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Posted On Thursday, 05.31.2012 / 12:25 AM

By John Kreiser -  NHL.com Columnist /NHL.com - Bracket Challenge Blog

Road teams continue to thrive in overtime

When it comes to winning in overtime during the Stanley Cup Final, it pays to wear the white sweaters.

Anze Kopitar
Center - LAK
GOALS: 7 | ASST: 9 | PTS: 16
SOG: 52 | +/-: 14
The Los Angeles Kings continued their own success away from home this spring as well as extending the success of visiting teams in the Stanley Cup Final by beating New Jersey 2-1 in OT on Wednesday in Game 1. Anze Kopitar's goal at 8:13 of overtime improved road teams' record in Final games that go past regulation to 6-1 since 2004 and 17-5 since 1990, when Edmonton's Petr Klima scored at 55:13 of extra time in Game 1 to win the longest game in Final history.

Overall, the visiting team has won 44 of the 74 Final games to go past regulation (not counting a pair of ties).
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Posted On Wednesday, 05.30.2012 / 11:03 PM

NHL.com - Devils vs. Kings Stanley Cup Final blog

Most overtime games in one playoff year

Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final is heading to overtime for the first time since 2002, when the Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 at Joe Louis Arena on a goal by Ron Francis at 0:58 of the first extra period.

Tonight marks the 24th overtime game of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the third-highest total for one playoff year. Road teams are 14-9 in overtime this postseason. The Kings are 2-0 (goal-scorers: Jarret Stoll, Dustin Penner), the Devils are 4-1 (goal-scorers: Adam Henrique-2, Travis Zajac, Alexei Ponikarovsky).
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Posted On Wednesday, 05.30.2012 / 10:23 PM

NHL.com - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

LAK @ NJD - 3:58 of the Third period

At 3:58 of the third period in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, video review confirmed the referee's call on the ice that New Jersey's Zach Parise directed the puck into the Los Angeles net with his glove. No goal New Jersey. According to NHL Rule 67.6, "A goal cannot be scored by an attacking player who bats or directs the puck with his hand into the net. A goal cannot be scored by an attacking player who bats or directs the puck and it is deflected into the net off any player, goalkeeper or official. When the puck enters the net on a clear deflection off a glove, the goal shall be allowed."

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.30.2012 / 7:07 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - Combing the 2012 NHL Combine

Senators’ Dorion feels quality of draft class is miscast

There has been some talk that the class of 2012 for the NHL Draft is not as strong as it’s been in other years.

Nonsense, says Ottawa Senators director of player personnel Pierre Dorion.

"I think it’s a good draft class,” Dorion told NHL.com on Wednesday at the NHL Scouting Combine. “At the top, like every draft, there are some good players. I think sometimes because there’s a better quality of defensemen than forwards, people tend to say that it’s not as good of a draft class because you don’t see the offensive production.”

Indeed, eight of the top 12 North American skaters on NHL Central Scouting’s final ranking are defensemen, while nine of the top 18 European skaters play on the blue line.
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Posted On Wednesday, 05.30.2012 / 5:27 PM

By Ryan Murray -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Ryan Murray draft blog

Everett's Ryan Murray set to impress at Combine

Defenseman Ryan Murray, No. 2 on NHL Central Scouting's list of the top draft-eligible North American skaters, served as captain of the Everett Silvertips in the Western Hockey League this season. The 6-foot, 182-pound native of Saskatchewan won a bronze medal playing for Team Canada at the 2012 World Junior Championship and was also the second-youngest player to ever appear for Canada at the Men's World Championships. Despite his busy schedule, Murray will submit two blogs for NHL.com during the 2012 NHL Scouting Combine this week in Toronto.

I finally arrived at the NHL Combine on Tuesday night and began the interviewing process on Wednesday. It's been quite a year. I just returned from the Men's World Championships in Finland and Sweden and that was a pretty incredible experience. Just going over there and being able to meet those top guys and playing with them was something very special.

One team gave me a personality-type test, wanting to get to know me a little better I guess. Other teams have done this with me before, but they either came to Everett or sent me the stuff in the email.

During the interviews, everybody has their scouts and guys in the rooms, and everyone has a little bit of a different tone or attitude toward the questions their asking. But everybody has been really nice. I've heard some horror stories in years' past about the Combine, but luckily nothing like that has happened to me.

I haven't received a whole lot of whacky questions. But one team did ask if they were wasting their time seeing me. I just said, 'I hope not.' I haven't prepared much for the bike tests scheduled Friday. I just got back from Europe last Friday and took a few days off this week. I was working out a little bit to keep in shape.

I hope to learn from this experience and having an opportunity to talk to the scouts is great. They all have their own opinions of you and what they thought about you during the year, so it's just good to hear some feedback regarding your play. The feedback has been good and the scouts have been kind. There have been questions about my family and what kind of player I feel I am.

I have never met [top prospect] Nail Yakupov [of Sarnia], but I'll probably meet him in New York when we go over there. I'll most likely get to see him here at the Combine as well.

When I learned that Edmonton won the draft lottery, it really didn't faze me too much. It really doesn't have much to do with me. I know [the Oilers] need a defenseman, but at the end of the day, anything can happen on draft day. I just take as a grain of sand, and not make a big deal about it. I don't have any expectations.

Well, that's it for now. Thanks for reading. I'll file one more blog after my fitness test on Friday.
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Posted On Wednesday, 05.30.2012 / 4:59 PM

By Matt Dumba -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Matt Dumba draft blog

Dumba: Best advice I got was to be myself

Matt Dumba is a defenseman for the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League. The 5-foot-11.75, 183-pound defenseman was named WHL Rookie of the Year after scoring 15 goals and adding 11 assists in 62 games. He also had a tournament-high 12 points -- all assists -- to help Canada Pacific win the bronze medal at the 2011 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. This summer, he played for Canada at the 2011 Ivan Hlinka Tournament and also took part in the 2011 NHL Research, Development and Orientation Camp in August. Dumba has offered to maintain a monthly blog for NHL.com that will chronicle his season leading up to the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

Things have been going pretty well for me here at the Scouting Combine. All the interviews have been really solid. I've been happy with all of them.

I haven't gotten any silly or crazy questions. Everyone else seems to be getting them except for me. We'll see as the weekend progresses, but none yet.

It's been interesting all-round being here. It's different. You're passing guys in the hallway all the time, running to each interview. But it's all fun. I'm just having a good time with it and enjoying it.

That's pretty much what everyone I know who's been here before has said.

Alex Petrovic, he told me go and enjoy it and don't get caught up in anything. Just stay level-headed no matter what the interview goes like. Jeff Glass, he trains at my gym, and he's been through it all as well -- been to World Juniors, been drafted in the third round. He's a great guy. He just told me be myself and have fun with that. Don't be shy, be honest with all the teams and that's what I've been doing.

I have six more interviews tomorrow, and then the fitness testing is Friday. I'm still eating properly and drinking a lot, staying hydrated for that. I'm looking forward to it. Shouldn't be all that bad. I'm ready for it.

Everyone talks about the bike tests, but I've done them before at my gym. I'm not too concerned.
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Posted On Wednesday, 05.30.2012 / 3:19 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Combing the 2012 NHL Combine

Reinhart will opt out of bench press at Combine

A nagging shoulder injury will likely keep Edmonton Oil Kings defenseman Griffin Reinhart from taking part in the bench press during his fitness portion of the NHL Scouting Combine schedule on Friday.

Reinhart, ranked No. 10 by NHL Central Scouting among draft-eligible North American skaters, on Wednesday was making his rounds to those teams that scheduled interviews with him over the next two days.

"I don't think I'm going to do the bench press because I have a bit of a hurt shoulder," Reinhart told NHL.com. "It's fine to play with … I just haven't been able to rehab it yet. It's something I've been dealing with all season."

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.30.2012 / 1:46 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Devils vs. Kings Stanley Cup Final blog

Gagne available, but still not in the lineup

NEWARK, N.J. -- Simon Gagne won't be in the Kings' lineup for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, but coach Darryl Sutter reiterated that the forward's chances of playing in the next two weeks are better than they had been in the past.

"I'm not answering that question again about Simon," said Sutter, who has been receiving the question pretty steadily since the end of conference finals. "Cleared for contact, cleared for practice, traveling with the team. So there won't be any further update on that one because, quite honestly, the answer is the same and I don't know how to answer it. You tell the truth or say nothing."

The honest Sutter will likely ice the same lineup that got the Kings to the Cup Final with a 12-2 mark and 8-0 road record. Here are the expected lineup combinations the Devils will face:

Justin Williams - Anze Kopitar - Dustin Brown
Dustin Penner - Mike Richards - Jeff Carter
Dwight King - Jarrett Stoll - Trevor Lewis
Jordan Nolan - Brad Richardson - Colin Fraser

Rob Scuderi - Drew Doughty
Willie Mitchell - Slava Voynov
Matt Greene - Alec Martinez

Jonathan Quick
Jonathan Bernier

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo
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Posted On Wednesday, 05.30.2012 / 1:37 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Combing the 2012 NHL Combine

Mahoney: Caps will take best player available

TORONTO -- For the fifth time in the last nine drafts, the Washington Capitals will have multiple first-round picks when the teams convene in Pittsburgh for the 2012 NHL Draft.

They have the Colorado Avalanche's choice at No. 11, and their own pick at No. 16, and Capitals director of amateur scouting Ross Mahoney told NHL.com that those are pretty nice places to be.

"We think we're in a good position at 11 and 16, if we maintain those picks, to pick up some good prospects," he said.

Mahoney said the GM George McPhee will listen to all options, as he does every year, and said moving up or down certainly could be an option.
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Posted On Wednesday, 05.30.2012 / 1:11 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Devils vs. Kings Stanley Cup Final blog

Business as usual for Devils on morning of Game 1

NEWARK, N.J. -- Two-time Stanley Cup winner Patrik Elias admitted he is nervous.

"There's a lot at stake here," Elias said after the Devils morning skate Wednesday in advance of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Zach Parise said nothing about the Devils morning routine on a gameday was different, but he expects the afternoon and evening to not feel like anything he has experienced before as a Devil.

"I'm sure once we get to the rink tonight the nerves will be a little different than every other game," Parise said, "but so far it's been the same."

The Devils are going for their fourth Stanley Cup championship in the last 17 years, but of the guys that will be in the lineup for Game 1, only Elias, Martin Brodeur, Dainius Zubrus, Ryan Carter and Anton Volchenkov have experienced the calm before the storm of the Stanley Cup Final.

It's different even for a guy like coach Peter DeBoer, who never reached the Stanley Cup Playoffs as a player or a coach prior to this season.

"Just excited," DeBoer said when he was asked how he was feeling Wednesday morning. "You want to play. You're tired of waiting around. You're tired of looking at film. You're tired of practicing. It's anxious energy.

"Whatever I'm feeling, I'm sure it's doubled for the players."

DeBoer, though, has an experienced coaching staff and front office that he can lean on. Guys like Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello and assistant coach Larry Robinson have been on this big stage multiple times over the course of their careers in hockey.

Lamoriello has won the Stanley Cup three times as an executive. Robinson won the Cup six times as a player with the Montreal Canadiens (he played in the Cup Final seven times), and three times in the Devils organization, including 2000, when he was the team's head coach.

"The one advantage I think our organization has here is the experience we have from the top down," DeBoer said. "They've been there, seen it all, won, lost. Then filtering down (to) my assistant coaches, with Larry Robinson -- we have a wealth of experience all the way through the organization right to the locker room. We've got that in abundance. It makes my job easy."

All that experience, plus his own natural coaching chops, has convinced DeBoer that changing the approach and routine at this stage of the game would be detrimental to the group.

He doesn't plan on doing anything different Wednesday in advance of Game 1.

"I think the natural reaction, when you talk to people, is all of a sudden you have to pull out these great speeches, change the way you've done things," DeBoer said. "Part of the thing that we do well here is, it's business as usual. We've tried not to change a routine. I'm not planning on pulling out any great speeches. We've done our preparation. We're a workman-like team and we'll be ready to play."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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Quote of the Day

You get the right the whistles at the right times, you can leave him out there. He's a beast when it comes to being on the ice. I thought [Saturday] he was a big man. That first period, he did that lateral cut and it was like three bowling pins bounced off him. There's not too many guys that can do that.

— Capitals coach Barry Trotz on Alex Ovechkin, who enters February tied for the NHL lead in goals