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Features

Stars' Ryan Garbutt savoring first trip to playoffs

Tuesday, 04.22.2014 / 7:27 PM / Ducks vs Stars - 2014 SCP First Round

Steve Hunt - NHL.com Correspondent

FRISCO, Texas -- No one on the Dallas Stars is enjoying the franchise's first trip to the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2008 more than forward Ryan Garbutt. That's probably because he had to work so hard to get there.

Five years ago, Garbutt had finished his career at Brown University but was undrafted. The Winnipeg native signed with Corpus Christi of the Central Hockey League. Since then, he's gone from the CHL to the ECHL to the AHL and finally to the NHL, where he's turned into a valuable two-way forward for the Stars.


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Ducks have options on defense to replace Robidas

Tuesday, 04.22.2014 / 5:48 PM / Ducks vs Stars - 2014 SCP First Round

Steve Hunt - NHL.com Correspondent

DALLAS -- The loss of defenseman Stephane Robidas early in the second period of Game 3 of their Western Conference First Round series against the Dallas Stars on Tuesday left the Anaheim Ducks with a big void at their blue line.

Robidas is gone for the remainder of the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a broken right leg. It's the same leg he broke while playing for the Stars in November; he was traded to Anaheim in early March and the Ducks waited for him to finish healing.

But the Western Conference regular-season champions appear to have enough depth to overcome the loss of Robidas. Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau has two viable options on his roster: former Stars defenseman Mark Fistric, who was recalled from a lengthy conditioning assignment with Norfolk of the American Hockey League on Sunday, and Luca Sbisa, who was limited to 30 games in the regular season because of injury.

"Sbisa hasn't played a lot this year, but he's a proven NHL guy," Boudreau said after practice Tuesday. "Mark Fistric just finished his rehab stint and I'm glad he did because that makes him eligible. We could still call Sammy [Vatanen] back [from Norfolk]. We have options."

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Toews-Kane tandem comfortable fit for Blackhawks

Tuesday, 04.22.2014 / 5:24 PM / Blues vs Blackhawks - 2014 SCP First Round

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Playing forwards Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane together has become like pulling out a trusty, comfortable pair of slippers for Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville.

Their chemistry, developed over seven years together with the Blackhawks, allows Quenneville the freedom to tinker with his line combinations. He can seek more balance by putting them on different lines, but if that doesn't work he can always pull those slippers out anytime he wants.

"We're fortunate with the lineup that we have a lot of flexibility," Quenneville said Tuesday. "Sometimes, whether it's in a series or in games, sometimes we don't have that patience to wait around to see how it's going to work long-term."

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Ramsay: Blackhawks in good position to win series

Tuesday, 04.22.2014 / 5:16 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.

CHICAGO -- Craig Ramsay wouldn't be surprised if the Chicago Blackhawks pull even with the St. Louis Blues in Game 4 on Wednesday and go on to win the Western Conference First Round series despite losing the first two games.
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Johnson front and center in Blue Jackets' revival

Tuesday, 04.22.2014 / 4:25 PM / Penguins vs Blue Jackets - 2014 SCP First Round

Craig Merz - NHL.com Correspondent

COLUMBUS -- Defenseman Jack Johnson joined the Columbus Blue Jackets at one of the rock-bottom moments for the franchise, but instead of shying from the challenge of being part of the turnaround, he embraced it.

Monday night, before a frenzied crowd in Nationwide Arena for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference First Round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, he was rewarded for his perseverance with the Blue Jackets' first home Stanley Cup Playoff game since 2009.

Although Pittsburgh rallied for a 4-3 win to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 series, Johnson said the fans did their part with 60 minutes of non-stop energy.

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Marleau, O'Reilly, St. Louis voted Lady Byng finalists

Tuesday, 04.22.2014 / 11:05 AM / 2014 NHL Awards

NEW YORK -- Forwards Patrick Marleau of the San Jose Sharks, Ryan O'Reilly of the Colorado Avalanche and Martin St. Louis of the New York Rangers are the three finalists for the 2013-14 Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, awarded "to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability," the National Hockey League announced today.

Members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association submitted ballots for the Lady Byng Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winner will be announced Tuesday, June 24, during the 2014 NHL Awards from Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas. The 2014 NHL Awards will be broadcast by NBCSN in the United States and CBC in Canada.

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Five Questions: Blues' Oshie talks playoffs, family

Tuesday, 04.22.2014 / 3:00 AM / Five Questions With…

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

NHL.com's weekly Q&A feature called "Five Questions With …" runs every Tuesday. We talk to key figures in the game today and ask them questions to gain insight into their lives, careers and the latest news.

The latest edition features St. Louis Blues right wing T.J. Oshie:

CHICAGO -- T.J. Oshie is chasing one of his dreams while living the other.

When Oshie arrives at the rink he becomes one of the St. Louis Blues' most important players as a first-line right wing that is as big a part of the offense as anyone. When Oshie gets home, he becomes someone completely different, a father to Lyla Grace, born on March 17.

However, it hasn't been easy in either area lately.

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Ducks' Robidas leaves game with fractured leg

Tuesday, 04.22.2014 / 2:12 AM / Ducks vs Stars - 2014 SCP First Round

Steve Hunt - NHL.com Correspondent

DALLAS -- Anaheim Ducks defenseman Stephane Robidas sustained a fractured right leg early in the second period of Game 3 of a Western Conference First Round series against the Dallas Stars on Monday night.

Robidas fell hard to the ice 42 seconds into the second period after being upended by Stars center Ryan Garbutt near the front of the Dallas net. Robidas, who played most of his career in Dallas before being traded to Anaheim in March, was unable to put any weight on his right leg and had to be helped to the dressing room by a member of the Ducks' training staff and teammate Teemu Selanne.

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Blackhawks' Crawford answers his own challenge

Tuesday, 04.22.2014 / 1:20 AM / Blues vs Blackhawks - 2014 SCP First Round

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

CHICAGO -- Corey Crawford took it upon himself to say he needed to be better if the Chicago Blackhawks were going to mount a comeback against the St. Louis Blues after blowing leads and losing in overtime in Games 1 and 2.

"We're not going to win if I'm going to play like that," Crawford said Saturday in St. Louis after giving up four goals on 31 shots.

It was an honest self-evaluation and a personal challenge all wrapped up in one statement. It also earned him a rare sitdown with coach Joel Quenneville on Sunday.

Quenneville usually leaves all the goalie adjustments to goaltending coach Steve Weeks. He's the expert. He knows better how to deal with Crawford's potentially fragile state of mind after giving up the game-tying goal with 6.4 seconds left in regulation in Game 2 only to then give up the winner 5:50 into overtime.

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Blues focus on Blackhawks, not last season's exit

Tuesday, 04.22.2014 / 1:09 AM / Blues vs Blackhawks - 2014 SCP First Round

Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- The St. Louis Blues' course through the first three games of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs has an eerily similar feel to the path that resulted in their early postseason exit last season.

It was Game 3 of the 2013 Western Conference Quarterfinals against the Los Angeles Kings. The Blues, who held a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 series against the Kings, carried the play and had the better chances in the game, but at the end of the day, St. Louis found itself with a 2-1 series lead instead of a commanding 3-0 lead.

Last season, they got game-winning goals from Alexander Steen and Barret Jackman to jump out to the 2-0 series lead on Los Angeles.

Fast-forward to the 2014 playoffs. The Blues jumped out to a 2-0 series lead on the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks in their Western Conference First Round series on the strength of game-winners from -- you guessed it -- Steen and Jackman.

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Quote of the Day

My job was to get that puck and put it on net, and his job was not letting me do it. I got the best of that, but that game's over and to be honest I already forgot about it.

— Canadiens forward Alex Galchenyuk on his late game-tying goal in Montreal's 2-1 OT win
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