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Posted On Sunday, 04.08.2012 / 1:00 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Panthers vs. Devils series blog

Panthers, Devils set to play Game 1 Friday

After waiting more than a decade to return to the postseason, two more days will seem minimal for the Florida Panthers. In the last series to get underway in the first round of the 2011-12 Stanley Cup playoffs, Florida will end the longest postseason drought in the League when it faces the Devils Friday night at BankAtlantic Center.

The Devils and Panthers will drop the puck at 7 ET. Game 1 will be broadcast nationally on NHL Network in the U.S. and TSN in Canada.
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Posted On Sunday, 04.08.2012 / 1:00 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Penguins vs. Flyers series blog

Penguins, Flyers to play Game 1 Wednesday

The Penguins and Flyers will open their hotly-anticipated Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series Wednesday night at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh.

Game 1 between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia will start at 7:30 ET. The showdown will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network in the U.S. and TSN in Canada.
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Posted On Sunday, 04.08.2012 / 1:00 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Canucks vs. Kings series blog

Canucks, Kings set to open series Wednesday

After clinching their second Presidents' Trophy in as many seasons, the Canucks will begin their quest for the franchise's first-ever Stanley Cup Wednesday night when they open their first-round series against the Los Angeles Kings.

Vancouver and L.A. are set to drop the puck in Game 1 at 10:30 ET. The game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network in the U.S. and CBC in Canada.
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Posted On Sunday, 04.08.2012 / 1:00 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Blues vs. Sharks series blog

Blues, Sharks to play Game 1 Thursday night

St. Louis and San Jose will open their Western Conference Quarterfinal series Thursday night at Scottrade Center in St. Louis.

The Blues and Sharks will drop the puck at 7:30 ET. Game 1 will be broadcast nationally on CNBC in the U.S. and TSN in Canada.
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Posted On Sunday, 04.08.2012 / 1:00 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Coyotes vs. Blackhawks series blog

Coyotes, Blackhawks set to open series Thursday

Fresh off winning the first division title in their franchise's history, the Phoenix Coyotes will open their playoff campaign against Chicago Thursday night at Jobing.com Arena.

The Coyotes and Blackhawks will face off in Game 1 at 10 ET. The Game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network in the U.S. and TSN in Canada.
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Posted On Sunday, 04.08.2012 / 1:00 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Predators vs. Red Wings series blog

Preds, Wings set to play Game 1 Wednesday

In one could be one of the closest series of the 2012 postseason, Nashville and Detroit will open up their first-round series Wednesday night at Bridgestone Arena.

The puck will drop for the Central-Division rivals at 8 ET. Game 1 will be broadcast nationally on CNBC in the U.S. and CBC in Canada.
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Posted On Saturday, 04.07.2012 / 9:49 PM

NHL.com - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

NSH @ COL - 19:59 of the first period



At 19:59 of the first period of the Predators/Avalanche game, video review was inconclusive in determining if Nashville forward Patric Hornqvist struck the puck above the crossbar. Call on the ice stands; good goal Nashville.
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Posted On Saturday, 04.07.2012 / 8:35 PM

NHL.com - 2011-2012 Situation Room blog

TOR @ MTL - 5:50 of the second period



At 5:50 of the second period of the Maple Leafs/Canadiens game, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that Montreal forward Max Pacioretty kicked the puck into the net.  According to rule 49.2 "A goal cannot be scored by an attacking player who uses a distinct kicking motion to propel the puck into the net.". No goal Montreal.
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Posted On Saturday, 04.07.2012 / 5:25 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Lundqvist, Stepan will play for Rangers

NEW YORK -- The New York Rangers want the Presidents' Trophy, and they'll take their shot at it with center Derek Stepan and goaltender Henrik Lundqvist in the lineup.

In a game Thursday in Pittsburgh, Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik was assessed a five-minute major penalty for kneeing Stepan late in the contest. Stepan was so slow to get off the ice and missed practice Friday, but he will be in the lineup against the Washington Capitals on Saturday night (6:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN) at Madison Square Garden.

Tortorella was fined $20,000 by the League for his comments that followed the game in which he called the hit "cheap" and "dirty" and offered no response to the fine Saturday.

"I wonder what would happen if we did it to their two whining stars? Wonder what would happen?" Tortorella said Thursday, referring to Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. "So I'm anxious to see what happens with the League. There's no respect amongst players. None."

Tortorella moved on from the incident, saying his team his highly motivated to finish with the most points in the NHL.

"I want us to win that trophy," Tortorella said. "I think that's a part of our motivation. I'll tell you that right now. You check off the division, check off the conference. There's two other checks that need to be done here. One is this Presidents' Trophy, and the next is the real deal. We're looking to get No. 3 here tonight."

Lundqvist was dealing with a swollen right arm after a shot by Claude Giroux of the Flyers caught the goaltender in an unprotected area on Tuesday night. Lundqvist received the night off against the Penguins, but never missed a practice and will start against the Capitals.

Here's the projected lineup for the Rangers:

Carl Hagelin - Brad Richards - Marian Gaborik
Artem Anisimov - Derek Stepan - Ryan Callahan
Brandon Dubinsky - Brian Boyle - Ruslan Fedotenko
Mike Rupp - John Mitchell - Brandon Prust
 
Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi
Michael Del Zotto - Stu Bickel
Marc Staal - Anton Stralman
 
Martin Biron
Henrik Lundqvist

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo

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Posted On Saturday, 04.07.2012 / 5:07 PM

By Dave Lozo -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - At the Rink blog

Holtby to start for Caps with division title still in sight

NEW YORK -- With the Washington Capitals securely in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, it's not as though 22-year-old Braden Holtby has the weight of the world on his shoulders against the Rangers on Saturday night.
 
But with a Southeast Division title within reach -- a Washington win coupled with a regulation loss by the Florida Panthers would make if five straight for the Capitals -- Holtby is facing some pressure. If the Capitals lose, they will be right back at Madison Square Garden as the No. 8 seed for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the top-seeded Rangers.
 
Holtby is 3-2-1 this season and will be filling in for Michal Neuvirth, who is day-to-day with a leg injury that coach Dale Hunter said isn't serious, and Tomas Vokoun, who is out with a groin injury. Holtby played well in road games against the Flyers and Red Wings in March, something Hunter feels will help Holtby against the League's top team.
 
"He went to Detroit and played well, he went to Philly and played well, and those are pretty hard buildings to play in," Hunter said. "There was a lot at stake. He came up big for us."
 
The Rangers will win the Presidents' Trophy for the first time since 1993-94 with a win, which means the Capitals won't have anything handed to them.
 
"We still have stuff on the line, so do the Rangers," Hunter said. "It's one of those games when everyone is going to be battling like any other game. We have to play our best because they're well-balanced, they have good goaltending."
 
The only lineup change for the Caps will be Joel Ward replacing Mike Knuble. Ward has been out since blocking a shot against the Flyers on March 22. Knuble has just two assists in his past eight games and played just 6:43 in the Capitals' 4-2 win against the Panthers on Thursday.
 
CAPITALS

Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Marcus Johansson
Jason Chimera - Mathieu Perreault - Alexander Semin
Keith Aucoin - Brooks Laich - Troy Brouwer
Matt Hendricks - Jay Beagle - Joel Ward

Karl Alzner - Dennis Wideman
Roman Hamrlik - Mike Green
Dmitry Orlov - John Carlson

Braden Holtby
Dany Sabourin

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Quote of the Day

When I first became captain here, Monsieur Beliveau came to me and said, 'You're going to be fine. You don't have to change, you got selected because of who you are.'

— Saku Koivu on Thursday, recalling what he was told by the late Jean Beliveau when he was named Canadiens captain in 1999
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