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Posted On Tuesday, 04.23.2013 / 2:47 PM

By Matt Sitkoff - Contributor / - NHL Live blog

Cisco NHL Live all over key Capitals-Jets matchup

The Washington Capitals and Winnipeg Jets square off for the Southeast Division lead on Tuesday and Cisco NHL Live with Steve Mears and EJ Hradek, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will get you ready for that game and catch you up on all the Stanley Cup Playoff implications around the NHL.

We'll talk to Jets assistant coach Perry Pearn on our Cisco NHL Arena Cam in Washington to get the sense of the team before this big matchup. We'll also get a live pre-game preview from Senior Writer Dan Rosen in Washington.

With nine other games on the ice we'll also give you a look at pre-game skates in our Ice Pass, and discuss each one rapidly in Slapshots. We'll also get live pre-game updates from our Cisco NHL Arena Cam in Florida with Sam Rosen of MSG, as the New York Rangers and Florida Panthers face off. The Boston Bruins will square off with the Philadelphia Flyers and we'll get a live pre-game report from Joe Haggerty of CSN New England, via our Cisco NHL Arena Cam in Philadelphia. Lastly, NHL Network analyst Darren Pang will drop by the show to talk about the St. Louis Blues' matchup with the Colorado Avalanche as well as goalie play as we get to crunch time.

Don't forget to submit your #AskEJ questions through Twitter via @NHLNetwork or @EJHradek_NHL, and stick around for the shootout as EJ picks all ten games being played on Tuesday.

Posted On Tuesday, 04.23.2013 / 2:24 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Bruins won't watch scores, will handle own business

PHILADELPHIA -- The Boston Bruins enter their game Tuesday against the Philadelphia Flyers (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN) tied with the Montreal Canadiens with 59 points. The Bruins, however, hold the top spot in the Northeast Division and second in the Eastern Conference based on having played one fewer game.

But with each team playing Tuesday -- the Canadiens play at the New Jersey Devils -- the Bruins know they have to be on their game to stay ahead in the race.

"We have to play a big game," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "We're hoping to hang on to our top spot in our division and at the end of the night you've got to come up with the two points."

Posted On Tuesday, 04.23.2013 / 2:12 PM

By John Manasso - Correspondent / - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Predators face rare home finale with no playoffs ahead

NASHVILLE -- For seven of the past eight seasons, the final regular-season home game represented a leaping off point for the Nashville Predators to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

This season, that will not happen. The Predators missed the playoffs for a variety of reasons -- some of which will be reflected when the team suits up Tuesday against the Calgary Flames at Bridgestone Arena. Two of the team's top-six forwards, Mike Fisher and Patric Hornqvist, remain out, too injured to play, although they participated in the team's morning skate.

Nonetheless, it appears the fans will have an opportunity to give starting goalie Pekka Rinne a sendoff until next season; he'll get the start in goal.

"It's sort of closure at home here," Predators coach Barry Trotz said. "Our fans have been fantastic. The last couple of years we've filled this building. We had 28 straight sellouts this year (dating back to last season). Then we had that week where we had four home games. That sort of put a damper on that in terms of sellouts. They've come out and supported us even in tough times. We haven't been really good with a number of injuries."

Posted On Tuesday, 04.23.2013 / 2:08 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Jagr center of attention in return to Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA -- The Boston Bruins are fighting for the top spot in the Northeast Division and second place in the Eastern Conference, but the major topic of conversation around the team's locker room after its morning skate was the return to Philadelphia of Bruins forward Jaromir Jagr.

The game Tuesday against the Philadelphia Flyers (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN) will mark the first time Jagr has played here since his one-season stint with the team ended. Jagr, in his return to the NHL after three seasons in Europe, had 19 goals and 54 points in 73 games, helped the Flyers reach the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and after the season said it was the most fun season he had in the NHL.

"It was pretty good last year, that's for sure," Jagr said. "It's too bad we didn't beat New Jersey [in the conference semifinals] to go a little further. I had fun."

In the offseason, while the Flyers pursued high-profile free agents Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, Jagr took a one-year offer from the Dallas Stars. At the NHL Trade Deadline, he was moved to the Bruins.

"I was happy here [in Philadelphia]," Jagr said. "Everybody knew it. I loved that team. I loved the fans. I loved the city. But on the other side, I always believe in God. And I always believed He would find the best place for me. I had a fate that something good would happen to me even if [returning to Philadelphia] didn't happen."

Posted On Tuesday, 04.23.2013 / 1:24 PM

By Kurt Dusterberg - Correspondent / - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Islanders keep calm with clinch possible Tuesday

RALEIGH, N.C. -- For the New York Islanders, Tuesday could be a big night.

After missing out on the Stanley Cup Playoffs five straight seasons, the Islanders have a shot at clinching a berth in the Eastern Conference. If New York beats the Carolina Hurricanes, and the Winnipeg Jets lose to the Washington Capitals, the Islanders are in.

If there are any jitters among the team, they didn't show after the morning skate.

"It's an exciting week for us," Islanders captain Mark Streit said. "We've been playing pretty well, and the mindset has been to take it game by game. Whatever happens with Winnipeg happens. But it's getting closer. We'll concentrate on the game and how we want to play as a team."

Posted On Tuesday, 04.23.2013 / 1:03 PM

By Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor / - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Flyers' Timonen done for remainder of season

The Philadelphia Flyers announced Tuesday that defenseman Kimmo Timonen will miss the remainder of the season with a compression fracture in his right foot.

The report from the team was that Timonen would need four-to-five weeks to recover. There was no mention whether surgery would be needed.

Posted On Tuesday, 04.23.2013 / 12:58 PM

By Dave Lozo - Staff Writer / - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Canadiens get Armstrong back, look to Price

NEWARK, N.J. -- The Montreal Canadiens have lost four of five -- all in regulation -- since clinching a berth in Stanley Cup Playoffs on April 11. They will begin a season-closing three-game road trip against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night and will enter the contest with one lineup change.

Forward Colby Armstrong, out since April 1 with a knee injury, will take the spot of Travis Moen on the Canadiens' fourth line. Moen signed a four-year contract with the club over the summer and has played in 44 of 45 games this season, but will be a healthy scratch against the Devils.

"Colby's an important guy," Montreal coach Michel Therrien said. "I've always believed in good team chemistry. He's good with the players. He knows the system really well. He's good killing penalties. Guys have different roles on a team when we have success. All the roles, as far as I'm concerned, are important. Colby has an important role on our club."

Posted On Tuesday, 04.23.2013 / 12:16 PM

By Alain Poupart - Correspondent / - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Rangers look to keep up surge against Panthers

SUNRISE, Fla. -- The New York Rangers will look to continue their march to the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Tuesday night when they face the Florida Panthers for the second time in less than a week.

The Rangers can clinch a playoff berth with a victory combined with a regulation loss by the Winnipeg Jets against the Washington Capitals.

The Panthers, who have been outscored 30-8 during their current six-game losing streak, would clinch the worst record in the NHL this season with a loss.

Florida will look different Tuesday from the team the Rangers beat 6-1 Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.

Posted On Tuesday, 04.23.2013 / 11:57 AM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Devils playing for pride, jobs in final three games

NEWARK, N.J. -- The disappointment of being on the outside looking in on the Stanley Cup Playoff chase is beginning to hit home for the New Jersey Devils.

Now it's all about playing for pride and, perhaps, job security. The Devils have three games remaining in the regular season, including the first of two straight home games beginning Tuesday against the Montreal Canadiens at Prudential Center.

The Eastern Conference-leading Pittsburgh Penguins visit Thursday before the Devils travel to Manhattan in their season finale on Saturday against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

"It's hard to understand what happened, and not to be able to play for something in the regular season is hard, but it is what it is for us right now and we'll have to make the best of the last three games and stay focused and finish on a good note," Devils goalie Martin Brodeur said.

Posted On Tuesday, 04.23.2013 / 11:21 AM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Capitals can clinch Southeast against Jets

ARLINGTON, Va. -- A regulation or overtime win against the Winnipeg Jets at Verizon Center on Tuesday is all the Washington Capitals need to clinch the Southeast Division.

A shootout win will not be enough for the Capitals to clinch the division or even a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but it will drop their magic number to one point either gained or lost by Winnipeg in its final game of the regular season Thursday.

However, if the Jets win in regulation or overtime they will take over the lead in the division and move up to third in the Eastern Conference standings. They also would take over the lead in the first tiebreaker, which is regulation/overtime wins (ROW).

"Hopefully we can just make sure we clinch the playoff spot tonight and we'll go from there," Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom said. "We're playing a good team and we've gotta be hungry."

Here is what the Capitals lines, defense pairs and goalie depth likely will look like Tuesday night:

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Quote of the Day

It seems like I'm kind of making it a little difficult on myself here the last two games.

— Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane after tying the record for longest point streak by an American-born player with an assist on Duncan Keith's goal with 26.6 seconds left against the Anaheim Ducks Friday
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