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Capitals left reaching after late loss to Devils

Saturday, 04.05.2014 / 12:04 AM / NHL Insider

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- Here were the Washington Capitals, with fading Stanley Cup Playoff hopes, backing up in a tie game Friday at Prudential Center, the clock dipping under five minutes to play in the third period.

Mike Green was defending as the New Jersey Devils were charging. He saw the play developing right in front of him. He might see it in his nightmares now.

"He just got the puck in the middle, I came over, he pulled it and shot," Green said outside the visitors dressing room following Washington's 2-1 loss, his voice trailing off as he spoke quietly.

Green was hoping a pass by Devils defenseman Marek Zidlicky, a nearly 2-foot beauty of a saucer, wouldn't make it to forward Ryan Carter, but it did. Green thought Carter might struggle to settle it down, but he didn't. Instead of moving far enough over to put his body in Carter's shooting lane, Green reached out his stick with his left hand, waving it, hoping Carter's shot would hit the shaft and the puck would go astray.

It went in the net, underneath goalie Jaroslav Halak's left pad with 4:54 remaining.

"You can't blame one guy, you can't blame one play," Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin said. "You can see we have a good game, but one break cost us two points, or a point."

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Elias, Henrique injured; Devils finish with 8 forwards

Friday, 04.04.2014 / 11:45 PM / News

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- New Jersey Devils forwards Patrik Elias and Adam Henrique left the game Friday against the Washington Capitals.
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Van Massenhoven to officiate final game in Detroit

Friday, 04.04.2014 / 7:33 PM / NHL Insider

NHL.com

Longtime NHL referee Don Van Massenhoven will officiate his final game Friday when the Buffalo Sabres visit the Detroit Red Wings.

The game will draw to a close a career that includes 1,278 regular-season games; 87 Stanley Cup Playoff games; the 2006 Torino Olympics; the 2008 NHL Winter Classic in Buffalo; the 2004 World Cup of Hockey; and the 2002 NHL All-Star Game.

Given the choice where to officiate his final game after more than 20 years in the NHL, Van Massenhoven didn't have to think long before selecting Joe Louis Arena.

"Detroit is close to my home, which makes it easier for family and friends," the 53-year-old said. "A lot of the teams have great buildings, but it's cool to go to the Joe."

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Kings defenseman Doughty could play Saturday

Friday, 04.04.2014 / 6:14 PM / News

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty's left shoulder injury isn't serious and he could play against the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday, according to coach Darryl Sutter.

Doughty left midway through the first period of a 2-1 loss against the San Jose Sharks on Thursday after delivering a hit on forward Tyler Kennedy and did not return.

Doughty did not take part in a brief optional practice here Friday afternoon and had his left shoulder wrapped in ice in the locker room.

"He might play tomorrow," Sutter said.

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Henrik Sedin could be back for Canucks on Saturday

Friday, 04.04.2014 / 6:04 PM / News

NHL.com

Vancouver Canucks captain Henrik Sedin is expected back in the lineup Saturday against the Los Angeles Kings after missing four games with a leg injury, according to coach John Tortorella.

"Today was a big step in the right direction, so I am hopeful," Sedin said.

Sedin practiced Friday on a line with wings Chris Higgins and Nicklas Jensen. Sedin's playmaking ability would be a huge asset for a Canucks team scrambling to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"He practiced well today," Tortorella said. "We'll wait until tomorrow, but right now I think he'll be able to play, which is good."

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Maple Leafs goalie Bernier out three weeks

Friday, 04.04.2014 / 12:33 PM / News

NHL.com

Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jonathan Bernier will miss at least three weeks with an MCL strain.

If that timeline proves accurate, Bernier would miss the remainder of the regular season, which ends April 13, and more than likely at least the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs if the Maple Leafs qualify.

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Positive outlook driving defenseman Hunt's career

Friday, 04.04.2014 / 11:05 AM / AHL Update

Alyssa Dombrowski - Special to NHL.com

Throughout the course of this season, Oklahoma City Barons defenseman Brad Hunt has gone from an occasional healthy scratch to one of the most offensively productive defensemen in the American Hockey League.

Despite being out of the Barons lineup for a handful of games in October and November, the 25-year-old Hunt has 47 points (11 goals, 36 assists) in 60 games, ranking second on Oklahoma City's roster and fourth among all AHL defensemen.

Hunt's progression is due in large part to his infectious positive attitude, for which he has become well-known in the Barons locker room, according to coach Todd Nelson.

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No clinching scenarios in Friday games

Friday, 04.04.2014 / 10:50 AM / Drive to the Playoffs

NHL.com

The Boston Bruins, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning and Montreal Canadiens are the Eastern Conference teams that have clinched a postseason spot. The St. Louis Blues, Anaheim Ducks, San Jose Sharks, Colorado Avalanche, Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings are in from the Western Conference.

There are no clinching scenarios for games on Friday.

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Hockey Canada CEO Nicholson stepping down

Friday, 04.04.2014 / 10:08 AM / News

NHL.com

Bob Nicholson is stepping down as president and CEO of Hockey Canada effective June 1, he announced Friday.

"I have mixed emotions in making this announcement, as it marks an end to an extraordinary part of my life, but I think the time is right for me personally to step down," Nicholson said.

Nicholson has held the dual positions since 1998. During that time, the Canada men have won three gold medals in the span of four Winter Olympics, starting at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games and continuing with back-to-back wins in Vancouver (2010) and Sochi (2014). Canada's women have won four consecutive gold medals.
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Daily Primer April 4: Jackets continue playoff push

Friday, 04.04.2014 / 3:00 AM / Drive to the Playoffs

NHL.com

One night after winning in Philadelphia for the first time in franchise history, the Columbus Blue Jackets will try to end another unwanted streak.

The Blue Jackets have dropped 12 in a row to the Chicago Blackhawks, who make their only appearance of the season at Nationwide Arena on Friday night. Each team won Thursday, with the Blue Jackets beating the Philadelphia Flyers 2-0 and the Blackhawks beating the Minnesota Wild 3-2 in a shootout.

It won't be easy for Columbus; Chicago has also won eight in a row at Nationwide Arena and hasn't lost there since March 25, 2010. But the Blue Jackets desperately need a victory as they try to hold on to the second and final Eastern Conference wild-card spot into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Blue Jackets are one point behind the Detroit Red Wings, who host the Buffalo Sabres, but only one point ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs, who have played two more games. Columbus is four points up on the Washington Capitals and five in front of the New Jersey Devils, who face off at Prudential Center (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN) in a game that will all but mathematically end the loser's playoff hopes.

In the Western Conference, the Phoenix Coyotes can move back into the second wild-card position by getting at least one point in their home game against the Edmonton Oilers. The Coyotes and Dallas Stars each have 85 points, but the Stars have a game in hand.

Here's a look at all of the action on Friday:


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Quote of the Day

When we started our journey we made a commitment to our fans to be relevant and to see the Chicago Blackhawks become the best professional hockey organization. There are not two finer symbols of that than Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. The commitment we have made to these incredible young men is equal to the commitment they have made to our team, our fans, our entire organization and the city of Chicago.

— Chicago Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz on signing Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane to contract extensions