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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.

Posted On Monday, 05.06.2013 / 7:34 PM

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

Rangers’ Marc Staal returns for Game 3

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal is in the lineup for Monday’s Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN2, RDS2). He will replace Steve Eminger.

Forward Ryane Clowe remains out of the lineup. He will miss his fourth straight game.

Staal missed the past 29 games with an eye injury. He was injured on March 5, when a shot from Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen was deflected directly into his right eye. Staal has said he is still has blurred vision in the eye.

"As soon as I'm not second-guessing myself or hesitating and doing things I normally do become automatic is when I can jump into a playoff type game," Staal said prior to Game 1. "You go out there in a playoff game and you're thinking too much you're going to get yourself in trouble and the team."

Posted On Monday, 05.06.2013 / 7:10 PM

By Matt Sitkoff - Contributor / - NHL Live blog

CISCO NHL Live: Bates Battaglia

Former NHLer and Amazing Race winner Bates Battaglia joins NHL Live.

Posted On Monday, 05.06.2013 / 6:31 PM

By Louie Korac - Correspondent / - Blues-Kings series blog

Blues, Kings fighting for every inch

LOS ANGELES -- One thing that's been determined in this Western Conference Quarterfinals series between the St. Louis Blues and Los Angeles Kings: the real estate is limited.

With a grand total of seven goals scored in the first three games of the series, Monday night's Game 4 shouldn't see goals scored in droves.

The Kings have certainly done their job by limiting the Blues to four goals in the series, but the Blues' stinginess goes back to when the team went on this current 14-4-0 run. In 18 games, the Blues have allowed 25 goals, or an average of 1.39 goals per game. Take away two of those games in which they've allowed nine goals, the Blues are allowing 16 goals in 16 games, or one per contest. That one goal per game falls right in line with the three goals the Blues have surrendered in this series as well, but only lead it 2-1.

Posted On Monday, 05.06.2013 / 4:44 PM

By Dan Myers - Correspondent / - Blackhawks-Wild series blog

Saad a Calder finalist, but Brodin doesn't make cut

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- As the Stanley Cup Playoffs kick into full gear this week, the Professional Hockey Writers Association has begun announcing the finalists for its postseason awards. They will do so by releasing the names of the finalists for 11 awards each weekday through May 20.

The first award announced Monday was the Calder Trophy, given to the League's top rookie, as voted on by members of the PHWA.

Among the nominees: Chicago Blackhawks forward Brandon Saad, Montreal Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher and Florida Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau.

Minnesota Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin, considered by many as a potential front-runner to win the award, was not.

Posted On Monday, 05.06.2013 / 4:25 PM

By Dan Myers - Correspondent / - Blackhawks-Wild series blog

Bolland, Emery practice, inching closer to returns

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- A pair of Chicago Blackhawks returned to practice Monday as the team prepares for its Game 4 matchup against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday in a Western Conference Quarterfinal at Xcel Energy Center (9:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS2).

Forward Dave Bolland and goaltender Ray Emery took part in the entire practice but both said they will not be ready to play Tuesday night. Both are inching closer and could be ready to jump back into the lineup when the series shifts back to Chicago's United Center for Game 5 on Thursday.

Posted On Monday, 05.06.2013 / 4:05 PM

By Erin Nicks - Correspondent / - Canadiens-Senators series blog

Senators won't have Wiercioch in lineup for Game 4

OTTAWA -- Defenseman Patrick Wiercioch, who sustained a lower-body injury in Game 3, will be unavailable for the Ottawa Senators in Game 4 against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET, CNBC, CBC, RDS), coach Paul MacLean said following an optional skate Monday.

The Senators lead the Canadiens 2-1 in their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series following a 6-1 victory Sunday night.

Goaltender Robin Lehner took part in Monday's skate, as well as Guillaume Latendresse, Matt Kassian, Peter Regin, Jim O'Brien, Mike Hoffman, Mark Stone, Andre Benoit, Mike Lundin and Eric Gryba.

Gryba will be eligible to play Tuesday after serving a two-game suspension for a hit on Lars Eller in the series opener.

Posted On Monday, 05.06.2013 / 3:59 PM

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

Byslma ready for another noisy night at Coliseum

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma hopes his players do a better job of handling the raucous atmosphere at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series than they did in Game 3.

The Coliseum, one of the NHL's smallest and oldest buildings, was roaring on Sunday when the New York Islanders played their first home game in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in six years. Bylsma, an assistant coach with the Islanders before joining the Penguins' organization, had warned his players that the atmosphere they'd see in Game 3 wouldn't be like anything they'd seen in their regular-season visits to Long Island.

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Quote of the Day

Life's about opportunity and how you respond to that opportunity, and obviously he must have some swagger about him, some confidence about him, because he was solid. He made some good saves. He was 6-foot-3 on every shot, which is a good thing for a goalie. He played well. We got a win.

— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock on rookie goaltender Garret Sparks, who made 24 saves in his first NHL start, a 3-0 win vs. Oilers
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