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Stanley Cup Final
Posted On Saturday, 04.27.2013 / 11:20 AM

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

Blue Jackets get Anisimov back for finale

The Columbus Blue Jackets will welcome Artem Anisimov back to the lineup Saturday night when they try to clinch the second Stanley Cup Playoff berth in franchise history.

"He's good to go," coach Todd Richards said of Anisimov, who hasn't played in two weeks due to a concussion.

The Blue Jackets can get in if they beat the Nashville Predators at Nationwide Arena and either the Colorado Avalanche defeat the Minnesota Wild in any fashion or the Dallas Stars defeat the Detroit Red Wings in regulation.

The Blue Jackets also earn a spot if they earn a point and the Avalanche defeat the Wild in regulation.

Here's how the Blue Jackets lines project:

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Posted On Friday, 04.26.2013 / 7:13 PM

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

CISCO NHL Live: Matchmakers PT 2

EJ Hradek analyzes what would make ideal playoff matchups for the Chicago Blackhawks, Anaheim Ducks and Vancouver Canucks.

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Posted On Friday, 04.26.2013 / 7:11 PM

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

CISCO NHL Live: Matchmakers

EJ Hradek analyzes what would make ideal playoff matchups for the Ottawa Senators, New York Rangers and New York Islanders.

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Posted On Friday, 04.26.2013 / 3:30 PM

By Jerry Brown -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Giguere in net as Avalanche face Coyotes

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Here are the lineups for the Phoenix Coyotes' regular season home finale against the Colorado Avalanche. Rob Klinkhammer will be back in the lineup for Phoenix after missing Wednesday's 2-1 win over the San Jose Sharks with an upper-body injury.

Colorado will be without Milan Hejduk, who will sit out Friday before playing what could be his final game with the Avalanche on Saturday in Denver. Jean-Sebastien Giguere will get the start in goal.


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Posted On Friday, 04.26.2013 / 2:40 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Blackhawks will stick with same lineup Friday

CHICAGO – The Chicago Blackhawks will use their regular lineup Friday night against the Calgary Flames (8:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN) prior to wrapping up their regular season on the road Saturday against the St. Louis Blues.

The Blackhawks recalled defenseman Ryan Stanton from Rockford of the American Hockey League on Friday, but coach Joel Quenneville said more prospects will likely make the trip to St, Louis on Saturday to give some regulars a breather prior to the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs next week.

After wrapping up first in the Western Conference and earning the Presidents’ Trophy for posting the best record in the National Hockey League, Chicago has the luxury of not worrying about these final two games.

“We’re going to play our group tonight and [Saturday] we might be resting some guys,” Quenneville said after Friday’s morning skate at United Center.

Goalie Ray Emery and center Dave Bolland are both out against Calgary with lower-body injuries and neither will make the trip to St. Louis. Corey Crawford will start in goal against the Flames, while backup Carter Hutton might get the nod against the Blues.

Quenneville said he’s not concerned about Bolland’s injury and expects him to be ready for the playoffs, which in the past has been when the gritty centerman shines brightest. However, the Blackhawks coach hinted on Friday that veteran Michal Handzus might get a look at second-line center – between stars Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane – even when Bolland returns.

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Posted On Friday, 04.26.2013 / 2:30 PM

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

Cisco NHL Live previews final playoff push

There are only 18 games left as the clock ticks down to the end of the regular season. Cisco NHL Live today, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, will have all the Stanley Cup Playoff possibilities covered as we head into the final weekend. The Columbus Blue Jackets came up big last night to keep their playoff hopes alive. We'll check in with forward Mark Letestu as he prepares for the season's finale.

The New York Islanders look to solidify their seeding tonight when they wrap up their regular season in Buffalo against the Sabres. Four-time Stanley Cup champ Butch Goring will visit us on the Cisco NHL Arena Cam and tell us how sweet it is to see the Isles back in the postseason again. Plus, it's Friday, so that means Eddie Olyczk will join us to talk about the red -hot playoff races. And NHL Network Analyst Barry Melrose will check in with Barry's Bests including his Mullet of the Year.

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 on Friday.

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Posted On Friday, 04.26.2013 / 1:16 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Wild look to keep up mastery of Oilers, clinch spot

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Wild can clinch a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a victory Friday at Xcel Energy Center against the Edmonton Oilers.

The Wild currently occupy the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, tied with the Columbus Blue Jackets and one point back of the Detroit Red Wings. Minnesota has a game in hand on both teams and play at the Colorado Avalanche Saturday.

Minnesota could climb as high as sixth in the west if it wins both of its remaining games and the Los Angeles Kings defeat the San Jose Sharks Saturday.

It would be somewhat surprising if the Wild didn't clinch Friday. Not only are the Oilers in a deep funk as their season draws to a close, Minnesota has won 19 of its last 20 meetings with Edmonton in this building. Goaltender Niklas Backstrom is 17-0 at home against the Oilers, with a 1.34 goals against average and a save percentage approaching 95 percent.

That's not good news for Edmonton, which is 1-9-0 in its last 10 games and has scored just 13 goals in that stretch.

Here is a look at how the lineups could look for both teams this evening:


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Posted On Friday, 04.26.2013 / 1:09 PM

By Chris Ryndak -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Islanders focused on moving up in standings

BUFFALO -- The New York Islanders have clinched a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but find themselves in eighth place heading into their final game of the regular season Friday night. When the Islanders take on the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center, they'll have an opportunity to improve that position.

At 54 points, they're in a three-way tie with the sixth-place Ottawa Senators and the seventh-place New York Rangers. Ottawa has two games remaining while the Rangers have one. Both the Senators and Rangers are idle on Friday.

The Islanders are coming off a 2-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday. It was New York's first regulation loss in 12 games. They were on an 8-0-3 run and are 11-2-3 in their past 16 games, but 0-1-1 in their past two.

"I just want to get back -- and I know the guys want to get back -- to playing the way that we want to play. Win or lose, we just have to make sure we play our style," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said.


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Posted On Thursday, 04.25.2013 / 10:25 PM

NHL.com - 2012-2013 Situation Room blog

CGY @ STL - 12:01 of the Third Period

At 12:01 of the third period in the Flames/Blues game, video review supported the referee's call on the ice that Mike Cammalleri's shot did not completely crossed the goal line. No Goal Calgary.

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Posted On Thursday, 04.25.2013 / 7:07 PM

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

CISCO NHL Live: Marc Staal

CISCO NHL Live talks with Rangers Defenseman Marc Staal.

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Quote of the Day

I was going nuts and I saw [Subban], he was going crazy, and the ref had no idea where to go. [Subban] was skating to me, and I was skating to him and the ref was right in between us and I don't know, I kind of hit him pretty hard, I thought, but those were some emotions and I'm pretty sure he understands that.

— Montreal forward Alex Galchenyuk on the celebration following his OT goal against Ottawa in Game 2