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(Page 110 of 162)
Features

Assertiveness makes Johansson Capitals' X-factor

Wednesday, 04.29.2015 / 4:45 PM / X-Factor

Katie Brown - NHL.com Correspondent

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz gave a simple piece of advice to forward Marcus Johansson: Shoot the puck more.

It worked. Johansson set NHL career highs in goals (20) and points (47) this season.

"I've always kind of been a pass-first guy, but I think shooting more, that creates more room for myself," Johansson said. "It's been fun. Scoring is fun and I don't mind doing it."

Coming off last season season when he scored eight goals, two at even strength, Johansson was frustrated, but Trotz, in his first season with Washington, knew he could help.

"One of the things I thought with Marcus is he needed to shoot more," Trotz said. "I thought Marcus had more to give in his game. He's a tremendously talented, very, very bright player."

Matchups make Vanek Wild's X-factor vs. Blackhawks

Wednesday, 04.29.2015 / 3:54 PM / Blackhawks vs Wild - 2015 SCP Second Round

Dan Myers - NHL.com Correspondent

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Wild and Chicago Blackhawks are not strangers when it comes to Stanley Cup Playoff hockey.

Wild forward Thomas Vanek, however, is new to the matchup, and could be a difference-maker.

For the third consecutive season, the Central Division rivals will play in the postseason, this time in the Western Conference Second Round for the second consecutive year.

Game 1 is Friday at United Center in Chicago (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports).

Blues players, management bracing for change

Wednesday, 04.29.2015 / 3:51 PM / NHL Insider

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

HAZELWOOD, Mo. -- It's a question the St. Louis Blues were hoping to avoid after past Stanley Cup Playoff failures but one that became unavoidable following another defeat in the Western Conference First Round.

What's next?

That's the lingering question the Blues can't seem to shake following a third straight defeat in the first round, this one against the Minnesota Wild, who will face the Chicago Blackhawks in the second round.

According to players, they expect personnel change, which made saying goodbye tougher.

"More saying goodbye to everybody when you know that there's guys that won't be here next year in the locker room," defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk said. "You just kind of have to deal with that harsh reality that things are going to change. It's never easy to really to deal with that."

Canadiens' Beaulieu out at least next four games

Wednesday, 04.29.2015 / 3:33 PM / Canadiens vs Lightning - 2015 SCP Second Round

Sean Farrell - NHL.com Correspondent

BROSSARD, Quebec -- Montreal Canadiens defenseman Nathan Beaulieu will miss at least the first four games of their Eastern Conference Second Round series.

Montreal general manager Marc Bergevin made the announcement after practice Wednesday as the Canadiens prepare for Game 1 on Friday, when they will host the winner of first-round series between the Detroit Red Wings and the Tampa Bay Lightning. Game 7 of that series is Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET; CBC, NBCSN, TVA Sports 2, FS-D, SUN).

Beaulieu missed the final three games of Montreal's six-game first round win against the Ottawa Senators because of an upper-body injury sustained in the second period of Game 3.

Leddy, Boychuk, Halak find stability with Islanders

Wednesday, 04.29.2015 / 2:47 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The New York Islanders' three most important acquisitions last offseason, defensemen Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuk and goaltender Jaroslav Halak, cleaned out their lockers Wednesday at Nassau Coliseum, still numb from the 2-1 loss to the Washington Capitals in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference First Round two days earlier.

After the Islanders failed to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season, Leddy, Boychuk and Halak sparked a resurgence that led to 47 regular-season wins and a third-place finish in the Metropolitan Division.

The three will be integral pieces moving forward. Halak has three years remaining on the contract he signed last May. Leddy and Boychuk, acquired in trades one week before the season started, each signed a seven-year contract to remain in New York.

Islanders' Lee looking ahead, not back at ending

Wednesday, 04.29.2015 / 1:13 PM / NHL Insider

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Anders Lee may have been a rookie, but the New York Islanders left wing played a major role this season for a team that had 101 points and finished third in the Metropolitan Division.

Yet with New York's season on the line in Games 6 and 7 of the Eastern Conference First Round against the Washington Capitals, Lee, who scored 25 goals during the regular season, was a healthy scratch.

The Islanders survived Game 6 with a 3-1 win at Nassau Coliseum but had 11 shots on goal in a 2-1 loss at Verizon Center in Game 7 on Monday. It was a helpless feeling for Lee, who watched his teammates fail to generate any offense in their biggest game of the season.

"I can't really explain it," Lee said Wednesday at the Coliseum, where the Islanders were cleaning out their lockers permanently as they prepare for their move to Barclays Center in Brooklyn next season. "It's really hard."

Goaltender Matchup: Inside Hiller vs. Andersen

Wednesday, 04.29.2015 / 11:11 AM / Ducks vs Flames - 2015 SCP Second Round

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

Goaltending plays an integral part in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. NHL.com decided to break down a compelling matchup in the Western Conference Second Round, which starts Thursday when the Calgary Flames visit the Anaheim Ducks (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports): Jonas Hiller against Frederik Andersen, one of the young goaltenders who made Hiller expendable to the Ducks after last season.

Like many goaltending coaches will do before a playoff series, NHL.com correspondent Kevin Woodley, the managing editor of InGoal Magazine, charted every goal scored against each goalie in the regular season with the help of a program from Double Blue Sport Analytics. The graphics showing where goals went in and shots were taken from on the ice are nice, but the real value is tracking and analyzing the types of plays that led to them and whether they reveal strengths, weaknesses and tendencies that can be targeted.

Wings' Kronwall suspended one game for charging

Tuesday, 04.28.2015 / 6:37 PM / Department of Player Safety News

NHL.com

NEW YORK -- Detroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall has been suspended one game for charging Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov during Game Six of the teams' First Round Eastern Conference series in Detroit on Monday, April 27, the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety announced today.

The incident occurred at 18:55 of the second period.

Moved to top line, St. Louis is Rangers' X-factor

Tuesday, 04.28.2015 / 4:50 PM / X-Factor

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- It's not new to see New York Rangers right wing Martin St. Louis stay on the ice after practice longer than any of his teammates, as he did Monday and Tuesday. He's built a potential Hall of Fame resume by constantly working on his game, shooting puck after puck after puck to hone his best skill.

This week, though, St. Louis has taken a single-minded approach to the extra work he's putting in before and after practice in preparation for the Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Washington Capitals, which begins Thursday at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

Bolts, Wings cap first round with Game 7 showdown

Tuesday, 04.28.2015 / 4:13 PM / Lightning vs Red Wings - 2015 SCP First Round

NHL Public Relations

NEW YORK -- The First Round of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs reaches a dramatic conclusion Wednesday when the Tampa Bay Lightning and Detroit Red Wings contest Game 7 in their series finale (7:30 p.m., ET, NBCSN, CBC, TVA2). The Lightning will be competing in the fifth Game 7 in franchise history and first since 2011, while the Red Wings will be playing their 25th such game and seventh since 2009.

The winner of Wednesday's game will face the Atlantic Division champion Montreal Canadiens in the Second Round.

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Quote of the Day

I spent a long summer thinking about that playoff series and what could have been. [The Blackhawks] ended up being the Stanley Cup champions, so we know we lost to a very good team. It's tough to know how close we were, and it motivates us for this year.

— Nashville captain Shea Weber in an interview with the Predators website
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