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Posted On Tuesday, 05.07.2013 / 1:03 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - Capitals-Rangers series blog

Oates puts premium on rest for Capitals

NEW YORK -- Washington Capitals coach Adam Oates is a firm believer that the best weapon this time of the year is rest.

So after a tough 4-3 loss in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals to the New York Rangers on Monday, that's exactly what Oates gave his players in preparation for Game 4 Wednesday at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS2).

"At this time of the year I'm not worried about conditioning," Oates said. "It's more fatigue and getting better prepared mentally. So we'll take [Tuesday] off and recharge the battery."

Posted On Tuesday, 05.07.2013 / 12:52 PM

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

Neal, Orpik could return for Penguins in Game 4

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma wouldn't divulge any information in regard to his lineup for Game 4 of this Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the New York Islanders, but there is a good chance forward James Neal and defenseman Brooks Orpik will return Tuesday at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN).

Neal and Orpik were full participants at the morning skate, and Neal put in work on the club's top power-play unit. Nine of his 21 goals during the regular season came via the man-advantage.

"It's tough sitting out," said Neal, who suffered a lower-body injury during Pittsburgh's 5-0 victory in Game 1. "It's good to be back on the ice and skating with the guys."
Posted On Tuesday, 05.07.2013 / 12:10 PM

By Staff -  / - 2013 NHL Draft blog

Jones profile part of ESPN show

Seth Jones rapidly is becoming a cross-over star.

ESPN has a feature planned on Jones, NHL Central Scouting's top-rated North American skater in its final rankings, planned Tuesday on its "E:60" show.

The 6-foot-3.5, 205-pound defenseman, in his first season with the Portland Winterhawks of Western Hockey League, has five goals, eight assists and a plus-11 rating in 17 games as he's helped Portland reach the WHL finals, with a shot at a spot in the Memorial Cup a possibility. This comes after he had 56 points and a plus-46 rating in 61 regular-season games, and helped the United States win the gold medal at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Jones also has a famous father -- Popeye Jones was an NBA power forward for 11 seasons and currently works as an assistant coach for the Brooklyn Nets.

Posted On Tuesday, 05.07.2013 / 12:05 PM

By Staff -  / - Blackhawks-Wild series blog

'NHL 36' takes fans inside Chicago Blackhawks

Go inside the Chicago Blackhawks for 36 hours when "NHL 36: Chicago Blackhawks" premiers May 7 on NBC Sports Network, followingGame 4 of the Blackhawks' Western Conference Quarterfinal against the Minnesota Wild.

The show will reair on the NHL Network at 6 p.m. ET on May 12.

Cameras followed Blackhawks players, coaches and other staff members for a 36-hour period starting April 19 and stayed with the team through 36 hours, spanning back-to-back home games against the Nashville Predators and Phoenix Coyotes.

Posted On Tuesday, 05.07.2013 / 12:35 AM - 2012-2013 Situation Room blog

STL @ LAK - 8:30 of the Third Period

At 8:30 of the third period in the Blues/Kings game, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that Justin Williams' stick was below the cross bar when he deflected Mike Richards' shot into the net. Good Goal Los Angeles.

Posted On Monday, 05.06.2013 / 11:34 PM

By Davis Harper - Staff Writer / - Capitals-Rangers series blog

Brassard's three-point night sparks Rangers

NEW YORK – Welcome to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Derick Brassard.

After two consecutive disappearing acts to start the series against the Washington Capitals, the New York Rangers’ center broke out with a goal and two assists – his first career postseason points – to help the Rangers cut the series deficit to 2-1 in Monday’s 4-3 victory at Madison Square Garden.

Since the Rangers acquired him at the trade deadline from the Columbus Blue Jackets, Brassard has added valuable offense, scoring five goals and six assists over 13 critical games that helped New York finish sixth in the Eastern Conference.

But in the first two games of this series, Brassard managed just three shots – and little else – in 28:38 of ice time as the Capitals raced out to a 2-0 series lead.

Posted On Monday, 05.06.2013 / 10:27 PM - 2012-2013 Situation Room blog

ANA @ DET - 12:41 of the Third Period

At 12:41 of the third period in the Ducks/Red Wings game, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that Johan Franzen's shot did not completely cross the goal line. No Goal Detroit.

Posted On Monday, 05.06.2013 / 7:53 PM - 2012-2013 Situation Room blog

WSH @ NYR - 4:06 of the First Period

At 4:06 of the first period in the Capitals/Rangers game, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that Nicklas Backstrom's stick was below the cross bar when he deflected John Carlson's shot into the net. According to Rule 60.5 "The determining factor is where the puck makes contact with the stick. If the puck makes contact with the stick below the level of the crossbar and enters the goal, this goal shall be allowed." Good Goal Washington.

Posted On Monday, 05.06.2013 / 7:39 PM

By Eric Gilmore - Correspondent / - Canucks-Sharks series blog

Sharks know they can't become overconfident

SAN JOSE -- The San Jose Sharks are sitting on a 3-0 Western Conference Quarterfinals series lead against the Vancouver Canucks, but they know better than to become overconfident.

After taking a 3-0 lead against the Detroit Red Wings in the semifinals two years ago, the Sharks lost three straight and were pushed to the limit in Game 7 before securing a 2-1 win.

Sharks defenseman Brad Stuart played for the Red Wings in that series.

"It can be a lesson for sure," Stuart said Monday morning at Sharks Ice, where San Jose had an optional practice. "Each game in the series, each victory is harder to get. The third victory is harder than the second and the fourth victory is always the hardest. We have to remember this will be the toughest game to win, and we have to approach it like that. If you don't, things can turn quickly.

"I was on the other side of it two years ago. You lose that momentum and all of a sudden, you get 3-2 and you're a little nervous and then it's 3-3 before you know it. You want to come out with the mindset of finishing a team off as quickly as you can. Playing those extra games catches up to you even if you do advance."

Posted On Monday, 05.06.2013 / 7:34 PM

By John Kreiser - Columnist / - Penguins-Islanders series blog

Penguins hope Orpik will return soon

UNIONDALE, N.Y. – Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma won’t discuss injuries, so he wouldn’t say whether shutdown defenseman Brooks Orpik will be ready to go in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the New York Islanders.

Orpik and another prominent injured Penguin, forward James Neal, were on the ice in full gear for Pittsburgh’s optional afternoon skate at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Monday, but Bylsma said after practice that the question of injuries was “not a discussion point.”

However, he left no doubt that the Penguins miss Orpik, who has yet to play in this series due to a lower-body injury suffered two weeks ago.

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Yeah, it was a pretty special moment for me. Today was my Dad's [55th] birthday. I have a lot of family in town, so it was a special moment for me to score my first one today. A win definitely would have capped it off, but you can't have everything.

— Sabres rookie Jack Eichel after scoring a goal in his National Hockey League debut
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