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Posted On Thursday, 05.16.2013 / 2:13 PM

By Staff -  / - Penguins-Senators series blog

Gryba not practicing with Senators

Based on practice pairings Thursday, it appears defenseman Andre Benoit will replace Eric Gryba in the Ottawa Senators' lineup when the team's Eastern Conference Semifinal series against the Pittsburgh Penguins resumes Friday (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

Gryba left Game 1 of the series Tuesday with an upper-body injury after sustaining a hit from the Penguins' Brooks Orpik.

Posted On Thursday, 05.16.2013 / 12:51 PM

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

Rangers figuring out how to get power play to click

BOSTON -- New York Rangers coach John Tortorella sort of hemmed and hawed after getting a question about his team's struggling power play Thursday morning.

He appeared intrigued about the potential of it getting close to coming through, considering the Rangers were able to get the puck into the zone and keep it there against the Washington Capitals, but he wasn't about to argue against the reality that two goals on 28 chances simply isn't good enough.

"Still wasn't good," Tortorella said. "We need to be better right on through it."

Posted On Thursday, 05.16.2013 / 12:31 PM

By Matt Kalman - Correspondent / - Bruins-Rangers series blog

Marchand injury scare no big deal, Julien says

BOSTON -- The sight of forward Brad Marchand leaving the ice early Thursday during the Boston Bruins' morning skate was the last thing the organization needed to see.

Marchand pulled up lame during a 2-on-1 drill with center Patrice Bergeron and went to the dressing room with the trainer while the rest of the team continued to prepare for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the New York Rangers at TD Garden (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

After the skate, coach Claude Julien wasn't worried about Marchand’s availability.

"He'll be fine. He'll be there tonight," Julien said.

Posted On Wednesday, 05.15.2013 / 8:52 PM

By Brian Compton - Deputy Managing Editor / - Kings-Sharks series blog

Sharks trying to solve Kings goalie Quick

The San Jose Sharks were feeling the same frustration Tuesday night experienced by the St. Louis Blues during the latter's final four games of the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

No matter what the Sharks did in Game 1 of their Western Conference Semifinal against the Los Angeles Kings, they could not solve 2012 Conn Smythe Trophy winner Jonathan Quick. The Kings goaltender stopped all 35 shots he faced, including 16 in the third period, to lead Los Angeles to a 2-0 win at Staples Center.

After dropping the first two games of the postseason, the Kings have won five in a row. Much of that is due to the play of their goaltender, who lowered his goals-against average to 1.36 while raising his save percentage to .953.

"He's in a zone right now. He's playing great," Sharks forward Logan Couture said Wednesday. "He's seeing everything, he's compact with the puck. It's hitting him and it's not coming off him. We've got to find a way. The St. Louis series, they were saying the same things that I'm saying right now. We've got to find a way to score."

Posted On Wednesday, 05.15.2013 / 8:29 PM

By Staff -  / - 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 - Senior Writer / - 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 - Correspondent / - 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 - Senior Writer / - 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 - Senior Managing Editor / - 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 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.

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