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Latest Headlines

Blues' Backes day-to-day with lower-body injury

Wednesday, 04.09.2014 / 12:40 AM / News

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- St. Louis Blues captain David Backes is day-to-day after sustaining a lower-body injury midway through the second period of a 4-1 loss to the Washington Capitals at Scottrade Center on Tuesday night.

The inside of Backes' left skate appeared to be struck when teammate Alexander Steen fired a slap shot during a power play.

Backes, who has 27 goals and 57 points in 74 games, came back for one more shift but quickly departed to the Blues' dressing room and did not return.


Giroux's excellence, Berube's arrival guided Flyers

Tuesday, 04.08.2014 / 11:23 PM / Drive to the Playoffs

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

When the sun rose on the morning of March 15, the Philadelphia Flyers found themselves on the fringe of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They were in the second Eastern Conference wild-card spot based on a tiebreaker. They were coming off back-to-back one-goal losses and had in front of them a weekend home-and-home set with their bitter rivals, the Pittsburgh Penguins.

It was a turning point of the season for the Flyers, as that weekend opened a stretch of 10 consecutive games against teams that, on March 15, all were in a playoff spot.

"We definitely, starting this weekend, have to play real good hockey and win hockey games," coach Craig Berube said heading into that March 15 game. "It's crunch time against real good teams. … Playing these games against good teams, with everything on the line, will prepare us for the playoffs."

Prepare them well it did. The Flyers swept the Penguins, starting a 6-2-2 run that solidified their hold on a playoff spot and allowed them to return to the postseason after a one-year absence.

Here are five more reasons the Flyers will have a chance to win the franchise's third Stanley Cup:


Lewis signs two-year extension with Kings

Tuesday, 04.08.2014 / 4:10 PM / News


Los Angeles Kings forward Trevor Lewis signed a two-year contract extension Tuesday. Financial terms of the contract were not released. Lewis could have become an unrestricted free agent after the season.


Canucks fire general manager Mike Gillis

Tuesday, 04.08.2014 / 4:08 PM / News

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Vancouver Canucks president and general manager Mike Gillis has been fired, the team announced Tuesday.

The Canucks were eliminated from Stanley Cup Playoff contention Monday night.

Gillis was hired by the Canucks as general manager in April 2008 and added the title of president in 2009.

"On behalf of my entire family, I would like to sincerely thank Mike Gillis for his hard work and the many contributions he made on and off the ice during his tenure," Francesco Aquilini, chairman of Canucks Sports & Entertainment, said in a statement. "The Vancouver Canucks had success under Mike's leadership, and we nearly reached our ultimate goal; but I believe we have reached a point where a change in leadership and new voice is needed.

"I also want to thank our fans for their support for the Vancouver Canucks through a difficult and frustrating season," Aquilini continued. "We haven't met their expectations or ours. We are committed to bringing the Stanley Cup to Vancouver for our fans and we will continue to do everything possible to reach that goal."


Canadiens' Price, Markov not traveling to Chicago

Tuesday, 04.08.2014 / 1:44 PM / News

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

BROSSARD, Quebec -- The Montreal Canadiens left a lot of star power behind when they left for Chicago on Tuesday.

Goaltender Carey Price and defensemen Andrei Markov and Alexei Emelin will not face the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET, TSN, RDS) after coach Michel Therrien decided to leave them behind to rest a week before the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Canadiens remain in a battle with the Tampa Bay Lightning to stay in second place in the Atlantic Division and have home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Entering play Tuesday the Canadiens have a four-point lead; the Lightning play the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday.

"Nothing has changed for us," Therrien said. "We're going to Chicago to win. We want to play good hockey; inspired, solid hockey. We want to continue preparing for the playoffs and win the most games possible."


The Front Line: Final forward ranks and a look ahead

Tuesday, 04.08.2014 / 12:00 PM / Fantasy Hockey Draft Rankings, Advice and Analysis

Matt Cubeta - NHL.com Fantasy Insider

We are nearly at the finish line, and yet again it's been an incredible fantasy hockey season. Although NHL teams still are fighting to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs or battling for position, we fantasy owners are at the end of the road. Standard head-to-head leagues are now complete and though some rotisserie leagues might come down to the final game, most of those are likely locked up as well.

Hopefully our NHL.com fantasy hockey staff has helped you earn some bragging rights this season. Sadly, my advice to you comes to a close today. Now it's time to reflect and start looking ahead.

From Sidney Crosby staying healthy all season long to Steven Stamkos, John Tavares and Evgeni Malkin missing lengthy periods of time, we've seen plenty of surprises from the forward position. Patrick Sharp currently is the No. 3 forward in Yahoo leagues; who saw that coming? Jamie Benn, Joe Pavelski and Tyler Seguin are all top 10 overall players in Yahoo leagues, while both Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin are outside the top 100. Jaromir Jagr found the fountain of youth and has been a top-40 forward pretty much all season long, while 18-year-old Nathan MacKinnon has had one of the most prolific rookie seasons in recent memory.

It has been a season that overflowed with storylines, excitement and heroics, and while many things may change between now and the first fantasy hockey draft for the 2014-15 season, below is where I believe the forward position stands at this very moment.


Who gets the honor of holding down the No. 1 ranking throughout the offseason? How about who's second and third? Let's have a look ...


Stanley Cup Playoffs clinching scenarios: April 8

Tuesday, 04.08.2014 / 10:45 AM / Drive to the Playoffs


The Philadelphia Flyers and Minnesota Wild can secure a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Tuesday. Here are the scenarios:


The Flyers would clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs if they defeat the Florida Panthers in any fashion.


The Wild would clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs if they get at least one point against the Boston Bruins OR if Phoenix Coyotes lose to the Columbus Blue Jackets in any fashion or defeat the Blue Jackets in a shootout OR if the Dallas Stars lose to the Nashville Predators in any fashion.

In the Eastern Conference, the Boston Bruins, Pittsburgh Penguins, Montreal Canadiens, Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers have already qualified for the playoffs. The St. Louis Blues, Anaheim Ducks, Colorado Avalanche, San Jose Sharks, Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings have locked down a spot in the postseason from the Western Conference.


BC's Demko heavy favorite as top draft-eligible goalie

Tuesday, 04.08.2014 / 9:00 AM / 2014 NHL Draft - Philadelphia - June 27-28, 2014

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

When it comes to ranking the top goalies eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft, the overwhelming majority consider Boston College freshman Thatcher Demko in a class by himself.

As expected, Demko remained No. 1 on NHL Central Scouting's final rankings of the top draft-eligible North American goalies, which was released Tuesday.

"He was so far ahead of the under-aged players last year that if he was draft-eligible in 2013 he would have probably been drafted high; that's how far ahead he was then and is now," NHL Central Scouting's Al Jensen, who specializes in viewing goaltenders, told NHL.com.

At 6-foot-4, 192 pounds, Jensen likens Demko to fellow American-born goalie and Anaheim Ducks goalie John Gibson.


Bennett retains top spot on final Central Scouting list

Tuesday, 04.08.2014 / 9:00 AM / 2014 NHL Draft - Philadelphia - June 27-28, 2014

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer


In a year when projecting the best player eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft might be as stern a challenge as it's ever been, Kingston Frontenacs center Samuel Bennett was the desired choice from start to finish in the minds of the gurus at NHL Central Scouting.

Bennett, considered the top player by Central Scouting in its midterm ranking in January, again is No. 1 on the final list of the top draft-eligible skaters in North America. Central Scouting on Tuesday released its final rankings of the top North American and European skaters and goalies.


Kapanen, Nylander headline European rankings

Tuesday, 04.08.2014 / 9:00 AM / 2014 NHL Draft - Philadelphia - June 27-28, 2014

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Among European players eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft, there are several prospects capable of making an impact in the League sooner rather than later. Those top prospects will be on display at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on June 27-28.

"There have been stronger draft years for Europeans and this year is average compared to those," NHL Director of European Scouting Goran Stubb told NHL.com. "But I do think 4-6 players could be drafted in the first round."

Stubb has identified two players in a class of their own among the international ranks: right wing Kasperi Kapanen of Kalpa in Finland and center/right wing William Nylander of Modo in Sweden.

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Quote of the Day

Great players need great players to play with. That's why we'll have a training camp and we'll find who the best two guys are suited to play with Stamkos.

— Tampa Bay Lightning associate coach Rick Bowness on Steven Stamkos' potential linemates for the 2014-15 season