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Face Time: Olczyk joins La Greca for online chat

Thursday, 04.24.2014 / 6:10 PM / Edward Jones Face Time

NHL.com

Chat live with NHL analyst and broadcaster Eddie Olczyk as he joins broadcaster Don La Greca as special guest for Face Time chat at 12:30pm ET Friday. Olczyk and La Greca will field questions spanning many hockey topics as share their views on the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

To participate in tonight's chat, register here. Learn more and access complete chat archive at facetime.nbcsports.com.

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Pearn: Kings having trouble with Sharks' speed

Thursday, 04.24.2014 / 4:47 PM / Sharks vs Kings - 2014 SCP First Round

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

For additional insight into the Stanley Cup Playoff series between the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings, NHL.com has enlisted the help of former NHL coach Perry Pearn to break down the action. Pearn will be checking in throughout the series.

Pearn has spent the past 18 seasons as an assistant coach in the NHL with the Winnipeg Jets, Ottawa Senators, New York Rangers, Montreal Canadiens and a second tenure with the Jets in 2012-13 and 2013-14.

LOS ANGELES -- The San Jose Sharks have a surprising 3-0 lead in their Western Conference First Round series, and one of the biggest themes to this point has been how the Los Angeles Kings have struggled to slow down the speedy Sharks.

San Jose has 17 goals in three games and has looked like a significantly swifter club, generating offensive chances in bunches and shortly after taking the puck away from the Kings.

"The one thing I see in this series is the Sharks' transition game has been outstanding," Pearn said. "I think it's fed a little bit by the fact that L.A. has given up the puck in opportune positions on the ice, but I think the transition game has made San Jose look that much faster than L.A. To me, it has been the difference in every game. It's created chances and created momentum with San Jose."

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Built for playoffs, Dubinsky's will lifts Blue Jackets

Thursday, 04.24.2014 / 3:59 PM / Penguins vs Blue Jackets - 2014 SCP First Round

Craig Merz - NHL.com Correspondent

Nick Foligno is not the only player in the Columbus Blue Jackets' dressing room who is good at making predictions.

The left wing told his teammates before the start of overtime in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference First Round series Wednesday that he would score the winner against the Pittsburgh Penguins, and he did for a 4-3 win that knotted the Stanley Cup Playoffs best-of-7 series at 2-2.

Columbus rallied from a 3-0 deficit to win Game 4, and from down 3-1 in Game 2, with the Penguins also coming back from trailing 3-1 in Games 1 and 3. It's the first series in Stanley Cup Playoffs history in which four consecutive games have been won by a team trailing by two or more goals, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

A day prior to that victory, teammate Mark Letestu was asked what fiery center Brandon Dubinsky means to a young team that has thrived under the leadership of veteran players.

"Dubi relishes the big moments," Letestu said. "If you think back to the big moments the last two years for this franchise, he seems to be in or around it.

"His game is built for the playoffs. You can see at any moment that he's head-first into it."

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Rangers' role reversal sees Nash set up, Stepan score

Thursday, 04.24.2014 / 3:48 PM / Rangers vs Flyers - 2014 SCP First Round

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- During the regular season, it was Derek Stepan who was the primary facilitator when Rick Nash found the back of the net for the New York Rangers, assisting on 13 of Nash's team-leading 26 goals.

But in a sudden role reversal, Nash has become the passer and Stepan the scorer on a top line that has led New York to a 2-1 lead in its Eastern Conference First Round series against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Nash leads the Rangers with four assists and Stepan is tied for the team lead with two goals entering Game 4 against the Flyers on Friday at Wells Fargo Center (7 p.m. ET; CNBC, TSN, RDS, MSG, CSN-PH). That unlikely shift has allowed each player to move on from their respective disappointments in the postseason last year.

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Flyers' Luke Schenn adds offense in first postseason

Thursday, 04.24.2014 / 2:41 PM / Rangers vs Flyers - 2014 SCP First Round

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

VOORHEES, N.J. -- Philadelphia Flyers coach Craig Berube has given his defensemen the green light to jump into the play in the offensive zone any time they see the opportunity.

But for Luke Schenn, that light always has been a blinking yellow.

In the first three games of the Flyers' Eastern Conference First Round series against the New York Rangers, however, Schenn only has seen green.

Schenn scored the game-winning goal in the Flyers' 4-2 victory in Game 2, driving to the net during a delayed penalty to bang in the rebound of an Adam Hall shot. He had a team-best five shots on goal in Game 3, and his eight shots in the first three games of the series are tied with rookie forward Jason Akeson for first on the team.

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Start time set for Game 6 of Ducks-Stars series

Thursday, 04.24.2014 / 1:20 PM / Stanley Cup Playoffs

NHL.com

NEW YORK -- The National Hockey League today announced updated start time information for the First Round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs:

The start time for Game 6 of the series between the Anaheim Ducks and Dallas Stars has been set for 8:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. CT on Sunday, April 27, in Dallas. The game will be seen nationally on NBCSN in the United States and on TSN2 and RDS in Canada.

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Bergeron, Kopitar, Toews voted Selke Trophy finalists

Thursday, 04.24.2014 / 11:00 AM / 2014 NHL Awards

NHL.com

NEW YORK -- Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins, Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings and Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks are the three finalists for the 2013-14 Frank J. Selke Trophy, which is awarded "to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game," the National Hockey League announced today.

Members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association submitted ballots for the Selke Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winner will be announced Tuesday, June 24, during the 2014 NHL Awards from Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas. The 2014 NHL Awards will be broadcast by NBCSN in the United States and CBC in Canada.

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Lethbridge's Duke using U-18 snub as motivation

Thursday, 04.24.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 NHL Draft - Philadelphia - June 27-28, 2014

Aaron Vickers - NHL.com Correspondent

CALGARY -- Reid Duke needn't look far for inspiration. For the most part, he can just look across the gym.

Duke, a center for the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the Western Hockey League, has spent the past month training alongside Red Deer Rebels center Conner Bleackley at Crash Conditioning in Calgary's southeast.

At least that was the case until Bleackley received his invitation to represent Canada at the IIHF World Under-18 Championship.

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Kane rounding into form for Blackhawks

Thursday, 04.24.2014 / 2:50 AM / Blues vs Blackhawks - 2014 SCP First Round

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- It was almost inevitable that Patrick Kane was going to need a few games to regain his elite level of play.

After missing the final month of the regular season with a lower-body injury after an opponent landed on his left leg during a game on March 19, Kane got back into the lineup in the opening game of the Chicago Blackhawks' Western Conference First Round series against the St. Louis Blues. He scored a breakaway goal near the end of the first period in that game at Scottrade Center, but didn't really look like himself.

But in Game 4 on Wednesday at United Center, Kane looked as dangerous as ever. He scored two goals, including the game-winner in overtime of Chicago's 4-3 victory that knotted the best-of-7 series at 2-2. He also assisted on Andrew Shaw's goal that opened the scoring in the second period.

"I was out a month, so you're not going to come back [the same]," said Kane, who was moved off captain Jonathan Toews' top line early in the third period. "You can get all the rest you need, but you're not going to come back and have that game pace and timing that you had when you left, so it takes a little while. It's something I've never really dealt with too much throughout my career. I'm trying to do my best."

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Blues must refocus as series shifts back to St. Louis

Thursday, 04.24.2014 / 2:18 AM / Blues vs Blackhawks - 2014 SCP First Round

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- They came back from a two-goal deficit in a hostile environment. It was a chance for the St. Louis Blues to grab the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks by the throat and take a 3-1 lead in this Western Conference First Round series.

But the Blues saw their lead evaporate with 3:52 remaining on a Bryan Bickell goal before Patrick Kane sealed Chicago's 4-3 overtime victory in Game 4 Wednesday night.

Chicago's rally turned this Stanley Cup Playoff series into a best-of-3, starting with Game 5 on Friday at Scottrade Center (8 p.m. ET, CBC, RDS2, NBCSN, CSN-CH, FS-MW).

The Blues, down 2-0 late in the second period, got two goals in a 1:05 span from Vladimir Tarasenko and Maxim Lapierre to stun the Blackhawks and 22,123 on hand at United Center.

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Quote of the Day

Not only is it a great idea, but if you don't [start using analytics] you're going to fall behind. You have to be on the cutting edge. It was [Arizona Coyotes assistant general manager] Darcy Regier who said, 'If you didn't invent it, you have to be the second- or third-best copier, because if you're fourth or fifth you've got no chance.'

— Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock on his interest in advanced statistical analysis