Posted On Saturday, 05.23.2015 / 1:12 PM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / - Rangers-Lightning series blog

Rangers' Yandle thriving as play opens up

TAMPA -- Keith Yandle scored his first goal of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs on Friday. It might have been a stress reliever for the New York Rangers defenseman, but he didn't need it to justify how effective he's been in the offensive part of the game in the Eastern Conference Final.

"It's the best I've seen him play so far with the puck," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said Saturday morning.

Yandle is doing the things the Rangers thought he'd be doing from the moment they acquired him from the Arizona Coyotes in a blockbuster trade on March 1 that came at a significant price for New York.

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Posted On Friday, 05.22.2015 / 11:22 PM

By Staff -  / - 2015 NHL Draft blog

Quebec opens Memorial Cup by edging Kelowna

Vladimir Tkachev, a prospect for the 2015 NHL Draft, had two assists to help the host Quebec Remparts to a 4-3 win against the Kelowna Rockets in the opening game of the Memorial Cup, played at Pepsi Colisee in Quebec City, Quebec.

Defensemen Nikolas BrouillardMatt Murphy and Ryan Graves (New York Rangers) and forward Adam Erne(Tampa Bay Lightning) scored for the Remparts. Goaltender Zachary Fucale (Montreal Canadiens) made 25 saves.

The game was Quebec's first since a double-overtime loss at home in Game 7 of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League final to the Rimouski Oceanic on May 18.

"We have a good group and they bounced back well," Quebec coach Philippe Boucher said, according to Canadian Press.

Nicholas Merkley, No. 23 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters for the 2015 draft, had a goal and an assist for Kelowna, the Western Hockey League champions. Gage Quinney and Leon Draisaitl(Edmonton Oilers) also scored for Kelowna. Goaltender Jackson Whistle made 27 saves.

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Posted On Friday, 05.22.2015 / 6:10 PM

By Staff -  / - In Case You Missed It Blog

ICYMI: Friday, May 22

Have #FOMO? Simply want to catch up after a busy day? No worries, 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 content.


Keys to victory for Rangers, Lightning in Game 4
Three keys to winning Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final for the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning.

Detail-oriented Ducks learned lessons from losses

After losing to the Los Angeles Kings in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Anaheim Ducks have taken those lessons and applied them to this year's Western Conference Final against the Chicago Blackhawks.
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Posted On Friday, 05.22.2015 / 4:13 PM

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

Blackhawks could make lineup changes for Game 4

CHICAGO – Antoine Vermette kept his comments brief, but they were straight to the point when meeting with reporters after a light practice for the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center on Friday.

A day after being a surprise healthy scratch in the Blackhawks' 2-1 loss to the Anaheim Ducks in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final, the veteran two-way center was not happy. Vermette, who was acquired at the NHL Trade Deadline from the Arizona Coyotes, had played 10 straight games in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs after being scratched for the first two games of the Western Conference First Round.

Vermette played 21:14 in Chicago's 3-2 win in triple overtime of Game 2 at Honda Center on Tuesday, taking three shots on goal and being credited with four hits and two blocked shots. He won eight of 20 faceoffs after coming into the game with a success rate of 62.9 percent.

"I thought I had a good game," said Vermette, who had been playing the role of third line center. "I was playing well there, so obviously it came as a surprise and a disappointment. I'm not going to lie. I was not happy with that, but my job is to be ready whenever I have a chance to be in the lineup, and that's what I'm going to do."

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Posted On Friday, 05.22.2015 / 4:02 PM

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

Van Riemsdyk recalled by Blackhawks from AHL

CHICAGO -- It's been a challenging season for Chicago Blackhawks rookie defensemen Trevor van Riemsdyk, but it might have a positive conclusion.

The Blackhawks recalled van Riemsdyk, 23, on Friday from Rockford of the American Hockey League after he was cleared to return from the second of two major injuries.

The most recent was a right wrist injury that required surgery April 7, and happened with Rockford after van Riemsdyk had returned from a three-month absence following surgery to repair a fractured patella in his left knee. The on-ice work van Riemsdyk did Friday with a small group of teammates was his first time skating since the second surgery.

"We'll see," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said Friday when asked when van Riemsdyk could play. "I know the timeline to get him on the ice was, [this was] his first day today. But he's been ready. He's cleared to participate and he was out there doing 1-on-1 drills, so we'll see."

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Posted On Friday, 05.22.2015 / 2:07 PM

By Staff -  / - 2015 NHL Draft blog

Waterloo's Boeser named to USHL All-Rookie team

Waterloo Black Hawks forward Brock Boeser, a top prospect for the 2015 NHL Draft, was named to the United States Hockey League All-Rookie First Team on Friday.

Boeser, a 6-foot, 191-pound right wing, is No. 27 on NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters for the 2015 draft. He tied for the USHL lead with 35 goals, and was third with 68 points in 57 games. His 15 power-play goals were second in the league, and his 32 power-play points were tied for first. He had 10 multigoal games, including three hat tricks.

He's committed to attend the University of North Dakota next season.

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Posted On Friday, 05.22.2015 / 1:06 PM

By Corey Long - Correspondent / - Rangers-Lightning series blog

Lightning's Barberio excited at chance to enter lineup

TAMPA -- All signs point to Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Mark Barberio replacing Matthew Carle in the lineup for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final against the New York Rangers at Amalie Arena on Friday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

It would be Barberio's first game in the Stanley Cup Playoffs this season. He played in two playoff games for the Lightning last season and had six penalty minutes with a minus-2 rating. The Lightning hold a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 series after a 6-5 win in Game 3 on Wednesday.

"I'm pretty pumped about it," Barberio said. "I've been itching to play. I've just been waiting, putting time in the gym and I'm just excited to get on the ice."

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Posted On Friday, 05.22.2015 / 1:04 PM

By Brian Compton - Deputy Managing Editor / - Rangers-Lightning series blog

Rangers don't want to trade chances with Lightning

TAMPA -- The New York Rangers have shown tremendous ability to respond after back-to-back losses.

That's why there still is plenty of confidence throughout their dressing room heading into Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday at Amalie Arena (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports), when they'll attempt to even this best-of-7 series at two games apiece.

After winning Game 1 by a 2-1 score, the Rangers have allowed 12 goals during the past two games. They rallied from a 4-2 deficit in Game 3 on Wednesday but lost 6-5 in overtime.

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Posted On Friday, 05.22.2015 / 3:00 AM

By Kevin Weekes -  NHL Network Analyst / - Weekes on the Web

Friday Four: New hires bring credibility to their teams

Each Friday throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs Kevin Weekes will be bringing you his Friday Four. He will be blogging about four players, teams, series, plays, trends or really four of whatever from the playoffs that have caught his eye.

Everybody was waiting for the coaching carousel to start turning and everybody was waiting on Mike Babcock, but interestingly enough, a few hires were made before the Babcock hire became official.

It started with Dave Hakstol to the Philadelphia Flyers, went to Todd McLellan to the Edmonton Oilers, and then to Babcock turning the hockey world upside down with his decision to go to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Here's my take on all three of them, plus a bit on a wide open Eastern Conference Final:

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Posted On Friday, 05.22.2015 / 1:10 AM

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

Getzlaf keeps piling up assists for Ducks

CHICAGO -- Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf tied his own franchise record for assists in a single postseason on Thursday. Not for a game, but for an entire Stanley Cup Playoff.

Getzlaf had two assists in Anaheim's 3-2 victory against the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 3 of the 2015 Western Conference Final, and now has 14, the same number he had in 2009.

"I'm doing the opposite of scoring," Getzlaf said. "No, guys are just making plays around me. Part of my makeup and my job is to try and get guys pucks in situations that they can do things with, and I play with some pretty good players."

Getzlaf's 14 assists are five more than any other player in the 2015 playoffs. He's done it just 12 games, which is four fewer than anyone on the Tampa Bay Lightning has played and three fewer than the New York Rangers.

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Quote of the Day

I don't think it's really truly going to sink in until we drop the puck, to be honest. I know there's going to be a lot of smoke and mirrors with the media attention and all that. We came [Monday] and it was sort of a light day to get things organized. We just want to focus in on the business aspect, the game itself. That's what we're preparing to do. Get these next couple of days out of the way and it's game on.

— Lightning captain Steven Stamkos on playing in his first Stanley Cup Final