League News
Lehtonen and Stars lose | 04/17/2014 3:26 AM
News
Kari Lehtonen allowed four goals on 35 shots in Dallas' 4-3 loss to Anaheim Wednesday evening at Honda Center.
Rotoworld.com

Impact
It wasn't a good start for Lehtonen as he allowed three goals in the first period. After the first period he played much better, but it was too late. Despite his shaky performance he should be the starting goalie on Friday, when the Stars and the Ducks will face again.
Sceviour scores in loss | 04/17/2014 3:21 AM
News
Colton Sceviour scored a goal and added an assist for the Stars in Wednesday's 4-3 loss to Anaheim in Game 1 of their first round playoff series.
Rotoworld.com

Impact
It was a nice way to start the playoffs for Sceviour, but the Stars failed to win. He finished the regular season with 12 points in 28 games so two points in his first playoff game ever was a great start for him. Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin also scored for the Stars.
Andersen and Ducks win | 04/17/2014 3:13 AM
News
Frederik Andersen stopped 32 of 35 shots in Anaheim's 4-3 win over Dallas Wednesday night.
Rotoworld.com

Impact
Andersen played in 28 regular season games and got the start, because Jonas Hiller struggled in his last regular season games. Andersen played a solid game and he should be the starter on Friday also. Andersen became the third rookie goaltender in Ducks history to play in a playoff game. Tom Askey (1999) and Ilya Bryzgalov (2006) were the others.
Getzlaf leads Ducks past Stars | 04/17/2014 3:09 AM
News
Ryan Getzlaf scored a goal and registered an assist in Anaheim's 4-3 win over Dallas Wednesday night to take a 1-0 series lead.
Rotoworld.com

Impact
Getzlaf, who finished with 87 points in 77 regular season games, continued his great season with two points. There was also bad news for Getzlaf when he took a Tyler Seguin slap shot to the face with 16 seconds left and went to the dressing room. The Ducks and the Stars will play again on Friday night and it is uncertain if Getzlaf can play then. Matt Beleskey also had a strong night with a goal and an assist, while Kyle Palmieri and Mathieu Perreault also scored for the Ducks. Francois Beauchemin added two helpers in the victory.
Steve Stamkos nets pair in loss to Habs | 04/16/2014 11:14 PM
News
Steve Stamkos netted a pair of goals for the Lightning on Wednesday, but they ended up on the wrong end of a 5-4 overtime decision in Game 1 of their first round playoff series.
Rotoworld.com

Impact
Stamkos is picking up right where he left off towards the end of the regular season by scoring in bunches, but his efforts weren't enough to lift his team to victory on this night. Alex Killorn and Nikita Kucherov also registered markers for Tampa Bay in the losing effort.
Anders Lindback succumbs to Canadiens | 04/16/2014 11:09 PM
News
Anders Lindback did his best to prevent it, but the Lightning dropped a 5-4 overtime decision to Montreal in Game 1 of their first round playoff series Wednesday.
Rotoworld.com

Impact
Lindback stopped 39 of 44 shots in the defeat and did a good job of keeping the Lightning in the game for as long as he did. With starter Ben Bishop sidelined until further notice, Lindback is likely to start again in Game 2 Friday.
Dale Weise the unlikely Game 1 hero vs. TB | 04/16/2014 11:05 PM
News
Dale Weise scored the overtime winner for Montreal to lift the Canadiens to a 5-4 win over Tampa Bay in Game 1 of their opening round playoff series.
Rotoworld.com

Impact
Weise's goal at 18:08 of the first overtime frame sent the Lightning to their locker room in disappointment and put the Habs ahead in the series. Tomas Plekanec, Lars Eller, Brian Gionta and Thomas Vanek were the other Montreal scorers in the victory.
Carey Price earns Game 1 victory over Bolts | 04/16/2014 11:01 PM
News
Carey Price and the Canadiens outlasted Tampa Bay by scoring a 5-4 overtime victory in Game 1 of their first round playoff series Wednesday night.
Rotoworld.com

Impact
The Habs controlled the play so Price was only tested with 25 shots in 78 minutes of action, but he did permit four goals in the victory. It wasn't his sharpest of outings, but the fact he was able to emerge victorious on an off-night is great news for Montreal supporters.
Jack Johnson enjoys solid game in Game 1 loss | 04/16/2014 10:56 PM
News
Jack Johnson scored a goal and added an assist for the Blue Jackets in Wednesday's 4-3 loss to Pittsburgh in Game 1 of their first round playoff series.
Rotoworld.com

Impact
Johnson suffered through a subpar regular season that saw him get left off the U.S. Olympic Team, but he has an opportunity to erase his difficulties from memory with a strong playoff. Mark Letestu and Derek MacKenzie also found the back of the net for Columbus in the losing effort.
Sergei Bobrovsky can't hold off Penguins | 04/16/2014 10:51 PM
News
Columbus goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky was unable to hold off the flying Penguins in a 4-3 loss to Pittsburgh.
Rotoworld.com

Impact
In the series opener between the Jackets and Pens, Bobrovsky was staked to a 3-1 lead early in the second period, but the advantage wouldn't last. All told, the Columbus netminder allowed four goals on 32 shots in the defeat, but he'll certainly be between the pipes again for Game 2 Saturday.
Beau Bennett shines in win over Jackets | 04/16/2014 10:44 PM
News
Beau Bennett scored a goal and added an assist for Pittsburgh in Wednesday's 4-3 win over the Blue Jackets to take a 1-0 series lead.
Rotoworld.com

Impact
Bennett missed the better part of the season due to injury, but he's gotten healthy at the right time and seems ready to contribute to Pittsburgh's Stanley Cup quest. Brandon Sutter, Matt Niskanen and Jussi Jokinen also tallied for the Penguins in the victory while Evgeni Malkin and Paul Martin each registered a pair of helpers.
Marc-Andre Fleury wins in comeback fashion | 04/16/2014 10:37 PM
News
Marc-Andre Fleury was bailed out by his teammates Wednesday night as the Penguins came back from a 3-1 deficit to defeat Columbus in Game 1 of their first round playoff series.
Rotoworld.com

Impact
Fleury allowed three goals on 34 shots in the victory, but he got off to a rocky start as he was beaten three times in just over twenty minutes of action before settling down. It wouldn't be playoff season if there weren't some controversy surrounding the Penguins netminder, but he has the job locked down this year.
Sabres, ECHL Elmira ink affiliation agreement | 04/16/2014 6:51 PM
News
The Buffalo Sabres and ECHL Elmira Jackals have reached an affiliation agreement.
Sabres.nhl.com

Impact
Rochester Americans is still the Sabres' AHL affiliate. "We're proud to have the Jackals as part of our organization and, with the Amerks in Rochester, we now have the added bonus of working with minor-league affiliates that are no further than 150 miles from Buffalo," Sabres GM Tim Murray said. Elmira was previously affiliated with the Ottawa Senators and New Jersey Devils.
Raffi Torres will probably play Thursday | 04/16/2014 6:23 PM
News
Raffi Torres (knee) is probable for Game 1 on Thursday.
CSN Bay Area

Impact
Torres was on the ice with the Sharks on Wednesday. "Today, he looked even better. You can probably interpret that as him being ready to go," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said of Torres. "Now, with that being said, I haven't sat with him, I haven't met with him after the skate today yet." If Torres dresses, it will probably be as a bottom-six forward.
Tomas Hertl practices on Sharks' third line | 04/16/2014 6:20 PM
News
Tomas Hertl skated on the Sharks' third line during Wednesday's practice.
CSN Bay Area

Impact
Take that with a grain of salt because San Jose keeps altering its lines. Hertl was playing on the top line before he suffered a major knee injury and he might end up back in that role at various points during the playoffs.
Nash enters series with chip on his shoulder | 04/16/2014 5:50 PM
News
Rick Nash has a chip on his shoulder after recording just one goal and five points in 12 games during the Rangers 2013 postseason run.
The Bergen Record

Impact
"Yeah, for sure," Nash said. "I think everyone should have a chip on their shoulders to perform and in order to get the job done. Last year finished off not the way we wanted it to so I think it's important to go into the playoffs with that chip on our shoulder." Nash added that winning the gold medal with Team Canada in the 2014 Winter Games has made him as hungry as ever to win the Cup. The Rangers aren't a favorite to win it all this season, but they certainly have the talent to pull it off. They will start their series against Philadelphia on Thursday.
Dallas will get back Ray Whitney for Game 1 | 04/16/2014 5:08 PM
News
Ray Whitney (lower body) will play in Dallas' postseason opener on Wednesday.
Stars.nhl.com

Impact
Whitney missed the Stars' last six regular season contests. Look for him to play alongside Shawn Horcoff and Alex Chiasson on the team's fourth line.
Brenden Dillon (lower body) is out Wednesday | 04/16/2014 5:06 PM
News
Brenden Dillon (lower body) isn't ready to return to the Stars' lineup.
Stars.nhl.com

Impact
"He's just not able to skate," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "He's not comfortable enough to skate." Dillon will miss Game 1 of Dallas' series against Anaheim on Wednesday and is day-to-day beyond that.
Chicago calls up Mac Carruth | 04/16/2014 4:50 PM
News
Mac Carruth has been called up by the Chicago Blackhawks.
Blackhawks.nhl.com

Impact
Carruth was presumably summoned to help out in practices, as there's no chance that he will be asked to start in a playoff game. The 22-year-old had a 3.38 GAA and .893 save percentage in 32 ECHL contests in 2013-14.
Canada taps Dave Tippett as 2014 Worlds coach | 04/16/2014 4:19 PM
News
Dave Tippett will serve as Team Canada's head coach in the 2014 World Championship.
Hockey Canada

Impact
Although Canada won gold in the 2010 and 2014 Winter Games, they haven't earned a medal in the last four World Championships. Tippett will be tasked with reversing that trend, along with his assists Peter DeBoer and Paul Maurice.
T.J. Brennan's the AHL defenseman of the year | 04/16/2014 4:08 PM
News
T.J. Brennan has been selected as the AHL defenseman of the year.
NHL.com

Impact
Brennan had 24 goals, 69 points, and 111 penalty minutes in 73 AHL games this season. The 25-year-old defenseman has struggled to establish himself at the NHL level, but he has enough offensive upside to make him worth keeping an eye on.
Jacob Dowell returns to the minors | 04/16/2014 4:00 PM
News
Jacob Dowell has been sent to the AHL Iowa Wild.
Michael Russo on Twitter

Impact
Dowell has 17 points and 56 penalty minutes in 54 AHL games this season. The 29-year-old forward is also the veteran of 157 career NHL contests.
Toronto inks prospect Viktor Loov | 04/16/2014 3:53 PM
News
Viktor Loov has inked a three-year, entry-level contract with Toronto.
MapleLeafs.nhl.com

Impact
Loov had five goals and 12 points in 40 games in Sweden in 2013-14. He was taken with the 209th overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
Sabres will have new assistant coaches | 04/16/2014 2:41 PM
News
Now that Ted Nolan is no longer the Sabres' interim coach, he will get to hire his own staff over the summer.
Buffalo News

Impact
Consequently, the Buffalo Sabres will part ways with assistants Joe Sacco, Teppo Numminen, Jerry Forton as well as goalie coach Jim Corsi. Of them, Corsi was the only one to be outright fired, given that Numminen's contract was up anyways while Forton and Sacco have been offered other jobs within Buffalo's organization.
Ryan McDonagh is over shoulder problems | 04/16/2014 2:39 PM
News
Ryan McDonagh said he's no longer dealing with shoulder issues.
The Bergen Record

Impact
"Yeah, I think it's great, no issues, no restrictions or anything so at this point there's really no need how to ask how it's doing anymore," McDonagh said. He missed the last five games of the regular season, but is expected to be in the Rangers' lineup for their playoff opener. He has 14 goals and 43 points in 77 games this season.
Joe Pavelski practices on Sharks' first line | 04/16/2014 2:20 PM
News
Joe Pavelski skated on the Sharks' top line with Joe Thornton on Wednesday.
Kevin Kurz on Twitter

Impact
It's worth noting because there was some discussion of moving Pavelski to the third line to balance them out. He had 41 goals and 79 points in 82 games this season.
Ducks will start Frederik Andersen in Game 1 | 04/16/2014 2:00 PM
News
Frederik Andersen will play between the pipes for Anaheim on Wednesday.
Eric Stephens on Twitter

Impact
Jonas Hiller's late season struggles cost him the start in the Ducks' playoff opener. Andersen is a 24-year-old rookie with 28 NHL games under his belt, so obviously Anaheim's goaltending situation is a bit of a concern. The good news is that he was solid during the regular season with a 2.29 GAA and .923 save percentage.
Anton Belov returns to the KHL | 04/16/2014 1:55 PM
News
Anton Belov has left the Edmonton Oilers to join the KHL's SKA St. Petersburg
Pro Hockey Talk

Impact
Belov made the move from the KHL to Edmonton for the 2013-14 campaign and had seven points and 34 penalty minutes in 57 games. He also represented Russia in the 2014 Winter Games and scored a goal in five contests.
Jan Hejda practices with Avalanche Wednesday | 04/16/2014 1:43 PM
News
Jan Hejda (upper body) took part in Wednesday's practice.
Denver Post

Impact
Hejda is day-to-day and questionable for Game 1 on Thursday. Hejda had six goals and 17 points in 78 games in 2013-14. He was also second on the team with an average of 22:19 minutes per contest.
Derick Brassard is good to play Thursday | 04/16/2014 1:38 PM
News
Derick Brassard (back) said he will be available on Thursday.
Katie Strang on Twitter

Impact
Brassard's status was put into doubt when he left Tuesday's practice with a possible back problem. Rangers coach Alain Vigneault has also stated that Brassard will be in the Rangers' lineup Thursday night.
Brandon Prust is expected to play Wednesday | 04/16/2014 1:32 PM
News
Brandon Prust (upper body) is good to play in Game 1 on Wednesday.
Stephen Whyno on Twitter

Impact
It will be Prust's first game in nearly a month. He has 13 points and 121 penalty minutes in 52 games this season.
Emile Poirier will report to the AHL | 04/16/2014 1:02 PM
News
Emile Poirier has been sent to AHL Abbotsford.
Flames.nhl.com

Impact
It will be his first pro stint after completing his campaign with the QMJHL Gatineau Olympiques. He had 87 points and 129 penalty minutes in 63 games with Gatineau in 2013-14.
Keegan Kanzig heads to the AHL | 04/16/2014 1:00 PM
News
Keegan Kanzig will report to AHL Abbotsford.
Flames.nhl.com

Impact
Kanzig had eight points and 99 penalty minutes in 63 WHL games this season. He was taken in the third round of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.
Detroit waives Willie Coetzee | 04/16/2014 12:30 PM
News
Willie Coetzee has been placed on waivers by the Detroit Red Wings.
Darren Dreger on Twitter

Impact
Coetzee spent almost the entire 2013-14 campaign with the ECHL Toledo Walleye. He was great at that level though, with 28 goals and 68 points in 64 games.
T.J. Oshie not cleared for contact yet | 04/16/2014 12:28 PM
News
T.J. Oshie (upper body) hasn't been cleared for contact yet.
Andy Strickland on Twitter

Impact
Oshie hasn't been ruled out for Game 1 on Thursday, but it would still be a bit surprising if he ends up returning that soon. That being said, the Blues think he'll be back before the end of the first round.
Ray Emery will start in Game 1 vs. Rangers | 04/16/2014 12:21 PM
News
Ray Emery will play in Game 1 of Philadelphia's series against the New York Rangers.
Frank Seravalli on Twitter

Impact
Steve Mason is dealing with an upper-body injury, so the Flyers need Emery to step up in his absence. Emery is certainly capable of doing that, but he struggled in the regular season with a 2.96 GAA and .903 save percentage in 28 games.
Steve Mason is out for Game 1 on Thursday | 04/16/2014 12:18 PM
News
Steve Mason (upper body) will not participate in Game 1 on Thursday.
Frank Seravalli on Twitter

Impact
Mason was hurt on Saturday when teammate Andrew MacDonald was pushed into him. Mason had a 2.50 GAA and .917 save percentage in 61 games this season.
Ryan Kesler isn't looking for a trade | 04/16/2014 11:06 AM
News
Ryan Kesler doesn't want to be traded over the summer.
Vancouver Sun

Impact
"This has been my home since my adulthood," Kesler said. "This is really the only city I know besides Michigan. I love it here and hopefully I can stay." The Canucks shopped Kesler before the trade deadline, but ultimately weren't satisfied with the offers they got. Despite Kesler's wishes to the contrary, the team might end up moving him as they shift their gaze more towards the future.
Joe Pavelski might end up on third line | 04/16/2014 11:00 AM
News
The San Jose Sharks are considering using Joe Pavelski as the team's third-line center.
San Jose Mercury News

Impact
That's an unusual spot for a guy that scored 41 goals, but moving Pavelski might give the Sharks three strong scoring lines. In that scenario Tomas Hertl would probably be reunited with Joe Thornton and Brent Burns on the top line.
Chris Conner starts a conditioning stint | 04/16/2014 10:20 AM
News
Chris Conner (hand) has been sent to the AHL on a conditioning assignment.
Penguins.nhl.com

Impact
Conner has four goals and five points in 14 games with Pittsburgh in 2013-14. He hasn't played since Dec. 31.
Trio of Blues miss practice, including Backes | 04/16/2014 10:18 AM
News
David Backes (foot) didn't skate Tuesday.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Impact
Patrik Berglund (upper body) and Vladimir Sobotka (lower body) were also absent from the session. St. Louis hosts Chicago in Game 1 of their opening-round series on Thursday, so the wounded Blues still have some time to get healthy.
Tomas Vokoun starts playoffs as third goalie | 04/16/2014 10:16 AM
News
Tomas Vokoun is serving as the Pittsburgh Penguins' third-string goaltender.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Impact
Vokoun completed a conditioning stint after missing the season due to a blood clot. If Marc-Andre Fleury struggles in the playoffs, Vokoun might find himself back between the pipes.
Fleury aims to be solid in playoffs | 04/16/2014 10:14 AM
News
Marc-Andre Fleury is hoping to avoid another postseason collapse.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Impact
Over the last few years, Fleury has gone through a disturbing pattern of putting up good numbers in the regular season, only to significantly drop off in the playoffs. If that trend continues, the Penguins will likely once again fall short of winning the Stanley Cup. "I know I can do it," Fleury said of bouncing back. "I know we have a solid team. I'll try my best to get to it again."
S. Doan struggled after return from illness | 04/16/2014 10:09 AM
News
Shane Doan admitted that he struggled to get his season back on track after returning from Rocky Mountain fever.
Arizona Republic/Phoenix Gazette

Impact
"It's such a freak thing, and you'd never expect to go through something like that," Doan said. "Once you're back and playing, you're back and playing. You're wanting to contribute and help out more than I did, especially early on. When I came back, I wasn't very good. I think I'm getting better every day." Doan had 23 goals and 47 points in 69 games in 2013-14. He'll have plenty of time to rest up and return in peak condition for the 2014-15 campaign.
Predators sign prospect Felix Girard | 04/16/2014 10:04 AM
News
Nashville has signed Felix Girard to a three-year, entry-level contract.
The Nashville Tennessean

Impact
He registered 43 points, 130 penalty minutes and a plus-30 rating in 58 games with the QMJHL's Baie-Comeau Drakkar this past season. Girard was a fourth-round pick of the Predators in the 2013 draft.
Islanders have a tough draft decision | 04/16/2014 10:03 AM
News
The New York Islanders have to decide whether or not to allow the Buffalo Sabres to take their 2014 first round pick to complete the Tomas Vanek trade.
New York Newsday

Impact
The Islanders have the fifth overall pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. Given that, it might seem obvious that the Islanders would keep the pick and hope to improve in 2014-15. However, the 2015 draft is far deeper and includes two potential superstars in Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel. It would be terrible for the Islanders if they miss the playoffs again in 2014-15 only for their lottery pick to belong to Buffalo.
Darcy Kuemper (UBI) returned to practice | 04/16/2014 10:00 AM
News
Darcy Kuemper (upper body) practiced Tuesday.
Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune

Impact
"I felt pretty good," said Kuemper after his first practice since March 31. "I didn't feel that rusty. I think I'm definitely close right now. It's never easy to watch, especially this time of year." It's still uncertain who will serve as Ilya Bryzgalov's backup in Game 1 on Thursday night against Colorado. If Kuemper isn't ready then John Curry will dress.
Brad Richards tries not to think about future | 04/16/2014 9:58 AM
News
Brad Richards is trying not to think about the possibility that this might be his last playoff run with the New York Rangers.
NY Post

Impact
Richards might be the subject of an amnesty buyout over the summer. "It's been in the back of my mind to a certain extent, it would be a lie if I said it wasn't there," Richards said. "But it's not affecting me or weighing on me, or having any impact on my preparation or my game." Richards will turn 34 in May and his contract comes with an annual $6,666,667 cap hit through 2019-20. This is the last summer that the Rangers will have the option of using an amnesty buyout, which is different from a normal buyout in the sense that it completely removes the player's cap hit from the team's books, to get out of the ugly final seasons of that deal.
Dany Heatley could be scratched Thursday | 04/16/2014 9:55 AM
News
Dany Heatley appears as though he will be a healthy scratch on Thursday when the playoffs begin.
Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune

Impact
He didn't have a spot among Minnesota's top-four lines at practice on Tuesday. Heatley leads all Wild players in playoff scoring with 57 points in 66 games. He sat a few times down the stretch as well.
Miller likely start playoffs in press box | 04/16/2014 9:52 AM
News
J.T. Miller will probably be a healthy scratch for Game 1 on Thursday.
The Bergen Record

Impact
That would change if Derick Brassard, who exited Tuesday's practice early with a possible back injury, ends up being unavailable. Miller had three goals and six points in 30 games with the Rangers in 2013-14.
Mikael Granlund slated to play on 2nd line | 04/16/2014 9:51 AM
News
Mikael Granlund (head) said he "felt really good" after Tuesday's practice.
Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune

Impact
He's expected to be available to play in Thursday's postseason opener in Colorado. Granlund will reclaim his second-line spot between Matt Moulson and Jason Pominville, which will bump Erik Haula to the fourth unit.
Brassard to play despite possible back injury | 04/16/2014 9:49 AM
News
Derick Brassard left Tuesday's practice early with a possible back injury.
The Bergen Record

Impact
Despite that, Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said that he expects Brassard to play in Game 1 on Thursday. For now we'll assume that Brassard is available, but it would be concerning if he missed the Rangers' next morning skate. If he's healthy, Brassard will play on a line with Mats Zuccarello and Benoit Pouliot.
Drew Doughty (upper body) is 'good to go' | 04/16/2014 9:42 AM
News
Drew Doughty (upper body) will be available for Game 1 on Thursday.
LAKingsInsider.com

Impact
Doughty took part in Tuesday's practice, although the skate didn't include any battle drills. "I've known I'm good to go," Doughty said. "I don't need [battle drills] to test my strength or anything like that. But it'd maybe a good idea to get in a few just to kind of get into a game situations kind of thing. I'm sure they'll have some planned for me coming up here before game one." He missed the Kings' final four regular season games due to the ailment.
Smith brothers set for playoff meeting | 04/16/2014 9:39 AM
News
Brendan and Reilly Smith will be on opposing sides in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Detroit News

Impact
Brendan plays on Detroit's top defense pairing and Reilly skates on Boston's second line, so the two of them are sure to cross paths in the series. They have faced each other before during the regular season, but there's a lot more on the line now.
Oilers probably won't trade 3rd overall pick | 04/16/2014 9:39 AM
News
The Edmonton Oilers aren't likely to trade the third overall pick.
Edmonton Journal

Impact
Edmonton is comfortable with the third selection as Oilers GM Craig MacTavish noted that the order of this year's top five is pretty open for debate. Edmonton would probably like to draft defenseman Aaron Ekblad if he ends up sliding to them, but that's far from guaranteed.
R.J. Umberger might be available for Game 2 | 04/16/2014 9:31 AM
News
R.J. Umberger (upper body) is a possibility for Game 2 on Saturday.
Columbus Dispatch

Impact
Umberger won't be on the ice when the Blue Jackets' series against Pittsburgh starts on Wednesday. He had 18 goals and 34 points in 74 games this season.
Dallas' Cody Eakin 'loves playoff hockey' | 04/16/2014 9:30 AM
News
Cody Eakin is excited to make his NHL playoff debut on Wednesday night.
Dallas Morning News

Impact
"I love playoff hockey," he said. "I really do think it brings out the best in you and makes you a better player. It's just an exciting time." His experience with postseason play is in the AHL and WHL, but the intensity remains in the same in the NHL. Eakin had 16 goals and 35 points for the Stars in 81 games this year.
Nick Foligno (knee) might play in Game 2 | 04/16/2014 9:29 AM
News
Nick Foligno (knee) might be able to play in Game 2 of the first round.
Columbus Dispatch

Impact
Foligno was already ruled out for the Blue Jackets' playoff opener on Wednesday. He had 39 points and 96 penalty minutes in 70 contests in 2013-14.
Columbus promotes Jeremy Smith | 04/16/2014 9:26 AM
News
Jeremy Smith has been summoned by the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Columbus Dispatch

Impact
Smith will practice with the team, but he's not expected to appear in any playoff contests. He has a 2.78 GAA and .898 save percentage in 38 AHL games this season.
Antoine Roussel intends to stay in check | 04/16/2014 9:26 AM
News
Antoine Roussel understands that he can't go too wild in the NHL playoffs.
Dallas Morning News

Impact
"I played for Chicago in the AHL, and I took two penalties right off the bat and then I was scratched the rest of the way," he said of his brief postseason experience. You can't do that in the playoffs." Roussel finished third in the league with 209 penalty minutes during the regular season. He'll make his NHL playoff debut on Wednesday against Anaheim.
Cam Ward reflects on poor campaign | 04/16/2014 9:20 AM
News
Cam Ward had a terrible 2013-14 campaign.
Raleigh News & Observer

Impact
Ward was plagued by injuries and ended up with a 3.06 GAA and .898 save percentage in 30 games. "I struggled to get comfortable all season long," Ward said. "Obviously I got the injury, and coming back from that I felt like I was playing catchup. I wasn't able to get consecutive games to try and get my game going. Anton had a great season. I was never able to get into a rhythm." At this point, it wouldn't be surprising if Carolina's preference is to go into 2014-15 with Anton Khudobin as the team's starter. They might trade Ward if there's a team out there that will take his $6.3 million cap hit through 2015-16.
Eric Staal doesn't want to be traded | 04/16/2014 9:15 AM
News
Eric Staal badly wants to make the playoffs, but he doesn't want to be traded.
Raleigh News & Observer

Impact
"I've been here a long time. I love it here," he said. "I've had success here, and I know and believe that we can have it again and I can be a part of that. Hopefully we can continue to improve and get better and get back there." That being said, there's an off chance the Hurricanes would trade him anyways in an attempt to pull off a big shakeup. Staal had an off year by his standards with 21 goals and 61 points in 79 games.
Calgary Flames might draft Sam Bennett | 04/16/2014 9:11 AM
News
If he's available, the Calgary Flames might take Sam Bennett with the fourth overall pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.
Calgary Herald

Impact
The Flames want to get tougher and Bennett would certainly help them in that regard. The power forward would be worth keeping an eye on during training camp because he could potentially make whichever team drafts him and put up decent offensive numbers while accumulating about a PIM per game.
Nathan MacKinnon likes Colorado's depth | 04/16/2014 9:10 AM
News
Nathan MacKinnon is slated to play between Ryan O'Reilly and P.A. Parenteau in Game 1 against Minnesota on Thursday night.
Denver Post

Impact
He led all rookies in scoring in 2013-14 with 63 points in 82 games. "Obviously, with [Matt Duchene] out, it puts a lot more pressure on everybody else," MacKinnon said. "But we have tons of good forwards. It's not just going to be me that they're going to be paying attention to. I think it's good that, if they key on one guy, we'll have other guys step up. They're going to have to kind of choose who they want to pick their battles with." The Avalanche will feature Gabriel Landeskog and Paul Stastny on their other scoring line.
Michal Handzus centers 2nd line at practice | 04/16/2014 9:02 AM
News
Michal Handzus was back on Chicago's second line at practice on Tuesday.
Chicago Tribune

Impact
He skated between Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp in the session. Handzus recorded just four goals and 16 points in 59 games during the regular season. If he opens the playoffs with Hossa and Sharp as his wingers then he could get a good fantasy boost.
Jonathan Toews skates with Versteeg, Saad | 04/16/2014 8:58 AM
News
Jonathan Toews skated between Kris Versteeg and Brandon Saad on Tuesday.
Chicago Tribune

Impact
He missed Chicago's last six games of the regular season with an upper-body injury, but he'll play in Game 1 against St. Louis on Thursday night.
Patrick Kane took part in full practice Tues. | 04/16/2014 8:53 AM
News
Patrick Kane skated on the third line with Bryan Bickell and Andrew Shaw on Tuesday.
Chicago Tribune

Impact
It was his first full practice with his teammates after missing the last 12 games of the regular season with a knee injury. "It was nice to do some drills that are game-like, whether it was three-on-twos up the ice or power play or defensive zone coverage, things like that to get back into it," said Kane.
Jeremy Morin likely to be scratched Thursday | 04/16/2014 8:49 AM
News
Jeremy Morin was an odd man out at practice on Tuesday.
Chicago Tribune

Impact
He skated with probable scratches Peter Regin and Joakim Nordstrom. "Obviously you want to be in the lineup, but I can say honestly I'm really excited just be a part of it," Morin said. "I've never experienced playoffs before in pro hockey. Anything I can do, I'm looking forward to the opportunity to be here." Morin was red hot at the end of the regular season, with four goals and two assists in six games, but he'll get bumped from the lineup with Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews set to return.
Anders Lindback is eager to step up | 04/16/2014 8:42 AM
News
Anders Lindback played well down the stretch for the Lightning after making some adjustments to his game.
St. Petersburg Times

Impact
"Just way more patient," Lindback said. "I feel like I'm more consistent in everything I do out there. You just keep pushing. It's time to take it to another level." He has worked on not making the first move when shooters challenge him, which has given him a quieter and more steady style. He'll start Game 1 of Tampa Bay's first-round series against Montreal because Ben Bishop isn't ready to return yet from an elbow injury. "When you get an opportunity, you have to take advantage of it," Lindback said.
Team USA names Jake Gardiner to WHC roster | 04/16/2014 8:29 AM
News
Jake Gardiner will play for Team USA at the World Hockey Championships next month in Minsk, Belarus.
Toronto Star

Impact
Gardiner notched new personal bests in 2013-14 with 10 goals and 31 points in 80 games.
Morgan Rielly to play for Canada at WHC | 04/16/2014 8:26 AM
News
Morgan Rielly will suit up for Team Canada at the IIHF World Hockey Championships next month.
Toronto Star

Impact
The rookie defender recorded two goals and 27 points in 73 games this season.
Steve Stamkos ready for leadership challenge | 04/16/2014 8:14 AM
News
Steve Stamkos is back in the playoffs after he picked up 13 points in 18 games in 2011, but this time he's the captain of a young, upstart squad.
Tampa Tribune

Impact
"You're the leader of a team that's going to the Stanley Cup playoffs. It's a challenge, but it's fun, it's exciting," he said. "For me, everything that's happened this year, to get a chance to come back and play, is an unbelievable feeling. But to get a chance to be in the playoffs, and hopefully lead this team, that's a challenge. For me, you take that challenge personally, but you realize we have a great bunch of guys here." Stamkos missed 45 games this season with a broken tibia, but he still tallied 25 goals and 40 points in 37 appearances.
Would the Senators move Jason Spezza? | 04/16/2014 7:57 AM
News
Jason Spezza's future with the Ottawa Senators is uncertain.
Ottawa Citizen

Impact
"We'll see where we go with him," GM Bryan Murray said in Tuesday's post-mortem media address. His words will add more fuel to the fire that Ottawa may ask Spezza to waive his no-trade clause if they can find a deal for him.
Daniel Briere has great postseason numbers | 04/16/2014 7:47 AM
News
Daniel Briere has amassed 50 goals and 109 points in 108 career playoff games.
Montreal Gazette

Impact
"When I prepare, what I'm thinking is that I want to be the guy that makes the big play," he said. "I want the puck when the game's on the line. It's not about thinking that I'm a playoff performer or that I'm better than anyone. I wish it was clearer or that there was a better explanation, but there really isn't." However, Briere may not get a chance to make much of an impact for the Canadiens in the 2014 postseason. He could end up skating on the team's third or fourth line.
Jake McCabe will suit up for Team USA | 04/16/2014 7:32 AM
News
Jake McCabe will play for the United States in World Hockey Championships in May.
Buffalo News

Impact
He played in seven games with the Sabres at the end of the year after playing three seasons with the University of Wisconsin. McCabe was a second-round pick of the Sabres in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
Neuvirth (hip) has been seeing a specialist | 04/16/2014 7:27 AM
News
Michal Neuvirth's lower-body injury was a hip issue.
Buffalo News

Impact
Sabres GM Tim Murray said that Neuvirth has been seeing a specialist to help with the nagging problem. He sat out Buffalo's last 15 games of the season due to the ailment.
Matthew Hackett will probably need surgery | 04/16/2014 7:24 AM
News
Buffalo GM Tim Murray believes that Matthew Hackett will require surgery on his injured right knee.
Buffalo News

Impact
Hackett was hurt last Saturday against Boston when defenseman Torey Krug fell on his leg. He was taken off the ice on a stretcher. We'll keep you posted on his status during the Sabres' off-season.
Connor Hellebuyck to play for U.S. in Belarus | 04/16/2014 7:09 AM
News
Connor Hellebuyck will represent the United States at the IIHF World Hockey Championships in Minsk, Belarus.
Winnipeg Free Press

Impact
The tournament begins on May 9. He signed a pro deal with the Jets after playing the past two seasons with the University of Massachusetts-Lowell. Hellebuyck, who was chosen in the fifth round of the 2012 draft, won the inaugural Mike Richter Award as the top goaltender in NCAA hockey this season.
Jacob Trouba will play for U.S. at WHC | 04/16/2014 7:04 AM
News
Jacob Trouba will play for Team USA at the IIHF World Hockey Championships next month.
Winnipeg Free Press

Impact
He was struck in the throat by a puck in Winnipeg's last game of the season, but he said he was fine on Sunday. Trouba led all NHL rookies in average ice time per game (22:26), while scoring 10 goals and 29 points in 65 games.
Buffalo Sabres bumped to second pick in draft | 04/15/2014 10:36 PM
News
The Buffalo Sabres posted the worst 82 game season since the 2001-02 New York Islanders, but the team still could not secure top overall pick in the 2014 NHL draft.
Rotoworld.com

Impact
It's been that kind of year for Buffalo, as they lost out on the top pick during Tuesday's NHL draft lottery to the second-worst Florida Panthers. But the team will still get some much needed help, as top prospects Sam Reinhart, Sam Bennett and Aaron Ekblad appear to be a good bet to help any team with their talents. The Sabres need help everywhere, as they finished 41 points out of a playoff spot and with a goal differential of -91.
Avalanche playing way above their pay grade | 04/15/2014 9:17 PM
News
The Colorado Avalanche won a division title this season and are set for a playoff run despite having the third lowest payroll in the NHL during 2013-14.
Cap Geek

Impact
Just two teams spent less on base player salaries this season according to Cap Geek, while those two teams (the Panthers and Islanders) finished way out of the playoff contention. The Avs are fuelled by a young core with players like Gabe Landeskog still on rookie contracts. Landeskog is earning under one million dollars this season, but signed a lucrative contract extension.
James Reimer to participate in Worlds for CAN | 04/15/2014 8:32 PM
News
James Reimer confirmed he will be suiting up for Team Canada at the upcoming World Hockey Championships in Belarus next month.
TSN

Impact
Reimer joins a solid bunch of players already confirmed to be playing for Canada, including Ryan Ellis, Alex Burrows, Sean Monahan, David Perron, Kyle Turris and Kevin Bieksa. Canada's roster should be announced on Wednesday by the team's GM Rob Blake.
Florida Panthers win top pick in 2014 draft | 04/15/2014 8:23 PM
News
The Florida Panthers were awarded the first overall selection for this June's NHL Entry Draft, winning the selection lottery on Tuesday night.
NHL.com

Impact
Florida owned the NHL's second worst record in 2013-14, compiling a 29-49-8 record while earning 62 points. The Panthers had an 18.8% chance at winning the top pick, pushing aside the league-worst Buffalo Sabres, who had a 25% chance at drawing the number one selection. GM Dale Tallon now has a lot of options going into the off-season, with around $30-million of spending money at his disposal and a choice between the top three prospects Sam Bennett, Aaron Ekblad and Sam Reinhart
Seth Jones named to Team USA for WHC | 04/15/2014 7:54 PM
News
Seth Jones will don the red, white and blue for Team USA in Belarus next month, accepting an invitation to participate in the World Hockey Championships.
Rotoworld.com

Impact
Jones joins a solid defense core that includes the Leafs' Jake Gardiner and the Jets' Jacob Trouba for Team USA. The rookie notched 25 points in 73 games this past season, but struggled defensively as demonstrated by his -23 rating.
Mark Streit hopes to build on strong finish | 04/15/2014 7:27 PM
News
Mark Streit enters the playoffs on a hot streak, as the Swiss blueliner finished with a six game points streak down the final stretch, compiling nine assists in that span and a plus-seven rating.
Rotoworld.com

Impact
The 36 year-old free agent signing has really proven his worth in the last few weeks, and the Flyers will need Streit's magic to continue come playoff time in order to get by the Rangers. Streit has nine points and 12 penalty minutes in 18 career post-season games.
Patrick Sharp practices on new line Tuesday | 04/15/2014 6:52 PM
News
Patrick Sharp practiced on a line with Michal Handzus and Marian Hossa on Tuesday in preparation for the Blackhawks playoff opener on Thursday in St. Louis.
ESPN Chicago

Impact
It was the first practice in nearly a month where the Hawks iced a completely healthy lineup. Head Coach Joel Quenneville chose to split up his three highest producing forwards in Sharp, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane onto separate lines. Coach Q appears to be favoring a balanced attack in the playoffs, but Sharp has proven that he could excel with anyone on his line this season. Though Sharp played with Toews the majority of the year, the talented forward managed three goals and two assists without the dynamic centerman in the final seven games of the regular season.
Evgeni Malkin (Day-to-Day) practices Tuesday | 04/15/2014 6:21 PM
News
Evgeni Malkin is still questionable for Game 1, but took a step in the right direction on Tuesday by officially returning to practice for the first time since sustaining a foot injury on March 23.
NHL.com

Impact
Malkin is close to returning, but Penguins coach Dan Bylsma would like to see how the superstar center feels on Wednesday before declaring him fit to play in the Pens' playoff opener versus Columbus. "I cant say right now. but I feel great, I skated the full practice, and we'll see (how the foot feels) tomorrow," said Malkin after Tuesday's skate.
Dillon (lower body) is a game-time decision | 04/15/2014 5:46 PM
News
Brenden Dillon (lower body) is being called a game-time decision for Wednesday's contest.
Mike Heika

Impact
Dillon missed Tuesday's practice, so it would be a bit surprising if he did end up playing. He had 17 points and 86 penalty minutes in 80 games this season.
Matt Duchene (knee) out at least 2 more games | 04/15/2014 5:31 PM
News
Matt Duchene (knee) will miss the Avalanche's first two playoff games at a minimum.
Denver Post

Impact
Duchene had 23 goals and 70 points in 71 games this season. He didn't take part in Tuesday's practice and it wouldn't be shocking if he doesn't return before the end of the first round.
Ducks might start Frederik Andersen in Game 1 | 04/15/2014 5:28 PM
News
Frederik Andersen might be the Anaheim Ducks' opening game starter.
Los Angeles Times

Impact
Jonas Hiller has been struggling lately and he admitted the slump has gotten to him. Andersen is a rookie with just 28 games worth of NHL experience, but did post an impressive 2.29 GAA and .923 save percentage this season.
Dallas Eakins will stick around for 2014-15 | 04/15/2014 5:26 PM
News
It looks like Dallas Eakins will stick around as the Edmonton Oilers head coach despite a rough first season.
TSN.ca

Impact
The Oilers ended up in the Western Conference basement in a season where the expectation was that they would finally compete for a playoff spot. All the same, Oilers GM Craig MacTavish stood behind his bench boss. "I'm convinced this guy is the right coach to lead us into much more successful times ... he's relentless," MacTavish said.
Valtteri Filppula (LBI) is ready to return | 04/15/2014 5:18 PM
News
Valtteri Filppula (lower body) took part in Tuesday's practice.
Lightning.nhl.com

Impact
The stage is set for Filppula to participate in Game 1 on Wednesday. He's projected to center the second line.
TBL should get Ondrej Palat back on Wednesday | 04/15/2014 5:17 PM
News
Ondrej Palat (upper body) is ready to play in the Lightning's postseason opener on Wednesday.
Lightning.nhl.com

Impact
Palat had 23 goals and 59 points in 81 games this season. Look for him to play on Tampa Bay's top line with Steve Stamkos and Tyler Johnson.
Brenden Dillon is questionable Wednesday | 04/15/2014 4:45 PM
News
Brenden Dillon (lower body) missed Tuesday's practice.
Mike Heika on Twitter

Impact
Dillon didn't participate in Sunday's game, but the original plan was to have him skate on Tuesday in preparation for him playing in Game 1 on Wednesday. At this point, we wouldn't be surprised if he misses the Stars' playoff opener against Anaheim.
Tampa Bay won't have Ben Bishop Wednesday | 04/15/2014 4:18 PM
News
Ben Bishop (elbow) won't be available for Game 1 on Wednesday.
Chris Stevenson on Twitter

Impact
Bishop is one of the main reasons the Lightning made the playoffs in the first place. He had a 2.23 GAA and .924 save percentage in 63 games this season.
Brenden Morrow might be back on Thursday | 04/15/2014 3:49 PM
News
Brenden Morrow (foot) didn't want to rule himself out for Game 1 on Thursday.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Impact
Morrow was on the ice Tuesday. "I got a couple of days to get a little better," Morrow said. "So I've got to knock the rust off." He had 25 points and 76 penalty minutes in 71 games in 2013-14.
Oshie skates, questionable Thursday | 04/15/2014 3:47 PM
News
T.J. Oshie (upper body) skated on Tuesday.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Impact
"It felt good to get around, sweat a little bit," Oshie said. "It feels like I haven't been doing anything in a long time." He didn't rule out the possibility of him playing in Game 1. Oshie had 21 goals and 60 points in 79 games this season.
Vladimir Tarasenko (hand) might return soon | 04/15/2014 3:45 PM
News
The St. Louis Blues think Vladimir Tarasenko (hand) will be available before the end of the first round.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Impact
Tarasenko had the cast on his injured hand taken off on Monday. He has been sidelined for about a month.
John Mitchell might not miss first round | 04/15/2014 3:42 PM
News
John Mitchell (concussion) might be able to return before the end of the first round.
Adrian Dater on Twitter

Impact
Of course, given that it's a concussion we're talking about, any timetable needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Mitchell wasn't able to participate in Colorado's final two games of the regular season.
Jan Hejda (upper body) is day-to-day | 04/15/2014 3:08 PM
News
Jan Hejda (upper body) didn't participate in Tuesday's practice.
Adrian Dater on Twitter

Impact
Hejda had 17 points in 78 games during the regular season. He is day-to-day, according to Avalanche coach Patrick Roy.
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