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CHICAGO (AP) — Marc-Andre Fleury was surprised and T.J. Oshie said he was shocked to see Nate Schmidt suspended 20 games for violating the NHL’s performance-enhancing drug policy.

Current and former teammates expressed degrees of disbelief about the suspension this week after the NHL announced the Vegas Golden Knights defenseman’s punishment on Sunday. Schmidt insisted he didn’t intentionally take a banned substance and couldn’t have gotten any performance benefit from the “trace amount” that got into his system.

“I really didn’t see how this guy Womens Clay Matthews Jersey , how this could happen to him,” said Fleury, the goaltender who helped Vegas reach the Stanley Cup Final last season. “He’s obviously a very straightforward guy. I really believe everything he says. He’s a standup guy, and I don’t see him doing this kind of stuff.”

Schmidt and the Golden Knights released statements disagreeing with the suspension, though neither specified the substance. Schmidt said one of the experts testifying on his behalf at the appeal hearing likened the amount to a pinch of salt in an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

The appeal, which was heard by a neutral arbitrator, was denied.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said he tries not to pay attention to the blowback from suspensions like this.

“I think it’s the nature of any performance-enhancing drug policy,” Daly said. “I don’t view Nate’s reaction to this or the club’s reaction to this to be far different than other reactions you see from other athletes in other sports. It’s just the nature of the beast. I think it’s an unfortunate incident. Nate’s a good guy, he’s a great player. I wish it didn’t happen as much as he does.”

Oshie, who played with Schmidt for two seasons in Washington, trusts the explanation that it wasn’t intentional.

“I think he’s being very honest that this was out of his hands http://www.officialcanadiensprostore.com/authentic-adidas-karl-alzner-jersey ,” Oshie said. “Knowing Schmidtty and the type of person he is, I can only think that he got the worst run of bad luck you could ever imagine. That’s the nightmare of trying to be healthy and take supplements is something gets tainted in a warehouse that no one would ever have any idea how it happened.”

Former Capitals teammate Evgeny Kuznetsov isn’t as much worried about how it happened as how Schmidt responds to adversity.

“We all know he’s nice guy, but at the same time sometimes you have to deal with the bad days in your life,” Kuznetsov said. “You don’t want to be in that situation, but some players in different situations have their bad days, right? … Twenty games are not too much. I think they have a good team.”

Schmidt led the Golden Knights in ice time last season at 22:14 per game, and someone will have to fill the role of No. 1 defenseman until he can return Nov. 18. That will likely fall on the likes of Collin Miller, Brayden McNabb and still unsigned Shea Theodore to make sure Vegas doesn’t get off to a rough start.

“We’re lucky,” Fleury said Friday. “We have some depth on D, and I think everybody contributed to success last season, and I think it’s another part of the season that we need somebody else to step up and not fill his shoes but play well and do the things that they can and we’ll be all right.”

BOSTON — On May 13 John Brown Jersey , 2013, the Boston Bruins made history by rallying from three goals down in the third period and winning Game 7 of their playoff series with the Toronto Maple Leafs in overtime.

Down by one, the Bruins pulled Tuukka Rask and scored twice, Patrice Bergeron tying it with 51 seconds left in regulation and then winning it in OT.

That was five years ago and the Original Six rivals meet in the playoffs again for the first time since, playing Game 1 of their Eastern Conference series at TD Garden on Thursday night.

While Rask, Bergeron, Zdeno Chara and Brad Marchand are still leading Boston, both of these teams are younger and faster and are each playing for a different coach.

“As a Leaf fan, it was tough,” Toronto’s Mitch Marner, 16 when his team lost to the Bruins in 2013 Josh Sitton Jersey , said.

“It was hard to deal with,” said Nazem Kadri, who made it 4-1 with 5:39 left in the third of that fateful game and is one of five Leafs still with the team.

“Nothing’s changed in terms of Boston being a resilient group. They’ve got some veteran guys over there that have some serious experience.

“It’s going to take all we’ve got, but we’re up for the challenge.”

The Maple Leafs finished third in the Atlantic Division, their 49-26-7 record leaving them seven points behind the second-place Bruins, who missed the chance to win the division and the top seed in the Eastern Conference with a loss to the Florida Panthers on Sunday night.

The injury-plagued Bruins went 1-3-1 over the last five games.

“We won 50 games, and I think the body of work speaks that this team deserves to be where we are, and we focus on Thursday night,” said Bruins general manager Don Sweeney.

Toronto won three of the four games between the teams during the regular season, one of them in overtime.

Rask, 30-23 with a 2.12 goals-against average and .928 save percentage lifetime in the playoffs Youth Luke Kuechly Jersey , was in goal for the seven-game 2013 win. He is 16-7-2 with a 2.14 GAA and .925 save percentage in the regular season against the Leafs and also went 4-3 against them in those playoffs.

Amid theories he was overused, Maple Leafs netminder Fredrick Andersen struggled with an .884 save percentage in March but then won twice in April. He has also owned the Bruins throughout his career with Anaheim and Toronto, going 10-1-0 with a 2.09 GAA and .935 save percentage against Boston.

He won 38 games and pitched five shutouts (Rask had three) during the regular season and is 19-13 with a 2.41 GAA and .915 save percentage lifetime in the playoffs. Andersen lost twice in Game 7s that would have sent the Ducks to the finals.

“If you lose a game or let in a goal … you’ve got to have a short memory and be able to get back on track and just do what you try every time there’s a puck in your end,” Andersen said Monday. “Just try to make a save. You can’t dwell on anything. Just make the next one.

“We’ve been growing as a team through the year. It’s going to be exciting.”

The Bruins appear to be healthier than they have been in a month — so healthy that rookie Ryan Donato, signed late and an offensive factor for the team down the stretch, is slated to be a healthy scratch for Game 1.

Both Rick Nash, who missed the last 12 games with an upper-body injury, and Sean Kuraly were back at practice Monday, coach Bruce Cassidy saying, “They looked good. It bodes well for them.”

Boston center Riley Nash (ear) will miss the opener.

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