebound with 52 seconds left in OT.
 
Anze Kopitar started the play with a shot on Henrik Lundqvist that resulted in a rebound. Mike Richards was alongside the crease and he shoveled it on Lundqvist for a second save, but Jack Johnson, pinching from the point, made no mistake as he roofed the rebound over Lundqvist, who was brilliant throughout.

The Los Angeles' power play had been 0-for-4 before that goal.

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Posted On Friday, 10.07.2011 / 3:36 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - Rangers-Kings live blog

Overtime next for Kings, Rangers

The Kings had an excellent chance to win the game in the dying seconds of regulation as Brian Boyle committed an unnecessary interference penalty with just 2:03 remaining in regulation.

The Kings had two excellent chances -- including a hard shot from Dustin Brown -- but could not solve Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist. The Kings are 0-for-4 on the power play so far.

We are heading to overtime as regulation ends with a 2-2 tie.

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Posted On Friday, 10.07.2011 / 3:31 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - Rangers-Kings live blog

New King Richards ties game

Well, that was short-lived, as the Kings have come back and tied it 2-all late in the third period.

Mike Richards beat Michael Del Zotto to position in the slot and got his stick down to tip a sweet pass from linemate Brad Richardson over the shoulder of Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist with 4:59 remaining in the game.

Kings coach Terry Murray's hunch certainly paid off there as he decided to put Richardson onto that line when Dustin Penner (undisclosed injury) could not go. In doing so, Murray talked about his late-season surge of confidence and the world-class speed that allows Richardson to gain separation on defenders. Both were on display on that goal.

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Posted On Friday, 10.07.2011 / 3:29 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - Rangers-Kings live blog

Gaborik goal puts Rangers ahead

For the Swedish fans that wanted a tense affair with their local heroes playing a big part, that wish has come true through the game's first 50 minutes.

Marian Gaborik scored to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead with 9:32 remaining in regulation. Gaborik scored on a goal-mouth scramble when he received a shovel pass from Brandon Dubinsky and wristed a shot that ricocheted off Jonathan Quick and into the net. Brad Richards earned his first point as a Ranger with the secondary assist on the play, a centering pass from behind the net.

Plus, the fans have watched local hero Henrik Lundqvist put on an absolute clinic -- especially in the first period, when he kept a sluggish Rangers team in a game in which it was being out-shot at a 3-to-1 margin.

The Rangers, thought have overcome the early doldrums and has taken the play to Los Angeles as often as not in the past 30 minutes.

Ryan Callahan has been the impetus for that revival. He already has 10 shots in this game.

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Posted On Friday, 10.07.2011 / 2:51 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Ducks-Sabres live blog

2 goals for Vanek put Sabres up 4-1

Anaheim got one goal back on a wrist shot from near the Ducks' bench by defenseman Nate Guenin at 4:32 of the second period. It traveled past a host of bodies before finding the back of the net.

However, new Buffalo captain Jason Pominville restored the Sabres' two-goal lead just 73 seconds later, making it 3-1. He fired a shot from inside the right circle, and while Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller got a piece of the puck, it trickled by him across the line.

Thomas Vanek scored his second power-play goal of the game at 11:59 of the period. Both of his goals have come from about a combined five feet from the net. He and Pominville each have 3 points.

The Ducks were better at times in the second, but Buffalo's power-play prowess and a soft goal from Hiller are the difference to this point.

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