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Posted On Thursday, 04.16.2015 / 8:34 PM

NHL.com - Canucks-Flames series blog

Flames rookie Bennett impressive in playoff debut

VANCOUVER -- Rookie center Sam Bennett impressed Calgary Flames coach Bob Hartley with his play Wednesday in Game 1 of the Western Conference First Round series against the Vancouver Canucks. He had already impressed Hartley with his character.

Bennett, in his second NHL game, was one of Calgary's best players in the 2-1 victory at Rogers Arena. When asked after practice Thursday about Bennett's performance, Hartley referenced the 18-year-old center's inability to do a single pull-up at the NHL Draft Combine last May. Though it was seen as an indictment of Bennett's fitness and commitment at the time, Hartley now views it as a sign of his character.

"There was many reports the kid was not a good worker and couldn't do pull-ups," he said. "When your shoulder is broken in pieces but you won't tell no one because you are a competitor and you want to be there, that speaks volumes about his character."

Game 2 of the best-of-7 series is Friday in Vancouver (10 p.m. ET; CNBC, CBC, TVA Sports).

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Posted On Thursday, 04.16.2015 / 8:15 PM

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

Monahan, Flames say he's OK for Game 2

VANCOUVER -- Calgary Flames first-line center Sean Monahan didn't take part in an optional practice on Thursday but was in good spirits afterward, especially when the subject of what's ailing him came up.

Monahan had an uncharacteristically poor Game 1 of the Western Conference First Round against the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday. He missed the Flames' regular-season finale Saturday and sat out practice on Monday, leading to lots of speculation about a shoulder injury.

"I've heard a lot of things lately that were wrong with me, but I'm perfectly fine," Monahan said with a smile. "I was sick for a little bit there, but I'm good to go. I got a lot of texts before the game asking if my shoulder was OK and stuff like that, but I wasn't really sure what they were talking about. A lot of people can speculate, but I'm 100 percent."


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Posted On Thursday, 04.16.2015 / 7:13 PM

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

Canucks won't change system despite Game 1 loss

VANCOUVER -- The Vancouver Canucks got back to the Stanley Cup Playoffs by balancing their minutes and rolling four lines. They don't plan to change that system against the Calgary Flames after losing Game 1 in the Western Conference First Round on Wednesday, even if it keeps their top players on the bench in the third period.

Top-line forwards Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin each played less than five minutes in a third period that saw the Flames turn a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 win. Daniel Sedin was eighth in regular-season scoring with 76 points, but only two Canucks forwards played less in the third.

When Flames defenseman Kris Russell scored the winning goal with 29.6 seconds left in regulation, it came against the Canucks' third defensive pairing and a line centered by 20-year-old rookie Bo Horvat that was caught out on the ice for more than a minute.

That left first-year coach Willie Desjardins answering lots of questions about his player deployment after the Canucks practiced Thursday.


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Posted On Thursday, 04.16.2015 / 5:44 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - In Case You Missed It Blog

ICYMI: Thursday, April 16

Have #FOMO? Simply want to catch up after a busy day? No worries, NHL.com has you covered. Welcome to our new ICYMI blog, a daily digest of all news, features and blogs we publish. Consider it your one-stop shop for all written NHL.com content.



TRENDING:

Senators forward Stone has microfracture in wrist
Ottawa Senators forward Mark Stone sustained a microfracture of his right wrist in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round and his status for the remainder of the series is unknown.

Canadiens' Subban says he paid price for Stone slash
P.K. Subban and the Montreal Canadiens believe the penalties he received for his slash on Ottawa Senators forward Mark Stone were punishment enough.

Lightning GM Yzerman not excited to face Red Wings 
Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman played 23 seasons with the Detroit Red Wings. The teams will meet in the Eastern Conference First Round.

Share your #MyPlayoffsMoment
#MyPlayoffsMoment presented by GoPro to share fan-perspective video stories throughout the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.



NEWS:

Blackhawks stick with goalie Crawford for Game 2
Goalie Corey Crawford will start for the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 2 of the Western Conference First Round against the Nashville Predators on Friday at Bridgestone Arena.

Stanley Cup Playoffs notebook
Comprehensive Stanley Cup Playoffs notebook from games played Wednesday, April 15.

FEATURES:

Islanders' young players benefit from patient approach
The New York Islanders have taken a more measured approach developing players like Ryan Strome, Brock Nelson and Anders Lee. Their patience is paying off.

Flames never let adversity slow path to playoffs
No matter what adversity befell them, the Calgary Flames never let it stand in the way of their goal of making the Stanley Cup Playoffs

Hedman key cog for Lightning defense in playoffs 
After an up and down, injury-plagued season, Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman is healthy and ready to help the Lightning as they begin their quest to win the Stanley Cup.

Red Wings ready to meet Lightning built by Yzerman
The Eastern Conference First Round will be the first time in the Stanley Cup Playoffs the Red Wings will play the team put together by the Lightning GM Steve Yzerman, who was the face of their franchise for so many years..

Darling's goaltending fuels Hawks' comeback win
Scott Darling
Goalie - CHI
RECORD: 1-0
GAA: 0.00 | SVP: 1.000
Scott Darling realized a dream by making it to the NHL with the Chicago Blackhawks. The dream season continued with a 42-save relief performance in a 4-3 double-overtime win in Game 1 of the Western Conference First Round.

New Canadiens step up to replace Subban, Pacioretty 
Every player Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin acquired over the course of the season had a big impact in helping them open the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a victory.

Senators remain confident in Hammond for Game 2
Ottawa Senators goalie Andrew Hammond gave up four goals in the second period of a 4-3 loss to the Montreal Canadiens in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference First Round series, but his coach says he isn't to blame.

Sloppiness, missed chances cost Capitals in Game 1
The Washington Capitals turned the puck over too much, missed connections on too many passes and flubbed away too many opportunities in a 4-1 loss to the New York Islanders in Game 1.

Michigan's Werenski has mature game of older player
Michigan freshman defenseman Zachary Werenski didn't play like the youngest player in NCAA hockey this season. His mature game likely will earn him an early selection at the 2015 NHL Draft.

BLOG COVERAGE:

Jets forward Perreault game-time decision at Ducks
Winnipeg Jets forward Mathieu Perreault (lower body) is a game-time decision for Game 1 against the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday at Honda Center.

Canadiens' Pacioretty still questionable for Game 2
Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty practiced Thursday but his status for Game 2 against the Ottawa Senators on Friday is unknown.

Sloppy play, poor execution hurt Senators in opener 
Ottawa Senators coach Dave Cameron called their play sloppy in a Game 1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens and the team will look to even the series.

Wilson finds scoring touch for Predators in Game 1
Colin Wilson
Center - NSH
GOALS: 2 | ASST: 0 | PTS: 2
SOG: 6 | +/-: 1
Colin Wilson's production on the Predators' second line will be a key factor for the remainder of their best-of-7 series against the Blackhawks.

Wild's Bergenheim gets fourth-line spot vs. Blues
Minnesota Wild forward Sean Bergenheim will be on the fourth line Thursday in Game 1 against the St. Louis Blues.

Ducks' Wisniewski a healthy scratch against Jets
Defenseman James Wisniewski will be a healthy scratch for the Anaheim Ducks in Game 1 of the Western Conference First Round against the Winnipeg Jets.

Blues hope defensive depth helps in playoffs
The St. Louis Blues hope their defensive depth, including Zbynek Michalek and Carl Gunnarsson, can be the difference in this year's playoffs.

Capitals forward Wilson close to returning from injury
The status of Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson is still unknown for Game 2 against the New York Islanders on Friday.

Red Wings' Abdelkader out for Game 1 vs. Lightning
Detroit Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader won't play Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round on Thursday against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Penguins' Chorney, Dumoulin to make playoff debuts
Pittsburgh Penguins rookie defensemen Taylor Chorney and Brian Dumoulin will make their debuts in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in Game 1.

Lightning's Coburn to play against Red Wings
Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Braydon Coburn will play in Game 1 Thursday against the Detroit Red Wings.

Rangers' Nash feels better, ready to go in Game 1
New York Rangers forward Rick Nash will be in the lineup Thursday after missing practice Wednesday because of the flu.

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Posted On Thursday, 04.16.2015 / 4:25 PM

By Curtis Zupke -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Ducks-Jets series blog

Jets forward Perreault game-time decision at Ducks

ANAHEIM -- Winnipeg Jets forward Mathieu Perreault (lower body) is a game-time decision for Game 1 of the Western Conference First Round Series against the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday at Honda Center (10:30 p.m. ET; CNBC, TVA, SN, PRIME).

Perreault skated Thursday morning but did not take part in line rushes and was not made available to the media.

"We'll see how he comes back tonight and make a decision then," Jets coach Paul Maurice said.

Perreault provided scoring and skill when he was with Anaheim, and that's something the Jets could use if and when Perreault plays in the best-of-7 series.

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Posted On Thursday, 04.16.2015 / 4:22 PM

By Sean Farrell -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Canadiens-Senators series blog

Canadiens' Pacioretty still questionable for Game 2

BROSSARD, Quebec -- Montreal Canadiens left wing Max Pacioretty practiced on a line Thursday, though his availability remains uncertain for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference First Round series against the Ottawa Senators on Friday (7 p.m. ET; CBC, CNBC, TVA Sports).

Pacioretty is recovering from an upper-body injury and missed Montreal's 4-3 win against the Ottawa Senators in Game 1 on Wednesday.

On Thursday he took Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau's place at practice on a line with center David Desharnais and Devante Smith-Pelly, who moved from left wing to right wing.

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Posted On Thursday, 04.16.2015 / 4:20 PM

By Sean Farrell -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Canadiens-Senators series blog

Canadiens' Subban says he paid price for Stone slash

BROSSARD, Quebec -- P.K. Subban and the Montreal Canadiens believe the penalties he received Wednesday for his controversial slash on Ottawa Senators forward Mark Stone were punishment enough, if not too much.

Subban was assessed a game misconduct in addition to a five-minute major penalty for slashing Stone on the right wrist at 8:23 of the second period of Montreal's 4-3 win against Ottawa in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round series at Bell Centre.

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Posted On Thursday, 04.16.2015 / 4:04 PM

By Chris Stevenson -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Canadiens-Senators series blog

Sloppy play, poor execution hurt Senators in opener

MONTREAL -- The Ottawa Senators are hoping to play a lot more like the team they were the final two months of the regular season in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre on Friday (7 p.m. ET; CNBC, CBC, TVA Sports).

Senators coach Dave Cameron called their play sloppy in a 4-3 loss in Game 1 of the best-of-7 series on Wednesday.

Senators goaltender Andrew Hammond said the game was hardly indicative of the team the Senators think they can be.

"We feel like the way we played the last two months wasn't necessarily the way we played [Wednesday] night," he said. "It's just important for us to get back to that brand of hockey of straight lines and making sure we have the whole team included in every zone. I think we'll give ourselves a much better chance of success."

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Posted On Thursday, 04.16.2015 / 3:40 PM

By Robby Stanley -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Predators-Blackhawks series blog

Wilson finds scoring touch for Predators in Game 1

NASHVILLE -- Nashville Predators forward Colin Wilson hadn't scored in the final 15 games of the regular season heading into Game 1 of the Predators' Western Conference First Round series against the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday.

He scored twice against the Blackhawks in the first period of Game 1 of the best-of-7 series and led the Predators to a 3-0 lead in the first period.

Wilson's first goal was exactly what Predators coach Peter Laviolette has been expecting from him. Wilson took the puck in the neutral zone, skated around Blackhawks defenseman Michal Rozsival and took a wrist shot that beat goaltender Corey Crawford high on the stick side.

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Posted On Thursday, 04.16.2015 / 3:02 PM

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

Wild's Bergenheim gets fourth-line spot vs. Blues

ST. LOUIS -- Forward Sean Bergenheim will be in the lineup for the Minnesota Wild when the Stanley Cup Playoffs begin Thursday.

When the Wild play at the St. Louis Blues in Game 1 of the Western Conference First Round (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN360, TVA Sports 3, FS-N, FS-WI, FS-MW), Bergenheim will get the first crack to play at left wing on the fourth line. He takes the place of Matt Cooke, who will sit out because of an undisclosed injury.

Bergenheim, who has 12 goals and 17 points in 23 Stanley Cup Playoff games (including nine goals and 11 points in 16 games with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2011) has rotated in and out with Erik Haula and Ryan Carter.

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Quote of the Day

It's about enjoying the moment. It's pretty cool to get that many people together and that excited about hockey to the point they really want you to mess up. They've got a ton of red jerseys and you have to sit back and appreciate people love hockey that much and you are the one out there who gets to play the game. Just try and stick with that respect for the game and also the mentality that for me it's just about entering the fight and seeing how long I can stay in it.

— Canucks goaltender Ryan Miller on what he expects from the fans in Calgary for Game 6