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Round 3
Stanley Cup Final
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Features

Starting time set for Blues-Wild Game 6

Friday, 04.24.2015 / 10:26 PM / Blues vs Wild - 2015 SCP First Round

NEW YORK – The National Hockey League today announced that the starting time of Game 6 of the series between the St. Louis Blues and Minnesota Wild has been set for 3 p.m. ET/2 p.m. CT in Minnesota on Sunday, April 26.

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Blues scratch forward Lehtera for Game 5 vs. Wild

Friday, 04.24.2015 / 9:31 PM / Blues vs Wild - 2015 SCP First Round

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- St. Louis Blues center Jori Lehtera was scratched for Game 5 of the Western Conference First Round against the Minnesota Wild on Friday.

Lehtera did not participate in the morning skate because of a lower-body injury that he sustained midway through the third period of Game 4 on Wednesday. He was hit on the right leg with a power-play shot by teammate Jay Bouwmeester and didn't return.

Marcel Goc took Lehtera's spot in the lineup after being a healthy scratch Wednesday. Paul Stastny moved up and centered a line with Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Tarasenko, and Goc played between Dmitrij Jaskin and Patrik Berglund.

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Perfectionist Miller just wants to help Canucks

Friday, 04.24.2015 / 7:25 PM / Canucks vs Flames - 2015 SCP First Round

Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- Ryan Miller has always been a perfectionist.

The Vancouver Canucks goaltender will spend hours fidgeting with every aspect of his equipment, even driving an hour out of his way after a recent Stanley Cup Playoff practice to visit a hockey store in search of new options. The same thing goes for his game and style tweaks made in his first season with Canucks goaltending coach Roland Melanson.

Miller is meticulous in his preparation, but it wasn't possible for him to take his usual approach given he was a late entry into an emotionally charged Western Conference First Round series against the Calgary Flames.

Coming off a right-knee injury that kept him out most of two months, Miller came on in relief of Eddie Lack in Game 4 on Tuesday, and then made his first playoff start with the Canucks on Thursday with Vancouver down 3-1 in the best-of-7 series. Forget no margin for error -- Miller had little of the timing and rhythm his game has relied on for so long. His knee wasn't even 100 percent.

For an admitted perfectionist, it was far from ideal.

"Oh yeah, I felt that," Miller said. "It's an odd situation for me not to have the flow and timing. You generally get this deep into the season and you have a lot of games under your belt. I am just trying to take the approach it's all about the mentality at this point. It's not about timing. It's not about the physical side of things. It's all about mentally: Can I get into the fight, and how long can I stay there?"

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Dubnyk, Price, Rinne voted Vezina Trophy finalists

Friday, 04.24.2015 / 7:00 PM / 2015 NHL Awards

NHL.com

NEW YORK -- Devan Dubnyk of the Minnesota Wild, Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens and Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators are the three finalists for the 2014-15 Vezina Trophy, which is awarded "to the goalkeeper adjudged to be the best at his position," the National Hockey League announced today.

The general managers of the 30 NHL clubs submitted ballots for the Vezina Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winner will be announced Wednesday, June 24, during the 2015 NHL Awards from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

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Lightning forward Johnson knows how to win

Friday, 04.24.2015 / 6:51 PM / Lightning vs Red Wings - 2015 SCP First Round

Corey Long - NHL.com Correspondent

BRANDON, Fla. -- Tampa Bay Lightning forward Tyler Johnson said he got a few more text messages after his game Thursday, and the plane ride back to Tampa was a little nicer.

Otherwise there wasn't much that changed for the second-year player who scored two goals, including the game-winner 2:25 into overtime, to give Tampa Bay a 3-2 win against the Detroit Red Wings in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference First Round and save the Lightning from being on the brink of elimination.

The best-of-7 series is tied 2-2 with Game 5 at Amalie Arena on Saturday (6 p.m. ET; CBC, TVA Sports, NBCSN, FS-D, FS-F).

"I don't think I did anything out of the ordinary," Johnson said Friday. "We knew that we had to continue to work and if we could get one past [Red Wings goalie Petr] Mrazek we would have a chance."

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Blackhawks to start Darling in Game 6 vs. Predators

Friday, 04.24.2015 / 6:16 PM / Predators vs Blackhawks - 2015 SCP First Round

NHL.com

CHICAGO -- Goalie Scott Darling will start for the Chicago Blackhawks against the Nashville Predators in Game 6 of the Western Conference First Round at United Center on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVA Sports 2).

Darling allowed three of Nashville's four third-period goals and lost Game 5 at Bridgestone Arena on Thursday. The 5-2 loss cut the Blackhawks' lead to 3-2 in the best-of-7 series.

Darling took over the starting role after a similar performance in Game 2 by Corey Crawford, but Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said he isn't ready to switch back.

"He's played well in this series," Quenneville said of Darling, who has a 1.67 goals-against average and .950 save percentage. "You could look at the four games he's been in, he's been solid. [We're] very happy with the way he's played, so he's going [Saturday]."

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Jets know there's work ahead to get deep in playoffs

Friday, 04.24.2015 / 5:47 PM / Ducks vs Jets - 2015 SCP First Round

Patrick Williams - NHL.com Correspondent

WINNIPEG -- The Winnipeg Jets made significant progress in the 2014-15 regular season, but their quick exit from the Stanley Cup Playoffs provided a blunt reminder of how far they still have to go.

The Jets set a franchise record with 99 points, experienced a stretch drive to the playoffs and had several young players blossom, but the Anaheim Ducks swept them in their Western Conference First Round best-of-7 series. It was the first playoff appearance for the franchise since 2007, when it was known as the Atlanta Thrashers.

The most pressing issue for the Jets this offseason will be potential roster turnover. Forwards Michael Frolik, Drew Stafford, Lee Stempniak and Jiri Tlusty each can become an unrestricted free agent July 1.

"The organization was great for me, and I love it here," Frolik said Friday, when Jets players, coach Paul Maurice and general manager Tim Cheveldayoff met with the media. "We've got a great thing going, and I would like to be back, for sure."

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Lightning's Cooper a fan of Red Wings' Abdelkader

Friday, 04.24.2015 / 2:54 PM / Lightning vs Red Wings - 2015 SCP First Round

Paul Harris - NHL.com Correspondent

DETROIT -- Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper goes way back with Detroit Red Wings left wing Justin Abdelkader.

When Abdelkader was playing high school hockey in his hometown, Muskegon, Mich., with Mona Shores High School, Cooper was the coach at Lansing Catholic Central High School. The schools played each other because both are located in west Michigan.

So it isn't a real surprise to Cooper that Abdelkader, 28, has developed into an impact NHL power forward.

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Time set for potential Canadiens-Senators Game 6

Friday, 04.24.2015 / 2:48 PM / Canadiens vs Senators - 2015 SCP First Round

NHL Public Relations

NEW YORK – The National Hockey League today announced that the starting time of the potential Game 6 of the series between the Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators, if necessary, has been set for 6 p.m. ET in Ottawa on Sunday, April 26.

In Canada, the game would be televised on CBC and TVA Sports. In the U.S., the game would be televised on NBCSN.

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Johnson goals critical as Lightning pull even in series

Friday, 04.24.2015 / 11:56 AM / "Obvious Choice" Moments

NHL.com

Trailing the Detroit Red Wings 2-0 in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference First Round series, Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper knew his team needed a spark of some kind.

Enter center Tyler Johnson.

Johnson set up the tying goal and scored his second of the game in overtime as the Lightning rallied for a 3-2 victory that evened the best-of-7 series 2-2.

Johnson got the Lightning started with a 4-on-4 goal with 5:26 left in regulation that cut the deficit to 2-1. He took a pass from Anton Stralman in the neutral zone and, taking advantage of the open ice, raced past Red Wings forward Darren Helm down the left-wing boards, cut to the net and lifted a quick wrist shot from in close under the crossbar and past Red Wings goalie Petr Mrazek.

"As soon as we got that first one we grew a couple inches on the bench," Cooper said. "It was like a weight off our shoulders. And clearly the game changed at that moment when we scored that goal. You could tell our guys had a fire in them that was not going to be put out."

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Quote of the Day

Sick. I said a couple of bad words in Russian, but I said, 'Sick.'

— Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov on Alex Ovechkin's highlight-reel goal in Game 2 against Rangers on Saturday