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Posted On Thursday, 04.18.2013 / 1:21 PM

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

Bruins forward Thornton joins Cisco NHL Live

The scene in Boston on Wednesday night was amazing, as the Bruins returned to the ice in dramatic fashion. Thursday on Cisco NHL Live, 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, we'll revisit that game with Bruins forward Shawn Thornton and get the mood of the team after the recent tragedy at the Boston Marathon.

On the ice Thursday night we have 10 games, many with huge playoff implications, and we'll preview them all -- plus, you'll get a live look-in at some early warm-ups in our Ice Pass.

In the Eastern Conference, the Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Islanders both inch closer to ending playoff droughts, and our NHL Network insider Chris Johnston will give us an closer look at that matchup. Rounding out that conference are two teams -- the New York Rangers and Winnipeg Jets -- tied for the eighth spot. We'll talk to Winnipeg defenseman Zach Bogosian on our Cisco NHL Arena Cam to preview Thursday's game against the Carolina Hurricanes. We'll also fire up our Cisco NHL Arena Cam in New York with Dave Maloney to find out how the Rangers can solidify a chance at the postseason.

Don't forget to submit your #AskEJ questions through Twitter via @NHLNetwork or @EJHradek_NHL, and stick around for the shootout as EJ picks all 10 games being played on Thursday.

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Posted On Thursday, 04.18.2013 / 1:05 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Schenn a workhorse on Flyers' decimated blue line

PHILADELPHIA -- With five regular defensemen out of the lineup with injuries, Luke Schenn has turned into a workhorse for the Philadelphia Flyers.

He played nearly 33 minutes in the team's win Monday at the Montreal Canadiens, and one night later, against the New York Rangers, he skated 24:39. He was solid, going a plus-1 and taking one penalty. He also helped rookie defense partner Oliver Lauridsen continue to adjust to the game at the NHL level.

Schenn averaged 16:02 per game last season for the Toronto Maple Leafs, seventh among that team's blueliners. This season, he's now up to 21:40 per game, and that number likely will continue to grow through the Flyers' final five regular-season games.

"I think his year has been a strong year for us," Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said. "He's taking on more minutes, I think by necessity based on certain situations and line matchups that have to happen for us. But I think he's had a strong year. The minutes have gone up recently because of the injuries on the back end. You see him pushing almost 60 minutes combined the last two games. That's an opportunity for him. He's had it all year and he's played well."

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Posted On Thursday, 04.18.2013 / 12:48 PM

By Mike Brophy -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Maple Leafs close in on playoffs, possible home ice

TORONTO -- When it comes to getting into the Stanley Cup Playoffs, James Reimer has no allegiance to his home province in Manitoba.

Reimer will definitely be cheering against the Winnipeg Jets while he tends goal for the Toronto Maple Leafs against the New York Islanders on Thursday. The Maple Leafs' magic number to get into the Stanley Cup Playoffs is four, meaning any combination of points by Toronto and points lost by Winnipeg adding up to four puts Reimer's team into the postseason.

"If that's what needs to happen for us to get into the playoffs then it would be great if the Jets lose," Reimer said. "But you can't bank on that. You have to take care of your own business, so that's all we're focused on."

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Posted On Thursday, 04.18.2013 / 12:04 PM

By Erin Nicks -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Capitals, Senators

OTTAWA -- Here are the projected lineups for the Washington Capitals and Ottawa Senators on Thursday night at Scotiabank Place:

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Posted On Thursday, 04.18.2013 / 11:11 AM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Report: Lower-body injury sidelines Rangers' Boyle

According to a report, the New York Rangers will be without forward Brian Boyle for an indefinite period of time due to a lower-body injury.

Boyle has two goals and five points in 38 games for the Rangers, who are battling the Winnipeg Jets and Buffalo Sabres for the eighth Stanley Cup Playoff berth in the Eastern Conference. The Rangers host the Florida Panthers on Thursday and travel to face the Sabres on Friday.

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.17.2013 / 7:09 PM

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

CISCO NHL Live: Nathan MacKinnon

CISCO NHL Live talks with Nathan MacKinnon Right Wing for the Halifax Mooseheads.

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.17.2013 / 4:18 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Prospects help CHL teams reach conference finals

With the Memorial Cup starting one month from Wednesday, the three leagues that make up the Canadian Hockey League -- the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, the Ontario Hockey League and Western Hockey League -- have all reached their conference finals. And a number of 2013 NHL Draft prospects have helped their respective teams get to this point.

The conference finals in the WHL start first, with a junior-hockey version of the Battle of Alberta when the Eastern Conference Finals open April 18 with top-seeded Edmonton Oil Kings facing the Calgary Hitmen.

Aiding in Edmonton's effort to this point has been forward Curtis Lazar, No. 26 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm ranking of North American skaters eligible for the 2013 draft. A 5-foot-11.75, 193-pound center/right wing is fifth on the team with four goals in nine games. Lazar already has proven himself as a quality postseason player -- Lazar led all first-year WHL players with eight goals and 19 points in 20 playoff games last season to help Edmonton reach the Memorial Cup.

Helping Calgary's case has been forward Gregory Chase, No. 94 on Central Scouting's list. The 6-foot, 195-pound right wing/center is fourth on the Hitmen with seven points in 10 games.

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.17.2013 / 3:56 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Ducks, Blue Jackets each short a defenseman

ANAHEIM – The Anaheim Ducks and Columbus Blue Jackets each will be missing a piece of their defense Wednesday night.

Luca Sbisa will sit out with what Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau referred to as general soreness, and Columbus' Adrian Aucoin has a lower-body injury.

Sbisa appeared on the ice briefly at the morning skate then ducked back inside.

"He tried it and he said, 'Not tonight,'" Boudreau said.

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.17.2013 / 3:26 PM

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

Cisco NHL Live talks to draft prospect MacKinnon

As the Boston Bruins prepare for an emotional return to the ice Wednesday, Cisco NHL Live at 5 p.m. ET will have all the latest from TD Garden. Steve Mears and EJ Hradek will be joined by NBC Sports analyst Pierre McGuire, who will be Inside the Glass, for the division battle between the Buffalo Sabres and Bruins, via our Cisco NHL Arena Cam.

As the Pittsburgh Penguins prepare to face the Montreal Canadiens, we'll check in with Penguins Hall of Fame announcer Mike Lange. Plus, our Subway Fresh Face of the Day, Nathan MacKinnon, will tell us what it's like to be one of the top-rated prospects in the upcoming NHL Draft. And NHL Network insider Darren Dreger will also join the show to give us the latest on buzz around the League.

Don't forget to submit your #AskEJ questions through Twitter via @NHLNetwork or @EJHradek_NHL and stick around for the shootout as EJ picks all four games being played Wednesday night.

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.17.2013 / 3:16 PM

By Aaron Vickers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Red Wings face must-win in Calgary

CALGARY -- Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock knows the dangers of playing a team like the Calgary Flames, a club that is long out of the Western Conference playoff picture and auditioning its young players.

He's just not sure if it makes them any more dangerous than the next team, considering Detroit has six games remaining on their schedule with a 22nd consecutive playoff appearance far from guaranteed.

"When you're playing teams at this time of the year, is it better to play a team that's in the playoffs and a little more comfortable?" Babcock questioned. "Is it better to play a team that's fighting for their life, maybe seized up a little bit? Or is it better to play a team that has some kids and they're just loose and dry?

"I don't know the answer to any of these questions and it's a waste of time thinking about it. Lets play."

The Red Wings enter Calgary holding down the eighth and final playoff spot in the West with 47 points. The Columbus Blue Jackets, who have played one more game than Detroit, also sit with 47 on the season. The Dallas Stars are two points back at 45.

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Quote of the Day

We've got a team filled with captains, that's what I think. With these first two games we got in, we're really dominating and moving the puck really fast, and it's worked out really good.

— U.S. goalie Brandon Halverson after a 6-0 win against Germany in the World Junior Championship on Sunday