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(Page 133 of 161)
Features

Blues' Schwartz a disrupting force for opponents

Friday, 04.18.2014 / 11:57 AM / Blues vs Blackhawks - 2014 SCP First Round

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

ST. LOUIS -- Chicago Blackhawks center Marcus Kruger might have had time in the neutral zone to turn and go up the left-wing wall had St. Louis Blues forward Jaden Schwartz not been closing so quickly. He was, and in a flash Schwartz stripped puck from Kruger and took it into the attacking zone, leading to the game-tying goal Thursday in the first period of their Stanley Cup Playoffs opener.

Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson could have had some space to collect the puck and make a move out of the corner in Chicago's defensive zone had Schwartz not been pinching hard up the wall. Again, he was, and that quick decision created the turnover that led to Schwartz's game-tying goal late with 1:45 left in the third period.

"Fall asleep, he's going to catch you every time," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said of Schwartz. "He did it five or six times again [Thursday night]."

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Kings pay big price for slow start in Game 1

Friday, 04.18.2014 / 2:42 AM / Sharks vs Kings - 2014 SCP First Round

Eric Gilmore - NHL.com Correspondent

SAN JOSE -- The Los Angeles Kings gave up 10 goals in seven games last season in their second-round victory against the San Jose Sharks in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They gave up half that many in the first 36:29 Thursday night in a 6-3 loss to the Sharks in Game 1 of their Western Conference First Round series.

San Jose jumped to a 3-0 lead in the first period on goals by Joe Thornton, Tomas Hertl and Patrick Marleau. The Sharks made it 5-0 in the second period when Raffi Torres and Marc-Edouard Vlasic scored.

What went so wrong for a Kings team that allowed just 2.05 goals per game during the regular season, the fewest in the NHL?

"I think we weren't ready to start," Kings captain Dustin Brown said. "Sloppy play. Turnovers. Bad changes. Odd-man rushes. We probably gave up more odd-man rushes in the first period than we have in the past I don't know [how many games]. When you give a team like that opportunities on the odd-man they're going to make you pay, and that's what they did. It was more of the same in the second."

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Blues' Miller snaps out of slump in Game 1

Friday, 04.18.2014 / 2:25 AM / Blues vs Blackhawks - 2014 SCP First Round

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- When Patrick Kane's shot went through Ryan Miller's pads for the Chicago Blackhawks' third goal of the first period against the St. Louis Blues in Game 1 of their Western Conference First Round series on Thursday night, it was a rude reminder of what the Blues' goalie had been going through the past couple weeks.

Miller was 0-5-0 with a 3.82 goals-against average and a save percentage of .856 in his final five starts in the regular season. Those were not exactly the kind of numbers the Blues were looking for.

Kane's goal came on Chicago's seventh shot of the game and gave the Blackhawks a 3-2 lead.

But Miller was flawless for the rest of the game. Enough was enough. He stopped Chicago's final 35 shots, including some dandy saves along the way, and helped the Blues to a 4-3 triple-overtime victory.

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Rangers' fourth line shuts down Flyers' Giroux

Thursday, 04.17.2014 / 11:18 PM / Rangers vs Flyers - 2014 SCP First Round

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- The New York Rangers knew entering Game 1 of their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Philadelphia Flyers that slowing down Claude Giroux would be critical. In their 4-1 win against the Flyers on Thursday at Madison Square Garden, the Rangers did more than slow down Philadelphia's captain and leading scorer; they stopped him in his tracks.

New York gave the NHL's third-leading scorer absolutely nothing, rendering him a non-factor in a game that saw him collect more penalties than shots. It marked the second time all season that Giroux was held shotless and pointless. His linemates didn't fare much better, thanks in large part to the Rangers' fourth forward line.

"We didn't support each other as well as we wanted to," Giroux said of his line's play. "We did a lot of good things, but we did a lot of wrong things too. We're going to look into it and be ready for Game 2."


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Three keys for Lightning and Canadiens in Game 2

Thursday, 04.17.2014 / 7:37 PM / Lightning vs Canadiens - 2014 SCP First Round

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

TAMPA -- One of the biggest reasons NHL teams rely so much on video is that it unmasks all bias. What you see on video is what you get, and Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper did not like what he saw.

Cooper walked into his postgame press conference after his Lightning lost 5-4 in overtime to the Montreal Canadiens in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference First Round series on Wednesday and said he felt his team didn't play that badly. In spite of the Lightning being outshot 44-25, Cooper wondered if the disparity in scoring chances was anywhere near as dramatic, guessing it wasn't.

Cooper walked into his press conference after practice Thursday and had an entirely different view of the game. He explained that sometimes he can feel his team played poorly during a loss but afterwards on video he'll see a lot of the positives that he missed live come to light.

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McCarthy: Lightning must solve Canadiens' forecheck

Thursday, 04.17.2014 / 6:52 PM / Lightning vs Canadiens - 2014 SCP First Round

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

TAMPA -- The Tampa Bay Lightning had an enormous amount of trouble getting out of their own zone cleanly in the 5-4 overtime loss in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference First Round Series against the Montreal Canadiens.

If they want to tie the series in Game 2 on Friday, longtime NHL assistant coach Kevin McCarthy believes the Lightning will need to find a way overcome what he felt was a tremendous Canadiens forecheck in Game 1.

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Goaltender matchup: Inside Howard vs. Rask

Thursday, 04.17.2014 / 6:02 PM / Bruins vs Red Wings - 2014 SCP First Round

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

Goaltending plays an integral part in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. With the competition intense and often so even, the men protecting each goal often are the difference in a series. NHL.com decided to break down perhaps the most interesting goaltending matchup in the Eastern Conference First Round: Jimmy Howard of the Detroit Red Wings vs. Tuukka Rask of the Boston Bruins.

Much 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 this matchup this season and came to some interesting conclusions about their strengths and weaknesses.

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Puck management focal point of Kings-Sharks series

Thursday, 04.17.2014 / 5:16 PM / Sharks vs Kings - 2014 SCP First Round

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

SAN JOSE -- Los Angeles Kings coach Darryl Sutter said there are a lot of similarities between his team and the San Jose Sharks.

One of those similarities is their desire, and ability, to possess the puck. This Western Conference First Round series in the Stanley Cup Playoffs is a dream matchup for fans of hockey analytics, and specifically the advanced puck possession statistics that are becoming more popular within the sport.

Whether it is Corsi, Fenwick or simply shots on goal, the Sharks and Kings are among the NHL leaders in all of them and in every even-strength situation.

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Ramsay: Blues need to start fast against Blackhawks

Thursday, 04.17.2014 / 12:43 PM / Blues vs Blackhawks - 2014 SCP First Round

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

For additional insight into the Stanley Cup Playoff series between the St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks, NHL.com has enlisted the help of former NHL coach Craig Ramsay to break down the action. Ramsay will be checking in throughout the series.

Ramsay played in more than 1,000 NHL games with the Buffalo Sabres before going on to coach the Sabres, Philadelphia Flyers and Atlanta Thrashers. In the 2000 Stanley Cup Playoffs, he led the Flyers to the seventh game of the Eastern Conference Final. Ramsay was most recently an assistant coach with the Florida Panthers.

ST. LOUIS -- If the St. Louis Blues are going to forget about their season-ending six-game losing streak and start strong against the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 1 of their Western Conference First Round series Thursday (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS2, CSN-CH, FS-MW), Craig Ramsay said it has to start with the opening faceoff, literally.

Ramsay said the Blues need to get the puck early, get it deep, and get their cycle game going to gain confidence against Chicago.

"It's not just the centerman; it's the two wingers too," Ramsay told NHL.com. "Everyone [on St. Louis] is trying to win the first faceoff so they can get the puck and get it into the Chicago end. If they can do that, one of the things St. Louis is capable of doing very well is running cycles. They can get the puck in deep and they can keep it, and that's what they have to do against Chicago, make them go backwards and make them chase them around in the offensive zone.

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Murphy: Goaltending could make the difference

Thursday, 04.17.2014 / 12:29 PM / Rangers vs Flyers - 2014 SCP First Round

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

For additional insight into the Stanley Cup Playoff series between the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers, NHL.com has enlisted the help of former NHL assistant coach Gord Murphy to break down the action. Murphy will be checking in throughout the series.

Murphy enjoyed a 14-season career as an NHL defenseman before spending seven seasons as an assistant coach with the Columbus Blue Jackets and most recently serving as an assistant coach with the Florida Panthers.

For Gord Murphy, the difference in the Eastern Conference First Round series between the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers, which starts Thursday (7 p.m. ET, CNBC, TSN, RDS, CSN-PH, MSG), is goaltending, and how the Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist will be the biggest difference-maker.

"I can see it going seven games, and with New York's home-ice advantage and Lundqvist, that is the deciding factor," Murphy told NHL.com.

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Quote of the Day

There was a lot of talk off the ice. From a player's standpoint, that's not the talk in the room. GMs make decisions, coaches make decisions, but as a team you have to come together and be ready to go, and we are.

— San Jose Sharks forward Tommy Wingels on his team's approach entering training camp