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(Page 77 of 170)
Features

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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Carter, Gaborik flourish again after trades to Kings

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

CHICAGO -- Jeff Carter was going to be a member of the Philadelphia Flyers for all, or close to all, of his NHL career, and he had the legal document with his signature on it to prove it.

Carter signed an 11-year contract with the Flyers in November 2010 that would have kept him in Philadelphia until after his 37th birthday. He didn't make it to 27 with the Flyers, and a few months after celebrating that birthday, Carter was traded for a second time.

He landed with the Los Angeles Kings just before the NHL Trade Deadline in 2012 after a layover with the Columbus Blue Jackets. After being one of the top young stars in the NHL, Carter's reputation had been slighted upon his exit from Philadelphia and after he was unable to produce to expectations in central Ohio.

Carter became a great addition for the Kings. He added a scoring spark and helped balance out the forward lines. Los Angeles won the Stanley Cup a few months later.

Marian Gaborik joined the Kings just before the trade deadline this season in nearly an identical situation. He's a little older than Carter was, but Gaborik was once one of the League's elite goal-scorers and he had just been traded by two teams in less than a calendar year when he arrived in Los Angeles, from the Blue Jackets no less.

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Canadiens must choose between Budaj, Tokarski

Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com

BROSSARD, Quebec -- The Montreal Canadiens have been in this situation before, except the stakes were not nearly as high.

Carey Price returned from representing Canada at the 2014 Sochi Olympics with a gold medal around his neck as well as a lower-body injury.

The Canadiens said at the time that Price aggravated a previous injury at the Olympics and that his absence would not last very long.

It wound up being two weeks.

In Price's absence, Peter Budaj was called upon to carry the load during a very difficult stretch of eight games; six of the opponents qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs this season.

Budaj started seven of those eight games and won two, neither in regulation, and put up a 3.51 goals-against average and .868 save percentage.

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Ducks re-evaluating after stinging end to season

Monday, 05.19.2014 / 5:42 PM / NHL Insider

Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent

ANAHEIM -- It's much too early for Anaheim Ducks general manager Bob Murray to fully dissect what went wrong with his team in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, specifically a Game 7 that is already being talked about as the worst loss in franchise history.

Anaheim caved under the pressure and succumbed to the rival Los Angeles Kings 6-2 in Game 7 of the Western Conference Second Round series in a building in which it had started the season 20-0-2. Murray talked Monday on the team's exit meetings day, and the game still haunted him.

"When you sit and watch, after the all years in this business, you worry the night before that your team may be too nervous, too apprehensive," Murray said. "There's all sorts of things that go through your mind, and they're your worst nightmare. But it's something you have to take and move on from. You've got to learn from that. We're at that point where we can't allow this to happen. We've got to move forward."

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Blackhawks' Crawford focused solely on the present

Shawn Roarke - Director, Editorial

CHICAGO -- Goaltender Corey Crawford has learned the fine art of forgetting about the past. As a result, his present and future have been infinitely more enjoyable.

"I approach every next game [like] that's always the most important," Crawford said minutes after playing a starring role in the Chicago Blackhawks' Western Conference Final opening-game victory against the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday. "Game 2 is now the most important. I'm going to rest up now and prepare for that."

With more than 72 hours between the end of Game 1 and the start of Game 2 here at United Center on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS), Crawford will have a lot of time to think about the recent run he has put together.

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Quote of the Day

I think Loui Eriksson is a player that can be even better than he was last year. I think we started seeing that at the end of the year, and he could be a replacement for Jarome as a possibility.

— Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien on forward Loui Eriksson's potential