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2014 NHL Draft
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Daily Primer March 27: Cup Final rematch in Boston

Thursday, 03.27.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

The Boston Bruins are on the verge of securing the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. The Chicago Blackhawks are battling just to have home-ice advantage in the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Original Six franchises will get together in a rematch of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final as part of the NHL's 10-game schedule Thursday (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US). Thanks to its recent 12-game winning streak, Boston (49-17-6) has built a seven-point lead on the Pittsburgh Penguins atop the East; Chicago (42-16-15) trails the St. Louis Blues by six points in the Central Division but is three points ahead of the Colorado Avalanche for second place; Colorado has a game in hand.

The Detroit Red Wings continue their pursuit of a 23rd consecutive postseason appearance Thursday when they host the Montreal Canadiens (7 p.m. ET, TSN, RDS). Detroit (33-25-14) is one of four teams in the East with 80 points; Montreal is in second place in the Atlantic Division, two points ahead of the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning host the New York Islanders on Thursday.

Later Thursday the Vancouver Canucks aim for their fourth straight win when they face the Avalanche at Pepsi Center. The surging Canucks have moved within four points of the Phoenix Coyotes for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

The San Jose Sharks, who are two points ahead of the Anaheim Ducks in the Pacific Division and trail St. Louis by two for the conference lead, host the Winnipeg Jets at SAP Center. 

Here's a closer look at the action Thursday:

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Rangers prospect Duclair eager to make jump

Thursday, 03.27.2014 / 3:00 AM / In the Pipeline

James Murphy - NHL.com Correspondent

Quebec Remparts forward and New York Rangers prospect Anthony Duclair missed the last seven games of the regular season and has not played in the first four Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoff games due to a concussion sustained Feb. 28.

While sitting in the stands at the most exciting time of the year is obviously frustrating, Duclair has had a season to remember and likely made the Rangers very happy they took the skilled left wing in the third round (No. 80) of the 2013 NHL Draft. After Duclair scored 20 goals and added 30 assists in the 2012-13 season despite missing five-plus weeks with a sprained ankle, he more than doubled his goal total this season with 50 in 59 games; he fell one point shy of 100 points.

"Missing the last seven games of the season because I was there at 99 points and one point shy of 100, so that was pretty frustrating," Duclair said. "Then just watching the boys battle it out from the stands, you want to be down there and now the playoffs being the most exciting time of the year, it's definitely tough to watch from the outside."


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Reinhart poised to become third brother drafted

Thursday, 03.27.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 NHL Draft - Philadelphia - June 27-28, 2014

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Center Sam Reinhart of the Kootenay Ice in the Western Hockey League takes pride in the little things that culminate in success.

Possessing great leadership, work ethic and a hockey IQ that is simply off the charts, the 6-foot-0.75, 185-pound right-handed shot could be the highest-drafted Reinhart to lace on the skates.

That's saying a lot, considering he no doubt has quite the hockey pedigree. His two older brothers and father were drafted.

Max Reinhart, 21, was taken by the Calgary Flames in the third round (No. 63) of the 2010 draft. The only defenseman of the three Reinhart brothers, Griffin, 19, was selected fourth overall by the New York Islanders in 2012. His father, Paul Reinhart, was chosen No. 12 by the Atlanta Flames in 1979.

"Over the years, all of us talked to my dad after every game," Reinhart told NHL.com. "He'd give us advice. Max and Griffin went through the same things I am going through, so being able to watch them has had a huge positive influence on my career; it's nice having both of them."


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Prospector Files: WHL draft-eligible All-Star team

Thursday, 03.27.2014 / 2:00 AM / Prospector Files

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Nashville Predators rookie defenseman Seth Jones was one of four Portland Winterhawks players selected at the 2013 NHL Draft at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

The Winterhawks and Kelowna Rockets actually shared the Western Hockey League lead for having the most players drafted last June with four. Since 1969, Portland is the WHL's all-time draft leader with 126 players selected at the draft.

At the 2013 draft, the WHL saw 33 players selected, eight of whom were taken in the first round. This year, eight of the top 30 North American skaters on NHL Central Scouting's midterm rankings are from the WHL, and 13 of the 40 players invited to the BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Calgary on Jan. 15 were also from the league.

It is traditionally considered the league of defensemen, but this year two forwards were listed among the top four on NHL Central Scouting's midterm list: No. 2 Leon Draisaitl of the Prince Albert Raiders and No. 4 Sam Reinhart of the Kootenay Ice. Each was named a First Team All-Star of the WHL's Eastern Conference.

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Sommer sets AHL record for games coached

Wednesday, 03.26.2014 / 8:05 PM / AHL Update

NHL.com

Roy Sommer established an American Hockey League record for most regular-season games coached when he led the Worcester Sharks against the Portland Pirates on Wednesday.

The game was Sommer's 1,257th as an AHL coach, surpassing the mark held by Hockey Hall of Fame member Frank Mathers.

Sommer, 56, was named coach of the San Jose Sharks’ AHL affiliate on May 28, 1998, and has spent his entire 16-year coaching career in the Sharks organization with the Kentucky Thoroughblades (1998-2001), Cleveland Barons (2001-06) and Worcester Sharks (2006-present). His 571 regular-season victories rank fourth all-time among AHL coaches.

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Dynamic duo, depth key Ducks' run to playoff berth

Wednesday, 03.26.2014 / 1:57 PM / Drive to the Playoffs

Jon Lane - NHL.com Staff Writer

During 20 years of existence, the Anaheim Ducks have won a Stanley Cup and two conference championships.

In this anniversary season, the Ducks clinched their 10th playoff berth and seventh in the past nine campaigns. And they did it by setting new franchise standards.

Anaheim is off to its finest start through 71 games (46-18-7, 99 points) to best the mark of 42-17-12 set in 2006-07, the season it won the Stanley Cup. The Ducks have also scored the most goals (226) at this stage of the season in club history and is two wins from matching the franchise record for wins in a single season (also in 2006-07).

In addition, the Ducks are poised to become the fastest team in club history to reach 100 points (75 games in 2006-07) and surged to the top of the NHL standings this season aided a 20-0-2 start at Honda Center.

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On the 'D'-fence: All hail King Karlsson

Wednesday, 03.26.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Brian Metzer - NHL.com Correspondent

Entering this season, we penned a fantasy faceoff breaking down the merits of owning the Montreal Canadiens' P.K. Subban against those of owning the Senators' Erik Karlsson. While we explained it was more about preference when determining which of those two defensemen to draft, we pointed you in the direction of Subban based on the fact Karlsson didn't quite look like himself at the end of the last season upon returning from injury.

In fact, on Sept. 5, 2013, we said "though Karlsson made it back late in the season and still managed to post .82 points-per-game, he just didn't look comfortable. Speed and agility are such an important part of his game and it just wasn't there as he seemed to be dealing with the lingering effects of the severed Achilles."

Well, today, we admit that was a load of hogwash and shout from the rooftop of our secret fantasy headquarters, "All Hail King Karlsson!"

Sure owning Subban, who has 50 points in 73 games, isn't hurting your team, but it isn't helping as much as if you had drafted the leading scorer at the position, Karlsson.

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Clinching scenarios: No team can secure berth tonight

Wednesday, 03.26.2014 / 11:00 AM / Drive to the Playoffs

NHL.com

There are no clinching scenarios for the Stanley Cup Playoffs in games being played Wednesday.

The Anaheim Ducks clinched a spot in the playoffs Tuesday without playing a game. The Ducks were assured of a Western Conference berth when the Dallas Stars lost 4-2 to the Chicago Blackhawks.

The St. Louis Blues and San Jose Sharks also have qualified from the Western Conference. The Boston Bruins have qualified from the Eastern Conference.

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Idle Ducks clinch Stanley Cup Playoff berth

Wednesday, 03.26.2014 / 3:10 AM / Drive to the Playoffs

NHL.com

The Anaheim Ducks clinched a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Tuesday night without playing a game. The Ducks were assured of a postseason berth when the Dallas Stars lost 4-2 to the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center.

Anaheim (46-18-7) is in second place in the Pacific Division. The Ducks are four points behind the first-place San Jose Sharks, who beat the Edmonton Oilers 5-2 on Tuesday night, but have played three fewer games. Anaheim's next game is Wednesday night against the Calgary Flames in the opener of a three-game road trip.

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Over the Boards: Three trades, three winners

Wednesday, 03.26.2014 / 3:00 AM / Over the Boards

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- More than two years later, the Philadelphia Flyers and Los Angeles Kings have no complaints about the returns they got in what amounted to three blockbuster deals involving star forwards Mike Richards and Jeff Carter. If the Columbus Blue Jackets become a perennial Stanley Cup Playoff contender with Jack Johnson as their cornerstone defensemen, they won't have any reason to gripe either.

All three teams could be in the playoffs this season.

"If you look at [the trades], it's worked out well for everybody," Philadelphia assistant general manager Ron Hextall told NHL.com before watching the Kings beat the Flyers 3-2 on Monday.


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Quote of the Day

Just the feel for the direction they were headed and what they're trying to do, it just felt that this is a really good thing for this organization. They've got the pieces. We can put something together and go on a run or two and be together for a while, and I'm really excited about that opportunity. The team we have here has an opportunity to win, and that's the most attractive thing.

— Washington defenseman Matt Niskanen on why he decided to sign with the Capitals