TORONTO -- A year ago they were immersed in the American Hockey League playoffs with the Toronto Marlies, well on their way to the Calder Cup final.
Although the Marlies were swept in the final by the Norfolk Admirals, forwards Nazem Kadri and Matt Frattin, along with defenseman Jake Gardiner, all gained valuable playoff experience. Now they are three players the Toronto Maple Leafs hope can help catapult them into the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Maple Leafs trail the Boston Bruins 2-1 in their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series, with Game 4 here Wednesday (7 p.m. ET, CNBC, CBC, RDS).
NEW YORK -- How do Henrik Lundqvist's teammates feel about him?
What about the coaching staff -- how do they feel about Lundqvist?
"He's the backbone of our club," coach John Tortorella said Wednesday in advance of Game 4 of the team's Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the Washington Capitals (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS2).
Sensing a trend here? For good reason, of course -- Lundqvist, who won the Vezina Trophy last year, again is a finalist for the award given to the NHL's best goalie.
Halifax Mooseheads general manager Cam Russell confirmed to NHL.com on Wednesday that top prospect Jonathan Drouin will be in the lineup Wednesday night when his team faces the Baie-Comeau Drakkar in Game 4 of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League championship series at Henry Leonard Centre in Baie-Comeau, Quebec.
The Mooseheads received a bit of a scare Tuesday when Drouin was involved in a knee-on-knee collision with Drakkar forward Alexandre Ranger six minutes into the second period. According to Willy Palov of The (Halifax) Chronicle Herald, Drouin grabbed his right leg in pain and left for the Halifax dressing room after the collision. No penalty was called on the play.
While Drouin, No. 3 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters for the 2013 NHL Draft, did not return for the remainder of the second, he did play in the third of an eventual 3-1 loss, Halifax's first of the postseason. The Mooseheads lead the series 2-1.
The Canucks trail 3-0 in the best-of-7 series, and Schneider gave up five goals on 28 shots before being pulled 4:07 into the third period of a 5-2 loss Sunday in Game 3 after missing the first two games with an undisclosed injury.
"Cory, in my opinion, is our MVP," Vigneault said after the Canucks' morning skate. "He's one of the reasons why we got into the playoffs. He's had great bounce-back games and he's been outstanding this year, and I think our group has total faith in both goaltenders, but they've got a lot of faith in Cory and I've got a lot of faith in him. That's why we're going with him tonight."
Right wing Jason Pominville returned from injury, and Jake Dowell, a former Blackhawks player, is centering the Wild's fourth line. Torrey Mitchell, who centered that line for Game 3, moves to right wing. Mike Rupp, who skated four shifts Sunday, was scratched.
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith left the Twin Cities on Monday night to return to Chicago to be by the bedside of his wife Kelly-Rae, who gave birth to a baby boy Tuesday morning.Keith returned in time to join the Blackhawks lineup for Game against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night in a Western Conference Quarterfinal series (NBCSN, CBC, RDS2).
At 11:55 of the third period in the Canadiens/Senators game, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that the puck deflected off Mika Zibanejad's left skate and into the net in a legal fashion. Good goal Ottawa.
According to Rule 49.2 "A puck that deflects into the net off an attacking player's skate who does not use a distinct kicking motion is a legitimate goal."
OTTAWA -- Montreal Canadiens captain Brian Gionta and center Ryan White are out of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday (CNBC, CBC, RDS) with upper-body injuries.
You know what? We've played in some pretty special buildings along this playoff run so far. You start in Detroit, you go to Montreal, you come here … I think it's the first team to beat three Original Six teams to get to the Final if I'm not mistaken. That says how tough the road has been. Those are tough places to win.