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Stanley Cup Final
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Features

Capitals' Fehr was sidelined by AC sprain in playoffs

Friday, 05.15.2015 / 9:15 PM / Rangers vs Capitals - 2015 SCP Second Round

Katie Brown - NHL.com Correspondent

ARLINGTON, Va. -- The injury that sidelined Washington Capitals forward Eric Fehr for 10 games during the Stanley Cup Playoffs was a separated shoulder, also known as an AC sprain, Fehr said Friday.

"The AC sprain is not a shoulder injury. It’s different, which is good for me," Fehr said. "These are injuries that just go away. They just need time, and unfortunately, come playoff time, you don’t have that."

He was injured in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference First Round from a hit by New York Islanders forward Kyle Okposo.

Fehr was out for 24 days but returned for Game 7 of the second round against the New York Rangers.

A pending unrestricted free agent, Fehr’s status with the Capitals is uncertain but he is confident the injury won’t affect the interest of other NHL teams.

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Seguin scoring, having fun with Canada in Prague

Friday, 05.15.2015 / 8:06 PM / NHL Insider

Michael Langr - NHL.com Correspondent

PRAGUE -- Tyler Seguin loves to play here.

He scored his first NHL goal at Prague's O2 Arena against the Phoenix Coyotes as a Boston Bruins rookie in the beginning of the 2010-11 season, and he has eight goals in eight games in the building at the 2015 IIHF World Championship, including a hat trick that helped Canada win 9-0 against Belarus on Thursday in the quarterfinals.

"Someone's blessing me here in this arena," said Seguin, the Dallas Stars forward who is tied with Sweden's Filip Forsberg (Nashville Predators) for the tournament lead in goals. "For me personally, I started this tournament not getting the bounces and I'm obviously more happy when they go in. I like scoring goals, that's one of my jobs. And when they're going in, you feel better."

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Keeping Beleskey paying dividends for Ducks

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

ANAHEIM -- Matt Beleskey remembers sitting at home with a shoulder injury during the hours and days leading up to the NHL Trade Deadline in March.

There was some speculation the Anaheim Ducks would trade Beleskey, who was having his best season in the NHL and looked attractive to teams in need of a versatile left wing.

"[I was] extremely nervous," Beleskey said. "Watching and having the chance of being traded was something I definitely didn’t want. Once that was over, it was a huge weight off my shoulders."

Beleskey wasn't traded, and he’s repaid the Ducks handsomely by following up his career-best 22-goal regular season with a fruitful Stanley Cup Playoffs. He enters Game 1 of the Western Conference Final against the Chicago Blackhawks at Honda Center on Sunday (3 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports) on a Ducks record five-game playoff scoring streak. He is the first NHL player to score in each of the first five games of a series since Mikael Samuelson of the Vancouver Canucks in 2010 against the Los Angeles Kings.

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Blackhawks' Crawford bounces back from benching

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Marian Hossa has seen enough goalie meltdowns in his career to truly appreciate what Corey Crawford routinely does for the Chicago Blackhawks.

Crawford's resilience has become one of his biggest assets, right up there with tracking pucks, timing shots and body position. He's developed it incrementally the past five seasons, and it's now to a point matched by few goalies.

"He's one of those goalies who's [very] strong mentally," Hossa said. "One or two weaker games, or whatever you want to call it, it seems like he just forgets and starts looking for a new challenge. He can just shake off whatever, and it's amazing to see because not many goalies can do that."

Crawford's start to the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs was so turbulent that it probably would've crushed the confidence of many goalies.

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Closer Look: Ducks must use size at Blackhawks net

Evan Sporer - NHL.com Staff Writer

Before the 2014 NHL Awards in Las Vegas, Anaheim Ducks captain and then-Hart Trophy finalist Ryan Getzlaf was interviewed by NHL Network analyst Kevin Weekes on the red carpet.

After asking Getzlaf a series of questions about his season, Weekes inquired about something Getzlaf had been rumored to tell his teammates: "Go to the net, and I'll make you rich."

"That's true. When I'm talking to [Corey] Perry and my linemates, that's 100 percent true," Getzlaf said.

Though the question may have been asked in jest, watching the Ducks’ top line and mapping out where it does its damage, it's true: When Getzlaf, Perry and Patrick Maroon are on the ice, many of the goals they score are from the home-plate area around the goal crease. With Perry at 6-foot-3, 213 pounds, and Maroon at 6-foot-2, 231 pounds, the Ducks have two large forwards who can cause trouble near the blue paint.

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Rangers' Fast making smart plays to be X-factor

Friday, 05.15.2015 / 4:40 PM / X-Factor

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- It was the morning of Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Washington Capitals when New York Rangers center Derek Stepan was answering a question about right wing Jesper Fast.

"He seems to be on pucks really fast," Stepan said of his linemate. "He anticipates well and he's made some big plays when he's had the puck on his stick."

Call Stepan clairvoyant if you want to, because he might as well have been describing Fast's impact on Stepan's overtime winning goal hours later, the goal that sent the Rangers into the Eastern Conference Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

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Strangis: For Hawks' Richards, past defines present

Friday, 05.15.2015 / 4:29 PM / Strangis' Stories

Ralph Strangis - Special to NHL.com

Glen Richards is a lobsterman, as was his father. It's an honest and excruciating job. His son worked the boat a bit whenever Glen could urge him out there, but the boy was not inspired to carry on the family trade.

Getting up in the middle of the night, standing at the stern near the hauler with icy salt water spitting, and yanking trap lines held no romance or allure for young Brad Richards.

He had other plans.

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Former Rangers on Lightning look forward to series

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- Tampa Bay Lightning center Brian Boyle, right wing Ryan Callahan and defenseman Anton Stralman will face a very familiar opponent in the Eastern Conference Final.

Boyle, Callahan and Stralman each have their sights set on winning the Stanley Cup, and play the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Final, with whom they each spent at least three seasons with.

"This is a unique thing," Boyle said Friday. "It's certainly interesting how it's all kind of unfolded. But I really didn't expect anything else to be honest with you."

Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final is Saturday at Madison Square Garden (1 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports).

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Ovechkin to help Russia challenge U.S. in semifinals

Friday, 05.15.2015 / 3:30 PM / 2015 IIHF World Championship

Michael Langr - NHL.com Correspondent

PRAGUE -- An evening before the semifinals of the 2015 IIHF World Championship, Prague's O2 Arena turned into a skating session for two NHL standouts who had come to help their countries in the medal round.

Before Montreal Canadiens center Tomas Plekanec took the ice after joining the host Czech Republic ahead of their semifinal against Canada, left wing Alex Ovechkin of Russia skated for about 20 minutes concluding a day when he landed in Prague, Czech Republic after an overseas flight.

The Russians cancelled their practice Friday, but Ovechkin wanted to adjust and shake off jetlag.

"The ice here is different. You have to prepare yourself for bigger ice, so it's normal for me," the Washington Capitals captain told a big crowd of reporters Friday in Prague. "I'm sleepy, but I know this situation. I'm gonna stay up until 10 or 11 and deal with the time difference."

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Rangers' St. Louis all business with Lightning on tap

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Martin St. Louis walked into the New York Rangers dressing room following practice Friday to find a swell of cameras and reporters forming a crowded semicircle around his stall, so big the media invaded space reserved for goalie Henrik Lundqvist and defenseman Dan Girardi.

Under normal circumstances the media wouldn't be looking to document every word said by a player who has no goals in 12 games in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, but these aren't normal circumstances for St. Louis heading into Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday at Madison Square Garden (1 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports).

St. Louis played 972 games with the Lightning from 2000 until he was traded to the Rangers on March 5, 2014. He won the Stanley Cup and Hart Trophy as a member of the Lightning in 2004, and  twice finished as the NHL's regular-season scoring champ.

St. Louis was the one of the faces and arguably the heart and soul of the Lightning for nearly a decade and a half as the undrafted, small right wing who built a Hall of Fame resume. Now he has to go up against his former team and teammates for the right to play in the Stanley Cup Final.

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Quote of the Day

That's the biggest goal I've ever scored. It's a great feeling any time you do that, especially at home. We're one game away from a Stanley Cup berth. It was a huge goal and it felt unbelievable.

— Anaheim forward Matt Beleskey on scoring the overtime winner Monday to give the Ducks a 3-2 series lead against the Blackhawks