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(Page 147 of 162)
Features

Lucic does heavy lifting as Bruins battle for playoffs

Thursday, 04.02.2015 / 12:00 PM / Top Performer

NHL.com

With the Boston Bruins fighting to maintain a spot in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, forward Milan Lucic is doing his best to keep them there.

Lucic scored three goals in the past week, including his second multigoal game of the season against the New York Rangers, and the winner against the Florida Panthers in a crucial game in the race for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

"You talk about those four-point games where you're able to get two points but also not let them get anything," Lucic said after scoring the game-winner against Florida. "So I think it makes it that much bigger of a win to be able to come out and win that one in regulation."

Playoff Countdown: Bruins in pursuit of Red Wings

Thursday, 04.02.2015 / 11:12 AM / 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 wasn't long ago the Boston Bruins had slipped out of the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference and their run at an eighth straight postseason berth seemed in serious jeopardy.

With a regulation win Thursday at the Detroit Red Wings, the Bruins (39-25-13) would tie the Red Wings (40-23-13) with 93 points. Detroit would still hold down third place in the Atlantic Division by virtue of having played one fewer game, but it would continue a late-season trend that has seen the Bruins come on strong and the Red Wings start to fade.

Playoff clinching scenarios for Thursday, April 2

Thursday, 04.02.2015 / 11:08 AM / Expert Picks

NHL Public Relations

With 10 days remaining in the regular season, there are 11 berths up for grabs in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The clinching scenarios for games Thursday:

* The St. Louis Blues would clinch a playoff berth if they get at least one point against the Calgary Flames OR if the Los Angeles Kings lose to the Edmonton Oilers in regulation.

Molson Canadian contest spotlights love for hockey

Thursday, 04.02.2015 / 11:00 AM / NHL Insider

Evan Sporer - NHL.com Staff Writer

Hockey, at its core, is a game. Yet sometimes that's an easily overlooked fact, especially when hockey can take on a greater meaning. And when choice individuals go above and beyond the call for the sake of the sport, it becomes all the more special.

Molson Canadian recently held a contest it called #ANYTHINGFORHOCKEY, which solicited entries from Canadians telling their stories about what they would do for hockey. Eleven winners were announced, with the grand prize of being flown to a professionally-made mountain rink in a remote range near the Rocky Mountains to play a game.

Though the 11 winners were different ages and genders, and told different stories, one common thread united them all: a passion for and commitment to hockey.

Practice doesn't make goalies perfect: Unmasked

Thursday, 04.02.2015 / 3:00 AM / Unmasked

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

Practice does not make perfect for an NHL goaltender. Only perfect practice makes perfect.

Most NHL practices are far from perfect for goalies, and that can be a problem. In fact, a good chunk of practice can be counterproductive to good goaltending, leaving the goalie facing situations that can create bad habits.

It is the separate sessions with the goalie coach, before and after practice, that are important.

If that sounds like a stretch, consider the fact that a large portion of NHL practice time is spent on line rushes which are only occasionally defended, often in the loosest sense of that term. The result is wave after wave of players skating in with passing options and plenty of time to dish or hold and shoot from close range.

In practice, shooters repeatedly get time and space to shoot from spots, and in situations, they might be lucky to get once or twice a season. These opportunities come without the sense of urgency associated with the backchecking pressure of a game.

It can become tempting for a goaltender to cheat in practice. In many ways, practice resembles summer shinny sessions, which many NHL goalies avoid because the only way to consistently make saves in them is to play differently than they would during a regular season.

"If guys are coming in and taking that extra two seconds to shoot and pick that corner on you, you just have to realize in a game situation they won't get that time, so you should still trust your instincts," New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist said late last season. "But it is tough, especially when you play deep like me and you give up a goal because you didn't cover enough, to still stick with your structure and not start challenging. But that's the challenge."

White overcomes illness, injury to excel for USNTDP

Thursday, 04.02.2015 / 3:00 AM / Prospects

Joe Yerdon - NHL.com Correspondent

BUFFALO – When it comes to finding players who can score at a high rate in the 2015 NHL Draft, there will be a big pool to choose from. One player who may fly under the radar is forward Colin White.

White played for the United States National Under-18 Team Development Program this season and finished sixth on the team in scoring. That may not sound impressive, but White dealt with a case of mononucleosis and a wrist injury that limited his ability to play. Through all that he ended the season with 16 goals and 42 points in 45 games.

"When I'm talking about [White], there's no doubt in my mind this kid is one heck of a hockey player," Under-18 coach Don Granato said. "He's going to be a great pro player. The details you need at the professional level, he has. He does them naturally. He competes naturally. I don't care if he had 100 points, that doesn't make anybody better than anybody else at this level. It might make him only better at this level. It has no bearing on the future.

"The detail in his game, the way he focuses on game plan execution, on hockey concepts… His numbers, hey everybody's numbers could be higher, but his performance has been exceptional. And as a coach who's coached at those next levels, the appreciation I have for what he does far exceeds any point accumulation. To me he's done an unbelievable job."

Subban, Canadiens ready for Ovechkin, Capitals

Wednesday, 04.01.2015 / 4:38 PM / NHL Insider

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- One of the many incredible aspects of the 50-goal season put together by Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin is that he has scored at least one goal against 25 of 29 teams.

Not in his career, mind you. This season.

Ovechkin will have a chance to make it 26 out of 29 on Thursday when the Capitals play the Montreal Canadiens (7:30 p.m. ET; CSN-DC, RDS, SNE) at Bell Centre for the final time this season.

The Canadiens, Detroit Red Wings, Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks are the teams that have not allowed a goal to Ovechkin this season, and Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban knows it will be a big challenge to shut him out for a third time.

"I don't really like to pay special attention to certain players, but he's one of the players in the League who's had a better than average year this year," Subban said with a chuckle after practice Wednesday. "He's scored a lot of goals in the League, so you've got to pay attention to him when he's on the ice.

"I'm always the type of player who likes to get up for the better players in the League. That's how you test yourself, that's how you measure yourself. He's a great player in this League since he's come into it, and he's an impact player, so it's a challenge."

Jets' Byfuglien faces Player Safety hearing

Wednesday, 04.01.2015 / 12:00 PM / Department of Player Safety News

NHL.com

Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien will have a telephone hearing Thursday with the NHL Department of Player Safety for a hit against New York Rangers forward J.T. Miller during a game at MTS Centre on Tuesday.

Miller was hit by Byfuglien in front of the Winnipeg net at 17:23 of the second period. No penalty was assessed on the play and Miller remained in the game.

The following grounds are being considered for supplemental discipline: Cross checking. However, the Department of Player Safety retains the right to make adjustments to the infraction upon review.

Fantasy top 60 'D': Niskanen heats up just in time

Wednesday, 04.01.2015 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Brian Metzer - NHL.com Correspondent

Every Wednesday during the season, NHL.com fantasy hockey correspondent Brian Metzer will provide you with in-depth defensemen analysis. From updated weekly top 60 rankings to trending players and more, Metzer will be your go-to guy for fantasy blue line advice all season long.

Washington Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen burst onto the fantasy scene last season as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins with his best offensive showing since 2008-09, putting up a career best numbers in goals (10), assists (36), points (46), plus-minus (33), power play assists (12) and shots on goal (162).

That he did so during a contract year helped him cash in with lucrative seven-year, $40.25 million dollar contract with the Capitals.

Playoff Countdown: Pens fighting for second place

Wednesday, 04.01.2015 / 11:42 AM / 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.

The Pittsburgh Penguins take center stage on a four-game night in the NHL, not only because they are part of the Wednesday Night Rivalry doubleheader on NBCSN, but because they have the best chance to re-order the muddled picture for the Stanley Cup Playoff berths in the Eastern Conference.

The Penguins host their primary rival, the Philadelphia Flyers, at Consol Energy Center (8 p.m.; NBCSN, TVA, SN1) with a chance to solidify its place in the Metropolitan Division standings.

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Quote of the Day

I spent a long summer thinking about that playoff series and what could have been. [The Blackhawks] ended up being the Stanley Cup champions, so we know we lost to a very good team. It's tough to know how close we were, and it motivates us for this year.

— Nashville captain Shea Weber in an interview with the Predators website
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