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NHL Recent Player News

Date Player
5/20/2016 Tomas Hertl, SJ, LW
Hertl's first two-goal playoff game helped the Sharks down St. Louis in Thursday's Game 3 of the Western Conference finals.

Analysis: Hertl had been mostly quiet over the first two rounds, but he's doing some damage on a killer line with Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski in this series. The 22-year-old now has three goals in three games to help San Jose take a 2-1 lead.
5/20/2016 Martin Jones, SJ, G
Jones registered his second straight shutout Thursday to give the Sharks a 2-1 lead over St. Louis in the Western Conference finals.

Analysis: Jones followed up a 26-save effort in Game 2 by making 22 stops in San Jose's 3-0 Game 3 win. He also posted a shutout in Game 7 of the Sharks' semifinal series with Nashville, giving him three in his past four starts.
5/17/2016 Andrei Vasilevskiy, TB, G
Despite taking the loss, Vasilevskiy played well in place of Ben Bishop in Monday's Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals.

Analysis: Vasilevskiy allowed two early goals but was sharp thereafter, finishing with 38 saves in Tampa Bay's 3-2 overtime loss to Pittsburgh. Bishop may have a chance to return for Wednesday's Game 3, though Vasilevskiy's performance in the series ensures the Lightning won't have to rush him back.
5/17/2016 Phil Kessel, Pit, RW
Kessel had a key goal to help the Penguins even the Eastern Conference finals with Monday's Game 2 victory over Tampa Bay.

Analysis: Kessel extended his postseason point streak to four games, amassing three goals and three assists over that stretch. His six goals during these playoffs are tied for the team lead.
5/17/2016 Jonathan Drouin, TB, LW
Drouin had another goal in Monday's Game 2 loss to Pittsburgh in the Eastern Conference finals.

Analysis: The 21-year-old also scored in the Lightning's win in Game 1. Drouin has been a difference-maker for a Tampa Bay team that's needed him to be one this postseason, as he's notched 10 points in his last nine games.
5/17/2016 Sidney Crosby, Pit, C
Crosby ended his goal drought at a most opportune time, scoring 40 seconds into overtime in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals.

Analysis: Crosby had gone eight games since last lighting the lamp in Game 4 of Pittsburgh's opening-round series with the Rangers, though the star center had produced five assists over that stretch.
5/16/2016 Ryan Callahan, TB, RW
Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman returned to the lineup for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals against Pittsburgh, while goaltender Ben Bishop and forward Ryan Callahan are out.

Analysis: Callahan will sit out Monday night while battling the flu. The forward was involved in a controversial boarding call in Game 1 when he hit Kris Letang from behind. Callahan received a major penalty but received no supplemental discipline from the league.
5/16/2016 Justin Kirkland, Nsh, LW
The Nashville Predators have signed left wing Justin Kirkland to a three-year, entry-level contract. The team announced the deal Monday.

Analysis: Kirkland, now 19, was Nashville's fourth draft pick at No. 62 overall in the third round of the 2014 draft. He had 67 points in 69 games in the Western Hockey League at Kelowna this season, and the 6-foot-3 forward has 169 points in 199 career WHL games. The native of Camrose, Alberta, Canada helped Kelowna win the WHL regular-season title and reach the Memorial Cup Final in the 2014-15 season.
5/15/2016 Matt Murray, Pit, G
The Pittsburgh Penguins will stick with Murray for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals against Tampa Bay.

Analysis: Murray, who will turn 22 on May 25, is 7-3-0 with a 2.15 goals-against average in 10 postseason games. He stopped just 17 shots, however, in a 3-1 loss in Friday's series opener. Pittsburgh has not dropped consecutive games during the playoffs.
5/14/2016 Patric Hornqvist, Pit, RW
Hornqvist recorded Pittsburgh's lone goal in Saturday's Game 1 loss to Tampa Bay in the Eastern Conference finals.

Analysis: The goal was Hornqvist's team-leading sixth of these playoffs and third in the Penguins' last five games.
5/14/2016 Ondrej Palat, TB, LW
Palat recorded a goal and an assist to help the Lightning to a 3-1 victory over Pittsburgh in Friday's Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals.

Analysis: Quiet for much of this postseason after an outstanding run in last year's playoffs, Palat registered his first multipoint outing since the regular-season finale.
5/14/2016 Andrei Vasilevskiy, TB, G
Vasilevskiy made 25 saves in a superb relief effort to help the Lightning win Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals.

Analysis: Taking over for an injured Ben Bishop with 7:35 left in the first period, the 21-year-old was nearly perfect in Friday's 3-1 win over Pittsburgh. Vasilevskiy may be in line for more work in this series if Bishop's lower-body injury turns out to be serious.
5/13/2016 Ben Bishop, TB, G
Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman returned to the lineup for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals against Pittsburgh, while goaltender Ben Bishop and forward Ryan Callahan are out.

Analysis: Bishop injured his left leg in the first period of Game 1 on Friday. The Vezina Trophy finalist said the injury was not as bad as initially feared but he will miss his first game of the playoffs. Andrei Vasilevskiy, who made 25 saves after replacing Bishop in a 3-1 victory in Game 1, will make the second postseason start of his career.
5/13/2016 Kris Letang, Pit, D
Letang left Friday's game briefly early in the first period after getting hit illegally from behind by Tampa Bay's Ryan Callahan.

Analysis: Callahan earned a 5-minute major penalty after crunching Letang in the corner by the Pittsburgh net. Letang made it off the ice under his own power and returned later in the period.
5/13/2016 Joe Pavelski, SJ, C
Pavelski set the tone for Thursday's Game 7 rout of Nashville in the Western Conference semifinals by netting the game's first goal.

Analysis: With nine goals - tied with Tampa Bay's Nikita Kucherov for the most this postseason - and four assists in 12 playoff games, Pavelski will be a serious Conn Smythe Trophy candidate if the Sharks continue to advance.
5/13/2016 Martin Jones, SJ, G
Jones helped the Sharks advance to the Western Conference finals by recording his first postseason shutout in Thursday's Game 7 against Nashville.

Analysis: Jones made 20 saves in San Jose's 5-0 win to improve to 8-4 with a 2.16 goals-against average in these playoffs.
5/13/2016 Joe Thornton, SJ, C
Thornton delivered a goal and an assist to Thursday's Game 7 win over Nashville in the Western Conference second round.

Analysis: The 36-year-old center played a key role in the series, recording two goals and six assists over the final six games.
5/13/2016 Logan Couture, SJ, C
Couture had a goal and two assists to lead the Sharks to a 5-0 rout of Nashville in Thursday's Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals.

Analysis: Couture played a major role in the Sharks advancing, netting goals in each of the final three games and amassing six with five assists for the series.
5/13/2016 Pavel Buchnevich, NYR, LW
The New York Rangers have signed Russian forward Pavel Buchnevich. General manager Jeff Gorton announced on Friday that the 21-year-old had signed an entry-level contract.

Analysis: Buchnevich split this past season between Severstal Cherepovets and SKA St. Petersburg of the Kontinental Hockey League, collecting 16 goals and 21 assists in 58 games. He established KHL career-highs in games played, goals, assists, points, game-winning goals (three), power play goals (four), and average ice time (16:10). Among KHL players younger than 24, Buchnevich ranked third in assists, ranked fourth in points and tied for seventh in goals.
5/12/2016 Matt Nieto, SJ, LW
Nieto has an undisclosed injury.

Analysis: His status for the Western Conference championship series is unclear.
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