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Stanley Cup Final
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Rangers' Boyle finally adjusting to new role

Saturday, 02.28.2015 / 3:00 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- A broken hand opening night, multiple illnesses that he never before had to deal with, inconsistent play that hadn't existed previously, and a reduced role that hurt his confidence. Dan Boyle didn't expect his first season with the New York Rangers to be as frustrating on a personal level as it has been.

At 38 years old, Boyle knew his days as a No. 1 defenseman were done, particularly because he signed with a team that already featured Ryan McDonagh, Dan Girardi and Marc Staal. But Boyle didn't think he'd have to deal with as much change and adversity as he's had to this season.

"That's been the most frustrating thing about this year for me, just trying to stay steady with that confidence level," Boyle said. "It's hard when you're not used to this."

It looks like it's finally getting easier for Boyle; he at least feels it is. So does McDonagh. So does Rangers coach Alain Vigneault, who said Boyle had one of his best games of the season Thursday in a 4-3 win against the Arizona Coyotes.

Though it might have taken until late February, it appears the Rangers finally are seeing the skilled, slick-skating, puck-rushing defenseman they thought they were getting when they signed Boyle to a two-year, $9 million contract July 1.

New York carries a 10-game point streak (8-0-2) into its game Saturday at the Philadelphia Flyers (8 p.m. ET; NBC, City). Boyle has been in the lineup and contributing in various ways every game.

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Kimmo Timonen traded to Blackhawks by Flyers

Saturday, 02.28.2015 / 12:12 AM / 2015 NHL Trade Deadline

Corey Long - NHL.com Correspondent

Defenseman Kimmo Timonen, who has not played this season, was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks by the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday.

Timonen, who will turn 40 on March 18, was diagnosed with blood clots in his leg and lungs in August. He's been skating on his own Feb. 6 and had been practicing with the Flyers since Feb. 17.

"My only goal is to win the [Stanley] Cup," Timonen said after the trade. "This isn't about money or anything else. I had a good seven years with the Flyers; I always thought I would retire here but this is the right move."

Philadelphia receives a second-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft and a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2016 draft. If the Blackhawks win two playoff rounds and Timonen plays in at least 50 percent of the games, the fourth-round pick becomes a third-round pick in 2016.

"We've been working on this one for a while," Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said. "He was the defenseman we really wanted. He's been a high-level defenseman for a long time."

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Clarkson looking forward to fresh start in Columbus

Friday, 02.27.2015 / 3:51 PM / NHL Insider

Craig Merz - NHL.com Correspondent

COLUMBUS -- The Columbus Blue Jackets think they see in forward David Clarkson many of the traits present in some of the their top players.

"He's gritty. He plays the 200 feet and he's scored a lot of goals in this League," left wing Nick Foligno said. "He's going to help us on the offensive side but also defensively and being a hard person to play against. That's what we pride ourselves on.

"He's going to be another person to solidify that identity."

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Tlusty reunited with old friends upon trade to Jets

Friday, 02.27.2015 / 3:48 PM / NHL Insider

Patrick Williams - NHL.com Correspondent

WINNIPEG -- Approximately 6,000 miles separate the Czech city of Kladno and MTS Centre, the home of the Winnipeg Jets.

However, three childhood friends find themselves in the same landing spot after the Jets acquired left wing Jiri Tlusty from the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday.

The trade uprooted Tlusty, 26, from a team he played for since he was 21 years old and where he grew into a full-time NHL player.

Tlusty joins two fellow Czechs, goaltender Ondrej Pavelec and right wing Michael Frolik, but the ties between the three players go far beyond that.

"[Tlusty] texted me right away when he knew," Frolik said. "It was a little bit of a shocker."

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Devils believe spot in playoffs remains possible

Friday, 02.27.2015 / 2:28 PM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- The New Jersey Devils remain a confident group despite the trade of forward Jaromir Jagr on Thursday and the precarious situation they find themselves in during their pursuit of a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with six weeks remaining in the regular season.

Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello traded Jagr to the Florida Panthers, one of three teams that are between New Jersey and the second Eastern Conference wild-card spot held by the Boston Bruins.

The Devils received a second-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft and a conditional third-round pick in 2016 for Jagr.

"You knew there was a possibility that it could happen," Devils defenseman Andy Greene said of the Jagr trade. "You just never know if it might happen now, Monday [at the NHL Trade Deadline] or if they would do it at all. I think the return they got is great. It's a move [Lamoriello] felt comfortable doing, and by no means does it mean he's giving up on us.

"It's a hockey move and he had to make a trade, make a decision."

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Sharks' Couture fined for slew-footing

Friday, 02.27.2015 / 2:12 PM / Department of Player Safety News

NHL Public Relations

NEW YORK -- San Jose Sharks forward Logan Couture has been fined $5,000, the maximum allowable under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, for slew-footing Detroit Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith during NHL Game No. 916 in San Jose on Thursday, February 26, the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety announced today.

The incident occurred at 16:03 of the third period. Couture was assessed a minor penalty for tripping and Smith was assessed a minor penalty for hooking on the play.

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Lightning's Johnson continues to prove critics wrong

Friday, 02.27.2015 / 1:20 PM / NHL Insider

Corey Long - NHL.com Correspondent

TAMPA -- Tyler Johnson has heard it all before. He's not big enough, he's not tough enough, he needs to do more of this, he needs to do more of that.

The Tampa Bay Lightning forward has heard it and he's managed to succeed. Johnson, a four-year pro out of Spokane, Wash., has proven his rookie season in the NHL was no fluke.

Although he's no longer on the top line with center Steven Stamkos, Johnson is on the Lightning's most productive line with Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat. After being named to the NHL All-Rookie team and a Calder Trophy finalist in 2013-14, Johnson was selected to play in the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game, although he did not participate because he was injured.

"That was pretty unfortunate," Johnson said. "I was hoping I could play in the game but I didn't. It was still a good experience to be there and be acknowledged by the fans."

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Lindberg earns first call-up amid strong AHL season

Friday, 02.27.2015 / 12:32 PM / AHL Update

Kinsey Janke - Special to NHL.com

On Feb. 24, at just around 7 p.m., Hartford Wolf Pack center Oscar Lindberg had a date at Madison Square Garden with a dream he'd been chasing since childhood.

In 8:18 of ice time spread over 16 shifts, the Skelleftea, Sweden, native was on the ice for his first career NHL game with the New York Rangers, one that will linger in his memory forever, regardless of how many more come after it.

"I was kind of nervous the first couple of shifts, but I think as the game went on, I felt more comfortable," Lindberg said. "I'll remember that day for the rest of my life, that's for sure."

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Super 16: Kings' resurgence deeper than recent streak

Friday, 02.27.2015 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

No team in the analytics era has reminded people that process is a better indicator of future success than recent results like the Los Angeles Kings have.

In two of the past three seasons, the Kings appeared to be stumbling along near the middle of the NHL pack, before a late surge in the standings led into a championship run. Analysts pointed to the underlying numbers, and how Los Angeles was a great possession team dealing with some bad luck, especially last season.

In 2012, the Kings added Jeff Carter (and subtracted Jack Johnson) right about the time the shots started going in. Last season, Carter moved to center and the Kings added Marian Gaborik just as, after a season of carrying a near League-worst shooting percentage, the shots starting going in.

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Sekera looking forward to new challenges with Kings

Thursday, 02.26.2015 / 11:55 PM / NHL Insider

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

LOS ANGELES -- Andrej Sekera already knows new Los Angeles Kings teammates Robyn Regehr and Marian Gaborik, having played with them on other NHL teams and in international competition, respectively. So he was able to get a good idea of what it's like coming to the two-time Stanley Cup champions by talking with them.

The message?

"Losing isn't an option here," Sekera said when he met the media Thursday at Staples Center. "It's great to be in an environment like that. I'm looking forward to it. It's going to be fun, and it's going to be a challenge."

Sekera arrived Thursday morning and passed his physical but was held out of the game against the Ottawa Senators. The veteran defenseman will make his Kings debut Friday at the Anaheim Ducks in an important Pacific Division rivalry game.

The Kings acquired Sekera, 28, from the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday for defenseman prospect Ronald McKeown and a first-round pick in the either the 2015 or 2016 NHL Draft. To make room on the roster, defenseman Alec Martinez was placed on injured reserve with concussion symptoms, retroactive to Feb. 9.


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Quote of the Day

If you want to prove people wrong, you've just got to go out and do it. Yeah, we blew 3-2 series leads the last two years, but no one is going remember that if we go out there on Saturday night and beat these guys and go play in the Stanley Cup Final. We need to get back to work and we'll start to do that tomorrow.

— Ducks forward Kyle Palmieri following a loss to the Blackhawks in Game 6 on Wednesday