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Features

McCarthy: Canadiens can use time off to advantage

Friday, 04.25.2014 / 6:27 PM / Bruins vs Canadiens - 2014 SCP Second Round

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

For additional insight into the Stanley Cup Playoff series between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Montreal Canadiens, NHL.com enlisted the help of longtime NHL assistant/associate coach Kevin McCarthy.

McCarthy played in more than 500 NHL games with the Philadelphia Flyers, Vancouver Canucks and Pittsburgh Penguins, then spent a decade as an assistant and associate coach with the Carolina Hurricanes, where he was a member of the staff that led them to a Stanley Cup championship in 2006. He joined the Flyers as an assistant during the 2009-10 season and stayed in Philadelphia until October 2013.

With the Canadiens sweeping the Eastern Conference First Round series, McCarthy examines how Montreal will handle its time off.

Though no NHL team would ever turn down the opportunity to rest during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, an extended layoff like the one the Montreal Canadiens have can be a major challenge for a coaching staff.

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Canadiens' Therrien mulls difficult lineup decisions

Friday, 04.25.2014 / 5:45 PM / Bruins vs Canadiens - 2014 SCP Second Round

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

BROSSARD, Quebec -- It is a dilemma any coach would love to have, and one Montreal Canadiens coach Michel Therrien is in no hurry to solve.

The Canadiens were back on the ice Friday following two days off since completing a sweep of the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference First Round.

With the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs a week away, Therrien and his staff will have enormous amounts of time to prepare for either the Boston Bruins or the Detroit Red Wings, the two possible opponents for the Canadiens.

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Kings getting boost from young Toffoli, Pearson

Friday, 04.25.2014 / 5:44 PM / Sharks vs Kings - 2014 SCP First Round

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- San Jose Sharks rookies Tomas Hertl and Matt Nieto have earned plenty of deserved praise for their play in the Western Conference First Round series against the Los Angeles Kings.

San Jose leads the best-of-7 series 3-1 and will try to finish off Los Angeles in Game 5 at SAP Center on Saturday (10:00pm ET; CNBC, CBC, RDS2, FS-W, CSN-CA), but the Kings also have a couple of rookies who are making an impact. Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson were united on the second line next to Jeff Carter and played well in a 6-3 win for Los Angeles in Game 4 on Thursday.

"They've brought a lot of energy, a lot of speed, a lot of skill," veteran center Jarret Stoll said. "They've both got great shots. They can score on any goalie in this League, I believe. They've played in some big games and are so young, it is pretty impressive to see them playing the way they are playing, especially against a team like San Jose. That's a tough team, and for them to be playing well and playing in important situations is pretty impressive."

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Without goal, Penguins' Crosby trusts 'puck will go in'

Friday, 04.25.2014 / 4:52 PM / Penguins vs Blue Jackets - 2014 SCP First Round

Wes Crosby - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins forwards Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin do not have a goal through four games of their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Penguins do not expect that scoring drought to last much longer with the 2-2 series heading into Game 5 at Consol Energy Center on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS, FS-O, ROOT).

The Penguins' inability to hold on to multiple-goal leads in its two losses in the Stanley Cup Playoffs has turned attention toward the underwhelming play of their two primary stars.

Crosby, who finished the season as the NHL scoring champion with 104 points, has failed to score a goal in nine postseason games. He has five assists in those games, but was held without a point while being swept by the Boston Bruins during last year's Eastern Conference Final.

"I think [during] playoff time, you want to score no matter what," Crosby said. "You want to score every game, but it's a lot easier said than done. I think you just trust the puck will go in. I think the main thing is that you're getting chances. I think when you're getting a lot of chances and sometimes they're not going in, eventually they will and they'll come in bunches.

"But personally, I feel like I'd like to get a few more chances to feel comfortable."

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Grand Rapids continues to fuel Red Wings' success

Friday, 04.25.2014 / 2:41 PM / AHL Update

Alyssa Dombrowski - Special to NHL.com

The Detroit Red Wings are in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the 23rd consecutive year despite a series of injuries that plagued them throughout the 2013-14 regular season. That accomplishment can be attributed in large part to the reinforcements provided by their American Hockey League affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Thirteen members of the 2013 Calder Cup champion Griffins have skated for Detroit this season, including impact players such as defensemen Danny DeKeyser and Brian Lashoff, and forwards Tomas Tatar and Gustav Nyquist, the latter of whom led the Red Wings with 28 goals. Several others, including Nyquist and forwards Tomas Jurco, Luke Glendening and Riley Sheahan, spent time in Grand Rapids again this season.

The Griffins and Red Wings, whose affiliation began in 2002, have fostered a model relationship between an AHL team and its parent NHL club.

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Bishop, Rask, Varlamov named Vezina Trophy finalists

Friday, 04.25.2014 / 11:00 AM / 2014 NHL Awards

NHL.com

NEW YORK -- Ben Bishop of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Tuukka Rask of the Boston Bruins and Semyon Varlamov of the Colorado Avalanche are the three finalists for the 2013-14 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 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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Williams comes up big again for Kings

Friday, 04.25.2014 / 2:44 AM / Sharks vs Kings - 2014 SCP First Round

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

LOS ANGELES -- One of the stories that came out of the Los Angeles Kings' 2012 Stanley Cup run was an inspirational speech by Justin Williams before the Cup-clinching win in Game 6. Teammates won't divulge details but have suggested Williams touched on not letting the moment slip away.

Thursday, Williams again stepped up for the Kings.

Williams scored two goals in the second period to help Los Angeles beat the San Jose Sharks 6-3 at Staples Center and avoid a sweep. Game 5 of the Western Conference First Round series is Saturday at SAP Center (10 p.m. ET; CBC, CNBC, RDS2, FS-W, CSN-CA).


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Zetterberg's return ends in disappointment

Friday, 04.25.2014 / 1:06 AM / Bruins vs Red Wings - 2014 SCP First Round

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

DETROIT -- Henrik Zetterberg hopes to have a few more games this season in order to work himself into optimal playing shape. The Detroit Red Wings will have to win in Boston to give him that chance.

Zetterberg returned to the Red Wings' lineup Thursday for the first time since Feb. 8. He was greeted by a loud cheer when he stepped on the ice for warmups and provided an emotional lift to his team. But as the game wore on he, like the Red Wings, started to drag.

Detroit gave up a two-goal lead and lost 3-2 in overtime to the Boston Bruins to fall into a 3-1 hole in the best-of-7 Eastern Conference First Round series. Game 5 is Saturday at TD Garden (3 p.m. ET; NBC, RDS, TSN).

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Rask responds for Bruins in Game 4 win

Friday, 04.25.2014 / 12:43 AM / Bruins vs Red Wings - 2014 SCP First Round

Matt Kalman - NHL.com Correspondent

DETROIT -- One goaltender was a late scratch from Game 4 of the Eastern Conference First Round between the Boston Bruins and the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday. The other couldn't stop his team from falling in a 2-0 hole early in the game.

Fortunately for the Bruins, Tuukka Rask didn't let the two goals he allowed in the first 24:27 make him sick. And despite a valiant effort by Detroit backup Jonas Gustavsson, the Red Wings weren't able to prevail with their starter Jimmy Howard nowhere to be found rink side because of what was announced as flu-like symptoms.

Rask finished with 35 saves at Joe Louis Arena in the Bruins' 3-2 overtime victory, which put them ahead 3-1 in the best-of-7 series with Game 5 scheduled for Saturday at TD Garden (3 p.m. ET; NBC, TSN, RDS).


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Quote of the Day

There's no discouragement in that room. There's no issues there at all to be honest with you. It's more about, 'Hey, it's opportunities for players.' And if we become that bad of a team because of one player, it's not a real good sign for our hockey club. So this is part of sports. It's part of hockey.

— Bruins coach Claude Julien on the loss of Zdeno Chara to injury
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