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(Page 10 of 13)
Stanley Cup Playoffs

Rangers get Capitals in next round

Thursday, 04.26.2012 / 9:47 PM / Stanley Cup Playoffs

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

It's getting to the point where it wouldn't be the Stanley Cup Playoffs if the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals didn't meet at some point.

With their 2-1 win against the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series, the Rangers will face the Capitals in the postseason for the third time in four years.

The Capitals won the previous two meetings, both of which occurred in the first round. The Caps rallied from a 3-1 series deficit in 2009 to win in seven games, then vanquished the Rangers in five games last year.

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Vancouver not rushing to answer goalie questions

Thursday, 04.26.2012 / 3:05 PM / Stanley Cup Playoffs

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Roberto Luongo
Goalie - VAN
RECORD: 0-2-0
GAA: 3.59 | SVP: 0.891

Vancouver Canucks General Manager Mike Gillis said Thursday he wasn't ready to make any decisions regarding his goaltending.

Speaking on radio station 1040 AM in Vancouver, Gillis said he had met with goaltender Roberto Luongo, but would not specifically address what was said in the meeting, only saying that they would meet again to discuss their approach to the offseason.

"We just decided that we'd take a couple days here and take a deep breath -- everything has happened so quickly -- and collect our thoughts," Gillis said. "Get together at the beginning of next week or talk on the telephone next week and see where he was at and how he felt about the team and how he felt about himself and go from there."

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Second-round options coming into focus for Flyers

Thursday, 04.26.2012 / 9:23 AM / Stanley Cup Playoffs

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Philadelphia Flyers center Danny Briere was asked after finishing their series against the Pittsburgh Penguins last week if he had any rooting interest in which team he would play next.

"We can't control that," he said. "And I'm not going to root for anyone. It is what it is. Yes, I'm going to watch, but we'll take whatever is going to be present. It's always the way we've approached it."

Originally, the Flyers could have faced any of the six remaining teams. That window was narrowed a bit Wednesday when the Washington Capitals eliminated the Boston Bruins in Game 7.

Not only did Washington's win take the Bruins out of consideration, it also means the Flyers can avoid playing the top-seeded New York Rangers in the conference semifinals.

That would have been the least-desirable matchup for Philadelphia, which lost all six games in the 2011-12 season to the Rangers, and are winless in eight straight against them.

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2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs Conference Semis schedule

Thursday, 04.26.2012 / 1:22 AM / Stanley Cup Playoffs

NHL.com

The first round of NHL postseason action is over, and the last eight teams standing get right back at it again with the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs Conference Semifinals, beginning on Friday, April 27.

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Coyotes-Predators Round 2 series begins Friday

No. 2 St. Louis Blues vs. No. 8 Los Angeles Kings series begins Saturday

Wednesday, 04.25.2012 / 3:48 PM / Stanley Cup Playoffs

NHL.com

The National Hockey League on Wednesday announced the schedule for the first four games for both of the Stanley Cup Playoff Western Conference Semifinals.

The series between the third-seeded Phoenix Coyotes and fourth-seeded Nashville Predators will begin on Friday, April 27th at 9pm ET (NBCSN, TSN), and will continue with Game 2 on Sunday, April 29th, both games being played in Phoenix. Game 3, in Nashville, is scheduled for Wednesday, May 2nd and Game 4 will be Friday, May 4th, also in Nashville.

The series featuring the second-seeded St. Louis Blues and No. 8 Los Angeles Kings will begin on Saturday, April 28th, in St. Louis. Game 2 will be Monday, April 30th, also in St. Louis. Games 3 and 4 will be played in Los Angeles on Thursday, May 3rd and Sunday, May 6th, respectively.

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New blood advancing in the Western Conference

Wednesday, 04.25.2012 / 3:33 PM / Stanley Cup Playoffs

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- As the Western Conference gets set to move into the conference semifinals, it does so by entering uncharted waters.

There's a serious void in this year's proceedings.

Teams with previous postseason success, particularly in recent years, are absent from the proceedings.

Detroit, winner of the Stanley Cup 11 times -- most recently in 2008 -- is gone. Vancouver, last year's Western Conference champion and two-time Presidents' Trophy winner -- gone. Chicago, the Stanley Cup champs in 2010 -- they're out. And San Jose, which made the conference finals the last two years -- booted from the tournament.

So as we move into a new era, the final four teams in the West this year are the St. Louis Blues, Nashville Predators, Los Angeles Kings and Phoenix Coyotes.

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Gillis: Canucks peaked in midseason win over Bruins

Wednesday, 04.25.2012 / 12:44 PM / Stanley Cup Playoffs

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- The Boston Bruins smashed the Vancouver Canucks' Stanley Cup dreams in Game 7 of the Final last season. They may have also ended Vancouver's season a lot sooner this year.

On Tuesday, Canucks president and general manager Mike Gillis identified an emotional rematch in Boston as the turning point in a season that ended surprisingly early with a five-game loss to Los Angeles in the Western Conference Quarterfinals. Vancouver won the hard-fought game with the Bruins 4-3 back on Jan. 7, but was never quite the same after that.

"I really felt the game in Boston for some reason was such an emotional and challenging game, it was almost like playing a Stanley Cup Final game in the middle of the season, and from that point on I don't think our team really ever collectively got their emotions together," Gillis told a packed press conference two days after being eliminated.

"It's a bad time to peak, if it's true," defenseman Kevin Bieksa said.

Goalie Cory Schneider, who won that game in his hometown, said it's tough to link one game in January to the end of the season, but added "guys were sore for a week after."

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Thursday's Game 7 start times announced

Wednesday, 04.25.2012 / 12:37 PM / Stanley Cup Playoffs

NHL.com

The NBC Sports Network and NHL Network will team up to deliver a Game 7 extravaganza for hockey fans Thursday night.

First, the New York Rangers will host the Ottawa Senators at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN. The top-seeded Rangers staved off elimination with a win in Ottawa on Monday to earn a trip back home to Madison Square Garden for the series-deciding game.

Then, at 8:30 p.m. ET, on the NHL Network, the Florida Panthers face off against the New Jersey Devils at BankAtlantic Center. The NBC Sports Network will join the Devils-Panthers game in progress following the conclusion of the Senators-Rangers game. The Panthers, who won the first division title in franchise history this season, are looking to win their first postseason series in 16 years, but now need a Game 7 to do it after New Jersey's dramatic OT victory in Game 6 on Tuesday.

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Schenn perseveres to step up for Flyers in playoffs

Wednesday, 04.25.2012 / 11:15 AM / Stanley Cup Playoffs

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Having faced the Pittsburgh Penguins twice before in his five seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers, Danny Briere knew what he and his teammates would be facing when the Flyers opened 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Penguins.

That's why Briere talked to linemate Wayne Simmonds and said they had to "take charge" and help rookie linemate Brayden Schenn pick up the pace of the playoffs.

They could have saved the effort.

Schenn figured it out fast, single-handedly helping the Flyers climb out of a 3-0 first-period hole in Game 1, setting up the first two goals and then skating through the slot to tip a Scott Hartnell shot past Marc-Andre Fleury for the game-tying goal with 7:37 left in regulation. The Flyers ended up winning that game 4-3 in overtime, and taking the series in six games.

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The 'im-Pekka-ble' story behind Nashville's Rinne

Wednesday, 04.25.2012 / 11:00 AM / Stanley Cup Playoffs

Ken Baker - NHL.com Goalie Insider

Pekka Rinne
Goalie - NSH
RECORD: 4-1-0
GAA: 1.81 | SVP: 0.944

Minutes after disposing of the Detroit Red Wings in Game 5, a joyous Nashville Predators team filed into their locker room beneath the stands at Bridgestone Arena dancing to the cheesy sounds of Lionel Richie's "All Night Long."

Head coach Barry Trotz made his way around the raucous room and shook every player's hand. After the trainer turned down the music, Trotz immediately pointed to his sweat-soaked goalie Pekka Rinne, who sat slouched in his corner stall. "This guy right here," the coach barked. "He made it possible."

Rinne reluctantly grinned and shook his head side to side, as if deflecting the praise like one of the 151 saves he made in his dominating first-round performance. He looked almost embarrassed.

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