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(Page 75 of 177)
Features

Five reasons why the Wild advanced

Thursday, 05.01.2014 / 2:41 PM / Blackhawks vs Wild - 2014 SCP Second Round

Jon Lane - NHL.com Staff Writer

Game 7 of the Minnesota Wild's Western Conference First Round series against the Colorado Avalanche was a microcosm of their regular season.

The Wild's message was put into focus during a seesaw battle Wednesday in Denver: You knock us down, we get back up. Again and again.

In late December, the Wild lost six straight games before bouncing back with a 7-2-0 run and finished the season 6-1-1 to clinch the first wild-card spot in the West.

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Lundqvist among Rangers causing Penguins concern

Thursday, 05.01.2014 / 2:34 PM / Penguins vs Rangers - 2014 SCP Second Round

Wes Crosby - NHL.com Correspondent

PITTSBURGH -- The New York Rangers will have played five games in seven days by the time Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins ends.

Penguins coach Dan Bylsma doesn't think that will matter.

"It catches your eye. It's a lot of hockey in a short amount of time," Bylsma said. "Both teams are traveling. The schedule always seems to have its quirks, whether you have two days off in between [games] and you're worrying about too much rest and a break in between. This one, you're playing back-to-back nights.

"It's a lot of hockey for both teams. I don't think it's an advantage or a disadvantage."

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Wild entering unfamiliar territory against Blackhawks

Thursday, 05.01.2014 / 2:02 PM / Blackhawks vs Wild - 2014 SCP Second Round

Dan Rosen and Shawn Roarke - NHL.com Staff Writers

For the Chicago Blackhawks, it's a familiar scenario. For the Minnesota Wild, it's territory unchartered for a significant period of time.

The defending Stanley Cup champions are in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the sixth straight season and have advanced past the first round for the fourth time in that span. They're 3-0 in the previous second-round series.

Until a Game 7 win against the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday, the Wild hadn't been out of the first round since 2003, when they came back from 3-1 deficits in consecutive series against the Avalanche and Vancouver Canucks to go all the way to the Western Conference Final, where they were dispatched by the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

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X-Factor: Rangers rely on Girardi for shutdown play

Thursday, 05.01.2014 / 12:28 PM / Penguins vs Rangers - 2014 SCP Second Round

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

On a New York Rangers roster featuring its fair share of NHL stars, defenseman Dan Girardi is one of the more unassuming names. But his contributions at both ends of the ice could potentially swing New York's Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

As they have the entire season, the Rangers will rely on Girardi to combine with defense partner Ryan McDonagh to shut down Pittsburgh's top offensive weapons. Considering the Penguins' top two lines are centered by two of the world's best players in Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, Girardi could have his work cut out for him.

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Seven early Conn Smythe Trophy candidates

Thursday, 05.01.2014 / 12:25 PM / Stanley Cup Playoffs

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

The first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs is over. Eight teams have advanced, the second round begins Thursday, and several players have emerged as potential MVP candidates.

It might be too early to crown a champion, way too early in fact, but it's never too early to look at some possible Conn Smythe Trophy candidates.

Here are seven players who emerged in the first round, listed in no particular order:

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X-Factor: Smith spurs Blackhawks' second line

Thursday, 05.01.2014 / 12:00 PM / Blackhawks vs Wild - 2014 SCP Second Round

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

CHICAGO -- Ben Smith's speed gave the Chicago Blackhawks' second line a new dimension when he was moved up late in Game 4 to play with Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane.

The Blackhawks will present matchup problems for the Minnesota Wild if Smith is as effective in the Western Conference Second Round series as he was in the first round against the St. Louis Blues, when he had a goal, an assist, 11 shots on goal and a plus-4 rating in six games.

"I don't look at it that way, as if I'm trying to take a role and run with it," Smith said during the series against St. Louis. "For me, I'm just trying to help the team win, and if that's where I'm put [on the second line], I'll work my hardest and do what I have to do to help the team be successful."

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Five reasons why the Flyers were eliminated

Thursday, 05.01.2014 / 11:33 AM / Stanley Cup Playoffs

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

It was a season of peaks and valleys for the Philadelphia Flyers.

From the depths of a 1-7-0 start, they finished third in the Metropolitan Division to return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs after sitting out the 2013 postseason.

Captain Claude Giroux went from zero goals, seven assists and a minus-12 rating in his first 15 games to finish as the League's third-leading scorer and a Hart Trophy finalist.

In their Eastern Conference First Round series against the New York Rangers, they peaked with their backs to the wall to win Game 6 at home, 5-2, but there was one final valley, a 2-1 season-ending loss in Game 7 one night later at Madison Square Garden.

Here are five reasons the Flyers have gotten an earlier start to their offseason than they hoped.

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Kings-Ducks rivalry goes from outdoors to playoffs

Thursday, 05.01.2014 / 11:03 AM / Ducks vs. Kings - 2014 SCP Second Round

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

It's already taken center stage in front of a national-television audience in a 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game.

Now, a little over three months after they met outdoors at Dodger Stadium, the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings will put their Southern California rivalry to the test for the first time in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

They've been playing each other since the Ducks entered the NHL in 1993, but it's taken 21 years for their historic first postseason matchup to happen in the Western Conference Second Round.

Game 1 is scheduled to take place Saturday at Honda Center in Anaheim (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

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Crosby, Getzlaf and Giroux voted Hart Trophy finalists

Thursday, 05.01.2014 / 11:00 AM / 2014 NHL Awards

NHL.com

NEW YORK – Forwards Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Ryan Getzlaf of the Anaheim Ducks and Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers are the three finalists for the 2013-14 Hart Memorial Trophy, awarded "to the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team," the National Hockey League announced today.

Members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association submitted ballots for the Hart Memorial 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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Penguins, Rangers collide after even season series

Thursday, 05.01.2014 / 9:47 AM / Penguins vs Rangers - 2014 SCP Second Round

Adam Kimelman and Shawn P. Roarke - NHL.com Staff Writers

The Pittsburgh Penguins have won all four Stanley Cup Playoff series they've played against the New York Rangers. They'll try to make it 5-for-5 when they meet in this year's Eastern Conference Second Round.

The Penguins had a few days to rest after finishing off the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday to win their first-round series in six games, though they blew multiple-goal leads in each loss and nearly saw a 4-0 lead completely vanish in Game 6 (a 4-3 win). The Rangers played Games 6 and 7 of their first-round series against the Philadelphia Flyers on back-to-back nights; they advanced by outlasting the Flyers 2-1 at home Wednesday.

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Quote of the Day

We want to make sure that whoever makes our team really makes our team by earning it and not putting them in situations where they get preference because of their status as a first-round pick or whatever it might be. That's not going to happen. Everybody has to earn their way on our team.

— Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen on the team's prospects at development camp