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Stars recall Nichushkin from conditioning stint

Thursday, 04.02.2015 / 11:32 AM / News

Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill announced today that the club has recalled forward Valeri Nichushkin from a conditioning assignment with the Texas Stars, Dallas' top development affiliate in the American Hockey League.

Nichushkin, 20, appeared in three games with Texas during his latest stint with the club, recording three assists and nine shots on goal. The forward had missed 59 NHL games from Nov. 8-March 27 after having hip surgery. Additionally, he missed seven games from Oct. 14-28 with a hip injury. He has skated in four games this season for Dallas, posting zero points and two shots. He also appeared in two games for Texas on a conditioning assignment from Oct. 31 - Nov. 1 and registered an assist.

Playoff Countdown: Bruins in pursuit of Red Wings

Thursday, 04.02.2015 / 11:12 AM / Expert Picks

Saturday, April 11, marks the conclusion to the 2014-15 regular season. Yet, much remains to be decided in the frantic run to the finish line, including playoff positioning and numerous individual accomplishments and milestones. To celebrate the countdown to the end of the season and the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs on April 15, will provide a piece of playoff-related content each day.

It wasn't long ago the Boston Bruins had slipped out of the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference and their run at an eighth straight postseason berth seemed in serious jeopardy.

With a regulation win Thursday at the Detroit Red Wings, the Bruins (39-25-13) would tie the Red Wings (40-23-13) with 93 points. Detroit would still hold down third place in the Atlantic Division by virtue of having played one fewer game, but it would continue a late-season trend that has seen the Bruins come on strong and the Red Wings start to fade.

Playoff clinching scenarios for Thursday, April 2

Thursday, 04.02.2015 / 11:08 AM / Expert Picks

NHL Public Relations

With 10 days remaining in the regular season, there are 11 berths up for grabs in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The clinching scenarios for games Thursday:

* The St. Louis Blues would clinch a playoff berth if they get at least one point against the Calgary Flames OR if the Los Angeles Kings lose to the Edmonton Oilers in regulation.

Molson Canadian contest spotlights love for hockey

Thursday, 04.02.2015 / 11:00 AM / NHL Insider

Evan Sporer - Staff Writer

Hockey, at its core, is a game. Yet sometimes that's an easily overlooked fact, especially when hockey can take on a greater meaning. And when choice individuals go above and beyond the call for the sake of the sport, it becomes all the more special.

Molson Canadian recently held a contest it called #ANYTHINGFORHOCKEY, which solicited entries from Canadians telling their stories about what they would do for hockey. Eleven winners were announced, with the grand prize of being flown to a professionally-made mountain rink in a remote range near the Rocky Mountains to play a game.

Though the 11 winners were different ages and genders, and told different stories, one common thread united them all: a passion for and commitment to hockey.

Practice doesn't make goalies perfect: Unmasked

Thursday, 04.02.2015 / 3:00 AM / Unmasked

Kevin Woodley - Correspondent

Practice does not make perfect for an NHL goaltender. Only perfect practice makes perfect.

Most NHL practices are far from perfect for goalies, and that can be a problem. In fact, a good chunk of practice can be counterproductive to good goaltending, leaving the goalie facing situations that can create bad habits.

It is the separate sessions with the goalie coach, before and after practice, that are important.

If that sounds like a stretch, consider the fact that a large portion of NHL practice time is spent on line rushes which are only occasionally defended, often in the loosest sense of that term. The result is wave after wave of players skating in with passing options and plenty of time to dish or hold and shoot from close range.

In practice, shooters repeatedly get time and space to shoot from spots, and in situations, they might be lucky to get once or twice a season. These opportunities come without the sense of urgency associated with the backchecking pressure of a game.

It can become tempting for a goaltender to cheat in practice. In many ways, practice resembles summer shinny sessions, which many NHL goalies avoid because the only way to consistently make saves in them is to play differently than they would during a regular season.

"If guys are coming in and taking that extra two seconds to shoot and pick that corner on you, you just have to realize in a game situation they won't get that time, so you should still trust your instincts," New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist said late last season. "But it is tough, especially when you play deep like me and you give up a goal because you didn't cover enough, to still stick with your structure and not start challenging. But that's the challenge."

White overcomes illness, injury to excel for USNTDP

Thursday, 04.02.2015 / 3:00 AM / Prospects

Joe Yerdon - Correspondent

BUFFALO – When it comes to finding players who can score at a high rate in the 2015 NHL Draft, there will be a big pool to choose from. One player who may fly under the radar is forward Colin White.

White played for the United States National Under-18 Team Development Program this season and finished sixth on the team in scoring. That may not sound impressive, but White dealt with a case of mononucleosis and a wrist injury that limited his ability to play. Through all that he ended the season with 16 goals and 42 points in 45 games.

"When I'm talking about [White], there's no doubt in my mind this kid is one heck of a hockey player," Under-18 coach Don Granato said. "He's going to be a great pro player. The details you need at the professional level, he has. He does them naturally. He competes naturally. I don't care if he had 100 points, that doesn't make anybody better than anybody else at this level. It might make him only better at this level. It has no bearing on the future.

"The detail in his game, the way he focuses on game plan execution, on hockey concepts… His numbers, hey everybody's numbers could be higher, but his performance has been exceptional. And as a coach who's coached at those next levels, the appreciation I have for what he does far exceeds any point accumulation. To me he's done an unbelievable job."

Around the League notebook for Wednesday, April 1

Thursday, 04.02.2015 / 2:11 AM / News

NHL Public Relations


The Anaheim Ducks opened a 4-0 lead midway through the second period, powered by Corey Perry's 600th NHL point and three assists from Jakob Silfverberg, to sweep their four-game season series with the Edmonton Oilers and clinch the Pacific Division for the fourth time in Ducks history.

* The Ducks (50-22-7, 107 points), who have won four straight games and eight of their past 10, increased their lead to four points over the New York Rangers (48-21-7, 103 points) and Nashville Predators (47-22-9, 103 points) – each idle – in the race for the Presidents' Trophy.

* The Ducks have finished atop the Pacific Division in each of the past three seasons (and also in 2006-07). Elias says Anaheim is the first team to win three straight division titles since the Vancouver Canucks won the Northwest Division five years in a row from 2008-09 to 2012-13.

* Anaheim has won 50 games for the second time in Ducks history (also 2013-14: 54-20-8, 116 points). The most-recent team to post back-to-back 50-win campaigns was Vancouver in 2010-11 (54-19-9) and 2011-12 (51-22-9).

* Perry (296-304—600) scored his 33rd goal of the season to become the fourth player from the 2003 NHL Draft to reach 600 points, joining Eric Staal (311-427--738), Ryan Getzlaf (207-469—676) and Thomas Vanek (297-309—606). (Via Elias)

Ducks center Kesler scratched against Oilers

Wednesday, 04.01.2015 / 10:21 PM / News

ANAHEIM -- Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Kesler was scratched from the game against the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday to rest.

The move was expected because Kesler is healing from what is believed to be an arm injury. He participated in the morning skate but Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau wouldn’t say if Kesler would play against the Oilers at Honda Center.

Kesler has played in 78 games, the most by a Ducks player this season, along with left wing Andrew Cogliano. Kesler has 47 points, the most he’s had since scoring 49 in 2011-12.

Suspended Kings' Voynov had Achilles surgery

Wednesday, 04.01.2015 / 8:36 PM / News

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov had surgery last week to repair a torn Achilles tendon, L.A. Kings Insider reported Wednesday.

Voynov, who is suspended by the NHL, was injured "in a recreational activity," the website said. Recovery time could be at least four months.

Penguins' Crosby scores 300th NHL goal

Wednesday, 04.01.2015 / 8:30 PM / News

Wes Crosby - Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins forward Sidney Crosby scored his 300th NHL goal Wednesday against the Philadelphia Flyers at Consol Energy Center.

Crosby has played in 622 games and has 849 points in 10 NHL seasons.

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Quote of the Day

That's today's game. That's one of the things you have to deal with when you're a championship team. Guys are going to earn more money based on their performance and what they've achieved, [and] deservedly so. [Saad] falls into that category.

— Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville on Brandon Saad, who was traded by Chicago to the Columbus Blue Jackets this offseason