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Posted On Tuesday, 05.21.2013 / 5:04 PM

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

Kings look to take control of series on road in Game 4

SAN JOSE -- Playing the San Jose Sharks at HP Pavilion is never easy, but Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said he welcomes the chance to put a hammerlock on their Western Conference Semifinal series Tuesday night in Game 4 (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, RDS, TSN).

"They live off playing in their own arena," Doughty said after the Kings' optional morning skate there. "To be able to get a win in their home rink I think will be a little deflating for them. We know how tough it's going to be to steal one here tonight, but we're determined to do it. If we go back to Staples [Center] up 3-1, we know there's a good chance we can close out the series. Right now it's just one game at a time, and tonight's the most important."

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.21.2013 / 4:55 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Red Wings series blog

Faceoffs, puck movement concerns for Blackhawks

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks put 40 shots on goal, played much better overall and still lost 3-1 to the Detroit Red Wings on Monday night at Joe Louis Arena.

The loss put Detroit up 2-1 in what's become a heated Original Six Western Conference Semifinal, but Chicago isn't showing signs of panic.

The core group of stars that powers the Blackhawks also was down 2-1 in the conference quarterfinals against the Nashville Predators at one point in 2010 before coming back to win that series and eventually the Stanley Cup.

"I think we played well [Monday night]," said Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson, who was on the 2010 championship team. "There were a lot of chances that we could've scored on. We battled really hard and I think it was a pretty good effort overall. They just scored more goals than we did. As long as the battle effort is there, you can't really be too upset with the loss."

Game 4 of the best-of-7 series is Thursday night at Detroit (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS2) and each side knows how pivotal it could be.

"We all know the importance of the next game there in [Joe Louis Arena]," Hjalmarsson said. "We’re all focused on that task and looking forward to it."

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.21.2013 / 4:43 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - Penguins-Senators series blog

Penguins could add Jokinen to aid power play

OTTAWA -- The Pittsburgh Penguins may be welcoming one of their trade-deadline acquisitions back into the lineup for Game 4 of their Eastern Conference Semifinals series against the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

Center Jussi Jokinen skated on the fourth line and worked on the second unit of the struggling Penguins power play at practice Tuesday, suggesting he likely will be reinserted into the lineup for the first time since being scratched in Game 5 of the first round against the New York Islanders, a span of four games.

"Especially this time of the year, or anytime you're not playing all the time, it's not easy to watch from the press box," said Jokinen, acquired from the Carolina Hurricanes on NHL Trade Deadline day April 3. "I'll try to play to my strengths, try to be good on faceoffs, be a good two-way player and do everything I can to help the team win."

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.21.2013 / 2:42 PM

By Brian Compton -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Bruins-Rangers series blog

Essensa gets to turn back the clock at morning skate

NEW YORK -- More than a decade has passed since Bob Essensa played in an NHL game. But on Tuesday morning, the 48-year-old was facing shots again.

The Boston Bruins goaltending coach took Tuukka Rask's spot on the ice at Madison Square Garden for the team's optional skate prior to Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series against the New York Rangers (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

One of the lighter moments came when Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk ripped a slap shot Essensa didn't even try to stop. He wasn't about to make any quick movements that weren't going to agree with his body.

"Anything I had to reach for … yeah," he said to reporters. "Just like the good old days."

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.21.2013 / 1:13 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Bruins-Rangers series blog

Rangers rely on more Madison Square Garden magic

NEW YORK -- The New York Rangers went 3-0 at Madison Square Garden in advancing past the Washington Capitals in their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series.

Now, down 2-0 to the Boston Bruins entering Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS), the Rangers will need that hometown advantage if they hope to get back in this series.

Just don't ask them to explain their remarkable record at home.

"Really, I don't know. It confuses me why some pucks go in at home when they don't go in in certain situations on the road. Who knows why?" Rangers coach John Tortorella said. "I think today's game is a lot different from back in the '70s, when there was a real distinct advantage to playing at home. I don't think there is [an advantage today]. But there must be. The record shows it."

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.21.2013 / 1:00 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Bruins-Rangers series blog

Rangers hope Brassard at point sparks power play

NEW YORK -- Since being acquired at the NHL Trade Deadline from the Columbus Blue Jackets, New York Rangers forward Derick Brassard has done practically everything asked of him.

In 13 regular-season games with New York, he had five goals and 11 points. He then added nine points in the final five games of the Rangers' Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series, helping them rally past the Washington Capitals.

With New York down 2-0 in their conference semifinal series with the Boston Bruins heading into Game 3 Tuesday at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS), Brassard may have his most difficult task yet: Bringing the Rangers' dormant power play back to life.

Brassard briefly played the point on the Rangers' first power-play unit in Game 2 and continued to practice his point play with New York's defensemen in an optional skate held Tuesday morning. It's not the first time he's quarterbacked his team's power play, but he admits the dynamic of playing the point with the man-advantage is a significant change from playing down low.

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.21.2013 / 12:48 PM

By Brian Compton -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Bruins-Rangers series blog

Bruins' Seidenberg unlikely to play in Game 3

NEW YORK -- Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien said he would be surprised if defenseman Dennis Seidenberg would be available to play Tuesday in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

Seidenberg did take part in the team's optional morning skate but apparently is not ready to return to action. He has been out since sustaining a lower-body injury on the first shift of Game 7 of the Bruins' first-round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Seidenberg is one of three injured veteran defensemen doubtful or out of the lineup. Wade Redden and Andrew Ference have been out since Game 6 of the first round. In their places, rookies Dougie Hamilton, Matt Bartkowski and Torey Krug have helped the Bruins take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 series.

"Probably not Seidenberg; Redden, we'll see," Julien told reporters Tuesday morning when asked if either would participate in Tuesday's pregame warm-ups. "They're skating this morning, but I don't think [Seidenberg] will be in. If he is, it'll be a surprise to me as much as you guys."

Here is the Bruins' projected lineup for Game 3:

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.21.2013 / 12:25 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Bruins-Rangers series blog

Rangers' Staal, Powe skate but not likely to play

NEW YORK -- Defenseman Marc Staal and forward Darroll Powe, neither of whom has played for the New York Rangers in their Eastern Conference Semifinal series against the Boston Bruins, were among 14 players who participated in an optional team skate Tuesday. However, it remains unlikely either will play in Game 3 Tuesday at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

Staal played 17:17 in New York's 4-3 win against the Washington Capitals in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series but has not played since. Following an optional skate that wasn't overly strenuous, Staal's locker stall remained mostly empty.

Powe hasn't played since a collision with Washington's Joel Ward in Game 3.

"I feel good," Powe said. "It's good to be back out on the ice skating with the guys. I'm just trying to do skating, work out and try to get back in the lineup. It's all part of the process, just getting back on the ice and playing hockey again. That's where I'm at right now."

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.21.2013 / 9:09 AM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Domi's incredible pass highlight of Memorial Cup

London Knights forward Max Domi may play the game another 20 years and never duplicate the incredible between-the-legs pass that resulted in a highlight-reel goal Monday against the Portland Winterhawks during round-robin play at the 2013 MasterCard Memorial Cup Tournament in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

It occurred in the second period of an eventual 6-3 loss. With the Knights trailing 3-1, the 5-foot-9.25, 197-pound forward, No. 19 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters for the 2013 NHL Draft, took a feed from Seth Griffith in the right circle before moving down the slot. Just as he gained the area between the circles near the right hash, Domi shifted the puck from his backhand to his forehand, pushing it between his skates and lifting a pass to teammate Bo Horvat at the bottom of the left circle.

Horvat batted the puck past Portland goalie Mac Carruth for his first goal of the Memorial Cup.

"It was just a break-in on the power play and that's all I really had left and it was lucky, for sure," Domi told the London Free Press.
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Posted On Monday, 05.20.2013 / 6:45 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - Penguins-Senators series blog

Penguins still feel sting from stunning Game 3 loss

OTTAWA - A day had passed, but the pain had not yet completely subsided Monday for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The mental pain of Sunday night's double-overtime loss in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Ottawa Senators was still on the minds of the Penguins after a night of sleep. They were still wondering how they could have possibly allowed the tying goal with just 28.6 seconds remaining on regulation time while they were on a power play.


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Quote of the Day

I had one really not-good game. I came back to the hotel and he [his father] was on Skype. My mother called first and said, 'Your father wants to talk to you.' So he moved my mother away, and he yelled at me for like 30 seconds. I understood him, and then he said, 'I'm done.' And he was gone. The next game I got my first shutout.

— Anton Khudobin recalls a fond memory, explains why he was so sharp in the Hurricanes' 3-0 win against the Capitals on Friday
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