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Features

Five reasons Islanders clinched playoff berth

Thursday, 04.09.2015 / 11:00 PM / Expert Picks

David Satriano - NHL.com Staff Writer

After missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season, the New York Islanders led the Metropolitan Division for a large portion of 2014-15 and clinched a berth in the postseason on Thursday.

Additions in goal and on defense, and a captain who is a Hart Trophy candidate are reasons the Islanders' last season at Nassau Coliseum on Long Island was a memorable one. New York's 43-year run there will come to an end this season.

Here are five reasons the Islanders clinched a playoff berth:

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Playoff Countdown: Jets among teams that can clinch

Thursday, 04.09.2015 / 12:22 PM / Expert Picks

NHL.com

Saturday, April 11, marks the conclusion to the 2014-15 regular season. Yet, much remains to be decided in the frantic run to the finish line, including playoff positioning and numerous individual accomplishments and milestones. To celebrate the countdown to the end of the season and the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs on April 15, NHL.com will provide a piece of playoff-related content each day.

It's been nearly two decades since the Stanley Cup Playoffs came to Manitoba. The Winnipeg Jets control their destiny Thursday when it comes to changing that.

If the Jets (42-26-12) win at the Colorado Avalanche (37-31-12) in any fashion, they will clinch the second playoff berth in franchise history and first since the Atlanta Thrashers won the Southeast Division title in 2006-07.

Fans in Winnipeg haven't had a playoff game there since the previous incarnation of the Jets lost in the first round to the Detroit Red Wings in 1996. That summer, the franchise relocated to Phoenix.

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Fantasy top 30 goalies: Ranks entering offseason

Thursday, 04.09.2015 / 12:15 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Evan Sporer - NHL.com Staff Writer

It was an unpredictable season for goaltending in the NHL.

There were some big names who, as expected, put up impressive numbers. Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens, Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators and Cory Schneider of the New Jersey Devils each had Vezina Trophy-caliber seasons.

There were also players like Devan Dubnyk, Cam Talbot, Michael Hutchinson and Andrew Hammond, who at one point or another became must-own fantasy assets.

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Stone comes up big as Senators push for playoffs

Thursday, 04.09.2015 / 12:00 PM / Top Performer

NHL.com

Rookie forward Mark Stone's heroics Tuesday helped the Ottawa Senators continue their pursuit of a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Stone scored twice to rally the Senators from a 3-0 first-period deficit to a 4-3 overtime win against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Senators (41-26-13) are tied with the Boston Bruins for the second wild card into the playoffs from the Eastern Conference, though the Bruins hold the regulation/overtime wins (ROW) tiebreaker. Ottawa also trails Pittsburgh for the first wild card by one point.

Stone has been a big reason behind the Senators' surge with five goals in his past five games. He is tied for second in rookie scoring with 61 points.

"I'm just thankful to be able to contribute at those times of the game," Stone told the Associated Press. "Everybody that's contributing on my goals are the guys that are making the plays. I'm just the one that's finishing it off."

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Playoff clinching scenarios for Thursday, April 9

Thursday, 04.09.2015 / 11:54 AM / Expert Picks

NHL Public Relations

With three days remaining in the regular season, there are six berths up for grabs in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

These are the clinching scenarios for games Thursday:

EASTERN CONFERENCE

* The Montreal Canadiens would clinch the Atlantic Division title if they defeat the Detroit Red Wings in any fashion AND the Tampa Bay Lightning lose in any fashion OR if they get one point against the Red Wings AND the Lightning lose in regulation.

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Unmasked: Goalie coach helps Price reach new level

Thursday, 04.09.2015 / 10:00 AM / Unmasked

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens is the favorite to win his first Vezina Trophy as the NHL's top goaltender. He also is a leading candidate for the Hart Trophy as the League's Most Valuable Player.

Price is atop every key goaltending category, leading the League with 42 wins, a 1.93 goals-against average and .935 save percentage. His nine shutouts are tied for the League lead.

So rather than joining discussions about his candidacy for various end-of-season hardware, or where this season fits among all-time goaltending performances, Unmasked takes a closer look at the evolving skills that have set Price apart from his peers, particularly during the past two seasons.

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Eichel among must-see players at Frozen Four

Thursday, 04.09.2015 / 3:00 AM / Prospects

Connor Mellas - NHL.com Correspondent

Boston already is a college hockey hotbed, but things have been turned up a notch with the arrival of the teams for the Frozen Four, which starts Thursday at TD Garden.

One national semifinal (5 p.m. ET; ESPN2) will feature Nebraska-Omaha, in its first Frozen Four, facing Providence, which has advanced to the Frozen Four for the first time since 1985.

The second semifinal (8:30 p.m. ET; ESPN2) will see Boston University and Jack Eichel, college hockey's leading scorer and the No. 2 player on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters for the 2015 NHL Draft, facing North Dakota. BU is in the Frozen Four for the first time since winning the NCAA title in 2009, while North Dakota is back for the second straight year and seventh time in the 11-season tenure of coach Dave Hakstol.

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Selanne serves as caddy at Masters Tournament event

Wednesday, 04.08.2015 / 3:34 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

Last year at this time Teemu Selanne was gearing up for his 13th and final trip to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Retirement has afforded him the opportunity to do something altogether different.

Selanne served as a caddy for Finnish pro golfer Mikko Ilonen at the Masters Par 3 Contest on Wednesday. The event is an annual prelude to the Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga. The Masters begins Thursday.

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Fantasy top 60 defenseman: Ranks entering offseason

Wednesday, 04.08.2015 / 12:28 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Brian Metzer - NHL.com Correspondent

The Stanley Cup Playoffs get started next week and that means another fantasy hockey season is in the books. It's hard to believe we all entered our drafts wide-eyed and hopeful roughly eight months ago dreaming of fantasy glory.

P.K. Subban (Montreal Canadiens), Erik Karlsson (Ottawa Senators), Shea Weber (Nashville Predators) and Duncan Keith (Chicago Blackhawks) were the first four defensemen off the board in Yahoo Standard Leagues and all were on rosters inside the first 40 picks. They rewarded their owners, but for those who waited around the rewards were still great.

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Playoff clinching scenarios for Wednesday, April 8

Wednesday, 04.08.2015 / 12:04 PM / Expert Picks

NHL Public Relations

With four days remaining in the regular season, there are six berths up for grabs in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

These are the clinching scenarios for games Wednesday:

* The Anaheim Ducks, who have already clinched a playoff berth, would clinch the top seed in the Western Conference if they defeat the Dallas Stars in regulation or overtime.

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Quote of the Day

I definitely think going back down helped me, I had a lot of confidence down there, I played a lot of minutes and I think that helped me a lot. With the 37 games up here, that gave me experience as well. I know what it takes to play in the NHL and now it's time for me to show that I'm capable of being a full-time NHL player.

— Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl on finishing the 2014-15 season in juniors after playing 37 games with Edmonton to begin the season