NHL Recent Player News
|5/17/2013||Anze Kopitar, C||Kopitar won't allow a puck to the face to keep him out of the Los Angeles Kings' title defense. Kopitar missed only a few minutes of the Kings' 4-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night after a third-period shot by teammate Dustin Brown hit him in the left side of his face above his upper lip.
Analysis: After roughly 20 stitches and an uncomfortable night of sleep, Kopitar returned to practice at the Kings' training complex on Friday. He says he's ready to play in Game 3 on Saturday night at the Shark Tank.
|5/17/2013||Eric Boulton, LW||Boulton re-signed with the New York Islanders on Friday, agreeing to a one-year contract.
Analysis: The 36-year-old Boulton had 36 penalty minutes in 15 games this season for New York. He has 27 goals, 46 assists and 1,301 penalty minutes in 615 career NHL games with Buffalo, Atlanta, New Jersey and the Islanders.
|5/17/2013||Viktor Stalberg, LW||Chicago Blackhawks forward Viktor Stalberg worked outside of the top four lines in practice once again Friday, and he said coach Joel Quenneville wants him "to produce more and be more effective."
Analysis: Stalberg was benched for Game 1 and Quenneville declined to say if he would play on Saturday. The speedy Stalberg had nine goals and 14 assists in 47 games this season. He has one goal and three assists in 18 career postseason contests.
|5/17/2013||Jarret Stoll, C||Stoll has an undisclosed injury for the Kings.
Analysis: Stoll's injury has not been disclosed so the Stanley Cup champs are very tight-lipped about what is going on.
|5/17/2013||Brad Marchand, C||Marchand scored with 4:20 left in the first overtime and the Boston Bruins beat the New York Rangers 3-2 in the first playoff game in 40 years between the Original Six teams.
Analysis: Marchand, Boston's top goal scorer in the regular season, got his first of the postseason on a pass from Patrice Bergeron. Marchand has 67 goals in the last three seasons and scored 18 in 2012-13, but he has two goals in his last 15 playoff games.
|5/16/2013||Raffi Torres, LW||San Jose Sharks forward Raffi Torres was suspended for the rest of the Western Conference semifinal series against Los Angeles on Thursday for a hit to Kings forward Jarret Stoll's head. Torres was assessed a minor penalty for charging for the second-period hit Tuesday night in the Kings' 2-0 victory in Game 1. Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Torres is considered a repeat offender.
Analysis: While playing for Phoenix last season, Torres received a 21-game suspension - initially 25 games - for a high hit on Chicago star Marian Hossa in the first round of the playoffs. Torres was suspended for two games in January 2012 for charging Minnesota defenseman Nate Prosser and for four games in April 2011 for a hit to the head of Edmonton's Jordan Eberle while playing for Vancouver.
|5/16/2013||Rob Klinkhammer, LW||The Phoenix Coyotes re-signed forward Rob Klinkhammer to a two-year contract Thursday.
Analysis: The 6-foot-3, 214-pound Klinkhammer had five goals and six assists in 22 games for the Coyotes this season. He has five goals and eight assists in 38 career games for Chicago, Ottawa and Phoenix.
|5/16/2013||Alex Ovechkin, LW||Ovechkin played the last two games of the Washington Capitals' season with what the team says is a hairline fracture in his left foot.
Analysis: Capitals spokesman Sergey Kocharov writes in an email to The Associated Press on Thursday that Ovechkin's foot was hurt during Game 6 of Washington's first-round playoff series against the New York Rangers. Washington lost that game 1-0 Sunday, and then lost 5-0 Monday in Game 7.
|5/16/2013||Niklas Backstrom, G||Backstrom has undergone sports hernia surgery. The team announced that Backstrom's operation went as planned on Thursday morning in Philadelphia. The procedure was done by Dr. William Meyers. The 35-year-old Backstrom aggravated the injury while warming up before Minnesota's first game of the Western Conference quarterfinal series at Chicago on April 30. Josh Harding was sent in to replace him, and Backstrom was unable to play the rest of the series.
Analysis: The Wild have said Backstrom is expected to be fully recovered for the start of next season. Whether he's still in the net for them is another matter. Backstrom will become an unrestricted free agent in July. He has played all seven of his NHL seasons with the Wild.
|5/16/2013||Patrick Sharp, LW||Sharp had a goal and two assists as the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-1 in the opener of their second-round playoff series Wednesday night.
Analysis: Sharp has a team-best six goals and nine points in this postseason. He had six points (four goals, two assists) in 13 games during the Blackhawks' previous two playoff appearances.
|5/15/2013||Viktor Stalberg, LW||Stalberg will not play in Game 1 of the Chicago Blackhawks' second-round playoff series against the Detroit Red Wings.
Analysis: Coach Joel Quenneville says it's a "coach's decision" and Stalberg could get back on the ice at any point in the series. He says he has talked to Stalberg about the decision to bench him for Wednesday night's series opener. Stalberg, one of the fastest skaters on the team, has been working outside of the top four lines in practice, so the move was not a complete surprise
|5/14/2013||Alex Ovechkin, LW||Ovechkin knows full well that his playoff failures are adding up.
Analysis: Meeting with reporters Tuesday, a day after Washington's 5-0 home loss to the New York Rangers in Game 7 of a first-round series, the Russian wing says: "Nobody remember losers. Everybody remember only winners." During Ovechkin's career, Washington has won three of nine playoff series and never advanced past the second round.
|5/14/2013||Alex Ovechkin, LW||Ovechkin will join Russia's team at the ice hockey world championships in Finland.
Analysis: It will be Ovechkin's ninth appearance in the tournament. He helped Russia win the gold medal last year and in 2008. He has 26 goals and 18 assists in 55 games. The news that he'll play for Russia comes Tuesday, a day after Ovechkin's Capitals were eliminated in the first round of the NHL playoffs with a 5-0 loss to the New York Rangers in Game 7 of their best-of-seven series.
|5/14/2013||Tomas Vokoun, G||The Penguins are sticking with Vokoun for Game 1 in the second round against Ottawa on Tuesday.
Analysis: The 36-year-old Vokoun replaced struggling starter Marc-Andre Fleury and won Games 5 and 6 of Pittsburgh's first-round playoff series with the New York Islanders last week. He stopped 66 of the 69 shots he faced against the Islanders as the Penguins advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals for the first time in three years.
|5/14/2013||Dennis Seidenberg, D||Seidenberg has an undisclosed injury.
Analysis: His status for the series opener versus New York is unclear.
|5/13/2013||Henrik Lundqvist, G||Lundqvist stopped 27 shots for the New York Rangers, who stayed alive Sunday with a 1-0 victory over the Washington Capitals on Sunday that forced a Game 7 in the first-round series.
Analysis: It was the seventh career playoff shutout for the reigning Vezina Trophy winner. He had three in 20 games in 2012.
|5/13/2013||Andrew Ference, D||Ference has been out with an undisclosed injury.
Analysis: It's unclear when he'll return.
|5/12/2013||Jaroslav Halak, G||St. Louis Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said it was no big deal that he and goalie Jaroslav Halak argued about playing time during the playoffs, calling it an "everyday occurrence." The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Hitchcock and Halak clashed after the goalie was late for a meeting prior to Game 4. Halak didn't play in the playoffs after recovering from a groin injury late in the season.
Analysis: Hitchcock also said Sunday that he didn't anticipate major roster changes after the Blues squandered a 2-0 series lead against the Los Angeles Kings and lost four in a row against the Los Angeles Kings after taking a 2-0 series lead. Addressing Halak, Hitchcock said he'd have been surprised if the goalie was unhappy about not getting used in the playoffs. Halak is among three goalies under contract next season along with Brian Elliott and rookie Jake Allen.
|5/12/2013||Brooks Orpik, D||Orpik scored 7:49 into overtime, and the Pittsburgh Penguins overcame three one-goal deficits in Game 6 to eliminate the New York Islanders with a 4-3 victory on Saturday night.
Analysis: Orpik had never scored in 77 previous playoff games and didn't have one in the past 106 contests of any kind since he last scored against the Islanders on Nov. 21, 2011. He now has 12 career goals in the NHL.
|5/11/2013||Henrik Zetterberg, C||Zetterberg had his second goal 1:04 into overtime, lifting the Detroit Red Wings to a 4-3 win over the Anaheim Ducks in Game 6 on Friday night to extend their first-round series.
Analysis: Zetterberg also had an assist, giving him five points in the past two games (two goals, three assists). He had one assist in the first four games in the series.
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