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(Page 75 of 169)
Features

Blackhawks-Kings could turn on battle of top lines

Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- It's one of those matchups that should be watched closely throughout the Western Conference Final between the Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings.

Chicago leads the best-of-7 series 1-0 heading into Game 2 on Wednesday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS), and a big reason is the matchup between the Blackhawks' top line and the Kings' first unit.

With right wing Marian Hossa's two assists in Game 1, including one on a big goal late in the third period by center Jonathan Toews, Chicago's top forwards led the way up front.

"They're a great line," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said after practice Tuesday. "Jonathan Toews … he is the best two-way player in the National Hockey League. Hossa is right there next in terms of wingers. That's for sure."

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Canadiens see 2-0 hole as just another rallying point

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- As the final buzzer sounded at Bell Centre on Monday, ensuring the Montreal Canadiens were down 2-0 in the Eastern Conference Final to the New York Rangers, P.K. Subban allowed himself to show a touch of frustration.

The Canadiens defenseman spent 5:02 of the final 6:03 of the game on the ice, trying desperately to beat Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist on a night he looked superhuman.

Subban must have been exhausted, and perhaps the gravity of the situation hit him, and he reacted.

He shot the puck around the boards, and skated off the ice.

That's it.

By the time the Canadiens dressing room was open to the media following their 3-1 loss in Game 2, Subban not only had lost that frustration, it was replaced by confidence.

Heading into Game 3 on Thursday in New York (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS), Subban felt enormously positive about where the Canadiens stood in the series.

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Blackhawks forward Shaw close to returning

Shawn Roarke - Director, Editorial

CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw, making his first public comments since sustaining a lower-body injury in Game 1 of the Western Conference Second Round, opened his press conference with a simple question.

"Did you guys miss me?" Shaw said minutes after taking part in his first full practice since getting injured against the Minnesota Wild on May 2.

The answer, it seems, is a universal yes.

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Goaltender Markkanen can relate to Tokarski's rise

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

With 10 games of prior NHL experience, Montreal Canadiens goaltender Dustin Tokarski stopped 27 of 30 shots Monday in a 3-1 loss to the New York Rangers in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final.

Montreal fell behind 2-0 in the best-of-7 series, which continues Thursday with Game 3 at Madison Square Garden (8 p.m.; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

Making his Stanley Cup Playoff debut, the loss was a surreal experience for the 24-year-old, one to which former NHL goaltender Jussi Markkanen can relate.

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Nash resurgence 'really good sign' for Rangers

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

MONTREAL -- New York Rangers forward Rick Nash never minds being a defensive stopper on occasion. He likes his role on the penalty kill, feels he thrives in being counted on to play all 200 feet, and enjoys being able to contribute in ways that don't show up on the score sheet.

The problem through the first 14 games of the Stanley Cup Playoffs is that's all Nash was doing, and that's not why the Rangers are paying him $7.8 million per season.

Sure, Nash was generating scoring chances, the most of any player on the team, according to coach Alain Vigneault, but they never amounted to anything tangible. He was without a goal in 15 straight games entering the Eastern Conference Final, the longest scoring drought of his career.

"There was definitely a lot of frustration built up," Nash said.

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Five Questions: Olczyk praises Blackhawks' Crawford

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 NBC broadcaster Eddie Olczyk, who also calls Chicago Blackhawks games on CSN Chicago:

MONTREAL -- Eddie Olczyk is working the Eastern Conference Final with a keen eye on what is happening out West because of his ties to the Chicago Blackhawks and the obvious need to follow what's happening across the NHL as NBC's lead color commentator.

Olczyk worked Chicago's first two rounds, six-game series victories against the St. Louis Blues and Minnesota Wild. He spoke about all things Blackhawks with NHL.com on Monday from Bell Centre.

The Blackhawks have a 1-0 lead on the Los Angeles Kings in the best-of-7 Western Conference Final. Game 2 is Wednesday at United Center (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

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Canadiens rookie goalie Tokarski faces daunting task

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

MONTREAL -- Dustin Tokarski said it calmly, as though he'd said it a thousand times before.

There was no quivering in his voice, no sense of regret.

It was just a matter-of-fact statement that perfectly sums up the situation in which the Montreal Canadiens and Tokarski, their new No. 1 goaltender, find themselves, down 2-0 in the Eastern Conference Final against the New York Rangers.

"He's a superstar at the other end and he played like it tonight," Tokarski said after losing 3-1 in his debut in the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Monday. "That was probably the difference."


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Rangers goalie Lundqvist regains world-class form

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

MONTREAL -- Remember when New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist was plagued by his own play in October, November, December and even early in January? Remember when he looked pedestrian and barely a legitimate No. 1 NHL goalie, let alone a superstar?

Seems so long ago, right? Seems like forever, in fact.

Not to Lundqvist. He remembers it well.

Lundqvist can describe the strange, nervous feeling he had early in the regular season when things were going so bad and he couldn't figure out how to fix them.

He can tell you about the saves he didn't make, the saves he always used to make. He can tell you about his positioning, how he was challenging shooters well above the blue paint, something he absolutely never does when he's on his game.

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Canadiens goalie Tokarski plays well in surprise start

Sean Farrell - NHL.com Correspondent

MONTREAL -- Dustin Tokarski's championship pedigree won out in Montreal Canadiens coach Michel Therrien's mind when it came down to choosing between the third-string goalie and backup Peter Budaj to take over for injured Carey Price.

Tokarski, who has won an IIHF World Junior Championship gold medal and Memorial Cup and Calder Cup titles, couldn't carry the Canadiens in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final against the New York Rangers on Monday. New York defeated Montreal 3-1 behind the 40-save performance of Henrik Lundqvist to take a 2-0 series lead.

"The number one reason why that we decided to go with Tokarski, you look at his track record, he's a winner, and I thought he played well tonight," Therrien said.


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Guelph locks up spot in Memorial Cup title game

Monday, 05.19.2014 / 10:24 PM / Prospects

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Guelph Storm forward Robert Fabbri continued to cement his status as one of the top forwards available for the 2014 NHL Draft with a goal and an assist in a 6-3 defeat of the Val-d'Or Foreurs on Monday at the 2014 Memorial Cup.

Minnesota Wild draft pick Zack Mitchell had a goal and two assists for Guelph, which also got a goal and an assist from Columbus Blue Jackets 2013 first-round pick Kerby Rychel. Goalie Justin Nichols made 30 saves as the Storm, champions of the Ontario Hockey League, outshot the Foreurs 49-33.

Guelph, which beat the Western Hockey League champion Edmonton Oil Kings 5-2 on Saturday, improved to 2-0 in the tournament and earned a spot in the championship game Sunday. They'll finish round-robin play Wednesday against the host London Knights.


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Quote of the Day

It was the look in his eyes. Hockey is the most important thing in his life. He wants to be a hockey player, and nothing's going to stop him from being a hockey player.

— Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin on forward Alex Galchenyuk's potential