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Posted On Wednesday, 05.01.2013 / 6:01 PM

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

Babcock mum about Detroit lineup changes

ANAHEIM -- The Detroit Red Wings had an off-ice workout Wednesday and coach Mike Babcock said he hadn’t decided if he would make lineup changes for Game 2.

Todd Bertuzzi and Mikael Samuelsson are available but Babcock threw cold water on the idea of bringing the forwards in even though they have Stanley Cup Playoff experience.

"I think it’s great to have veterans that are ready to go," Babock said. "I've just been around the game a long time and understand that when a guy misses training camp … why is he not very good? Because he missed training camp.

"I haven’t spent a whole lot of time feeding my family on hope. It’s know. So sleep on it more tonight and decide."

Posted On Wednesday, 05.01.2013 / 5:55 PM

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

Ducks' Bonino thrilled to be back for playoffs

ANAHEIM -- Nick Bonino admits he's a little over-the-top with his goal celebrations.

"I always get a hard time for this, but every goal I score I celebrate like I’ve never scored before," said Bonino, who scored the first Stanley Cup Playoff goal of his career in the Anaheim Ducks' 3-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday. "Honestly, I get so happy. I guess the playoffs amps it up a little bit. I didn’t really know where to go. I just sort of skated as fast as I could somewhere and I ended up into the glass. I like that corner, apparently."

Posted On Wednesday, 05.01.2013 / 5:51 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - Canadiens-Senators series blog

Phillips, Michalek to play Game 1 for Senators

MONTREAL -- The Ottawa Senators will have veterans Chris Phillips and Milan Michalek in the lineup when they take on the Montreal Canadiens in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series, coach Paul MacLean said after practice Wednesday.

Phillips left the final game of the regular season against the Boston Bruins on Sunday with what general manager Bryan Murray later called a tweaked knee. He and Michalek were given the day off from practice Tuesday but were on the ice Wednesday and will be in uniform when the Senators start their series against the Canadiens on Thursday (7 p.m. ET, CBC, RDS, CNBC).

“They’re all green-lighted,” MacLean said.

For the Canadiens, coach Michel Therrien has decided to scratch veterans Jeff Halpern and Colby Armstrong, barring any last-minute changes. Montreal's fourth line will consist of Ryan White at center with Travis Moen and Brandon Prust on the wings.

Here are the lines and defense pairings from Wednesday’s practices:

Posted On Wednesday, 05.01.2013 / 5:47 PM

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

Koivu line provides shutdown trio for Ducks

ANAHEIM Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau is not typically a matchup coach. He generally prefers to mix and match as needed. But that philosophy changed, at least for Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday. Why?

"Once we found out who we were playing [it changed]," Boudreau said.

Boudreau used his Daniel Winnik-Saku Koivu-Andrew Cogliano line against Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and Justin Abdelkader, holding Detroit's top trio to four shots through 40 minutes. It finished with 12, but Datsyuk and Zetterberg each were a minus-1 in a 3-1 loss.

Noted Ducks killer Datsyuk had one shot on goal in 20:46 minutes of ice time.

"I feel like when you’re in battles with them, they’re so strong you have to do your best in winning them," Cogliano said. "I feel like every battle I won against those guys last night, it took everything out of me just because they’re so strong. Your best defense is the offense and forecheck. I feel like we did a good job forechecking them."

Posted On Wednesday, 05.01.2013 / 5:46 PM

By Kevin Woodley -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Canucks-Sharks series blog

Canucks' Torres plans to 'just play my game'

VANCOUVER -- It didn’t take new San Jose Sharks forward Raffi Torres long to make a lasting impact on the past two Stanley Cup Playoffs, even if it wasn’t always positive.

Despite vowing to change his approach after a hit to the head knocked out Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa and earned Torres a 25-game suspension (later reduced to 21) in the first round last year, Torres is promising not to let up against his former Vancouver Canucks teammates in these playoffs.

“As the game is going and the puck is dumped in you can't focus on what friends you have over there,” Torres, acquired from the Phoenix Coyotes at the NHL Trade Deadline, said before Game 1 on Wednesday. “I don’t want them easing up on me.”

Posted On Wednesday, 05.01.2013 / 4:20 PM

By Kevin Woodley -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Canucks-Sharks series blog

Canucks' 'beast' Kesler will be ready for Game 1

VANCOUVER -- Almost lost amid the shock of Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo starting the team's Stanley Cup Playoff opener Wednesday against the San Jose Sharks (10:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS) was the absence of center Ryan Kesler from the morning skate.

Canucks coach Alain Vigneault promised there would be no more surprises before the puck drops for Game 1, insisting Kesler exercised the option on an optional practice, despite the fact every other Vancouver player took part.

"We've got him locked up in the back, we're feeding him raw meat," Vigneault said with a laugh. "The beast will be ready tonight."

Posted On Wednesday, 05.01.2013 / 4:09 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blues-Kings series blog

Blues set physical tone early in Game 1

HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- After being pushed out of their element by the Los Angeles Kings en route to being swept in the Stanley Cup Playoffs a season ago, the St. Louis Blues felt like the only way to dictate the tempo in the Western Conference Quarterfinals opener between the two teams Tuesday was to initiate the contact and most importantly, push first.

The Blues, who took Game 1, 2-1 on Alexander Steen's shorthanded overtime goal, came out with an intensity that was packed with the kind of physical element that's suited for their style of play.

"I think last year they did it to us," Blues enforcer Ryan Reaves said of the 2012 sweep. "They came out, all four lines were physical. They pushed us out. We really didn't have a response for them.

"I think this year, it's got to be the opposite. We've got to come out and push them out first and then when they push back, we've got to push harder."

Posted On Wednesday, 05.01.2013 / 3:47 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blues-Kings series blog

Sutter says Greene not ready for Kings

ST. LOUIS -- After dropping Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals series 2-1 in overtime against the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night, the Los Angeles Kings held an optional skate Wednesday at Scottrade Center.

A dozen players along with backup goalie Jonathan Bernier participated in advance of Thursday's Game 2.

Among them was defenseman Matt Greene, who missed Game 1 and the regular-season finale with an undisclosed injury.

Posted On Wednesday, 05.01.2013 / 3:46 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Wild series blog

Suter happy for time at home after heavy minutes

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- With Chicago's United Center booked for an NBA playoff game Thursday, a quirk which pushed Game 2 of this Stanley Cup Playoff series back 24 hours, the Minnesota Wild chose to fly home following the game, allowing its players to enjoy the comforts of home despite opening on the road.

"The last two weeks have felt like playoff hockey," coach Mike Yeo said. "So to have a chance to come home and reset, regardless of whatever the outcome of that game was, we thought it would be important for our guys to be able to reset and focus to be ready for the next one."

Posted On Wednesday, 05.01.2013 / 3:42 PM

By Kevin Woodley -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Canucks-Sharks series blog

Luongo back in goal for Canucks

VANCOUVER -- The Vancouver Canucks added another twist to their season-long goaltending soap opera when the club announced Roberto Luongo will start in net when the Canucks play Game 1 of their first-round Stanley Cup Playoff series against the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday (10:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

The possibility of Luongo playing in the opener was raised when Cory Schneider missed the final two games of the regular season and stayed off the ice for five days with what the team called a "body" injury. However, Schneider skated on his own Sunday and with team since Monday and Tuesday. He said after practice Tuesday he felt good enough to play.

Instead it will be Luongo, who lost the No. 1 job two games into last year's playoffs and started this season as Schneider's backup while expecting a trade that never happened.

"It's kind of funny I'm in this situation, but at the same time I'm not surprised," Luongo said, adding he didn't learn he was starting until Wednesday morning. "The way things have been going the last year, I didn't rule it out, for sure. It's been a fun ride and it's only going to get better from here on out."

The ride won't feature Schneider on the bench. First-year pro Joe Cannata, called up from the American Hockey League when Schneider couldn't practice last week, will dress as the backup.

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After being through it and seeing the other [outdoor] games on TV, just the atmosphere is spectacular. To stand here -- and we are essentially almost on the blue line -- and look up [into the stands] and knowing it is going to be packed and playing our biggest rival in this setting is going to be pretty special.

— Bruins president Cam Neely on the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic between Boston and Montreal at Gillette Stadium on
Jan. 1, 2016