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Chabot: Flames' goalie change forced teams to adjust

Monday, 05.04.2015 / 8:36 PM / Ducks vs Flames - 2015 SCP Second Round

Evan Sporer - Staff Writer

For additional insight into the Western Conference Second Round series between the Anaheim Ducks and Calgary Flames, has enlisted the help of Frederic Chabot to break down the action. Chabot will be checking in throughout the series.

Chabot was the goaltending coach for the Edmonton Oilers from 2009 to 2014. He played in the NHL for five seasons, spending time with the Montreal Canadiens, Philadelphia Flyers and the Los Angeles Kings.

With the Calgary Flames looking to swing momentum in their favor, coach Bob Hartley elected to start goalie Karri Ramo in Game 2 of their Western Conference Second Round series against the Anaheim Ducks.

With Ramo, who plays a much more aggressive style than Game 1 starter Jonas Hiller, the Ducks had to make an adjustment. But so did the Flames, according to Frederic Chabot.

"It's not really easy to do, when you have two goalies of very different styles it's tougher to make an adjustment and it showed early in the game" Chabot said. "With Ramo Calgary has to protect his back side. He's pretty good on the shooter, but he will challenge open chances more than the average guy, so they have to make sure they try to eliminate weak-side chances."

New GM Shero recognizes Devils need more offense

Monday, 05.04.2015 / 7:30 PM / NHL Insider

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

New general manager Ray Shero has every intention of making the New Jersey Devils the perennial Stanley Cup contenders they were for so long under Lou Lamoriello.

He plans to get there by adding more firepower.

"[Creating more offense] is going to be a goal," Shero said Monday after he was named to his position. "We would like to augment our defense with a little more offense."

Shero, who was GM of the Pittsburgh Penguins for eight seasons before he was fired last May, realizes there's work to be done in New Jersey. The Devils have failed to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs the past three seasons.

One of Shero's top priorities will be to hire a coach.

Messier Leadership finalists: Getzlaf, Ladd, Toews

Monday, 05.04.2015 / 7:00 PM / 2015 NHL Awards

NEW YORK -- Forwards Ryan Getzlaf of the Anaheim Ducks, Andrew Ladd of the Winnipeg Jets and Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks are the three finalists for the 2014-15 Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award presented by Bridgestone, which is awarded "to the player who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice, during the regular season," the National Hockey League announced today.

Mark Messier solicits suggestions from club and League personnel as well as NHL fans to compile a list of potential candidates for the award. However, the selection of the three finalists and ultimate winner is Messier's alone. The winner will be announced Wednesday, June 24, during the 2015 NHL Awards from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Flames forward Bennett not playing like rookie

Monday, 05.04.2015 / 6:45 PM / Ducks vs Flames - 2015 SCP Second Round

Aaron Vickers - Correspondent

CALGARY -- The Calgary Flames aren't hesitating to play rookie Sam Bennett in Game 3 of the best-of-7 Western Conference Second Round series at home against the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday (9:30 p.m. ET; USA, SN, TVA Sports), his 10th game of the season, despite his contract status.

"Contacts don't matter to us," Flames coach Bob Hartley said Monday. "We're a pro organization, a very classy organization, and never have I had a conversation with [general manager] Brad Treliving or [president of hockey operations] Brian Burke about the contract of Sam Bennett. They always allow me to play the players that we feel will help us win.

"Sam Bennett will be in the lineup [Tuesday]."

The NHL's Collective Bargaining Agreement allows for nine games from the start of the regular season during which a player on his entry-level contract can be evaluated. A 10th game burns the first season of the three-year entry-level contract.

Lightning brush off idea they have Canadiens number

Monday, 05.04.2015 / 5:10 PM / Canadiens vs Lightning - 2015 SCP Second Round

Corey Long - Correspondent

The Tampa Bay Lightning may be in control of the Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Montreal Canadiens, but don't tell them that.

Despite winning their past seven games against Montreal and earning a decisive 6-2 win in Game 2 on Sunday, members of the Lightning are quick to say the best-of-7 series isn't over.

And as the series shifts to Amalie Arena for Game 3 on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET: USA, CBC, TVA Sports), forward Brian Boyle isn't willing to say that the Lightning have the Canadiens number.

"I wouldn't say that, I think we set out to win Game 1 we did that," Boyle said Monday. "Then we had an opportunity to leave Montreal up 2-0 and we had a couple of power-play opportunities that we took advantage of. As the series goes on we've got to expect they are going to up the ante a little bit and we have to match that."

Analysis: Elite talent, skill keep Blackhawks rolling

Monday, 05.04.2015 / 4:44 PM / Blackhawks vs Wild - 2015 SCP Second Round

Corey Masisak - Staff Writer

CHICAGO -- Someday the top players on the Chicago Blackhawks will reach an inevitable point on the aging curve.

They will slow down and not be as productive. Time will win, even if Marian Hossa is trying to refute that suggestion. It is also possible the core of the Blackhawks will be broken up, or at least altered, because of the salary cap.

For now, the Blackhawks remain the most talented team in the NHL. The Minnesota Wild played pretty well in Game 1 of this Western Conference Second Round series and less so in Game 2, but the talent and skill of the Blackhawks was obvious.

"They have that killer instinct," Wild defenseman Ryan Suter said. "Their top players know how to score. I made a mistake on that first [goal Sunday] and it's in the back of the net."

Invigorated Jagr powering Czech Republic at Worlds

Monday, 05.04.2015 / 4:40 PM / 2015 IIHF World Championship

Michael Langr - Correspondent

PRAGUE -- Nine weeks ago, Jaromir Jagr looked like a second-rate forward of an average NHL team. He played on the third line of the New Jersey Devils, went scoreless for eight games in a row and seemed to lose his motivation on the ice.

Nowadays, the Florida Panthers veteran is proving he's still one of the biggest stars on the world stage. The star wing scored a goal in each of his first two appearances for the Czech Republic at the 2015 IIHF World Championship in Prague, looking in top form.

In the first two games against Sweden and Latvia, Jagr was one of the best players on the ice. There were moments when he skated past defensemen who were 20 years younger. He created a lot of chances for himself and his teammates, including a highlight-reel run where he split three Swedish players only to be stopped by goaltender Jhonas Enroth.

Perry enjoying playoff success for Ducks

Monday, 05.04.2015 / 4:33 PM / Ducks vs Flames - 2015 SCP Second Round

Curtis Zupke - Correspondent

ANAHEIM -- The memories of past Stanley Cup Playoffs disappointments are still fresh in Corey Perry's head.

The Anaheim Ducks forward took a lot of criticism for his scoreless Western Conference Quarterfinals series against the Detroit Red Wings in 2013, and again when he had two goals in a second round loss to the Los Angeles Kings last season.

But Perry's start to this postseason is 180 degrees from those seven-game nightmares.

"Confidence wise, you don't hear the other side of it," Perry said after practice Monday. "It doesn't weigh on you, as much as you know you say it doesn't, but it definitely does. You start to feel that pressure. That's why I'm here. I have to produce. I have to do the right things."

Perry leads the playoffs with 13 points in six games heading into Game 3 of the best-of-7 second round series at the Calgary Flames on Tuesday (9:30 p.m. ET; USA, SN, TVA Sports). Anaheim leads the series, 2-0.

Lightning power play scores four goals in Game 2 win

Monday, 05.04.2015 / 12:02 PM / "Obvious Choice" Moments

To Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper, seeing his power play explode for four goals on four shots Sunday in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Second Round against the Montreal Canadiens was a cure for indigestion.

Tampa Bay entered the game 2-for-34 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with the man-advantage and 0-for-16 on the road before going 4-for-8 in their 6-2 win against the Canadiens at Bell Centre. Captain Steven Stamkos also scored his first goal of the playoffs to power the Lightning, who head home for Game 3 (7 p.m. ET; USA, CBC, TVA Sports) on Wednesday leading the best-of-7 series 2-0.

"I don't know if it was more relief for me that [Stamkos] scored or the power play scored," Cooper said. "It was a whole compilation of Alka Seltzer."

Noel: Wild must neutralize Blackhawks star players

Monday, 05.04.2015 / 10:22 AM / Blackhawks vs Wild - 2015 SCP Second Round

Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer

For additional insight into the Western Conference Second Round series between the Chicago Blackhawks and Minnesota Wild, 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 star players for the Chicago Blackhawks certainly rose to the occasion in the clutch during Game 2 of the Western Conference Second Round series against the Minnesota Wild on Sunday at United Center in Chicago.

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