Antoine Roussel

IIHF Today: Watch quarterfinals online, broadcast schedule

The 2014 World Championship playoffs are about to begin and you’ll be able to watch all of the contests live, courtesy of NBCSports.com. For certain games, there will also be an encore performance on NBCSN.

If you want to watch any of today’s quarterfinals contests, but aren’t sure where to go, just follow the corresponding links below:

United States versus Czech Republic — 9:00 a.m. ET start (CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE)

Neither of these countries had the showing in the Olympics that they were hoping for, but this tournament is a chance for the nations to rebound. This is also a nice opportunity to see one of the United States’ top prospects in John Gaudreau. The 20-year-old forward will attempt to establish himself with the Calgary Flames in 2014-15 after finishing his successful tenure with Boston College, but for now he’s dominating in the World Championship with two goals and 10 points in seven games.

Russia versus France — 10 a.m. ET start (CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE)

Russia’s another team that underwhelmed in the Olympics, meanwhile France is this tournament’s Cinderella Story. The French kicked things off with a stunning shootout win over Canada and they went on to also beat Slovakia, Norway, and Denmark. They also finished within a goal of Sweden and the Czech Republic. Dallas Stars enforcer Antoine Roussel has been one of the tournament’s top performers, leading France with six goals and 11 points in seven games.

It’s worth adding that Alex Ovechkin, who suffered an injury that initially looked serious, is good to return, per Sport-Express’ Slava Malamud.

Canada versus Finland — 1 p.m. ET start (CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE or view it on NBCSN)

As mention above, Canada started the tournament with a loss to France, but they haven’t been defeated since and they consequently still ended up with the top seed in Group A. Finland hasn’t been nearly as successful as they lost to Latvia, Russia, and the United States during the round robin phase.

Buffalo Sabres forward Cody Hodgson has been leading the charge for Canada with six goals and eight points in seven contests.

Sweden versus Belarus — 2 p.m. ET start (CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE)

Like France, the fact that Belarus has made it this far is a rare accomplishment for the country. In fact, this represents just the fourth time that the nation has made it into the top eight. KHL goaltender Kevin Lalande deserves a fair amount of the credit for their success with his 0.66 GAA and .964 save percentage in four games.

Crosby, Karlsson and Trocheck are NHL’s three stars of the week

Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby celebrates his goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
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Penguins center Sidney Crosby, Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson, and Panthers center Vincent Trocheck have been named the NHL’s three stars for the past week.

From the NHL:

Crosby led the League in goals and points (5-3-8) in three games as the Penguins (26-18-7, 59 points) earned four of a possible six points to secure the second Wild Card position in the Eastern Conference.

Karlsson led the League in assists and ranked second in points (0-7-7) in three games as the Senators (24-23-6, 54 points) won one of three starts for the week.

Trocheck notched six points (3-3—6) in three games, helping the Panthers (31-15-6, 68 points) widen their lead atop the Atlantic Division to six points.

Related: Red-hot Crosby could make Pens a flawed (but dangerous) dark horse

Malkin to miss third straight game with lower-body injury

Evgeni Malkin
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Evgeni Malkin‘s “nagging” lower-body injury will keep him out at least one more game.

Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said this morning that the star center will sit out tonight at home against the Ducks. Malkin already missed two contests this weekend in Florida. His status is day-to-day.

The Penguins lost, 6-3, in Tampa on Friday, but rebounded Saturday with a 3-2 OT win over the Panthers.

Pittsburgh’s next game after tonight’s is Wednesday at home versus the Rangers.

McDonagh out with concussion after Saturday’s altercation with Simmonds

Ryan McDonagh
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The New York Rangers will be without Ryan McDonagh tonight at home to New Jersey, the club announcing this morning that the defenseman is out with a concussion.

McDonagh left Saturday’s game in Philadelphia following an altercation with the Flyers’ Wayne Simmonds that ended with McDonagh taking a punch to the face from Simmonds.

Simmonds received a match penalty and was thrown out of the game, but did not receive any supplemental discipline.

Given the standings, the Rangers can ill afford to lose McDonagh for long. They play in Pittsburgh Wednesday, followed by three home games against Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Chicago.

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Lucic’s plan is to ‘remain a King’ for remainder of career

Milan Lucic, Alex Burrows, Dan Hamhuis
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Tuesday night, Milan Lucic will play his first game in Boston as a member of the Los Angeles Kings.

It should be an emotional return for the big 27-year-old winger. In an interview with the L.A. Times, he recalled his time with his former club fondly, saying how great it was to be a “part of one of the best-ever eras to be a Bruin.”

A pending unrestricted free agent, Lucic also commented on his contract negotiations with the Kings.

“Nothing to get excited about,” he said. “There’s been two or three little talks here and there. My plan is to remain a King and hopefully finish off my career here. Like I said, I go day by day and you never know what tomorrow is going to bring.”

Lucic has 12 goals and 18 assists in 50 games this season. Though the Kings reportedly want to keep him, the question is whether they can find the cap space to make it happen.

Los Angeles already has Anze Kopitar, Jeff Carter, Dustin Brown, Marian Gaborik, Kyle Clifford, Drew Doughty, Jake Muzzin, Alec Martinez, and Jonathan Quick locked up long term. Plus, Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson will require new deals after next season.

Related: Why Lucic is an interesting pending UFA