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Stanley Cup Final
Posted On Monday, 04.20.2015 / 3:36 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - Ducks-Jets series blog

Ducks embracing challenge of playing in Winnipeg

WINNIPEG – The Anaheim Ducks are playing the villain's role Monday, but they are just as excited to be part of a special moment in this city's history as the Winnipeg Jets are.

Having a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 Western Conference First Round series certainly helps the Ducks appreciate the moment a little bit, but Game 3 on Monday (9 p.m. ET: NHLN-US, NBCSN [JIP], SN, TVA Sports, PRIME) will not be taken for granted, especially stepping into what will be an extremely hostile MTS Centre.

Still, the return of the Stanley Cup Playoffs to this city after a 19-year absence is special and the Ducks are looking forward to it.

"It's going to be awesome," Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf said. "This is what playoffs is all about when you get all the fans against you, all the fans chanting. It's a good time."

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Posted On Monday, 04.20.2015 / 3:08 PM

By Patrick Williams -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Ducks-Jets series blog

Jets return home looking to get back in series

WINNIPEG – The stakes for the Winnipeg Jets are very clear when they play Game 3 of the Western Conference First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Anaheim Ducks on Monday at MTS Centre (9 p.m. ET; NHLN-US, NBCSN [JIP], TVA, SN,PRIME).

Anaheim leads the best-of-7 series 2-0, leaving Winnipeg with the task of having to win four of the final five games to advance to the second round. The Ducks went 3-0-0 against the Jets in the regular season.

"I think we're just trying to get some momentum back our way in this series," Jets center Bryan Little said Monday after the morning skate. "Tonight is a huge game. They can either take a pretty good commanding lead or we can make it a new series, and the momentum [will be] in our hands. It's kind of put everything on the line and see what happens tonight."

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Posted On Monday, 04.20.2015 / 3:08 PM

By David Satriano -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Capitals-Islanders series blog

Capitals lose forward Fehr for at least two games

UNIONDALE, N.Y. – Washington Capitals forward Eric Fehr will not play in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference First Round series Tuesday against the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum (7:30 p.m. ET; USA, SN360, TVA Sports 2, CSN-DC, MSG+).

Fehr played 1:19 on Sunday in Game 3 of the series, a 2-1 overtime loss, before leaving with an upper-body injury after a hit by Islanders forward Kyle Okposo.

“[Fehr] is out for the next two games, and we will re-evaluate that after,” Capitals coach Barry Trotz said after practice Monday.

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Posted On Monday, 04.20.2015 / 2:49 PM

By Louie Korac -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blues-Wild series blog

Blues want to keep it simple in Game 3 at Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The St. Louis Blues understand that Game 3 of the Western Conference First Round against the Minnesota Wild on Monday (8 p.m. ET; CNBC, SN1, TVA2, FS-MW, FS-N) will bring with it a boisterous crowd at Xcel Energy Center.

But the Blues, who had the third-best points percentage on the road in the NHL during the regular season (24-12-5), have been good at taking the emotion of the home team and its crowd out of the what fuels their intensity. They keep their game plan simple and execute it accordingly, and will need that if they're going to grab back home-ice advantage with the best-of-7 series tied 1-1.

"We've got to obviously maybe play a bit more simple on the road," said right wing Patrik Berglund, who scored a goal in Game 2. "Obviously they're going to come out and play really physical and have a lot of energy in the beginning of the game. I think it's really important that we stay really calm and we play the simple north game and let that [emotion] kind of die down a bit, and then we go to work. To win series and stuff like that, you've got to steal some wins on the road. Obviously, it's a big two games here."

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Posted On Monday, 04.20.2015 / 2:49 PM

By Paul Harris -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Lightning-Red Wings series blog

Abdelkader, Smith to return to Red Wings lineup

DETROIT -- The Detroit Red Wings will have two lineup changes for Game 3 of their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports, FS-D, FS-F).

The series is tied 1-1.

Forward Justin Abdelkader will return after missing six games with an injured hand, and defenseman Brendan Smith will be back in the lineup after being a healthy scratch for three games.

Abdelkader, who will replace Stephen Weiss in the lineup, is a big (6-foot-2, 210 pounds), physical forward who scored 23 goals during the regular season.

"Big body, provides a great physical presence, you know he's going to be a net-front guy, battles real hard, strong on the puck, forechecks real good and wins pucks for you," Red Wings right wing Gustav Nyquist said.
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Posted On Monday, 04.20.2015 / 2:26 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blues-Wild series blog

Wild revert to Game 1 lineup for Game 3

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Wild will go with the lineup that won them Game 1 against the St. Louis Blues for Game 3 of the Western Conference First Round on Monday at Xcel Energy Center (8 p.m. ET; CNBC, SN1, TVA2, FS-MW, FS-N).

The best-of-7 series is tied 1-1.

Minnesota's top-six forwards haven't changed since the start of the series, but the fourth line has changed because of illness and circumstance.

In Game 1, Sean Bergenheim and Justin Fontaine flanked center Kyle Brodziak. In Game 2, it was Matt Cooke and Jordan Schroeder.

The Wild were initially expected to have the same lineup in Game 2, but Fontaine was a late scratch because of an illness. With Fontaine out, Wild coach Mike Yeo wanted another penalty killer in the lineup, so he also swapped Bergenheim for Cooke.

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Posted On Monday, 04.20.2015 / 1:51 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Rangers-Penguins series blog

Rangers' Yandle likely to play Game 3 vs. Penguins

PITTSBURGH -- Despite missing the morning skate Monday because he was sick, New York Rangers defenseman Keith Yandle is expected to play against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Consol Energy Center in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference First Round series (7 p.m. ET: NBCSN, CBC, TVA, ROOT, MSG).

The best-of-7 series is tied, 1-1.

"He just wasn't feeling well this morning, he'll be in the lineup tonight," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said of Yandle. "He's taking fluids and should be good to go."

Rangers defenseman Kevin Klein skated with the team for the first time since March 11, when he broke his left arm when blocking a shot from Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin.

Klein is not expected to play in Game 3, but his return to full practice was a positive sign for his availability later in the series against the Penguins.

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Posted On Monday, 04.20.2015 / 1:48 PM

By Corey Long -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Lightning-Red Wings series blog

Lightning like recent road play, ready for Red Wings

TAMPA – The Tampa Bay Lightning won 50 games for the first time ever this season, but they know their 18-16-7 road record is nothing to celebrate.

However, the Lightning feel they played better on the road at the end of the season, and they hope to draw on those experiences Tuesday in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports, FS-F, FS-D).

Tampa Bay must win one game in Detroit to take the home-ice advantage back in the best-of-7 series after splitting the first two in Tampa.

"I think we've done a better job on the road recently even though our record isn't great," defenseman Victor Hedman said. "We did a better job of controlling our emotions and you have to keep an even keel on the road because you don't want the crowd or the atmosphere to get to you."

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Posted On Monday, 04.20.2015 / 1:16 PM

By Barry Melrose -  NHL Network Analyst /NHL.com - Melrose Minute

Melrose: Ducks impressive, but Jets still dangerous

After the first week of games in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the one thing that seems clear is there is no real favorite out there. The Chicago Blackhawks might be the only team with a real bona fide championship pedigree with its current core, but they have goaltending issues. The New York Rangers haven't really looked like they did in the regular season so far. The Pittsburgh Penguins are unpredictable. The St. Louis Blues should be among the contenders, as should the Montreal Canadiens, but it's tough to put stock in teams you haven't seen win it before.

Honestly, the team that has really jumped out at me has been the Anaheim Ducks. It looked like they were in for a really tough series with the Winnipeg Jets, and it has been tough so far, but the Ducks are playing well. Their great players, guys like Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Ryan Kesler, have been showing up and the goaltending has been good. They're playing a big, physical team in Winnipeg and have managed to win both games they've played. The only other team to do that has been Montreal, which hasn't looked like it's been challenged physically nearly as much as Anaheim.

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Posted On Monday, 04.20.2015 / 12:42 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Predators-Blackhawks series blog

Darling earns Game 4 start for Blackhawks

Goaltender Scott Darling will start for the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 4 of the Western Conference First Round series against the Nashville Predators at United Center on Tuesday (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA3, FS-TN, CSN-CH), according to coach Joel Quenneville.

Darling replaced starter Corey Crawford in Game 1, stopping all 42 shots he faced to help the Blackhawks rally from a three-goal deficit to win 4-3 in double overtime. After Crawford allowed all the goals in a 6-2 defeat in Game 2, Quenneville went with Darling for Game 3.

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Quote of the Day

This team has been a real treat to say you've been the head coach of them. I'm extremely proud of this group ... after the disappointment of (the Game 6 loss) is digested, it's always a lot easier as a coach when your team has emptied its tank, and that team emptied its tank for me for three months.

— Senators coach Dave Cameron after getting eliminated in the first round by the Canadiens