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Blues sloppy with puck in Game 3 loss to Wild

Tuesday, 04.21.2015 / 12:30 AM / Blues vs Wild - 2015 SCP First Round

Louie Korac - Correspondent

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The St. Louis Blues said they understood what they would be facing against the Minnesota Wild in their Western Conference First Round series.

But after the Wild won Game 3 on Monday to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 series, the Blues face a virtual must-win situation in Game 4 on Wednesday (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN360, TVA Sports 3, FS-MW, FS-N).

The Wild's speed game has given the Blues fits throughout this series. It again played a role Monday in Minnesota's 3-0 victory in front of 19,165 boisterous fans at Xcel Energy Center.

The Blues had no answer for wave after wave of speed and checking that the Wild threw at them.

"They played a good game from the start," St. Louis defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk said. "We were slow from the start, and they just stayed on top of us the whole game."

Slow start dooms Penguins again in Game 3

Monday, 04.20.2015 / 11:01 PM / Rangers vs Penguins - 2015 SCP First Round

Wes Crosby - Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins had a sluggish start again on Monday, and the New York Rangers took advantage for a 2-1 win in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference First Round at Consol Energy Center.

Unlike in Game 1 of their best-of-7 series, the Penguins did not respond well from a porous first period to pull within one goal in the second and earn a puncher's chance to steal a win with ample time to spare. Unlike in Game 2, they did not respond from another lackluster first to control the majority of the final 40 minutes to earn an eye-opening win.

In Game 3, Pittsburgh started slow again. By the time it got going, it was too late.

"Tonight, I think, what we talked about before, sometimes at home, you get the energy and you try to do things and you try to force," Penguins coach Mike Johnston said. "I thought we forced a lot of plays in the first period. And really, we can't do that. We have to make sure we have better shot selection, get more pucks to the net. That's what's going to create the loose puck intensity."

The Penguins weren't drastically outplayed in the first period, because neither team played particularly well. The Rangers scored the period's lone goal when Keith Yandle sent Carl Hagelin on a breakaway, and Pittsburgh was caught during a botched line change.

Commissioner Bettman thrilled for Jets, Winnipeg

Monday, 04.20.2015 / 9:31 PM / Ducks vs Jets - 2015 SCP First Round

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor

WINNIPEG -- As NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman made his tour of the League during the first week of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, there was one question he says he heard more often than any other: Would he be in Winnipeg on Monday?

Commissioner Bettman was indeed at MTS Centre to witness Game 3 of the Western Conference First Round series between the Winnipeg Jets and the Anaheim Ducks, marking the return of NHL playoff hockey to the city after a 19-year absence.

"I'm here just to witness what I think will be a wonderful, emotional and exciting evening," Commissioner Bettman said about 90 minutes prior to puck drop. "I know that this has been a night that was 19 years in the making and you can feel the energy in the city. It's palpable."

Flames' Ferland enjoys success one year into sobriety

Monday, 04.20.2015 / 8:49 PM / Canucks vs Flames - 2015 SCP First Round

Aaron Vickers - Correspondent

CALGARY -- Thunderous checks, and plenty of them, have forward Michael Ferland gaining plenty of attention.
But there's something more important that he'd like to be known for: sobriety.
Ferland, who turned 23 on Monday, has been sober for nearly 13 months.
"I think about that every day," Ferland said. "A year ago today, I was in rehab. I didn't think I would be playing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs right now."
It's not hard to imagine a different, darker path for Ferland.

Senators don't have to look very far for inspiration

Monday, 04.20.2015 / 6:23 PM / Canadiens vs Senators - 2015 SCP First Round

Chris Stevenson - Correspondent

OTTAWA -- The Ottawa Senators can draw inspiration from a number of places as they try to become the third team in six years, and the fifth in NHL history, to come back from a 3-0 deficit in a best-of-7 Stanley Cup Playoff series.

The Senators, who face elimination Wednesday against the Montreal Canadiens in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference First Round series at Canadian Tire Centre (7 p.m. ET; USA, CBC, TVA Sports), can begin that search in their own backyard.

On Feb. 10, Ottawa was 14 points out of a postseason position, meaning it practically had to win out over the last two months of the regular season to make the playoffs. The Senators went 23-4-4 and earned the first wild card.

"The games when our backs were against the wall and we had to win, we won. You can take that as a positive," Senators forward Clarke MacArthur said Monday.

Canadiens using two-day break to their advantage

Monday, 04.20.2015 / 5:42 PM / Canadiens vs Senators - 2015 SCP First Round

Sean Farrell - Correspondent

The Montreal Canadiens are resting, relaxing and reloading to deliver what they hope will be a final knockout blow against the Ottawa Senators in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference First Round on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; USA, CBC, TVA Sports).

The Canadiens headed north of Ottawa to the resort destination of Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, after taking a 3-0 lead Sunday with a 2-1 overtime win against the Senators at Canadian Tire Centre.

Montreal won the first two games at Bell Centre and will look to open the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a four-game sweep for a second year in a row with a win in Ottawa in Game 4.

Center Torrey Mitchell was making the most of the Canadiens' day off Monday.

"Yeah, it is really good, especially all three games have been pretty physical and rest is a weapon right now," said Mitchell, who scored Montreal's first goal in a 4-3 win in Game 1 and assisted on each of right wing Dale Weise's goals Sunday.

Crawford lending support to Game 4 starter Darling

Monday, 04.20.2015 / 4:18 PM / Predators vs Blackhawks - 2015 SCP First Round

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO – When the Chicago Blackhawks take the ice at United Center on Tuesday for Game 4 of their Western Conference First Round series against the Nashville Predators (9:30 p.m. ET: NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports 3, FS-TN, CSN-CH), rookie goalie Scott Darling will get his second straight start.

Darling, 26, earned the nod from coach Joel Quenneville with a 35-save performance in Game 3, when he played over Corey Crawford and won his first career start in the Stanley Cup Playoffs to help the Blackhawks take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 series.

"I've been working hard all year with the goalie coaches and just trying to be ready to go in case I ever got a moment like this," Darling said Monday. "Now I'm just trying to make the most of it."

Red Wings searching for more shots in Game 3

Monday, 04.20.2015 / 3:54 PM / Lightning vs Red Wings - 2015 SCP First Round

Paul Harris - Correspondent

DETROIT – No matter how well or badly the Detroit Red Wings were playing during the 2014-15 regular season, they typically outshot their opponents.

But that hasn't been the case during the first two games of their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Tampa Bay Lightning, which is tied 1-1, going into Game 3 on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports, FS-F, FS-D) at Joe Louis Arena.

Tampa Bay has outshot Detroit by a combined 76-38, mostly on the strength of a 46-14 advantage in Game 1, when the Red Wings' Petr Mrazek made 44 saves in his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut and allowed Detroit to escape with a 3-2 win.

The Lightning had a 30-24 edge Saturday in their 5-1 win.

"In Game 2, I thought we played a better game than in Game 1. I thought we spent more time in their zone, created more chances but lost even though we played better," Red Wings right wing Gustav Nyquist said. "It's a best-of-5 series right now. We can't look back. We're done with those two games."

No suspension for Vancouver's Burrows

Monday, 04.20.2015 / 3:15 PM / Department of Player Safety News

Vancouver Canucks forward Alexandre Burrows will not be suspended for Game 4 of the Western Conference First Round series against the Calgary Flames, the NHL Department of Player Safety announced. In Game 3 on Sunday, Burrows received an instigator penalty at 18:35 of the third period in an incident with defenseman Kris Russell.

Any instigator penalty in the last five minutes of a game carries an automatic suspension, subject to review by the Department of Player Safety, as outlined by Rule 46.22. The suspension can be lifted if the incident is deemed not related to the score, previous incidents in the game or prior games, retaliatory in nature, or "message sending."

Playoff game starting times set for Thursday

Monday, 04.20.2015 / 2:07 PM / 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs

NEW YORK – The National Hockey League today announced updated start time and national television information for the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round games scheduled for Thursday, April 23.

· The starting time for Game 5 of the series between the Washington Capitals and New York Islanders has been set for 7 p.m. ET in Washington, DC. In the U.S., the game will be televised on CNBC. In Canada, the game will be televised on Sportsnet and TVA Sports.

· The starting time for Game 5 of the series between the Nashville Predators and Chicago Blackhawks has been set for 9:30 p.m. ET/8:30 p.m. CT in Nashville. In the U.S., the game will be televised on NBCSN. In Canada, the game will be on SN 360 and TVA Sports.

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