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Virtanen prepared for next draft day

Thursday, 01.30.2014 / 3:00 AM / 2014 NHL Draft - Philadelphia - June 27-28, 2014

Aaron Vickers - NHL.com Correspondent

CALGARY -- Jake Virtanen knows a little something about the whole draft process. He’s been through it once before.

The Calgary Hitmen made Virtanen, NHL Central Scouting’s ninth-ranked North American skater in its midterm rankings of players for the 2014 NHL Draft, the No. 1 pick of the 2011 Western Hockey League bantam draft.

Virtanen said he feels that experience will help him navigate his way to the 2014 NHL Draft in June.

"Obviously the Western Hockey League draft helped me out a lot," Virtanen said. "You had a lot of scouts and media just because I was the first pick. It's something you go through in hockey. Just doing interviews after games and with scouts too. It's nothing really new.

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Rangers glad to get 4 points in Stadium Series sweep

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- One stadium, two games, three teams, more than 100,000 fans in attendance. But there was one figure the New York Rangers were most concerned with after defeating the New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders at Yankee Stadium in a two-game set making up part of the Coors Light NHL Stadium Series: Four points.

The Rangers were coming off consecutive home losses to the Islanders and St. Louis Blues before the games in the Bronx, and they were determined to create separation in the standings against divisional rivals. In the end, they got four big points in a tight Metropolitan Division where a prolonged losing streak can potentially tip the balance.

"I think our group realized we need the points and these are tough opponents and tough division games," defenseman Ryan McDonagh said. "It's going to be tight the whole way in the East, especially in our division. I thought our group played it well."


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Daily Primer Jan. 30: Rivals face off in Boston

Thursday, 01.30.2014 / 1:09 AM / NHL Insider

Sean McCullen - NHL.com Staff Writer

If recent history is any indication, the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins are set to play a close game at TD Garden on Thursday (7 p.m. ET, NHLN-US, RDS, TSN-HABS, NESN).

The past nine games between the two teams and 14 of the past 16, including the Stanley Cup Playoffs, have been decided by one goal; five have gone past regulation.

The game Thursday is the second this season between the heated Original Six rivals and the first since a 2-1 Montreal win at Bell Centre on Dec. 5. Montreal is 6-4-1 against the Bruins since the start of the 2011-12 season.

Here's a look at all the action Thursday:


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Moore embraces the baseball spirit at Yankee Stadium

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- New York Rangers forward Dominic Moore wanted to make the most of a once-in-a-lifetime hockey experience provided by a two-game, five-day residency at Yankee Stadium. So, as his team prepared for a Saturday evening practice at the baseball field, Moore took to the field with a baseball glove and tossed a ball around with team personnel.

By the time the two games of the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series finished, it was clear Moore had enjoyed a memorable doubleheader in the Bronx.

The Rangers won both games, 2-1 Wednesday night against the New York Islanders and 7-3 against the New Jersey Devils on Sunday afternoon. Moore registered three points during the two games, including an assist on Daniel Carcillo's game-winner against the Islanders. The goal by Carcillo concluded a key rush started by Moore on a play that saw New York's fourth line, which includes center Brian Boyle, come up big when their team needed it most.

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Islanders rue missed chances in Stadium Series

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

NEW YORK -- The New York Islanders were given every opportunity to win at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday night in their first-ever outdoor game.

The Islanders failed to capitalize on two power plays in the first period and didn't convert on two more during the final 40 minutes in a 2-1 loss to the New York Rangers in the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series.

The missed opportunities cost the Islanders two more valuable points in the standings and extended their losing streak to four games (0-3-1). The teams will play again Friday night at Madison Square Garden.

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Islanders' Nabokov impressive in return vs. Rangers

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

NEW YORK -- Some may have thought it was too much to ask New York Islanders goaltender Evgeni Nabokov to make his first start in nearly a month in the freezing conditions Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium.

Nabokov and the Islanders may have come up short in a 2-1 loss to the New York Rangers in the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series, but the veteran goalie was on top of his game despite making his first start in more than three weeks.

"You never really know until you're there and you see that great atmosphere," said Nabokov, who made 32 saves. "I love it; I love every second of it. The atmosphere was great. Obviously, the building's a little bit more louder."

It didn't take long for the Rangers to test Nabokov, who hadn't started since Jan. 6, when he sustained a lower-body injury in a game against the Dallas Stars.

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Bailey: Despite loss, memories abound at Stadium

Josh Bailey - Special to NHL.com

New York Islanders forward Josh Bailey thoroughly enjoyed his experience in the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series at Yankee Stadium, even though his team came up a goal short in a 2-1 loss to their arch rival, the New York Rangers, at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday night. In the final edition of the player blog he is doing for NHL.com, Bailey talks about his experiences, the thrill of stepping onto the ice at Yankee Stadium and the disappointment of going home without a victory.

Obviously it was a disappointment with the way the game ended. I thought we played pretty well, but we just weren’t able to generate enough goals. We would have liked to get the win, but the more we look back on it, the more it will be something we’ll never forget.

It was awesome getting to dress in the Yankees’ locker room. We were all looking around, trying to figure out whose locker we had – I didn’t actually find out whose locker I was using, but we found out where a couple of those guys sit. It was definitely cool to be able to experience Yankee Stadium, to get to go out on the field and take the ice for a game out there.

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Islanders, Rangers fans soak in Stadium Series

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

NEW YORK -- It didn't matter that the thermometer read 21 degrees 90 minutes before puck drop between the New York Rangers and New York Islanders at Yankee Stadium in the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series. Rangers fan Terrence McCallen was determined to brave the elements and take in the whole experience.

"It's a once-in-a-lifetime event," said McCallen, who was standing in the front row of Section 107 in right field, watching the NHL Network pregame show. "I thought I might as well get here [early] and see everything the stadium has to offer. It's been incredible so far since I got here."

McCallen is part of a capacity crowd expected at Yankee Stadium, three days after the Rangers beat the New Jersey Devils 7-3 in front of 50,105 at this famous ballpark. The recent graduate of Creighton University didn't know he'd be a part of it until last month.

"Once I got [tickets], I was totally stoked," said McCallen, who received his tickets as a Christmas gift. "I was counting down the days until today.

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Quote of the Day

They said, 'You're going to love the city. It's smaller than Philadelphia, but you're going to love it. You're going to love the fans. Just watching the playoffs last year, the fans seemed louder there than they did anywhere. I'm really excited about that.

— Forward Scott Hartnell on his upcoming season with the Columbus Blue Jackets