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Round 2
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Stanley Cup Final
POSTED ON Friday, 04.11.2014 / 1:12 PM

By Adam Vingan -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Blackhawks' Morin, Smith making names known

WASHINGTON -- As Chicago Blackhawks forwards Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews remain out of the lineup while nursing injuries, the team has been buoyed by the recent play of its younger role players.

Forward Jeremy Morin, recalled from the American Hockey League when Kane was placed on long-term injured reserve March 21 after suffering an apparent knee injury two days earlier, has scored three goals in as many games.

Forward Ben Smith has also been contributing offensively with three goals in his past four games, all of which the Blackhawks have won.

In doing so, Morin and Smith have thrust themselves into the lineup conversation when the Blackhawks open the Stanley Cup Playoffs next week.

"Well obviously the goal is play in [the] playoffs," Morin said. "I can't control that. All I can do is if I'm in the lineup, just make the most of it. I'm trying to finish off the season the right way and just keep contributing."

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POSTED ON Friday, 04.11.2014 / 1:04 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Red Wings won't rest on laurels as playoffs approach

DETROIT -- Now that a 23rd straight appearance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs is assured, the Detroit Red Wings can afford to rest some legs in the final two games of the regular season.

They're just not planning to exercise that option. Heading into a game against the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday at Joe Louis Arena (7:30 p.m. ET, RDS), the Red Wings are planning to stick with the same lineup they've used of late.

The lone exception will be on the bench. Rookie goalie Petr Mrazek will back up starter Jimmy Howard in the absence of Jonas Gustavsson, who hurt his shoulder in the playoff-clinching 4-3 shootout loss Wednesday at the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"We want to keep winning," Red Wings veteran forward Johan Franzen said after the morning skate. "We want to win these last two games and maybe climb up a spot. So, that's our focus right now."

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POSTED ON Friday, 04.11.2014 / 12:00 PM

By Pete Jensen -  NHL.com Fantasy Insider /NHL.com - Fantasy Spin Blog

Fantasy Spin: Best steals based on ADP, ownership

As the NHL regular season comes to a close, it's appropriate to marvel at how fantasy league champions were crowned after a six-month roller-coaster ride.

Besides avoiding the unpredictable injury bug, championship teams generally draft well in early rounds. But the fantasy playoffs always boil down to depth and consistency, and that's where late-round and waiver-wire gems put teams over the top.

Average draft position in standard Yahoo leagues provides a strong indication of the fantasy expectations surrounding a particular player coming into the season. When comparing ADPs with year-end ownership, it's clear which players have been the biggest fantasy "steals."

Here are the forwards, defensemen and goalies who exceeded expectations this season based on Yahoo ADP and ownership:

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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 / 10:35 PM

By Kevin Weekes -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Weekes on the Web

Linden hiring was a crucial move for Canucks

Some major changes took place this week out West, with the Vancouver Canucks firing general manager Mike Gillis and hiring former captain Trevor Linden as president of hockey operations. It's a big move that will go a long way toward which direction this team goes in. After being the class of the League for a few years, the Canucks do not intend on taking more steps backward after missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs this season.

With Gillis, overall I think we knew the time had come. Something was going to happen. I wasn't sure if it was going to be him and coach John Tortorella, him or Tortorella. Who knows? I will say that I think there were some trades that Mike didn't net great returns on. I would also say the development pool is not where it should be. Their best prospect was Cory Schneider, who is gone. They've also done a great job with Christopher Tanev. Other than that, they haven't had great prospects and that has hurt them.

Overall, Gillis did a lot of great things to. Under his watch, Vancouver won the Presidents' trophy in back-to-back seasons and got to Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final. The Canucks' style of play mirrored that of the Detroit Red Wings during that time. Puck possession was encouraged, hockey IQ was rewarded. They didn't have the heavy game like the Bruins had, which led to Boston beating them in 2011. But the Stanley Cup year was one of the most dominant teams we've seen in a while.

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POSTED ON Thursday, 04.10.2014 / 9:39 PM

NHL.com - 2013-2014 Situation Room blog

STL @ MIN - 10:30 of the Second Period

At 10:30 of the second period in the St. Louis Blues/Minnesota Wild game, the Situation Room initiated a video review because the puck crossed the Minnesota goal line. The referee informed the Situation Room that he blew his whistle to stop play when the Blues took possession of the puck due to an injury to forward T.J. Oshie. According to Rule 8.1, "In the case where it is obvious that a player has sustained a serious injury, the Referee and/or Linesman may stop the play immediately." This is not a reviewable play therefore the referee's call on the ice stands - no goal St. Louis.

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POSTED ON Thursday, 04.10.2014 / 9:32 PM

By Thatcher Demko -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Thatcher Demko blog

Demko: Tough end to memorable Frozen Four

Thatcher Demko is a goaltender playing his freshman season with Boston College. The 6-foot-3, 190-pounder played his minor hockey in southern California before joining the United States National Team Development Program last season. Demko has offered to maintain a blog for NHL.com that will chronicle his season leading up to the 2014 NHL Draft.

It was a fun time in Philadelphia, but obviously it didn't turn out the way we wanted it to -- we lost 5-4 to Union College in the first semifinal at the Frozen Four. That's how it goes sometimes.


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POSTED ON Thursday, 04.10.2014 / 9:15 PM

NHL.com - 2013-2014 Situation Room blog

MTL @ NYI - 15:05 of the Second Period

At 15:05 of the second period in the Montreal Canadiens/New York Islanders game, video review determined that Ryan Strome's shot completely crossed the Montreal goal line, hitting the in-net camera. Good goal New York Islanders.

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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 / 6:26 PM

By Alain Poupart -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Panthers' Luongo to return against Maple Leafs

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Goaltender Roberto Luongo will be back in the lineup for the Florida Panthers when they face the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday, but he'll have a different backup and will be facing a goalie making his first NHL start.

Luongo, sporting a new mask, was the only Panthers goalie at the morning skate after Dan Ellis was sidelined with an upper-body injury sustained in practice Wednesday. Ellis was an emergency starter Tuesday against the Philadelphia Flyers when Luongo was scratched after leading the Panthers onto the ice for warm-ups.

With Ellis out, the Panthers recalled veteran Scott Clemmensen on an emergency basis, but he didn't skate Thursday morning because his equipment failed to arrive with him on his flight from San Antonio.

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Once again, it shows character in this dressing room. Once again, there's no quitting in here. We all wanted this so bad and we worked so hard to get home-ice advantage and we weren't going to let this one slide.

— Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog on his team's OT Game 1 win vs. Minnesota Wild