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Round 3
Stanley Cup Final
Posted On Thursday, 04.23.2015 / 1:42 PM

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

Babcock not buying idea Red Wings have momentum

DETROIT -- The Detroit Red Wings aren't counting on their 3-0 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference First Round playoff series to carry over to Game 4 on Thursday at Joe Louis Arena (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports, FS-F, FS-D).

The Red Wings lead the best-of-7 series 2-1.

"I've reminded [players] for two straight days now and will remind them again: I don't believe in momentum in playoffs, to be honest with you," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said after the morning skate Thursday. "I think it starts with the drop of the puck here tonight."

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Posted On Thursday, 04.23.2015 / 1:17 PM

By Ben Raby -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Capitals-Islanders series blog

Islanders' Grabovski returning to lineup for Game 5

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- New York Islanders forward Mikhail Grabovski has been activated from injured reserve and will make his 2015 postseason debut Thursday in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference First Round against the Washington Capitals (7 p.m. ET, CNBC, SN, TVA Sports 2, MSG+, CSN-DC). The best-of-7 series is tied 2-2.

Grabovski has not played since sustaining a concussion during a game Feb. 19 against the Nashville Predators. The injury sidelined him for the final 23 games of the regular season and the first four games of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Grabovski, in his first season with the Islanders, had nine goals and 19 points in 51 games.

"I'm pretty excited, 100 percent," Grabovski said. "It's been a long time without playing so I have to figure out what I do best on the ice and figure it out as soon as possible. But I'm excited to just play. … The [Stanley Cup] Playoffs for sure are more important than regular games so I'm a little bit nervous. But I think everything will be well if I start working hard."

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Posted On Thursday, 04.23.2015 / 12:53 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Capitals-Islanders series blog

Preparation, commitment boosts Capitals penalty kill

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Jay Beagle knew he was going to feel the effects later, but getting in the way of a Johnny Boychuk slap shot is just part of his job description.

Beagle took Boychuk's shot off the leg during Game 4 of this Eastern Conference First Round series and hobbled to the bench. He was OK and continued in the game, one the Washington Capitals won 2-1 in overtime against the New York Islanders.

The Capitals are 10-for-10 on the penalty kill in this best-of-7 series, which is tied 2-2 with Game 5 at Verizon Center on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; CNBC, SN, TVA Sports 2, MSG+, CSN-DC). Beagle's block was one of several key moments during Game 4. New York had a chance to take control of the game in the second period but could not, in large part because of Washington's work on the penalty kill.

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Posted On Thursday, 04.23.2015 / 12:38 PM

By Katie Brown -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Capitals-Islanders series blog

Capitals' Fehr out, Grubauer to back up in Game 5

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Washington Capitals forward Eric Fehr will not play in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference First Round on Thursday at Verizon Center (7 p.m. ET; CNBC, SN, TVA Sports 2, MSG+, CSN-DC), Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. Fehr also missed Game 4 because of an upper-body injury.

Fehr was injured during Game 3 of Washington's best-of-7 series against the New York Islanders. The series is tied 2-2.

He initially was expected to be available for Game 5 but he did not skate with the team Thursday and has not skated since being injured April 19. Trotz said Fehr is doubtful for Game 6 as well.

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Posted On Thursday, 04.23.2015 / 12:30 AM

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

Predators expect boost from home crowd in Game 5

The Nashville Predators didn't practice Wednesday after arriving back in Tennessee, but they must win Thursday at Bridgestone Arena to extend their Western Conference First Round series against the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Predators lost 3-2 in triple overtime in Game 4 on Tuesday in Chicago, giving the Blackhawks a 3-1 lead in the best-of-7 series.

"You really just need to focus on one game, but it's really the only game that matters," Nashville coach Peter Laviolette told the Predators website. "There's no Game 7 that can be played and no Game 6 that can be played [yet]."

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Posted On Thursday, 04.23.2015 / 12:03 AM

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

Hayes steps up for Rangers in Game 4 win

PITTSBURGH -- Rookie center Kevin Hayes was considered an X-factor for the New York Rangers entering the Stanley Cup Playoffs because of his ability to create offense with his size and skill in a third-line role.

For three games, Hayes looked overwhelmed. He didn't on Wednesday in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference First Round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, scoring the winner 3:14 into overtime in Game 4 to give New York a 2-1 victory and a 3-1 lead in the best-of-7 series.

The Rangers can eliminate the Penguins in Game 5 Friday at Madison Square Garden (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports, ROOT, MSG).

"This was his best game of this series," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. "We need him to play the way he's played for us throughout the year. Obviously this is playoff hockey and a bigger stage and he's learning how to deal with it with the help of his teammates. Tonight he scored a big goal and I'm hoping that helps his confidence."

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.22.2015 / 7:07 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Predators-Blackhawks series blog

Blackhawks motivated to end series in Game 5

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks are a little sore after winning Game 4 in triple overtime, but they boarded their flight to Tennessee on Wednesday knowing they're one win from advancing to the Western Conference Second Round.

The Blackhawks are ahead 3-1 in their best-of-7 first-round series against the Nashville Predators and get the first of three chances to eliminate their Central Division rival in Game 5 at Bridgestone Arena on Thursday (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN360, TVA Sports 3, CSN-CH, FS-TN).

Chicago knows how to close out a series as well as any team in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Since the 2008-09 season, when coach Joel Quenneville took over, the Blackhawks are 11-3 when they can clinch a series. Two of those three losses came in overtime of a Game 7, including against the Los Angeles Kings in the 2014 Western Conference Final.

"As you go along in a series, deeper in a round, each game becomes that much tougher [and] that much more meaningful," Quenneville said. "You have to get better each game. You can't think how you played the last game is going to be good enough to be successful [in] the next one. That has to be our message."


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Posted On Wednesday, 04.22.2015 / 6:52 PM

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

Lightning won't make 'it easy on' Red Wings in Game 4

DETROIT -- The Tampa Bay Lightning want to get back to what they were doing in the first two games of their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Detroit Red Wings.

Tampa Bay trails the best-of-7 series 2-1 after losing Game 3, 3-0 on Tuesday at Joe Louis Arena.

Game 4 is Thursday in Detroit (7 p.m. ET; CBC, NBCSN, TVA, FS-D, FS-F).

"What we did was turn the puck over on numerous occasions," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said Wednesday after practice at Joe Louis Arena. "What we didn't do was make them play a 200-foot game. We made it easy on them."

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.22.2015 / 6:52 PM

By Kevin Woodley -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Canucks-Flames series blog

Canucks mum on goalie choice for Game 5

VANCOUVER -- The Vancouver Canucks don't know who will be in goal when they try to avoid elimination from the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Calgary Flames on Thursday.

Ryan Miller replaced Eddie Lack after the first period of a 3-1 loss in Calgary on Tuesday that left the Canucks down 3-1 in the best-of-7 Western Conference First Round series. But coach Willie Desjardins wasn't tipping his hand for Game 5 (10 p.m ET; CNBC, CBC, TVA Sports).

"I have decided, but, no, we’ll wait to see after the morning skate and then we’ll name it,” Desjardins said after practice Wednesday.

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.22.2015 / 6:02 PM

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

Red Wings get boost from Sheahan, Glendening

DETROIT -- Veteran center Pavel Datsyuk scored the Detroit Red Wings' first goal Tuesday in their 3-0 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference First Round series.

It was the 41st career Stanley Cup Playoff goal for the 36-year-old.

Detroit's other goals came from relatively young centers Riley Sheahan and Luke Glendening.

Sheahan's first career playoff goal and point came on the power play early in the third period, and Glendening scored into an empty net with less than a minute left.

The development of Sheahan and Glendening, each in his second NHL season, was a big reason for the Red Wings' success during the regular season.

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Quote of the Day

It's not always going to be pretty, especially against a great goalie [Lundqvist] like that. My goals are never how you draw them up. It's just a matter of grinding it out and trying to create havoc in front and good things happen.

— Capitals forward Jay Beagle on scoring in their Game 3 victory against the Rangers on Monday