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Features

Rangers getting better at closing out victories

Sunday, 03.23.2014 / 12:06 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- Less than two weeks ago, the New York Rangers appeared to be showing their warts as a team that could play well, could hang in tight games, but couldn't close. That seems like a distant memory now.

Nothing is set, not even close, especially with a pair of home games this week against the Phoenix Coyotes and Philadelphia Flyers followed by a four-game western road trip. But after going 2-4-1 to start the month, the Rangers have won four of their past five games. All four victories have come on the road, where they have a League-best 23 wins.

They beat the New Jersey Devils 2-0 on Saturday at Prudential Center to solidify their spot as the third-place team in the Metropolitan Division. The Rangers have 82 points, one fewer than the red-hot Flyers and four more than the fourth-place Columbus Blue Jackets, a team the Rangers beat Friday night.

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Berglund filling offensive void for Blues

Saturday, 03.22.2014 / 11:15 PM / NHL Insider

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- According to Patrik Berglund, nothing has changed since his return from the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

The physical characteristics are certainly the same: He's still a left-handed shooter, he still wears No. 21 and he still plays for the St. Louis Blues.

What has changed is Berglund's name popping up more often on the stat sheet at the end of the night. More often bodes well for these Blues.

Berglund has 14 goals this season -- not an eye-popping number considering the Blues (47-16-7 have played 70 games. But six of those eight goals came in a recent eight-game stretch, and seven of his 31 points on the season came in a 10-game set.

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Bruins' defense, depth led to NHL's first playoff clinch

Saturday, 03.22.2014 / 11:11 AM / Drive to the Playoffs

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Zdeno Chara is still arguably the best defenseman in the National Hockey League and Tuukka Rask is a favorite to win the Vezina Trophy this season. Toss in enviable forward depth and a solid defense corps behind Chara along with a seasoned coaching staff, and there are plenty of reasons why the Boston Bruins are the first team to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs this season.

The Bruins punched a ticket to the playoffs Friday night by winning their 11th straight game, fittingly with a near-flawless defensive performance in a 2-0 win against the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center.

Chara has been his usual minute-munching, forward-crunching self this season. He once again plays nearly 25 minutes per game and always faces the toughest matchups, and Chara, who turned 37 earlier this week, should again be up among the top candidates for the Norris Trophy. He won the trophy in 2009.

Here are five more reasons the Bruins are heading back to the playoffs:

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Clinching scenarios: Sharks can nab playoff berth

Saturday, 03.22.2014 / 11:08 AM / Drive to the Playoffs

NHL.com Staff

The Boston Bruins became the first team to reserve a spot in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs on Friday, and a Western Conference power can join them Saturday. 

The San Jose Sharks could book a spot in the playoffs if they defeat the Washington Capitals in any fashion and either the Senators defeat the Stars in any fashion or the Bruins defeat the Coyotes in regulation. The Sharks would also clinch if they earn one point against the Capitals and the Senators defeat the Stars in regulation.

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Daily Primer March 22: Bruins try for 12 in a row

Saturday, 03.22.2014 / 12:10 AM / NHL Insider

The Phoenix Coyotes will get the next chance to derail the Boston Bruins.

Boston comes to Jobing.com Arena on Saturday night seeking its 12th consecutive win and second in as many nights. The Bruins stretched their winning streak to 11, the longest in the NHL this season, by shutting down the Colorado Avalanche 2-0 in Denver on Friday. Backup goaltender Chad Johnson made 31 saves and the Bruins got goals from Patrice Bergeron and Carl Soderberg as they became the first team to clinch a berth in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Boston hasn't lost since March 1 and has outscored opponents 43-15 during its winning streak

Here's a look at all the action on a busy Saturday.

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Maple Leafs eye run with Bolland, Bernier close

Friday, 03.21.2014 / 4:45 PM / NHL Insider

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

With 10 points in 12 games, and the Toronto Maple Leafs starting the season 10-4-0, forward Dave Bolland was enjoying a memorable first month with his hometown team after winning the Stanley Cup twice with the Chicago Blackhawks. Then came Nov. 2, when Vancouver Canucks forward Zack Kassian accidentally stepped on Bolland's left leg, leaving Bolland with a lacerated tendon in his ankle.

Bolland hasn't played since, but that could be about to change.

After missing 56 games, Bolland could return Saturday against the Montreal Canadiens (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, CBC). With goaltender Jonathan Bernier also possible to return after missing three games with a groin injury, Toronto could be getting healthy at the right time. Having lost three straight, they certainly can use both players.

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Bruins ride depth, balance to top spot in East

Friday, 03.21.2014 / 4:33 PM / Drive to the Playoffs

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Boston Bruins are surging toward the top of the NHL standings, and look like a top title contender as the Stanley Cup Playoffs beckon.

The Eastern Conference-leading Bruins will look for their 11th straight victory when they visit the Colorado Avalanche on Friday. It would mark the longest win streak in coach Claude Julien's seven seasons.

"Our whole team is feeling good about their game and when you feel good about your game, you seem to have that energy and right now our whole team has a lot of energy," Julien said after the Bruins beat the New Jersey Devils 4-2 on Tuesday.

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Blackhawks give Teravainen a look as Kane rests

Friday, 03.21.2014 / 4:31 PM / Features

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- The much-anticipated arrival of Teuvo Teravainen dominated a busy morning skate for the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday at United Center.

The 19-year old Finnish forward, Chicago's top prospect, officially joined his new team on the ice for drills but won't play Friday night against the Carolina Hurricanes. Instead, the Blackhawks want to give Teravainen some time to get acclimated to his surroundings.

They also want to take as much pressure off his shoulders as possible, even as fans look to him to ease the sting of losing right wing Patrick Kane to a lower-body injury for the rest of the regular season.

"The thing we just want to be cautious about is he's a 19-year-old kid," Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said. "He's not coming in here to carry the team. We certainly have high hopes for him in the future, but this is more just an experience for Teuvo to come in and see what the NHL is all about."

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Penguins' Neal fined $5,000 for cross-checking

Friday, 03.21.2014 / 3:27 PM / Department of Player Safety News

NHL.com

NEW YORKPittsburgh Penguins forward James Neal has been fined $5,000 for cross-checking Detroit Red Wings forward Luke Glendening in NHL Game No. 1046 in Detroit on Thursday, March 20, the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety announced today.

The incident occurred at 5:19 of the second period. Neal was assessed a minor penalty for cross-checking.

The fine money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

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Red Wings' Legwand fined $5,000 for butt-ending

Friday, 03.21.2014 / 3:27 PM / Department of Player Safety News

NEW YORKDetroit Red Wings forward David Legwand has been fined $5,000 for butt-ending Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin in NHL Game No. 1046 in Detroit on Thursday, March 20, the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety announced today.

The incident occurred at 16:14 of the third period. Legwand was assessed a major penalty and game misconduct for butt-ending.

The fine money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

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Quote of the Day

Obviously a lot happened in a short period of time. At the end of the day, considering everything I went through, I really felt close to my teammates and I really feel like what we accomplished, I know we didn't win it all. ... I'm really proud of how we got there and what we did once we got there.

— Rangers forward Martin St. Louis to Jim Cerny of BlueshirtsUnited.com