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Posted On Thursday, 05.09.2013 / 2:13 PM

By Chris Adamski - Correspondent / - Penguins-Islanders series blog

Islanders will feel MacDonald's loss in many ways

PITTSBURGH -- With more than 23 minutes of ice time per game suddenly gone from the New York Islanders blue line, more than one defenseman will have to step up.

Andrew MacDonald, who led the Islanders in average ice time throughout the regular season, is out with an injury that Newsday reported is a broken hand that will keep him out for the remainder of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

As New York preps to face the No. 1 seed Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 5 Thursday night (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN), a sizable hole must be plugged.

"It's a big loss," veteran defenseman Radek Martinek said. "You can't replace a guy like that. Just you have to fill in the best you can."

Posted On Thursday, 05.09.2013 / 1:40 PM

By Mike Brophy - Correspondent / - Bruins-Maple Leafs series blog

Maple Leafs had their chances in Game 4 overtime

TORONTO -- The Toronto Maple Leafs had more than their share of scoring chances in overtime in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series with the Boston Bruins before David Krejci ended the game with his third goal of the night.

On one play, the player the Maple Leafs count on most for goals -- right wing Phil Kessel -- raced into the Boston zone on the right side and had a step on defender Zdeno Chara. Kessel easily could have continued hard to the net and either created his own scoring chance or possibly drawn a penalty, but instead he elected to hit the brakes and fire a snap shot that was easily stopped by Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask.

Would Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle have liked to have seen Kessel drive hard to the net with the puck?

Posted On Thursday, 05.09.2013 / 1:33 PM

By Ben Raby - Correspondent / - Capitals-Rangers series blog

Capitals' Erat to miss Game 5

ARLINGTON, Va. -- According to Washington Capitals coach Adam Oates, forward Martin Erat will not play in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the New York Rangers on Friday.

Erat left Game 4 on Wednesday with an upper-body injury with 1:34 remaining in the first period after a collision involving teammate Alex Ovechkin and Rangers forward Derek Stepan.

Erat was favoring his left forearm as he returned to the Capitals dressing room, and Oates said Thursday the team is awaiting results on an MRI exam.

Erat's injury means that the Capitals' lineup will have a different look for Game 5 at Verizon Center (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS2), but Oates would not confirm who will draw a sweater.

The first-round Stanley Cup Playoff series is even at two games apiece.

Posted On Thursday, 05.09.2013 / 11:54 AM

By Mike Brophy - Correspondent / - Bruins-Maple Leafs series blog

Fraser texts teammates, recovering after surgery

TORONTO -- A slap shot to the head followed by surgery wasn't enough to keep Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Mark Fraser from texting his teammates.

The hard-nosed blueliner was drilled in the head by a shot from Boston Bruins forward Milan Lucic at 7:49 of the third period of Game 4 of Toronto's opening round Stanley Cup Playoff series and immediately departed for the dressing room then the hospital, leaving a pool of blood behind on the ice.

"Mark Fraser is resting at home and he had surgery last night to repair a fracture between the eyes and cranial area," coach Randy Carlyle said Thursday morning at the team's practice facility. "I don't know if you'd call it a fractured skull; I think that's a little too severe. He was texting and in conversation with his teammates this morning before 8 a.m. He's now back on the road to recovery."

Posted On Thursday, 05.09.2013 / 11:45 AM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor / - Canadiens-Senators series blog

Subban: 'We can beat these guys. We're better'

BROSSARD, Quebec -- Despite being on the brink of elimination, P.K. Subban is convinced the Montreal Canadiens are better than the Ottawa Senators.

The Canadiens defenseman said Wednesday he was eager to play Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series Thursday (7 p.m. ET, CNBC, CBC, RDS) with Montreal trailing 3-1 and needing a win to extend its season.

"We still have a pulse right now, we're still alive and [Game 5] is the biggest game of the season. We need to be ready to play," Subban said. "Quite frankly, I want to beat these guys. We have another opportunity [Thursday] to play and we can beat these guys. We're better."

The Canadiens certainly will have the odds stacked against them in Game 5.

Captain Brian Gionta and forwards Brandon Prust and Ryan White were ruled out for the game Wednesday, and early Thursday the announced goaltender Carey Price would miss the remainder of the series with a lower-body injury after he was hurt near the end of regulation the team's 3-2 overtime loss in Game 4 in Ottawa.

Posted On Thursday, 05.09.2013 / 10:22 AM

By Staff -  / - Capitals-Rangers series blog

Capitals recall Crabb, Wilson from AHL Bears

The Washington Capitals have recalled right wings Joey Crabb and Tom Wilson from the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League, and they will participate in Thursday's practice with the team.

Martin Erat left Game 4 against the New York Rangers on Wednesday with 1:34 remaining in the opening period and appeared to be favoring his arm following a hard collision involving Rangers center Derek Stepan and Capitals wing Alex Ovechkin.

After the game, Washington coach Adam Oates said Erat was dealing with an upper-body injury and would be re-evaluated Thursday.

Posted On Thursday, 05.09.2013 / 12:30 AM - 2012-2013 Situation Room blog

DET @ ANA - 8:05 of the Third Period

At 8:05 of the third period in the Red Wings/Ducks game, the Toronto Situation Room called the referee after the puck entered the net. The referee had determined on the ice that Anaheim's Kyle Palmieri slid into the goalie and knocked the puck and the goalie into the net. The referee called no goal on the ice due to goaltender interference, which is not a reviewable play. Therefore, the referee's call on the ice stands. No goal, no penalty Anaheim.

Posted On Thursday, 05.09.2013 / 12:06 AM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - Capitals-Rangers series blog

Rangers' McDonagh praises Staal for deciding to sit

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal didn't play in Game 4 Wednesday night, and still fellow blueliner Ryan McDonagh found a way to heap praise on him for helping the team.

"I think it's an honest and humble decision by him knowing he didn't want to put the team in any jeopardy," McDonagh said. "It takes a lot of guts to do that."

Staal's absence from the Rangers' lineup was surprising only because he showed no indications that he wouldn't play for a second straight game after missing 29 in a row with a right eye injury.

Posted On Wednesday, 05.08.2013 / 8:07 PM

By Brian Compton - Deputy Managing Editor / - Penguins-Islanders series blog

Tavares, Islanders ready to face Vokoun in Game 5

It didn't come as much of a surprise Wednesday afternoon when Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma informed reporters that Tomas Vokoun would replace Marc-Andre Fleury in goal for Game 5 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the New York Islanders.

Fleury allowed six goals on 24 shots in Tuesday's 6-4 loss in Game 4 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. With the best-of-7 series shifting back to Pittsburgh for Game 5 on Thursday tied 2-2, Bylsma is going with Vokoun, who went 3-0-0 with a shutout against the Islanders during the regular season.

Not long before Bylsma made the announcement, Islanders center John Tavares discussed the possible switch with Mike Francesa of WFAN in New York.

Posted On Wednesday, 05.08.2013 / 7:30 PM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - Capitals-Rangers series blog

Rangers have Clowe in lineup; Staal out

NEW YORK -- Ryane Clowe returned to the New York Rangers lineup for Game 4 Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden after missing the previous four games with an undisclosed injury.

Defenseman Marc Staal is not in the lineup after playing in Game 3 Monday, his first game since March 5.

The Rangers trail the Washington Capitals in the best-of-7 series, 2-1.

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Quote of the Day

It's obviously not fun to not know, but on the other hand, I'm not in a rush. I'm going to be back to 100 percent before I start playing. I'm not going to play on 90 percent.

— Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom in an interview with Washington Post about whether he will be able to play in 2015-16 opener