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2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs - Conference Semifinals

Reading List: Wings-Sharks showdown; others wait

Thursday, 05.12.2011 / 9:08 AM / 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs - Conference Semifinals

If you're the kind of fan who loves Game 7s, Wednesday was like Christmas Eve -- the day before the big day. Detroit and San Jose spent Wednesday traveling and preparing for their Game 7 showdown in the Western Conference Semifinals on Thursday at the Shark Tank (9 p.m. ET, VERSUS, TSN, RDS).

The Wings will be trying to make history by becoming just the fourth team in NHL history to rally from a 3-0 deficit to win a series. The winner gets a trip to Vancouver for Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals on Sunday.

Reading list: Wings force Game 7; Canucks await

Wednesday, 05.11.2011 / 9:00 AM / 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs - Conference Semifinals

What would the Stanley Cup Playoffs be without at least one Game 7?

After a series that looked like it might be a sweep, the Detroit Red Wings have forced a seventh and deciding game against San Jose by beating the Sharks three straight times. The third win came Tuesday, when the Wings scored three times in the final 10 minutes for a 3-1 victory in Game 6. The teams will reconvene for Game 7 Thursday in San Jose (9 p.m. ET, VERSUS, CBC, RDS).

The winner gets to face the Vancouver Canucks, who will have had five days of rest when the Wings-Sharks survivor comes to Rogers Arena on Sunday for Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals.

Reading list: Preds done; Bruins have time to heal

Tuesday, 05.10.2011 / 9:21 AM / 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs - Conference Semifinals

We now have one half of the Western Conference Finals set, as the Vancouver Canucks earned a 2-1 victory against the Nashville Predators in Game 6 of their series at Bridgestone Arena on Monday.

The question now is who will the Canucks face? Will the Detroit Red Wings win Tuesday to force a seventh game Thursday, or will the San Jose Sharks advance to the conference finals for a second straight year?

Flyers look to answer goaltending questions

Adam Kimelman - Deputy Managing Editor

"He's the best prospect I've ever had as a goalie coach and this is my 13th year."
-- Flyers goaltending coach Jeff Reese, on Sergei Bobrovsky

VOORHEES, N.J. -- During his final meeting with the media of the 2010-11 season, Philadelphia Flyers coach Peter Laviolette was asked if his job would be easier if he had a defined No. 1 goaltender, rather than the constant rotation he was forced to use during the regular season and playoffs.

"Is it easier to know that you've got a guy (like) that?" he replied. "Yeah. Sure."

Could that goalie be Sergei Bobrovsky? Laviolette wasn't saying, but the feeling from those in the organization is there's hope the undrafted 22-year-old Russian could develop into that role. 

Bruins get a few extra days for recovery

Monday, 05.09.2011 / 12:19 PM / 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs - Conference Semifinals

Shawn P. Roarke - Senior Managing Editor

In the rust vs. rest debate that always rages this time of year, the Boston Bruins will accept a bit of rust to get some much-needed rest.

Boston finished off its second-round series on Friday night, completing a stunningly efficient sweep of the Philadelphia Flyers with a 5-1 victory.

But revenge against the Flyers for last season’s historic comeback -- Philadelphia erased a 3-0 series lead and a 3-0 Boston lead in Game 7 to advance -- came at a pretty stiff price for the Bruins.

Defenseman Adam McQuaid injured his neck in Game 2 when he crashed awkwardly into the end boards. More importantly, second-line center Patrice Bergeron suffered an injury later diagnosed as a mild concussion in Game 4.

Reading list: Canucks must cut errors, Sharks bold

The San Jose Sharks were just 20 minutes away from advancing to the Western Conference Finals for a second straight year. Instead, they're boarding a plane for Detroit.

Despite holding a 3-1 lead in the third period, the Sharks allowed three unanswered goals to the Red Wings in a 4-3 loss Sunday in Game 5 of their Western Conference Semifinal series at HP Pavilion. The series now shifts back to Detroit for Game 6 on Tuesday 8 p.m. ET, VERSUS, TSN.

So, while the Eastern Conference Finals are set No. 3 Boston vs. No. 5 Tampa Bay, things still are very unsettled in the West as the Vancouver Canucks bring a 3-2 series lead to Nashville, which will host Game 6 of that Western Conference Semifinal at Bridgestone Arena on Monday 8 p.m. ET, VERSUS, CBC.

Reading list: Flyers' answers, Rinne gets it

Sunday, 05.08.2011 / 10:24 AM / 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs - Conference Semifinals

There may have been only one NHL game on Saturday night, but the Nashville Predators made some history as they finally won a game when their season was on the line. Thanks to the heroics of players such as Joel Ward and David Legwand, the Predators forced a Game 6 in the Western Conference Semifinals with a pulsating 4-3 win at Vancouver.

So, while the Eastern Conference Finals are set (No. 3 Boston vs. No. 5 Tampa Bay), things are still very unsettled in the West as the Detroit Red Wings also extended their series with the San Jose Sharks on Friday night.

Here's your daily Reading List for a set of quick links to some of the stories you won't want to miss:

Rinne understands significance of Saturday's win
Pekka Rinne knew going into Rogers Arena on Saturday that Game 5 against the Vancouver Canucks was a big one because it was the first time in Predators' history that they were facing elimination in the second round. Following the 4-3 win, which was backed by Rinne's 31 saves, the goaltender labeled it the biggest game in franchise history. Dan Rosen reports from Rogers Arena.

Reading list: Bruins advance, Wings avoid sweep

Saturday, 05.07.2011 / 10:18 AM / 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs - Conference Semifinals

The Final Four of the Stanley Cup Playoffs is halfway to being set and could see another team punch its ticket to the conference finals by the end of Saturday night's action.

While it's unknown for now when the Eastern Conference Final will begin, what is certain is that it will open at TD Garden with the Boston Bruins playing host to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Two nights after the Lightning completed a sweep of the Capitals, the Bruins did the same against the Flyers with a 5-1 win on home ice, finishing the deal a year after blowing a 3-0 series lead to Philadelphia in an epic collapse.

Reading List: Preds on brink; B's, SJS moving on?

Friday, 05.06.2011 / 10:49 AM / 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs - Conference Semifinals

The Vancouver Canucks haven't been as far as the conference finals since 1994. But they're just one win away this morning after beating the Predators 4-2 on Thursday night to sweep the two games in Nashville and take a 3-1 series lead in the Western Conference Semifinals. Ryan Kesler, quiet through Vancouver's first nine playoff games, scored his third goal in two games to break a 2-2 tie.

Two teams are hoping to punch their tickets to the final four tonight. In Boston, the Bruins would like nothing more than to complete a sweep of the Philadelphia Flyers -- something they couldn't do last year in what turned out to be a historic collapse. San Jose, the NHL's best overtime team in this year's playoffs, will try to eliminate Detroit by winning at Joe Louis Arena.

Ovechkin considering changes to offseason plans

Thursday, 05.05.2011 / 5:38 PM / 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs - Conference Semifinals

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

WASHINGTON -- Alex Ovechkin just completed the worst statistical season of his six-year NHL career. How much of his drop in production can be attributed to what members of the Washington Capitals organization deemed multiple injuries probably will be a debatable topic for the next several months.

Ovechkin finished the 2010-11 season with 32 goals and 85 points, and followed that with 5 goals and 10 points in nine postseason games.

"I have a couple injuries but (as of) this meeting now the trainers do a great job … they keep me in shape," Ovechkin said. "It is what it is. I get hurt -- everybody gets hurt. We don't announce it; it was the kind of situation we had to do something. You don't know all this kind of stuff. It was the kind of year most of the time like I was hurt."

Added coach Bruce Boudreau: "He had a couple of things. I don't want to say too much, but it was way more serious than all you people were thinking. There was a reason why he wasn't practicing to save himself for the game. You know that when something's wrong, something's wrong, and he's never going to be one of those guys that sits there and takes days off. He would take a practice off so he could play in the game."
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