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Round 2
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Stanley Cup Final
POSTED ON Monday, 01.02.2012 / 11:04 PM

NHL.com - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

COL @ LA - 3:36 of the First Period

At 3:36 of the first period in the Avalanche/Kings game, the referees on the ice ruled that Jack Johnson's shot was deflected by Justin Williams stick, which was above the cross bar and into the net. Video replay reviewed the play but was inconclusive, therefore the referee's call on the ice stands. No goal Los Angeles.

According to Rule 60.5 "An apparent goal scored by an attacking player who strikes the puck with his stick carried above the height of the crossbar of the goal frame shall not be allowed. The determining factor is where the puck makes contact with the stick."

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POSTED ON Monday, 01.02.2012 / 10:42 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2012 World Junior Championship blog

Czechs, Russians tied 1-1 after two

CALGARY -- The Czech Republic Junior National Team is giving Russia -- the defending World Junior Championship gold medalist -- all they can handle through two periods of quarterfinal-round action at Scotiabank Saddledome.
 
After being outshot, 16-5, during a scoreless first period, the Czechs earned the territorial advantage for much of the second when each team connected for a goal. The clubs enter the second intermission in a 1-1 tie. The winner will face Team Canada in the WJC semifinal round slated for Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET.
 
Russia, which was outshot, 15-9, in the second, pulled even on its third shot of the period when Danil Apalkov ripped one from the left circle that zipped over Petr Mrazek's right pad at the 12:47 mark.
 
The Czechs had taken a 1-0 lead 7:16 into the second when Tomas Hertl sent a nifty backhand pass across the crease to Jakub Culek, who stuffed his attempt home past goalie Andrei Vailevski.
 
Petr Straka barely missed giving the underdogs a two-goal lead midway through the period when his quick wrist shot from the right hash was denied by Vasilevski. The Russian goalie would then stop Daniel Krejci less than a minute later on another left pad save off a backhander from in close.
 
Mrazek would atone for allowing his 12th goal in five games by stoning Apalkov on the doorstep with 3:18 remaining in the second and then Yaroslav Kosov off a 2-on-1 with an incredible left-pad denial at the post a little over a minute later.
 
Mrazek turned aside 16 shots and survived a pair of breakaway attempts by captain Yevgeni Kuznetsov in the opening period. Mrazek, property of the Detroit Red Wings, has yielded 12 goals on 157 shots in the tournament. He entered Monday's game sporting an impressive 2.75 goals-against average and .917 save percentage.
 
Kuznetsov broke free with 8:40 remaining in the first but Mrazek got a blocker on the shot. The Russian captain and lone returnee from last year's gold medal-winning team was sent in alone less than two minutes later only to have his backhand attempt from in tight skid across the crease with the goalie spread eagle in the paint.
 
The Russians were given the only power-play of the period at the 5:30 mark when Jiri Riha was whistled for slashing, but the Czechs survived unscathed. Russia's Nail Yakupov, who could be selected No. 1 overall in the 2012 Draft, had a good opportunity turned away by Mrazek with less than 15 seconds remaining in the period.
 
Returning to the lineup for Russia following a one-game absence was Mikhail Grigorenko.
 
Grigorenko suffered an ankle injury on Thursday when he collided with Latvian defender Arturs Salija in the early stages of the second period of an eventual 14-0 victory. The 2012 Draft- eligible forward entered the game having scored 2 goals and 4 points in three games for his country.

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POSTED ON Monday, 01.02.2012 / 10:39 PM

NHL.com - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

SJ @ VAN - 20:00 of 3rd Period

In the Sharks/Canucks game, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that Torrey Mitchell's shot went into the net after time had expired in the third period. No Goal San Jose. 
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POSTED ON Monday, 01.02.2012 / 9:48 PM

By Mike G. Morreale -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - 2012 World Junior Championship blog

Mrazek helps keep game scoreless

CALGARY -- Czech Republic goalie Petr Mrazek was up to his old tricks in the first period of his team's quarterfinal-round match in the 2012 World Junior Championship against the favored Russian National Junior on Monday at Scotiabank Saddledome.
 
Mrazek turned aside 16 shots and survived a pair of breakaway attempts by captain Yevgeni Kuznetsov to help his team escape with a 0-0 deadlock after 20 minutes. The winner of the contest will meet Team Canada in the tournament semifinals scheduled Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET.
 
Mrazek, property of the Detroit Red Wings, has yielded just 11 goals on 148 shots in the tournament. He enters Monday's game sporting an impressive 2.75 goals-against average and .917 save percentage.
 
Kuznetsov broke free with 8:40 remaining in the first but was denied by Mrazek's blocker before being sent in alone less than two minutes later only to have his backhand attempt from in tight skid across the crease with the goalie spread eagle in the paint.
 
The Russians were given the only power-play of the period at the 5:30 mark when Jiri Riha was whistled for slashing, but the Czechs survived unscathed. Russia's Nail Yakupov, who could be selected No. 1 overall in the 2012 Draft, had a good opportunity turned away by Mrazek with less than 15 seconds remaining in the period.

Russian goalie Andrei Vasilevski made five saves in the first.
 
Returning to the lineup for Russia following a one-game absence was Mikhail Grigorenko, who suffered an ankle injury on Thursday when he collided with Latvian defender Arturs Salija in the early stages of the second period of an eventual 14-0 victory. The 2012 Draft-eligible forward entered the game having scored 2 goals and 4 points in three games for his country.


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POSTED ON Monday, 01.02.2012 / 9:00 PM

By Danny Briere -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Briere's 2012 NHL Bridgestone Winter Classic blog

I thought I had best of Lundqvist on penalty shot


Philadelphia Flyers forward Danny Briere  blogged about his Winter Classic experience exclusively for NHL.com, from his first turns on the ice at Citizens Bank Park and the family skate, to the his thoughts the morning of the game, to a wrap-up of the entire Classic experience, which ended with a 3-2 loss to the New York Rangers.

This game was going to overtime.

That's all I had in my mind as I stood at center ice and waited to take the penalty shot in the last minute today.

Coming in on Lundqvist, I had beaten him once on the blocker side, once on the glove side. He had stopped me a couple times before as well in shootouts, but I was still convinced I was going to score. I tried to surprise him with a quick little shot, unfortunately he was quicker than me. I've got to give him credit for that.

I thought the whole day was really cool. Coming out of the tunnel, seeing the whole place in mostly orange; that was a great experience. This was almost like the preparation, the whole thing going into it, was like a playoff atmosphere.

The second period we played really good. We really took control of the game. We were really good on the forecheck, controlling the end zone, winning all our battles.

And when Brayden Schenn scored, everybody was so happy for him. He's played some good hockey lately, had lots of chances. It was just a matter of time for him to get his first goal. What a special moment for him, to be able to say he scored his first goal in a Winter Classic. We were all thrilled for him. We were hoping we could give him a win as well so he could probably appreciate it and celebrate it even more.

Up 2-0, we thought we were in control.

Unfortunately we gave up a bad goal near the end of the second and that gave them some life. Going back into the room, we still felt like we were in control. We played the way we wanted to. It was just a matter of keeping the same pressure on them in their zone. Then they came out and they scored two quick goals. And then you're playing hockey from behind, trying to catch up. We got some chances but Lundqvist made some key saves.

With that chance in the last minute, I thought I had the chance then. I was so close to his pad I had to shovel it in. And as the puck was going across the line, their defenseman jumped from behind and swiped it with his hand. And the penalty shot was called.

After I missed the penalty shot, you have to try to forget about. I didn't have the time to feel sorry about myself or to let bad thoughts creep into my head. All I was thinking was there's 20 seconds left, let's try to find a way to crash the net and find a loose puck.

We created a couple chances, too. We had our chances after that. In the end, it was a game like that. Everything was really tight, there wasn't much out there. They came out on top. It's frustrating. I take the blame for this one, but at the same time, I'm also hoping that it makes us better for when we have big games again.

Right now we're probably just thinking about this a little more for the rest of the night. But tomorrow, going back to the rink it's going to be back to reality, I guess. Try to get back on track.

Overall, it was a great experience. I don't regret it; just disappointed about the outcome. You can't dwell on it too long. You've got to move on and get ready for the next game. Chicago is also a tough team, probably first in the West. It's not going to get any easier for us. 
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POSTED ON Monday, 01.02.2012 / 8:24 PM

By Adam Kimelman -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - Live from the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic

Despite loss, Snider still beaming about Classic experience

PHILADELPHIA -- Even though his team lost, it was tough to knock the smile off Ed Snider's face.

The Philadelphia Flyers' Chairman and founding owner was beaming following the spectacle he helped create here at Citizens Bank Park.

"It came off better than I would have imagined," said Snider. "We had a great weekend here. When we had the alumni game with the total sellout, I think that set a new standard for the League and I hope it works that way in every other city. We're really proud of our fans."

Snider said the only dark cloud on the day was the final result -- his Flyers lost to the New York Rangers 3-2.

"It was a good time until the end," he said. "We would have liked to have won the game. I'm very proud of the way the team played. We had many opportunities to win it. I think we played very well. I'm not disappointed from that point of view. It's a long season. We'll be fine."

Snider also was given a chance to weigh in on the goaltending issues that cropped up following Sunday's practice, when Ilya Bryzgalov -- the player Snider handed a nine-year, $51 million contract to this summer -- announced he would not be starting the next day's game against the Rangers.

"We have two goalies," said Snider. "One was playing better than the other coming into this game and won the start. It's not a big issue from the point of view of the team. We have two good goalies and we think they'll work out whatever issues they have. We think we're in good shape."

Snider even said he gets a laugh out of Bryzgalov's more eccentric comments.

"I think he's colorful," said Snider. "He's a colorful guy."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
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POSTED ON Monday, 01.02.2012 / 8:05 PM

NHL.com - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

NJ @ OTT - 14:38 of the First Period

At 14:38 of the first period in the Devils/Senators game, video review conclusively determined that Travis Zajac's shot hit the crossbar and did not completely cross the goal line. No Goal New Jersey.

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POSTED ON Monday, 01.02.2012 / 7:53 PM

By Mike Rupp -  Special to NHL.com /NHL.com - Rupp's 2012 NHL Bridgestone Winter Classic blog

Looking to change momentum, Rupp did much more

After finishing off his best performance of the season with two goals in the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, Rangers forward Mike Rupp met a large gathering of media in front of his dressing room. Rupp wore the Rangers' Broadway Hat as the team-voted player of the game in New York's 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers.

Rupp blogged about his experience at Citizens Bank Park once all the cameras were turned off. Here are his thoughts:


You're always thinking you can be the player to change the momentum of a game. When it actually is you finishing off the goal that does change the momentum, it is an amazing experience.

Scoring that first goal today was big because we needed one in a bad way. The Flyers had just gotten two in a row and we knew if they got a third it would have been really difficult to come back. We all went out there after Claude Giroux scored -- myself, Brandon Prust, John Mitchell, Marc Staal and Stu Bickel -- thinking 'Let's do something here. Let's pull this momentum from them.'

We did and it was enough to cut the lead.

People were asking me about the salute I gave after scoring. You may not believe this, but it was just a moment of excitement. I was really just excited to contribute offensively and hopefully at that time get us back in the game. I'm just glad we were able to get back in the game.

Getting the second goal, the game-tying goal, was also huge. Everybody has to contribute and I only had one goal coming into today. I've always thought one of the strongest points of our team is the production comes from up and down the lineup, and I didn't want to be one who never did it. So, it feels good.

I also know as a player that I can do a lot of different things, but this year so far I haven't felt I have been tapping into all those areas. It was important to me to contribute more.

Overall, the experience was just awesome. It really is much better to be on the winning side of the Winter Classic than on the losing side. I felt it the other way last year and it wasn't fun, but we as a team need to remember that we haven't won anything yet. Yes, we won this game and it's a big one, but can't go around puffing out our chests and thinking we won something equivalent to a Game 7.

This wasn't a Game 7, but it did feel good in that moment to win this game.

The experience was awesome. I've always said Philadelphia is one of my favorite cities to play in, and this event was so well done here. We all really enjoyed our time, but we've got three more games against the Flyers this season and we have a big game Thursday against Florida.

The Winter Classic chapter has to close now. It was a great one.

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POSTED ON Monday, 01.02.2012 / 5:45 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - Live from the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic

Red Sox closer amazed by ballpark transformation

PHILADELPHIA -- Andrew Bailey knows all about Citizens Bank Park, having attended games as a fan and pitched there in the past, but even he was shocked by what awaited him Monday afternoon.

"It's cool to see a stadium that I know what it looks like for baseball after having been here, and see it as something else," Bailey, the brand-new closer for the Boston Red Sox, told NHL.com. "I can't believe what it looks like now."

Bailey was a last-minute attendee to the sold-out game, driving down from his Connecticut home on Sunday afternoon to see the team of his youth, the Philadelphia Flyers, play the New York Rangers in the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. He couldn't stop smiling at his good fortune in what has already been an off-season of incredible good fortune.

The baseball closer grew up in Haddon Heights, N.J., not too far across the river from Philadelphia. His parents now live in Cherry Hill, N.J., a stone's throw from the Flyers' practice rink in Vorhees, N.J. The 27-year-old grew up at the height of the Flyers' renaissance with the Legion of Doom line, and hockey was a passion when he wasn't chasing his baseball dream.

"I grew up a big fan of the Flyers and I loved the Legion of Doom," Bailey said. "I watched them a lot."

Eric Lindros, the fulcrum of the Legion of Doom line, flanked by Mikeal Renberg and John LeClair, was in the ballpark and was introduced during Monday's first intermission, just to add to Bailey's enjoyment of the game.

Soon, though, Bailey knows that thoughts will have to turn to the coming baseball season and his job as closer for the Boston Red Sox, one of the most pressure-packed occupations in all of sport.

Bailey, who was traded to Boston in a major deal with Oakland right after Christmas, says he is ready to fill the shoes of Jonathan Papelbon, who, ironically, will call Citizens Bank park home this season after signing a free-agent deal with the Philadelphia Phillies.

"The opportunity to win is so great in  Boston and I'm excited about that opportunity. Plus now I have a nation rooting me on," he said, referring to the team's fans, who are known as the Red Sox Nation.
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POSTED ON Monday, 01.02.2012 / 4:22 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Report: Skinner back at Canes' practice

Nearly a month after suffering a concussion that has cost him 10 games so far, Carolina forward Jeff Skinner was back at practice today in a yellow no-contact jersey, according to reports.

The 2011 Calder Trophy-winner was having an impressive sophomore season for the Hurricanes with 12 goals and 12 assists in 30 games before being placed on injured reserve. Skinner last appeared for the Canes in their 5-3 win in Edmonton on Dec. 7, the first NHL victory for head coach Kirk Muller. Skinner had a goal in the game.

The Hurricanes maintain that there is no timetable for the 19-year-old's return.

At the time of his concussion, Skinner was leading Carolina in scoring for the season. With 24 points, he was on pace to better his impressive rookie totals of 31 goals and 32 assists from the 2010-11 season.
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For me, it's a great win for our hockey team and for a lot of people back in Columbus, especially our fans in particular … people who have been devoted to this organization, it's big.

— Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards on their win vs. the Penguins in Game 2, the franchise's first-ever Stanley Cup Playoff victory