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2015 NHL Draft
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Flames recall Sam Bennett, 4th pick in 2014 draft

Friday, 04.03.2015 / 6:19 PM / News

NHL.com

The Calgary Flames recalled forward Sam Bennett, the fourth player taken in the 2014 NHL Draft, from the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League on Friday.

Bennett, 18, will join the Flames prior to their road game against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday (10 p.m. ET; CBC).

"It's pretty surreal right now," Bennett told the Flames website. "I’m sure when I’m out there and around the team, it will feel a lot more real. Obviously I’m really excited to be out there with them. It's a really exciting time of the year, especially for Calgary right now. I can't wait.

"This is what I have wanted since I was 4 years old. I’m really excited to get going and meet the team."

Red Wings' Datsyuk could play Saturday vs. Wild

Friday, 04.03.2015 / 5:04 PM / News

NHL.com

Detroit Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk said he'll return to the lineup Saturday against the Minnesota Wild.

"I'm good to go," Datsyuk told the Red Wings website Friday.

Datsyuk has missed the past two games and seven of the past nine with a lower-body injury. He has 24 goals and 60 points in 59 games.

"Pavel will be a game-time decision, or a tomorrow-morning decision," coach Mike Babcock said. "We played him on a line (at practice) today like he was playing, but we don't know how it'll react so we'll decide tomorrow morning."

Malkin, Letang, Ehrhoff remain out for Penguins

Friday, 04.03.2015 / 2:08 PM / News

Wes Crosby - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH –- Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin will not play Saturday against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena.

Malkin, who leads Pittsburgh with 28 goals and is second with 70 points, will miss a second consecutive game with an undisclosed injury, Penguins coach Mike Johnston said. Malkin could return Sunday against the Philadelphia Flyers.

"I think anytime you can have Geno in the lineup, you want Geno in the lineup, for sure," Johnston said. "With a back-to-back coming off an injury, especially a nagging injury, we knew coming into the weekend, that if he is able to play, it was probably only going to be one game. We'll see how he recovers from the skate today and hope he'll be able to play on Sunday.

"But we'll see."

Stone contributing to Senators' late-season surge

Friday, 04.03.2015 / 12:19 PM / NHL Insider

Chris Stevenson - NHL.com Correspondent

OTTAWA -- There are several key reasons the Ottawa Senators have been one of the great stories in the NHL for the past couple months.

Backed by goaltender Andrew Hammond, "The Hamburglar," they have been on a potentially record-setting roll as they try to overcome a 14-point deficit on Feb. 10 and earn a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

That would be the biggest deficit a team has overcome since the NHL went to an Eastern-Western conference format in 1993-94.

Blues, Blackhawks create offense with minimal risk

Friday, 04.03.2015 / 12:00 PM / Closer Look

Evan Sporer - NHL.com Staff Writer

The distance from the blue line to the boards behind the goal is 75 feet; from side-to-side, another 85 feet of ice. Managed properly in an attacking situation, the offensive zone can become a dangerous place to spend time for any team. But managed improperly, offensive possession -- even nearly 200 feet away from a team's own goal -- can create a dangerous turnover and a quick opportunity against.

It's one thing to play conservative hockey. It's another entirely to play efficient hockey within a system that can mitigate the danger of making mistakes. The Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues are two teams that can generate offense from their blue lines, but do so in a way that should they turn the puck over they're not at risk of becoming the victim of a quick counterpunch.

Blue Jackets pick Tynan leading charge in Springfield

Friday, 04.03.2015 / 11:32 AM / AHL Update

Kinsey Janke - Special to NHL.com

Before the season began, Jared Bednar's biggest concern with TJ Tynan was his size.

The rookie is listed at 5-foot-8 -- the smallest on a Springfield Falcons roster made up of mainly players 6-foot-plus -- and plays a defensively demanding, two-way position in center.

But now, after almost a full American Hockey League season, the Falcons coach's concerns have been completely alleviated.

"I think at first when you see a smaller, undersized guy that has some skill, you wonder as a coach, 'How is this guy going to play in traffic against bigger opponents every night for the course of a really long season?'" Bednar said. "The worries I had as a coach have really dissipated over the course of the season. He's proven to me that he has the ability to be a top player every night on both sides of the puck."

Playoff clinching scenarios for Friday, April 3

Friday, 04.03.2015 / 11:20 AM / Expert Picks

NHL Public Relations

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

There are no clinching scenarios for games Friday.

Playoff Countdown: Jockeying for position in Central

Friday, 04.03.2015 / 9:38 AM / Expert Picks

NHL.com

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, NHL.com will provide a piece of playoff-related content each day.

The St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks each clinched a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs by winning Thursday.

Their battle for home-ice advantage in the Western Conference First Round and the opportunity to catch the Nashville Predators for the Central Division lead continues Friday.

The Blues (47-23-7) visit the Dallas Stars (37-30-10), one of three teams in action that desperately needs points in the race for the second wild card into the playoffs from the West. The Blackhawks (47-24-6) play at the Buffalo Sabres (22-47-8).

Around the League notebook for Thursday, April 2

Friday, 04.03.2015 / 9:00 AM / News

NHL Public Relations

BLUES CLINCH FOURTH STRAIGHT PLAYOFF BERTH

Jaden Schwartz, Paul Stastny, Jori Lehtera and Patrik Berglund all had 1-1—2 to help the St. Louis Blues sweep their three-game season series with the Calgary Flames, winning 4-1 and clinching a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the 39th time in franchise history.

* The Blues also pulled within two points of the idle Nashville Predators (47-22-9, 103 points) for first place in the Central Division, where the top three teams are separated by three points.

* The Blues (47-23-7, 101 points), who will make their fourth straight trip to the postseason, also reached 100 points for the seventh time in franchise history, including three times in the past four seasons.

Five reasons Blues clinched playoff berth

Friday, 04.03.2015 / 3:00 AM / Expert Picks

Jon Lane - NHL.com Staff Writer

The St. Louis Blues are headed to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the fourth consecutive season after a 4-1 win against the Calgary Flames on Thursday.

The Blues have earned 100 or more points in each of the past three full seasons, and they are three wins shy of reaching 50 for the second straight.

A six-game losing streak to end last season cost St. Louis the Central Division title; the Blues were then eliminated by the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference First Round after holding a 2-0 series lead.

The Blues are again struggling down the stretch, and their leading scorer, forward Vladimir Tarasenko, is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, but if they can get back to full strength, they are built for a long postseason run.

Here are five reasons the Blues clinched a playoff berth:


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Quote of the Day

He's, believe it or not, actually one of my favorite guys, and I've ended up trading him twice. I appreciate what he's done. He was one year away from being an unrestricted free agent, and I felt with this opportunity, that it was a chance that we were able to get somebody for him in Nick Bonino and Adam Clendening.

— Penguins GM Jim Rutherford on forward Brandon Sutter