League News
Nikita Kucherov scores in postseason debut | 04/17/2014 11:11 AM
News
Nikita Kucherov found the back of the net in his playoff debut Wednesday night.
Tampa Tribune

Impact
He opened the scoring in Game 1 in Tampa Bay's 5-4 overtime defeat. Kucherov also scored in his regular season debut with the Lightning back in November, but that marker ended up being a game winner.
Alex Killorn makes impressive playoff debut | 04/17/2014 11:08 AM
News
Alex Killorn produced a goal and an assist in Game 1 Wednesday night against Montreal.
Tampa Tribune

Impact
He looked great alongside Steve Stamkos, but the Lightning lost their postseason opener by a 5-4 score in overtime. Still, it was an impressive NHL playoff debut for Killorn, who recorded 17 goals and 41 points during the regular season.
Alexei Emelin picks up 2 assists in Game 1 | 04/17/2014 10:55 AM
News
Alexei Emelin contributed two assists in Montreal's 5-4 OT win against Tampa Bay in Wednesday's playoff opener.
Rotoworld.com

Impact
He filled the stat sheet in the match with two penalty minutes, one shot, two hits and three blocks. Emelin also saw time on Montreal's second power-play unit, where he logged 1:09 of his 30:08 of his total ice time.
Lars Eller scores his 1st career playoff goal | 04/17/2014 10:48 AM
News
Lars Eller picked up a goal and a helper in Wednesday's overtime win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Montreal Gazette

Impact
He picked up an assist on Brian Gionta's shorthanded tally and then scored his first career playoff goal early in the third period.
Braden Holtby blames changes for struggles | 04/17/2014 10:43 AM
News
Braden Holtby suggested that his struggles this season were partially caused by changes the coaching staff wanted him to make.
CSN Washington

Impact
"It's obviously been well documented the changes that we tried," Holtby said. "Nothing against what the philosophy was, it just didn't coincide with my personality and my natural instincts. The changes led to a lot of second guessing myself and over-thinking things. The moment you start doing that you start to struggle, and when you struggle your confidence goes down a bit." Holtby had a 2.85 GAA and .915 save percentage in 48 games this season. If the Capitals re-sign Jaroslav Halak, then Holtby will have to fight hard for the starting job.
Brian Gionta records SHG, assist in Game 1 | 04/17/2014 10:43 AM
News
Brian Gionta notched a goal and an assist in Wednesday's overtime win against Tampa Bay.
Montreal Gazette

Impact
He scored a shorthanded marker in the second and added an assist in the third of Game 1's sea-saw battle. Gionta concluded the match with four shots and a plus-1 rating.
Nieto might make playoff debut on 2nd line | 04/17/2014 10:39 AM
News
Matthew Nieto might be on the Sharks' second line in Game 1 of the first round.
San Jose Mercury News

Impact
If that's the case, then Nieto will be playing alongside Patrick Marleau and Logan Couture. He had 10 goals and 24 points in 66 games in his rookie campaign.
Thomas Vanek scores in Game 1 victory | 04/17/2014 10:37 AM
News
Thomas Vanek scored in Montreal's 5-4 overtime win over Tampa Bay in Game 1 on Wednesday night.
Montreal Gazette

Impact
He also registered a game-high seven shots. Vanek is a streaky player and he played very well in the Canadiens' playoff opener, which could be a good sign for the Habs.
Sabres clean out assistant coaching staff | 04/17/2014 10:29 AM
News
There will be changes behind Buffalo's bench in 2014-15.
Buffalo News

Impact
Assistant coaches Joe Sacco, Teppo Numminen, Jerry Forton and goalie coach Jim Corsi will not be back next season in their old roles. Sacco and Forton were offered other jobs on the team, while Corsi was fired and Numminen won't have his contract renewed.
Olli Maatta collects assist in playoff debut | 04/17/2014 10:26 AM
News
Olli Maatta recorded an assist in his playoff debut on Wednesday.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Impact
Maatta assisted on Jussi Jokinen's first period goal. Maatta logged 17:11 minutes in Game 1 of the first round, including 1:22 minutes with his team shorthanded. He had nine goals and 29 points in 78 regular season games.
B's want to get Jarome Iginla his first Cup | 04/17/2014 10:23 AM
News
The Boston Bruins have some extra motivation to the win the Stanley Cup this season for 17-year veteran Jarome Iginla.
Boston Herald

Impact
Coach Claude Julien is fine with that, but he doesn't want his players to lose sight of the bigger picture. "Let's focus on what we need to do here to get the goal that we want because we'd like to get it for Iggy, but we'd like to get it for our fans as well, and the rest of the team," said Julien. "So it's a little bit more than that, but he's certainly one of those people that I think everybody's going to be cheering for."
Matt Niskanen helps lead Penguins past CBJ | 04/17/2014 10:23 AM
News
Matt Niskanen had a goal and an assist in Pittsburgh's 4-3 victory over Columbus in Game 1 of the first round.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Impact
Niskanen had the best season of his career with 10 goals and 46 points in 81 games. With two points, he's already just one shy of his career-high in a single playoff run.
Brandon Sutter scores game-winner Wednesday | 04/17/2014 10:19 AM
News
Brandon Sutter netted the game-winning goal for Pittsburgh in Game 1 of their first round series.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Impact
This was Sutter's first postseason game-winning goal in 16 career games. Sutter isn't much of an offensive force, but he's a great third-line center and an important part of the Penguins' bid to win the Stanley Cup.
Justin Florek skates on the third line | 04/17/2014 10:18 AM
News
Justin Florek skated on Boston's third line at practice Wednesday.
Boston Herald

Impact
He could play in Game 1 against Detroit on Friday if Chris Kelly isn't ready to return from back spasms. Kelly didn't participate in the session and missed the last three games of the regular season.
Paul Martin gets two points in playoff opener | 04/17/2014 10:15 AM
News
Paul Martin had two assists in Pittsburgh's 4-3 win over Columbus in Game 1 of the first round.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Impact
Martin missed the better part of the regular season, but the big thing for Pittsburgh is that he's healthy now. He had two goals and 11 points in 15 games during the Penguins' 2013 playoff run.
Patrice Bergeron returned to practice Weds. | 04/17/2014 10:14 AM
News
Patrice Bergeron was back on the ice Wednesday for practice and he reported that his undisclosed injury won't be a problem.
Boston Herald

Impact
It's believed that he missed Tuesday's skate with the flu bug. Bergeron had a great end to the regular season and he got some time off to rest a "minor" injury. He's expected to be ready to play in Game 1 on Friday.
Brian Gibbons moves to Penguins' top line | 04/17/2014 10:12 AM
News
Brian Gibbons was moved up to the Penguins' top line during Wednesday's 4-3 victory over Columbus.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Impact
Penguins coach Dan Bylsma wanted to take advantage of Gibbons' speed, which suits the play of Chris Kunitz and Sidney Crosby. Gibbons didn't end up getting a point, but that will change if he stays on the first line.
Beau Bennett fine with in-game demotion | 04/17/2014 10:11 AM
News
Beau Bennett shrugged off Penguins coach Dan Bylsma's decision to demote him to the third line during Game 1 of the first round.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Impact
"It's not tough," Bennett said. "Honestly, in the playoffs, you leave your ego at the door. Whatever happens, you're trying to get 16 wins. That's the end goal." Bylsma liked how the switch worked out, so Bennett might end up staying on the third line for now. Bennett ended up with a power-play goal and got the primary assist on the game-winner with his new linemate, Brandon Sutter.
Sabres have someone in mind for 2014 draft | 04/17/2014 10:09 AM
News
The Buffalo Sabres might already have a player in mind for the No. 2 overall pick in the 2014 draft.
Buffalo News

Impact
"We have a forward that we have somewhat of a consensus in the group that is at the top of the forward list," said GM Tim Murray. He added that the Sabres will take the best player available, whether it's a forward or a defenseman, but the team does have a pressing need for a player up front. Sam Reinhart or Sam Bennett could fit the bill there. If Buffalo does decide to go with a defeseman then Aaron Ekblad is the best at the position in this draft class.
Max Domi's good candidate to make 14-15 Yotes | 04/17/2014 10:06 AM
News
Max Domi will go into the Coyotes' 2014 training camp with a good shot of making the team.
Arizona Republic/Phoenix Gazette

Impact
"Certainly Max is a very strong candidate for a position with us," Coyotes GM Don Maloney said. "I'm excited about his game. He had another strong year, but I don't want to ... put it in ink that he's starting left winger next year. He just may be too young." Domi was taken with the 12th overall pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. He had 34 goals and 93 points in 61 OHL games with the London Knights in 2013-14.
Berube doesn't think loss of Mason is a blow | 04/17/2014 10:01 AM
News
Flyers coach Craig Berube fought against the idea that losing Steve Mason to an upper-body injury sets the Flyers back.
Philadelphia Inquirer & Daily News

Impact
"I don't think our team feels like it's a blow at all," Berube said. "I totally disagree. Listen: There's injuries. Things happen, like I said. You're not always 100 percent. Good teams find a way to get it done." Emery will start in Game 1 of the first round as a result of Mason's injury. Emery doesn't have a ton of playoff experience, but he did lead Ottawa to the Stanley Cup Final in 2007. At the same time, he had a lukewarm 2.96 GAA and .903 save percentage in 28 games in 2013-14.
Tavares: Isles need to protect leads better | 04/17/2014 9:54 AM
News
John Tavares thinks the Islanders need to get better at protecting leads.
New York Newsday

Impact
The Islanders were 15-6-6 when taking a lead into the third period, which was the worst winning percentage in the league in that situation. Every other squad won at least two-thirds of their games when leading through 40 minutes. Tavares also feels the team needs to improve its play at home and on special teams. "We have to be a lot better in a lot of areas, our consistency has to be a lot better," Tavares said. "When we're playing well and doing the right things consistently we're a good team. We showed that last year and we showed that during the stretch from December into January and the young guys showed it at the end of this season."
Mark Scheifele, Maurice join Team Canada | 04/17/2014 9:51 AM
News
Mark Scheifele will play for Canada at the World Championships next month.
Winnipeg Free Press

Impact
He hasn't played since March 4 because of a knee injury, but he's healthy now and eager to get back on the ice. Scheifele will be joined by Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice, who will serve on Canada's staff.
Gaborik has adjusted to playing with Kings | 04/17/2014 9:46 AM
News
Marian Gaborik feels comfortable with the Kings.
LAKingsInsider.com

Impact
"On the ice, it's been a bit of an adjustment to get used to the system and stuff," Gaborik said. "But I think I got that pretty quickly. It was a bit of a process, but it was just a matter of understanding and being on the same page with four other guys on the ice out there and just know what we're doing defensively." Gaborik had five goals and 16 points in 19 games after being dealt to Los Angeles. The Kings are counting on him to be one of their scoring leaders in the playoffs.
Derek MacKenzie scores in his playoff debut | 04/17/2014 9:37 AM
News
Derek MacKenzie netted a goal in a 4-3 loss to Pittsburgh in Game 1 of the first round.
Columbus Dispatch

Impact
MacKenzie was playing in his first career postseason contest at the age of 32. He had nine goals and 18 points in 71 games this season.
Mark Letestu scores against former squad | 04/17/2014 9:35 AM
News
Mark Letestu found the back of the net in Columbus' 4-3 loss to Pittsburgh in Game 1 of the first round.
Columbus Dispatch

Impact
It was Letestu's first goal in 12 career playoff games. He started his career with Pittsburgh, but was traded to Columbus in November 2011.
Dubinsky stays positive after blowing lead | 04/17/2014 9:31 AM
News
Brandon Dubinsky tried to find the silver lining after Columbus blew a two-goal lead against Pittsburgh in Game 1.
Columbus Dispatch

Impact
"I liked the way our guys fought and played," Dubinsky said. "They made one more play than us. That's the way the playoffs go some times. We can't give them odd-man rushes. We gave them too many and they made us pay. But our guys know what to expect now, and they'll come ready to battle on Saturday." Columbus was a long shot to win this series going into the playoffs and they might have lost their best chance to get under the Penguins' skin by coughing up that lead. For his part, Dubinsky had an assist in the 4-3 loss.
Beauchemin picks up two assists Wednesday | 04/17/2014 9:16 AM
News
Francois Beauchemin had two assists in Anaheim's 4-3 win over Dallas in Game 1 of the first round.
Orange County Register

Impact
Beauchemin is on a three-game point streak that dates back to the regular season. He had four goals and 17 points in 70 games in 2013-14.
Teemu Selanne records a point in playoffs | 04/17/2014 9:14 AM
News
Teemu Selanne had an assist in Game 1 of Anaheim's first round series against Dallas.
Orange County Register

Impact
Selanne logged just 13:03 minutes, so it looks like Anaheim is still limiting his playing time now that we're in the playoffs. That assist was Selanne's 83rd playoff point in 119 career games.
Matt Beleskey contributes 2 points in Game 1 | 04/17/2014 9:12 AM
News
Matt Beleskey had a goal and an assist in Anaheim's 4-3 victory over Dallas in Game 1 of their first round series.
Orange County Register

Impact
Beleskey had three goals and four points in his final four regular season contests, so it looks like he was able to successfully take that momentum into the playoffs. Overall, he had nine goals and 24 points in 55 games in 2013-14.
Ryan Getzlaf gets hit by puck, exits game | 04/17/2014 9:08 AM
News
Ryan Getzlaf left Wednesday's game late in the third period after being struck in the face by the puck.
Orange County Register

Impact
"I just know he's (Getzlaf) getting stitched up right now," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau. "That's the only thing I've heard. I think he's going to be OK." Before getting hurt, Getzlaf scored a goal and an assist to lead Anaheim to a 4-3 victory over Dallas.
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.
player news provided by RotoWorld

THN on Twitter