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Posted On Thursday, 04.11.2013 / 1:11 PM

By Matt Sitkoff - Contributor / - NHL Live blog

Cisco NHL Live talks You Can Play Project

The National Hockey League and NHL Players' Association announced a historic partnership with the You Can Play Project on Thursday and Cisco NHL Live, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will have NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and founder of the You Can Play Project, Patrick Burke, on set to discuss this partnership.

The Phoenix Coyotes are back in the Stanley Cup Playoff picture thanks to goalie Mike Smith, who has stopped 93 of the 95 shots he has faced since returning from injury. We'll be joined by the Phoenix netminder. With nine games on the schedule Thursday night, Steve Mears and guest analyst Ken Daneyko will get live pre-game previews from our Cisco NHL Arena Cam in Boston, Detroit and give you a live look-in at warm-ups of the early games in our Ice Pass.

Don't forget to submit your #AskDano questions through Twitter via @NHLNetwork, and stick around for the shootout as Ken picks each game being played on Thursday.

Posted On Thursday, 04.11.2013 / 1:09 PM

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

Hartnell: Flyers need 'epic' run to make postseason

VOORHEES, N.J. -- A year ago Thursday, the Philadelphia Flyers were in Pittsburgh, preparing for Game 1 of their first-round Stanley Cup Playoff series against the Penguins.

If they have any hope of getting back to the postseason this year, they'll need what Flyers forward Scott Hartnell called an "epic" final nine games of the regular season, starting with their game Thursday night against the Ottawa Senators.

The Flyers are 12th in the Eastern Conference, seven points out of a playoff spot.

"We need to have an epic ending to the season," Hartnell said after practice Thursday morning. "Basically we need to win them all to have a chance. We need to get back to our winning ways. Hopefully we can come out here hard, lay it all out on the ice."

Posted On Thursday, 04.11.2013 / 1:04 PM

By Chris Ryndak - Correspondent / - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Canadiens can reach first goal by clinching playoffs

BUFFALO -- The Montreal Canadiens have a chance to clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Thursday and the players are well aware of that opportunity.

The Canadiens can qualify for the playoffs with a win against the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center, or if they earn one point against the Sabres and the Florida Panthers defeat the Winnipeg Jets in any fashion Thursday.

"At the start of this season, your first goal is to get into the playoffs, and we have an opportunity tonight to reach that first goal," Canadiens alternate captain Josh Gorges said. "I think we have to understand and respect the importance of tonight's game and understand the opponent that we're facing too."

Posted On Thursday, 04.11.2013 / 1:02 PM

By Lonnie Herman - Correspondent / - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Cooper using rest of season to see what he's got

TAMPA -- Benoit Pouliot leads all Tampa Bay Lightning forwards with a plus-9 rating and has recorded three points (one goal and two assists) in the past three games he has played. Tom Pyatt ranks first among Lightning forwards with 33 blocked shots.

Both skaters, however, will be off the ice, scratched for the second consecutive game, when Tampa Bay faces the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night at Tampa Bay Times Forum.

Significant? Not to Lightning coach Jon Cooper.

"I wouldn't read too much into it about the guys that are scratched," Cooper said. "We're just caught between that, we're trying to win, we're trying to win, we're trying to win, but we are also trying to see what we have. What guys can handle this? What guys can play next year? It's tough to do; it's tough to balance."

Posted On Thursday, 04.11.2013 / 12:46 PM

By Matt Kalman - Correspondent / - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Status for Bruins' Marchand still unclear

BOSTON Boston Bruins wing Brad Marchand’s health was being reassessed Thursday morning, coach Claude Julien said.

If Marchand, who was elbowed in the head by New Jersey Devils defenseman Anton Volchenkov on Wednesday night, is unable to play against the New York Islanders, the Bruins will be missing two-thirds of what’s been their most productive forward line this season.

Patrice Bergeron has been out since suffering a concussion April 2. He skated with the Bruins’ scratches during an optional morning skate at TD Garden. Tyler Seguin had been the other member of that line.

The Bruins should have Adam McQuaid back in the lineup for the first time since March 19, when he strained his shoulder.

Here are the projected lineups for the Bruins and Islanders:

Posted On Thursday, 04.11.2013 / 12:30 PM

By Staff -  / - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Penguins welcome Letang back to lineup

Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma told the media that defenseman Kris Letang will return to the lineup Thursday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Letang has missed the past six games with a lower-body injury believed to be a broken toe. He is third among NHL defensemen with 28 points despite playing in 28 games.

Posted On Thursday, 04.11.2013 / 12:27 PM

By Dan Myers - Correspondent / - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Blues, Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Here is how the lines for the St. Louis Blues and Minnesota Wild could look when the teams face off Thursday night at Xcel Energy Center:

Posted On Thursday, 04.11.2013 / 10:35 AM

By Staff -  / - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Bergeron taking part in Bruins' optional skate

Injured Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron is taking part in the team's optional morning skate Thursday at TD Garden.

Bergeron has missed the past four games with a concussion, but Wednesday, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli told a local radio station, 98.5 The Sports Hub, that Bergeron had begun working out and is "on his road to recovery."

In addition, Boston coach Claude Julien said injured forward Brad Marchand "was being reassessed by doctors this morning, so we'll have an update later today."

Posted On Thursday, 04.11.2013 / 10:31 AM

By Staff -  / - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Sharks, Red Wings

The Detroit Red Wings can create a little breathing room in their bid for a 22nd consecutive Stanley Cup Playoffs berth if they can get past the San Jose Sharks on Thursday at Joe Louis Arena.

The Red Wings sit one point ahead of the ninth-place Phoenix Coyotes, who beat the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday night. The Red Wings are four points behind the fifth-place Sharks.

Here are the projected lineups for the Sharks and Red Wings:

Posted On Thursday, 04.11.2013 / 10:28 AM

By Barry Melrose -  NHL Network Analyst / - Melrose Minute

Melrose Matchup: Blues at Wild

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He's been one of our top players all year. Tonight he was by far our best player. There wasn't anybody in the same universe as him.

— Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz on goalie Braden Holtby, who made 33 saves to shut out the Edmonton Oilers 1-0
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