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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.

Wild pay big price for key mistakes in Game 2

Monday, 05.04.2015 / 1:28 AM / Blackhawks vs Wild - 2015 SCP Second Round

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO – Everything was stacking up for the Minnesota Wild at United Center on Sunday until just past the midway point of the Chicago Blackhawks’s 4-1 win in Game 2 of the Western Conference Second Round.

Borrowing a page from the Wild’s playbook, the Blackhawks beat them at their own game to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 series, which shifts to Xcel Energy Center for the next two games. The 2-0 lead Chicago took in the second period was more of a concern after the game.

Instead of the Wild, it was the Blackhawks who played sound defense until capitalizing on a couple of key mistakes. Goals by Chicago captain Jonathan Toews at 12:28 and forward Patrick Kane at 19:40 of the second period put Minnesota in a bad spot heading into the third for the second time in as many games.

Canadiens must show they can handle adversity

Monday, 05.04.2015 / 12:02 AM / Canadiens vs Lightning - 2015 SCP Second Round

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

MONTREAL – The Montreal Canadiens like to say they have dealt with adversity all season. Every team likes to say it.

But the truth is the Canadiens have not faced any adversity this season. None at all.

They never lost more than three consecutive games.

They were the healthiest team in the NHL.

They were at or near the top of the League standings all season.

The Canadiens shouldn’t have to apologize for any of those things, but the circumstances of their season have not prepared them for what they face now.

Stamkos, Lightning power play break out in Game 2

Sunday, 05.03.2015 / 10:51 PM / Canadiens vs Lightning - 2015 SCP Second Round

Chris Stevenson - Correspondent

MONTREALTampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper couldn’t decide which was better on Sunday: captain Steven Stamkos ending his scoring drought or the Lightning’s power play breaking out of a slump.

It’s not a bad problem to have.

"I don’t know if it was more relief for me that [Stamkos] scored or the power play scored," Cooper said after the Lightning defeated the Montreal Canadiens 6-2 to take a 2-0 lead in Eastern Conference Second Round series at Bell Centre.

"It was a whole compilation of Alka Seltzer."

Flames scratch Ferland, Shore for Game 2 vs. Ducks

Sunday, 05.03.2015 / 10:12 PM / Ducks vs Flames - 2015 SCP Second Round

Curtis Zupke - Correspondent

ANAHEIM -- Calgary Flames left wing Micheal Ferland and right wing Drew Shore were scratched for Game 2 of the Western Conference Second Round against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center on Sunday.

Ferland skated in the morning and said he was ready to play. Calgary coach Bob Hartley said he expected Ferland and forward Jiri Hudler to play but cautioned that "everyone" was a game-time decision.

Ferland left Game 1 when he was hit high in the first period. Hudler also sustained an undisclosed injury and missed much of Game 1 but will play.

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Yeah, it was a pretty special moment for me. Today was my Dad's [55th] birthday. I have a lot of family in town, so it was a special moment for me to score my first one today. A win definitely would have capped it off, but you can't have everything.

— Sabres rookie Jack Eichel after scoring a goal in his National Hockey League debut
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