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Features

Failure to hold leads doomed Predators in series

Sunday, 04.26.2015 / 12:36 AM / Predators vs Blackhawks - 2015 SCP First Round

Robby Stanley - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- The Nashville Predators lost three games to the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference First Round after holding a lead.

The latest, 4-3 in Game 6 on Saturday -- after leading 3-1 -- ended Nashville's season.

Earlier in the best-of-7 series, the Blackhawks came back to win two games that went to double overtime or beyond. 

"Throughout the series, I felt like in some of the games the puck had eyes," Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne said. "You look at at least three games, the winners, a couple of [overtime] games and then tonight, just generated from the point and just find a way through the maze.

"Obviously that feels disappointing when you feel like maybe you get a break one of these games. It hit something and doesn't go in. Obviously those ones, I mean it's frustrating. I'll have way too much time on my hands to think about these things."

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Blackhawks in 2nd round, will play Wild or Blues

Sunday, 04.26.2015 / 12:15 AM / Predators vs Blackhawks - 2015 SCP First Round

Sean McCullen - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Chicago Blackhawks advanced to the Western Conference Second Round by eliminating the Nashville Predators with a 4-3, Game 6 victory at United Center on Saturday.

The Blackhawks have made it to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs each of the past three seasons and won the championship in 2013.

Chicago could learn its opponent Sunday afternoon. The Minnesota Wild would advance with a win against the St. Louis Blues in Game 6 of their first-round series (3 p.m. ET: NBC, TVA Sports, SN). Game 7, if necessary, would be Wednesday.

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Flames pull Hiller in Game 6 against Canucks

Sunday, 04.26.2015 / 12:01 AM / Canucks vs Flames - 2015 SCP First Round

NHL.com

The Calgary Flames changed goaltenders in the first period of Game 6 of their Western Conference First Round series Saturday, replacing Jonas Hiller with backup Karri Ramo after the Vancouver Canucks scored on two of their first three shots.

Brandon McMillan gave the Canucks a 1-0 lead when he beat Hiller 2:36 into the game. Jannik Hansen weaved into the Calgary zone and took a shot from the slot that beat Hiller at 7:32.

Coach Bob Hartley replaced Hiller with Ramo at that point. Ramo allowed two goals on 19 shots, and the Flames rallied for a 7-4 win that ended the series.

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Flames, Ducks will meet in second round

Saturday, 04.25.2015 / 11:55 PM / 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs

John Kreiser - NHL.com Managing Editor

The Calgary Flames will face the Anaheim Ducks in the Western Conference Second Round after eliminating the Vancouver Canucks with a rousing 7-4, Game 6 win on Saturday.

The Flames' reward for advancing past the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in 11 years could be as many as four games in an arena that's been a house of horrors for them.

The Pacific Division champion Anaheim Ducks, who are coming off a first-round sweep of the Winnipeg Jets, will have home-ice advantage in the second-round series.

Calgary has lost 20 regular-season games in a row at Honda Center (0-15-5), including two this season. The Flames' last regular-season win there came on Jan. 19, 2004, and Calgary is 8-24-6-7 in Anaheim since the Ducks entered the NHL in 1993.

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Start times, TV info set for Monday playoff games

Saturday, 04.25.2015 / 11:47 PM / 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs

NHL Public Relations

NEW YORK – The National Hockey League today announced updated start time and national television information for the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round games scheduled for Monday, April 27.

· The starting time for Game 6 of the series between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Detroit Red Wings has been set for 7 p.m. ET in Detroit. In the U.S., the game will be televised on CNBC. In Canada, the game will be televised on CBC and TVA Sports.

· The starting time for Game 7 of the series between the Washington Capitals and New York Islanders has been set for 7:30 p.m. ET in Washington, DC. In the U.S., the game will be televised on NBCSN. In Canada, the game will be on Sportsnet and TVA Sports.

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Crawford back in goal for Blackhawks; Darling pulled

Saturday, 04.25.2015 / 11:40 PM / Predators vs Blackhawks - 2015 SCP First Round

NHL.com

The Chicago Blackhawks changed goaltenders in the first period of Game 6 of their Western Conference First Round series against the Nashville Predators on Saturday, with Corey Crawford relieving Scott Darling after he allowed three goals in the first 11:16.

Crawford made 13 saves, giving the Blackhawks a chance to rally for a 4-3 win that ended the series.

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Islanders' persistence created Game 6-winning goal

Saturday, 04.25.2015 / 8:51 PM / Capitals vs Islanders - 2015 SCP First Round

David Satriano - NHL.com Staff Writer

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Coaches always tell their team to play to the whistle, and there was a prime example why in the New York Islanders' 3-1, Game 6 win against the Washington Capitals at Nassau Coliseum on Saturday.

John Tavares found Nikolay Kulemin for the game-winning goal in the third period with several Capitals perhaps backing off thinking there would be a whistle.

The result tied the best-of-7 Eastern Conference First round series 3-3, causing the need for Game 7 at Verizon Center on Monday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports 2, MSG+, CSN-DC).

With less than 10 minutes remaining in the third period, Capitals forward Joel Ward and Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk were tied up near the benches, and Alex Ovechkin and Brock Nelson also were jousting. But there wasn't a whistle, and Tavares skated into the Capitals zone and took a shot on goal that was saved by Braden Holtby.

Ovechkin checked Tavares behind the net, with Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner nearby, and the puck went to Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy along the boards. He passed to Nikolay Kulemin wide open in the slot, where he scored the goal that made it 2-1 with 9:27 remaining.

"It was a war zone in front of the bench there, and I just realized I had a lot of room and there was a lot more ice because of what was going on," Tavares said. "I tried to get to the net, I got hit there, the puck kind of popped out. Two guys were on me, so I think [Leddy] had time and fed Kulemin, and Kulemin made a nice move."

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Capitals facing poor Game 7 history at home

Saturday, 04.25.2015 / 8:06 PM / Capitals vs Islanders - 2015 SCP First Round

David Satriano - NHL.com Staff Writer

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The Washington Capitals couldn't end their Eastern Conference First Round series against the New York Islanders, losing 3-1 at Nassau Coliseum on Saturday. The best-of-7 series is tied 3-3, and Washington will host Game 7 on Monday at Verizon Center, but that might not be a good thing.

Washington is 3-9 in Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, including 2-7 at Verizon Center. Since 2008, they are 1-4 at home.

"Winning is hard," Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin said. "It's not going to be easy. It's going to be a seventh game Monday and it's going to be fun. I think our fans are going to give us very good confidence."

Braden Holtby, who made 35 saves Saturday, was in goal for Game 7 when the Capitals lost to the New York Rangers 5-0 at home in the first round of the 2013 playoffs, the last time they played a Game 7.

"We have a different team now," Holtby said.

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Farrish: Extra rest will help Rangers in next round

Saturday, 04.25.2015 / 7:44 PM / Rangers vs Penguins - 2015 SCP First Round

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

For additional insight into the Eastern Conference First Round series between the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers, NHL.com has enlisted the help of Dave Farrish to break down the action. Farrish will be checking in throughout the series.

Farrish was an assistant coach for the Anaheim Ducks and Toronto Maple Leafs from 2005-14. He won the Stanley Cup with the Ducks in 2007. He also coached 1,027 games in the minor leagues, including the American Hockey League. In addition, Farrish, a former defenseman, played 430 games over seven seasons in the NHL.

The New York Islanders earned the right to play another game with their 3-1 win against the Washington Capitals at Nassau Coliseum, but former NHL assistant coach Dave Farrish said the New York Rangers also have to consider themselves big winners on Saturday.

While the Islanders and Capitals engage in what will likely be another physical game in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference First Round series on Monday at Verizon Center, the Rangers will get to relax, watch, heal any lingering injuries and know that no matter who they play in the second round they should be the fresher, healthier team.

"It really is [a big advantage]," Farrish said. "Game 7 is going to be a takeoff of [Game 6] I think, so it's going to be just as physical, if not more physical, and then the winner will turn around and start probably two or three days later [against the Rangers]. That's a huge advantage for the Rangers."

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Rangers in 2nd round, waiting for Islanders or Capitals

Saturday, 04.25.2015 / 6:20 PM / Rangers vs Penguins - 2015 SCP First Round

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

The New York Rangers will either stay close to home to play their biggest rival or face a familiar playoff opponent in the Eastern Conference Second Round of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Rangers will open the second round at Madison Square Garden against either the New York Islanders or Washington Capitals. The Rangers are guaranteed to start every playoff series at home because they won the Presidents' Trophy with 113 points.

New York advanced with a five-game, first-round win against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Rangers won Game 5 2-1 in overtime at home on Friday.

The Islanders defeated the Capitals 3-1 on Saturday to tie that best-of-7 series 3-3. Game 7 is Monday at Washington (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports 2, CSN-DC, MSG+).

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Quote of the Day

I think everyone left it out there. Every game this season, regular season and playoffs, we played as hard as we could. We're not out of the playoffs right now because of lack of effort, and that's all that we can ask of each other.

— Predators defenseman Seth Jones after Nashville was eliminated by Chicago in Game 6 on Saturday