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Stanley Cup Playoffs

Bettman: NHL enjoying one of its best seasons

Wednesday, 06.04.2014 / 8:38 PM / Stanley Cup Playoffs

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

LOS ANGELES -- Noting the NHL's theme that the 2013-14 season is like no other, Commissioner Gary Bettman said Wednesday the League is nearing the completion of its best season.

"By almost any measure, this may have been the most successful season on and off the ice in League history," Commissioner Bettman said during his press conference prior to Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final between the New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center.

"There has been a lot written, discussed and debated about the road we took to get to this point, where we are today, but I'm always one to look forward. Our objective was, and always is, to make a great game even greater, to give our fans the best sports experience and entertainment possible and the best opportunities to connect with our game. The 2013-14 campaign accomplished that objective."

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Canadiens mascot Youppi! honors bet with Fallon

Sunday, 06.01.2014 / 12:49 PM / Stanley Cup Playoffs

On Sunday, the Montreal Canadiens and their mascot Youppi! fulfilled the terms of a bet made with late-night television host Jimmy Fallon.

Because the Canadiens lost the best-of-7 Eastern Conference Final to the New York Rangers 4-2, the team changed its Twitter avatar to a picture of Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist playing guitar. In addition, Youppi! tweeted 10 pictures of himself wearing a Rangers jersey around town before ending Sunday morning by riding a mechanical bull at Montreal bar Chez Serge.

Beginning with a shot looking up at Montreal's Bell Centre, here's Youppi!'s tour of the town wearing a Rangers jersey with Fallon's name.

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Kings third team to play 21 games in first three rounds

Saturday, 05.31.2014 / 12:55 AM / Stanley Cup Playoffs

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

The Los Angeles Kings were assured of becoming the third team in NHL history to play all 21 possible games through three rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs with their 4-3 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 6 of the Western Conference Final on Friday.

Los Angeles will be trying to become the first team ever to win Game 7s in each of the first three rounds of the playoffs when it faces Chicago at United Center on Sunday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS). Before the Kings this postseason, the only teams to play every possible game through three rounds were the 2002 Colorado Avalanche and the 1993 Toronto Maple Leafs; each lost Game 7 in the conference final.


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Rangers' Vigneault takes second team to Cup Final

Friday, 05.30.2014 / 12:29 AM / Stanley Cup Playoffs

NHL.com

The New York Rangers haven't been to the Stanley Cup Final since 1994, but their coach has.

Alain Vigneault became the 10th coach in NHL history to lead more than one team to the Final when the Rangers beat the Montreal Canadiens 1-0 on Thursday to win the Eastern Conference Final in six games. The Rangers will play the winner of the Western Conference Final between the Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings; Game 1 of the Cup Final is Wednesday, June 4.


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Most goals per game in conference finals since '91

Thursday, 05.29.2014 / 12:55 AM / Stanley Cup Playoffs

NHL.com

The 20 goals scored in the past two nights have made this the highest-scoring conference finals in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 23 years.

The 10 games played thus far -- five each between the Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers in the East and the Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks in the West -- have produced a total of 69 goals, an average of 6.9 per game. That's the most since 1991, when the series between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins and the Edmonton Oilers and Minnesota North Stars generated an average of 7.2 goals per game.


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Beard-a-thon raises over $260,000 for charity

Monday, 05.19.2014 / 2:02 PM / Stanley Cup Playoffs

NHL.com

EAST AURORA, N.Y. – After the second round of the NHL Stanley Cup® Playoffs, thousands of fans are still "growing one for the team." NHL fans across North America have come together to raise over $260,000 after the second round of the Stanley Cup® Playoffs. There are now over 4,000 beard growers to date. The sixth annual Beard-A-Thon®, proudly presented by Just For Men, encourages hockey enthusiasts to grow their own playoff beards for the 2014 Stanley Cup® Playoffs, or pledge their favorite NHL players. In addition to participating in a great hockey tradition, beard growers are raising money for charities across the nation in a one-of-a kind way.

Currently, Boston Bruins fans have led the way, raising over $88,000 for the Martin W. Richard Charitable Foundation and the Boston Bruins Foundation. Jason Beckett of Milton, MA leads all fans with over $13,000 raised for charity. Fans of the New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Los Angeles Kings combined have raised over $110,000 for local charities.

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Five players lead chase for Conn Smythe Trophy

Saturday, 05.17.2014 / 10:30 AM / Stanley Cup Playoffs

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

The Conn Smythe Trophy can't be won halfway through the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but MVP-type performances go a long way in determining which teams are still competing for the Stanley Cup.

The Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks are still alive in the playoffs because of total team efforts, great comebacks, Game 7 wins on the road and spellbinding individual performances from several star players.

With two rounds in the books, here are five players in contention for the Conn Smythe Trophy.

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Five reasons why the Bruins were eliminated

Thursday, 05.15.2014 / 5:39 PM / Stanley Cup Playoffs

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

BOSTON -- Teams that win the Presidents' Trophy are supposed to win more than one round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. That's why no matter what way you shake it, the Boston Bruins' loss to the Montreal Canadiens in the Eastern Conference Second Round is a major disappointment.

The Bruins were 54-19-9 in the regular season and dispatched the Detroit Red Wings in five games in the first round. Boston led the best-of-7 series with Montreal 3-2 but lost in seven games.

For a team that had such a great first seven months of the season to unravel the way it did in the space of a few days, much must go wrong.

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Blackhawks brush off fatigue, focused on winning

Thursday, 05.15.2014 / 5:01 PM / Stanley Cup Playoffs

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks have played the most games in the NHL the past two seasons and are halfway to repeating as Stanley Cup champions.

Between the regular season and Stanley Cup Playoffs they've played a whopping 165 games in the past 16 months, and that's not including games played by the 10 Blackhawks who participated in the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

That's a lot of hockey, with a lot of high-intensity games and wear and tear on their bodies and minds. Coming off a six-game victory against the Minnesota Wild in the Western Conference Second Round, there are murmurs that some of Chicago's players are running on fumes heading into the Western Conference Final, which will start Sunday. They'll play the winner of Game 7 on Friday between the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings.

The Blackhawks strongly disagree.

"I don't think we're worried about anything right now," said right wing Patrick Kane, who scored the series-clinching overtime goal in Game 6 on Tuesday at Xcel Energy Center. "We're in a pretty good position that not a lot of teams get to go through. We're in a conference final and it's going to be a great matchup whoever we face, so there's no real cause for concern and we feel our best game's ahead of us. So it's exciting."

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Western Conference Final begins Sunday, May 18

Thursday, 05.15.2014 / 12:50 AM / Stanley Cup Playoffs

NEW YORK – The National Hockey League today announced that the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs Western Conference Final will begin Sunday, May 18, when the Chicago Blackhawks face off against the winner of the Second Round series between the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings.

The starting time for Game 1 on Sunday will be 3 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast on NBC in the U.S. and televised in Canada by TSN and RDS.

Based on the number of points each team earned during the regular season, the Ducks would host the Blackhawks in Game 1, while the Blackhawks would host the Kings in Game 1.

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Quote of the Day

I just think about how much it hurts. The feelings aren't going to go away, probably never. It's just something that sticks with you for a long time.

— San Jose forward Logan Couture to The Canadian Press on the Sharks' first-round loss to the Kings after taking a 3-0 series lead