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Stanley Cup Final
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2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs

2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs Bracket Challenge update

71 percent year-over-year increase; 17 fans tied atop leaderboard; zero 'perfect' brackets

Thursday, 04.30.2015 / 3:00 PM / 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs

NHL Public Relations

NEW YORK – Hockey fans submitted more than 800,000 brackets in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs Bracket Challenge powered by Samsung, up 71% from last year. With the entire playoff field separated by just 16 points -- the narrowest gap in a half-century -- fans were tasked with predicting the winner of each series through the Stanley Cup Final, and the number of games for each First Round series.

During the First Round, 16 teams vying for the Stanley Cup netted 16.8 million possible outcomes in the Bracket Challenge, and zero 'perfect' brackets – correctly choosing every series winner, and the number of games in each of those series – remain in the challenge. After a dramatic First Round that included two Game 7s, several momentum-swinging overtimes and third-period comebacks, 17 fans are tied for first place atop the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs Bracket Challenge powered by Samsung leaderboard, having correctly predicted all eight series winners and the correct number of games in seven of the eight series.

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Stanley Cup to guest star on CBS drama 'Elementary'

Thursday, 04.30.2015 / 11:46 AM / 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs

NHL.com

The Stanley Cup will serve as a special guest star on the CBS show "Elementary" on Thursday (10 p.m. ET).

In the episode Sherlock Holmes, played by Jonny Lee Miller, explains how he discovered the Cup during an investigation and conducts a series of tests to determine if it's actually hockey's most iconic trophy or a duplicate.

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First round of playoffs revealed these 16 things

Thursday, 04.30.2015 / 3:00 AM / 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

The 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs enter the second round Thursday, but before the eight teams begin their battle for the final four spots, let's take a look back at a first round that featured two series that went the distance and one that ended in four games.

Here are 16 things we learned in the first round:

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Stanley Cup Playoffs notebook: Wednesday, April 29

Thursday, 04.30.2015 / 12:50 AM / 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs

NHL Public Relations


BISHOP BACKSTOPS LIGHTNING PAST RED WINGS, INTO SECOND ROUND

Ben Bishop stopped all 31 shots he faced and Braydon Coburn broke a scoreless deadlock at 3:58 of the third period to lift the Tampa Bay Lightning past the Detroit Red Wings and into the Eastern Conference Second Round of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

* The Lightning improved to 4-1 all-time in Game 7s, including a 3-0 mark at home. They also earned a shutout in their last such victory on April 27, 2011, when Dwayne Roloson made 36 saves and Sean Bergenheim scored the lone goal in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at the Pittsburgh Penguins.

* Bishop, who also earned an assist in the game, finished his debut playoff series with a 1.87 goals-against average, .922 save percentage and one shutout. Via Elias, Bishop is the first goaltender to post his first career postseason shutout in Game 7 since Ilya Bryzgalov (May 3, 2006, at the Calgary Flames while playing for the Anaheim Ducks).

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Late surge has Senators feeling good about future

Tuesday, 04.28.2015 / 3:46 PM / 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Chris Stevenson - NHL.com Correspondent

OTTAWA -- The numbness the Ottawa Senators felt after the abrupt end of their season Sunday had given way to optimism by Tuesday.

After an unprecedented rally over the final two months of the regular season to earn a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the young Senators were eliminated in the Eastern Conference First Round in six games by the Montreal Canadiens.

The Senators were 14 points out of a playoff spot on Feb. 10, but bolstered by the emergence of goaltender Andrew Hammond, a 27-year-old undrafted free agent, they finished the season 23-4-4 to earn the first wild card.

Hammond started his NHL career 20-1-2 in the regular season before giving way to veteran Craig Anderson after the Senators lost the first two games against the Canadiens.

"A lot of great things that happened, but it's always tough coming to the rink when other teams are still playing," Hammond said as the players gathered for exit and media interviews.

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Predators optimistic about foundation, future

Tuesday, 04.28.2015 / 3:31 PM / 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Robby Stanley - NHL.com Correspondent

NASHVILLE – The Nashville Predators feel this season was the first step in what could be the start of something special.

The Predators lost in six games to the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but they believe the experience gained by their young core of players forecasts a bright future. Nashville finished second in the Central Division to qualify for the postseason for the first time in three seasons.

"Through the year and along the way, I think we did a lot of good things," Predators coach Peter Laviolette said Tuesday. "Certainly our regular season, we finished sixth overall in the National Hockey League. Inside of that, there's always highs and lows, but if you look at it and package it into an 82-game season, certainly that's an accomplishment."

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Hitchcock to reflect before deciding future with Blues

Tuesday, 04.28.2015 / 3:08 PM / 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- Ken Hitchcock was non-committal about his future as St. Louis Blues coach Tuesday, two days after their latest appearance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs came to a disappointing end.

Hitchcock does not have a contract beyond the 2014-15 season, his fourth with the Blues. At the end of the three previous seasons, he expressed optimism about returning and making a bigger impact moving forward.

On Tuesday, he did not.

"I need time. I need time to reflect right now," Hitchcock, 63, said. "I need some time to evaluate right now what I've done, what I've accomplished and what's happened to us both positive -- a lot of it -- and the negative, which goes along with the territory. I feel like I've let people down right now and I need to think about that and what needs to improve. I want time and space to evaluate it.
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Rutherford sees Penguins headed in right direction

Tuesday, 04.28.2015 / 12:58 PM / 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Wes Crosby - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford said he doesn't expect sweeping organizational changes this offseason.

Rutherford said Tuesday he was never concerned with his job status following his first season in Pittsburgh. After replacing Ray Shero in June, Rutherford said he planned on remaining the general manager for a few seasons while younger candidates were groomed.

He now does not have a definite timeline for his stay in Pittsburgh.

"We went through periods of time that were difficult. But it's part of my job," Rutherford said. "But overall, I haven't been here a full year yet and I do have a better lay of the land as to how things work here now. I have a much better handle on the team. How long do I plan on staying here? I don't know.

"But I certainly plan on staying here as we speak, and going into next season."

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Stanley Cup Playoffs notebook: Monday, April 27

Tuesday, 04.28.2015 / 12:34 AM / 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs

NHL Public Relations

KUZNETSOV NETS SERIES-CLINCHING GOAL IN GAME 7 TO LIFT CAPITALS INTO SECOND ROUND

Evgeny Kuznetsov scored the series-clinching goal with 7:18 remaining in the third period of Game 7 to power the Capitals into the Eastern Conference Second Round of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

* The Capitals improved to 4-9 in 13 all-time Game 7s. The victory was the club's first win in a Game 7 since April 25, 2012, at the Boston Bruins (2-1 OT W in CQF). The victory was also the second time in franchise history where the Capitals won a Game 7 in regulation. The other such instance was on April 28, 2009, vs. the New York Rangers (2-1 W in CQF).

* Kuznetsov's goal was his first career game-winning goal in the postseason. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Kuznetsov became the first rookie in franchise history to score a series-clinching goal in a Game 7. Elias also says the last time any rookie scored a series-clinching goal in a Game 7 was the New Jersey Devils' Adam Henrique on April 26, 2012, at the Florida Panthers (3-2 2OT W in the CQF).

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Canucks feel aging core can still compete

Monday, 04.27.2015 / 9:59 PM / 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

VANCOUVERVancouver Canucks captain Henrik Sedin was the first to admit he isn’t getting any younger, but after an early exit from the Stanley Cup Playoffs he expects Vancouver is going to.

Facing questions about an aging core that is 3-12 in the playoffs since reaching Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final in 2011, Henrik and Daniel Sedin stressed the importance of a continued influx of youth next season. But neither was ready to entertain a rebuild, not after bouncing back from missing the playoffs last year to finish second in the Pacific Division this season.

"We have no plans of getting any worse," Henrik said. "We’re not young anymore but we showed this year we can still be a big part, we can be productive and I don’t see that changing in the next couple of years. With the young guys coming up I think they are going to give us a chance to win in the next couple of years."

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Quote of the Day

If you want to prove people wrong, you've just got to go out and do it. Yeah, we blew 3-2 series leads the last two years, but no one is going remember that if we go out there on Saturday night and beat these guys and go play in the Stanley Cup Final. We need to get back to work and we'll start to do that tomorrow.

— Ducks forward Kyle Palmieri following a loss to the Blackhawks in Game 6 on Wednesday