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Round 2
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Stanley Cup Final
(Page 12 of 14)
2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Gillis: Canucks peaked in midseason win over Bruins

Wednesday, 04.25.2012 / 12:44 PM / 2015 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 / 2015 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 / 2015 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 / 2015 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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Berube critical to Flyers' penalty-kill success

Tuesday, 04.24.2012 / 4:29 PM / 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Craig Berube began his coaching career as an assistant to John Stevens with the Philadelphia Phantoms of the American Hockey League during the 2004-05 season. When Stevens replaced Ken Hitchcock as coach of the Philadelphia Flyers in October 2006, Berube moved up as well to become Stevens' top assistant.

That partnership came to an end in December 2009 when Stevens was fired. Peter Laviolette came on board, and suddenly Berube wasn't 100-percent sure where he stood with the new boss.


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Goals should be hard to come by for Coyotes, Preds

Tuesday, 04.24.2012 / 12:16 AM / 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Two of the game's best coaches and two of the game's best goaltenders will go head-to-head in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Indeed, goals will be hard to come by as the Coyotes and Predators will meet in a Western Conference Semifinal after the Phoenix franchise advanced to the second round of the playoffs for the first time in 25 years with Monday's 4-0 win at Chicago.

Each team won twice during its four-game, regular-season series. The Coyotes, though, went 2-1-1 as it dropped a 5-4 shootout decision to Nashville on March 12.

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Team goals take priority over individual for Backes

Monday, 04.23.2012 / 5:47 PM / 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- When it's time to leave work, David Backes is the kind of person that leaves it all at the office -- or rink, in his case.

David Backes
Center - STL
GOALS: 1 | ASST: 0 | PTS: 1
SOG: 5 | +/-: -3
At least most of the time.

Backes, the Blues' center and first-year captain, prefers to devote his time and attention to wife Kelly and their pets. Both are advocates for various charities, including David's Dogs and Kelly's Kats. These organizations work to get needy stray pets placed in loving homes, as well as raise money for various shelters and animal-awareness campaigns. It's part of who Backes and his wife are away from the rink.

But at home?

"At home we don't talk a whole lot of hockey," Backes said Monday. "When I'm here for four hours a day, it's pretty intense decision-making and going through the paces and getting things done. When I get home, it's nice to have a little retreat. … It [hockey] takes me away from her. But she played in high school and there are times I do need to vent to her. She's pretty good at keeping me level-headed and talking me off the ledge. It's a lot of self-reflecting, and the coaching staff and some of the other leaders I think would be the guys that I really hash it out with."

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Blues expect defensive challenge against Kings

Monday, 04.23.2012 / 3:32 PM / 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

 

HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- What do you get when the two stingiest teams in regards to goals allowed meet up in a seven-game playoff series?

The logical answer would be a lot of low-scoring, one-goal games.

Mirror images will meet up in the Western Conference Semifinals when the second-seeded St. Louis Blues, fresh off a five-game series win over the San Jose Sharks, face the upstart and eighth-seeded Los Angeles Kings, who are coming off a five-game upset of the Presidents' Trophy-winning Vancouver Canucks.

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Laviolette isn't concerned with Flyers' next matchup

Monday, 04.23.2012 / 1:44 PM / 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

The Flyers now get to watch six Eastern Conference teams battle to get to where they already are. Only three will make it, and one of them will be Philadelphia's opponent in the next round.

Peter Laviolette does not care who it is.

"The cards are going to fall, one way or the other, somewhere," Laviolette said Monday from the Flyers' practice facility in Voorhees, N.J. "They're going to tell us we're going somewhere or we're playing somebody. Regardless, we'll be ready."

Laviolette, though, certainly doesn't want to trade the upcoming days off because the break gives some injured players a chance to heal.

The Flyers finished their first-round series against Pittsburgh in six games despite losing defensemen Marc-Andre Bourdon in Game 1 and Nicklas Grossmann in Game 4 to upper-body injuries. They welcomed James van Riemsdyk back to the lineup in Game 5, but he hadn't played since March 1, so he was rusty.

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How the second round can shape up for Flyers

Monday, 04.23.2012 / 1:29 PM / 2015 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 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."

Of the remaining six teams in the Eastern Conference playoff hunt, the Flyers have a chance to play any of them in the next round.

So let's take a look at how each scenario would play out, look back at how the Flyers matched up with them in the regular season, and check out any playoff history that might exist.

New York Rangers-- The Flyers would face the top-seeded Rangers if they beat Ottawa, Boston beats Washington and Florida eliminates the Devils.

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Quote of the Day

He's a special guy. Obviously we are lucky to have him. Just his talent, I'm not surprised anymore. You get to see this guy every practice, and you know what he's able to do. Obviously, it's pretty special for a guy that young to score a hat trick in playoffs, this type of a game too. Really happy for him.

— Predators goalie Pekka Rinne on Filip Forsberg, whose hat trick led Nashville to a Game 5 win vs. Chicago on Thursday