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Lightning prospect Koekkoek handling rigors of AHL

Friday, 03.27.2015 / 11:20 AM / AHL Update

Kinsey Janke - Special to

Slater Koekkoek might have one of the best names in hockey, and it's one Tampa Bay Lightning fans should be hearing for a long time.

About to finish up his first professional season as a rookie with the Lightning's American Hockey League affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch, Koekkoek is settling in nicely after four junior seasons in the Ontario Hockey League.

"I expected [the AHL] to be a rough and tough league, and that's what it is. The guys are bigger, stronger, faster," he said. "There was a bit of a learning process, but everything has been going well. I'm happy so far."

Flames 'all in' starting critical five-game trip

Friday, 03.27.2015 / 11:00 AM / Expert Picks

Aaron Vickers - Correspondent

CALGARY -- With eight games remaining in the regular season, Calgary Flames coach Bob Hartley isn't concerned about his poker face.

A critical five-game road trip facing the Flames, one that could have serious implications on their bid to reach the Stanley Cup Playoffs, instead has Hartley insisting Calgary's crew is all in.

"It seems that we always find a way to elevate our games in situations that we need to and right now we're all in," Hartley said. "The chips are all on the table right now. There's no bluffs. We have to come up with our best performances and it's fun. I'm enjoying the games. The players are on the job. This city is right behind us."

The Flames, who completed a five-game homestand 2-1-2 with a 4-3 shootout loss to the Dallas Stars on Wednesday, begin their final extended road trip of the season Friday against the Minnesota Wild (8 p.m. ET; SNW, FS-WI, FS-N+). It continues against the Nashville Predators, Stars, St. Louis Blues and Edmonton Oilers.

Capitals assign Orlov to AHL for conditioning

Friday, 03.27.2015 / 10:04 AM / News

The Washington Capitals on Friday assigned defenseman Dmitry Orlov to Hershey of the American Hockey League for conditioning purposes.

Orlov, 23, has not played this season because of a wrist injury. He was on the ice with Hershey and expected to dress Friday for the Bears game against the Manchester Monarchs, according to Hershey public relations manager Scott Stuccio.

The second-round pick (No. 55) in the 2009 NHL Draft has six goals and 31 points in 119 games with the Capitals over parts of three seasons. He set career highs in his rookie season with 60 games and 19 points, which included three goals.

Maple Leafs recall Brennan, assign two to AHL

Friday, 03.27.2015 / 9:52 AM / News

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced Friday that the club has recalled defenseman TJ Brennan on an emergency basis and reassigned defenseman Andrew MacWilliam and forward Greg McKegg to the Toronto Marlies.

Brennan, 25, has been held pointless in three regular season games with the Maple Leafs this season. The Willingboro, New Jersey native has also skated in 63 American Hockey League games this year (54 with Rockford and nine with Toronto), collecting 37 points (nine goals, 28 assists) and 65 penalty minutes.

Bruins reassign forward Ferlin to AHL

Friday, 03.27.2015 / 9:44 AM / News

Boston, MA - Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced Friday, March 27, that the club has assigned forward Brian Ferlin to Providence.

Ferlin competed in seven games for Boston, recording one assist. He made his NHL debut on February 20 against the Blues in St. Louis and notched his first career NHL point with an assist in his second game with Boston on February 22 against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Around the League notebook for Thursday, March 26

Friday, 03.27.2015 / 9:18 AM / News

NHL Public Relations


The New York Rangers (47-19-7, 101 points) picked up a 5-1 win against the Ottawa Senators; coupled with the Boston Bruins' loss to the Anaheim Ducks, the Rangers became the first team to clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

* The defending Eastern Conference-champion Rangers are headed to the postseason for the fifth straight year and 57th time in franchise history. They also passed the Montreal Canadiens (46-21-8, 100 points), who lost in regulation, in the race for the Presidents' Trophy.

* The Rangers reached the 100-point plateau for the eighth time in franchise history and for the first time since 2011-12 (51-24-7, 109 points). New York hit the century mark in their 73rd game of the season; Elias says that is tied for the second-fewest games to 100 points in franchise history (67 GP in 1971-72; finished 48-17-13, 109 points).

* Chris Kreider (2-1—3) matched a career high with three points, all in the first period, to help the Rangers improve to 9-2-1 in their past 12 games. He reached the 20-goal and 40-point plateaus for the first time in his career (20-20—40).

Five reasons Rangers clinched playoff berth

Friday, 03.27.2015 / 3:00 AM / Expert Picks

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

The New York Rangers became the first team to clinch a berth in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs with their 5-1 win against the Ottawa Senators on Thursday. The Rangers have 101 points and 43 regulation/overtime wins to lead the Presidents' Trophy race.

It's also possible the best is yet to come for the Rangers because starting goalie Henrik Lundqvist is expected to return to the lineup this coming weekend, either Saturday at the Boston Bruins or Sunday at home against the Washington Capitals.

Lundqvist hasn't played since Feb. 2, but the Rangers are 18-4-4 without him, which is why they are in the hunt for their first Presidents' Trophy since the 1993-94 season, when they last won the Stanley Cup.

Here are five reasons the Rangers clinched their fifth consecutive trip to the playoffs:

Super 16: Three must buck metrics trend to win Cup

Friday, 03.27.2015 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

There have been some crazy championship marches in the NHL in the past four seasons.

The Boston Bruins needed three Game 7s, including two decided by one goal and one that went overtime, to win the Stanley Cup in 2011. The Los Angeles Kings tore through the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2012 like no team had in the sport's history, and did so while becoming the first No. 8 seed to win a title.

Two years later, the Kings might have upped the ante, rallying from a 3-0 series deficit in the opening round and playing the full 21 games against a gauntlet of elite teams (San Jose Sharks, Anaheim Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks). Even in 2013 when the Blackhawks essentially went wire-to-wire in a shortened season, the Stanley Cup Final was filled with overtimes and incredible games.

BU's Eichel talks Hobey Baker, NHL Draft build-up

Friday, 03.27.2015 / 3:00 AM / 2015 NHL Draft

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

Boston University freshman Jack Eichel was determined from day one to not only be a success story, but one of the best college hockey players to ever play the game.

He's certainly on that path.

Eichel, the fourth-youngest player in college hockey and No. 2 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm ranking of the top North American skates eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft, is expected to hear his name announced in short order on the opening day of the draft at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla., on June 26.

Rangers' Lundqvist to serve as backup vs. Senators

Thursday, 03.26.2015 / 5:22 PM / News

New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is the back up to Cam Talbot for their game at the Ottawa Senators on Thursday and expects to start one of two games this weekend.

Lundqvist, who has been out since Feb. 2 with a vascular injury, said Thursday he will have discussions with the coaching staff Friday to decide which game he will start, either at the Boston Bruins on Saturday or at home against the Washington Capitals on Sunday.

"It's hard to say no to a game right now when you've been away for that long," Lundqvist said. "But at the same time you have to be smart about it. I feel pretty close to being ready. We'll have that discussion tomorrow and we'll decide which game we should play."

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Quote of the Day

I'm going into this with an open mind. This is a very young player (23) with a tremendous, tremendous amount of upside.

— Rangers coach Alain Vigneault on Emerson Etem's potential