Penguins - Bruins
-Believe it or not, the NHL is actually going to let the Penguins and Bruins play a game tonight.
-"Without having a Tomas Vokoun to go to in Game 5 of the Islanders series, I'm not sure what happens." - Ray Shero.
-Evgeni Malkin (above) will play his first game against the Bruins this season.
-How important is Paul Martin to the Penguins' fortunes?
-Can Jussi Jokinen help nullify the Bruins' advantage in the faceoff circle?
-"Once I heard that the Bruins and Penguins were both very interested, it was an honor. I knew that when you don’t go one way or the other, somebody’s disappointed." - Jarome Iginla on his decision to accept a trade to the Penguins instead of the Bruins.
-"You just feel so much more open. It's hard to believe. You get used to not having it, then you have it and you get used to having it. That's just kind of the way it is. It feels much more normal now." - Sidney Crosby on playing without a jaw shield.
-Public address announcer Ryan Mill is trying to craft his own identity while trying to replace the late, great John Barbero.
-Dan Bylsma speaks:
-Pascal Dupuis and Chris Kunitz speak:
-Tomas Vokoun speaks:
-Ray Shero speaks:
-"They have depth, experiences, just like on the other side when you look at the last four teams standing it's pretty much very, very similar. All teams have been there. The last few years, they all won it, so it's very hard to find, at least on paper, what's really a weak thing [about any team]." - Bruins captain/defenseman Zdeno Chara on the NHL's final four teams.
-"There's some tall guys. Like 6-4, then you have the giant out there." - Bruins defenseman and Mt. Lebanon native Matt Bartkowski on the 6-foot-9 Chara.
-“It’s very nice. We had a couple of guys who were banged up and it’s good to get them back with the team and practicing. And it’s good just to get the rest that we haven’t had throughout the season. The last two or three months, we’d been going every second day, so it’s nice to have some practice days, a few days off and just rest up.” - Bruins forward Brad Marchand on having six days off.
-Will the Bruins pit their shutdown pairing of Chara and Dennis Seidenberg on Malkin's line?
Calder Cup Playoffs
-Brad Thiessen made 20 saves for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in a 4-2 home loss to the Syracuse Crunch in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference final in the Calder Cup playoffs. The Crunch leads the series, 3-1. Dominik Uher recorded two assists for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Syracuse is scheduled to host Game 5 Saturday, 7 p.m.
-Penguins forward Jayson Megna returned to the lineup after missing three games due to an undisclosed injury.
-"We have the character in the room to do it. We did it last series. If any group of guys is going to do it, it's going to be the group of guys in this room." - Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins forward Chris Collins on potentially rebounding from a 3-1 series deficit.
-Game 4 of the Western Conference final between the Grand Rapids Griffins and the Oklahoma City Barons was postponed due to dangerous storms which rolled through Oklahoma.
Blackhawks - Kings
-"Corey has been great, really consistent efforts every night. That's what we've seen all year long for us, having our team confident, knowing that he's going to be there. It's almost something we don't think about anymore." - Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman on goaltender Corey Crawford erasing any doubts about his game.
-"You can't say our goal is to win the Stanley Cup, because everybody's goal is to win the Stanley Cup. You have to do it in steps. Our step was to improve on things we wanted to get better at from last year. That's what we focused on, that's what we did." - Kings coach Darryl Sutter.
-"It doesn't matter if it's Game 7 of the conference semis or game three of the season. He's going to make that save or one of those saves. I've just seen it too many times to say I'm shocked about it. I think he's spoiling us." - Kings forward Anze Kopitar on goaltender Jonathan Quick (right).
-"He never gives up on a puck. Sometimes, it looks like guys have an empty net but some way he finds a way back there. He is really quick sideways and finding a way to get to those second pucks." - Blackhawks forward Viktor Stalberg on Quick.
-Despite losing the "no-contact" jersey in practice, Kings forward Jarret Stoll (concussion) is still considered day to day.
-Happy 52nd birthday to former Penguins all-star defenseman Paul Coffey (right). Acquired early in the 1987-88 season along with Dave Hunter and Wayne Van Dorp in a deal which sent Craig Simpson, Dave Hannan, Moe Mantha and Chris Joseph to the Oilers, Coffey parts of five highly productive seasons with the Penguins. Coffey immediately paid dividends for the Penguins that season as he appeared in 46 games and recorded 67 points. The following season in 1989-90, Coffey's first full campaign with the Penguins, he played in 75 games and established marks which are still franchise records for defensemen in goals (30), assists (83) and points (113). He also helped the team reach the postseason for the first time in seven years and netted 15 points in 11 playoff games. In 1989-90, Coffey's points "fell" to 103 in 80 games. During 1990-91, with Mario Lemieux missing most of the season due to a back ailment, Coffey steered a young team to its first division championship by recording 93 points in 76 points. Despite missing 12 postseason games due to a jaw injury, Coffey recorded 11 points in 12 contests and helped the Penguins claim their first Stanley Cup title. After scoring 64 points in 54 games in 1991-92, Coffey was traded to the Kings at the trade deadline in exchange for Brian Benning, Jeff Chychrun and a first-round pick. After retiring in the 2001 offseason, Coffey was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004. In 331 regular season games with the Penguins, Coffey scored 440 points, the most in franchise history among defensemen and 11th-most overall. In 23 postseason games, he scored 26 points. Coffey was selected to the all-star game in all five of his seasons with the Penguins. He currently owns a Nissan dealership in Kitchener, Ont.
-Today would've been 65th birthday to former Penguins goaltender Michel Plasse. Acquired midway through the 1974-75 season in a deal which sent Denis Herron and Jean-Guy Lagace to the Kansas City Scouts, Plasse spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins. In 20 games that during 1974-75, Plasse went 9-5-4 with a 4.00 goals against average. The 1975-76 season was his only full campaign in Pittsburgh as he played in 55 games and had a 24-19-10 record with a 3.45 goals against average and two shutouts. In the 1976 offseason, he was transferred to the Colorado Rockies along with Simon Nolet and Colin Campbell as compensation for the Penguins re-signing Herron. In 75 games with the Penguins, Plasse had a record of 33-24-14, a goals against average of 3.59, a .889 save percentage and two shutouts. He died Dec. 30, 2006 at the age of 58.
-Happy 48th birthday to former Penguins forward Dan Quinn (right). Acquired early in the 1986-87 season in a deal which sent Mike Bullard to the Flames, Quinn spent parts of five seasons with the Penguins. Quinn produced immediately for the Penguins in his first season in Pittsburgh as he recorded 71 points in 64 games. During 1987-88, Quinn appeared in 70 games and netted 79 points. The 1988-89 season saw him record a career high 94 points in 79 games and helped the Penguins reach the postseason. In 11 postseason games that spring, he scored nine points. After only scoring 29 points in 41 games in 1989-90, Quinn was dealt midway through the season to the Canucks along with Dave Capuano and Andrew McBain in exchange for Rod Buskas, Barry Pederson and Tony Tanti. After bouncing around with the Canucks, Blues, Flyers, North Stars, Senators and Kings, Quinn returned to the Penguins as a free agent in the 1996 offseason as a free agent. He recorded three assists in 16 games. He retired after being released in November. In 270 regular season games with the Penguins, Quinn scored 270 points, 24th-most in franchise history. Quinn is currently a top celebrity golfer and occasionally caddies on the PGA Tour.
-The Rangers signed defenseman Samuel Noreau, a fifth-round pick in 2011, to an entry-level contract. Terms were not revealed.
-The Flyers signed undrafted forward Michael Raffl and defenseman Maxim Lamarche. Terms were not revealed.
-The Blackhawks signed forward Alex Broadhurst, a seventh-round pick in 2011, to a three-year entry-level contract.
-The Stars will not renew the contract of assistant general manager Frank Provenzano.
-Former Bruins/Blue Jackets/Islanders/Flyers defenseman Mattias Timander announced his retirement.
(Photo: Malkin-Jamie Sabau/Getty Images; Quick-Harry How/Getty Images; Quinn-Penguins Hockey Cards)