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(Page 158 of 161)
Features

Bruins seamlessly integrating new players on defense

Monday, 03.24.2014 / 2:14 PM / NHL Insider

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

BOSTON -- Teams can boast about their depth until they're blue in the face.

Under perfect circumstances that depth never will have to be tested and observers never will discover if it's capable of living up to the hype.

The Boston Bruins haven't had perfect circumstances during the 2013-14 season. But a rash of injuries to their defense corps hasn't stopped them from reeling off 12 straight wins heading into their game against the Montreal Canadiens at TD Garden on Monday (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS), or from allowing the second-fewest amount of goals per game in the NHL entering play Monday.

Obviously the goaltending of Tuukka Rask (2.07 goals-against average, .929 save percentage) and Chad Johnson (2.04, .925) deserves a lot of credit for Boston's stinginess. But even the goaltenders would admit they need help from the players in front of them.

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Kings' Carter feels content in return to Philadelphia

Monday, 03.24.2014 / 1:33 PM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- Leaning back on the wall outside the unfamiliar visitor's dressing room at Wells Fargo Center, Los Angeles Kings forward Jeff Carter flashed a smile, revealing his bumpy gums and some scarce chipped and out-of-position teeth, a hockey player's signature grin.

There was no way to know what Carter's smile looked like June 23, 2011, when he was traded by thePhiladelphia Flyers to the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first of two culture-changing transactions made that day by Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren, who later traded former captain Mike Richards to the Kings.

Carter was sad to be traded, and angry at the organization that drafted him and had signed him to an 11-year, $58 million contract less than a year earlier. His no-trade clause hadn't kicked in yet, but Carter thought he was safe -- until Holmgren sent him to Columbus for forward Jakub Voracek and a 2011 first-round pick he turned into center Sean Couturier.

Carter was traded to the Kings eight months later, ending a short stint in Columbus. And as he prepares to play his first game in Philadelphia since the day he was shipped out of the city (Richards played here Oct. 15, 2011), a smiling Carter appears ready to let bygones be bygones.

Time has healed his wounds; the Stanley Cup he won with the Kings in 2012 certainly helps.

"I think it's worked out pretty well," Carter said. "Stanley Cup, playing in L.A. It's a pretty good setup."

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Fantasy All-Access: Streaking Bruins have value

Matt Sitkoff - NHL.com Contributor

The Boston Bruins are two wins shy of their franchise record for consecutive wins, 14 set in 1929-30; let’s look at the streak from a fantasy aspect.

Veteran Jarome Iginla has paced the team with 11 goals and 14 points during the win streak. Rookie Carl Soderberg has raised his fantasy stock with 10 points in the past 13 games. Both Bruins goalies have contributed to the win streak; Tuukka Rask has won seven straight while giving up only 11 goals. Chad Johnson has won five straight while stopping 125 of 131 shots.

The Bruins have four games this week (MTL, CHI, @WSH, @PHI); expect their red-hot players to keep pacing your fantasy teams.

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Clinching scenarios: Sharks, Ducks can nab berths

Monday, 03.24.2014 / 10:29 AM / Drive to the Playoffs

NHL.com

* The San Jose Sharks would clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs if they get at least one point against the Calgary Flames OR if the New York Rangers defeat the Phoenix Coyotes in regulation OR if the Winnipeg Jets defeat the Dallas Stars in regulation OR if both the Coyotes and Stars lose in overtime or a shootout.

* The Anaheim Ducks (idle) would clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs if the Rangers defeat the Coyotes in regulation OR if the Jets defeat the Stars in regulation OR if both the Coyotes and Stars lose in overtime or a shootout.

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Daily Primer March 24: Flyers, Rangers in key games

Monday, 03.24.2014 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

The divisions that make up the Eastern Conference could each have a new second-place team by Tuesday morning after key games Monday night.

Or they could be the same.

The Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers, second and third in the Metropolitan Division, and the Tampa Bay Lightning and Montreal Canadiens, Nos. 2 and 3 in the Atlantic Division, are all in action in separate games.

The Flyers lead the Rangers by one point (83-82), but Philadelphia has two games in hand. The Flyers play at home against the Los Angeles Kings, and the Rangers host the Phoenix Coyotes. The Coyotes trail the Kings by seven points for third place in the Pacific Division.

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Bruins keep rolling as postseason approaches

Sunday, 03.23.2014 / 6:04 PM / NHL Insider

Jerry Brown - NHL.com Correspondent

PHOENIX -- Jarome Iginla was doing his job, standing right in front of the crease and screening the eyes of Phoenix Coyotes goalie Mike Smith when Boston Bruins teammate Dougie Hamilton set up captain Zdeno Chara for one of his potent slap shots from the point that can exceed 100 miles per hour.

Chara could have missed Ignila and the net completely, or he could have given his teammate a puck-shaped tattoo for the next two weeks.

"I'm sure I would have had my eyes closed there," Bruins forward Shawn Thornton said. "I've been hit by one of those and it's not fun,"

Instead, the blast glanced off Iginla's pants and was deflected cleanly by Smith to wipe out Boston's first deficit in 20 periods of hockey.

"I wasn't moving to get it. I was just standing there and it hit me," Iginla said. "Just pure luck on my part, but it was a great shot by [Chara] trying to shoot around me."

That's how things are going for the Bruins right now: Hard work, confidence and just the right mix of making their own luck and getting some.

The 4-2 win against Phoenix on Saturday gives Boston 12 straight victories, the most since Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito and the Bruins won 13 in a row in 1970-71.

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Clinching scenarios: Penguins can earn berth

Sunday, 03.23.2014 / 11:32 AM / Drive to the Playoffs

NHL.com

The Pittsburgh Penguins would clinch an Eastern Conference berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs if they defeat the St. Louis Blues in any fashion AND the New Jersey Devils defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs in any fashion OR if they defeat the St. Louis Blues in any fashion AND both the Columbus Blue Jackets and Detroit Red Wings lose in regulation to the New York Islanders and Minnesota Wild, respectively.

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Blues' defense, goaltending spark run to playoffs

Sunday, 03.23.2014 / 11:09 AM / Drive to the Playoffs

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

The St. Louis Blues are the first Western Conference team to have its ticket punched to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They are also in the running to win the Presidents' Trophy for the first time since 1999-2000, when they finished with 114 points but lost to the San Jose Sharks in the Western Conference Quarterfinals.

Obviously, St. Louis is banking on a better result this spring, but before discussing expectations and potential for Ken Hitchcock's team, let's examine how the Blues got to this point in the season.

Here are five reasons why the Blues are heading to the playoffs for the third straight season with Hitchcock in charge:

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Daily Primer March 23: Blackhawks back in hunt

Sunday, 03.23.2014 / 12:19 AM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

Nine days ago, it looked like the Chicago Blackhawks had no chance to win the Central Division and might wind up in third place. That was after the Blackhawks lost 3-2 at home to the Nashville Predators, a team unlikely to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Predators come back to United Center on Sunday, and a lot has changed in the interim. The Blackhawks have gone 3-0-1 since that loss, with one of the wins coming against the division-leading St. Louis Blues. Chicago's 3-2 win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday and the Blues' 4-1 road loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday have cut Chicago's deficit in the division race to a more manageable four points.

Here's a look at all of the action Sunday:


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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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Quote of the Day

We think that Randy is a very good coach. Our players think that Randy is a very good coach. We think that he's going to get the most out of this group. With the addition of the two assistants, a bit of a different dynamic, we're very comfortable that this is a quality coaching staff that's going to maximize the potential of this team.

— Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis on head coach Randy Carlyle and his staff