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Rangers looking forward to facing Flyers in playoffs

Saturday, 04.12.2014 / 11:29 PM / Drive to the Playoffs

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

MONTREAL -- The New York Rangers learned shortly before their game against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night that they would face the Philadelphia Flyers in the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The matchup was cemented with Philadelphia's 4-3 overtime win against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the afternoon.

Moments after losing 1-0 to Montreal in overtime, the Rangers were finally letting themselves get excited about facing a big division rival in the playoffs.

"We know each other very well. It's always tight, it's always intense with those guys," defenseman Marc Staal said. "Best time of year and we're playing the Flyers. It's pretty exciting."

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Playoff Countdown: Ducks can clinch West title

Saturday, 04.12.2014 / 6:45 PM / Drive to the Playoffs

The conclusion to 2013-14 NHL regular season is fast approaching. After game play Friday, the League is down to 19 games remaining on the schedule, with nine to be played Saturday. 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 Sunday and the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs on April 16, NHL.com will provide a piece of playoff-related content each day.

The Anaheim Ducks can win the West on Saturday night, but they'll have to do it against their biggest rivals.

The Pacific Division champions come to Staples Center for their game against the Los Angeles Kings with 112 points. That's one more than the Colorado Avalanche, who end their season in Anaheim on Sunday evening, and the St. Louis Blues, who host the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday afternoon.

One point for the Ducks will be enough to clinch the top spot, meaning that Anaheim would face the Dallas Stars in the first round. The Ducks own the tiebreaker on the Avalanche and the Blues because they have more wins in regulation and overtime than either.

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Stanley Cup Playoffs clinching scenarios: April 12

Saturday, 04.12.2014 / 6:23 PM / Drive to the Playoffs

NHL.com

The Boston Bruins clinched the Presidents' Trophy by defeating the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday. The Philadelphia Flyers secured third place in the Metropolitan Division and a first-round series with the New York Rangers by defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Anaheim Ducks could clinch the top seed in the Western Conference.

Here are the remaining scenarios:

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Benn-Seguin duo leads reasons why Stars clinched

Saturday, 04.12.2014 / 11:12 AM / Drive to the Playoffs

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

The Dallas Stars hung around the Stanley Cup Playoff race the past couple of seasons, only to fall apart before crossing the finish line. They did the exact opposite this season.

Dallas earned its first trip to the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2008 by going 8-4-0 its past 12 games. The Phoenix Coyotes also did their part to assist the Stars by going winless in their past six games (0-3-3), opening the door for Dallas to get the "X" next to its name in the standings after a 3-0 win against the St. Louis Blues on Friday night.

The Stars are the second wild-card team in the Western Conference. They will play the team with the most points in the Western Conference, either the Colorado Avalanche or the Anaheim Ducks.

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Tapped In: Rookie Krug finding Boston to his liking

Saturday, 04.12.2014 / 3:00 AM / Tapped In

Kathryn Tappen - NHL.com Contributor

NHL fans may not have known the name Torey Krug prior to the Stanley Cup Playoffs last spring, but they certainly do now. The Boston Bruins defenseman made his mark after being called up from their American Hockey League team, the Providence Bruins, in the 2013 postseason, when Krug became the first rookie defenseman in the history of the NHL to score four goals in his first five playoff games. Hoping to make another long postseason run, Krug shared what he’s thinking this year, how he endeared himself to his new teammates early on, and what his biggest role is in the locker room.

Kathryn Tappen: First off, happy birthday! April 12 is a good day.

Torey Krug: Thanks, 23. I’m getting old!

KT: What’s this I hear you are in charge of bringing magazines to the rink every month? What are the job requirements for that gig?

TK: [laughs] That’s a rookie duty. You got to make sure the guys are entertained. I bring magazines like Men’s Fitness, the fashion magazines. Guys are into the muscle cars, and any time you bring Golf Digest it will capture the guys’ attention.

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Playing in Devils' finale could be up to Brodeur

Saturday, 04.12.2014 / 12:50 AM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Martin Brodeur
Goalie - NJD
RECORD: 18-14-6
GAA: 2.52 | SVP: 0.901

NEWARK, N.J. -- The chances New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur will get one final start before the conclusion of the season look pretty good.

At least that's what Devils coach Peter DeBoer would like to see transpire Sunday when the Devils close their 2013-14 schedule against the Boston Bruins at Prudential Center.

It will give fans one more opportunity to chant Brodeur's name and applaud the effort one final time if it is his curtain call for the only organization he's played for the past 20 seasons.

"Every time I play it could be my last game," Brodeur said following a 3-2 shootout loss to the New York Islanders on Friday. "That's the way I kind of approach it."

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Rupp suspended four games for illegal check to head

Friday, 04.11.2014 / 3:30 PM / Department of Player Safety News

NHL.com

NEW YORK -- Minnesota Wild forward Mike Rupp has been suspended for four games, without pay, for a late illegal check to the head of St. Louis Blues forward T.J. Oshie during NHL Game No. 1201 in Minnesota on Thursday, April 10, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.

The suspension includes the Wild's final regular-season game and first three Stanley Cup Playoff games.

The incident occurred at 10:30 of the second period. Rupp was assessed a match penalty for attempt to injure.

Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and, based on his average annual salary, Rupp will forfeit $7,692.31. The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

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Union, Minnesota set to play for NCAA title

Friday, 04.11.2014 / 2:52 PM / On Campus

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

PHILADELPHIA -- After one of the more dramatic nights in NCAA hockey history, the Union College and University of Minnesota hockey teams were back at work Friday, trying to put the celebrations and memories behind them.

"I think when you wake up this morning, you realize that you're playing for a national title and you better get your mind ready to go," said Minnesota center Kyle Rau, a Florida Panthers prospect who assisted on both Gophers goals in their 2-1 win against the University of North Dakota on Thursday. "Because if you're not, you're going to lay an egg."

Union started Thursday with a 5-4 win against Boston College in the first national semifinal, and Minnesota closed the night by scoring the winning goal with 0.6 seconds left against UND.

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Stanley Cup Playoffs clinching scenarios: April 11

Friday, 04.11.2014 / 12:41 PM / Drive to the Playoffs

NHL.com

The Colorado Avalanche can clinch the Central Division Friday, while the Dallas Stars can secure the last remaining Stanley Cup Playoffs berth. Here are the scenarios:

COLORADO AVALANCHE

The Avalanche would clinch the Central Division title if they defeat the San Jose Sharks in any fashion AND the St. Louis Blues lose to the Dallas Stars in regulation.

DALLAS STARS

The Stars would clinch a Stanley Cup Playoff berth if they defeat the Blues in any fashion.

Two first-round matchups have been determined through games played April 10. The Sharks will face the Los Angeles Kings in the first round with San Jose having home-ice advantage. The Canadiens will face the Lightning in the first round with home-ice advantage to be determined.

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Puempel rounding out his game in Binghamton

Friday, 04.11.2014 / 12:30 PM / AHL Update

Alyssa Dombrowski - Special to NHL.com

As left wing Matt Puempel of the American Hockey League's Binghamton Senators continues to evolve as a hockey player, one thing has remained constant: his natural ability to create offense.

"He's been a goal scorer wherever he's gone, and that has definitely followed him here," said Senators coach Luke Richardson. "His ability to look for openings offensively and his shot -- it's a heavy, major-league shot -- those are just God-given talents that aren't teachable to some people."

The 21-year-old Puempel, selected by Ottawa at No. 24 in the 2011 NHL Draft, spent four years in the Ontario Hockey League with Peterborough and Kitchener from 2009-13. In his first season with Peterborough, he was named the Canadian Major Junior Rookie of the Year after recording 64 points in 69 games.

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Quote of the Day

I just think about how much it hurts. The feelings aren't going to go away, probably never. It's just something that sticks with you for a long time.

— San Jose forward Logan Couture to The Canadian Press on the Sharks' first-round loss to the Kings after taking a 3-0 series lead