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Round 3
Stanley Cup Final
Posted On Sunday, 05.12.2013 / 4:22 PM

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

Kings welcome time to rest prior to second round

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- There wasn't much for the Los Angeles Kings to do Sunday except rest and wait for their next opponent in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

About eight forwards and six defensemen participated in an optional skate. Kyle Clifford was not among them, and coach Darryl Sutter gave a defiant "no" when asked about an update. Clifford skated on his own before the morning skate of Game 6 of the Western Conference Quarterfinal series against the St. Louis Blues, but did not play.

Sutter was otherwise glad to get a break in between series.

"It's really good," Sutter said. "Between regular season and first round, we were flying today and practicing tomorrow so it's critical for some guys to recover, not only in terms of injury but energy."


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Posted On Sunday, 05.12.2013 / 4:10 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Capitals-Rangers series blog

Kreider returns to Rangers' lineup, replacing Clowe

NEW YORK -- Chris Kreider is back in the New York Rangers lineup to replace injured forward Ryane Clowe for Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on Sunday at Madison Square Garden.

The Washington Capitals lead the best-of-7 series, 3-2, and can advance to the conference semifinals for a third straight season with a win Sunday.

Kreider played in Game 1 of the series against the Washington Capitals but has been a healthy scratch since. He had five goals in 18 Stanley Cup Playoff games last season.


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Posted On Sunday, 05.12.2013 / 3:24 PM

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

Capitals look to withstand early Rangers attack

NEW YORK -- Washington Capitals coach Adam Oates revealed on Sunday that he would not be making any changes to his lineup heading into Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the New York Rangers.

Sporting mostly the same lineup that has given the team a 3-2 series lead, Oates acknowledged that the Capitals' chances of closing out this opening-round series could hinge on the opening moments in front of what figures to be a raucous Madison Square Garden crowd.

"Obviously it's their building. They're going to feel good in front of their home crowd. We need a good start to get into the game," Oates said. "We expect them to come hard. We just need to handle all the decisions you need to make early to get into the game. We can't give them any more ammo."


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Posted On Sunday, 05.12.2013 / 2:50 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Bruins-Maple Leafs series blog

Bruins without Ference for Game 6

Boston Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference is day-to-day and did not travel with the team for Game 6 of its Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday night at Air Canada Center.

Ference played all 48 regular-season games this season for the Bruins, posting four goals and 13 points, but will miss his second game of this series. He was also out in Game 2 due to a suspension for an illegal hit to the head of Maple Leafs forward Mikhail Grabovski in the series opener.

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Posted On Sunday, 05.12.2013 / 12:45 PM

By Mike Brophy -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Bruins-Maple Leafs series blog

Bruins, Leafs finding it hard to maintain momentum

TORONTO -- Momentum can be a great thing for a hockey team this time of year. That is, if you get it and can maintain it.

Last season the Los Angeles Kings barely made the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but got on a roll in the postseason and rode a wave all the way to their first championship.

Thus far in the first-round Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins, neither team has been able to carry momentum from one game into the next. The Bruins won the series opener, but then lost Game 2 at home. The Maple Leafs, in their first playoff appearance in nine years, received huge support from their adoring fans, but were unable to translate that into victory at home, dropping both Games 3 and 4.

Then, with the possibility of concluding the series in five games, the Bruins lost a second straight home game and here we are with Game 6 in Toronto on Sunday night (7:30 p.m., NBCSN, CBC, RDS).


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Posted On Saturday, 05.11.2013 / 9:09 PM

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

Red Wings will draw on Game 7 experience

The Detroit Red Wings hope this Game 7 visit to California goes better than the last one.

Facing a winner-take-all game against the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday (10 p.m. ET, NBCSN, RDS, TSN, FS-D, FS-W), Detroit will draw on its experience from two years ago.

The Red Wings were bounced from the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 3-2, second-round, Game 7 loss to the San Jose Sharks at HP Pavilion.

Twelve current Red Wings played in that game.

"Just the experience of being a part of something like that I think is definitely helpful in the situation coming up right now," defenseman Niklas Kronwall told the team's website after arriving in the Los Angeles area.

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Posted On Saturday, 05.11.2013 / 7:12 PM

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

Nielsen, Nelson in lineup for Islanders

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- New York Islanders center Frans Nielsen is in the lineup Saturday for Game 6 of his team's Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the Pittsburgh Penguins (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

Nielsen, who centers the Islanders' second line and plays on both special teams, left Game 5 on Thursday with a lower-body injury and didn't skate Friday.

Rookie Brock Nelson is making his NHL debut, taking the place of healthy scratch Jesse Joensuu.

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Posted On Saturday, 05.11.2013 / 6:41 PM

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

Ducks loose, confident heading into Game 7

ANAHEIM -- Viktor Fasth walked over to the stereo and turned up The Who’s “Eminence Front.” A few minutes later, Bob Marley’s voice permeated the room. As Sheldon Souray spoke to reporters, Sami Vatanen playfully joined the scrum and used a water bottle as a microphone.

Yes, the Anaheim Ducks locker room was surprisingly loose Saturday after the team got in at 2 a.m. following an overtime loss to the Detroit Red Wings in Game 6 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals.

Game 7 is Sunday at Honda Center (NBCSN, RDS, TSN, FS-D, FS-W) , and the Ducks appear to have shaken off an unhappy down plane ride home.

“Guys will rise to the occasion,” defenseman Luca Sbisa said. “We’ve been a team that usually plays the best in situations like that. We have a lot of confidence. We don’t need motivation, any energy boost. You’re so amped up, you have to control your energy and your emotions because you’re so fired up to play … but I think everyone is looking forward to it, and it’s going to be a great feeling when [you] come back into this dressing room as the winning team.”

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Posted On Saturday, 05.11.2013 / 3:41 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Capitals-Rangers series blog

Rangers' Clowe, Powe, Staal all likely out for Game 6

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- The New York Rangers likely will be missing three players when they face the Washington Capitals in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals on Sunday at Madison Square Garden (4:30 p.m. ET, CNBC, TSN).

Forwards Ryane Clowe and Darroll Powe, each out with an undisclosed injury believed to be related to a concussion, did not practice Saturday and no update was provided on their status from the team. Clowe was injured in the first period of Game 5 Saturday and did not return. Powe has missed the past two games after leaving in the first period of Game 3.

Defenseman Marc Staal (right eye) practiced for the second straight day but told NHL.com nothing has changed in his status and he remains day-to-day because of the vision problems he is having.

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Posted On Saturday, 05.11.2013 / 2:59 PM

By Tal Pinchevsky -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Penguins-Islanders series blog

Vokoun, Kennedy provide enviable depth for Penguins

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- With the top-seeded Pittsburgh Penguins tied 2-2 in their best-of-7 Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the underdog New York Islanders, Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma decided it was time to make changes to his lineup. Fortunately for him, his team's deep roster included the kind of veteran players any team would want.

The big move was naming veteran backup goaltender Tomas Vokoun the team's starter for Game 5 on Thursday in Pittsburgh. The switch was made after regular starter Marc-Andre Fleury struggled badly in Pittsburgh's 6-4 Game 4 loss.

For any team, naming a new starting goaltender midway through a Stanley Cup Playoff series would be controversial. But not every team has a backup goaltender with 300 career NHL wins under his belt.

Vokoun made 31 saves for the shutout in Pittsburgh's Game 5 win and will start again for the Penguins in Game 6 Saturday (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

"Throughout this season for us, he's been a guy who, not only in the games but off the ice as well, has been a leader," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said of Vokoun. "When he's gotten in there, he tends to have a calming influence with how he plays and dictates the game. He's been that for us and I thought in Game 5 he gave that for our team."

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Quote of the Day

It's not always going to be pretty, especially against a great goalie [Lundqvist] like that. My goals are never how you draw them up. It's just a matter of grinding it out and trying to create havoc in front and good things happen.

— Capitals forward Jay Beagle on scoring in their Game 3 victory against the Rangers on Monday