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Stanley Cup Final
POSTED ON Friday, 04.18.2014 / 12:55 PM

By Matt Kalman -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Bruins-Red Wings series blog

Caron could play key role as Bruins battle injuries

BOSTON -- Jordan Caron was the 13th forward for the Boston Bruins almost all season.

Now, the first-round pick (No. 25) in the 2009 NHL Draft is probably going to play a big role at the biggest time of the year.

Caron, who skated in 35 games and had one goal and two assists, could be in the lineup against the Detroit Red Wings in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round on Friday at TD Garden (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, FS-D, NESN).

POSTED ON Friday, 04.18.2014 / 11:16 AM

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

NHL Live previews start of Bruins-Red Wings series

NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, looks back at the first two nights of the Stanley Cup Playoffs while getting ready for three more games Friday.

Eddie Olczyk will join us to give his impressions on the games played so far, including three overtime battles, one of which took three extra periods to decide.

The only series not to have started yet gets underway Friday as the Boston Bruins host the Detroit Red Wings, and Amalie Benjamin from the Boston Globe will share her thoughts as the Bruins start on the road they hope leads them back to the Stanley Cup Final.

Also, Barry Melrose will be on the show to award his Mullet of the Week.

POSTED ON Friday, 04.18.2014 / 3:00 AM

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

Plenty of intriguing storylines in first-round series

We're only two days into the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs and there have already been plenty of memorable moments, not to mention plenty of exciting overtime action. In analyzing the first few games of the postseason, I've come away with a few observations and even more questions.

The first thing I noticed, particularly in the first three games Wednesday night, is how there were a lot of opportunities in the middle of the ice, something you don't typically see in playoff hockey. There were a lot of pinches, including a few good pinches in which the D committed to the right play under the thought their forwards would back them up and support them, which in many instances they didn't.

There were other instances where the forwards were challenging the D and making plays offensively. Look at the goals by Lars Eller and Tomas Plekanec for the Montreal Canadiens in their overtime win against the Tampa Bay Lightning. They challenged off the rush and made plays to score.

I don't think all the forwards and defensemen were in sync. Overall, that was a theme for me in all of the games Wednesday.

POSTED ON Thursday, 04.17.2014 / 9:05 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Bruins-Red Wings series blog

Red Wings don't expect Zetterberg until second round

Detroit Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg skated with teammates for a half-hour Thursday but is not expected to play until the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, if the Red Wings advance.

Game 1 of their Eastern Conference First Round Series against the Boston Bruins is Friday at TD Garden (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, FS-D, NESN).

"Time-wise we were shooting for Round 2 if everything goes well," Zetterberg told the Red Wings website. "Increase intensity every day and hopefully in a couple days maybe I can do some more battling drills."

Zetterberg had back surgery on Feb. 21 after he was injured during the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

POSTED ON Thursday, 04.17.2014 / 8:24 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Ducks-Stars series blog

'Good chance' Andersen starts Game 2 for Ducks

Anaheim Ducks goaltender Frederik Andersen is in line to start Game 2 of the Western Conference First Round series against the Dallas Stars on Friday at Honda Center (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS (JIP), FS-SW, PRIME).

Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau was asked Thursday if he would again turn to Andersen after the rookie made 32 saves in a 4-3 win in his Stanley Cup Playoff debut.

"There's a good chance," Boudreau said.

POSTED ON Thursday, 04.17.2014 / 7:46 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - Lightning-Canadiens series blog

'Marcarena' a big hit after Canadiens' OT win

TAMPA -- The most popular video highlight of the Montreal Canadiens 5-4 overtime win in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Tampa Bay Lightning is not the Dale Weise goal that decided it.

It is not a goal at all, nor a save, nor a big hit.

The most popular video documentation of that game, based on how viral it went on social media following the game Wednesday night, would have to be Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin celebrating his team's victory.

The move was quickly dubbed the "Marcarena" on Twitter.

POSTED ON Thursday, 04.17.2014 / 4:51 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2014 NHL Draft blog

World U-18 roundup: Canada tops Sweden in opener

Jake Virtanen, a top prospect for the 2014 NHL Draft, scored two goals as Canada opened the 2014 IIHF World Under-18 Championship with a 3-1 win against Sweden on Thursday at Imatra Arena in Imatra, Finland.

Mathew Barzal also had a goal for Canada and goaltender Mason McDonald made 24 saves.

Gustav Forsling scored for Sweden.

POSTED ON Thursday, 04.17.2014 / 4:38 PM

By Eric Gilmore -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Sharks-Kings series blog

Niemi named Game 1 starter for Sharks

SAN JOSE -- San Jose Sharks coach Todd McLellan finally made it official after the morning skate Thursday at SAP Center. Goaltender Antti Niemi will start Thursday night for the Sharks against the Los Angeles Kings in Game 1 of their Western Conference First Round series in the Stanley Cup Playoffs (10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS2, FS-W, CSN-CA).

"He's our go-to guy," said McLellan, explaining his choice of Niemi over Alex Stalock. "He's been our go-to guy for four years. He's our go-to guy in Game 1. I can tell you this, there wasn't near the amount of debate with the four of us in the coaches' room as there was with a whole bunch of you outside the coaches' room. But it was fun."

Niemi, who won the Stanley Cup in 2010 with the Chicago Blackhawks, has struggled at times this season, but he had one of his best games on April 3 against Los Angeles, making 26 saves in a 2-1 victory at SAP Center.

POSTED ON Thursday, 04.17.2014 / 4:24 PM

By Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Avalanche-Wild series blog

Avalanche, Wild respect opposing goalies

DENVER -- The Minnesota Wild made a late-season run to earn the top Western Conference wild-card spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but coach Mike Yeo said his team will need to start rebuilding that momentum Thursday at Pepsi Center in the opener of their first-round series against the Colorado Avalanche (9:30 p.m. ET; CNBC, RDS, TSN, FS-N, ALT).

"I think we can take it right up until we drop the puck. It changes from there," Yeo said after the morning skate of the Wild's 6-1-1 run to close the regular season. "I think it's going to be about both teams going out and trying to build momentum from the game and trying to build momentum in the series.

"There's no question we should feel good about ourselves, and I think they feel good about themselves too. It's all about the preparation and getting ready for the grind that's going to come. It's obviously going to be a real good, intense playoff series against a real good opponent."

POSTED ON Thursday, 04.17.2014 / 4:04 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Ducks-Stars series blog

X-rays on Getzlaf negative, expected for Game 2

ANAHEIM – Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf has a deep facial laceration but X-rays were negative and he is expected to play in Game 2 of the Western Conference First Round series Friday night at Honda Center (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, RDS (JIP), FS-SW, PRIME), according to the team.

Getzlaf was struck by Tyler Seguin's slap shot in the face with 16 seconds remaining in a 4-3 win against the Dallas Stars in Game 1 on Wednesday night. He immediately left the ice and was seen with an ice pack to his face in the dressing room afterward.

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For me, it's a great win for our hockey team and for a lot of people back in Columbus, especially our fans in particular … people who have been devoted to this organization, it's big.

— Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards on their win vs. the Penguins in Game 2, the franchise's first-ever Stanley Cup Playoff victory