Round 3
Stanley Cup Final
(Page 11 of 137)

Blackhawks' Crawford puts difficult first round in past

Tuesday, 04.28.2015 / 1:11 PM / Blackhawks vs Wild - 2015 SCP Second Round

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Corey Crawford is ready to move forward.

The Chicago Blackhawks goalie will start Game 1 of their best-of-7 Western Conference Second Round series against the Minnesota Wild on Friday (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports), and hitting the reset button is all he cares about.

A turbulent series against the Nashville Predators in the first round is history to Crawford, who was pulled after one period in Game 1, lost his starting job to rookie Scott Darling for four games, and relieved Darling in Game 6 to close the series.

"I think I've answered enough questions about that," Crawford said after practice Monday. "It's done … it's done. We're moving on. Me and Scotty are both pushing each other. We want to push each other to be at our best, and we're just going to do the same thing we've done all year."


Rutherford sees Penguins headed in right direction

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

Wes Crosby - 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."


Five reasons Capitals advanced to second round

Tuesday, 04.28.2015 / 12:04 PM / Capitals vs Islanders - 2015 SCP First Round

Katie Brown - Correspondent

The Washington Capitals' ability to rebound from losses during the regular season served them well in the Eastern Conference First Round. The Capitals won every game following a loss during their best-of-7 series against the New York Islanders, which Washington won in seven games.

And for the first time since 2012, the Capitals advanced to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, where they'll play the President's Trophy-winning New York Rangers.

Here are five reasons the Capitals advanced:


Flames doing their homework to prepare for Ducks

Tuesday, 04.28.2015 / 11:28 AM / Ducks vs Flames - 2015 SCP Second Round

Aaron Vickers - Correspondent

CALGARY -- After the Calgary Flames eliminated the Vancouver Canucks in six games in the Western Conference First Round, coach Bob Hartley took a moment to savor the victory.

Then he went back to work, scouting the Anaheim Ducks, Calgary's second-round opponent. Game 1 is Thursday at Honda Center (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports).

"We were at the office all day," Hartley said. "There is no time for celebrations for us. We already started our meetings [Monday]. We're going to have meetings until we leave for California. Our job is to prepare our team. They work so hard for us. Our job is to make sure that we dig for details, try to design a plan that will fit our team the best possible way, and after that, they are the performers.

"They've been the performers all year. It's been fun to watch them, to push them and to be around them. We're not going to change."


Noel: Speed, skill of Lightning showed in Game 6

Tuesday, 04.28.2015 / 10:00 AM / Lightning vs Red Wings - 2015 SCP First Round

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

For additional insight into the Eastern Conference First Round series between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Detroit Red Wings, has enlisted the help of Claude Noel to break down the action. Noel will be checking in throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Noel was coach for the Winnipeg Jets from 2011-14 and interim coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2009-10. He also coached many years in the minor leagues, including the American Hockey League. In addition, Noel, a former forward, had 138 points in 353 regular-season games in the AHL and played seven games in the NHL with Washington Capitals in 1979-80.

The Tampa Bay Lightning rediscovered their offense against the Detroit Red Wings and center Tyler Johnson was the beneficiary when he struck for his third two-goal game of this best-of-7 Eastern Conference First Round series in a 5-2 Game 6 victory at Joe Louis Arena on Monday.


Red Wings' Kronwall faces Player Safety hearing

Tuesday, 04.28.2015 / 9:49 AM / Department of Player Safety News

Detroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall will have a telephone hearing Tuesday with the NHL Department of Player Safety for a hit against Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov during Game 6 of the Eastern Conference First Round at Joe Louis Arena on Tuesday.

Kucherov was hit by Kronwall at 19:00 of the second period. No penalty was assessed on the play and Kucherov remained in the game.

The following grounds are being considered for supplemental discipline: charging/illegal check to the head. However, the Department of Player Safety retains the right to make adjustments to the infraction upon review.


Five reasons Islanders were eliminated from playoffs

Tuesday, 04.28.2015 / 9:30 AM / Capitals vs Islanders - 2015 SCP First Round

David Satriano - Staff Writer

The New York Islanders started the 2014-15 season as one of the hottest teams in the NHL, but their struggles down the stretch cost them home-ice advantage in the Eastern Conference First Round against the Washington Capitals, and Washington won 2-1 in Game 7 at Verizon Center on Monday to eliminate New York.

It was the eighth straight playoff series loss by the Islanders, who last won a series in the Patrick Division Final in 1993, when they defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins in seven games.

The loss Monday ended the Islanders' 43-year run at Nassau Coliseum. They will play their home games at Barclays Center in Brooklyn beginning next season.

A successful regular season when they had 101 points, their most since 104 in 1983-84, again ended in a first-round loss.

Here are five reasons the Islanders were eliminated:


Ward scores another clutch goal for Capitals

Tuesday, 04.28.2015 / 12:55 AM / Capitals vs Islanders - 2015 SCP First Round

Katie Brown - Correspondent

WASHINGTONWashington Capitals forward Joel Ward has a way of stepping up when it really matters. He did it again Monday in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference First Round against the New York Islanders.

He can’t explain why. He just knows it’s a lot of fun. 

"You want to be in that moment," Ward said. "You want to make plays and you want to be that guy. I just happened to get a few bounces and get to put it in."

Three years ago, Ward scored the deciding goal in overtime of Game 7 against the Boston Bruins in the first round to help the Capitals advance.

"We just wanted to play hard and put everything aside and play for each other," Ward said. "We worked hard this year as a group and we came together, we just wanted to execute the best we could."


Islanders lament failure to extend Coliseum's life

Tuesday, 04.28.2015 / 12:35 AM / Capitals vs Islanders - 2015 SCP First Round

Brian Compton - Deputy Managing Editor

WASHINGTON -- You could hear a pin drop in the New York Islanders dressing room Monday night, minutes after their season ended in a 2-1 loss to the Washington Capitals in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference First Round series at Verizon Center.

A season that began with so much promise, one the Islanders hoped would provide Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum with a proper sendoff before play begins at Barclays Center in Brooklyn this fall, instead ended the same way it has each year since 1993: without a series victory in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Things were supposed to be different this season, starting with the acquisition of goalie Jaroslav Halak from, ironically, the Capitals. The Islanders signed forwards Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolay Kulemin during unrestricted free agency, then landed defensemen Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuk in trades one week before the season got underway.

"It's a tough feeling," said captain John Tavares, the face of the franchise who didn't have a shot on goal in Game 7. "It's hard to believe it's over. You fight so hard, you put so much into the season, you put so much into the series. You're so close. Game 7, you lose by a goal.

"We're disappointed for [the fans]. I don't think we talked about it a whole lot, but we know what this season meant at the Coliseum and how they responded for us was absolutely tremendous. We couldn't have asked for anything better."


Stanley Cup Playoffs notebook: Monday, April 27

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

NHL Public Relations


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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Quote of the Day

It's not always going to be pretty, especially against a great goalie [Lundqvist] like that. My goals are never how you draw them up. It's just a matter of grinding it out and trying to create havoc in front and good things happen.

— Capitals forward Jay Beagle on scoring in their Game 3 victory against the Rangers on Monday