Round 3
Stanley Cup Final
Posted On Sunday, 05.03.2015 / 4:17 PM

By Curtis Zupke - Correspondent / - Ducks-Flames series blog

Flames expect Ferland, Hudler back for Game 2

ANAHEIM -- The Calgary Flames are expected to return left wing Micheal Ferland to their lineup for Game 2 of the Western Conference Second Round against the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday at Honda Center (10 p.m. ET; CNBC, TVA, SN).

Coach Bob Hartley said "everyone's a game-time decision" but indicated Ferland and right wing Jiri Hudler will go back in after they sustained undisclosed injuries in Game 1.

"We told you that we expected them to play, and they will probably play," Hartley said.

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Posted On Sunday, 05.03.2015 / 4:02 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / - 2015 NHL Draft blog

Prospect Matthews caps big year with USA Hockey

Just when 17-year-old Auston Matthews thought his season couldn't get any better, he scored a goal for the United States Men's National Team in an exhibition game in late April at the 2015 IIHF Men's World Championship in Vienna, Austria.

It was a fitting way for Matthews to cap off an incredible 2014-15 season in which he established two records with the U.S. Under-18 National Team Development Program (USNTDP), earned a fifth-place finish for the U.S. at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship, and won a gold medal as an alternate captain for his country at the 2015 IIHF U-18 World Championship.

"Initially I was in awe; I was excited to play at that stage," Matthews said. "When I got there it was everything I could have imagined playing with NHL players like Trevor Lewis and Matt Hendricks and guys like that who are really established in the NHL. It was really cool and an honor to be around those guys. They were all super nice and very welcoming."

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Posted On Sunday, 05.03.2015 / 2:49 PM

By Curtis Zupke - Correspondent / - Ducks-Flames series blog

Ducks power play clicking in postseason

ANAHEIM -- The Anaheim Ducks’ power play was a sore spot for the second straight regular season. It finished 28th in the NHL, a step back from 22nd last season.

But it has found its groove in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Going into Game 2 of the Western Conference Second Round against the Calgary Flames on Sunday (10 p.m. ET; CNBC, TVA Sports, SN), the Ducks were tied with the Minnesota Wild for No. 1 in the League at 33.3 percent (5-for-15), including 5-for-11 at home.

Coach Bruce Boudreau pointed to the extra preparation time Anaheim has been afforded. Defenseman Cam Fowler said there’s also incentive.

“We wanted to have that mentality to make teams pay on the scoreboard if they wanted to get physical or if they wanted to rough up some of our key guys,” Fowler said. “There’s no better way to stop a team from doing that than to score a couple of power-play goals. I think it just got us going early, especially in that Winnipeg [Jets first round] series. Momentum’s a huge thing on a power play, so hopefully we can keep that going.”

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Posted On Sunday, 05.03.2015 / 2:25 PM

By Brian Hedger - Correspondent / - Blackhawks-Wild series blog

Hossa, not scoring, still contributing for Blackhawks

CHICAGO -- The fact Chicago Blackhawks right wing Marian Hossa hasn't scored in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs was a surprise to Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook after the morning skate at United Center on Sunday.

"That's news to me," Seabrook said. "Seems like he scores every night."

Hossa, 36, is not the kind of goal-scorer who is going to lead the NHL in goals, but has become a daunting two-way menace to opposing teams. He has six assists heading into Game 2 of the Western Conference Second Round series against the Minnesota Wild (8:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN360, TVA Sports 2), and was an important part of Chicago's 4-3 Game 1 victory on Friday.

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Posted On Sunday, 05.03.2015 / 2:17 PM

By Corey Masisak - Staff Writer / - Blackhawks-Wild series blog

Wild hoping Haula can provide energy in Game 2

CHICAGO — Erik Haula became a breakout performer for the Minnesota Wild last season during a Western Conference Second Round series against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Coach Mike Yeo would like to see a repeat performance.

Forward Justin Fontaine was injured in Game 1 of this series against the Blackhawks and is day-to-day with a lower-body injury. He will not play Sunday in Game 2 (7:30 p.m., NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports 2) against Chicago as Minnesota tries to draw even after a 4-3 win Friday by the Blackhawks.

Haula, who was a healthy scratch for Minnesota's first seven 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs games, will replace Fontaine and center the fourth line between Matt Cooke and Kyle Brodziak.

"He's got a lot of speed. That's one area of our game that can get better," Cooke said. "We can attack with more speed, and we obviously have to be good with the puck to do that. He brings that element. He's a big body, competes and he's hungry. He's been sitting out for a while. He's not taking for granted this opportunity to get back in there."

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Posted On Sunday, 05.03.2015 / 2:01 PM

By Katie Brown - Correspondent / - Rangers-Capitals series blog

Capitals' Gleason expected to play in Game 3

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Washington Capitals defenseman Tim Gleason missed part of practice on Sunday but is expected to play in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Second Round series against the New York Rangers on Monday (7:30 p.m.; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports) Capitals coach Barry Trotz said.

Gleason called the absence a maintenance day but said he was healthy.

"I just had a check up with a doc to see if everything was good and everything’s good," Gleason said.

Trotz would not disclose Gleason's ailment but said he has been blocking a lot of shots, so they’re monitoring his health carefully.

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Posted On Sunday, 05.03.2015 / 1:40 PM

By Chris Stevenson - Correspondent / - Canadiens-Lightning series blog

Johnson in lineup for Lightning in Game 2

MONTREAL -- The Tampa Bay Lightning will have leading Stanley Cup Playoffs goal scorer Tyler Johnson in the lineup Sunday as they try to take a 2-0 lead in their best-of-7 Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre (6 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

Johnson participated in the Lightning’s morning skate Sunday. He scored his seventh goal in the Lightning's 2-1 win in double overtime in Game 1 on Friday, which leads the League. He went to the Tampa Bay dressing room in the third period and missed a few shifts after getting involved with Montreal forward Brendan Gallagher.

Johnson was called for holding on the play and was cross-checked by Gallagher. It also appeared a puck shot by Gallagher hit Johnson in the helmet.

Johnson returned to the game and played 10 shifts in the first overtime.

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Posted On Sunday, 05.03.2015 / 1:11 PM

By Sean Farrell - Correspondent / - Canadiens-Lightning series blog

Canadiens looking to crack Bishop in Game 2

BROSSARD, Quebec -- Montreal Canadiens coach Michel Therrien is going with the same lineup he used Friday against the Tampa Bay Lightning for Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Second Round series Sunday at Bell Centre (6 p.m. ET; CBC, TVA Sports, NBCSN).

Therrien said Montreal created 29 scoring chances against Tampa Bay goalie Ben Bishop in its 2-1 loss in double-overtime loss in Game 1.

"We generated a lot of scoring chances and we got some net-front presence, but Bishop was really good," Therrien said after the morning skate Sunday. "We've got to give the guy a lot of credit."

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Posted On Sunday, 05.03.2015 / 12:43 PM

By Evan Sporer - Staff Writer / - Rangers-Capitals series blog

Lundqvist shines to help Rangers even series

NEW YORK -- The Washington Capitals had their chances against New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist during Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Second Round series.

It was nothing new for the Capitals, who faced Lundqvist for the 28th time in the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Saturday since 2009. But with the Capitals looking to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 series, it was Lundqvist who stood tall, leading the Rangers to a 3-2 win.

Lundqvist made 30 saves on 32 shots, 15 of which came in the second period which the Rangers entered with a 2-0 lead. The Capitals managed to cut it to 2-1, but if not for Lundqvist, the Rangers could have entered the third period tied or trailing.

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Posted On Sunday, 05.03.2015 / 10:11 AM

By Staff -  / - 2015 NHL Draft blog

McDavid continues record-setting playoffs pace

There has been no stopping Erie Otters captain Connor McDavid, the expected No. 1 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, during the Ontario Hockey League playoffs.

Not only has McDavid scored at least one point in all 15 games, he leads all playoff performers in the Canadian Hockey League with 19 goals and 42 points. He has tied the franchise record set in 2002 by Cory Pecker for points in a postseason and is nine shy of the OHL record 51 points set by Justin Papineau(1999) with the Belleville Bulls and Jason Dawe (1993) with the Peterborough Petes.

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Quote of the Day

That was something I've been dreaming of, something I've told myself before the third period I was going to do ... It was an amazing feeling. It's hard to describe. I didn't believe it went in at first but when I saw all the reaction and all the fans going crazy and my teammates going crazy, it's just an unbelievable feeling. I didn't know what to do. I didn't know whether to jump or just skate and do a Theo Fleury. I don't think I'm the same caliber player he is so I couldn't do it.

— Flames forward Mikael Backlund on scoring the overtime winner against the Ducks in Gm. 3