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Posted On Monday, 05.06.2013 / 7:10 PM

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

CISCO NHL Live: Bates Battaglia

Former NHLer and Amazing Race winner Bates Battaglia joins NHL Live.

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Posted On Monday, 05.06.2013 / 6:31 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blues-Kings series blog

Blues, Kings fighting for every inch

LOS ANGELES -- One thing that's been determined in this Western Conference Quarterfinals series between the St. Louis Blues and Los Angeles Kings: the real estate is limited.

With a grand total of seven goals scored in the first three games of the series, Monday night's Game 4 shouldn't see goals scored in droves.

The Kings have certainly done their job by limiting the Blues to four goals in the series, but the Blues' stinginess goes back to when the team went on this current 14-4-0 run. In 18 games, the Blues have allowed 25 goals, or an average of 1.39 goals per game. Take away two of those games in which they've allowed nine goals, the Blues are allowing 16 goals in 16 games, or one per contest. That one goal per game falls right in line with the three goals the Blues have surrendered in this series as well, but only lead it 2-1.


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Posted On Monday, 05.06.2013 / 4:44 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Wild series blog

Saad a Calder finalist, but Brodin doesn't make cut

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- As the Stanley Cup Playoffs kick into full gear this week, the Professional Hockey Writers Association has begun announcing the finalists for its postseason awards. They will do so by releasing the names of the finalists for 11 awards each weekday through May 20.

The first award announced Monday was the Calder Trophy, given to the League's top rookie, as voted on by members of the PHWA.

Among the nominees: Chicago Blackhawks forward Brandon Saad, Montreal Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher and Florida Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau.

Minnesota Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin, considered by many as a potential front-runner to win the award, was not.


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Posted On Monday, 05.06.2013 / 4:25 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Wild series blog

Bolland, Emery practice, inching closer to returns

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- A pair of Chicago Blackhawks returned to practice Monday as the team prepares for its Game 4 matchup against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday in a Western Conference Quarterfinal at Xcel Energy Center (9:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS2).

Forward Dave Bolland and goaltender Ray Emery took part in the entire practice but both said they will not be ready to play Tuesday night. Both are inching closer and could be ready to jump back into the lineup when the series shifts back to Chicago's United Center for Game 5 on Thursday.

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Posted On Monday, 05.06.2013 / 4:05 PM

By Erin Nicks -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Canadiens-Senators series blog

Senators won't have Wiercioch in lineup for Game 4

OTTAWA -- Defenseman Patrick Wiercioch, who sustained a lower-body injury in Game 3, will be unavailable for the Ottawa Senators in Game 4 against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET, CNBC, CBC, RDS), coach Paul MacLean said following an optional skate Monday.

The Senators lead the Canadiens 2-1 in their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series following a 6-1 victory Sunday night.

Goaltender Robin Lehner took part in Monday's skate, as well as Guillaume Latendresse, Matt Kassian, Peter Regin, Jim O'Brien, Mike Hoffman, Mark Stone, Andre Benoit, Mike Lundin and Eric Gryba.

Gryba will be eligible to play Tuesday after serving a two-game suspension for a hit on Lars Eller in the series opener.

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Posted On Monday, 05.06.2013 / 3:59 PM

By John Kreiser -  NHL.com Columnist /NHL.com - Penguins-Islanders series blog

Byslma ready for another noisy night at Coliseum

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma hopes his players do a better job of handling the raucous atmosphere at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series than they did in Game 3.

The Coliseum, one of the NHL's smallest and oldest buildings, was roaring on Sunday when the New York Islanders played their first home game in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in six years. Bylsma, an assistant coach with the Islanders before joining the Penguins' organization, had warned his players that the atmosphere they'd see in Game 3 wouldn't be like anything they'd seen in their regular-season visits to Long Island.


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Posted On Monday, 05.06.2013 / 2:37 PM

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

'Amazing Race' winner Battaglia on Cisco NHL Live

The first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs continues with two Game 3s in the Eastern Conference and two Game 4s in the Western Conference. Get ready for all the battles with Steve Mears and EJ Hradek on Cisco NHL Live at 5 p.m. ET Monday on NHL Network. We'll have game reports from all four cities with the latest news from each locker room.

It has been nine years in the making, but the day is finally here for Maple Leafs fans as Toronto hosts its first playoff game since 2004. We'll fire up the Cisco NHL Arena Cam to get a preview and a behind-the-scenes peak on warmups.

Plus, "Amazing Race" winner and former NHL player Bates Battaglia joins the show. The retired winger will tell us how it feels to win the $1 million prize.

Last but not least, our own Barry Melrose will join the show to weigh in on all these great playoff series. Remember to submit your #AskEJ questions through Twitter via @NHLNetwork or @EJHradek_NHL, and stick around for the shootout as EJ picks all four playoff games being played tonight.

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Posted On Monday, 05.06.2013 / 2:25 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blues-Kings series blog

Kings likely to go with seven defensemen again

LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Kings coach Darryl Sutter will appear to go with seven defensemen again and rotate wingers on the fourth line for Game 4 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals.

Alec Martinez took part in the line rushes Monday with Rob Scuderi, while Jake Muzzin was with Slava Voynov. Drew Doughty skated with usual partner Robyn Regehr while Keaton Ellerby would remain in, largely as a penalty-killing force.

Jordan Nolan took rushes with the fourth line but stayed out with the extras.


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Posted On Monday, 05.06.2013 / 1:38 PM

By John Kreiser -  NHL.com Columnist /NHL.com - Penguins-Islanders series blog

Overtime is no longer 'Islander Time'

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- For the first two decades of their existence, the New York Islanders were the most successful overtime team in the history of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Islanders won the first of their four consecutive Stanley Cups on Bob Nystrom's OT goal in Game 6 of the 1980 Stanley Cup Final. They eliminated the arch-rival New York Rangers in the fifth and deciding game of their first-round series when Ken Morrow scored in overtime. And they completed one of the biggest upsets in playoff history when David Volek's OT goal in Game 7 of the second round eliminated the Pittsburgh Penguins, who were going for their third consecutive Stanley Cup.

At that point in their history, the Islanders had played 36 overtime games in the playoffs and won 29 of them.

Twenty years later, they're still looking for win No. 30.


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Posted On Monday, 05.06.2013 / 1:27 PM

By Barry Melrose -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Melrose Minute

Melrose: Top storylines from first week of playoffs

We're just about a week into the postseason and already we've got several exciting series, a number of interesting storylines and many hints for what's to come. Here are some of the things I've noticed so far from the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

ARE THE ISLANDERS CREATING THE BLUEPRINT?

In Game 3 between the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders, the Isles jumped out to a quick lead and suddenly the Penguins took over. Now, the Islanders came right back before the Pens eventually won in overtime, but there were a few things worth noticing.

First, that quick Pittsburgh rally just shows that team's skill level and how few chances they need to score. The Islanders have had the better chances and more shots, but Pittsburgh gets a chance and it goes in. Douglas Murray gets a chance and he scores. Pascal Dupuis gets a chance and it's in. They're just so talented, and that's the difference. Everybody on that team can score and the Islanders don't have that luxury. Almost nobody does. Only a few teams in the NHL have that kind of luxury and Pittsburgh is by far the best in that area.

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Quote of the Day

It is really special. I had a lot of friends and family here tonight, and for my first [NHL] game in here it was great. I played here as an elementary-school player in the city championships and this was my first time back. It was a lot of fun..

— Toronto native Brandon Pirri after scoring 2 goals for Panthers in win at Maple Leafs on Thursday
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