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2014 NHL Draft
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Penguins forward Bennett to have wrist surgery

Thursday, 05.15.2014 / 2:24 PM / News

Wes Crosby - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins forward Beau Bennett needs surgery to repair a hand/wrist injury that never fully healed.

He is scheduled to have surgery next week and said he expects to be prepared for training camp next season.

Bennett was expected to return in early March after missing three months. A setback kept him out for another few weeks; he finally returned March 28 against the Columbus Blue Jackets. He played in the final nine regular-season games and the Penguins' first 12 Stanley Cup Playoff games but was scratched for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Second Round series against the New York Rangers. He said Thursday he wasn't completely healthy in the postseason.

"Unfortunately that setback I had was a back-to-square-one setback," Bennett said. "They gave me the option to either play with it or get [the surgery] done then and there in February, and I was kind of sick of watching and I was taping it and hoping for the best and that kind of limited me in that way."


Penguins feel right players, coaches are in place

Thursday, 05.15.2014 / 2:11 PM / Penguins vs Rangers - 2014 SCP Second Round

Wes Crosby - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins will not speculate on any potential organizational changes.

Two days after being eliminated by the New York Rangers in seven games in the Eastern Conference Second Round, Penguins players reflected on another failed Stanley Cup Playoff run but avoided looking toward the future. They were consistent in their belief that the relationship between the players and coach Dan Bylsma and his staff was not fractured.

"You're going to hear a lot of that stuff and a lot of negativity and a lot of different rumors," captain Sidney Crosby said. "That's normal when you lose, and there's always people looking for reasons. But if we win [Game 7 against New York] we don't have to answer these questions. But that's the difference between winning and losing."


Sabres' Konopka suspended 20 games

Thursday, 05.15.2014 / 2:00 PM / News


NEW YORKBuffalo Sabres forward Zenon Konopka has been suspended for 20 games for violating the terms of the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program.

Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the suspension is accompanied by mandatory referral to the NHL/NHLPA Program for Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health for evaluation and possible treatment.

The player's contract expires with the conclusion of the 2013-14 season. The term of the suspension will be served at the beginning of any new contract.

The National Hockey League will have no further comment on this matter.


Inaugural Ducks-Kings series peaks with Game 7

Thursday, 05.15.2014 / 1:37 PM / Ducks vs. Kings - 2014 SCP Second Round


NEW YORK -- The first-ever Stanley Cup Playoff series between Southern California rivals the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings reaches its pinnacle with the excitement of Game 7 Friday at Honda Center in Anaheim (9 p.m., ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS). The winner will advance to the Western Conference Final against the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks.

The Ducks-Kings showdown will be the third Second Round series decided in a Game 7, joining both Eastern Conference matchups (New York Rangers defeated Pittsburgh, Montreal defeated Boston). Since 1988, there only have been two other years when three or more second-round series required a Game 7: 2001 and 2009. Friday's contest also will mark the sixth Game 7 of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, one short of the single-year playoff record of seven (1994, 2011).


Rangers, Canadiens battle in Original Six series

Thursday, 05.15.2014 / 12:16 PM / Canadiens vs Rangers - 2014 Eastern Conference Final

Adam Kimelman and Dan Rosen - NHL.com Staff Writers

Carey Price and Henrik Lundqvist have been here before. They were on opposite sides of the rink in the gold-medal game at the 2014 Sochi Olympics and they'll be facing off again when the Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers play in the Eastern Conference Final.

It's the 15th time the Original Six franchises will play in the Stanley Cup Playoffs; they split the first 14 matchups, with the most recent series coming in 1996.

Each team arrived after rallying from deficits to win their second-round series in seven games.

Montreal trailed the Boston Bruins 3-2 but got outstanding goaltending from Price in the final two games. The Rangers were down 3-1 against the Pittsburgh Penguins but came together as a team, and with Lundqvist backstopping their defensive effort won three in a row to advance to the conference final for the second time in three years.

The Canadiens won two of three regular-season games but the season series saw a total of four goals scored. Price stopped 74 of 75 shots in two games, and Lundqvist allowed two goals on 27 shots in his one game against the Canadiens.


Islanders' Tavares skating, cleared for full activity

Thursday, 05.15.2014 / 11:22 AM / News


New York Islanders captain John Tavares has been cleared to skate and his recovery from a knee injury that ended his 2013-14 season is going well, he told a Buffalo radio station Thursday.

"Everything's pretty much back to normal," Tavares told WGR 550 in Buffalo. "I was cleared last week to resume full activity, so I skated with the London Knights [of the Ontario Hockey League] as they're preparing for the Memorial Cup for three days and three practices, and I feel really good.

"I'm just happy I'm able to put this behind me, move forward, and look toward next season."


Red Deer's Bleackley readies for Scouting Combine

Thursday, 05.15.2014 / 9:00 AM / 2014 NHL Draft - Philadelphia - June 27-28, 2014

Aaron Vickers - NHL.com Correspondent

Forward Conner Bleackley certainly left everything on the ice following 71 games with the Red Deer Rebels of the Western Hockey League and seven more for Canada at the 2014 IIHF Under-18 World Championship this season.

Now it's time to leave it all in the gym as he prepares for the 2014 NHL Scouting Combine in Toronto later this month.

"It's a little bit nerve-wracking," said Bleackley, No. 35 on NHL Central Scouting's final list of the top draft-eligible North American skaters.


Kings overcome more adversity, force Game 7

Thursday, 05.15.2014 / 2:44 AM / Ducks vs. Kings - 2014 SCP Second Round

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

LOS ANGELES -- Winning the Stanley Cup is always supposed to be about sacrifice and overcoming adversity and all of those hard-to-quantify things.

The Los Angeles Kings faced about the least amount of adversity of any Stanley Cup champion in NHL history when they cruised to the title in 2012. There were no key injuries. They never trailed in a series, racing to a 3-0 lead four times despite starting each on the road.

Yet from that experience, the Kings have become a team that seems to deal with adversity as well as any in the NHL. Nothing has been easy for Los Angeles in the postseason since winning the Cup.


Encouraging Price leads Canadiens to Game 7 win

Thursday, 05.15.2014 / 1:07 AM / Bruins vs Canadiens - 2014 SCP Second Round

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

BOSTON -- Carey Price never has been a man of many words.

The Montreal Canadiens goaltender usually lets his play do the talking, and it's been talking a lot this season.

But when that season was on the line, when the Canadiens were 20 minutes away from going to the Eastern Conference Final for the second time in five seasons if they could hold on to a one-goal lead against the best third-period team in the NHL, Price decided it was time for him to speak with his words.

They had a big impact on his teammates.

Price addressed the Canadiens dressing room during the second intermission of their 3-1 win against the Boston Bruins in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference Second Round series Wednesday, then proceeded to make eight of his 29 saves in the third period.

"It wasn't much," Price said. "It was just a reminder to live in the moment. That's all I really said. That's the truth. At this time of year, it's easy to let your emotions get carried away, especially in a situation like tonight. I thought our guys … I don't even think they really needed for me to say anything.

"I thought we were a really composed group the whole series."


Subban says Game 7 win was 'a long time coming'

Thursday, 05.15.2014 / 1:04 AM / Bruins vs Canadiens - 2014 SCP Second Round

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

BOSTON -- Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban was furious throughout this Eastern Conference Second Round series with the way he felt the Boston Bruins were disrespecting him, his teammates and his organization.

Subban let his sublime play do the talking for seven games. When it was over, and the Canadiens were still standing after a 3-1 win in Game 7 at TD Garden on Wednesday, he let loose.

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Quote of the Day

I kept refreshing the page on the NHL website after the second round and I was shocked he lasted that long. I'm sure the Coyotes were pretty happy to get him. He's such a good player and he plays big in big games.

— Arizona Coyotes forward Henrik Samuelsson on prospect Edgars Kulda being draftedd