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St. John's beats Texas to even Calder Cup Finals

Monday, 06.09.2014 / 11:29 PM / AHL Update

Goaltender Michael Hutchinson made 49 saves Monday to lead the St. John's IceCaps to a series-tying 2-1 victory against the Texas Stars in Game 2 of the Calder Cup Finals in Cedar Park, Texas.

Hutchinson rebounded from a poor performance in Game 1 of the American Hockey League championship series one night earlier, when he allowed five goals on 22 shots. He was flawless after Blair Riley put the IceCaps ahead to stay by beating Cristopher Nilstorp 1:13 into the second period, 44 seconds after the Stars' Brendan Ranford had tied the game.

The IceCaps, the top affiliate of the Winnipeg Jets, host Game 3 of the best-of-7 series Wednesday.

NHL Competition Committee recommends changes

Monday, 06.09.2014 / 7:55 PM / News

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- The NHL Competition Committee met for five hours Monday and agreed to make several recommendations for changes to the NHL Board of Governors and the Executive Board of the National Hockey League Players' Association.

The Board of Governors meets June 26 in New York. The Executive Board meets July 16-19 in Pebble Beach, California.

The recommendations include changes to the rules for overtime, faceoffs after icings, amendments to the separation of the hash marks outside faceoff circles and increasing the size of the trapezoid behind the net.

If the recommendations pass the Board of Governors and Executive Board, the changes would go into effect next season.

Messier looking to expand legacy in New York

Monday, 06.09.2014 / 7:26 PM / Kings vs Rangers - 2014 Stanley Cup Final

Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- Mark Messier can't believe it has been 20 years since he led the New York Rangers to a Stanley Cup championship. A lot has changed in New York since then, but with the Rangers in the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since his magical championship run in 1994, Messier is looking to expand on his legacy in this city.

In the meantime, other than discussing the finalists for the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award presented by Bridgestone, his primary duty Monday at Madison Square Garden was to cheer on the home team during Game 3 of the Cup Final against the Los Angeles Kings (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

"I haven't been involved with the Rangers other than being a fan. My 10-year-old son is a huge Rangers fan. He'll be at the game tonight. We'll be cheering on," Messier said. "It's been a great year as a fan, easy team to cheer for. The good thing, and the lucky thing for me, is I got a chance to meet these guys over the last four years working with the Rangers. They're quality guys in that dressing room with a lot of character. It's great to see them get the opportunity they have right now because they earned it."

NHL's Keon shepherds top prospects at Cup Final

Monday, 06.09.2014 / 4:38 PM / 2014 NHL Draft - Philadelphia - June 27-28, 2014

Tal Pinchevsky - Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- Leading up to the New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings facing off in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday at Madison Square Garden (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS), top prospects Aaron Ekblad, Sam Reinhart, Leon Draisaitl, Samuel Bennett and Michael Dal Colle enjoyed a whirlwind day in the Big Apple.

As part of a prospects tour of the Cup Final that has been going on since 1993, these players got to watch practice and meet players from each team. The players may change every year, but there is one constant that has remained at the annual event.

NHL senior manager of public relations Dave Keon has led prospects through the Cup Final and the NHL Draft since that first class, which included top pick Alexandre Daigle as well as Chris Pronger and Paul Kariya. The process remains a major eye-opener for these hand-picked future draftees.

Ekblad savors MSG visit, reunion with Kings' Pearson

Monday, 06.09.2014 / 3:53 PM / 2014 NHL Draft - Philadelphia - June 27-28, 2014

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- It was as if Barrie Colts defenseman Aaron Ekblad was just one of the boys when he strolled into the locker room of the Los Angeles Kings following the team's morning skate in preparation for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Monday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

For Ekblad and fellow 2014 draft-eligible blue chip prospects Samuel Bennett of the Kingston Frontenacs, Sam Reinhart of the Kootenay Ice, Leon Draisaitl of the Prince Albert Raiders and Michael Dal Colle of the Oshawa Generals, it was a chance to experience all the pomp and circumstance that accompanies the Stanley Cup Playoffs this time in the season.

All five top prospects were flown into New York on Sunday and spent the day at Madison Square Garden on Monday. They were interviewed by Hockey Night in Canada's Don Cherry early in the morning, visited the locker room of each team after practice and were issued tickets to Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Top prospects take in bright lights of Cup Final

Monday, 06.09.2014 / 2:45 PM / 2014 NHL Draft - Philadelphia - June 27-28, 2014

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

NEW YORK -- Mere feet separated five of the top prospects for the 2014 NHL Draft from the New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings while the teams went through their morning skates Monday ahead of Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS), in which the Kings hold a 2-0 series lead.

In a few months, those same five prospects could be living their own NHL dreams.

Kingston Frontenacs center Samuel Bennett, Barrie Colts defenseman Aaron Ekblad, Kootenay Ice center Sam Reinhart, Prince Albert Raiders left wing Leon Draisaitl and Oshawa Generals left wing Michael Dal Colle, the five top players in NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters, were on hand here at Madison Square Garden to watch the teams skate and meet a few current NHL stars.

"Just watching them practice, thinking that I could be there next year, is pretty cool," said Bennett, Central Scouting's top-rated prospect. "It's a dream come true if that could ever happen."

Lightning re-sign forward Palat to three-year contract

Monday, 06.09.2014 / 9:46 AM / News

The Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday re-signed forward Ondrej Palat to a three-year contract.

Palat will earn $10 million over the next three seasons: $2.8 million next season, $3.2 million in 2015-16 and $4 million in 2016-17, according to Pierre LeBrun of

Bylsma joins NHL Network as analyst for Cup Final

Stanley Cup-winning coach to appear on NHL Network for Game 3 in New York

Monday, 06.09.2014 / 9:15 AM / NHL Network

NEW YORK – Former NHL player and coach Dan Bylsma will join NHL Network as a studio analyst for Game 3 of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final. NHL Network will broadcast live from New York at Chase Plaza outside Madison Square Garden, with extensive coverage of the Final.

Bylsma led the Pittsburgh Penguins to the 2009 Stanley Cup championship after taking over behind the bench midway through the season. He won the Jack Adams Award as the League's top coach in 2010-11, directed the United States Olympic team at the 2014 Sochi Games, and compiled a franchise-record 252 wins over his five-year tenure in Pittsburgh.

Texas takes 1-0 series lead in Calder Cup Finals

Sunday, 06.08.2014 / 11:05 PM / AHL Update

Travis Morin and Scott Glennie scored twice and Chris Mueller and Mike Hedden also scored to lead the Texas Stars to a 6-3 win against the St. John's IceCaps in Game 1 of the Calder Cup Finals at Cedar Park Center on Sunday night.

Will O'Neill, Kael Mouillierat and Jordan Hill scored for St. John's. Michael Hutchinson made 14 saves in the loss.

Game 2 is set for Monday in Texas (8:30 p.m. ET; NHLN-US), the American Hockey League affiliate of the Dallas Stars.

After O'Neill's goal tied the game 1:47 into the second period, Mueller gave Texas a 2-1 lead 2:05 later, when he took a pass from Dustin Jeffrey (three assists) and fired a wrister from the right circle past Hutchinson for his sixth goal of the playoffs.

Goalie matchup Game 2: Lundqvist's load increases

Sunday, 06.08.2014 / 9:05 PM / Kings vs Rangers - 2014 Stanley Cup Final

Kevin Woodley - Correspondent

A huge part of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final will be the battle between 2012 Cup winner Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings and Vezina Trophy winner Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers. Those two elite goalies will go a long way in determining which team will raise the Stanley Cup later this month.

Who has the upper hand? scouted the goalies before the series and will track their performance during each game, identifying trends affecting each goaltender. correspondent Kevin Woodley, managing editor of InGoal Magazine, will use the 360 Save Review System software from Double Blue Sports Analytics to chart the goals and shots against each goalie in each game of the Stanley Cup Final. Here are his findings from Game 2, a 5-4 double-overtime victory by the Kings, which gives them a 2-0 lead in the best of-7 series.

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(The tribute) was great, brought back a lot of memories. I felt I wanted to give them the thank you they deserved. I understand the booing and it was expected. They are great fans.

— Martin St. Louis after playing his first game in Tampa Bay since being traded to the Rangers last season
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