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Posted On Saturday, 05.07.2011 / 2:26 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - 2011 WCSF: Vancouver-Nashville Live Blog

Hodgson learning despite limited time

VANCOUVER, B.C. -- Rookie Cody Hodgson has played in six of Vancouver's 11 playoff games and only twice reached double digits in minutes. He's played the last two games against Nashville, but totaled just 11 minutes and 12 seconds of ice time.

Still, Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said he appreciates the way Hodgson is handling his limited role and believes he's shown some good signs of being a useful player now, not just in the future.

"Cody is coming along," Vigneault said. "This is a big stage and he's getting an opportunity to play a couple of minutes here and there, but he's shown that he's a smart player. He understands the game at both ends of the rink and I think he's only going to get better."

Vigneault hesitated when he was asked if he thinks Hodgson will be better off as a result of the minimal role he has with the Canucks now.

"I think there are some benefits to playing in the American League, playing big minutes in those pressure situations, just as I think there are benefits to being here and getting used to the surroundings, getting used to the attention," Vigneault said. "I can see benefits on both sides really."

So why is he here instead of with the Manitoba Moose, who are still playing in the Calder Cup Playoffs?

Well, out of necessity, really.

"We needed him," Vigneault said. "When Manny (Malhotra) went down (with a season-ending eye injury) and the end of the season occurred, we thought (Hodgson) could be one of the 12 forwards we could use. That's it."

He has an assist and is a minus-3, but the Canucks are at least getting some use out of him.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

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Posted On Friday, 05.06.2011 / 1:00 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2011 WCSF: San Jose-Detroit Live Blog

Red Wings paying high price for high-sticking calls

Detroit has been called for five high-sticking infractions in the first three games and the Sharks have scored power-play goals on two of them. The Sharks also won Game 1 in overtime on Benn Ferriero's goal just 20 seconds after Justin Abdelkader got out of the penalty box for a high-sticking double minor.

A high-sticking minor called on Darren Helm in Game 3 led to the first goal of the game, a power-play goal by Devin Setoguchi.

"We've just got to keep our sticks down," said Henrik Zetterberg, who was called for a high stick in Game 2. "Soon as it's up there, you have a chance to (get penalized) for four minutes or two. It can happen very easily if you have the sticks up high."
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Posted On Friday, 05.06.2011 / 12:58 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2011 WCSF: San Jose-Detroit Live Blog

Red Wings curious about faceoff do's and don'ts

There have been a number of players kicked out of the faceoff circle before draws in this series and the Red Wings have taken notice -- especially when it comes to their own players getting the boot.

It especially was noticeable in Game 3 at Joe Louis Arena, when the Sharks won 53 percent of the faceoffs taken.

"It is tough for both teams to know what we're doing right and what we're doing wrong," Henrik Zetterberg said. "One time you get kicked out and next time you're not getting kicked out. It's a fine line there, but we've just got to adjust."

Kris Draper said the best way to deal with the issue is to make sure, if possible, there is more than one center on as many forward lines as possible.

"A lot of guys have been tossed out, probably the most I've seen in a while, in Game 3," Draper said. "It puts an onus on the importance of faceoffs. Both teams want to start with the puck, especially on the (penalty kill). Collectively, as a group, we have to be better."

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Posted On Thursday, 05.05.2011 / 4:30 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2011 WCSF: San Jose-Detroit Live Blog

Detroit gaining confidence against Niemi

Sharks goalie Antti Niemi again made some big saves in key situations to keep the Red Wings at bay and give San Jose more time to find a way to win Game 3 in overtime.

Still, it wasn't his sharpest game of the series -- Niemi gave up three goals on 41 shots and allowed more rebounds than he'd given up in the first two games.

"We got to him a little bit (in Game 3) by shooting the puck a little bit more and having guys in front of the net and being there for those second chances," Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom said. "That's something we have to build on."
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Posted On Thursday, 05.05.2011 / 4:26 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2011 WCSF: San Jose-Detroit Live Blog

Red Wings scuffling on penalty kill

After the Sharks went 2-for-4 on the power play in Game 3 Wednesday, which led to a 4-3 overtime victory for San Jose, the Red Wings' penalty killing fell to just 73.3 percent (11 of 15).

Both of the Sharks' power-play goals in that game were scored by Devin Setoguchi, who finished with a hat trick and scored the game-winner in overtime at even strength -- shortly after San Jose's penalty-killing units killed off a Detroit power play.

The Red Wings also struggled a bit on the penalty kill in their first-round sweep of the Phoenix Coyotes. What's going on that's leading to this dip in effectiveness?

"They're just finding ways to get pucks on net and they're moving the puck really well," Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard said of the Sharks' power play Thursday. "I think we just need to stay in our spots, basically. Make them work the puck around the outside and not really give them anything in tight."

However, even that didn't work on the second of Setoguchi's power-play goals. Setoguchi was ready to blast a one-timer from the left circle when he shattered his stick on the shot and the puck slowly slid through traffic and into the net -- with Howard unable to get back after lunging to the left post in anticipation of the blast.

"What do you do, as a goalie, in that situation?" said Howard, who didn't even bother to look at replays of it. "He seemed just cocked and ready to let a bomb go, so that was the last thing in my mind that was going to happen. Pass came over. It was right in his wheel house and I rushed over strong expecting that one-timer. You've just got to keep going and concentrate on making the next save. Bounces happen."

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Posted On Thursday, 05.05.2011 / 3:23 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 WCSF: San Jose-Detroit Live Blog

Nothing changing for Sharks entering Game 4

If history continues repeating itself, then the San Jose Sharks can look forward to playing a Game 5 against the Red Wings.

This series has been a carbon copy of the one these two teams played last year, with the Sharks holding a 3-0 lead after a come-from-behind overtime win in Game 3. Sharks coach Todd McLellan talked after the game about how his team could be in for the same 7-1 beatdown they absorbed in last year's Game 4 if they didn't improve following this year's Game 3, when they were outplayed by the Red Wings.

McLellan talked a bit about changing up his team's routine heading into this year's Game 4, but players said nothing has changed following Thursday's practice at Joe Louis Arena.

"You don't look back on last year," said Devin Setoguchi, the Game 3 hero with a hat trick and the overtime winner. "It's been a totally different run. We started out of the playoffs in January, last place in our division, and we clawed our way back up. We just turned ourself into a better hockey club. There's no comparison to last year.

"Guys prepare the same way. Some guys have prepared the same way for probably 15 years. I do the same thing every game. I don't look at it or function any differently than any other game in the regular season."

"We didn't talk too much about it," Dan Boyle said of last year's Game 4. "We haven't wanted to talk about the past, but you guys keep bringing it up. When you look at what happened last year, it's not like we didn't care. We probably went out and gave 90 percent. We're not going to spend too much time talking about it unless you guys keep asking."

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo
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Posted On Thursday, 05.05.2011 / 2:53 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2011 ECSF: Philadelphia-Boston Live Blog

Kampfer returns to practice for Bruins

There was a new face at Boston's light practice Thursday at TD Garden, defenseman Steve Kampfer.

The rookie was skating with the Bruins for the first time since injuring his knee on April 9, while playing for the American Hockey League's Providence Bruins.

"It's good to get back out there. It's been a long couple of weeks sitting by and watching, but it's good to get back out there skating, and skating with the guys especially," Kampfer said after practice. "It's definitely a perk. It's moving ahead, but it's always slow at this time."

And while Boston might still be in the market for a sixth defenseman after the injury to Adam McQuaid in Game 2 -- replacement Shane Hnidy played less than three minutes in Game 3 -- don’t expect to see Kampfer in the lineup.

"We had no contact in our drills, so [Thursday] was a very good skate for him. We're moving forward as we're being told by our medical staff," coach Claude Julien said Thursday. "He's looking better every day, so we just have to stay with it, but he's not ready."

Speaking of McQuaid, the defenseman did not skate for the third-straight day after injuring his neck in Game 2. But Julien said McQuaid is making significant progress.

"He is definitely getting better," Julien said. "I know we are still saying day-to-day, but there is improvement in him. We are getting very optimistic things are going to happen quicker. Right now, we are just keeping our fingers crossed. He seems to be doing well and, hopefully, we will have better news here in the next few days."

Even with the newfound optimism, there is no expectation McQuaid will recover sufficiently to play in Game 4, especially with Boston holding a 3-0 lead in the series. That means Hnidy will once again be in the lineup.

Despite using Hnidy for less than three minutes in Game 3, Julien said Thursday that he has full confidence in the veteran, who has just four games of experience this season.

"We definitely have confidence in him," Julien said. "We also understand he hasn't played much this year. Right now, the guys we had in our lineup last night were able to share our ice time last night. But having him as a sixth defenseman is something we are certainly comfortable with."

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.04.2011 / 9:28 PM

NHL.com - Situation Room blog (2010-2011 season)

BOS-PHI Game 4: 12:51 of third period

Through video review, NHL Hockey Operations confirmed the referee's call on the ice that the puck entered the Boston net after the goal frame had been dislodged. No goal.


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Posted On Wednesday, 05.04.2011 / 7:40 PM

NHL.com - Situation Room blog (2010-2011 season)

WSH-TBL Game 4: 12:37 of the first period

Through video review, NHL Hockey Operations confirmed the referee's call on the ice of a good goal for Tampa Bay's Ryan Malone at 12:37 of the first period. The puck deflected off Malone's left leg into the net.

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.04.2011 / 3:58 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2011 ECSF: Philadelphia-Boston Live Blog

Birthday boy JVR hoping for encore effort in Game 3

What could James van Riemsdyk possibly do for an encore in a Game 3 that falls on his birthday that he didn't do in a Game 2 loss to the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference semifinal round?

Perhaps provide a similar effort in a victory this time around?
James van Riemsdyk #21 of the Philadelphia Flyers celebrates his goal against the Boston Bruins during the first period of Game Two of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center on May 2, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)

Van Riemsdyk was named the second star of the game on Monday night at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia after scoring a pair of goals and posting eight shots on goal to extend his League-leading total to 59 this spring.

It marked the fifth game this playoff season of eight shots or more for van Riemsdyk, who had never posted more than seven shots in a game in his two-year career.

Van Riemsdyk, who turns 22 today, knows a victory in Game 3 will go a long way in helping the Flyers back into the series.

"We are just worrying about one game at a time and that's all it takes to win," he said. "We are down 2-0 now but if we take it one day at a time, one game at a time, I think we will be in good shape.

"Obviously, I had quite a few chances and some breakaways (in Game 2) that I maybe would like to have back and try something different," he added. That's the way the game goes sometimes. Hopefully, next time I can bury those chances."

The Flyers were very successful on the road this year and won two of three in Buffalo in their opening-round triumph against the Sabres. Van Riemsdyk is hoping that trend continues.

"I think we just have guys that step up and raise their game when our backs have been against the wall," he said. "Usually when you go on the road it's a little more of a hostile environment and you really need to step up a little more. We have been able to do that."

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Quote of the Day

I think Loui Eriksson is a player that can be even better than he was last year. I think we started seeing that at the end of the year, and he could be a replacement for Jarome as a possibility.

— Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien on forward Loui Eriksson's potential