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Tortorella says Blue Jackets 'need to be better'

Making playoffs isn't enough, Columbus coach claims following first-round loss

by Craig Merz / Correspondent

COLUMBUS -- The Columbus Blue Jackets qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time, but coach John Tortorella said their standards need to be raised.

"I think we need to get by this 'Young team, yeah, you went through some really good experiences,'" he said Thursday at Nationwide Arena. "No, we need to start thinking that we are a playoff team and that when we get the opportunity we need to be better."

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Capitals downplay Penguins being without Malkin, Hagelin for Game 1

Say Pittsburgh has enough forward depth to begin Eastern Conference Second Round

by Tom Gulitti @TomGulittiNHL / Staff Writer

WASHINGTON -- The Washington Capitals said they won't gain much of an advantage from Evgeni Malkin and Carl Hagelin being out of the lineup for the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Second Round at Capital One Arena on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS).

Malkin, 31, who sustained a lower-body injury in Game 5 of the first round against the Philadelphia Flyers, wore a noncontact jersey at the morning skate Thursday, and it appears possible the second-line center will be back for Game 2 on Sunday. Hagelin, 29, sustained an upper-body injury in Game 6 against the Flyers. The second-line left wing did not accompany Pittsburgh to Washington, and it seems less likely he'll play in Game 2.

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Game Preview: Pens-Caps (Game 1)

by Sam Kasan @PensInsideScoop / Pittsburgh Penguins

The Pens are back in the nation's capital for their Second Round matchup with Washington.

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Inside the Numbers: Jets vs. Predators

Predators, Jets Finished Top 10 in Most Major Categories; Back-and-Forth Series Likely?

by Thomas Willis @TomAWillis / Digital Manager & Producer

Which team has the edge in the Jets and Predators' Round Two series according to the statistics? Here's an analytical look at how the two teams fared across 82 games and in their respective first-round series, with some notes on how the stats played out in the clubs' five-game season series (which Nashville won 3-1-1).

The higher-ranked team is listed first with the 31-team League rank from the regular season listed in parenthesis (in the case of a tie, the highest rank is given):

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Round 2

Burakovsky could return during second round for Capitals

Forward week to week with upper-body injury

by Brian McNally / Correspondent

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Andre Burakovsky has not been ruled out for the Washington Capitals in the Eastern Conference Second Round against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Game 1 is at Capital One Arena on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS).

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3 things: Malkin, Hagelin out for Game 1

by Sam Kasan @PensInsideScoop / Pittsburgh Penguins

Here are the 3 biggest takeaways from the Pens' Wednesday afternoon practice…

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Round 2

Malkin, Hagelin out for Penguins in Game 1 against Capitals

Forwards injured during first-round win against Flyers

by Wes Crosby / Correspondent

CRANBERRY, Pa. -- Evgeni Malkin and Carl Hagelin will not play for the Pittsburgh Penguins against the Washington Capitals in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Second Round at Capital One Arena on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS), Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said Wednesday.

Malkin and Hagelin missed practice Tuesday and Wednesday but skated before the Wednesday practice. Malkin, 31, Pittsburgh's second-line center, sustained a lower-body injury in Game 5 of the first round against the Philadelphia Flyers; Hagelin, 29, who plays left wing on the second line, sustained an upper-body injury in Game 6.

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Broadcaster Blog: Setting the Table for Preds vs. Jets

Willy Daunic Discusses Interviews with Pierre Lebrun, Andrew Berkshire on Nashville and Winnipeg

by Willy Daunic @WillyD1025 / Television Play-By-Play

The hockey world has been looking forward to this for months: Nashville Predators versus Winnipeg Jets. Not only are they the top two point-getters in the NHL, but the clubs played perhaps the most entertaining regular-season series of anyone. 

On Tuesday on the Preds flagship station, 102.5 The Game, the "Darren and Daunic" show had two insightful interviews to set the table for the series:

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Round 2 Series Storylines: Penguins vs. Capitals

by Michelle Crechiolo @PensInsideScoop / Penguins Team Reporter

It wouldn't feel like springtime in Pittsburgh if the Penguins weren't facing the Washington Capitals in the Second Round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, which the teams will do for a third-straight season. Pittsburgh won the first two meetings, eliminating Washington in six games in 2016, then following that up with a seven-game series win last spring.

Here are the main storylines to follow as the series progresses…

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Round 2

Jets wary of two-way game of Predators defensemen in second-round series

Keeping them in check big part of Winnipeg's game plan

by Scott Billeck / Correspondent

WINNIPEG -- Getting past the Nashville Predators in the Western Conference Second Round means getting past their defensemen while also containing those players at the other end of the ice.

It's a challenge for the Winnipeg Jets entering Game 1 of the best-of-7 series at Nashville on Friday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN360, TVAS). The Jets were 2-3-0 against the Predators in the regular season.

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