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Posted On Wednesday, 05.15.2013 / 8:29 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Kings-Sharks series blog

Torres' status uncertain, Sharks prepare for Game 2

The San Jose Sharks won't know if they'll have forward Raffi Torres available to play Thursday night until earlier in the day.

But the team is prepared to face the Los Angeles Kings in Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals with or without him.

"Well, we've got other players if Raffi can't play," coach Todd McLellan told the team's website Wednesday. "We've got other people that we can put in. We'll look at our lines, we'll look at how we can best use those people.

"There's been a number of players that have been skating, and I've been waiting for this opportunity. So if it does come to that, we feel confident."

Posted On Wednesday, 05.15.2013 / 6:36 PM

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

Rangers know they have to block Chara's shots

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Zdeno Chara's slap shot travels upwards of 108 miles per hour, but the New York Rangers will throw their bodies in front of it if they can in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

They’re going to have to if they plan on getting past the Boston Bruins in this Eastern Conference Semifinal series, which begins Thursday night at TD Garden (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

Posted On Wednesday, 05.15.2013 / 6:31 PM

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

Richardson will take Stoll's place for Kings

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Lost in the wonder of the Los Angeles Kings’ stomp through the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs was how healthy they stayed. Los Angeles basically used the same lineup, with the exception of injured Kyle Clifford.

This season is entirely different, and the latest adjustment will be the absence of Jarret Stoll after he was knocked out of Game 1 of their Western Conference Semifinal series Tuesday night.

San Jose Sharks Raffi Torres delivered the hit and was scheduled for a hearing with the NHL.

Stoll presumably has an upper-body injury, and coach Darryl Sutter said Wednesday, "He’s missing in action” and day-to-day. Asked if it’s a long-term injury, Sutter said, “How long is the series?”

Game 2 is Thursday at Staples Center, and Game 7 is scheduled for May 28. The Kings lead 1-0 after a 2-0 win in Game 1.

Torres hit Stoll at the end of the second period. Stoll did not return to the game, and Torres received a charging penalty.

Sutter said, “I thought [the hit] was careless” and wouldn’t comment on if he thought it was a suspendable offense.

“Who are we to even talk about that stuff?" Sutter said. "Totally leave it to the League and principals to look at those things. It’s just frustrating to see that, that’s all.”

Posted On Wednesday, 05.15.2013 / 6:26 PM

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

Rangers coach expects Nash to break out

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- For New York Rangers forward Rick Nash to break out against the Boston Bruins, he's going to have to break a trend that isn't growing in his favor.

Nash didn't score a goal in three regular-season games against the Washington Capitals and similarly couldn't break through in seven Stanley Cup Playoff games. Nash didn't score a goal in three regular-season games against the Bruins, the Rangers' opponent in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

However, Rangers coach John Tortorella said he thinks Nash, the team's leading scorer with 21 goals in the regular season, is enough of a professional to forget his lack of success in the conference quarterfinals and start fresh against the Bruins on Thursday.

"He played really well in Game 7 and really didn't have many bad games in the seven-game series in Washington," Tortorella said Wednesday. "He didn't finish. He certainly wasn't totally on. But he's very close, and I thought he played really well in Game 7. So, yeah, he's playing, and I think he's going to be a really big part of this as we enter into Boston."

Posted On Wednesday, 05.15.2013 / 4:55 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - Penguins-Senators series blog

Bylsma pleased by Penguins setting physical tone

PITTSBURGH -- Dan Bylsma doesn't buy the NHL stats that say his Pittsburgh Penguins significantly out-hit the Ottawa Senators in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Tuesday night at Consol Energy Center.

The League's official stat sheet said Pittsburgh enjoyed a 40-26 advantage in hits in Game 1. It's not that Bylsma doesn't believe the disparity, he just doesn't care about what the Senators did. Wednesday, Bylsma said his team keeps its own stats on the checks delivered by the Penguins but don't track hits by the opposition.

He added that the numbers don't matter in the end. It is more about the tone set -- and he liked the tone his team set with its physical bite in Game 1.

"I think we had significantly more hits in first period than the rest of the game," Bylsma said. "I kind of like how we came out and played on our toes in the first, and played in the offensive zone and were at least able to get to our game -- especially in the first half of that period."

Posted On Wednesday, 05.15.2013 / 4:45 PM

By NHL Green -  /NHL.com - NHL Green Slapshots™

Kings' Mitchell fights for fish

When most fans think of Willie Mitchell, they picture the star Los Angeles Kings defenseman and Stanley Cup champion fearlessly protecting his goaltender.  Most may be unaware the physical blueliner doubles as an eco-warrior.

While Mitchell remains off the ice due to an injury, he remains in battle, fighting for the future of wild Pacific salmon. Mitchell, an avid outdoorsman and fisherman from coastal Port McNeill, British Columbia, is passionate about conserving this threatened species and preserving the health of our oceans.


Posted On Wednesday, 05.15.2013 / 4:42 PM

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

Toews, Datsyuk great admirers of each other

CHICAGO -- Ask Jonathan Toews about Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk and his eyes light up a little bit.

The Chicago Blackhawks captain usually tries to fight back a smile, knowing he's talking about a rival team's top player, but it's usually futile. Toews envies Datsyuk's two-way game quite a bit -- making him a lot like the rest of the hockey world -- and 34-year old Datsyuk said he's been impressed by the two-way force 25-year old Toews has grown into in Chicago.

That's why it was somewhat fitting to see each of their names listed Wednesday, along with Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron, as Selke Award finalists. The award is given to the NHL's top defensive forward as voted by the Professional Hockey Writers Association.

Posted On Wednesday, 05.15.2013 / 4:27 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - Penguins-Senators series blog

With extra off day between games, Penguins rest up

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins didn't do much on Wednesday, the morning after a convincing 4-1 victory against the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

The players who did not play in the game -- the Black Aces -- took part in a short, but crisp practice. They were joined by defenseman Deryk Engelland, who returned to the defensive rotation in Game 1, and Craig Adams, the fourth-line center. Evgeni Malkin also took a quick twirl, but did not wear full pads.

However, that doesn't mean the Penguins didn't get anything done.

Most importantly, said Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma, the team got a chance to rest a bit by staying off the ice. Instead, the team met in the morning, watched a little video and talked about points they want to stress in Game 2 on Friday.


Posted On Wednesday, 05.15.2013 / 3:59 PM

By Chris Adamski -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Penguins-Senators series blog

Senators have options on defense if Gryba can't go

PITTSBURGH -- While not flatly ruling hulking defenseman Eric Grybe out for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinal series with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Ottawa Senators coach coach Paul MacLean said the team has contingency plans for who might take Gryba's place.

"If Gryba's not available, [Mike] Lundin and [Andre] Benoit are here with us," MacLean said after an optional practice Wednesday at Consol Energy Center. "[Patrick] Wiercioch, right now, I'd say is not available with a lower-body injury, but we'll have discussions on that."

Gryba left the ice after a collision with Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik late during the second period of Pittsburgh's 4-1 victory in Game 1 on Tuesday. The Senators said he has an upper-body injury that will be evaluated.

Posted On Wednesday, 05.15.2013 / 3:53 PM

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

Cammarata receives multiple USHL accolades

Forward Taylor Cammarata of the Waterloo Black Hawks in the United States Hockey League on Wednesday was named USHL Forward of the Year and Player of the Year as determined by league coaches and general managers.

The 5-foot-7, 156-pound left-handed shot, who is No. 193 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of the top 2013 draft-eligible North American players, led the USHL with 93 points (38 goals, 55 assists) in 59 regular-season games.

"His smarts and creativity make him a good prospect," Central Scouting's David Gregory told NHL.com.

Cammarata's point total was the second-highest in the USHL Tier 1 era (2002-present), following the 104 points (54 goals) produced by Kevin Roy of the Lincoln Stars in 2011-12.


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